Monday, February 27, 2012

A Mud Room at last!! (with baskets, a bench, and storage galore!)

This little project was very long awaited....

Like about 4 years! or thereabouts ;)

The lower level of our house is not exactly well-planned. It's more like someone finished it a little bit at a time, with no thought about how it would all flow together. It just doesn't flow at all. It's made up of little narrow hallways and funny little alcoves. There is no proper laundry fact, up until a few weeks ago when we made some much-needed changes, the dryer was in an alcove at the front of the house while the washing machine was about 20 feet away at the back of the house. I can't begin to tell you how annoying this small "design flaw" can be. Let's just say, there have been a lot of dropped socks and wet clothes along the path between the two. 

Anyways....long story short.....we got a new stacked laundry set, which fit in perfectly where the old washing machine was sitting, and freed up a wonderful little spot for a much-needed mud room area!

It has literally changed my life.

Dramatic, I know.

But seriously......there is nothing more disheartening than arriving home to a front entrance choc-full of  random coats, boots, hats, mittens and umbrellas, with no place to call home. 

Oh...but we have a little place for everything.

sigh..... happy mama ;)

We wanted to do it all on a pretty tight budget, since this is not exactly our "dream house", and there's not a lot of point to adding a fancy built-in unit.

So.....we hit up IKEA, and bought the Hemnes TV bench (which works just fine as a storage bench....we *were* going to cut the legs down a bit to make it a little lower, but we forgot to do it before it was all put together, and decided to just try it as it is) So good :)

We also got a cheap little tall/skinny Billy unit, and added a half-glass door. It works perfectly for holding baskets filled with little hats, as well as kids boots and not-so-frequently worn shoes down on the lower shelves (hidden from sight).

The two drawers in the bench hold the boys' shoes (the ones they wear all the time).

 I added some new drawer pulls from Antropologie to give it a little pop of colour.

Always a boy or two up in my business while I'm trying to take photos :)

The other side of the mud room has another little alcove, with a spot that fit the Expedit unit perfectly. This is MY spot. All mine :) I know it's not much, but it's all I need for my everyday stuff.

Everything else is in the front entrance closet.

Then there's the question of what to do with the beautiful big doors that open into Dustin's office.

I'm contemplating painting them yellow. A gorgeous buttery yellow.

Or maybe turquoise.

Or just white.

They're in pretty bad shape (looks like a dog was going wild in here at some point!), but they're old, and cool,  and unexpected in our house. And I love them.

Two crazies and a tripod. 

Oh the fun that can be had ;)

This is my inspiration for the doors....what do you think? Too much?

So happy, thought, right? :)

photo: Anna Kern  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Cards.....a little crayon heart project with my boys :)

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

We decided to jump on the pinterest bandwagon and do a little Valentine's card project.

I wasn't sure how this would go with the boys, but they had so much fun!

So my boys are "crafters"....what're you gonna do? ;)

They had so much fun peeling the crayons, since it's usually something we don't do on a regular basis without me getting suuuper annoyed by all the little bits of crayon wrappers all over the floor.

This time I just embraced the mess, and let them go at it.

(tip: if you're going to do this, it's MUCH easier to use an exacto knife to cut a slit down the length of the crayon on the wrapper. I may or may not have used a steak knife...hehe...and may or may not have about 8 small stab marks in my thumb)   *shudder*

This is basically what they looked like.....a blur of craziness! Busy as bees. :)

Then, I chopped the crayon up into little pieces (while the boys were very gleefully snapping them in half for me).

Then they filled up two silicone ice cube trays (picked these up at a local kitchen store for $1.99 each).

You need to fill them up as full as possible, otherwise your crayon hearts will be really thin (learned the hard way, and had to add some more crayon bits to the hearts after they were partially melted in the oven).

Then, put them in the oven at 250C or so....and it takes about 15 minutes.

Easy peasy. :)

Did a little wrapping job on them...(Toby stuck all the crayon hearts onto the kraft paper with little stick foam dots)...and they were done!

We had fun giving them out at school today (well, aside from the fact that Toby decided to sit down in the middle of circle time, and refuse to move while everyone around him was standing up doing a circle song). Always pleasant ;) 

Hope you all have a fun day tomorrow full of sugar, hearts and romance :)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

A crazy metallic abstract painting adds a modern touch

My craving for change around this house is still going strong...

