27 October 2011

Padded Headboard Makes An Impact

What is the first thing you think of when I say bedroom? Comfort? Sleep? That's what I thought. We all use our bedrooms as an escape from the world, to cuddle up and rejuvenate for the next day. One of my favourite additions/updates to bedroom furniture is padded headboards. I was first exposed to a contemporary padded headboard when I was in NYC with my gal pal, Catherine. We stayed in a chic downtown hotel with woven leather headboards and "wings" that projected out on the sides; it was the perfect nook for reading, and resting after pounding the streets of NY in my flip flops (bad idea).

Padded headboard styles can range from contemporary to traditional and even homemade. Nail heads and tufts (the divots that make it "pillow") are common details for these pieces. Before buying one of these pieces, consider the following:

*Remember the scale of your room - You don't want the headboard to take over your space!

*Texture - Fabrics with texture, whether it's a velvet or leather, adds another layer to your bedroom. Usually your sheets and other bedroom furniture is flat and smooth, so have fun with texture on the headboard!

*Pillows - Pillows are what will help make your bed look like plentiful and lush, however, you want to consider the height of your pillows. Will your pillows cover the entire height of the headboard? If that is the look you want, go for it, otherwise, keep in mind that your headboard may get lost in a sea of down feathers. 

This is headboard on headboard. The wings provide
a sofa like feel.

Patent Leather Headboard. More drama than comfort.
Classical shape with a neutral colour tone. Always Classic.
Bold red pattern is a playful twist on this Queen Anne shape.
Velvet, tufted sleigh bed shape with nail heads. 
Tall and Grand.
Add some colour to a plain daybed with a headboard.

These twin beds look more architectural with the wings and foot

14 October 2011

Out with Old, In with the New

By far, the biggest accomplishment thus far has been the evolution of the addition. If you don't remember, this is the plan for the addition (click HERE); the addition is small, but mighty for this small house.

Old Kitchen. 

To save time, we called on the Junk Brothers to do the demolition and removal of the kitchen. If you are trying to shave areas of where to spend money, I would recommend doing this yourself. You will need to rent industrial garbage bins for this, but it will most definitely save you money, but not time. The Junk Brothers did an amazing, clean job. I went to the site to find a very trimmed, no fuss job!

A proud homeowner watching the magic happen.

A clean demo job. Surprising, right?

From here, the ball really got rollin'. Every day was like opening a christmas present; I didn't know what to expect. I would walk behind my house and find it in a different state.

One day I showed up after work and I found these
fun toys in my yard.

This is what the toys did. They made a huge hole. Soon
to be my basement.

Closer look at the evacuation.

A few days later, the preparation for the footings took place.

Moulds for the footings.

Check out my backyard of dirt!

Blocks were delivered for the basement foundation.

Foundation is done!!
The journey has truly begun and it's only getting messy before it gets better!

And I can't say enough thanks to everyone that has helped me get to this point. Truly, I could not have gotten here without the help from all of you!!


12 October 2011

How To Use A Daybed

Daybed. Yes, that's what I said.

Daybeds are no longer for the bedroom, they are moving into the living room. I am not talking of the out dated version of a daybed with brass and floral, instead I am talking about the new and evolutionary daybed. Think bench meets sofa, with comfort. Daybeds are perfect for daytime use as a sofa, and if you need an extra sleep space, they serve it's purpose.

I will show you...






As you can see, daybeds are really, um, bench beds. You can place them in front of a fireplace, replace  a traditional love seat or use in a spare bedroom. Daybeds have made a revival in the design world and soon, you will start to see them everywhere at a reasonable price. Keep your eye out!

07 October 2011

Reno Tip #1 - Never Assume.

Let's face it, we knew something would go wrong in this project. Something goes wrong everyday I work with renovations, and so why would my house be different? Well, I thought, I was prepared for the outcome, I know what's involved and how to handle the stress. Wrong. As my family and friends may have noticed, I am wound up tighter than a top. And yes, things have already gone...wrong. Well not wrong, but not perfect.

Reno tip #1: Never assume.

This goes for everything in life, but particularly in renovations. I mean, I should know this. They teach you in design school to write/draw everything in detail of how you want things done. For some reason, I felt I could skip that portion of the exam on my own house?! Well, I did, momentarily.

