Closet woes

Since Hannah was born, the worst part of my day is getting dressed each morning. OK, maybe not worse than trying to soothe a fussy baby at 4am, but it's up there. Why? Partly because I'm in that awkward stage where my maternity clothes are too big (yay!) and my normal clothes are too small (boo!), but also because my closet is one. giant. mess. Like a can't-find-anything-can-barely-get-the-doors-closed mess. It's bad. So bad, that organizing my closet has suddenly moved to the top of my priority list.

My closet is a standard, double closet. It offers a lot more storage space than any of my past, apartment-sized closets, but it's no walk-in. I'd show you a picture, but then I'd die of embarrassment and I have a little one depending on me now, so...

source: houzz.com

I know, I just said it's not a walk-in. I pinned the image above because I like how the closet is organized vertically - shoes on the bottom, cubbies for folded tops and pants, a rod for items that need to be hung, and another shelf for bins and baskets on top. I can definitely see us DIY-ing something like this, except, where would my dresses go?

source: pinterest (original source unknown)

Here's another option. Again, it has space for shoes and both folded and hanging items. And it looks like the bottom shelves don't run the length of the closet, so there's room to hang dresses. I also love how this closet makes room for bags and even some jewelry.

source: the style files

This closet most closely resembles my current set-up - one long shelf, single rod, and several smaller shelves tucked into one side. I love the idea of wallpapering or stencilling my closet walls, and bonus points for being the easiest and most affordable option, since it would only really require buying paint/wallpaper and baskets for the shelves.

Whether I choose option 1, 2 or 3, the first step is going to be a major clothing purge.

So which one would you go with?


DIY gold chair

My chair is finally gold!

On Monday I called Rust-Oleum and explained what happened. They suggested that I return the paint to Home Depot. When I accidentally bought the silver paint, Home Depot was out of Rust-Oleum's gold spray paint. They had fully restocked since then, and next to the cans of gold, I realized there was nothing wrong with the cans I bought, their caps just weren't silver (and the cans weren't marked). Luckily Home Depot's customer service department was very understanding. They explained that they couldn't take the silver spray paint back (I'd already used a can and a half), but they gave me two cans of gold spray paint, free of charge.

I love the gold. And the new seat cushion.

To make it, Adam cut a piece of plywood to size for me (1) and I cut a piece of foam to match (2). I used a little spray adhesive to secure the foam to the plywood before wrapping it with some batting (3) and stapling it to the back of the plywood. Finally, I wrapped the whole thing with my fabric and secured it with more staples (4).  


So cheerful.

I bought the chair on Kijiji a few years ago and the rest of the supplies were leftover from other projects. My only purchases were the fabric and two cans of spray paint, so this makeover was less than $25 - and worth every penny :)


Happy Monday!

I scored this little gem on Kijiji today. I'm not sure where it's going to go yet, but what a great start to the week!

Happy Monday! xo


Colour mismatch

{the colour I thought I was buying - note the caps} 

{and the colour I actually got}

I'm working on a little chair transformation, but as you can see, the gold spray paint I bought came out silver! I tweeted about it yesterday and Rust-Oleum responded right away. I'm going to try their customer service line on Monday and hopefully they'll hook me up with the right colour ASAP. The silver doesn't look half bad, but I have my heart set on a gold chair. Not happy that I have to spray paint it again, but at least it doesn't take long to do!


DIY fabric headboard

I'm back with some more guest room updates. Earlier this week I DIY'ed a headboard for the new bed. It's actually the same headboard we used in the old guest room (which is now the nursery). I covered how I made the original headboard in this post. For V2.0, I just covered the whole thing with a fabric shower curtain that I accidentally shrank in the dryer and secured it with staples.

I still have to figure out the bedding. Ironing the pillowcases would help. Should I switch out the white pillowcases for some colour? Buy fluffier pillows? Add some throw pillows? I know the quilt (a wedding gift) gives me lots of colour to choose from, but I'm struggling with what direction to go in. Suggestions please!

To give the headboard some interest, I DIY'ed a couple of fabric buttons. I followed this tutorial, but I used buttons with holes instead of a shank (loop on the back). Just make sure you thread the button (to attach it to the headboard) before you cover it with fabric (I figured this out the hard way).

It's hard to capture in photos, but in real life the buttons and the shower curtain's subtle chevron pattern really add some oomph.

The mirror above the bed is from Canadian Tire (it's from Debbie Travis' line). We purchased it a couple of years ago to hang above the guest bed futon in our old apartment.

While I was at it, I also hung some art. This poster is from a really cool exhibit of photos from Picasso's daily life that I saw with a friend several years ago in Luzern, Switzerland.

