Category Archives: our digs

home tour 6

a last look at the bungalow: final home tour

20th August 2014

Since we are mid-build on our house, I thought it was the perfect time for a last look at the bungalow. It’s definitely bitter sweet – I really loved our little house, and we put a lot of effort into making it a home that was suited perfectly to us.

The turquoise front door was always a happy way to enter the house. I liked the way the colour played off the red brick, with black accents.

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Here was the entryway. It certainly wasn’t big, but we had some fun with it by adding that DIY floating shelf, hanging a minty green mirror, and painting the ceiling chevron.

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Although it needed a bit of touching up, I was sad to see this little bit of ceiling get torn up during the reno.

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Here was the living room, in its last iteration. Over the 4+ years we lived in the bungalow this room changed a bunch, but I was happy with the light, fresh, and colourful vibe of how it ended up. I have plans for a pretty different living room scheme in the renovated house. I’m thinking mostly black and white and wood, but still with touches of my first love – minty turquoise. home tour 4

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The adjoining dining room had a similar vibe, with the harvest table that I built with my Dad, two-tone buffet, and old pine chest (where I kept all my craft supplies – needed the storage space!).
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We gave the kitchen a facelift by painting out the oak strip cabinetry, adding hardware, and adding the vinyl peel and stick striped tile. Even though it still eventually needed an overhaul (cabinets were old, appliances were seriously vintage, layout wasn’t great, etc), this kitchen suited us just fine for the years we were in it.
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Down the hall came our one bathroom, which we renovated a few years ago. Luckily this bathroom has stayed fairly untouched during our demo, so it will remain as our main floor bathroom post-reno.home tour 11

I never felt like I got the master bedroom to look how I had envisioned it, but there were a few projects that I liked. One was this headboard, which I think we’ll use again in our new bedroom (maybe with a few fabric?) …
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And the other were those painted closet doors. I loved that something so simple – paint and some tape – totally transformed those ugly ducklings.

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Hands down my favourite room in the house was Maya’s nursery (slash mini office in the corner). It was so cheery and had so many handmade touches, that we will bring into Maya’s room in the newly built house.

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I loved making the raindrop mobile and ribbon garland while I was pregnant and waiting for my little girl to arrive.

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And the pink + gold dresser came out just as I had hoped, so this guy will definitely be moving into Maya’s future room with her.

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The best part about the room? This girl!!

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Luckily our basement will remain pretty much the same after the renovation (we are trying hard not to damage it too much) but the stairwell down to it will look pretty different. The few things we did here – artwork, yellow door, and stair runner – all made the space feel pretty fun.

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This was us on our moving day! We gave the little bungalow a kiss and although are sad to say goodbye to it as-it-is, we couldn’t be more excited about the larger family home that it is becoming. I’m giddy just thinking about all of the new spaces that I have to decorate. Confession? I think about each room and how I want to decorate it pretty much every night as I’m falling to sleep. #Obsessed.

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Okay now for the fun part. This home tour is a part of the Canadian Bloggers Home Tour that is going on this week! Be sure to check out these other bloggers for their fabulous homes. Seriously, there is so much good eye candy in here, and lots of project ideas.

cdn bloggers home tour

Monday

AKA Design

The DIY Mommy

Northern Style Exposure

Echoes of Laughter

Tuesday

Pop of Pretty

Rambling Renovators

Craftberry Bush

Elliven Studio

Wednesday

First Time Fancy

So Much Better With Age

The Creek Line House

The Sweetest Digs

Thursday

Clean and Scentsible

The Happy Housie

Just Beachy

Dans le Townhouse

Friday

The Uncommon Law

This Little Estate


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after the demo debris

26th June 2014

I wanted to share the latest photos with you guys at our renovation site. Everything on the interior has been demo’d as you saw in-action in this post, and now that the debris has been removed (two huge dumpsters worth!) and everything cleared out, we were able to really get an idea of what this new ground floor space is going to feel like.

