Thursday, July 3, 2014

2 Weeks Progress: Planning a Room for Miss C

Miss C's old room
Despite knowing not to put anything in writing so as not to jinx things (time and money wise), I'm going to go ahead and talk a little about Miss C's new room at the townhouse.

After A LOT OF thought, we decided the kids should, at least at this point in time, have their own bedrooms. Miss C has a lot of toys that are a chocking hazard for little A and, as we will not be setting up an official play room, we decided to house all these toys in her bedroom.

Speaking practicality wise, A still naps quite a lot (fingers and toes crossed this continues) and I would really like Miss C to be able to have her own "quiet time" in her own room. I find that kids these days spend too much time with adults and generally in organized activities. When I think back to my own childhood, I used to spend a lot of time playing independently or together with my younger brother. And I'm hoping to recreate a happy environment for a few hours of independent play. We also have some sibling rivalry going on and I think it would be good for Miss C to have a place to call her own.

So, anyway, back to the bedroom. I have a few goals in mind: (1) use what we already have; (2) make it as practical as possible; (3) make it at least a little girly (my kid LOVE flowers, ruffles, pink, you name it) but in a way that will not make me want to poke my eyes out.

You might remember I toyed with the idea of ordering a roman blind from Tonic Living for this room. I even chose the fabric. But things never felt quite right. I wasn't sure if I wanted a functional roman blind, or a faux one. I didn't know if I wanted it flat or relaxed, and if I wanted banding. The price was also a sticking point for me. I wasn't sure I wanted to spend on custom window treatments for a room that my little girl might want to re-do in a few years. And, God forbid, if we end up moving(no we're not planning to move, but with us, you just never know), the roman blind (unlike regular curtains) will not be able to come with us.
So instead I chose a different fabric from Tonic Living and want to try and make a faux roman blind myself. My inspiration (above) looks simple enough, probably deceptively so, and I really want to try making it. The fabric is also much less expensive, so I feel much less pressure. My only concern is that the fabric work with the rug we already have.
In addition to the window treatment, there were other curious things with this room that had me scratching my head. There is a little nook in the room that I really want to utilize well. I debated between making it into a reading nook or a desk area. While I love reading nooks, a comfy bed with pillows can act like the perfect reading nook, while a desk will add much more functionality to the room. So desk it is. I'm thinking a floating one so we can adjust the height as she grows.
Miss C was gifted a gorgeous doll house for her birthday. I feel that I would really like to perch it up on something so that she's eye level with the toys, instead of them being too low on the floor.

Sorry for going on a tangent, but I just have to mention the dollhouse. It took me forever to choose one because of the type of play I wanted to happen as a result of it. While fairly expensive, the dollhouse I chose is gender neutral so both kids can play with it. It is expensive enough that we will be collecting pieces for the house for a few years to come (which is great to teach my kid to wait, instead of instant gratification). It focuses on family, there is a mom/dad/sister/brother dolls, PLUS grandma and grandpa, PLUS baby twins. And it doesn't make me want to poke my eyes out, which is always a bonus. So if you're in the market for a dollhouse pool all your gift resources together(which is what we did) and get this dollhouse.

In the spirit of working with what you got we will be using our current master bedroom night stands as a makeshift dresser. This idea came about for a few reasons. I am not ready to decide on a long term dresser for this room without buying her a new bed. So far, she's pretty happy with her toddler bed. Once A is ready for a toddler bed, we will get C a new bed and he will inherit the old one. And I think it would be smart to wait and get the bed and dresser together. I also really want new nightstands for the master as the ones we have right now were a stand-in. Win win? I don't know yet, we will how things settle once we move in.

So this is the plan so far. As I said at the beginning, hope I haven't jinxed anything by posting it. It's happened too many times before.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Life In Pictures

Last Christmastime I ran into a frustrating problem. All the best photobooks used Instagram photos. I didn't have Instagram. And I didn't sign up right away either.

It took me another couple months to register and another few to actually start using it. The thing I realized is that I take a TON of photos throughout the day. Which I share with my husband, practically hourly. It is this little thing we do. But these conversations are private. And the photos? A hassle to share with family. I am, what you would call, a late adopter. Which means that I'm wary of new technology, especially social media. But the ability to share photos instantly (ha ha) has me seduced.

I can't wait to do photobooks as Christmas gifts this year. If you're curious, you can see what I'm up to HERE.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Contraband Photos - Kitchen Install

Every time we stop by the townhouse I half expect the door to be locked. I actually hope the door to be locked. You know, in case vandals look for a place to put their stamp on. But I"m also infinitely happy when the doors are unlocked. Because we get to witness progress as it happens.

So far the tile has been installed, all the cabinetry is up and the railing is rocking. I'm so excited about all of it, it's making me a little sick.
There is a point in every reno, or selection process, when you doubt yourself. Usually this is when things are about half way done and it doesn't look anything like you hoped it would. I'm in that panic-y, sick in my stomach state of mind right now.

While the kitchen cabinet colour is spot on what I wanted, the railing is their darkest stain (which I"m so happy about), the tile (not pictured) is making me a little queasy. It is a medium gray (like we wanted), but I worry it is too dark. I also worry the bathroom vanities (black) are too dark and it was the wrong time and place to let hubby have his way. Ha!
But at least the kitchen colour looks GOOD. I'm digging the basic knobs. They are fantastic with the gray and will work great with our appliances. Great choice for zero dollars. Not tempted at all to change these. Yes, changed my mind.
One more time from the living room. What am I digging? LOVE that we did extra cabinets instead of seating at the island. Love it. Love the black railing with (what will be) natural oak floors. Totally worth the risk we took ordering this.

