A place for Everything Mudroom

I am Chez Sharah’s guest blogger today and sister!  We moved into our 1987 home two years ago and we have been slowly renovating.  When you came in from the garage originally, you came into this empty room that the previous owners used as an office:

It had some sad hooks on the wall

It had some sad hooks on the wall

It was holding all the random things we didn't have a spot for when we unpacked

It was holding all the random things we didn’t have a spot for when we unpacked

When we looked at the house I knew right away that it would be our mudroom to keep everyone organized.  So we had it painted the rest of the house color and left it sitting for 8 months.

Meanwhile, next door was our cramped “laundry space” in the powder room in a dark closet:

It was dark and had no room to sort or fold the laundry

It was dark, and there was no place to sort or fold the laundry

Fast forward 8 months where the renovation began with moving the washer and dryer next door to our empty room.  This required a plumber to move the pipes over, electrician to put in new wiring, and even a new dryer vent cut to the outside of the house.  These are a few pictures of the moving process:

Hole in the wall to move the plumbing and electrical over

Hole in the wall to move the plumbing and electrical over

The wall is repaired and the washer and dryer are moved over

The wall is repaired and the washer and dryer are moved over

Once the washer and dryer were moved over, it was time for the cabinets:

Cabinets were built to the ceiling to give optimum storage

Cabinets were built to the ceiling to give optimum storage

Now, I’m sure that I took more pictures, but I couldn’t find them, so let’s get straight to the good stuff, shall we?  The final product:

Washer and dryer tucked under a countertop, deep sink for handwashing clothes, or filling car washing buckets, a spot for my laundry basket, and an organization station for all those papers!

Washer and dryer tucked under a countertop, deep sink for handwashing clothes, and filling car washing buckets, a spot for my laundry basket, and an organization station for all those papers!

The upper cupboards hold the off season items, and the hooks and drawers hide everything.  The big cabinet holds the ironing board.

The upper cupboards hold the off season items, and the hooks and drawers hide the everyday stuff. The big cabinet holds the ironing board.

Full view of the room, and yes, I made that roman blind!

Full view of the room, and yes, I made that roman blind!

One thing you can’t see in any of these pictures was the closet.  Before the renovation, it was the basic 80’s closet with a shelf at the top and a long bar across for coats.  I had the cabinet maker rip it out and make me very specific shelves.

Lots of shelves for shoes and a very small area for coats since we keep our coats in our lockers on the hooks

Lots of shelves for shoes and a very small area for coats since we keep our coats in our lockers on the hooks

Now back to the old laundry room.  There was not a lot of shelving  or closet space on our main floor, so I had the cabinet maker also build me shelves:

Front view of the closet

Front view of the closet

Side view of the closet

Side view of the closet.  Sometimes the teacher in me happens to shine through with organized pencils, and markers!

The next step for our renovations is to add a light in the closet above and completely renovate the powder room.  Thanks for reading and happy renovating!

I’m back…I think…I hope!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a shitty blogger (sorry to my mom and mother-in-law for the foul language but it’s the most appropriate adjective here). My last post was over six over months ago. That’s really not acceptable, is it? Good thing I am not trying to make money at this blogging thing!

I’ll be honest with you folks and tell you that today is the first day that I felt like blogging in a long time. This is not because I’ve lost interest in decorating, renovating, organizing, or the blog itself. The truth is that the last several months have been a little rough because I am with child!

I am 21 weeks pregnant and, well, I felt really shitty (again, sorry mom and M-I-L) for about 14-15 weeks. It felt like eternity! When I finally got over the nausea/morning sickness, I still didn’t have the energy to tackle projects to blog about or just blog period. Apparently, growing a human being takes a lot of energy! I am beginning to feel like myself again and am back to tackling some projects around the house – hallelujah!

I still haven’t finished sharing pictures of our new house which I will continue to do over the next few months. We are also doing some work in our backyard this spring and, of course, there is the nursery which I will be decorating in the summer when I go on maternity leave. So, there will be a lot to share with you!

Anyway, that is the update from Chez Sharah and thanks to all who are continuing to read despite my absence!

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Here we are, showing off the baby bump (there is actually a decent sized bump there – just hard to tell in this photo!). As you can see, we take ourselves pretty seriously 😉

Stay Tuned!