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It’s totally crazy to see it like this. The house already feels completely different. No more bedrooms, or hallways, or blocked off kitchen. It’s just one big, bright and open space. There aren’t going to be big lofty ceilings like you see in these pics because we are putting the second floor on, but still, it feels so much more opened up.
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We were able to walk around and plan where we might put a couch, or our dining room table. Imagined walking through the new front door. Cooking in a kitchen that has a stove from this millenium (ha!). It’s a trip.
Remember? Our turquoise door, the front closet, and the kitchen!
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The bathroom somehow looks even more teeny tiny now than it did before. That space to the right of it (in the photo below) was Maya’s nursery/our office. Already hard to believe.

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Up next? The guys are about to start peeling off the brick from the facade, remove the roof, and tear down the free-standing garage. There is no way we could be doing this part of the work ourselves, and we feel great about the experience and knowledge that our contractor and his team are bringing to the project.

If you happen to be a reader from Australia and have done any building projects, you might have gotten your industrial and building supplies at Gotstock. They are a well-priced online retailer that supply all kinds of things from electrical supplies, to tools, to hardware. They generously sponsored today’s post – so thanks Gotstock! And as usual, thanks to any of you readers who support the brands who support this blog. Love love.

Nothing like a construction site to get you all pumped up. Any of you demo’ing anything lately? It’s way easier to see the vision when everything has been cleared out, I find. Like a fresh slate. 

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light it up: new wall-mounted lights

13th January 2014

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, you might have noticed that in addition to the new mirror in our bedroom from last week’s post, there was also a switch up with our lighting situation. For quite a while, we have had two task lamps on either side of our bed. I still love those lamps, but the bases were really quite big and when the baby made her arrival, we realized we really needed the space on our nightstands much more than we used to. Bottles, blankets, books, creams, etc. were all taking up mad real estate. No room for a nicely styled book + plant + light combo anymore.

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So we decided to move out the lamps for now (we plan to re-use them elsewhere down the road), and landed on these Hektar wall-mount lights from IKEA for $20 a pop.

Dan did the installation. One of our little tricks for reducing the mess when you’re drilling is to fold a piece of tape in half lengthwise. Then stick half onto the wall and have the other half as a little “shelf” for the dust from the drilling. It’s not going to pick up all the dust, but it does cut the mess down a whole lot.

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They aren’t the most amazing lights ever or anything, but I’m pretty happy with them. They cast a nice bright light for reading, and the look is simple and unassuming. I would have preferred hard-wired sconces where the cord doesn’t show, but getting finicky with our electrical right now just wasn’t in the cards.
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The black finish is nice and matte, and plays well with the grey walls and black picture frames we have going on in the room.DSC_1202

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It’s really nice to have all that space back on the nightstand. The baby clutter has reduced somewhat lately as Maya has given up the night feeds (yessss!!), but it gives plenty of room for lotions and potions, etc.

What do you guys do for lighting in your bedroom? I am digging the sconces for sure. In our future bedroom (post addition/reno), I definitely want to hard wire some in. I have also seen some people do these stellar hanging lights beside the bed that have an industrial and cool vibe. Thoughts? 

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a new bedroom beauty: the EQ3 ‘Conner’ mirror

8th January 2014

When EQ3 got in touch recently and selected me to be their December “blogger of the month” I was ridiculously flattered. I’m crazy for the Canadian store – did you know it originated in Winnipeg and they still manufacturer most of their products (including all upholstery pieces) there? Love that. And don’t forget the EQ3 Reverie sofa that I have been so pleased with.

I was gifted an accessory from EQ3 as part of this series, and I quickly chose the ‘Conner’ mirror in white (it retails for $99). I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a round mirror for above our bed for a long time now, and the Conner couldn’t have been more perfect.

It’s a pretty big mirror, so it’s easier to have two people on hand to do the install. The hubs and I measured out where the center spot on the wall would be, eyeballed the right height, and then broke out the drill. We do the paint tape trick of folding it in half and sticking it below the spot where you’re drilling to create a little ledge where (most) of the debris should fall. It definitely helps with the clean-up.

