Half Bath, Laundry Room & Entryway Reveal

Dec 20, 2014

Just in time for the holidays, we finished our temporary fixes for the half bath, laundry room and the main entryway. These spaces will be getting a bigger overhaul down the road, but for now some new paint and light fixtures did the trick. Once again, I'm amazed at the impact a few coats of new paint can have. The new look is light, airy and refreshing...everything I love!

And now for the transformation!


In the Spring, we're planning to create an open concept look by removing the wall at the back of the entryway to open the space up to the kitchen and dining room. We'll also be removing the red carpet on the stairs. The new paint colour is one of my favourites, Wickham Grey by Benjamin Moore. It's really brightened up that whole space, which doesn't have a ton of natural light.
When we replaced the ceiling light I wanted something a little glamorous, to grab your attention as soon as you walked in the front door. Since our ceilings are quite low, I couldn't get anything too elaborate, but I think this one from Home Hardware does the trick.

Half Bath After

All we did in the half bath was apply new paint, but what a difference it made! Down the road, we're hoping to replace the sink, toilet and light fixtures and replace the flooring.

Laundry Room After

For me, the laundry room transformation has had the biggest impact. I've been dreaming about this since we moved in, and even shared some inspiration photos for the laundry room here. The old laundry room felt dirty and dated and above all else, the yellow paint EVERYWHERE was just too much to bear.  We removed the excess cabinetry which really opened the space up. I'm still hoping to make a few more changes, but overall, the new space is a major improvement. We had to plaster in quite a few places as there was some damage where we removed the cabinetry and evidence of an old leak that hadn't been repaired. Then, after several coats of primer and paint, we were left with this...

You may be wondering whats behind the curtain. Well that's where Penny's litter is kept. She can easily find her way in there and the curtain does a surprisingly good job of keeping odors under control. The chest initially had 3 drawers. I removed two, used a scrap piece of wood to lay across the opening at the bottom and used a tension rod to set up the curtain. Kittle litter easily hidden and no one is ever the wiser :)

Friday's List: 3 Christmas Movies You Must See (and probably haven't seen already!)

Dec 19, 2014

Each Friday I post Friday's List. There are no requirements for what type of list I post. I enjoy having a consistent weekly feature (well mostly weekly!) and it also switches things up from my regular posts about decorating and our reno.

Christmas festivities have me completely occupied, so today's post will be brief. But check back tomorrow as I'll be sharing before & after photos from our entryway, laundry room and half bath.

These are my all time favourite movies to watch at Christmas. I religiously watch them every year and they never fail to put me in the Christmas mood. You may not think that some of these are Christmas movies per se, but the Christmas parts within the movie are so good that I've included them.

Starring Judy Garland, this film is definitely a classic. If you're going to watch any part of this movie, watch Judy singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and as you do you'll either be beaming or weeping . A beautiful movie filled with stories of family & love, this one is an easy, feel good movie for the whole family. 
Starring Diana Kruger, this movie captures the historic moment during World War 1 when soldiers met in No Man's Land on Christmas Eve to observe a moment of silence and joy away from the war. Such a moving film in my opinion, capturing the true meanings of the season.
Another classic film of family, love and romance. The movie is based on the book by Louisa May Alcott and follows the story of the March sisters as they live and grow up together. Through their trials and tribulations, their closeness and love as a family always proves to carry them through.

Evidently I love a good tear jerker as these are all emotional, moving films. Grab a glass of wine, curl up on your couch and enjoy! Let me know what you think.

Three Ways to Style Your Table for the Holidays

Dec 16, 2014

What a whirlwind weekend I've had. We had our Christmas get together for work on Friday night and on Saturday I finished painting and decorating our laundry room just in time for our first Holiday Open House in our new place, which was that night. (Luckily I have the best sister in the world who spent the day in the kitchen prepping and cooking so that I could focus on the laundry room).

It was rewarding & exciting to showcase what we've accomplished with the house so far. But above all else, and what really got me in the holiday mood, was spending time catching up with family and friends over good food and drinks. It doesn't get any better than that!

In the spirit of parties and hosting,  and with Christmas right around the corner, you can save some time and prevent headaches, by setting your table in advance.  I've put together three different themed table setting ideas that will hopefully provide some inspiration for you. With a few small touches you can add  a little festive sparkle to your family gatherings; from Christmas Day dinner to Boxing Day brunch and all the meals in between.
For each theme's decor, I pulled from items that I already had on hand, and some from nature for the woodland theme, so no new purchases necessary!

Santa's Table

This holiday table set with Christmas themed dishes would be lovely for a family brunch. Set more casually, with fun additions like snow flake ornaments as part of the centre piece decor and red ribbon to tie together the utensils. I would serve homemade granola to start followed by a hearty meal of poached eggs, maple flavoured bacon, homemade buns and fresh fruit. Yum!