DIY Autumn Banner

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While browsing fall wreath ideas on Pinterest, I saw a picture of a black and white fall banner with gold sparkly letters on this blog.
I thought the banner was so cute and decided that it wouldn’t be that difficult to recreate it. Here are the supplies/tools you will need to complete the project:
  • Card Stock (or scrapbook paper) in a variety of patterns
  • Construction paper in coordinating colour (unless you use card stock to begin with)
  • Block letters (I used wood ones from Michaels. Cardboard would work too.)
  • Spray Paint
  • Glitter
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Glue (spray adhesive and regular glue)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Glue Gun
  • X-acto knife or hole punch
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The Letters
Choose the message for your banner. I went with “Thankful.” I also made one for my mom and she chose “Give Thanks.” Tip: I would go with a shorter message because it’s less work!
Spray paint your letters outside or in well ventilated area in your desired colour of choice. I placed an old sheet underneath the letters and painted in my garage with the door open. I sprayed two coats and waited about 15 minutes between the coats (*read the directions on your can of spray paint to see what it recommends about multiple coats). Wait 15 minutes after the last coat of spray paint.

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Spray the painted letters with an adhesive spray. I used Elmer’s Adhesive Spray. Pour a generous amount of glitter over each letter. I chose glitter the same colour of my spray paint. You do what you want though. I did this over looseleaf paper so that I could roll up the paper and pour the leftover glitter back into the container. I poured A LOT of glitter on each letter to make sure they were adequately covered.  Let the glitter dry for at least 15 minutes. I also did this step out in my garage so I didn’t have a glittery mess in my house.

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The Banner
While the glitter is drying, begin your banner. Draw your banner shape on the construction paper or cardstock using a ruler and cut out to the shape to create the banner template.
Using your template, trace the shape onto your patterned paper and cut it out. Draw and cut out enough “flags” for each letter of your message, taking care to alternate the patterned paper. I also had to cut out a flag for each letter onto the construction paper. My patterned paper was scrapbook and it was too flimsy to support the wooden letters. If you are using cardstock or a sturdier paper, you probably don’t need to do this. I then glued the construction paper to the patterned paper using a few dollops of Mod Podge.
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Cut two slits in the top corners of each flag. For my first banner, I used an X-acto knife and, I’m not gonna lie, it was painful. This was the most tedious part of the project. For my mom’s banner, I bought a rectangular hole punch which made the job marginally easier. The easiet thing would be to use a regular hole punch with a thinner ribbon or twine. BUT, I liked the asthetic of the slits with thicker ribbon better.
Putting It All Together
Bring your letters in on a paper plate until they are ready to be used because they will shed glitter….everywhere!
Using a glue gun, glue each letter to a flag.
Thread the ribbon through each slit of the flags. I used black grosgrain ribbon – 5/8″ for my banner and cream satin ribbon – 5/8″ for my mom’s.

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To hang, I kept the ends of the ribbon really long and stuck them under heavy items I had on my mantle. You could loop and tie the ends of the ribbon and hang them over 3M hooks as well.
That’s it. That’s all. The whole project will take you about 3 hours. I am also a perfectionist and was watching Californication the whole time so it might only take you 2!
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Thanks for reading and happy fall y’all!

One Woman’s Trash…

You know what they say – one woman’s trash is another DIYer’s treasure! Or something like that.
In recent years, I’ve really gotten into trolling second-hand stores for furniture, dishes, and other decor items. I love the thrill of the hunt. You know, that moment when you find something really good and it’s only $5! Thrilling, I tell ya!
My two main reasons for second-hand shopping are:
1. I’m looking for an item to upcycle into something better – furniture, lamps, etc. or
2. I’m looking for an item with character or a vintage vibe to it.
These are some of my favourite second-hand finds:

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Brass Bar Cart – $15 from Kijijii

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Crystal Decanter – $20 from the Post (a local second-hand store)

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Silver creamer and sugar bowl – $10 from the Post
This is what they looked like before a good polishing:

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Nightstand – $15 from Value Village
This nightstand was originally stained yellow wood of some sort. I jazzed it up with glossy white spray paint and some nifty stencilling (sorry – no before pictures). It’s missing knobs because I think I’m going to paint it again with chalk paint this time.

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Assorted glass dishes – $1-$5 from the Post
I think that second-hand pieces are a great way to decorate your home because they are inexpensive, but they also add a layer to your design that makes your space look less one dimensional – like you didn’t go out and buy everything from one place but rather that you curated everything over time. I hope that makes sense!
Anyway, thanks for reading and happy second-hand shopping!

