Sunday, 15 July 2018

Kitchen crisis averted

We almost had a major kitchen crisis a couple of weeks ago. Do you remember the beautiful leathered Blue Night marble slabs we put on hold for the kitchen island last summer?

blue night slab 1

The ones that went so well with the honed Blue Pearl granite that will be going on the perimeter cabinets.

granite marble

And with the purple island that Brian built.

purple and marble

The templating for the island and cabinet countertops was done a week and a half ago. Two days later, the stone shop called to let us know that no matter how they laid out the island dimensions on the slabs, neither slab was going to work because they were both a couple of inches too short for the proper overhang. DOH! Brian built the island too big!

Choosing another stone wasn’t an option, I NEED leathered Blue Night marble in my life! Brian contemplated reducing the size of the island. Not ideal, but it could be done.

island 1

Another option was to use the two Blue Night slabs and have a seam. Not the best option, but probably easier than modifying the island.

Luckily, there was a third option – the stone shop had another slab of Blue Night that was big enough for the island. It was polished, but the shop said they would leather it at no charge. I zipped into the city the next morning to take a look at the potential new slab. At first, I wasn’t entirely sure that I liked it as much as the other slabs. The movement of the stone is different, and it has darker bits that the other slabs don’t have.

blue night slab 2

But then we looked at it next to the honed Blue Pearl slab, and the two slabs looked pretty great together. The darker bits are just about exactly the same colour as the Blue Pearl.

blue night blue pearl

In the end, I think I may actually like this slab better than the ones we had on hold. Especially once it has the leathered finish, which I absolutely adore.

The countertops are being installed on Tuesday, and I CANNOT WAIT! I’ve been envisioning the kitchen with these two stones for a year, and I’m beyond excited to finally have them in our kitchen :-)

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Friday, 29 June 2018

Behind door #1 and #2 and #3…

Disclosure: Thank you to Schlage Canada for partnering with me and providing door solutions for our house build.

We still don’t have a completely finished room in our house, but a couple are pretty close to being done. The guest bedroom is near the top of the list of rooms to finish because Brian snores and he needs to be tucked away in a room by himself so he doesn’t keep me awake all night!

I wanted to do something colourful and different in the bedroom. It’s one of the few rooms in the house that has doors, so it can be closed off and doesn’t really have to flow with the colours through the rest of the house. A sunset colour scheme popped into my head one day, and that’s what I decided to go with. Click here to check out some of my colour inspiration.

Here’s the bedroom in all it’s bare glory:

before 1

before 2

before 3

before 4

I chose two Sherwin Williams colours and had them colour-matched in Benjamin Moore paint – Coming Up Roses for the ceiling and Rejuvenate for the walls.

coming up roses sw      rejuvenate sw

First the pink went on the ceiling, and I had some doubts about this crazy colour plan!

pink ceiling

But no turning back now! Next up was the orange…

pink orange

And then Brian installed the wainscoting. It’s strips of 1/2” thick MDF attached to the wall every 16”. The strips are capped with a horizontal strip of the same MDF and a square piece of MDF. It’s all painted PPG Pittsburgh Paints Delicate White colour-matched in Benjamin Moore Advance paint.


I painted the doors Delicate White as well because I wanted them to tie in with the white wainscoting. And I also didn’t want colour overkill!

all bedroom doors

But each of these white doors has a secret… this is the inside of the closet door:

purple door

And the other side of the door to the bathroom…

turquoise door

And the other side of the door to the living room…

green door

Yep, purple and turquoise and bright green are definitely my favourite colours! They’re the same colours I’ve used elsewhere in the house – BM Peerage, BM Douglas Fir, and PARA Paints Lush Turquoise.

green and purple

green and turquoise

I love these unexpected pops of colour when the bedroom doors are open. And I also love our door hardware. As I mentioned in this post, I knew I wanted black knobs or levers on the doors, so when we ordered the Madison doors from Jeldwen, we requested black hinges.

After checking out the Schlage Style Selector, we decided on the Broadway lever in matte black from Schalge Canada.

lever close up 2

lever close up 1

I really like the simple lines of the Broadway lever. It’s clean and contemporary, and feels smooth and solid when you turn it. And the matte black ties in perfectly with our super-tall black chimney and other dark metal accents in the house.

Of course, Schalge carries door hardware in a wide variety of finishes and styles to suit any decor. Click here to check out the Schalge Style Selector. Coincidentally, Jennifer at Rambling Renovators installed the same matte black Broadway lever on the turquoise door to her craft room :-) Schlage door hardware can match the other finishes in your home to complement your home’s unique style and d├ęcor.

For now, I’m using our existing furniture and accessories in the room. The only things I bought new are the ceiling light fixture and the duvet cover, both from HomeSense. I still need to figure out what art to hang and where (it won’t be leaning against the walls forever, I hope!), but here’s the almost-finished guest bedroom.

from corner 2

from corner 3

decorating in progress

Door hardware is used in every room, making it the perfect accessory to help tie the entire home’s look together. And it’s the perfect finishing touch to complement a room’s look. It’s a quick, affordable, and impactful way to express your personal style. We installed Broadway levers on the entry closet and upstairs bathroom doors as well to continue the flow of black accents throughout the house.

closet door

bathroom door 2

For more information on Schalge door solutions, click here to visit the Schlage Canada web site, and click here to find Schalge retailer near you. To see the completed guest bedroom, check back here soon :-)

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Friday, 1 June 2018

I need a 500 foot hose

Does anyone make such a thing? Because I have plants that need to be watered that are a looonnngggg way from the outdoor faucet! We haven’t had rain for a while and there’s no rain in the forecast, so I had to somehow water the haskap bushes and spruce trees and cuttings from a friend that are planted way up near the other end of the driveway.