Woodland Inspired Table

This table setting is my favourite and goes best with my own Christmas decor. Simply decorated with pinecones and tree branches, this setting feels warm & cozy with warm lighting and different textures.  Touches of gold and lots of candlelight  create the perfect holiday atmosphere. Scour your own backyard for branches and twigs, bare or green, to bring the outdoors in and really create that rustic, country cottage feel.

White Winter Table

Elegant & versatile, this neutral table setting is perfect for those who like to keep colours and decor minimal at Christmas. White and silver are the go to colours for this theme. The centre piece is a sparsely decorated twig which adds a little texture and colour to the otherwise monochromatic setting. 

DIY Ideas for Wrapping Paper & Gift Tags

Dec 9, 2014

For the past few years, I've enjoyed making my gift own tags. It probably has something to do with the fact that my general idea of a good time involves markers and a glue gun but I think it's mostly because I like the personalized touch of homemade gift tags, and adding that extra bit of thought to each person's present.
Stencil Gift Tag

This gift tag isn't fancy or elaborate but something about a capital letter looks so sleek and stylish to me that it's one of my go to tags. Trace out  the first initial of the gift receiver's name then fill in with a metallic marker. 

Polka Dot Wrapping Paper 

There are endless possibilities for creative craftiness when you wrap with plain craft paper. Last year I decorated the paper with gold stars, this year I've chosen to draw maroon coloured polka dots. Not actually as time consuming as you might think!

Scrapbook Paper Gift Tag

Using some left over Christmas scrapbook paper, I cut out a photo of Santa and clued it onto the front of card stock, cut in the shape of a small tag. Using twine, I tied it to the gift in a bow. 

Another simple idea is to adorn your gifts with a cute tree ornament. Maybe a new one, or even one from your own collection that you want to pass on to a friend or family member.

Wrapping gifts can be easy and inexpensive; a little creativity and time can go a long way.

Friday's List: Projects You Can Complete This Weekend

Dec 5, 2014

Each Friday I post Friday's List. There are no requirements for what type of list I post. I like having a consistent weekly feature and it also switches things up from my regular posts about decorating and our reno.

If you're looking to get some quick projects done before you welcome guests for the Holidays or just want to spruce things up a bit around your home, then this list is for you. Check out these projects that you can easily complete this weekend.

Paint the Back of Your Front Door

Add some visual interest to your foyer/front entrance by painting the back of your front door.
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Upgrade Your Bathroom

If needed, you can re-caulk around your bathtub to create a clean fresh look.

To add further impact, raise up your shower curtain. Raise it up! Just try it, I promise, this will make a world of difference to the look and feel of your bathroom.

Change Out A Light Fixture

There are so many beautiful light fixture options out there, and, for the most part, they're quick and easy to change (but do so at your own risk!).  Remember when we installed a new fixture as part of the dining room redo? So much better!

Add a stair runner. 

Gone are the days of dated, Victorian style stair runners. Today's runners are funky and modern; add comfort under foot and protect your stairs. There are lots of helpful and detailed tutorials online that will guide you through step by step. 
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A few other ideas:
  • Remove doors. If you're house is older and has a lot of rooms with doors, remove some of the doors to make it feel more open. We have 5 doors off of our main foyer, for instance. By removing the ones to the TV room and living room, the space flows better and gives the illusion of open concept.
  • Raise your curtain rods. Your ceilings will look and feel higher by raising your curtain rods. But be mindful of where your curtains fall, you don't want them to be too short at the bottom.
And after all that hard work, be sure to reward yourself with some Bailey's & Eggnog and a good Christmas movie...now you know what my Friday night plans are! :)

DIY Christmas Sharpie Canvas Art

Dec 4, 2014

I've seen so many cute Christmas canvas art ideas on Pinterest, that I decided to create one myself.

I made this one using gold and silver Sharpie markers. I opted to keep it fairly neutral since the rest of my Christmas decor is full of color and patterns.

I don't trust my free hand writing, so I used this really genius method (thanks Pinterest!). Print out your wording using the sizing and font that you want to have on your canvas. Shade over the words on the back of the paper then place the paper onto the canvas, printed side facing you, and trace over the words with your pencil. Voila! You'll get a very light outline of your text on the canvas.

(Sorry about the poor photos! I did this last night at 11pm and finding good lighting was impossible!)

Then, just fill in the text with your markers.

I added some gold dots to two of the corners and that was it! Fun & festive canvas art in just 15-20 mins. I think it would look cute hung up with ribbon or with Christmas lights shining through the canvas like here.