Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Bedroom

My bedroom is large...and has neat angles and three windows! It also has two closets so I have lots of storage. However, all that we have managed to do so far, is to paint the walls, ceiling and trim...oh and the closet doors until we renovate the room the way we want to.

We plan to add an ensuite bathroom. The area we chose shares the wall with the main bathroom, so it will make plumbing the bathroom relatively easy and fairly inexpensive! All we need to do is add a wall to close in the space, install a pocket door and voila, we have a private space to transform into our own private bathroom! I know how I want my new bathroom to look and I can't wait till we tackle that project! But, it will all tie in together with finishing the renovations on our bedroom, so for now I wait.

I will show you my bedroom as it is today. I wish I had before pictures! My only reason for showing them is to remind you of the power in a paint can! I think we can forget how much paint can transform a is fairly cheap and easy! I painted the ceilings a pretty blue as our house is on a treed lot and my bedroom is on the shady side. The walls are a pretty green...but you can't really tell from the photos, but it does look pretty with the blue. I consider it a quick fix as I had used the wall colour in my last house and it didn't involve much thought! I just needed to remove the blech beige walls that was a favourite of the previous owner. Painting the old mahogany closet doors, trim and windows to white really lightened and brightened the room.

I change my bedding with the seasons...that is my weakness...beautiful bedding! However, I haven't indulged for quite a while! I do love April Cornell linens...which is on my bed right now! Many of her prints are timeless...I have had this duvet cover for almost 10 years!!! Though, I haven't used it in a very long time and when I do, it is only seasonally!

To the right of the bed is the window with my much loved white cupboard. On the left, you can see my wicker chair which you can't actually sit in as the ceiling slopes to low. That is where we plan to build another book shelf so that they flank the window seat.

The cupboard was another yard sale find from years ago!

The cool chair I bought recently at a yard sale for $2! My other Heidi bag!

My husband's grandmother tatted this for me before she passed away. I cherish this!

This photo better shows the angles of the wall.

I love my vintage wicker chair & dresser!

These are more vintage pictures I bought at a yard sale. They are all paintings of Bermuda.

The window seat that we plan to make deeper. The seat has storage and is wonderful for hiding christmas gifts!

We plan to build book cases in under the eaves! For now, the tv and ella's barbie house own this corner!

This is the area that will be turned into our bathroom. It doesn't look large in this picture, but it will hold a toilet, sink & shower!

A small dresser I plan to paint. But for now, it holds my books which will someday be on the bookshelves that need built!

I love the old Limoge jug. The vase normally holds flowers, but ella takes them everytime!

I love this old vintage picture!

My old suitcases that hold more of my books!

Some of my favourite jewellery hanging from my dresser mirror!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fair Trade an affordable price!

One of my favourite things in life is my daily cup of coffee! I have loved coffee since I was about age three or four, as a kid in Ireland, when my dad would save me some of his Nescafe instant coffee, (aka Nasty Nestle) made with milk, in his flask from his lunch at work. The flavour is still in my memory and I remember it as delicious!

Thankfully, those days are a happy memory only. For years, I have only ever used fresh beans, freshly ground each morning, using the best beans I could afford. I used to buy from a local coffee roaster here in my area called Java Moose. I love their products but I would at times find the roasting to be inconsistent and at the time, they did not offer Fair Trade.

I then moved onto Just Us Fair Trade Coffee purchased locally at our Superstore, but the price became to prohibitive, approx. $9-$10 per half pound bag. I then would purchase Starbucks version of Fair Trade coffee (approx. $13 per 1 lb bag) and that was great for a long time, though inconvenient as we had to go to Fredericton to buy our coffee, but we tied it in with a visit to my brother and sister in-law or begged them to bring us some when they travelled to Saint John.

Until....eureka, about three years ago we discovered that Costco not only sells Starbucks under their own brand Kirkland, but it is also Fair Trade and it only costs approx. $13 per 2lb bag!

