5.24.2016

A pink pre-schooler's room


Hannah's room is mostly pulled together, so I wanted to share a few pictures. It took some effort, but I finally got the curtain rod I wanted. The brushed brass finish is a great match for the pink walls, and I especially like how it looks with the curtain panel I sewed.


Across the room. I hung her DIY'd growth chart (she looks so little next to it in these pictures) and some art from her nursery.


Hannah's toys are either downstairs or in her "hideout", which explains why this room looks so tidy. You can see the entrance to her hideout in the first photo of this post; I'd like to replace the carpet - maybe with carpet tiles? - and Hannah wants to paint the walls purple. I removed the door when I painted the room, but I'd like to replace it with some kind of privacy curtain. More on that space soon.


Hannah caught me taking pictures and decided she should be in one (her choice of pose, ha). You can see how the room looked when we started here and my inspiration for the space here.

5.19.2016

San Francisco Day Trips: Sonoma, Muir Woods & Sausalito

During my visit to San Francisco, my friends and I planned a few day trips outside the city, starting with a stop in Sonoma County. My friend Andrea - our host for the week - organized a group wine tasting at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. It was a beautiful spot, and I ended up buying two bottles to bring home with me.


After our tasting, we headed across the street to Cline Cellars, where we enjoyed some more wine, cheese and a few snacks. So much fun!


It was fairly foggy when we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge on our way to Sonoma, but the weather was perfect on our drive across to Muir Woods National Reserve; we stopped at a lookout to take some pictures and walk partway across the bridge.


Seeing a redwood was high on my wish list, and the pictures below don't do these massive beauties justice.


Our final day trip was to Sausalito. We walked around the cute little town, tried Philz Coffee, did a little shopping, and finally stopped for a drink along the water.


I already miss these ladies, but I'm so glad that we made time to connect; it makes my heart happy that we're still friends all these years later. I'm a lucky woman!

5.16.2016

Five Days in San Francisco

I visited San Francisco with some of my college girlfriends at the end of February, but didn't get around to editing my photos until now. My brilliant friend Andrea (seriously, she's a Fulbright Scholar) is living in San Francisco while she finishes her dissertation, so I flew in a couple of days early to spend some extra time with her. It also meant I got to meet some of her friends from Korea, who were visiting around the same time.

We went straight from the airport to In-N-Out Burger (my first time), then it was off to Lands End Lookout and Crissy Field for some sightseeing.


After a night out with Andrea and her friends, we started the next day with a walk through Chinatown to the Ferry Building and along the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 to see those famous seals.


Andrea also took me to Twin Peaks for some truly gorgeous views of the city:


After the rest of our crew arrived, we moved to an airbnb rental in North Beach (the top two pictures below are views from our apartment). Some of my favourite memories from San Francisco are of food - so many great places to eat! - and coffee (I'm seriously considering a Blue Bottle subscription).


Of course we had to pay a quick visit to the Painted Ladies, and try some Bi-Rite ice cream (pictured below), but we mostly just enjoyed the opportunity to be together, especially in such a great city.


Oh, and I can't forget our drive down San Francisco's famous Lombard Street:


We made a few day trips outside the city, which I'll cover in a separate post, but I had to include this final snap of the city I took on my flight home:


 It was swell San Francisco, and I can't wait to come back!

5.10.2016

Hannah's room: lighting and picture ledges


We spent last week in NYC, so my mom was eager to have Hannah for a night over the weekend. I used the opportunity to make some progress on her bedroom (and a bottle of wine, ahem).  


I ordered the longer RIBBA picture ledges from IKEA (115 cm), and they're a perfect fit for this wall. They were simple to install (though I wish they came with hardware); I used painter's tape to help me visualize their placement and I think it was the first time I've hung something on a wall when the studs were actually where I needed them to be.


Hannah loves having her books on display (well, most of them anyway) and she's even more likely to curl up with a book now.


I also installed her new light fixture, which I converted from a plug-in fixture by cutting the cord to my desired length, exposing the wires and wiring it to the ceiling box just like you would any other light. I was able to re-use the cap from the room's previous fixture (I painted it to match the ceiling), which makes me smile (something old, something new).


The light itself is pretty awesome, whether on or off. I also installed a wall sconce over Hannah's bed, which we've been using while we read bedtime stories. Hannah loves it, especially because she can turn it on and off herself.


I'd hoped to install the new curtain rod too, but the one I received was the wrong finish! Unfortunately I have to return it in-store before they send the correct one, but at least they're giving me a discount for my troubles, and it gives me time to work on another little project for this room. More soon!

5.03.2016

Hannah's bedroom inspiration


I haven't done one in awhile, but I decided to put together a mood board for Hannah's room to see how the different pieces I'm considering fit together. Pinterest is great, but it doesn't help me visualize a room in quite the same way. 

