Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Marvelous Down Under...

As a proud Canadian, I like to share the talents of my fellow Canadians any chance I can. One of the best selling Canadian magazines is House and Home magazine, and I have recently discovered some of the great blogs over on their website, too. One of my favourites, is from Meg Crossley, Senior Editor with the magazine. Meg recently shared the renovation of her basement within the pages of House and Home and on her blog. To say it is a fabulous transformation would be an exercise in restraint. In my opinion, Meg has elevated her basement's status from sub-terrain to go-to haven, worthy of coming up for air...and heaps of praise. See for yourself!

Before:


...and, happily, after:


And her basement laundry area, before:

and after:


Is it not perfection??

To see and read more, pick up House and Home`s fall 2009 Make-overs special issue, and be sure to visit Meg`s blog, here. Thank you for so graciously sharing your photos with us, Meg!

***************
(all images, courtesy Meg Crossley and used with permission)

Take a Bow Tuesday...


Heaven help me, it's Wednesday, but lucky for you, you're used to my fumbling of the schedule!

Off we go!

I just had to share this talented blogger with you: Liberty Biberty is a delightful blog for those of us who have a lingering love affair with doll houses. She made the most adorable shabby chic bedding for hers recently, and you must check it out. Consider yourself forewarned: you might be there awhile!

It's that time of year..back to school and the usual onslaught of birthdays and invitations. Because we mums tend to have children who have birthdays themselves, sometimes we run out of great party ideas. Check out Tip Junkie's great post featuring a round-up of fun birthday party ideas for little girls. There is a link below it for boy's party ideas, too! With Sophie's birthday just around the corner, I will be pinching a few ideas myself!

Centsational Girl never sleeps. I am quite certain of it. Creating, repurposing, decorating and crafting...there is no end to her energy and inspiration. Check out her fall porch makeover. I am hanging my head in shame over it. Thanksgiving here is in eleven days and there is not a pumpkin to be found on my front porch.
For shame!!

My very favourite blogger - my sister, Wendy - recently proved that the addition of that one great showstopper in a room can make all the difference. Wendy revisited wallpaper and made a beautiful feature wall using it. Be sure to click to enlarge the photos as the paper is gorgeous! Check out her other posts as she chronicles the renovation of her Cape Cod style home. More eclectic and fun than me, Wendy is a fellow vintage lover and bargain hunter!

Manuela, an expert at embellishing pumpkins, has some handy, quick tricks to make those white beauties even more unique! Pop on over and borrow some of her ideas...you can tell her I sent you!

Take a Bow, Ladies!!

Small But Sweet

Before I left my daughter to go back home to the real world, she requested that I decorate her apartment for fall.Occasionally someone will leave me a comment, after I've shared holiday photos of my home, saying things like, "I wish I could decorate for the holidays but my home is too small." Or, "I can't afford to decorate." Or "I have no place to store decorations." Hopefully these photos will inspire those who live in smaller homes.My daughter keeps holiday decorations in plastic containers tucked under their bed. Most of the decorations were purchased at the dollar store, thrift store, or discount store. And as far as room to display, that's easy!
Place a few on top of furniture.
Clear a spot on a table or chest.Tuck them into a bookshelf.Replace candles for decorations.Hang 'em on a coat rack.

Small But Sweet

Before I left my daughter to go back home to the real world, she requested that I decorate her apartment for fall.Occasionally someone will leave me a comment, after I've shared holiday photos of my home, saying things like, "I wish I could decorate for the holidays but my home is too small." Or, "I can't afford to decorate." Or "I have no place to store decorations." Hopefully these photos will inspire those who live in smaller homes.My daughter keeps holiday decorations in plastic containers tucked under their bed. Most of the decorations were purchased at the dollar store, thrift store, or discount store. And as far as room to display, that's easy!
Place a few on top of furniture.
Clear a spot on a table or chest.Tuck them into a bookshelf.Replace candles for decorations.Hang 'em on a coat rack.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our 70s Split Redo Part II: The Family Room

{If you missed Part 1: The Living Room & Dining Room, you can check it out here.}
The lower level family room in our house started out as this part-lineoleum, part-carpet plus stage-and-fence fugly room.

The images above & below are of our realtors & my mom... wondering what in the world we were thinking... (You can see Dave tallying up the renovation projects in his head in the pic above.) BUT (and I think a lof of you are like me) I saw a HUGE kid-friendly, potentially-cozy space with a TON of light, especially considering it's the lower lever/ basement. (It's a split so it's mostly above-ground.) ...Definitely more light & space than we had in the basement we were moving from and I pictured my office in here... I was ecstatic!!! There was this strange step-up stage area with a surrounding fence (below) and a drop ceiling. Odd.



