May, 2012

Guest cottage – painting the ceiling

May 26th, 2012


Another Thursday and we’re crossing a lot of the big ones off of our “to-do list”. This time around we had to rent a paint sprayer and paint the entire wood ceiling (although nice, the back cottage tends toward dark and dank).  We didn’t know whether or not we needed to use primer so we purchased 10 gallons of the 2 in 1 paint and primer in an egg shell cloud white. The same paint we used on the water front cottage, and even the store.

You may remember that last time around we rented the sprayer but got freaked out because the ceilings were too high so we ended up having to hire someone. Glad this time we were able to do it ourselves! Also, here’s a flashback to when we first took down the old drop ceiling!

Outfitted with white painter hats, goggles, and face masks we started painting in the corner room to perfect our painting method before moving into the living room.


We were really motivated to get the painting done in one day, so we really hustled. The amount of over spray is pretty incredible so covering all of the floor surfaces in the living room was essential.


The fireplace was pretty terrifying to paint but in the end I think it looks really clean and bright.



This is definitely inspired by the white plastered fireplaces that Alvar Aalto made, and although we only painted the surface it still has the same effect. When all of the tape is gone exposing the old wood shelf, and the brass and copper fireplace the contrast is going to look really nice. You’ll have to wait until next week to see that!


Here is the porch room – so much brighter! We discovered that the floor in here was already painted white but it’ll get a fresh coat next week.


LCBO paper bags protecting the old copper sconces from paint.



The original doors in the cottage were off limits for painting, but these french doors actually look quite appropriate with the pale floors and white ceiling.


You might not have noticed in the old photographs but some of the beams were made of different pieces of wood (added as extra reinforcement against snow way back when the snow was so deep it reached the eaves) so now that they have all been white washed the ceiling looks cohesive and you can appreciate the architecture even more.

Next week our friend Dan from Hindsvik is supposed to come up with us to do one last push to get this cottage in order before furnishing it, so stay tuned for some bromance next week.


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Guest Cottage – Successful sanding

May 20th, 2012


I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. Our weekend started Thursday morning when we took off to the cottage for two days, unfortunately we had to come back to work for the weekend. This time we rented the correct sanders and spent day one working on the floors, finally getting them completely flat.


Success at last! We haven’t finished the floors yet, but we’re going to do that this week.


It’s so nice to see the lines of the floors continue all the wall down the hallway into the kitchen.


We took down the large cupboard on the left of the window that was actually installed to hide the electrical panel. It was sticking out much too far, and making the kitchen feel cramped. I think I’ll make a little shallow box with hinges to hide the panel.

We also brought up the ceramic sink and white faucet from our old apartment, and making another plywood counter to install in this kitchen. Plywood is really easy to work with because you don’t need to laminate any of the wood as with most solid wood counter-tops. I have to admit, plywood isn’t the most durable material for a counter-top but if you add enough lacquer it holds up in a space that is used part time.



Just to get crazy before I left, I took down the old 70s office drop ceiling. I just whacked the metal hangers with a crowbar. Thinking back to it I’m happy I didn’t injure myself during the swinging. I did accidentally destroy a wall sconce, but thankfully those were going to be replaced anyways.


We decided to leave the exposed ceilings, they look so cool and add height to the small bedrooms. If down the road we want to make it more private I can always add a ceiling.


I had to end with this photo because I can already hear cries in the internet world after we paint the ceiling and fireplace white. To be honest I do sometimes consider keeping the wood ceilings as is, but all I have to do is go into the main cottage and see how clean and bright everything looks in white. From the photos I took you can’t really see the amount of water damage of the wood ceiling, nor can you appreciate the heavy feeling you get when you have a dark wood over head with light floors and white walls. It just feels unbalanced. Also, there aren’t many windows in this cottage so natural light is limited – the white will help to amp it up.

This week is going to be a good one if we can get most of the painting finished!

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Guest cottage – sanding disaster

May 15th, 2012


We never got around to doing our cottage update, simply because we didn’t have the most successful day renovating. We started by renting a couple of sanders to refinish the original stained pine floors. Unfortunately we listened to the advice of the Home Depot employee and took these ridiculously useless sanders, which acted more like vacuum cleaners with sand paper attached to the bottom.


The sanders might have done a decent job if the floors we perfectly even, but after 70 years of wear the floors were cupping. Basically meaning we would have to sand down the raised edges in order to get the grime in the middle of the board. There is a specific sander for this specific job, a drum sander which is the one I originally wanted.


You can really see the difference here.


So this Thursday we’re up again, but this time with drum sanders. The amount of work is pretty intense, so we might end up painting the bedroom floors white. The floors for the most part will be covered with beds and rag rugs so why make more work than necessary?



This week the whole family is going up to the cottage to enjoy the nice weather. I hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend!

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CONTACT 2012: Per Kristiansen, Piles

May 9th, 2012

On Saturday we hosted photography Per Kristiansen at our shop for the opening of his show “Piles”. This is the second time we had the pleasure to host Per’s work for contact, you might be familiar with the show we did two years ago.

The show is on until the end of May, so please drop by the store to see it in person!



We had a live jazz band for the event, which did crazy jazzy versions of Deep Purple and AC DC.


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Per Kristiansen, Piles

May 5th, 2012

per kristiansen piles

Tonight! Opening party for Per Kristiansen’s Piles, a part of the CONTACT Photography Festival. Per installed the show last night and it looks fantastic in the showroom. There will be opening parties going on throughout the Junction.

Public: 6pm-9pm
Private: 9pm-12am

2959 Dundas Street West

It’s going to be a good time! Please RSVP if you think you will attend.

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Guest cottage renovation, week two

May 4th, 2012


Yesterday was our second trip to the cottage for more interior renovations. We removed all of the old linoleum and carpeting and spent most of the day on our hands and knees removing hundreds of nails. When I woke up this morning I could feel my knees buckle.


I assume people put layers upon layers of flooring over these pine floors in an attempt to keep the place warm in the winter, I just don’t understand why someone would go trigger happy with a nail gun to keep the linoleum in place.


This is about a quarter of one room finished.


You can start to see potential for some beautiful grain, next week we’re going to rent a belt sander to get rid of this excess gunk on the floor.


We got a bit excited and starting working on removing the kitchen tiles, something we weren’t sure if we wanted to remove.


It was by brute force the flooring was removed and by far the least enjoyable job we have done since starting. Not only did we have to remove the ceramic tiles, we also had to remove a layer of linoleum which was nailed to a sheet of plywood which was nailed to the floor with a million nails.


Originally I was considering putting in a whole new kitchen, specifically a free standing kitchen to make it less formal and more of a working cottage kitchen with open shelves, and racks for hanging pots and pans. After taking some measurements and mentally placing the kitchen I had in mind I realized my vision just wasn’t going to work. The space was too cramped.

The white kitchen cabinets already in the space are non-offensive, and even though I might have laid out the kitchen differently, the amount of closed cupboard space is very generous. The decision is to replace the tired blue counter-tops with wood and install the white ceramic sink from our old apartment. We’ve already done some updating by replacing the colourful fish hardware with nice simple black and white knobs from IKEA.


Still lots of work to do, we need to replace the office style drop ceiling with pine slats.


Here is that sun room again which we are going to paint the floors white to differentiate from the rest of the cottage. I guess someone else had the same idea because when we lifted up the floor we discovered it had already been painted. Hopefully with a good mop job, we might only have to add a top coat of white porch paint to clean it up.

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