Thursday, September 20, 2012

Birthday Paint Party

This week I turned 29... ahhhh last year in my 20's!!  Well I took my birthday off work and being ... well me.. I decided instead of sitting back and relaxing on my day off I would be productive.  I pulled out all 7 of our dining room chairs, yes we have an uneven number.  Our dining room set was my Grand Omas and it came with 4 chairs. We randomly found another 3 at a an antique store by our cottage for $25 each!!!  So now was have 7 chairs. As previously mentioned in this post I have been debating whether to paint or stain the chairs.  I finally decided I wanted to paint them and I have an awesome plan for the table, details on that at a later date!!  I pulled out all of the dining room chairs took off the seat cushions and gave them a thorough cleaning!

Then I pulled out a foam brush and the can of Zinsser primer and got to work priming these babies with the best primer out there!! I LOVE that I didn't have to sand them down!!! 

It took forever and I decided to paint them I will definitely be spray painting them!  But I'm sooo happy the priming is done.  At about a half hour a chair it took me about 4 hours to finish these!!

And that is how I spent my birthday, most people think I'm crazy but it was the BEST day! I LOVE projects!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Behemoth

I know I have mentioned the massive tree that we have in our backyard.  But I can't remember if I have ever truly shown any pictures of it... well you are about to get more pictures than you probably need!!  When we moved in we knew the tree was overgrown and in desperate need of a 'hair cut'.  Ryan initially said he could trim the tree... I just laughed hysterically and said 'Yes Hunny'.... It wasn't until we hung Norah's swing from the lowest branch that Ryan quickly realized trimming this baby was not in his 'reach'.  Without further ado meet 'THE BAHEMOTH' as I like to refer to her (yes I consider my tree a female... a VERY LARGE luscious female). Just for reference... I couldn't get about 30% of the tree in the picture.... Because of the way our yard is there is no way of getting the entire tree in a picture!! Its that big!

So I picked up the phone in the spring and got 3 quotes for tree trimming services. The first quote shocked the crap out of me at a whopping $1600!!!! I just about died!!! Next in came a quote at... wait for it... $2300!!! FOR TREE TRIMMING!!! Ok I get that our tree is RIDICULOUSLY HUGE But really?????
At this point Ryan and I were trying to convince ourselves that the tree didn't need trimming and that it would be just fine... aka denial!!  Finally I came across a local tree company called Karmatree and figured it couldn't get any worse why not try for one more quote.  Their quote came in at $900! THAT I could deal with.  However, I wanted to make sure they weren't going to put spikes in my tree (like some companies do) which ruins the tree!!  Luckily they don't use spikes, they use suspension ropes and a big bucket truck. I was excited... well lets rephrase that.. I was not thrilled about forking over $900 for a 'hair cut' for The Behemoth... but I was excited that it wasn't $2300!!! 

THEN we forgot all about poor Behemoth.... it was summer and we were enjoying the fact that she kept our backyard cool and shady. 

Until last week when I realized fall was coming up and that meant Behemoth was about to shed her 'clothes'... Oh goodness... the thought of all those leaves makes me exhausted already!!!! 

So I picked up the phone and called Ryan over at Karmatree. They are honestly the nicest guys ever. They were at the house 4 days later trimming the tree. They did an amazing job of cleaning up every last branch they chopped off.  I came home from work to find that I could actually SEE my beautiful tree!!!  Here she is after her $900 hair cut!

Just so you don't have to scroll up and down, here is the before and after side by side.

I think I can safely say we will have about 30 less bags of leaves to rack up this fall!!! Our neighbours have always been telling us that we have a family of raccoons living in our tree, but we never saw them... until the tree was trimmed.  When I got home last Friday I was talking to Ryan of Karmatree and he pointed out our backyard pet who apparently had been sleeping on this branch the entire day while they were trimming the tree.  Brave little bugger! (if you can't spot him he's in the middle of the photo)

We are both so happy with our trimmed tree and can't thank Karmatrees enough!! They did an amazing job!! If you live in the Toronto area you can find them at

Disclaimer: We have not been paid by Karmatree these are 100% our opinions.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Don't Judge This House By Its Front Entrance

I know I have mentioned a few times that eventually Ryan and I want to build a super awesome front hall storage bench/closet.  But I have never actually shown our front hall in its current state.... SO let me do that first before I explain what my future plan is for our front entrance!  This is here what our front hall looks like 50% of the time.... the other 50% of the time there are shoes everywhere and coats hanging on the stair banister!

I LOVE the slate tiles in the front hall. And I LOVE the black front door, I think it looks amazing!!  I also LOVE the light fixture.  As you can see from the photo above the table my dad made us for the hall in the old house fits PERFECTLY next to the stairs and radiator in the hall and I love it there!  The problem we have is storage since there is no closet! So we have temporarily used what we had on hand.

That is an Ikea Aneboda Wardrobe that I have had since 2nd year university!!  I'm actually shocked it has lasted that long... we all know how well Ikea products last when moved a million times. That wardrobe has lived in 2 apartments, 2 storage units and 2 houses being moved a total of 7 times!!  In the last house we had it in the living room temporarily and it was moved to the basement for the majority of the time we lived there.  It works for now but it doesn't tie in with anything!!  Next to it we used the storage cabinet that we bought for the bathroom in the old house.  It moved from there to the bedroom in the old house for a little while and now it is in the front hall housing Norah shoes, my purses and random other things.  The baskets above the wardrobe have all our hats, mitts, scarves, umbrellas and other accessories.  Here is the other side of the front hall which I have actually hung art on.

Now lets get to 'THE PLAN'.  To start off we have decided to go for a non-closet/closet.... We don't have the room for a proper closet so we will be using hooks.  This will also limit the number of jackets we can have at the front door which is JUST FINE WITH ME!! Means I can't buy 100 jackets and saves money :-) I do however want to have a side cubby with a small door to hide all those things you just don't know what to do with.  I LOVE this front hall idea!!


However I would like cabinet doors hiding the cubbies above like this idea. And I also like the layout of the shoe storage here a little better.

Just to add more complexity to my project I really like the look of using an old door as the back piece for the front hall like these!!

After looking at what we have lying around the house a few weeks ago Ryan and I discovered we may just have almost everything we need on hand to do this project!!!  This is what I'm thinking right now...mind you I haven't measured a thing yet so it may not work out as I have planned in my head!!  Ultimately we are going for the look in the first photo but with doors instead of beadboard for the backing and doors on the cabinets above. 

We have about 5 old doors of various sizes in the basement already we just have to pick 2 of them to use.  We also have some old kitchen cabinets in the basement that are being used as extra storage in the laundry room which we don't need down there. Those would work perfectly as the cubbies above for hats/mitts/bags etc.  One of the cabinets already has doors we would have to figure somethign out for the other cabinet.  For the bench we actually have an old piano bench that we have been holding onto. I think it would work perfectly as a bench and we could build some built in storage next to it to make it longer.  Once everything is built we can add trim to make it look like a complete built in!  I figure this is the perfect fall/winter project so don't expect any progress on this until then. But I'm excited!!  OH for colour I plan on painting it white and adding some fun splashes of colour maybe in material for a cushion for the bench or with fun handles/hooks!