It's kind of funny that I'm already hanging art, since this side of the room actually looks like this:

Not really at the art hanging stage. Anyway, here's what we've done and what we still need to do in this room:

-Rip out carpet and install new hardwood floors
-Stain and install new solid wood door
-Install horizontal planks over textured walls
-Paint walls
-Paint closet
-Build "cloffice"
-Patch and paint the trim and window
-Install and paint new baseboard and quarter round
-Finish patching and staining new door
-Install new light fixture
-Replace outlets
-Sew curtains for window and closet door
-Buy new bed
-Hang art, mirror


Two weeks of Hannah

Thanks everyone for your sweet comments about Hannah's nursery feature on Apartment Therapy!

The past two weeks have flown by and, at the same time, it's hard to believe that Hannah's only been with us for two weeks. These are just some of the photos we've snapped over the past fourteen days. Hannah's had lots of visits from family and friends, and lots of firsts - her first walk, first party, first wedding, first pair of pants, even her first trip to Home Depot ;)

We've been incredibly lucky so far. Hannah is such a good baby - it's been all sleeping, eating and pooping, with very little crying in between. For my part, I've had a few weepy moments, mostly when tired or sore or just lonely during another long, late-night breastfeeding session. But that's nothing compared to looking into Hannah's sweet face or feeling her sleeping against my chest.

We've been warned that things start to get hairy after two weeks, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that her mellow personality sticks around!


Hannah's room on Apartment Therapy

Hannah's room is being featured on Apartment Therapy today! Click here to check it out. And if you're visiting from Apartment Therapy, welcome!

Guest room update

Progress in the guest room was mostly put on hold after Hannah's arrival, but while my dad was visiting for a few days this week, he helped Adam install the Ikea light fixture we bought for the room back in March.

Here's the ugly and oddly placed light fixture we inherited with the house:

And here's the new fixture - the KNAPPA pendant lamp:

The pendant lamp is designed to be plugged into an outlet, so they cut the plug off, shortened the cord to our desired length, and wired it to the existing junction box. Unfortunately I was busy nursing Hannah, so I couldn't snap any photos of the process. We bought an inexpensive cap to cover the junction box at Canadian Tire. It's a little smaller than the old fixture, so we still need to touch up the ceiling paint around it.

Originally I planned for the pendant lamp to hang straight down over a bedside table (like this), but we decided to buy a queen bed for the room instead of a double, which leaves no room for a bedside table (a double bed would have been a better size for the room, but not for our guests). Instead, I asked Adam and my dad to center the light over the bed (the plan is to install a dimmer switch so the light can double as a reading lamp).

The height is to accommodate a DIY headboard (more on that later) and a mirror that will hang on the wall behind the bed.

This picture doesn't do the new lamp justice - in real life it casts a warm, soft glow (even with a fluorescent bulb). I especially love the modern light fixture with the rustic wood panelling we added to cover the two textured walls in the room. Still lots to do, but I'll have more to share soon!

Have a great weekend everyone - we're taking Hannah to her first wedding, so wish us luck! Here's the bean on her lambskin yesterday. She didn't feel like staying still for a photo, so this is the least blurry of the lot :)


Choosing floor tile

We don't have time for much beyond eating, sleeping and changing diapers these days, but that hasn't stopped me from daydreaming about projects I'd like to take on once we've settled into some sort of a routine (that will happen, right?). Now that we've installed hardwood flooring upstairs, the next flooring project we want to tackle is tiling our kitchen and entry-way (eventually we'll install hardwood flooring in our living room/dining room, too). So when RONA contacted me to check out their online selection of ceramic tiles, I jumped at the chance.

I've long been obsessed with large, rectangular tiles and I immediately fell for these "Bamboo Graffi" floor tiles. They come in either a light or a dark finish, and while I'm drawn to the light version, I think a dark tile would work better in our home.

source: houzz.com

Here's a similar-looking tile used in a bathroom. I love the texture and the staggered brick pattern.

Another possibility is this ceramic floor tile in either tabaco or basalto, though I'm drawn to the darker grey tone of the basalto. Here are two examples of similar-looking tile; it's amazing how much a seemingly small detail like grout colour changes the overall look.

source: houzz.com

source: pinterest via

Finally, I like the way this honey ceramic tile mimics the look of natural stone.

I could definitely see us using something like this in our kitchen and entryway.

source: design sponge

source: remodelista

Have you worked with tile before? Any tips for us?

This post was sponsored by Rona.ca, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Tweaking our bedroom

We've done a lot of work in our bedroom, but we're still not done. I love the neutral colour scheme, but I need a bit more colour in my life. Here are a few of the changes I'm thinking about making:

1 - To add some more pops of colour to our neutral bedroom, I sewed throw pillows and hung this vintage map of Iceland (a souvenir from our honeymoon).