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The simple round shape of the mirror plays off the straight lines of the bed and headboard perfectly. And it’s big enough to have a presence up there, rather than feeling too small and rinky-dink, you know? DSC_1174

I like the way it reflects the chandelier and the art display around the TV on the opposite wall. Again, the lines on the opposite wall are very rectangular (frames + TV), so it’s really nice to have the rounded shape of the mirror to add some dimension.DSC_1184

And the symmetry that the mirror + light fixtures + pillows provides in the room is much needed with our off-balance windows.DSC_1192

One of the features I really like about the mirror is that it is inset quite deeply within the painted wood frame. Somehow it makes it feel more luxe that way. It gives off a bit of a nautical feel, don’t you think? DSC_1202

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Sometimes it’s just one piece that can make a room feel a whole lot more complete, you know?  And although I used this in our bedroom, the scale and look of the mirror would be fab in so many different spots. I can picture it looking gorgeous in a bathroom above a vanity, in an entryway above a narrow table, above a fireplace, or on a big wall in a mixed gallery wall.

Thanks a million to EQ3 for having me as the blogger of the month, and for this lovely mirror! I couldn’t be more pleased.

PS. I owe you guys a few other bedroom updates. More on those wall-mounted lights and bedside table soon.

What do you guys have hanging over your bed? Anything? I always find it a difficult spot to decorate. Leave just the headboard, add a mirror, mixture of frames, some antlers or other more arty object, etc. So many choices! Oh, and I always make sure to hang things really securely…wouldn’t want anything coming down in the middle of the night!

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curb appeal 101: painting the front door

22nd November 2013

Remember back in this post when I lamented over our front door colour? And then bit the bullet and painted our screen door black?

Well, with the now-black screen door, my colour options were now wide open. I could go with any of my original contenders (yellow, red, or navy), or could get a little creative.

First step was to tape off the door. I used an “exterior surfaces” painter’s tape from ScotchBlue that I hadn’t tried before (this is the stuff). The special feature is that with a bit of pressure when you are ripping it off the roll, it tears off in a straight line – no scissors needed or wonky cuts! It only took a few tries of getting used to breaking it off, and it really made things a cinch. Taping off all of these little windows took waaaay less time.

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I’ll give you three guesses on what colour I went with…DSC_0783

When I was browsing my Martha Stewart paint deck, I saw her teal colour (called “araucana teal“) and I was sold. It’s a fun and happy colour, knew it would go well with our red brick and black accents, and gives a bit of a hint of our aqua-loving house inside. Are you surprised? Turquoise is like my middle name, you guys.

I had it colour-matched at the Home Depot to CIL’s exterior paint in a satin finish.
DSC_0786Oh I should mention that I gave the door a bit of a sanding before getting started. I didn’t go overboard, as we will replace this door when we do our major addition/reno, but I wanted to get some of the major dings sanded down a bit. Then I gave it a wash with a soapy cloth, let it dry, and got started on painting.

First up was to cut in with a 2″ angled brush.
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And then I finished off the rest with a small foam roller. It took three coats for full coverage.

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This is a really good photo of the colour. It’s very much a teal. I couldn’t be happier.DSC_1175

You can see that there are still some dents in the door, but the paint did a nice job of distracting from them. They were more noticeable in the glossy white, which was so dingy looking.DSC_1176

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I really like the balance of the cool turquoise with the warm red and rich black accents. It’s a happy little marriage of colours.DSC_1180

With the screen door closed you can’t see the turquoise as clearly, but there is still a pop of colour from the street.DSC_1188-edited

This is one of those projects that I so wish I had done when we first purchased. The turquoise door and black screen have really changed the curb appeal of our place. There is still lots to do (hello landscaping and dingy walk-up pathway).. but it is miles better.

What colour is your front door? Are you into bright doors? Love neutral beauties? I definitely still love a black or deep navy door. I think we might go that route in our future once the addition/reno is done. 

a new look

24th July 2013

Notice anything different around here? Yep, not only do I love to tweak my own pad, I like to switch up the look here on the blog every so often! I’m still working out some kinks, so bear with me over the next few days. I’m going for a super clean and fresh look, with better galleries for DIY projects, better general readability, and ability to navigate.

