Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My DIY Project Inspired by Donna

Blog reading and writing is a favorite passion and past time of mine. I love to see what inspires other people. Depending on my work schedule and home life sometimes I don't have enough time to surf daily and at times a week or more can go by without reading or posting. However, after being away from it for any amount of time I find myself spending hours surfing through dozens of blogging sites. It almost becomes an obsession.

A couple of weeks ago I was catching up on my blog reading. Among the many blogs I read regularly is Donna's over at www.dh-designs.blogspot.com This creative gal is always making something over to suit her taste. The blog I was reading that night was on one of her upcoming projects Painted Furniture.

Inspired by Donna I decided to whip out some paint and try my own DIY project. This post has been sitting in my edit box for a couple of weeks now (since November 26) ... yes... Donna I procastinate too :) At any given moment I have around a dozen unfinished posts sitting in my edit box.

Today I was reading her blog and she nominated me and 6 other very creative bloggers for the "Kreativ Blogger" Award. Thank you so much and yes PEI is a beautiful place to live and work. To receive your nomination in full one must reveal 7 things about themselves you didn't know about them but as an early Christmas gift she is letting us all off the hook.

This is an exerpt from her post:

I know that the rules are that I should pass this award on to 7 creative bloggers who will then tell all about their 7 things, but given the busy time of year we are in, I’m going to pass on this. Instead, I’m just going to list 7 bloggers who inspire me with their creativity – no strings attached. My gift to you!

Susan on Design from my favourite Canadian province
Just Blue and Green who inspires me with two of my favourite colours
Bright, Bold and Beautiful for amazing watercolours
Decorno for the truth and the cool name
At Home in Ottawa for some hometown props
Absolutely Beautiful Things for..well..absolutely beautiful things
missbinnyc for beautiful pictures of my favourite city

So Donna, here is what you inspired me to do...

I started with two white frames that come already matted that we sell at the shop. After my renovation I wanted to hang them in my house and felt a dark frames would have more impact.

I found some black paint and a brush in the warehouse at the shop, Moving Designz Home & Cottage. Usually I get people to do these things for me but I thought I can do this...

It took 1 coat of primer , 2 coats of black paint and 2 nights. I let the paint dry really good.
Note I used 4 old plates to set my frames on... thank you unbreakable Corelle :) and the funny thing all the paint washed right off.

I slipped a favorite photo of my boys into this frame. I took this picture of my sons playing in the PEI surf a couple of years ago.

Project complete. Both frames are now hanging on my livingroom wall and I love how they look. Although I think I might like to add one more.

Thank you Donna and all the creative bloggers who continue to inspire and amuse me with their pictures, ideas, writing and projects. I may even do the 7 things task over the weekend.

Have a great week! Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday's Field Trip

For this weeks post I thought I would post a photo field trip at our project on Friday. This really is the fun part of our jobs, when we get to go in and finish off spaces.

Our clients have been undergoing a series of cosmetic renovations and updates to their lovely home over the past year. They wanted to family room to be comfortable, welcoming and work with their new kitchen. On Friday Ashley and myself were on the job to install drapery, hang artwork and accessorize their family room. The family room and kitchen are combined in one very long and narrow space.

This is the before picture from my visit a couple of months ago. At this time it was decided that we were going to go with smaller scale furniture to make the space feel larger, new wall colours, artwork and window treatments. Up until this point they used a table (as seen) and 4 chairs for eating just beyond the island. This arrangement while practical ate up alot of floor space.

This is Friday morning just after Ashley and I arrived. A blank slate though pretty messy for the moment. She is the one seen struggling with the drapery hardware packaging. As you can see we had our hands full to whip this space into calm area for the weekend.

Fast forward 4 hours later and the room was looking pretty good.

Once again from another angle the view prior to painting the cabinet and replacing the window treatments and furniture.

The same view with the new furnishings, window treatments and artwork in place. We'll be adding the other end table, lamp and an extra chair shortly. We needed to make sure the table and lamp worked in the space, which they do beautifully :)

Next up the kitchen, this is at the other end of the room. At this point the kitchen has received a fresh new coat of paint. The kitchen is very pretty to begin with, just needing some updates.
Imagine how it's going to look with new quartz countertops, a new marble backsplash, a new lightbox with 4 crystal pendants, a new sink, a new faucet, new door hardware, a new roman blind and extending the island to 10'.
We had just enough time to begin accessorizing the hutch cabinets before we called it a day. I can't wait to share the after pictures with you. This is going to be a fantastic kitchen. The installation of the countertops and backsplash are scheduled for installation Dec 22... fingers crossed.
Another little project we did Friday was to decorate the mantle for Christmas. This is such a beautiful room...you may recognize this room from a post earlier this summer. I am still sourcing an area rug for this room and thinking of a thick white sheepskin style. What do you think? Myself and my clients found that the other rugs we tried seemed to make the space feel smaller.

