Monday, August 30, 2010

Flooring Update

The flooring is not quite done. At this point, Malcolm and his crew have sanded the floor several times and covered it with two coats of danish oil. The patch (which, I must say, looks pretty darn amazing) is still quite visible, but Malcolm will be doing a bit of colour matching to get it to blend in more. I'm not expecting it to disappear, but anything is better than that plywood patch that used to be there.

Anyway, here's a peak at how the floors are coming along!!

Breaking floors and breaking down

So, remember that list?  Yes, I admit, it was a little optimistic.  However, had everything gone according to plan (HA!) then it would have been doable.  Not to say we didn't try!  As of right now the list looks like this:

  • Buy paint for dining room
  • Buy a quart of paint for stairwell
  • Paint second coat in dining room below chair rail
  • Dust and wash trim in foyer, dining room, stairway, living room
  • Paint trim
  • Paint living room walls
  • Paint medallions on ceiling in living room (painted one)
  • Sand and paint banister
  • Spray paint brass hardware on banister black
  • Spray paint remaining towel racks in bathroom black
  • Paint living room light fixtures
  • Cut spruce floor boards to size
  • Patch flooring in master bedroom
  • Tidy kitchen
  • Tidy living room Updated! 2010.09.09
  • Do laundry
  • Vacuum Updated! 2010.09.09
  • Have a glass of wine (or two or three....)
So... decent.  This is what happened that weekend.

After my sister and Ryan left,  I started painting the living room.  It went well, I got two coats on a third of it and I painted one of the medallions.  I have to take a picture of it for you guys, because it looks so unbelievably better now that it's painted out white!  It was a long night; I stayed up until 3am painting, drinking wine.  (Note to self: do not place wine glass under area of ceiling you are painting... it will drip.)

On Sunday, I started with the floor.

I had borrowed a friends circular saw, jig saw, compressor and nail gun.  What you are seeing above is a 3/8" thick piece of OSB, that was extremely difficult to remove.  The reason I was removing it was because the spruce Hubs had bought to patch the floor was just a tiny bit too high with this OSB down.  I would have to remove it and replace it with 1/4" thick piece.

I used the saws to cut holes and try to lift off the osb, but it just continued to break off into small pieces.  I continued to work on this for about two hours.

I cut through a wire.... ? Hmmm - I'm pretty sure it's knob and tube.  At least I know it's not live (and thank God for that).

My plaster ceiling below.... I kept picturing myself stepping on it and ending up in the living room like Tom Hanks in The Money Pit.

Two hours is I cut back some osb to find this....

This is about the time I started to cry... not before picking up the paper, of course, realising what it was and promptly putting it back down.

Thoughts going through my head at this point, in no particular order, sometimes all at once.

"Great, now I'm going to get cancer and die in thirty years"
"Do I have to call in someone to get rid of this?? I don't have time!"
"How on earth am I going to finish this before the flooring guy gets here on Tuesday??"
"Ugh, worst time for Hubs to take his camping trip EVER"
"I should have just gotten laminate"
"I wonder if it's too late to just call back the flooring guy and buy laminate"


My sister, sometimes strangely the most calm and rational person I know (other times, quite the opposite), had her rational hat on that day.  She told me to shut up and stop being an idiot.  There was no way I was getting laminate.  She and Ryan would be down that night to help me finish everything.

....sigh of relief followed by a glass of wine and some more painting.

Back to the asbestos.  As I've mentioned in a previous post, asbestos is safest when it is left alone.  In a state like paper or tiles (as opposed to vermiculite insulation) it's not that dangerous unless you start tearing the stuff apart.  Then it becomes very dangerous.  The best solution for us was to cover the paper back up with flooring and not disturb it.  So that is what we did.

Thanks to a good nights sleep and our combined super-strength, it took Anna and I approximately 20 minutes to finish the job.  Please not the Rona bag and pieces of wood strategically placed over the loose asbestos paper.  There is also some wrapped around the duct - which was one of the typical uses for it.

Yay! New OSB in with duct cut out.

Painting Progress

Last I left you guys, I had attempted a journey to finish a list of insane proportions.  Needless to say, I had a minor emotional breakdown and the list didn't get finished.

But, before that happened, some painting did get accomplished.  Most of it is actually finished (apart from the ceilings, an extra coat in the dining room, the front hall closet and one medallion) but I don't have proper photos yet.  I do, however, have some fun progress shots!

