home is where the couch is

our first house. her big plans. his hard work.

5:08 PM

Pushing forward

Posted by Terri |

We've been trying to push ourselves to get this back addition done by Christmas. So we've been doing lots of stuff and I'm way too lazy to write about it all, so here's some photos. And they're not even nice photos cause my camera decided it's had enough, so you're stuck with photos from my ipod. :-D

All the tiny pieces of shim the Man cut to level the floor

From 2 inches down to 5/32

We marked every foot on every shim and levelled using the little shims

Then the Man cut strips of wood that were the proper heights and leveled the Entire. Floor.

Building the fireplace surround

Had to figure out how to do that with an angled ceiling

Almost all drywalled

Our piece of stone hearth we found on kijiji for 20 bucks.

Built the fireplace base

Socks enjoying the fireplace hearth

Put up all the window trim, filled in the holes, caulked and painted

This is what one side of the french doors looked like

And this was the other side. With a little writing from a previous owners kid. It's supposed to say Happy Day from Gabby.

Primed one

Painted one

Superior flooring. Black Walnut au Natural

The beautifully leveled floor just before the hardwood went down

And after!! Instant gratification. Done in 7 hours.

3:15 PM

Coffee Table and Crooked Floor

Posted by Terri |

The Man is currently in the hoarder dining room, searching for a cord that may or may not be in a box, all the while cleaning the box out. He's coming into the back room every few minutes to show me something he's found or ask if I want to keep something. I've told him to just make one of the boxes for me and toss all my crap in there but, oh, here he comes again to show me something else...silly guy.

I'm sitting on my butt avoiding what must be done. The shimming of the floor.

Last week I had some flooring guys in the give me some quotes on the back room floor. I also asked them, hoping and praying that they had some miraculous magic thing that would make our floor level without us having to put any effort into it. Gah. Life would be too easy. There's no such thing.

Half of our floor is fine. It's pretty level. But then right in the middle of the room, there's a bump and it all goes downhill from there. Literally. What do you do when your floor needs to be leveled? You shim it. What does that require? Lots of painstaking perfectionist nitpicky work. I'm not looking forward to it. Neither of us are. Hence the cleaning and avoiding.

Some other exciting thing happened to me. Well, exciting to me. I'm a kijiji furniture addict. That's when I check kijiji every day just in case there's some amazing deal that the people of Peterborough or Lindsay have tossed out into the interwebs for me to covet. Not like I need any furniture. I need to get rid of some...anyone want a china cabinet and buffet? It's going to go on kijiji.

(Not the ones that I spotted on kijiji)
I love the hunt. You never know when there will be some awesome treasure on there! A few weeks ago, there was 4 'wire chairs' up for $50.00. Wire chairs that looked exactly like Bertoia Side Chairs. Exactly. I called him up, said I'll come and get them.  He said, they're at my dads, he's gone for a few days, I'll let you know when to come. He took the ad off kijiji and I was soo excited. A few days later, I have a truck lined up, I texted and asked when I could come and get them. Oh, they're sold. Grr.

So the other day, I saw this coffee table. It looked just like a Noguchi Coffee table. For 30 bucks. I'm okay with reproductions. 30 bucks is reasonable. Maybe it's real, maybe it's not. So, I went for a little drive and now I have one. It's a little banged up, but what I really love about it is how it fits with my couch. Yay!

I'm slowly, slowly making this house mine. Growing up, my mum was all about the Country look. When you get out onto your own, sometimes you retain what you were brought up with and it takes a while to shake that off and figure out what you love. I'm slowly realizing I love clean lines and that mid-century look with a bit of quirk. I took this awesome design test called Stylescope. I think it's pretty bang on for just picking 5 images that appeal to you. Try it! I made my mother do it - New Country with a touch of Traveler - my daughter do it - Sassy with a touch of Traveler - my husband do it - New Country with a touch of Set Sail and for me - Urban Funk with a touch of Boho.

I'm really loving the clean look of my living room. In comparison to my hoarder room, it's a haven! 

Part of making this house mine is getting that bloody floor level. I better get my feet off of this coffee table and get working...

10:56 AM


Posted by Terri |

I finally sold my two hunter green couches, couches that I had bought a week before my first kiddo was born. I had them on kijiji for months and didn't get a bite. So I took some new photos in front of my newly sandblasted wall and the next day I had two people after them! They were gone the next day - sweet!!

So now I'm currently on an internet hunt for a sectional. Preferably not the kind with the chaise. That doesn't feel like a true sectional to me. One of my many pet peeves. I realize it comes in sections, but I want to be able to sit anywhere and have something holding up my back.

