Wednesday, 21 February 2018

One almost-finished room

Hey, we finally have a room in the house that’s looking like an actual real room! The upstairs bathroom is painted (minus a few touch-ups), tiled, and even has running water :-)

This room is a bit of an unusual shape with the sloped ceiling. After considering different tiling options, we decided to tile the entire shower & toilet wall. And we brought the tiles up into the slope of the ceiling too. Otherwise, the wall and room would have looked a bit squat. FYI, gravity is not kind to a person who’s grouting a sloped ceiling!

I wanted the tiles to run vertically to be reminiscent of water running down the wall. And instead of the usual subway tile layout, we went with 1/3 offset. I think it gives the wall more of a random look.

long wall

Originally the glass mosaic tiles were only going to go into the niche, but I’m really happy that we brought them onto the turquoise wall as well.


The shelves in the niche and the ledge along the half wall are Silestone Calacatta Gold. They’re all remnants that we picked out of the discard pile at a local stone shop. We’re also going with Calacatta Gold for the vanity countertop.

half wall

The floor tiles are laid in a simple brick pattern and were much easier to grout than the shower walls and sloped ceiling! They’re still a bit wet in this picture – the finish is actually matte


Fast forward a few days, and Brian has installed the shower head, diverter, and body jets. There’s still the handheld sprayer to install. All the bathroom faucets are from Riobel.

faucets 2

Very excited to have a rainhead :-)

shower head

I cannot wait to have a shower with body jets again. We had them in or shower in Ottawa and I used them every single day. I’d prefer jets that don’t stick out, but these ones are adjustable which is a nice feature.


The diverter lets you choose where the water comes out – body jets, rain head, hand held, or a combination. You can also set it to the water temperature that you want and then just leave it there.


The wall hung toilet isn’t installed yet, but the flusher is in :-)


Not only is it exciting to be getting close to having a finished room, but once the bathroom is done, we’ll be pretty close to being able to move in. And THAT is going to be SUPER-exciting!

Turquoise shower tiles – Casa Roma, Maiolica Aquamarine
White shower tiles – Casa Roma, Waves
Glass mosaic tiles – Elegant Flooring, Shiny Aegean Blu
Floor tiles – Centura Templestone Grigio

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Friday, 9 February 2018

Purple People Eater

A few days ago, I was standing in the kitchen looking at potential colours for the cabinets, and it occurred to me that there’s something missing in our house. It’s got navy & white shiplap, which I love. It’s got turquoise tiles in the bathroom, which I love. It’s got a bright green front door, which I love. But you know what it doesn’t have? Purple, which I love! And then it hit me while I was contemplating some navy blues for the kitchen island – why not paint the island purple?! I mean, who has purple kitchen cabinets? Well, OK, these people do…

But most people don't - am I right?

The first time I ever saw purple kitchen cabinets was five years ago on The Block: All Stars. Mark & Duncan designed this kitchen with glossy aubergine cabinets. I loved it then and I still love it now.

mark duncan



Such great purple inspiration! Now I need to find just the right purple. Not too dark, not too light, not to muted, not too bright…. I mean, I don’t want Barney sitting there in the middle of the kitchen ;-) I’m leaning towards Benjamin Moore Peerage (on the left) or Shadow (on the right)…

BM peerage                BM shadow

Then I  need to decide what colour the perimeter cabinets will be. Maybe white or light grey. Although part of me wants to paint the wall of cabinets Sherwin Williams colour of the year, Oceanside…

SW oceanside

The kitchen palette could look a little something like this…

granite marble paint colours

It’s kinda crazy and out there, but hey, you only live once!

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Monday, 5 February 2018

Let there be light

It may take me forever to choose tiles and hardwood and paint colours, but damn I’m good at making decisions about lights! A few trips to HomeSense and a couple of lights that made the move with us, and let there be light in our house :-)

I bought this star light years ago and love it so much that I had to bring it with us when we left Ottawa. It’s now in the guest bedroom of our house. Not sure how low to hang it, so the chain is a bit funky.

star light off     star light on

Our previous rental house had a pretty ugly pendant light in the front entry. I’d had my eye on a cool geometric pendant light at Costco for the longest time, so I bought it and replaced the ugly one with it. (It doesn’t seem to be available at Costco anymore, but I came across is on the Structube web site.) Seeing as I bought it myself, I didn’t feel bad taking it down and moving it up to our house when we moved out of the rental. Now it’s hanging in the front entry of our house, and I absolutely love it!