2 - Drawing from those two sources, I'm hoping to introduce more orange and grey into the room. I already have a large, slate-coloured honeycomb vase in the room and I painted my dipped chair with CIL's Dramatic Coral (the large swatch in the top left-hand corner).

3 - The $10 yard sale night stands I painted and trimmed out are great, but I've never loved the hardware or colour I chose. I'm thinking about painting them an orange-y red like CIL's Chinatown Orange and switching out the hardware (see #5).

4 - I'd also like to add a slate throw to the end of our bed, like this one from West Elm. I recently spotted one I liked at Winners, but I'm also thinking about dying one I already own. 

5 - I love the DIY ring pulls Sarah made for the sofa table in her living room and I think they'd look great on our night stands, so I'd like to try making my own.


House Pretty on hodge:podge

I'm so thrilled to be part of Barbara's So Canadian eh? series over at hodge:podge today. Considering the company, I still can't believe she asked little ol' me to participate, but you can bet I was beyond excited when she did.

Funny story: I literally sent my responses to Barbara's questions minutes after my water broke (I thought I had loads of time to respond, but baby Hannah decided to show up early). Click here to read my interview and make sure to check out the rest of her series here. Thanks Barbara!


Hannah's nursery on Here Comes Baby and Chic & Cheap Nursery

Kirsty from Here Comes Baby recently featured Hannah's nursery on her gorgeous UK family and style blog. Click here to check it out and make sure you take some time to explore the rest of her blog! Thanks Kirsty!

You can also take a tour of Hannah's nusery today on Chic & Cheap Nursery. Nicole's blog is a great resource for moms (and moms-to-be!) who love great style, but at a price they can afford. I'm a new contributor to CCN, so be sure to check out my writing here. Thanks Nicole!


It's a girl!

She arrived a little early, but she's perfectly perfect all the same. Adam and I became first-time parents on Sunday afternoon with the arrival of this beautiful girl, Hannah Elizabeth. We're home from the hospital and everyone is doing well, just a little tired ;)

I'll be posting sporadically over the next two weeks while we enjoy some time as a family of three - thanks so much in advance for your patience and understanding!

Amelia xox


30 Before Thirty Update

I announced the winner of the $50 gift card to Mortimer Snodgrass today. Click here to find out if it's you!

Since my last 30 Before Thirty update, I've managed to check a few more items off my list. Here's what it looks like now:

#22 - I made sure our summer road trip through Quebec and Ontario included a stop at Niagara Falls. It's one of those places (like the Cabot Trail or the Rockies) that I think all Canadians should try to see at least once, so I'm happy to say that I've been there!

{The proof}

#9 - We had tickets to see Radiohead - one of our mutual favourite bands - while we were in Toronto, but the show was cancelled after the stage collapsed during set-up. It was disappointing, but we made the best of a bad situation by going to see a free Flaming Lips show instead.

#26 - I shared our fully-decorated nursery with you last week and I'm so happy with how it turned out. All we need now is the baby :)

#6 - We bought a new bed on Monday, it's being delivered today, and our first guests arrive tomorrow. I have to say, it feels pretty awesome to move beyond the futon-as-a-guest-bed stage of our lives.

As I shared earlier this week, we started working on #23 and we'll see how much we can get done before #15 happens (my due date is August 14th). #7 is coming along too - we've already enjoyed lettuce, peas and beans from the garden, and our tomato, cucumber, carrot and zucchinni plants are coming along nicely (fingers crossed).

Do you keep a list of goals for yourself? What have you checked off the list lately? 


Installing planks in the guest room

Back in April, right after we finished installing new hardwood floors, I shared my mood board for the guest room. Then the room sat there while we installed hardwood floors and new baseboards in the other bedrooms and focused on decorating the nursery for our soon-to-be-here baby.

All of a sudden it's August (seriously, how did that happen?) and my dad and his wife are arriving from Wisconsin for a few days on Saturday. So, on Monday, Adam and I bought a guest bed and some supplies. Now we're scrambling to get as much done as possible before the bed is delivered on Friday (actually Adam is doing most of the scrambling, I'm just trying not to go into labour).

As you can see in the photo above, this room has two textured walls that we're covering with horizontal T+G planks. This is Adam's progress from Day 1 (yesterday). Once the planks are up, we're going to paint the whole room in Behr's Heavy Cream. In an ideal world, the planks would be up and the room would be painted by Friday, but it's more likely that our guests will end up sleeping on a really comfortable bed in a partially panelled and painted room. I'm glad we sprung for the pillow top :)

Psst...have you entered my giveaway yet? Click here to make sure you don't miss out!
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