Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dining Room

I think that out of all the rooms in this house the diningroom was the one room I truly despised! might ask....simply put, the colour! Since we are located on a shaded treed lot, I have been challenged to no end on choosing paint colours. Every house I have owned has always been sunny. My colour choices for inside my house has reflected that until now.

My very patient husband has actually been very kind on painting and repainting rooms when I realize that I can't live with the colour. Let me tell you, if you are the type of person who needs light to function to avoid the mid-winter blues, then you will understand my dilemma. I love colour, but within my home I prefer colours that are happy and airy or bold and happy! That way, when we are in the midst of a long winter and February drags on like it owns 50 days instead of 28 and the cold sears your bones you tend to appreciate walls that remind you of cheery summer days rather than your child's last bout with stomach flu.

This diningroom had paint on the walls the colour of newborn breastfed poops...(hey, not so bad because they don't smell!) but none the less, I don't need joyful reminders of those early days with my newborn babies. What stopped me from painting this room was the massive window that takes up the whole wall. It is a wooden window that has been well scratched up over the years and shows the wear from many cats and little boys with dinky cars.

Finally, I challenged myself to break down the work into managable bites. On day one, I taped the window. Then priming came next, then I decided to tear off all the trim because it was garbage, then I painted that window a total of 8 coats with three different paints. I started using what I thought was a very good primer. However, I forgot that wood bleeds and it wasn't really adequate for the job. Then I chose a Zinnser product but didn't care for the low sheen and finally I used another Zinnser product with a high gloss and hard wearing as I have a cat and a toddler.

The change to the room was amazing. What light that came into the room was somewhat absorbed by the wooden window. Now the sunlight bounces off the white trim and the room is so much brighter and cheerier. Then we moved onto the painting the ceiling, walls and replacing all the trim. I painted the glass doors and my husband replaced all the hinges with the dark burnished brass. We didn't replace the door handles as they are vintage glass knobs but I did replace the glass cupboard knobs with burnished bronze knobs.

I still need to paint the diningroom set to a creamy white and paint and decorate the inside of the glass cupboard....but for now, I am very happy!

Oh, and I have to mention some of the bargains in my diningroom. The dining set was free! My friend Martha gave it to me after I helped her with a move. The curtains cost me $30 total. Four sets of white panels at $6 each and the aqua blue florals cost $3 each...I guess no one wanted them! The diningroom light was $20 on a clearance table and the shades were free from my sister. The runner was another $3 and the dresser in the back where I store all my treasured linens and cutlery either passed down or collected at yard sales cost me another $10 at an amazing yard sale! Oh, and you can't see it, but there is a beautiful woven wicker man under the dining set that I also snagged at a yard sale for five bucks! I love a bargain and I believe that a limited budget demands you to be creative.
Anyone can buy a look...copy it verbatim, but the most fun and creativity comes from the challenge of creating a look that is uniquely your own yet fresh and modern.

Overall, the biggest expenses were the paint, the new trim...though even half of it came from a yard sale so it wasn't to bad and replacing all the electrical switches, heater, light dimmer and thermostat was actually the most expensive part...but well worth it!

My vintage glass door knobs!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A little bit about our home....

On November 16th, 2005 we moved into this wonderful older cape cod. Hard to believe, but a house built in 1970 is almost considered vintage! This house was built by the owners. He was a carpenter and my husband and I have discovered that he didn't cheap out on the wood used to build the house.

Even inside the garage which is seperate from the house, there are huge beams of what looks to be hand hewn timbers. The two big picture windows in the livingroom and diningroom are double glazed glass with absolutely no leaks nor do they frost up.

I don't care for the look of the glass windows from the outside...but if you are sitting in the livingroom or diningroom the view is truly lovely as you can see from the photo I snapped last week through the window. These deer visit me almost daily and wander through the trees then across the road into our neighbours.

Our lot is a beautiful treed lot with lots of privacy that I prefer. It is set back from the street which also allows the kids to have a wonderful hill to slide or snowboard on. My back yard butts onto my mothers yard which was one of the main reasons we bought the house.

The street is a dead end cul-de-sac though we do get some street noise which is another street over. I love the old trees and yet every time we have a wind storm I say some pretty fervent prayers that one of the trees won't come crashing through our roof.

The front yard is in desperate need of landscaping. The grass does not grow because of the pine trees, the huge fir trees and the multitude of other trees...including an apple tree!

The nicest thing I did this year in the garden was plant garlic plants. It has been 14 years in the making...waiting for a house that I would be staying at for longer than a couple of years or so. My husband and I have already renovated one house, then built two new homes ourselves. We always figured we would be able to build three new houses quickly and be mortgage free with the fourth....LOL...what a hoot....not if you have 4 kids and choose to stay at home as I have done.

However, building a new home is truly a wonderful experience and to a large degree I miss not doing it. It is nice when you move in and most things are done...but we are thrilled to be fixing up this lovely home and restoring it to that place that shows we care. I only wish I had more money and time to do it sooner rather than later.

The House We call Home

This is where I plan to post photos and my struggles to fix up this house. I am starting this blog one year into the process. However, I plan to short write ups of what we have accomplished...more so for myself as I get discouraged because things aren't happening quick enough.