Back to the regular programming. With the changes and small upgrades we made to the living room recently, here are the latest photos of the room.

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With the sunny yellow and cornflower blue accents, it’s a bright and cheery room. Feels nice during the summertime for sure. And with all of the main pieces being neutral, it means that it’ll be really easy to switch out the accents to create a different vibe come fall. You know I have a slight pillow obsession, so digging into my personal home decor store (ie. linen closet) provides an easy way to change things up!

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The two poufs were ones that we brought back from our trip to Morocco a few years ago. They provide some extra seating, and will be great for when we’re hanging out on the floor with the kiddo. They are definitely one of my favourite things that we have brought back from our travels. Totally reminds me of walking around the medina (market) in Fez with the hubby – I can almost taste the mint tea and smell all of those crazy scents.

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There is definitely a little part of me that would love to do something entirely different in here (part of my constant house-tweaking nature!), but with our plans for an addition/reno next year, I don’t want to put in much effort or moula at this point.

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Ready for a little trip down memory lane? Here was the room one week after we moved in. It didn’t stay like this for long, but it’s pretty funny to look back at where we started from. So bad, right? Ha!

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 Are you guys constant house tweakers like I am? Making any changes in your living room? Spill the beans!

ch-ch-ch-changes in the living room

22nd July 2013

As we finish up the nursery around here (two more weeks until my due date!), I also wanted to make a few switcharoo’s to our living room.

Remember how I mentioned in my “before baby” post that I wanted to get the two small dressers on either side of the TV painted? They were two slightly different off-whites, and one was pretty badly banged up.

This one was very much a cream colour…

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And this one had loads of chips and had been painted with a really bad paint that wasn’t durable at all..DSC_0351

My super lovely mum wanted to give me a hand with getting things done around the house, so while I was working one day she came over and painted them! Seriously, how lucky am I? I’m also lucky that she is a re-finishing furniture pro and total perfectionist. She sanded down both of these pieces with my palm sander and gave them two coats of my fave Rustoleum medium gloss white paint (it’s available off the shelves at Home Depot).

Once they were all dry, I brought them back in to the space and threw the knobs back on.

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I’m always so pleased how a fresh coat of paint – even in a similar colour – can make a piece of furniture feel brand new. DSC_0391

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The one to the right of the TV needed a knob upgrade, so I grabbed these gorgeous glass minty ones. So pretty, right? They came from a small store where my parents live, but you can find similar ones from Anthropologie.

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We also said goodbye to hubby’s beloved Poang chair in the living room. Though it was super handy to have the chair, it was never my favourite and we knew we were going to need the floor space to let our little lady have tummy time and crawl around. Now we have this nice patch of free floor where we can play!

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The last change was to switch out the rug. We planned on using the green trellis rug in the nursery (more on that later this week), and wanted something neutral, non-shedding, and super budget friendly in the living room. With the possibility of our house addition next year, we knew we didn’t want to splurge now on a rug. So when I saw this bound taupe-y/grey area rug at Home Depot for $35, it quickly came home with us. With the $40 we got for our Poang chair off Kijiji, it was a break even move. My favourite!

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Yes it’s a little small for the space (it should really fit under the front legs of the couch), but the colour and how easy it is to keep clean made it a total winner.DSC_0424

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I didn’t have time to edit all of the photos this weekend, so I’ll post some before and afters of the living room later this week.

Hope you guys had a good weekend. Anything fun going on? Have you been switching things up in any parts of your house lately? Oh, and did you hear that Kate Middleton is in labour? I can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or girl, and what they name him/her. Do you guys have any guesses?

project nursery: a no-sew closet curtain

2nd July 2013

You may have noticed in the last nursery post, a glimpse at the new closet door we have in there. Well, a closet curtain actually. We started out with a door on the closet, but quickly realized that to maximize the space in there and get a nice long dresser along the far wall, we were going to have to lose the door (there wasn’t enough room for it to swing in and out). I have always liked the look of closet curtains, and they are pretty great for closets you have to access a lot.