entry light off   entry light on

The rest of the light fixtures are from HomeSense. Their lighting options are really quite good, and I don’t know if you’d be able to find similar fixtures for the great prices. I think this one was about $30 – although I made a small mistake when I bought it and didn’t realize that it’s actually a wall sconce. Ooops! Brian re-jigged it to turn it into a ceiling fixture. I love that it looks like a fishing float and echoes the big round window in the upstairs bathroom.

bathroom up off   bathroom up on

This little guy is in the closet in the front entry. I was debating another geometric fixture to echo the black one, but I really like the simplicity of this one. Also, it was a great deal at $30 :-)

closet light off   closet light on

And finally, these two fixtures are in the downstairs bathroom. I love the combination of white and wood. And check out the amazing shadows on the ceiling.

bathroom down off   bathroom down on

All of these fixtures have LED Edison bulbs from the Dollar Store. Well, they actually cost $4.00 each, but that’s still a pretty good deal. The light from them is nice and warm and bright, but without being too bright.

The kitchen has a bunch of LED pot lights on the work side, and we’re going to make a glass insulator chandelier like this one on the dining side. Thanks Gilles & Melissa for the inspiration :-)

glass insulator light fixture 1

The only lights I still need to decide on are large pendants what will hang from the ceiling beams. I’m thinking something simple and light, like these string lights.

string lights hbz-pinterst-beach-decor-09


These fixtures are definitely lighting up my life :-)

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Shiplap Ahoy

Before we had even officially bought our lot, I was saving house inspiration pictures on Pinterest. One thing I knew I wanted in our house was horizontal planking on the walls. Well, I called it horizontal planking, the more common term is shiplap. Authentic shiplap is planks of wood with rabbets on each side that interlock and create a small gap between the planks. It was originally used to clad building exteriors, but it’s made a big move inside over the last few years.



We cheated a bit and used MDF shiplap. Not quite authentic, but a real time-saver because it comes primed and ready to paint. And there’s no danger of knots showing through the paint years down the road.

nickel gap trim

I kept debating what walls to shiplap. I love the look, but didn’t want shiplap overload. So I decided to put it on the three walls in the main living area.


And I didn’t want it all to be white. So I decided to paint the shiplap on the wall looking out to the water white (Pittsburgh Paint Delicate White, otherwise knows as Derelict White) and the staircase wall and opposite partial wall navy blue (Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue).

delicate white blob        office

We ordered a bunch of 7-1/4” shiplap planks – I think 91 (everything they had in stock) – from the hardware store, and then I got to work painting one coat on the planks before we installed them on the walls. This way I’d be sure to get the grooves properly painted, and it was easier to paint the planks on solid ground that up on a ladder or scaffolding.

painted shiplap 2

And then the shiplap went up. It was fairly easy and straightforward to install (she says when it was Brian who did all the installation!) The rabbets keep the planks evenly spaced, so no need to use coins or spacers. Once the shiplap was all installed, it was my fun job to fill all the nail holes. I used Polyfil and a putty knife and did two fillings and two sandings, then wiped the walls down with a microfibre cloth.

white shiplap

shiplap measles 1

shiplap measles 2

Remember, you have to get through the ugly before you can get to the pretty! And voila, finished shiplap.


shiplap stairs 2

I love how the white and navy blue look together. I do have a thing for white and blue :-)

blue and white shiplap

three shiplap walls

Another job down and 58,000 more jobs to go!

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Keep it in your drawers

Since we moved into rental house #2, I’ve made an important discovery – drawers in the kitchen rock!

drawers 5

I don’t know how I’ve lived with cabinet doors for so long – drawers make it so much easier to find what you’re looking for. Just pull the drawer open, and voila, everything is right there in front of you. No digging around and pulling things out to find that big bowl that you need way at the back.

drawers 1

drawers 4

drawers 3

So I guess it’s a good thing that we’ve been so slow with building our house – if we’d already had our kitchen cabinets made, we wouldn’t be able to re-make them with lots of drawers. I’m totally set on having as many drawers as possible! Drawers in the island…

island with drawers - greige design


island with drawers - houzz torriero house


Drawers beside the stove and under the windows….

lots of drawers


Drawers everywhere!

drawers - house and home

drawers 2 - house and home


Even drawers in the pantry…

cabinet pullout shelves


Do you have a lot of drawers in your kitchen? And if you do, do you love them?

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