So, in regards to paint colours, the last time I was talking about a new colour scheme, due to my older, reliable sofa being replaced but a younger, more attractive piece (sniff).

After much deliberation, it was a completely fluke that helped us decide on a colour scheme. Hubs and I were sitting on the new chaise when we noticed that his shorts (navy with pinstripes), his shirt (a coral coloured t-shirt) and the chaise all looked really nice together! And that was it. My sister came to visit and we went to Benjamin Moore to get our paint!

I'm a huge fan of Aura paints - really low-VOC, virtually no smell and it covers like no paint I've ever used. Two coat guarantee, no matter what colour (even RED).  However, once we got to BM, I saw their "Natura" line. It has no VOCs and doesn't smell.  It doesn't cover quite as well as Aura (because nothing does), but it's available in every possible colour! Now, I'm not sure if you know anything about no-VOC paints, but it's the dark colours that are the most toxic, because the  volatile organic compounds are found in the pigments, themselves.  So, most no-VOC paints I have come across only come in a range of whites and pastels.  BM has managed to create a no-VOC paint that still works with dark colours.   Sometimes, I love technology.

Our colours.

Our first attempt at some colour;
it's amazing how different colours look in the store, on a swatch.

The stairwell colour - no more beige! (Pardon the mess.)

Bye bye baby-tealy-blueish-green.

Oh Danny, what a schmuck!

Ahhh... I love white walls :) BM Marble White & BM Colonial Brick. The brick colour is very surprising. Sometimes it looks a little pink, other times or orange or even a dark red. I love how it changes with the light - it makes the space so dynamic.

Every day we find proof of idiocy/laziness and getting an idea of what this house looked like at one point. This wall paper in the dining room, dark teal walls and trim in hallway, living room and upstairs, seafoam green carpet.... Serious.

Again!? Seriously, dog.

I know - not that much for you guys to look at in terms of the painted spaces. There will be more of that to come soon. I promise!

Tegan & Sara and a gorgeous poster

Such wonderful girls! We saw them this weekend at the Molson Amphitheatre. We were right down on the floor thanks to our friends Naomi and Amy and it was SO amazing. I've been a huge fan of Tegan and Sara since living in Australia - they were constant companions through really crappy times and I still love listening to them.

I'd seen the poster for the Tegan and Sara | City and Colour show before and loved it, but was so wonderfully surprised to find it for sale at the show!! Hubs and I immediately bought it - it's going to be the perfect first piece for our living room. The poster is a limited edition print of 250, signed by the artist. Gorgeous, isn't it??

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I love lists.

Seriously, I spend more time making lists than I spend doing the stuff that I actually put on the lists! I have lists for every activity, plan, trip and they're all over the place - in notebooks, on napkins, on excel - colour coordinated, dated. I'm slightly OCD when it comes to lists. But they FEEL so productive!

This weekend Hubs is away for a boys-only camping trip. Lucky. I have spent the last few days painting with my sister, though now she is gone and it's up to me to continue with the momentum!

I thought, since I have this blog, I'll put my list on here and share it with you. Maybe then I'll feel more accountable to actually finishing it!

Done already this weekend:
  • Dining room - painted two coats above chair-rail
  • Dining room - painted one coat on below chair rail
  • Foyer - painted two coats
  • Stair wall - painted two coats up to where we can reach (need really big ladder for the rest)

To do today & tomorrow:
  • Buy paint for dining room
  • Buy a quart of paint for stairwell
  • Paint second coat in dining room below chair rail
  • Dust and wash trim in foyer, dining room, stairway, living room
  • Paint trim
  • Paint living room walls
  • Paint medallions on ceiling in living room
  • Sand and paint banister
  • Spray paint brass hardware on banister black
  • Spray paint remaining towel racks in bathroom black
  • Paint living room light fixtures
  • Cut spruce floor boards to size
  • Patch flooring in master bedroom
  • Tidy kitchen
  • Tidy living room
  • Do laundry
  • Vacuum
  • Have a glass of wine

That should keep me busy.

The paint I am using is Benjamin Moore "Natura" paint, which has been great so far. I will give a full review once this is complete, but the biggest plus so far has been no smell, at all. You can't even tell I've been painting for the last two days because it's zero-voc. Ahhh....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Someone save me from myself

Why on earth I get myself in these situations, I have no idea... and how I get out of them every time is a mystery to me too!!