We started on the basement, as I mentioned in another post. The sewers needed fixing and I needed more head room. We talked it over with the sewer crew, shook hands and felt confident....until...

This is my 5'-9" basement upon purchase.

The basement was dug and I was stoked, till I find out later that it was actually dug too far. Too far you ask? Well, yes. Every house sits on a footing which helps disperse the weight of the house. My footing had been have dug out!! Essentially the 80+ year old house was standing on one leg. Crap. Crap. Crap.

The crew working hard, and digging deep, maybe a little too
New pipes and sewer lines replacing the old clay pipes from the

The old stairs seem...inadequate, don't they? That's how much
depth we gained!

The ever important back flow valve. Now if the street
sewers flood, it will stop the water from getting into my
house. Uber important.

What we had discussed was to leave the footing, for the sewer crew to not go near the exterior wall, but alas, half my footing was gone.

Here is footing basics 101.

This is what a GOOD footing looks like. Homes these days are based
on something similar to this.

This is what happens to your footing when you don't provide drawings
like I have just demonstrated! Because the home is old, and does not
have a concrete footing like the first diagram, that is where we
get into serious trouble.The weight of the house will still spread
both ways, but one way will collapse the house.
This is not good.

This is how the problem will be fixed. Now the ledge will push against the
concrete wall, and earth, while the concrete floor pushes against the
ledge. The point of this....nothing will shift or move and the house
will not fall down. Literally.

So let this be not only a lesson in basic house construction (that may not have been 100% correct, but you get the jist of it), and also assuming. When renovating, don't assume that the trades know what you want done. No offense to any of the hard working tradesmen out there, but generally quick and easy beats careful and right. Yes, I am making a stereotype, and I apologize. I respect the trades and all the work they do, I just can't assume that they will execute verb direction. Thus, write/draw/explain what ever you can for reference. That is my tip. 

But let's focus on the positive...this is now where the basement is at...

New posts. New ledge around the edge. Almost new basement.

And on another positive note, MAJOR things have gone on outside. The kitchen addition is gone! Stay tuned next week for the update on that! It's extremely exciting!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Fill those tummies with lots of turkey and love!


04 October 2011

Classic Neutrals

I had the pleasure to attend a seminar by the talented and world renowned Interior Designer, Larry Laslo. For those of you that don't recognize the name, you can check him out HERE. Essentially, Larry reminds me of a male Liza Manelli with as much talent in design as she had performing. During his chat, Larry's sense of style and design shone through; not only did he makes us giggle, but he truly inspired me. His taste (and clients) are extreme yet he uses neutrals. To quote Larry, "Neutrals aren't boring, they are beautiful. They are earthy; Sand, rock, snow, all are natural things, neutral in colour and are from the earth. There is nothing boring about that!". Isn't he right?! Larry single handedly convinced me once again, that neutrals aren't boring.

So what is a neutral? Well, as discussed, gray is a new neutral colour (see my PAST POST). A neutral is a colour that does not affect the other colours or sense of in the space; White, cream, beige, gray, taupe and black are all standard neutrals. Neutrals are quiet and versatile. The trick is to keep the same shade of neutrals, as there is definitely variations in each colour. The best way to describe this is on a paint deck; You may think white is white, but as soon as you have to choose what colour white you want your trim, the confusion begins.

As Larry said, neutrals aren't boring. Let's see if he is right....

This nursery is coloured with beige neutrals which creates a calm 
environment for the baby.
With bold stripes, a neutral carpet and fabrics, this small
room appears to be bigger without being complicated. Black

is used as the accent colour to create additional impact.
The blue fabrics pop with the neutral background.
Now your accent colours will shine while the neutrals
set a back drop.

One of my favourite neutrals is wood. Wood supports Larry's
notion that neutrals come from the earth.

Neutral cabinets set a calm yet dramatic impact on
this space. The cute pink, striped chair helps
give this space character.
This traditional space uses neutrals everywhere but look at the 
impact on the space. .
Bathrooms are the perfect place to use monochramtic neutrals.
These warm neutrals enhance the richness of the
orange and greens.
I appreciate Larry's comment regarding neutrals. Being earthy is a classic style that rarely dates, but often is a "safe" choice. However, don't think of "safe" as boring, think of it as dramatic! Play up textures and fabrics with the same neutral tones, and watch how the space becomes impressive without having to commit to bold colour.