May, 2009

Reno crazy May

May 31st, 2009

In April we started slow with our before & afters, but in May we went full throttle into cottage renovation. We mostly got the demolition done so we have a clean slate for June, starting fresh to build it back up again. The blog was a bit slow, our posting a bit more sporadic. We decided to give ourselves some slack (hopefully you don’t mind) and not put so much pressure on to be like all the rest. Part of finding original content means that there are dry spells. But we think June is going to be super fine.

Thanks to Meera, MADE, Dan & Val for sharing with us, and for the rest of you, for checking in!


Space: Meera Sethi


War, what is it good for?


We want:
Bocci’s 22 series wall outlets


Travel Finds: Japan!


Cottage Reno: Side Project!


Thrifting Finds!


Cottage Wish List:
Norwegian Cottage


Affordable Art: Value Village


Cottage Reno: Flooring


We Want:
Shaker Influenced Furniture!


UpsideDive moves on up!


Store Watch: MADE


Cottage Teaser


Vintage Find: Three legged stools


Thrifting Find: Magazine Rack


Garden, inside and out


Cottage Reno: Demolition Done


Inspirations from a
Swedish Cottage

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Maybe the cottage doesn’t have to be black…

May 29th, 2009


There’s been a lot of talk about black houses, but when I came across this beautiful clean white modern home from an online article called “Lowest utility bill on the block” from the Dwell website, I just had to share it with you!

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Inspirations from a Swedish cottage

May 28th, 2009


I’ve had it! We’ve got to get rid of all that terrible vinyl siding that’s suffocating the cottage. These beautiful photos of a Swedish cottage built by PS Arkitektur may just be the inspiration we need to get thinking about the exterior of our little cottage.


So black might not be the most beachy colour, but it’s very striking against the snow.


We had already decided to order metal lettering like this except in a bright red, but seeing it here in white may change our minds.

More pictures of the interior of the Cottage after the jump
Read the rest of this entry »

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Cottage Reno: Demolition Done (we think)

May 27th, 2009


We just spent the last two days at the cottage, hoping we’d be sanding and priming the floor but discovering that once you start demolishing, you seemingly never stop. You may recall John waving the white flag on the ceiling. We called in a pinch hitter, local contractor Steve Marsh, to help us out with taking down the rest of the ceiling and to put up some fresh drywall in the living room (this time with vapor barrier!). Steve has been amazing so far – a hard worker that always has a smile on his face. If we don’t make him hate us too much from this job, I would definitely call him back for more jobs down the road.

I rented a floor sander with optimism on Monday (about $45/day from Home Depot), and we got a bit done in the bedrooms, but overall it was definitely another two days of demolition. The ceiling took 1.5 days, the drywall removal, which was half done already, took a few hours, the ceiling in the bedroom took a good 45 minutes and the shower removal also took about half an hour. And then there is the debris removal. THE most tedious job, especially when the junk pile in your driveway is starting to resemble a wall. A very long and tall wall. It was mosly the styrofoam that came from the ceiling, 2 or 3 layers thick. We balked at the amount of waste this project is producing, and lamented at the fact that in the process of making something more green and healthy, you have to throw a lot of stuff out.


This is the ceiling, now that all the tiles have been removed. The cedar is not as gorgeous as the cedar in the guest cottage, but it’s much warmer and cottagey than the old white boards that were up there. Plus we discovered a lovely carpenters ant colony and more mousy hiding spaces. All in all a good decision (although when we woke up this morning we were frozen so there is something to be said about adding insulation…heh heh).


Steve putting up some fresh drywall. We hemmed and hawed over putting up drywall or leaving the wood exposed (very nice) but figured we didn’t want too much wind whistling through the space. Plus we need to break the wood ceiling and the floor up a bit.


John looking a little like (a male) Alice in Wonderland. The bedroom is really not THAT small. Oh and see that ugly electrical panel box in the background. That is going to be a weekend project, sometime down the road we’re going to box it in with wood slats, or something to that effect.


Partially sanded (the lighter portion). Weird, those dark marks in the shape of THE cross…just noticed that. If only it was the face of Mary, we could pay off the reno with that kind of money.


Another shot of the difference sanding makes – we thought it would go a lot quicker but the floor boards are not completely flat. We’d have to rent a more intense floor sander in order to get ALL the boards looking like this:


(I just realized the colouring is off on this photo – it should be more golden like the pic above). Those black marks are tar or something, from the tar paper that was under the linoleum. Anyway, we are definitely painting out the floors in the rest of the cottage white, but we’re debating whether to leave the natural look in the bedrooms. Your take???


Our new bedroom. I grew up in the bedroom next door to this one – one benefit was that it was in the corner, but the shower takes up a good chunk of the room. That room has always been my room – and will serve as a kids room waaaay down the road (though we are preparing early by outfitting it with two single beds, mostly because it provides us with a unique challenge). This room has always been a guest room but honestly I think it’s the biggest and easiest to work with room because it only has one window. After this photo was taken, John tore down the wall that is on the right side of the photo, because he realized that since we are doing a tongue and groove slat wall on the other side, and a tongue and groove wall inside the bedroom to serve as a giant headboard feature, why not save time, energy and money and just make one that can be seen on both sides. He’s such a smarty. More rubbish removal for me. And as for the ceiling, we were going to get a bunch of wood to make the roof, but we may just paint the chip board and call it a day.

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Garden, inside and out

May 25th, 2009


Last summer we wanted a little herb garden–veggies are way too ambitious, and the local wildlife would be sure to obliterate all effort anyway. We picked up an antique bathtub at the Christie Antique Market (a sure sign that we’re in Canada is the sheer number of people who assumed we were going to use it for beer storage) and had an amazing crop of basil, lettuce, oregano and rosemary all summer long (sadly the tomatoes grew to ripeness and were mysteriously stolen in the night). This season we are way slow at picking up organic herbs and every time I go to Grassroots they are sold out. So in the interest of Kitka, I picked up a few non-organic (boo) herbs from the local convenience store to get the season under way.


T’was slim pickings Sunday evening, with only two basil plants and one oregano. Oh well, it’s a start!


Inside I decided to plant some cat grass for the kikis in some very small ceramic planters that John’s mom gave us ages ago. The one above is Beauceware (no crop yet), the one below is an American piece.


Isha is feigning interest, but has yet to consume any of the grass. Grover mowed down on it at first but hasn’t revisited since in my presence. I try.

Speaking of gardens reminds me that it’s summer. And with summer comes sporadic posting. We’re here, there and everywhere and we’re going to try our best to post Monday to Friday, but if we miss a day here and there, it’s only because we don’t have anything new to report, and we hate to just write something to fill the space.

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Thrifting Find! Magazine Rack

May 21st, 2009


Months ago we were coveting a magazine rack on ebay but it was set at the ridiculous price of $350 so we obviously had to let it go. The store was giving it a loose attribution to a french modern designer, but we couldn’t find any information to back it up. The only other image of it was in a midcentury modern book that we have, but even there they make no mention of where it’s from.


Sometimes things are meant to be and I guess if you wait long enough, they pop up in random places for $24! No brainer.

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