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So while my handy hubs took the door off, I got to work on putting together a curtain panel. This Amy Butler fabric (called ‘Love Water Bouquet’) had been on my original moodboard, and when I received it from Fabric.com, I knew it was the right choice. It has a nice dose of minty green, with a little pink thrown in. And the florals are just so pretty. Amy Butler always knows how to do sweet fabric, in my opinion.

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Making a no-sew curtain panel is super easy.

First you want to cut the fabric to size after it has been pre-washed. Cutting is totally a personal preference thing – I like the curtain to graze the floor, but not puddle much. I wanted there to be a nice amount of pleating in the fabric when it was closed, so I cut it at double the width of the closet. Be sure to leave a few inches extra on all four sides for hemming.

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Now for the hemming part.

Step 1: One side at a time, fold and iron down the hem (usually about an inch thick).

Step 2: Put the heat ‘n bond hemming tape in place, along the underside of the hem. You can grab hemming tape at just about any crafts/sewing store. I like to use the heavy duty stuff just to make sure it really holds up.

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Step 3: Fold the hem over the tape and iron over the whole thing. You want to really give it a good ironing so that the tape has fused well with the fabric. It can be a bit slow-going, so it’s good to do this in front of a TV show or something. My personal recommendation is Bachelorette. Ha! On that note, was anyone else was a little bummed that Juan Pablo didn’t get a rose last night?

Back to the curtain. Once you have done all four sides, you’re finished! Time to hang up the curtain.

We installed a piece of dowel (it was unfinished wood that I sprayed white) on the inside edges of the door frame with some brackets – all from the Home Depot. I wanted to use the clip-on curtain rings for a few reasons – one is that they slide super easily, so it’s great for a curtain you need to open and close often, and secondly, I felt like they are a bit safer for the babe. If she pulls on the curtain, the curtain will just come out of the clips instead of the whole bar crashing down.

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I’m definitely pleased with how it turned out. I like the injection of colour and pattern into the room, and it really functions well. Although I love all of the sweet clothes and other baby things in the closet, it’s nice to get it all hidden!

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DSC_0299So we can check that one off the list. Holla! Time for a gallery wall, shelves, and mobile. Watch out nursery – you’re gettin’ finished.

Happy Canada Day, guys! Did you have a good long weekend? Hope so!  Done any no-sew curtains lately? Seriously, it’s way less scary than breaking out the sewing machine (well, for the non-sewers in the house!)? 

project nursery: the crib dilemma

5th June 2013

It was time to tackle one of the pretty obvious pieces of furniture we were going to need for baby girl’s nursery: the crib. Like many things I’m finding lately, this took a bunch of research. Is it just me, or do other folks do SO much research for every single baby/kid product they buy? If I researched the stuff we buy for ourselves this much, I would have to make it a full-time gig!

Here were the most important factors for our crib search: a white or gray finish, made of environmentally friendly and non-toxic finishes, high safety standards, and modern clean lines. Oh, and budget-friendly obviously. We didn’t want to go over a $300 price tag.

Anyway, I browsed countless websites and read review after review. Some of my faves, but that were totally out of the budget? This Hudson 3-in-1 convertible crib by Babyletto:

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And the Classic Crib by fancy-shmancy company, Ouef:ouef classic crib

But then I discovered the Baby Mod line by Walmart and was totally sold. The products are super environmentally friendly, made with all non-toxic finishes (hardwood, paints, glues, everything) – and are essentially knock-offs of the higher end crib designs. And the price tag? $200 for the Modena 3-in-1
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…and $300 for the Olivia 3-in-1.

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So good, right? I was totally ready to pull the trigger on the Modena in white. Well, too good to be true for this Canadian gal. The Baby Mod line seems to only be available at the Walmart in the States. And even though there is a Walmart that we pass when we head down to the Adirondacks (in upper NY state), there are super strict rules about bringing baby stuff across the border. They have a bunch of regulations about cribs, strollers, car seats, and bassinets – for good reason obviously as we want to meet Canadian safety standards, but still. It’s not that you absolutely can’t bring the products across, but they have to meet certain requirements and the border folks have the right to confiscate any items at their discretion (I even emailed the Canadian government to find out how strict they are…). Hmmm – not worth the risk, we decided.