What I'm looking for:

  • It's going to go in a fairly small space. The maximum length it can be is 100" and the depth is around 65-70". That makes it kind of tough since sectionals can be ginormous.
  • Thin arms to allow for more butt space.
  • Dark grey fabric. If it has slip covers, even better.
  • I'm torn as to whether it should have pillow backs or not. They're aren't my favourite. I often see after a few years they look all slumpy and messy. So I would prefer for it to have a sturdy, solid back.
  • I love the mid century modern look. I like a bit of a plain look too so that it will last for another 18 years. I'm cheap. I don't like having to buy expensive furniture.
  • Not so expensive that I need to sell a kid.
Here's what I found so far:

This is the Lure Sectional from Urban Barn. It comes in different configurations. The one that I like and that would fit in my house is the One Arm Sofa Return with a One Arm Half Chair. Price: $2360 plus tax.

The next on is the Ikea Karlstad sectional in Sivik Dark Grey. It's too big though. I wish Ikea would let us buy the corner piece separately so that I could buy the couch, corner and armchair to create my own sectional...do you hear me Ikea?! I want to a 'create your own sectional' option!! Price: $999 plus tax.

This is part of the Steven and Chris Collection. It comes in a bunch of configurations. One that would work for me is to purchase a corner, two chairs (which become the ends of the sectional) and an armless chair. I'm also not quite sure what fabric it comes in, but it seems that you can choose if you come into the store. Price: too afraid to ask.

So, that's where I'm at in my search. I'm just avoiding levelling the floor and doing some fun stuff that takes little effort.

8:35 PM

Let the painting commence!

Posted by Terri |

I'm currently laying on the couch drinking something full of glucose-fructose and vodka, trying to rest my aching neck. I have been painting all weekend and it's been great! Even though I'm sore and hungry and wish someone would feed me, I look around and sigh happy sighs cause it's starting to look like a real house!

Most nights, before I go to sleep, I lay in bed and redesign my house. I paint and buy furniture and pull up floors and put in a new kitchen - cause of course I have an endless amount of money in my dreams - and then I wake up in the morning and walk through a mess of a house. How can this be? It was beautiful just before I fell asleep... Because of this I also have an unrealistic sense of how long things will take. Obviously, if it takes an hour or so at night for my brain to reconfigure my house, then other things in real life should be just as quick, right?

When the Man started mudding and sanding, I thought, "Oh, this will just take a week or so and I can paint next weekend." Hahaha. Three looong weeks later...I was finally pulling on my painting clothes and painting!

I have to say that he did a pretty good job - actually an excellent job - but we are never doing this again. Any mudding and sanding is going to be hired out. It causes so much stress and frustration and more than too much swearing at each other and it's not worth our marriage. Frustration for me because I want it done faster and I want it perfect. Stress on him because I'm pressuring him and he also wants it perfect. He does, honest.

So anyway, I've had a wonderful weekend of painting.

Painted the walls

And gave the ceiling one more coat, filling in the cracks that didn't get painted. Filling in allll those cracks. Reaching up and looking up and pushing paint into the cracks. That's where the sore neck came from.

When I was done, the Man went out to buy some 2x4's so he can get started on the fireplace surround AND flooring guys are coming soon to give me some quotes. That's another thing that I want to pay someone to do. They'll be able to do it in a day (is that an unrealistic timeline?) but it would take us months. And we'd have to rent tools for multiple days - like that thing you smack with a hammer. By then end of it, it would've been cheaper for us to hire someone and we would still like each other. Which is the final goal, to continue to like each other through this reno. :-)

1:00 PM

Just a nudge

Posted by Terri |

That's all I had to give him and he started on the mudding and sanding!

1:29 PM

A Kick in the Pants

Posted by Terri |

How do you motivate someone to do something that they don't want to?

This is an issue I've been having. The Man needs to finish the drywall and he's stalling and although I do a lot of things, this isn't something I'm good at. I'm good at broad, not needing to be perfect things. Like painting and sandblasting, destroying things and dreaming up big ideas. Mudding and sanding is finicky and a better job for a perfectionist.

So I've been trying to 'motivate' him. Nagging doesn't work, leaving him alone doesn't work. Neither does crying, begging and pleading. Threatening to do it myself kind of works and I think I'm going to have to get out the tools for it to actually happen. 


I realize it's summer and it's so beautiful out there. You want honesty? This is what I'm tired of.

It looks like I'm a hoarder.

I'm not.

I like stuff, but this is crazy. This is my empty back room all shoved into my dining room. This is all our tools and construction stuff. Look! There's even a path, just like hoarders have.