I was feeling trapped in an overly "pretty" home (yes..I could it possibly be pretty with so many boys around?) ;)

I decided I wanted something dramatic and colourful. With a little bit of gold and silver thrown in to shake it up a bit. SO......I found a huge canvas in our garage and got to work after the boys were in bed. 

I really had no idea where I was headed, until the brush hit the canvas.....probably not a great idea, in hindsight. I'm not 100% in love with how it turned out, and of course now I can think of so many other cooler geometric designs I could have done...but whatever. It's serving its purpose for now....definitely packs a fairly big, fun, colourful, geometric punch when you come into the room :).

I was *trying* to force myself out of my comfort zone. The pretty little comfort zone that has a lot of pink and flowers and white., there's still a substantial amount of pink in there, but there's also dark blue, and gold, and silver :) It's hard to capture the metallic paint on camera in the light today, but I love how the light reflects off the gold and silver paint. It definitely gives it a whole different look. Adds some much-needed "glam" factor :)

Well....that's it, that's all :)  So my life may not be overly exciting if this is the biggest thing going on right now, right? ;) whatever. Excitement is overrated.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bathoom Eye Candy.....just dreaming....

A girl can dream, right? ;)

There's something about a beautiful bathroom that makes my heart skip a beat. I just imagine long glorious candle-lit baths and fluffy white towels.

Not that there's anything *wrong* with our doesn't quite look like any of these :) The main reason is that it's just a touch too small. sigh. There's only so much you can do with a small bathroom.

But man could I ever relax in this one....with those gorgeous weathered wood floors and grey clawfoot tub.

Pale & Interesting (2011 Ryland Peters & Small), by Atlanta Bartlett & Dave Coote via House and Home

I guess I have a thing for freestanding bathtubs. 
This one is fit for a queen. So glamorous and beautiful.

Source unknown (I've searched and searched) via Live Creating Yourself

Even though this one has been all over Pinterest and I've seen it a million times, I just find it so calming. There's something about carrera marble that does it for me.

I'm also partial to a little "rustic" thrown in. 
So simple and spa-like.

Paul Ryan-Goff via Desire to Inspire could anyone resist that tub? It's not exactly "serene", but what it lacks in the relaxing factor, it makes up for in personality :)

Photo by Paul Massey via Living Etc.

I had to throw this one in just for fun....and for my love of stripes (especially of the pink variety).
So girly and fabulous.

Domino (oh how I miss you, Domino Mag!)

There's something about this bathroom that makes me dream of France. Ok...more like everything about it makes me dream of France! LOVE!

Who wouldn't feel like a princess while soaking in this tub? :)
And... sigh.....venetian I love you so!

Anita Caushal via DecorPad

Bliss....pure.. white.. airy, pale bliss. There's something so peaceful about all-white bathrooms.

I love this bathroom makeover that was featured on Design Sponge...the mix of wooden bathroom furniture with white marble and white painted brick walls is perfection. Throw in a freestanding glossy white tub and a chandelier and I'm hooked.

Anile Prakash of Girl Friday via DesignSponge

Do I have to wake up now? ;) These bathroom suites would never be possible in our current home, but maybe one day....just maybe.

Until then....  xo

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Family Rules ...... our new sign

Can you believe it's February already?? 

It feels like the year just started, but as usual, it's flying by!

For some reason, I get a real urge at the start of every year to make changes around the know...organize random drawers, switch furniture/art around, add a few new little accessories....that sort of thing. maybe I actually do that all year long, but the craving for change is stronger at the start of the year, for some reason. I think it's got a lot to do with taking down the Christmas decorations. As soon as they're down, I need something uplifting in their place.....something new and fresh :)

Anyways......this is one little project that I did last week, and it makes me smile every time I come up the stairs into our living room :)

I'm sure you've seen signs like this around pinterest, etc....I've been wanting to make one for a while. 

Toby loves it too....he's constantly coming up with new "rules" that he'd like me to add to the list :) His latest was: "We should always try to go to the bathroom every once in a while, and not leave it too late until it's an emergency" :) haha......true...true. 

Maybe it was February, maybe it was just my love of this girly colour, but I kind of liked the pop of pink on the bottom line :)  I'm somewhat partial to the pink/grey colour combo in general, if you hadn't noticed ;)

I used a stencil for the big letters, and just freehanded the rest of it. I smudged it up a bit ...just cause I liked it better that way. covers up my somewhat woeful paint job ;)

Funny how little projects like this can make your day. Or am I the only one? :)

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