This entire house has been redecorated by Moving Designz over the past year and once the kitchen is completed we have just one room left... the master bathroom. I will be posting the after images in the new year with clients permission.
Have a great week! Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kate and Gordie's House

For todays post I thought I would share one of our current projects at Moving Designz. This is a beautiful large new build project.

We've been involved with the homeowners, mostly I work with Kate, since early summer planning for the project. Kate has fantastic taste and we are so on the same design wavelength. We're about a month away from completion. We were hoping they would be in before Christmas but sadly that is not going to happen. However Kate and her husband should be in early in the new year.

The house is situated on a beautiful waterfront property overlooking Charlottetown harbour. It has the most stunning water views from the huge windows along the entire backside of the home.

The house was designed by a local draftsman and shortly after we became involved... tweaking the functional layout, designing the lighting plan, choosing surface materials and working on kitchen layout. After all those stages which I call the "uglies" we moved on to choosing furnishings to complement the homeowners taste. The style we are going for is warm modern contemporary mixed with classic elements.

In this picture all the main framing is done and the windows are installed. On this particular day, in late October, we were working on the electrical layout and checking out the interior surface finishes on site.

This past Friday the great room looked like this. Now that all the drywall and seamfilling is complete it's looking alot more like a house. The fireplace is also now installed and most of the trim is complete except the baseboards which will go on once the flooring is installed. Although the firebox looks like a big square it is actually long and linear ... more on this below. To the left of the fireplace in the nook will be built-ins.

This angle illustrates the amazing waterfront view as you enter the home. And as you can see it is open concept and has very little wall space. Who needs art when you have this view 365 days a year?

This is the colour palette for the main floor furnishings and to some degree the surface finishes. From right to left, creamy off white for the sofa and chairs. A lovely print and two very soft blue and cream fabrics for the toss cushions. A brown textural fabric with tiny cream dots for the chair toss cushions. And for the cubes, chocolate with blue circles.

The hardwood flooring will be a deep espresso bamboo. It is due to be installed later this week.
The main seating arrangement is a large sectional very similar to this one which will be upholstered in soft cream fabric just like this image. BTW this room is by Kelly Hoppen one of my favorite designers. I love her aestetic!
The chairs will be upholstered in the same off white fabric as the sofa and will have 2 small back pillows in the brown fabric with the little cream dots.
Two of these cubes will complete the seating arrangement. The fabric on these is the dark brown will the little blue circles.
This is the cocktail table. Very low and sleek, a combination of deep espresso and brown laquer. The coolest thing about this table other than its good looks, is how its pieces swivel and opens up which allows the piece to grow. See below.
Isn't it the coolest?

The fireplace wall tile is somewhat similar to this image being flat to the wall. However the stone is pale creams and pale browns.

The fireplace unit is long and sleek like this one with crystals as opposed to logs or stones.

A huge part of the great room will be the gourmet kitchen. This is how it looked in October.
On Friday this is how the kitchen area was looking. Still pretty empty as the white cabinets are being custom built off site. This very large kitchen will feature stainless steel appliances with a counter depth princess door style fridge and built in wall ovens. In fact, most of the cabinetry in this kitchen is ceiling to floor with glass doors and/or shaker style door panels.
The countertops are this Caesarstone in a white colour which resembles marble.
Pale blue glass subway tiles for the backsplash. Though not exactly this colour they are a little more greyish blue.
The kitchen will feature not one but two islands. The central island is the prep and work area while the outer island is for entertaining. This is the style of pendant lighting that will hang over both of them. Two larger ones for the center island and 4 smaller pendants for the outer island.
These are the bar stools for the outer eating and entertaining island. This island will be wood stained in a deep espresso finish.

We're still searching for the perfect table and chairs for the eating nook. I think I found them today. We're looking at a large charcoal stained bamboo table with seating for 8 to be paired up with sleek white and chrome chairs. I'll post more images as we progress further. Thank you Kate for allowing me to blog on your new home :)
In the next few posts I will cover another large renovation and decorating project currently underway in Charlottetown. This large historic house is being converted from three chopped up and dated apartments to a 5 suite boutique style Bed & Breakfast. We're still in the construction phases but big changes are now underway.
Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Snow on PEI

So far this fall we've dodged the bullet until today. I woke up this morning to our first snowfall. Everything is covered in a fresh layer of snow and all of a sudden it feels more like Christmas time. So for todays post I have some images of the interior of Moving Designz Home & Cottage from last week. The shop girls, Anita and Ashley have done a fantastic job of setting up the store with beautiful holiday displays.