Not quite happy with the upper cabinet above the kitchen sink that is a tad higher than the other cabinets. We did not discuss this with the builder and it is not exactly what I had in mind. At all. But, it is a building code thing and there isn't much that can be done. Just need to accept the fact that I am super picky and need to give it a rest (grumble grumble).

Overall, I'm SO happy with everything, nerves and all. I just want to move in already! 4 weeks before we get the keys.

4 weeks!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

5 Weeks Before Move In - My Progress with the Townhouse

We are officially 5 weeks away from moving. We have packed the non-essentials before showing the condo to renters so I'm not yet in the midst of packing things up. What I am doing is planning things to purchase and doing the purchasing. It is exciting (I've waited to do this for a whole year!) and scary because everything adds up to major $$$.

In an effort to pace ourselves and control spending I have been identifying things we cannot live without and things that can wait. Remember my post about window treatments?? I'm happy to say that we've ordered. Draperies only. As much as matching roman blinds would have been incredible, they were very expensive (understandably, they are an insane amount of work) and we just couldn't emotionally and rationally wrap our minds around spending that much in one transaction.
I was also not 100% sold on the roman blinds. The thing is, I love the layered look of bamboo shades under curtains. And was thinking that romans + draperies + bamboo shades might be a bit too much. I also couldn't decide whether I wanted to do faux or real romans. It was making my brain hurt and definitely not clicking. So we decided to let it go for now.

Instead we hope to go ahead full tilt with bamboo shades.
And here I have to tell you something else. I've agonized about this choice for a while. I still am, to be completely honest. As much as I love bamboo shades and bamboo in general, is it something that will work in Ottawa, in the townhouse, with our stuff?? To me bamboo is a no brainer in warmer climates. Yes, there it is a natural choice and is definitely in its element. But what about the 6 months of cold cold winter we get here in Ottawa?? Will bamboo warm things up, or just look out of place??
So far, I"m leaning towards getting the bamboo blinds because: (1) they are budget friendly and I have hubby's ok to go ahead; (2) I like the look of bamboo no matter what else I might think; (3) intuitively, this feels like the right choice, and I've done this enough to know to trust my instincts.

Do you think I've gone completely crazy??

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Condo Tour - A Final GoodBye

I"m sure you've heard this one before, but you know what the best camera is? The one in your hands that captures the moment. So you will have to excuse these pictures taken with my non fancy phone. We were waiting around for prospective condo renters to come and check out the place. So the condo was spotless and (if you will notice) I had contained my baby hurricane in a high chair with a cartoon (mom of the year) to keep him from tearing it apart.

You will also have to excuse my kids photo bombing every shot, but really?, they live here :) true story.

I took the photos to have a memory of our year here. The people who came to see the place ended up returning with deposits the next morning. So the place is officially rented out. It is a little sad, and a lot exciting. A huge weight off our shoulders.

This past year has been so incredible, such a gift in so many ways. We love this condo and are so happy to see it go to some seriously lovely people.

Enjoy the mini tour!

You can find more photos of the condo below:
Condo Dining Room
Our Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree is Growing
Condo Tour: Living Room
Condo Tour: Kids' Shared Bedroom
Condo Storage Solution - Using Ikea BESTA Units
Condo Tour: Kitchen

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Condo Dining Room

The other day I realized that I never posted about the dining room part of the condo. For the longest time we had sad plastic chairs around the table. They were fine for our deck in the old house, but definitely lacked in the aesthetics department for indoor use. To replace the plastic chairs, I had ordered THESE chairs, and after many many issues (not the fault of the seller, who was excellent), we returned them. 

Instead we purchased the above chairs at EQ3. I saw them online and thought they looked like something that might work with what we already have. Choosing chairs, like many things for the home, to me is like choosing a mate. Ok, an exaggeration, but bear with me. They had to work with our busy family lifestyle, they had to work with the furniture we already had, and they couldn't be either "too much" or "too little". 

I dragged hubby through all the stores to sit in every single chair I was considering. I was willing to press our budget into the uncomfortably expensive zone if we found THE chair. I had this idea that a chair with a hefty price tag will be my chair soul mate. However, actually buying the chairs was very anticlimactic. Sometimes it happens that way. The chairs we got were a reasonable $130 per chair online, which is Ikea price point. But we actually got them on sale for $69(!) each.

On the one hand I was bummed, because I wanted to get chairs that I felt would somehow define our "adult" status. You know, no longer spending money on renos and actually getting furniture not at Ikea(but I love Ikea!! see, identity crisis)? Yeah, I wanted to be that person. I was ready to spend $$$. Only to realize that "our chairs" are simple, some might even say plain. Not the fancy/magazine worthy kind. 

On the other hand, I love the chair for the quirkiness of its line of the back and leg. They stand up beautifully to markers, paint, toy banging, and everything in between. The longer we have them, the move I love them and the happier I am that I left go of "fashionable" for "comfortable".
What chair is your chair soul mate?? And are they as good in real life as they are in photos?

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fed Up - Movie You Need to Watch

This is a movie we will be watching asap. As much as we cook things from scratch at home, we can do much much better still. This movie is just the kick we need to up our game.

Found via HERE