Here is what has transpired in the last few days, since my last post:

We go to pick up the chaise and it doesn't fit in the car (by 1/2 inch on either side... grrrr). So the next day we rent a pick-up truck. It still ends up being about $40 cheaper than delivery, so sweet deal.

So we pick it up and put it in the room. We don't unpack it b/c we have to get the truck back and get some paint samples (I have the swatch with me)

We spend an hour at Home Depot, (as always) pick out four colour combinations we would like to see downstairs that match the swatch I have with me and get samples of the living room colours from each scheme in little cans so we can see it on the wall.

We get home and unwrap the chaise.

It looks... purple.
Which is strange, because we could have sworn it was a beigey/grey colour in the store.

I switch out all the light bulbs - we still have the original incandescent ones in the living room - to CFLs.

Ahhh.. much better.

We paint four colours on the wall: Decent, Hate it, Don't Like it, Decent-est.

The one we actually liked the most is called Ivory Lace - a warm white. The other colours in this scheme we picked out are a coral colour called Colonial Brick for accents and a dark burgundy/purple for the dining area. We have to work with the chaise that seems to look purple if you put it by some colours and green if you put it by others.

Did I ever tell you that grey is hard to work with??? Because it is.

The latest site I have been using for inspiration is Color-Collective. (When I remember who told me about this, I'll let you know). It's pure genius. Here are some of my favourite colour schemes. Hubs hasn't chimed in on what he thinks just yet.

What do you guys think??  My favourites are the first and last. I do think I will start out with a warm white for the main space and then develop the room based on one of these schemes... slowly, piece by piece.

(Note: the reason we need a new scheme, instead of continuing with this one, is because after my beautiful blue sofa is gone, that scheme will no longer match the furniture... sigh...)

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Secret Garden

Well, almost.

It's more of a not-so-secret warehouse with a ginormous sign.  MR. USED

I'm pretty sure the guy who owns it just makes up prices in his head depending on what he feels like that day.

But, in the end, it is a magical place of wonder and discovery and sometimes fear....

*Disclaimer | If piles of junk, cluttered hallways and dirty used furniture gives you the creeps (Dar & Amy), I will forgive you for not looking at the pictures in this post.

There were a couple chairs....

Hmm... um.... no thanks

Love it. Want it.  $125 - not bad at all.

The type of barstools I want for the outdoor bar.


A golden flying bicycle!! I want it.  $140 - decent (if it works)

We made some friends....

Hubs! Too far.

Yeah, that's right.  That's Julias Caesar.  And a bear.


Sunday, August 15, 2010


Have I ever told you how much I love my husband??

Let me officially introduce you to him.  World, meet Hubs.  Hubs, meet World.

How can anyone refuse that face???

Where is this you ask?  I call it... 'Heaven'

Stay tuned for more!

(Only partly because I'm being a tease, but mainly because I'm already late.  Eee!)

Oh Compromise....

Yes, that word.  I love it and hate it at the same time.  I love it especially when it means I'm going to get something I want and Hubs is compromising.  This, however, was not the case this week.

It is a sad day for my beautiful blue sofa - it will have to find a new home.  I know, I am sad, too.  The truth is, it's not the most.... 'manly' sofa ever, and perhaps Hubs was just being nice when he said it's fine.   This is both our home, and I want him to feel just as much a factor in its out-fitting as I am.

Lately, it has been pretty stressful.  The sanding has come to a screeching, smelling, slightly burning halt.   This is what the upstairs still looks like.

I know, very little progress.  We have found that it is more than we can handle - especially given we both have full-time jobs.  If I were at home, I could definitely do it, but as awesome/stubborn as I am, it's too much for us right now.

Because of the state of the upstairs, this is the state of the downstairs:

Yes, we are still on the living room floor, two months into the renovations, our clothes are in crates and our patience wears every day.

So I called a guy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


My sister's knight in shining armour, has thrown some charm my way and for my birthday bought me the and .org domains!  Very exciting, indeed.  Thanks Ryan!!

Now, all I have to do is get that hubby of mine to build me a bonafide site.....  I think the vegetarian is going to have to make a trek to a local organic farm and get him some steak.  That oughta do it.

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