Gettin’ Crafty

There is a fourth bedroom upstairs that’s a little awkward shaped as the ceiling is quite low in some places due to the shape of the roof. On the house plan, it’s called a “bonus room.”
Here is a few pictures of the “bonus room” before we started the reno:

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Because of the built-in shelves, you can’t really make it a media room – there is no wall space to put a TV! There is no closet so it wouldn’t make a great bedroom either. It would make a good playroom, but we don’t have any kids.
I decided to use the space as a craft room. I thought it would be a great place to store my craft shiz, do my DIY projects, and blog. I also work from home quite often so it will also double as my home office.
The renovations in the craft room were the same as the guest rooms:
  • Replacing the door, trim, and baseboards
  • Scraping and retexturing the ceiling
  • Replacing the carpet and the light fixtures
  • Painting the walls (including the built-in shelves). The walls, trim, and baseboards were painted Cloud White (Benjamin Moore) and the shelves were painted Coventry Gray (Benjamin Moore).
Here are some photos of the renos in progress:
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You can see in these photos some painted squares on the wall. I buy samples of colours and paint them on the wall because I like to see how the colour is going to look in the room at different times of day in different lighting. This lessens the chance of getting the whole room painted and then realizing you don’t like the colour!
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Right now the craft room is pretty empty with just few odds and sods from my old makeup room in it:

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My plan is to furnish it with two large tables, a desk, and a few low storage consoles. I am hoping to find everything I need at IKEA! I’ve included some links below for craft rooms that I am using for inspiration:
Sarah Richardson IKEA Craft Room
Soothing White and  Minty IKEA Craft Room
Turquoise Plantation Inspired Craft Room
I will do an updated post when I get the craft room completed (which could be awhile)!
My sister will be guest blogging again about her newly renovated laundry/mudroom soon and I think my next post will be about my favourite “second-hand finds”.
As always, thanks for reading!

 

Be Our Guest

I will start off the tour of my new and renovated home upstairs and today, I will share with you our guest bedrooms. There are 4 bedrooms upstairs – one is the master, one is my craft room, and the other two are guest rooms (until or unless our family grows, if you get my drift)…
This is what the rooms looked like before:

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Renovations to these rooms included:
  • Replacing the baseboards, trim, and doors. We stained the baseboards, trim and doors with “Cloud White” by Benjamin Moore. We chose 5 inch baseboards- in hindsight, we wish we would have went for 8 inch for more drama.
  • Scraping the “popcorn” ceilings and painting/retexturing. Again, we used “Cloud White”.
  • Painting the walls. Both rooms are “Stonington Gray” by Benjamin Moore.
  • Replacing the carpet
  • Replacing the light fixtures
Here’s how they turned out:
Guest Bedroom 1

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Most of the furniture from our old guest room fit nicely in here so I don’t have to spend more money on getting this room furnished. I have plans to strip the white desk in the corner, make  a window treatment, and make a cover for the window seat.
Guest Bedroom 2

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I moved some of the furniture and all of the decor from the old master into this room because our new master has room for a king sized bed. This room is basically complete except getting a nightstand for the other side of the bed.
These rooms were not the most dramatic before and after of our renovation, but I am pleased that the decor turned out so well without having to buy anything new! So, who wants to come and stay for a visit now?!
As always, thanks for stopping by!

 

Hello! Is it me you’re looking for?

It has been so long since I’ve blogged that I forgot my password and just had to reset it. Some of you have been asking if and when I’m going to blog again. You know what they say – absence makes the heart grow fonder so I expect your love for chez sharah has increased tenfold during my six month “sabbatical.”
So what’s been happening and why haven’t I blogged for so long? I learned the hard way that buying a house, ripping apart and reno-ing said house, selling current house, packing up all of one’s prized possessions in current house, moving and unpacking all of one’s prized possessions to said renovated house is a little bit time consuming. Oh and on top of this, working 50+ hours a week, training for a half marathon, and taking a few trips. Are you getting the sense that I don’t like to sit still?!
The last six months have gone by in a blur and it’s time for life to normalize. July is my month to breathe, relax, DIY, settle into the new home, and, of course, get back to blogging again! I spent the evening organizing all of my pictures of the renovation and I have decided to share them with you one room at a time, from demo to the finished product. I am too exhausted to get started on that tonight so I’ll leave you with with a few pictures of my outdoor pots this year. I stuck to my usual grasses and foliage but there are a few newcomers, namely the canna lilies and vinca vine (I love that name – sounds like a rockstar name – or, is that just me?!)
I look forward to getting back into blogging and I am grateful to all who still continue to be interested in my ramblings! IMG_2387 IMG_2388 IMG_2389 IMG_2390 IMG_2391