1 - At Hannah's request, I painted the room pink. The colour is Behr's 'Blowing Kisses' matched to CIL paint. It's very pink, but surprisingly soothing, and I like it more and more as I get used to it (Hannah loved it at first sight).
2 - The curtain fabric is from Sarah Watts' August collection for Cotton + Steel, purchased at Patch Halifax. The window in her room is tall and narrow, and located near a corner, so I only sewed one curtain panel, lined with an off-white cotton.
3 - I ordered this curtain rod in brushed brass. I haven't seen it in person, so I hope the quality is OK. I sewed a curtain panel with back tabs, so I didn't order the matching ring clips, but I was tempted by the hold-backs.
4 - I ordered this lamp to hang above Hannah's bed for our bedtime story routine. I had my heart set on the popular eyeball sconce from Urban Outfitters, but it was sold out in white and it doesn't look like it's coming back anytime soon. On the plus side, the IKEA version is dimmable, and I love the perforated design.
5 - Books are an important part of our nighttime routine. I built a pretty awesome book box for Hannah's nursery, but IKEA's popular RIBBA picture ledges made more sense in her new room. I ordered three, and the plan is to hang them on the wall next to her bed.
6 - Again with the IKEA, I know, but the ALHEDE rug was exactly what I was looking for: soft, neutral, and durable enough for a kid's room.
7 - We're re-using the big pieces of furniture from Hannah's old room, including this antique bed and her bedding (originally purchased from Target).
8 - I was tempted by a pink leather mushroom ottoman (spotted at Attica in Halifax), but I was worried it would be too big for the room, and it was a little pricey considering its only function would be to help Hannah get in and out of her "hideout". While I was making my IKEA order, I added a MAMMUT stool to my cart. It looks like there are some pretty neat cover options out there to dress it up, or maybe I'll DIY something.
9 - I purchased a very similar light (pictured light found here) from Attica, but it's a plug-in and needs to be converted to a permanent fixture. We did something similar in our old home's guest room, and it's a relatively easy DIY job.
10 - We're also re-using the dresser from Hannah's nursery. It's the same one Adam used growing up, with a fresh paint job, and mint and pastel pink look great together.
11 - I found these vintage lucite and plastic cabinet pulls on Etsy from this shop. They're perfect for the closet doors, and the finish is similar to the light fixtures.

I'm anxiously waiting for everything to arrive so I can put the room together. My goal is to create a functional space for Hannah to enjoy; one that fits her personality and will grow with her. None of the pieces are especially "kid-like", but the colours and art (not pictured) should help it feel young and fun. And there's the hideout. We haven't started in there yet, but I have some fun ideas!

4.25.2016

Hannah's room: wallpaper removal & paint


The first time we walked through this house, we knew this room would be Hannah's. It was the only room with its own secret hideout after all...


We're re-using most of the furniture from her old bedroom, but Hannah is old enough to have opinions about how she'd like her room to look, and has repeatedly requested a "rainbow room". It's not clear exactly what she means, but I'm interpreting it as a request for lots of colour. She was adamant that her walls be either pink or purple, so I picked out several paint chips and she chose Behr's 'Blowing Kisses', a pretty pastel pink. Before we could start painting though, we had a wall of wallpaper to remove.

Hannah, my mom and I ripped the paper off using a spackle knife to get it started; it came off pretty easily in mostly large strips. I took the picture below just after we finished, with the backing paper and glue still to go.


My mom took Hannah to her house for the night, and I removed the rest of the paper and glue using this method. The directions weren't clear on how much of each ingredient to use, but I combined around 1.5L of hot water, 1 cup of vinegar, a generous squirt of dish soap, and a good shake of baking soda (I'd guess around 2 tablespoons?), and that worked well for me.


I wet the wall in sections with a rag, then used my spackle knife to scrape the paper off the wall. The top left-hand picture is of the glue + backing after I started wetting it, and the top right-hand picture is of that same section removed. I was surprised by how easily the paper came off, and after an hour or so I was done. Of course, there was still glue residue on the wall, so I wiped it down - twice - before painting.

I used CIL Premium paint + primer in a satin sheen (this one) colour-matched to Behr's 'Blowing Kisses'. It's definitely pink, but that's what Hannah wanted, and it's surprisingly soothing in person.


After the painting was done, I went to Patch Halifax to find some curtain fabric. The fabric I chose is from Sarah Watts' August collection for Cotton + Steel and I can't wait to see it in the room.


I'm pretty thrilled with my weekend progress - it feels good to be DIY-ing again!

4.20.2016

Kitchen: Before

Introducing, our new kitchen:



We really like that it's spacious, the layout is good, and the cupboards are in great shape. Actually, everything is in great shape (just not our style). Oh, and that Thermador dishwasher? The previous homeowner won it in a Saltscapes Magazine recipe contest! After five years of living without a dishwasher, we got one serious upgrade.

I'm planning to paint the cabinets and replace the hardware; a new sink, faucet, countertops and backsplash are also on my list.


There's a large, open space to the right of the kitchen and a small dining room to the left. We're not really formal dining room people, so we're using the dining room as a playroom, and this space as our dining room. The door you see in the photo above leads to a small pantry closet. We're thinking about getting rid of the closet and opening up the wall to create an entrance into the living room.

We really loved the open shelving in our previous kitchen, so I'd like to add a couple of shelves for our everyday dishes, and update the light fixtures too.


We're also planning to replace the flooring and paint, paint, paint.

I have lots of ideas in mind, but I'm trying to be patient and spend more time planning this time around. My goal is to make changes that we'll love for years to come, while staying true to our house's style. I rounded up a few images of 70s kitchens for inspiration, and I've been pinning ideas for the new house here.

70s kitchens via House Beautiful

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