I'd like to thank everyone for their kind comments on our new tv ad. And yes, the voice is mine. Also as one reader pointed out, Saturday was actually Dec 05 and not Dec 07. We drew for the cover late yesterday afternoon and the winner for the Christmas cushion cover is Maria Killam of www.colourmehappyblog.blogspot.com . Congrats Maria! Maria also has a fantastic website filled with beautiful images of her design work. www.mariakillam.com

As for the progress on my house... I've got it pretty much back together. I still have a long to do list including hanging artwork but things are slowly coming together. I have the drapery panels hung up in the livingroom but not the diningroom. The drapes for the diningroom were not ready in time for this picture.

This is the lovely display as you enter the store to the right.

Ashley made this JOY plaque using individual letter we sell in the store, a large red felt snowflake, and foamcore covered in black fabric. Well done Ash!

In this area of the store we combined red and chocolate brown with the jewel tones of teal. It is very pretty.

I love this wire bowl filled with faux pomogranites. In fact I think we sold the last one on Friday.

The bed is dressing in white, pale blue and red. I never thought I would put these colours together but they actually work together when paired with the chocolate upholstered headboard.

A new addition to our artwork are these large DIY frames. They come in various sizes with either a white or black frame and white matting.

We all love these white ceramic penguins.

One of my favorite decorating ideas is placing Christmas themed vingettes in clear glass vessels. The white filler in the vase with the red cardinal is actually epsom salts.

Thanks for reading. Have a great week!

Monday, November 30, 2009

We're on TV... well Kind of...

I didn't get my house altogether this last weekend like I had hoped so I won't have any after pictures until next weekend. Why?

I had a set back with my drapery panels. I took my drapes into the cleaners to get freshed up and when they came back last week they had shrunk 5". Apparently instead of dry cleaning them they accidentally laundered them. So right now they are letting down the hemlines so they will once again fall at 96". I find my windows naked without them even though I have pleated shades underneath the rooms still seem so unfinished without them.

Hopefully when I get them back, fingers crossed, they will be just like new. Luckily most drapery panels have 10" in the 2 bottom folds which can be let down in case of emergency :)

We had an ad produced for tv over the past few weeks so I thought.. why not share it with my blog readers?

Send me your comments this week on our ad and one lucky reader will receive this lovely Christmas cushion cover from Moving Designz Home & Cottage. Isn't it so pretty? We'll draw for it on Saturday Dec 7.

Thanks for reading. Have a great week!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

My New Obsession

I remember watching an episode of Design Inc with Sarah Richardson in which she confesses that one of her guilty obsessions is vacuuming. This was during the wrap up phase of one the projects when they were all in a cleaning frenzy.

And while I'm in no way comparing myself to Sarah... this last week I could hardly wait to get home every night to vacuum. As I said to Anita and Ashley I think I've lost my sanity. By now you are wondering why would she be so keen to vacuum.

These past couple of weeks I have been the one who has been living through renovations, normally thats my clients job. I had new hardwood flooring layed at my house this past week. I also have to mention that the cases of hardwood have been stacked in my kitchen and stairway landing since May. Just like the carpenter whose house always comes last so in fact did mine.

I've had closets ripped out and found myself peeling 10 layers of wallpaper from the inside of these old gems before going to work in the morning. This is in preparation for the seam filling. My house is about 100 years old and the interior of the upper closets with the shelving had never been touched.

This is the rental beast I used to do the clean up. It's a standard shopvac with tons of sucking power. Perfect for getting rid of the sawdust which managed to cover everything in its path. Prior to beginning the renovations all of my furniture was moved into a rental container parked in my driveway. Since the entire main floor was being restored it only made sense to get everything out.

This is my vacuum which inconveniently kicked the bucket on day 1. However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the shopvac is the way to go.

This is a picture I took on day 2 of the flooring installation when they had just finished laying all new subfloor to level all the surfaces. On day 1 the old light maple hardwood, that had seen better days, was removed.

By the end of day 3 all of the flooring was complete and on the morning of day 4 in came my sofa and area rug. The new flooring is a rich medium brown in a 2 1/2" plank width. I felt this wood was very much in keeping with the age and style of the house. It's actually called Ash Cappucino and has a rich grain to it. I can't even tell you how happy I am to have the new floors, they look so beautiful.

This is my diningroom after the install. On Thursday and Friday all the main floor walls and trims were freshened up with a new coat of paint. The painters I use sand after the first coat of paint so the shopvac was in use every single day. I was also able to slowly start bringing the larger pieces of furniture back in to the house.
This weekend all of the furniture is back in and I am slowly putting things back together. I actually got to sleep in my own bed last night. Yesterday and today the carpenter has been here cutting down the doors and rehanging them. He also hung up the flat screen tv and today is working on putting the quarter round trim on the bottom of the baseboards expansion gaps.
I will post pictures of all the completed rooms in next weekends post. I have ordered quartz countertops for the kitchen. I am hoping to have them installed by Christmas. That would be a nice way to end the year and the renovations.
Thanks for reading. Have a great week!