We knew that had to go, and the first day we moved in I started tearing down the drop ceiling & fence posts while Dave was at work and I was waiting for more boxes to unpack... Then he finished it. (He really is the best.) He ripped out the stage with the help of our friend Greg and also Dave's dad. Off came the paneling & a bunch of other stuff. My father-in-law recessed the vents into the ceiling, and they installed new installation, waterproofing yada yada and added some recessed lights to aim at our hutch that would be going in. (swiss cheese- I know!! But we needed the function & sometimes it trumps beauty!! :)


So bye-bye weird stage:



And hello family room/ play area!! We painted the paneling a bright & fresh aqua to lighten it up & add some energy. I wanted it to feel fun & really happy down here. We had wall-to-wall seagrass installed and its great for kids' scooters! ;)


Here's that huge comfy Restoration hardware slip-covered sofa. It's like a bed & we love it. I'm doing a hodgepodge of flea market ship paintings on the wall above the sofa. The globe finally found a home in our house. (I gave it to Dave years ago when we pictured one day having a "study")


This huge hutch (below) was a gift from my dad (found at Lucketts Design House) and is one of my favorite pieces of furniture EVER. It houses EVERYTHING!! Forgive the non-styled shelves (I'm running out of juice) but you can see how there's tons of display space and sotrage space. The TV fits in perfectly. When we had no spot for the surfboard, I remembered the one in the living room of the Giamnetti's house and thought we should give it a try. (It hides a water shut-off valve!) Thanks Brooke!! The teak lime-washed chair to the left is a Lucketts find covered in a linen damask. The rug (everyone seems to recognize it) is from Pottery Barn a few years ago.


I wasn't (and am still not) sure what to think of the wood-burning stove. (We'll try out this year but only when kids are asleep because it's hot to the touch- eek!) And I was oddly intrigued by the 70s stone surround and considered lots of painting, replastering, etc options before deciding to keep the stone. It actually matches the stone on the outside of our house and I've grown to love it.



Here is it now. (below) I took the orange from the stones and ran with it in accents throughout the space. I love sitting in the chair on the right curled up with a blanket and the ottoman. I picture a cozy fire & drinks for two when the kids are asleep. (does that ever really happen?!!)


And finally, my office is down here too.


I went with a huge work table from Ikea ($140!) which is great for spreading out and it doubles as a great movie-watching pizza-night-eating spot. My supplies, files, etc are in a large closet behind the table & also on the other side (which is not pretty yet so I didn't include pics yet) I have lots of empty baskets around for "quick" clean-up on weekends & nights so it can stop feeling like an office if I need it to.

I used a lot of what we already had in this space & then used Ikea to do the heavy-lifting: table, office chairs, arm chairs. I wanted it to feel light & fresh but also cozy down here. My dad lives near a lake and I've got lots of happy memories from there (as well as conquests from local antique-store shopping trips!) so the room has a bit of a coastal vibe, but I didn't want it to be too much, so I added in the oranges & browns from the stones to warm it up & "dirty it up" a bit more. Flea market finds, below:




{Details}

{Massive lanterns from csnlighting.com}

{My old Gustavian desk... The colors weren't planned but I think when you buy & decorate with things you love, they just sort of have a way of working out...}




{Details}

{That 70s Stone}




{Details}

{Wool rug layered over wall-to-wall seagrass}


{Details}

{Ikea chairs}

{Pillow cover pieced together from fabric remnants}


{Details}

{Ikea ottoman base with custom washable slipcover}

{Inspiration fabric for room: The slipcover in a vintage-inspired pattern has hits of orange & exact same blue that's on the walls}




{Details}

{Found this old blue lantern for $16 at Volo}


Details}

{Ball jar blue is perfect in here}

{Weeds from the yard- one advantage to having a black thumb!}


{Details}

{My grandmother's oil painting in oranges}

(Wicker floor lamp from Palecek adds more texture & brown/ orange}


{Details}

{A huge piece of driftwood- a cypress root- found by my dad while fishing in Georgia}




{Functional Details}

{White off-the-rack roman shades from Sears}

{White cotton curtains from ikea}

{Functional Details}

{A huge workspace}


{Functional Details}

{$25 wheely chairs from Ikea}


{Functional Details}

{Organized toy storage under hutch}


{Details}

{More storage in ottoman... I prewashed & dried the fabric 3 times before giving it to my upholsterer.}


{Functional Details}

{$4 Vintage tool box to hold office supplies}


{Functional Details}

{That wal-mart fan for keeping cool... }



{Functional Details}

{A laid-back style means piles of books are just fine in here}

And that's pretty much it! We're loving having all this extra space & the room really works for us. There are definitely a few "upgrades" I'd like to make (aren't there always?) but I'm going to stop for a while. ;) Little Miss Ashby enjoys it too! (below)

xoxo,

lauren

Sources:

*Paint Color* Fresh Aire Choice "Midwest Spring" - no VOC paint, carried by Home Depot- so far, so good & I've used tihs brand in a few rooms in my house. To be honest, when I see dirt on the wall, I'm more likely to grab the paint bucket and touch-up rather than wipe down. so odd, I know... So I'm not really sure about the washability, long-term of it yet.

*White Table* Ikea -- I can't find the name of it online but I think originally it's $400 and it's in the dining table section. (We got ours at the damaged items place)

*Seagrass brand* I'll have to give my store a call... I forgot the brand!! :)

*Lanterns* Mossoro Outdoor Hanging Lanterns from csnlighting ($140 and $80)