May, 2009

Cottage Reno: Flooring Part Deux

May 13th, 2009


My life of leisure has done me no favors when it comes to manual labor. On Monday John and I went up north to start taking apart our flooring. Oh, didn’t we tell you? Last week we were up there and decided to take up the linoleum in preparation for our reclaimed wood flooring, only to discover perfectly amazing hardwood flooring beneath layers of the 1950s through 1970s.


John is the most amazing trooper. He manhandled this crazy multi-layered floor (above) with minimal complaints (unlike me and my somewhat frightening spazz out on the Shopvac yesterday). The kitchen floor had tile, then at least two layers of linoleum, PLUS tar paper, burlap, massive sheets of 1/4″ thick plywood and probably asbestos. Oh and about one zillion nails.

So all too suddenly, we have hardwood flooring!  Problem is, we already put down a deposit for flooring at The Timeless Materials Co., and well, somewhere on that receipt is the fine print: All Sales Final. Insert big lesson here. At the time, we were somehow convinced that under all that linoleum was a whole lotta nothing so we impulsively went for it, because really, that white washed floor was super cool (and now totally available for someone to snatch it up. Snatch it up people!). Now we are at a loss. On one hand, we no longer have to install flooring (yay!), on the other, we’re out a pretty penny. Timeless has been nice enough to work with us to either return a portion of our deposit, or else make it into a store credit. Although it would have been amazing to magically get the money back, that is not the nature of deposits so we’re trying to figure out how we can best use it up (paint, cedar slats).


You know the term “back breaking work”? I now know the full meaning of it. While John crowbarred the old floor up, I dutifully followed him around the room, pulling up every single nail. This took 6 hours. By the time we left for the night, I was walking like a newbie cowboy. But you know what? It was so worth it: Read the rest of this entry »

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Affordable Art: Value Village

May 12th, 2009

So far I’ve talked about two affordable art options: The Framework Timeraiser, where you bid on art with volunteer time, and sculptural art–from repurposed objects to travel finds.

Of course, one of the simplest ways to buy art on a dime is from Value Village.


This was my first ever piece of wall art from Value Village, purchase at the exact same time as when I looked like this:


Please, no laughing at the photo. It was the late 90s. Very weird that the artwork looked exactly like me. Even though the short red hair is now back to long and blonde, and I am no longer wearing cheap red leopard print shirts (which was from TopShop, I’ll have you know – and which I have seen recently making a comeback at H & M), this remains one of my favourites.


Everything on this gallery wall is from Value Village, except the picture of the house, which was done either by my grandma or my great uncle.


I love love love these horse prints – Dancer’s Image and Forward Pass.


If you’re not into people, there’s always florals, and lot’s of em.


You can also find some amazing art for kid’s rooms.

Just remember, if you see something you like, you have to snatch it up, because recently we spaced out on an amazing portrait and it was of course long gone by the time we realized.

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Cottage Wish list: Norwegian Cottage

May 11th, 2009

I am pretty obsessed with the Norwegian Cottage aesthetic. Dark wooden exteriors, traditional sod roofs, and warm pine paneling in their interiors. When making decisions for the design of our cottage, I looked to Norwegian cottages for inspiration. A lot of the decisions we’ve made on the general aesthetic of the cottage is heavily influenced by the research (obsession) of Norwegian architect Wenche Selmer (check out the book Norwegian Wood)


from Jurek D.’s Flickr



2nd & 3rd photos of cabin by architect: Wenche Selmer

These cabins look completely natural in their setting, inspired by their surroundings becoming a part of the terrain, not interrupting it.



Norwegian Interiors above: unfinished pine paneling, oak furniture, & oh yea, Poul Henningsen light fixtures!

I really would love to add a green roof to the Cottage. The exterior needs a complete re-do: Get rid of that awful vinyl siding, refinish the wood, and add a green roof.

Easy Peasy?

– John

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May 8th, 2009

As we were driving to the Niagara Region today, we realized we didn’t do a Friday post. I guess we’re taking a much needed long weekend! We did a bit of thrifting along the way but it seems our luck ran out (for now), which is probably a good thing.

Have a great weekend!


ps. John just bought these fab blue mobler chairs for the cottage!

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Thrifting Finds!

May 7th, 2009

Some recent thrifting finds to inspire.

Thrifting trip #1:


Jens Quistgaard candle holder – I was about midway through my visit and it was a first find that would dictate the colour scheme of my thrifting trip for the day.


A few minute after bemoaning about how I never find these cool vintage clock/radios, I found this cool “Juliette” flip clock. Sadly the flips flip no more (anyone know how to fix that?) but the radio still works.


This lamp needs rewiring but I thought to myself, how hard could it be, really. I could see this lamp looking good at the cottage since it’s taking on a white, black, red and blue scheme.

Trip #2 & 3 all mixed up:


Wow, an unused Le Creuset! We were shocked to see a little out-of-place “Made in China” (ed. Made in Thailand) sticker on the bottom. I thought these were made in France, which is so disappointing because what’s the point of paying a ton of money for a brand who farms out to China? I’ll remember that the next time I am looking at Le Creuset at Williams-Sonoma (not that I ever do that, but if I were to). But it’s otherwise in perfect condition and will look nice at the cottage.


6-piece made in Japan steak knife set. The handles are sparkly.


More Kathie Winkle please.


A little German serving container that looks like a bird. I think we’ll reserve you for maple syrup.


A pretty little copper (ed. enamel?) plate from Quebec (?). Holly from Twice Found sells decorative plates like these.


My parents had a bird sculpture from Hoselton Canada. Your parents probably did too.


And it probably looked like this. Anyhoo, the one we got is apparently a crane.


Graphic trivet from Japan.


Fred Press bowl (background)…


…and I got this Fred Press cheese tray the other day for $1.00 at the Midland Salvation Army! I so want to have a wine & cheese party soon.

One last piece:


Our friend Aprile stumbled across the matching container to our Japanese cutlery set (the coating on the base is not like the coating that was on the cutlery). We seem to be acquiring quite the mustard yellow collection.

I am going through an addictive thrifting phase right now…heh…

– Juli –

Photos by Juli Daoust

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Cottage reno: Side project!

May 6th, 2009


We are very fortunate that the cottage property my parents bought back in 70s has both a main and guest cottage. Over the years, however, the guest cottage has had some hodge podgy additions and changes that have made it very uncozy, uncottagey and cold (in the emotional sense of the word). In recent years, my dad added carpet everywhere and a new Home Depot kitchen and bathroom, definitely done on the cheap and lacking character.

When my parents first bought the cottages, the rooms all shared a common roof. In an effort to provide some privacy in the bedrooms, and to combat the cooler weather, they installed ceiling tiles. These have been there all my life and although I disliked them I never really considered what was above them, until recently. We have been talking about removing the living room tiles. Yesterday, I finally poked my head up above…to a heavenly sight! Read the rest of this entry »

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