I have even debated hiring someone, but number one - we're cheap. Number two - the majority of people we hire, we are not very impressed with their work and end up fixing it.

This is our floor that we paid to make sure it was level along with rearranging our walls. Something else we have to fix.

So, if you know an amazing, cheap drywaller and you actually have seen his work and know that there's no bumps, the tape is not visible and there's no bubbles in the finished product, let me know. I'm getting desperate and may actually put out some cash for this to get done.

8:19 PM

Oh the sand.

Posted by Terri |

See that white sand? That is what I just shoveled out of my back room. Out of my house.

But man that wall looks good.

10:01 AM

Fun with sand

Posted by Terri |

I have beaten the painted brick wall.

 It was hard work. I scraped with metal scrapers, used chemical peels, used a wire metal drill attachment and even telekinesis to try and strip the paint from the wall. The paint fought hard but I finally beat it with sand. And a sandblaster.

The sandblaster and a few bags of empty sand
It wasn't my first choice. Obviously I tried lots of things and when the only soda blaster guy I could find around Peterborough quoted me $1200.00 (whatever!) I finally gave in and used the thing I didn't want to use. Sandblasting leaves pits in the brick, especially when the brick is over 100 years old. And it leaves buckets of sand all through the house. But I really hated that paint and I was desperate.

I went in to the Rent All place to order the sandblaster. A guy showed me how to use it. Easy peasy. I asked that it be delivered before I got home from work at 3. I get home and what do I see? Nothing. I was not impressed. Finally at around 4:30, my compressor and sandblaster are here, set up but not quite running.

The Compressor finally in my driveway
The delivery guy leaves and I start up the air. Nothing is coming out from the sandblaster. I move stuff around, wiggle valves around...nothing but air. I begin to have a small conniption. I call the Rent All place. They're closed. How convenient. Deliver it late and then I can't call for help. Unimpressed Me is stomping around, trying to figure this out. There are phone calls to my Little Brother because he's good with machines and a bit of screaming at the Man. I am heartbroken. I just want this to work and I want the paint off the wall. I don't care how dirty and sore I have to get but I want it done today. (I may or may not be going through perimenopause which according to Dr.Oz, can cause rages. Or I just may be kind of crazy. Whatever the case is, my rages are kind of funny, but not really if you're getting the brunt of it.)

Just one of the many piles of sand IN MY HOUSE.
Suddenly it worked! The Man had fixed it. My hero. He saw that the delivery guy had the hoses in the wrong place, switched them around and voila, sand blasting out from a hose. A few hours later and the paint was gone.

The End.

Some things I've learned:
  • Sandblasting is fun. 
  • Sandblasting is really messy.
  • If you sandblast in your house, you will need to take breaks because you will not be able to see anything due to the amazing amount of dust. It will look like your house is blowing smoke out its windows.
  • You should probably wear ear protection even though you think it's not that loud. The zinging of the sand makes your ears ring like you've been at a concert.
  • Sand gets everywhere. But I'm sure I knew that from previous beach experiences.

Posted by Terri |

We are done putting up the ceiling!!

This is super exciting to me. I am tired of seeing the green-grey Roxul, tired of lifting my arms above my head, tired of trying to shove the tongue into the groove because we've salvaged the wood from two rooms and they aren't the same size...but now we're done.

It still needs to be painted one last time, but that will be when everything is almost done and I'll paint everything all at once.

Now to change my focus. Onto removing the paint from the brick walls.

I've tried a few things to get this paint off. Paint stripper, a metal thing for the drill and good ol' scrubbing with a metal brush, which seems to work the best.

We're also going to be focusing on the fireplace and building the surround.

This is my photoshop mock up of what I have to work with:

I have some ideas as to how I want it to look and thanks to Pinterest, they're all pinned in one spot. Here's what I like when I think fireplace in the back addition...


Source: houzz.com via Terri on Pinterest

Thin layers?

Source: houzz.com via Terri on Pinterest

Rough Wood?

Source: trendir.com via Terri on Pinterest

Grey Brick?

Source: bhg.com via Terri on Pinterest

Stones with a mantel?

Source: houzz.com via Terri on Pinterest

Grey Concrete and Texture?

Source: freshome.com via Terri on Pinterest

White? Nice solid sitting stoop though.

More stone with a mantel and tile on the floor?

Source: bhg.com via Terri on Pinterest

Even more stone with a mantel and sitting stoop?

Source: hgtv.com via Terri on Pinterest

More Stone?

Source: houzz.com via Terri on Pinterest