Another one that they offer and also my favourite, is by a Canadian company called William Spartivento Coffee costing approx. $14 for a 2lb bag!

This is the most beautiful, smooth, rich, full bodied coffee that I love! I wish they offered in other locations closer to home, but I am just so happy to drink it!

So, now we trek to Moncton, which is the closest Costco to us and buy a two month supply of coffee which compared to what we were paying saves us half and we enjoy our day trip and we are supporting Fair Trade! Worth the drive!

But, my other amazing discovery is that Irving Convenience Stores offers a Fair Trade Coffee that is truly delicious! Instead of always hitting Tim Horton's for that quick cup of coffee, I will now go the extra distance to buy a cup of coffee there and support their good effort! I also discovered that they sell their cold slushy drinks or iced coffee's in cups that are totally compostable, made out of corn! If you recycle and compost as we do, you will appreciate that! So, for the first time in a very long time, I actually have to acknowledge these good efforts and the fact that their slushies are only a 99 cents!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

More on Ella's Room....

Okay, I'm on a role now...I finally took photos of the other side of Ella's room. If you check here, you can refresh your memory on what the other half of her room looks like. This room is in no way finished! We still have to do the flooring and add new trim throughout and into her closet. But, a lot of work went into painting her walls, windows, trim, closet, furniture and getting the room into the shape it is in now! This was the first room we did that we realized we could transform a room....inexpensively and love the results!

Her beautiful $20 iron bed found at a yard sale!

We love the angled walls which I painted a pretty blue which is also the colour of the ceiling! The blue is more subtle in the daytime, but this shot was taken in the evening with low lighting! I love how her desk is recessed into the window. The table fits snugly under the slope of the roof!

Another shot of her room showing her bedroom door and her angled closet door!

Ella's has angled ceilings so for her it is a walk-in but for me, I have to watch that I don't hit the light! There is lots of room inside and we put a chalk board on her door!

Some of her princess dresses and her wicker drawers for all her tights and bathing suits.

A favourite pair of slippers, hand knitted in Newfoundland! They sit on a shelf that runs the entire lenght of her closet and wraps around. We put it low for her to easily access.

This is a photo of my belly when I was pregnant with Ella. They used this photo for a midwifery conference. Ella loves seeing this photo!

Not a great shot, but I put the mirror low so that she can see how pretty she looks when she gets dressed! That is one of her favourite dolls!

A wooden cradle that my mother painted for Ella!

Her table and chairs that I painted. I got the wooden ironing board at a yard sale!

I love the vintage picture above the ironing board! I have quite a collection of vintage prints that I wish I could use somewhere! The beautiful purse is hand knitted by my friend Heidi.

I love the wicker chair I got at Winners and the table my mother painted for me!

Another shot of her cradle and her pegasus horse!

Her favourite wooden kitchen that I got such a great deal on! Ella uses real, vintage teapots since I have quite a collection and these ones are pretty sturdy!

Boy's Bedroom....After Photos....

Okay, I'm done the boy's room...almost! A few minor details like shelves inside the closet and installing their new burnished bronze door handle and hinges, but I can wait! If you read my other posts on this room, you will know that it has been a long process! When you renovate, delays are the norm! You can check out the before pictures here.

When we built our new houses, you go in, and you can pretty much do a room and walk away fairly quickly...but renovating...nothing is simple! In this room, we replaced all the trim, the flooring, closet door, electrical switches, outlets, heater, patched & painted. I won't go into all the petty things that can and do go wrong!

We are all pretty happy with the way it has turned out...we compromised on hardwood floors and settled on laminate. Someday we absolutely will go with hardwood throughout the upper level...but for budget reasons and doggy reasons, this is a great solution! I love the blue paint colour in their room...I have used it before and do not grow tired of it. It changes with the sunlight and the room always looks sunny and fresh!

One thing I am proud of is the price I paid for a lot of items...I bought our closet door for $5 at a yard sale! All the trim and laminate we got on sale, and I will add little comments about prices beside the photos so that you can see how great yard sales can be if you are on a budget!

