Home DIY – The Guest Room

We are making our way through the few projects we knew we wanted to tackle on our new home from Day 1. I’m happy to report another one is finished… our guest bedroom has been completely refreshed – and just in time for my mom to visit for the weekend.

Here are some of the before photos of the space… be glad we don’t yet have smell-o-vision so you aren’t subjected to the cat hair fumes coming out of that old purple/burgundy carpet!

Other than the carpet it isn’t terribly offensive, but it wasn’t really our style with the light purple walls. And there was a lot of stuff in a little space… which it seems even the previous previous owners had too:865266_14

So first things first, we got rid of the carpet. There was asbestos in the tiles below so we had this professionally, safely done, but then tackled the rest ourselves – from a fresh coat of paint to new laminate floors. A custom-made trunk my grandfather made for me many years ago fits perfectly in the small bump-out and leaves plenty of room for the bed and nightstand.

A perfect pillow from HomeSense confirmed our light grey paint on the walls and inspired Brent to unroll some Black Keys posters hiding in a closet and put them up on display.
  P.S. Don’t look in the closet – still under construction!


Open shelves – before

I’m about to depart on a vacation so not exactly the time to start a new creativity project, but I know what will be on my list to tackle when I return….

One of my hesitations with our new home and new kitchen was the open shelving. It’s not something I am used to, but I know it is on trend right now and I’m willing to try it out. Our kitchen does not have any above counter closed shelving, just the two open shelves pictured below.

I have attempted to use some basic design ideas to set them up for the time being, but am faced with a few challenges:

  1. Without having any above counter closed shelving we do have a lot of dishes, supplies to keep close at hand
  2. We need to decide on “places” for everything so things always end up back in the same place
  3. It’s hard to explain why I want three bowls on two different shelves instead of all six in one spot. I know it’s not fully logical, but it looks so much better

I am looking forward to reading up a bit more about styling tips and suggestions and learning how to maximize AND stylize this space.

And while we’re at an update… what have I made since my last update? Well I’m not quite sure – I sorted my document and now I’m at a loss. Luckily I can tell a lot of the ones from my Pinterest updates. There may be a few missed hardcopies, but this is still a good list:

Enjoy the rest of your early fall – ciao!

Home tour: The Library

I just did a quick tally – we’ve had 53 nights in our new home now. And 18 of those nights we had a houseguest (or two, or three)! So the fact that we are feeling even slightly settled is pretty awesome and we are sure getting there. I think decorating and organizing a house will be my next big creativity project (not ruling out some small side ideas!).

The room that B and I were probably most excited about is “The Library”. It’s one of the two spaces we painted as soon as we moved in because it was quite a shade of orange! We went with a solid white which makes the space (the smallest of the bedrooms) look much bigger but it does call out for some colour in other ways. Which is why I took the opportunity to try out the rainbow bookshelf idea. I’ve pinned this for years and was never sure if I could get my type-A personality around this type of “order” but now that it’s done I love it! It really pops in the white room and white bookcase.


The problem though is that with a English major and an English minor living in the same home we have A LOT of books. So there is not a lot of styling going on – apart from a bit of styling with books. As we get settled in some of the other rooms maybe some of the books will shift there to make a book more room on the bookcase.

The previous home owners had a small bunk bed built in to this space with the shelf on the side below used as a bookshelf within the bed. It was so cool. But a small bunk bed isn’t really something we were looking for (seriously the top bunk could not have fit anyone over 2′ tall) so we’re not entirely sure what to do with this cubby. Currently it’s our turf charging station/FIFA U-20 WWC shrine.

Remember my sewing class?  Here’s the new home for my bunting! You can see it from the outside window too. Cute!

It’s a start! And I can’t  wait to see this room transform as we get even more settled.

Home for a rest

The last six weeks have been a whirlwind. Closing on our lovely new home, packing and then unpacking all of our belongings and our first visitors. Brent’s mom and grandparents came out to welcome us to our new house (and fill up seven bags of yard waste!!) so we’ve had a busy time. 

But I’m intending to get back on track with blogging very soon. Especially now that we’ve got an office/studio to work from! 


Home is where ever I’m with you

I have been a bad blogger lately, but there is a good reason….

We bought a home!

Time to say goodbye to our fun little condo, but I’m looking forward to having more space and potential projects. All of the time I was spending on pinterest and instagram looking at weddings has been replaced with homes and DIYs. So addictive! I’ll have to add a few new links to my favourite blogs page soon.

I’ve also made some good food over the past few weeks…. Starting With the spiced chickpea wraps with tahini dressing from Thug Kitchen. Their book has some good recipes based on what I’ve tried so far (this one and the smoky maple tofu marinade) and plan to try in the future. The language is amusing at first, but becomes a bit tedious – but that won’t stop me from getting some vegan yum.




And that second one may not look as appetizing, but it was tasting great: tofu chickpea stirfry with tahini sauce from the kitchn. Super tasty!

This week I picked up my friend Shannon’s CSA box while she was out of town and there was a lot of asparagus to use so we had some eggs florentine with asparagus for breakfast this morning. Our CSA box will be starting in the next two weeks and I cannot wait. I’ve also wanted to try it out – lots of fresh local produce – and cooking challenges. Can’t wait!


And the others:

  • Taiwanese cold sesame noodles from Vegetarian Times magazine. Similar to the cold pad thai salad from last time (B preferred), but I preferred this one. I think it was all about the texture. I have had a lot of great veg recipes from VT over the years – I always look forward to reading a new issue.
  • Chickpea Sliders from Take A Megabite. Her pictures are always so cute and the food is good too. I made these full size (and they still stayed together!) and without the adorable pink buns – next time!
  • Pineapple guacamole from Gimme Some Oven. Pineapple makes everything better. And this tasted like summer!
  • Chatelaine shared some unique spins on coleslaw for the summer. I tried the honey-lime one and loved it, especially when I had all of the ingredients already on hand.
  • This one’s been on my list to try for lunches for quite awhile – Almond-flaked tuna salad from Oh She Glows. It was alright, but I much prefer the similar Chickpea version from her cookbook.
  • I wish I’d taken a photo of this Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu from the Minimalist Baker. Not only did it taste delicious, but we scarfed it down between talking to our realtor about selling the condo and having someone knock on our door and want to buy it. So I’d call it Lucky Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu ;D
  • Buy too many tomatoes at Costco? This Skillet Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Croutons from Well Plated by Erin will fix that problem. It was really good. This was my first visit to her blog and I will be back.
  •  Another new-to-me blog, Delightful-Delicious-Delovely, shared this Spicy Vegan Chinese Eggplant recipe that was super-good. Our new place is close to a great smelling Chinese restaurant so this might be a good alternative to have at home when the air smells tasty.