After trying to find something similar here in Canada, I just kept coming up short. Nothing as environmentally friendly with the right specifications was in our price range (we really didn’t want to spend more than $300). I have heard that there are some good cribs at Target, but Target hasn’t come to Ottawa yet (it’s coming in the fall), so that was out of reach.

So where did we end up? I’ll give you a hint: besides Home Depot, it’s our home-away-from-home……… Yep, IKEA!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with IKEA cribs – it was just that I had really wanted to try to get something that was a bit more ‘green’. Oh well – you win some, you lose some.

For white cribs, there were 3 options. The Gulliver which was the cheapest at $139. I know a lot of folks who have this crib and love it.

gulliver-crib__70462_PE185759_S4 The Hensvik Crib, also at $139 (a bit too curvy for our taste)…hensvik-crib__0133270_PE288784_S4 And then the Sundvik at $159:sundvik-crib__0135188_PE291924_S4

All three were the same in terms of their materials, had two levels (higher for when baby is small, and lower when babe is a little bigger), and the ability to convert into a toddler bed. So it came down to aesthetics. We really liked the look of the full ends that the Sundvik had, and the white wash finish made it look like a much higher end piece of furniture. Sold!

I stepped aside for this one and Dan-the-man put it together in less than an hour. Easy-peasy, apparently.
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Proud daddio.DSC_1023

You can sort of make out the white wash effect in the photos above and below. See how it’s pretty subtle but has that Cape Cod kind of look?
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Oh and we grabbed a mid-range mattress at IKEA while we were there too. They have a few different options (spring ones, foam ones, etc), so it’s just a personal choice.DSC_1025

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Anyway, we’re pretty thrilled with how our whole crib hunt turned out. Sort of wish I could take back those hours of web surfing and just have gone straight to IKEA!

And for good measure, here’s a mama/belly shot. In my PJ’s. Lovely.

DSC_1037You may also spot the window trim that recently got painted! I’ll post more about that another time, but it makes the window really stand out, right?

What about you guys? Ever had to buy a crib for your little person? Were you a bit more decisive than I was? Did you splurge or save? Have a fave brand? Use a hand-me-down? 

 

advice: front door colour conundrum

29th May 2013

Okay, so you guys know that painting our front door is on our before baby‘ list. It’s not like it’s a huge priority, but our chipped white door is seriously lacklustre. Frankly, the whole front door/steps area needs a major revamp, but since we are planning our second storey addition (we’re meeting with someone to start the drawings next week!), we don’t want to put any cash into this part of the house right now. It’s doubtful that we’ll re-use the front door, so a coat of paint is the most budget-friendly and easy way to give it a makeover at this point.

So onto the colour dilemma. I love just about any colour on a front door – it adds dimension to any house and can be fun and preppy (think sunshine yellow or teal), moody and sophisticated (navy, black), or classic (fire engine red, grey).

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We’re not total strangers to door-painting. Remember when I painted the inside of our side door yellow? Yep, still absolutely loving that bright fella.

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I need to get an updated shot of the front of our house for you guys (this one is from the end of the fall last year when we had installed the shutters), but we’ve got a  red brick + black shutters situation going on. Oh, and that awful brown screen door (why oh why couldn’t it have been white?!), which totally messes with the scheme. I’m really not a brown kind of gal. We could try painting the screen door, but I feel like that’s more hassle than it’s worth at this point. We don’t want to spend any money replacing it. And we really like having the screen door, as we often leave the front door slightly ajar in the summertime. So that means we’re working with the screen door. Unless you guys have any brilliant suggestions?

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With the current scheme in mind, what colour do you think would look best? I’m leaning in a few different directions. A cheery bright red (nothing with purple undertones – very much fire engine), could look fun.

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I also think we could go with a deep Navy. Navy and black are pals, and it looks great next to the red brick.

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Or we could go with black to match the shutters. I’m not sure how it would look next to the brown screen door, though.

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Help, please! What do you guys think? Have you ventured into door painting before? Seen any cute red brick bungalows with great front doors? Do tell.