Okay, we had the bed, but the bedding was only $20 on clearance...that is a complete bed in the bag and it looks great! The metal lamps were $7 at Walmart, the map on the wall $2.50 at the Great Canadian! The shelf above Sam's bed was a yard sale find for $1!

Solid Canadian maple bedside table $10 at Value Village, I painted the drawer fronts only! The lamp was from my favourite american store The Christmas Tree Shop...I think it was $9!

The window shows of a few of our vintage dinky car collections! The blinds are wooden and would retail for approx $70 for this size window but I paid $5 at Kents on clearance because they were cut wrong! They don't quite fit the window, but the yard sale curtains hide that fact!

The solid pine shelf bought at a yard sale for $1 featuring our rock collections and one of Sam's many trophies and one of my favourite dinky cars! Oh, and Sponge Bob...another kid favourite!

This is one of two shelves that I bought at the Christmas Tree Shop for approx. $4 with an original painting by my 10 year old son Jack! One of our bobble heads! We are hockey fans!

Another original artwork by Jack with a Toronto Maple Leaf bobble head on my other wicker shelf!

This is Jack's side of the room! I managed to find a headboard similar to his brothers at a yard sale though it does not have the drawers under the bed like Sam's. I do have wicker baskets under the bed to hold his odds and ends.

Here you can see my $5 closet door and $2 pewter handle. The wire shelving we had and we had to shorten it. I did a different colour on this wall to focus in on the angles! One big reason why I love capecods...they are not your traditional boxy square rooms! You can also see our laminate...when you compare it to the yucky carpet we had before...this is lovely!!!!

This is a shot of my favourite thing...and the photo does not do it justice! This is a woven wool rug that is silky soft and feels so good on bare feet! I found this at a yard sale for $2!!! I actually have to give the credit to my mother...she knew I was on the look out and she spotted it first...I am so grateful! It was spotless and almost seemed brand new!

Okay, this is by the door goint out. I still have to paint the book shelves and add some art to their wall but otherwise it looks better in real life. I wish I had a wide angle lens...someday! The tree hooks is a favourite of mine and the kids hang their towels in their room...otherwise the bathroom is overwhelmed with towels. The shelf beside the door holds Jack's pj's and stuff...I found that at Walmart for $20!

Another shot of their room. I bought them this doodle board and listed their daily duties and weekly duties to help them keep the room clean! They are doing a great job so far. The lamp was a yard sale find for $2...and it is a tri-light!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Almost Finished...

Well, my boys room that we started way back in early almost done! We worked in between my husband's shift work and a busy summer schedule. What we thought would be quick and easy...wasn't! However, the floor is laid, a new closet door installed, new trim throughout, new electrical outlets, new heater and many little nail holes (some not so small) are filled, patched and painted. I think the reality when you redo an older home is that it will always take longer than you anticipate. We are used to working in new construction conditions, minus flooring, furniture, go in and you create the room you want without many extra steps in between.

The room isn't a decorating wow by any standards! Especially compared to what I see in blog world. But, I do think it looks really good and the kids like it! I will fine tune the decorating as I go along. I think what you will enjoy about seeing the room is how cheaply we did it, yet I don't think it looks cheap! I really am a yard sale, on sale only shopper and that works great for us!

My other big fear in decorating is ever owning something that I consider more precious than my kids! You know what I mean, the stuff that can't be touched, sat on, set a drink on, etc.. Plus, the pressure to keep things perfect does some weird things to my personality, so I avoid perfection like a disease. I always like a little kitch or "huh"...why did she do that??

So, the room needs only one final coat of paint on the doors and then I am done for now. I still need to paint or remove the dresser and I may repaint the kids bookshelf. But moving hundreds of books doesn't inspire greatness in me, so that will stay as is for now!

So, hopefully within the next day or two I will put photos up of all my deals including prices and you can maybe be inspired by my thriftiness...