Friday, August 25, 2017

Cottage Progress: (Almost) Moving Day

Last weekend we were up at the cottage to do our pre-delivery inspection, finally! I am a firm believer in Murphy's Law: the completion of cottage was delayed by nearly two months, just in time to coincide with the busiest time at work, a big family reunion, and a trip to Iceland to boot! I forgot how stressful it could get in preparation for the move. But I guess I need to count my blessings - just wish they wouldn't all be happening at the same time. 

Allora, there's light at the end of the tunnel. Once all the craziness is over, we will have this gorgeous view to come home to. Picture below: our cottage porch. White spindles, railings and screen net will be installed shortly.

This cute loft would the first thing to draw your attention when you set foot inside. 

And this is the dining room. I am seriously thinking of not having any blinds installed. 

This was my design plan for the dining room. 

This Serge Mouille 3-arm light fits my vision for this room perfectly. Picture below is just a mockup. 

Left to the front door is our kitchen. It's not strange at all that I already have a grand plan for the backsplash.  

Picture below: the view from our master bedroom. There's another window opposite to this one with the same view. 

View from our porch. I'd better get back to packing to get ready for the move. Wish me luck! 

Top Tips on Giving your Garage a Makeover

~ This is a featured post ~

You have probably spent years placing various things into your garage thinking that one day you will have a use for it. Well, maybe the time has come for a clear out because you suddenly find that all that junk has filled your garage, and there is no more room for anything else.

If you are looking to give your garage a little makeover, then here are a few tips to getting it right to make some space for that Harley Davidson you have always wanted.

Removal of all the Junk
Before you can think about making over your garage, you need to get rid of all the things you no longer need. It can be the hardest part of the project, mainly because there may be many things that you might find it hard to part with.

However, you need to be determined and decide honestly what you can throw away. It will enable you to have more space and store the things you want.
You don’t necessarily have to throw everything, some things you can always sell online or at a garage sale. Either way, you will have more space and maybe a little extra cash to help with the makeover.

Prepare the Garage
Now you have removed all the unwanted things from the garage, you can see what might need to be repaired. Take time to have a good look around and see where may need some work. It is best to do these jobs now, rather than later, as you have the room to do it.
Replace old drain covers that may be broken or blocked, this will help avoid any future flooding. Also, check the seals on your garage door to make sure they still in good condition. If they are damaged, consider replacing them.

Coating the Floor
Once everything is out of the garage, you will then be in a position to think about how you will coat the floor. There are kits that you can buy to do the job yourself, however, it isn’t easy and it won’t have the finish of the professionals. Think about your skillset, are you capable of this job?

Painting the Walls
Before you think about adding storage, paint the walls in a paint suitable for garages. It will prevent moisture from getting in and it will make the garage look brighter. Try to choose a color that is bright so that it makes use of any available lighting.

Adding Storage
Now you can start to add storage to your garage, this can be in the form of units, cupboards or shelves. Add as much storage as you can, even if it’s more than you need so that you have room for any additional things. You can also replace all the items you took out that you wanted to keep. Clean them as you replace them so they look ok in the newly made over garage.

In just a few days, you can have a fully made over garage that you can use and that will have the space for the things you really need. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cottage Progress and My 2017 Summer Garden

Past few weeks has seen major progress made to our cottage construction. Not only did we have a roof (woohoo), the interior drywall was also hung and mudded. So this was what our cottage looked like as of last Friday. 

The interiors: guest bedroom door overlooking the dining room: imagine to walk out of the room every morning with that view! The bigger hole in the ceiling to the left is our central AC vent - I specified that location so we wouldn't have cold air blowing over our heads while lounging or sleeping. 

My favourite feature of our cottage has to be this cute loft! Or is it the screened-in porch? The loft can be used as a bedroom but I haven't decided what to do with it yet. 

And this is the view from our porch, straight into the woods. All the photos were taken by our sweet neighbour. They bought the cottage next to us so they will be our cottage neighbour as well! 

Below is the final version of the porch design board. You can see the previous versions here. I took advantage of a summer clearance sale and picked up this navy outdoor Allen + Roth rug from Lowes Canada. The vintage style patio table is from Wayfair. 

I've been searching for stylish nightstands for our cottage master bedroom, but decided take it upon myself to hack the ever-popular Ikea Rast dressers. I am so in love with them!!! The paint colour is BM's Pigeon Grey. Brass bin pulls are from Martha Stewart via Home Depot. 

And the Florence Knoll style sofa was finally delivered last weekend. It was every bit I was hoping for and more, so comfortable and timeless! 

Now onto my 2017 summer flower garden. You can read about what it looked like in the past seasons here. While this constant rain has slowed down our cottage construction, it has been good to all the flowering shrubs around our house. That's just life. We win some, we lose some. This Blue Satin Rose of Sharon grew by at least a foot upward and outward this year! 

See what I meant? 

I failed to turn the LA Dreamin Hydrangea blue this year. I applied the high-phosphorus fertilizer after flower buds came out - maybe that's already too late so I will need to try early in the season next year. 

Not only did they not turn blue, they were pinker than ever, in this vibrant hot pink shade all summer! 

I can always count on my Limelight Hydrangeas to bloom non-stop into the late fall. I kept trimming them so they can focus on growing upward. Both of them are now about 8 feet tall. 

And this was my backyard in mid August - I admit I photoshopped the sky to appear bluer - other than that, everything else you see was what the real thing looked like. #greenthumb

This weekend we are going up to the cottage to do our pre-completion inspection, so I hope to post more progress photos afterwards. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Decorating Ideas That Take Less than Two Hours

~ This is a featured post ~

If you like DIY but are short on time, this post is ideal for you. Below are a few decorating projects you can usually complete from start to finish in under an hour.

Customised artwork for your walls
The right pictures can make a huge difference to how a room looks. It is a fast way to give your home a fresh look. Modern print firms make affordable for you to produce customised artwork for your walls.

It is now really easy to print your own photos onto a canvas background. All you need to do is to find a good high-resolution image, crop it to your liking and send it to the print firm. Within a week or two you will receive your print in the frame you have chosen. All you need to do now is hang it on your wall, which normally takes less than half an hour.

Hang new doors
Hanging a new door is something you can easily do in less than an hour provided you choose the right kind. The hinges and latch need to be positioned in the same way to enable you to swap one door for another quickly.

Shelve out an alcove
If you need more storage and are lucky enough to have an alcove next to your fireplace you can potentially shelve it out in under an hour. The trick is to buy the shelves pre-cut to size and use an adjustable shelving system. Doing this means that you do not have to install brackets for every single shelf which will save you a lot of time.

Paint a wall
Provided you are organised and use rollers, you can usually paint a wall in an hour or two. If you are really short of time, doing one wall each evening is actually a good way to get the decorating done.

Put down new flooring
If you have a small room that needs new flooring provided you choose the right materials you can often do it in less than an hour. Vinyl flooring or carpet is surprisingly easy to lay once you get the hang of it. Provided there are not too many fiddly bits you can also lay new laminate flooring in just a couple of hours.

Draft proofing
Using draft proofing tape you can improve the seal on a window or door in about half an hour. It is a simple task that will make your room far warmer and potentially save you a lot of money.

Poco a poco gets you there
For most home improvement tasks the little by little approach is extremely effective. Often, doing an hour or two each evening for a week is enough to get a small room fully decorated.

You just need to be organised. Ideally, you want to be able to leave your tools out, so that you do not have to waste half an hour setting things up to start the task.

More inspiration
If you want more ideas, this post is great. It contains 10 cosmetic upgrades that are quick and easy to do, and most are extremely affordable.
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