I can’t bring the plants to the water, so I had to somehow bring the water to the plants… Ah! Got it! A garbage can and a smart car, and now I have my very own Watermobile!

filling bucket

Do you watch Canada’s Worst Driver and laugh when they do the water challenge? Yeah, me too – but now I know that it’s not so easy to drive a car with a big bucket of water and not have it slosh everywhere! But I did make it to the other end of the driveway without getting wet :-)

top of driveway

Then I used that square container you can kind of see to bring the water from the garbage can to the plants. Not ideal, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

These are a couple of the haskap bushes. They have green berries on them, but not sure if they’ll continue to ripen after being transplanted from the haskap farm to our lot. If you’ve never heard of haskaps, check out this link. They’re super-delicious and really good for you. If you want to try some haskap products, check out Haskapa.

haskap bush 1


haskap berries

So until I find a 500 foot hose, this is how I’ll be watering my plants :-)

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Thinking about door knobs

Door knobs might not be at the top of your to-do list when you’re building or renovating, but they’re an important and necessary design element in every house. After all, if we didn’t have door knobs and deadbolts on our front doors, we’d be leaving our houses open to anyone or anything that wants to come in. Not to mention the embarrassment of being caught in a compromising position in the bathroom ;-)

Our house in Ottawa had a lot of doors. And all of those doors had curvy shiny brass levers and shiny brass hinges. I always wanted to change them out for brushed chrome door knobs, but we moved before I had the chance to make the change.

Now that we’re building our own house, we can choose whatever door knobs we want. Well, almost – I prefer knobs, Brian prefers levers. I compromised on the style, but chose the finish. I decided that I want matte black levers and hinges. I think it’s a pretty sharp look.

SOTG_Media Room_7


A few months ago, a representative from Schlage Canada contacted me and asked me if I was interested in using their products in our house. At that point, I hadn’t given the door hardware much thought, other than the fact that I knew I wanted to go black. I checked out the Style Selector on the Schlage web site, and found that that they carry a good variety of door solutions in a number of styles and finishes. The Broadway lever immediately caught my eye. I like the cylindrical lever and simple round back plate. And it comes in matte black, which is just what I was looking for.


Of course, there are many other styles and finishes to choose from. Traditional to contemporary, there’s something for every home.

schlage levers

schlage knobs

If you’d like to check out Schlage solutions for your home, click here to find the retailer closest to you.

I’ve been busy painting doors and door trim so we can hang the doors and install the Broadway levers. Finally finished up that job, and I’ll show you how they turned out in my next post. There’s a fun surprise in the guest bedroom… stay tuned!

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Disclosure: Thank you to Schlage Canada for partnering with me and providing door solutions for our house build.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

It’s all about that baseboard

Now that a lot of the big things in the house are finished, we’ve been focusing on the detail work. Boring and nitpicky, but it has to be done.

Right from the start, I knew I wanted to keep the trim work simple. For the baseboards, I envisioned something plain and square, but with a little bit of detail to keep them from being boring. Luckily, there’s no shortage of inspiration pictures out there, and when I came across this baseboard, we had a winner.



Of course, when I showed Brian the picture, his reaction was “I can make that.” ARGH! Is there anything the man can’t make?! Anyway, yes, as it turns out, he can make it. And I have to admit, he came up with a genius way of doing it. Don’t ask me why or how this idea occurred to him, but he took a piece of shiplap, cut off the bottom 1-1/2 inches, and then put the 1-1/2” strip on top of the wider strip. Voila, groove. Then he angled off the top edge of the thin strip, and plain and square baseboard with a touch of detail done!

base 1

base 2

base 3

All the trim in the house is Delicate White, which is a PPG Pittsburgh Paint colour that I’ve had colour-matched to Benjamin Moore paint. I’m using Advance in a satin finish on the baseboards and all the other trim. It’s a bit finicky to work with, but once you get the hang of it, the painting goes quickly and you end up with a really nice and durable finish.

If you’re installing new baseboards, take my word for it, paint them before they’re installed. It makes life so much easier. Once the baseboards are in, you just need to fill the nail holes and then paint a quick coat or two to finish them off. And here’s a tip for getting a clean line between the baseboard and the floor…

Cutting in without taping off the floor takes forever and if you’re anything like me, you’ll get paint on the floor no matter how careful you are. Taping off the floor is pretty much guaranteed to end up being a mess, because no matter how careful you are, paint will find a way to seep under the tape in places. So here’s what to do – tape off the floor, but bring the tiniest bit of the edge of the tape up onto the baseboard. Like this:

baseboard tape 1

Then roll or brush on your paint without worrying about getting it on the floor (the wider tape you use, the better!)

baseboard tape 2

As soon as you finish painting, pull up the tape. And voila, perfect clean line!

baseboard tape 3

Of course, you have to paint your baseboards before they’re installed to do this, otherwise you’ll end up with a noticeable line where the tape came up onto the baseboard.

I’m really happy with how the baseboards have turned out. I just wish they were all done!

baseboard 2

OK, off to do more priming and painting!

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