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!

Stairway to Heaven (and Delores)

There is one more room to share upstairs – the spare bathroom. It’s kind of small on it’s own though so I thought I’d throw our new stairway in this post too. If you are wondering about the title of this post, we named this bathroom “Delores” because my husband and I kept getting confused when referring to it or the ensuite. I suggested we name it and that’s what my husband came up with. Does that make us odd? Possibly.
Anyway, here are the before pictures:

Mainfloor_1Upstairs_1Upstairs_2Upstairs_11Upstairs_12

So “oak”ed out!!
And here is what the stairs/Delores look like now:
IMG_3567 IMG_3568
IMG_3581 We tried to colour match the banister and the posts to the existing hardwood floor. The balusters are Benjamin Moore’s “Cloud White” and the walls are Benjamin Moore’s “Stonington Gray”.
We replaced everything in Delores but the bathtub which was still in good condition:
IMG_3570
IMG_3576 IMG_3571
IMG_3583IMG_3582 IMG_3573 IMG_3575
And just because I can’t resist, here is a sneak peek of the nursery theme:

IMG_3578

We aren’t finding out the gender so I had to pick something that would work for a boy or a girl. I have lots of ambitious projects for the nursery. Hopefully, they all come to fruition before baby is born!

Thanks for reading!

 

Seven Minutes in Heaven

You actually only need one minute in my closet to realize you’re in heaven!
This is the first time that the hubby and I have shared closet space. In our first home, the master had two closets and in our last home, I kept all my clothes and accessories in an entirely separate room. But, after six years of the marriage, the time had finally to come to share a closet!
As mentioned in my previous posts, we took space from the master bedroom and bathroom to increase the overall size of the closet. The result was totally worth it – we both have a lot of space and room to grow into it (i.e. I can buy more shoes and clothes, right honey?)!
We did a “his” and “hers” space, using the closet from Sex and the City 2 as inspiration. We worked with our cabinet maker to get the exact  look and function we envisioned.
Here’s a couple before shots of the closet:

1 2 3

And here’s what the closet looks like now ( I tidied it up just for you guys):

IMG_3514 IMG_3515 IMG_3516

Andrew’s side is panelled entirely in walnut. His drawer fronts are made from glass and the pulls are stainless steel.

IMG_3517IMG_3520IMG_3521IMG_3522

IMG_3524

We went more feminine on my side with painted white cabinetry and crystal knobs. I also incorporated open shelving to display my jewellery and my shoes. My cabinet maker suggested I add in the mirrors, bench, and little drawers to the awkward space at the entrance of the closet – those little drawers have actually come in handy for storing all my extra makeup! I planned on making a cushion for the bench, but right now that area just tends to collect junk!
I have one more room to share up stairs and then we’ll move onto the main floor which is where some more dramatic renos took place!

As always, thanks for reading!

Rub a Dub Dub

The master bathroom was quite the sight to behold when we bought the house – the carpeted floor was the icing on the cake! A picture says a thousand words so I will let the “before” photos speak for themselves:

Upstairs_5Upstairs_6Upstairs_7Upstairs_8

Everything (and I mean everything!) in the bathroom needed an update. It was also in need of a better layout – as you can see, the old tub took up (and wasted) a lot of space! The original layout looked like this:Screen shot 2014-08-23 at 12.40.37 PM
We moved a few walls and stole some space from the bathroom and the bedroom to make a larger closet. The layout now looks like this:
Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 9.22.11 AM
We ripped everything out and put in new tub, tile shower, toilet, vanity, hardware, and flooring. The only thing that didn’t change was the placement of the plumbing – it’s too pricey to start moving that shiz around!
I opted for a scheme that was clean and calming – white and grey. How surprising, hey? All of the tile is Carrara marble with white glass mosaic as an accent. There are two huge windows that let in a lot of natural light from the morning sun. We haven’t even had to turn the lights on in the morning yet (too bad the days are getting shorter).
Anyway, here she is in all her glory:

IMG_2759

IMG_2758
IMG_2749
IMG_2750
IMG_2751
IMG_2753
IMG_2754
IMG_2755
Just look at that view – I wish I could keep the blinds open to enjoy it while in the tub. Unfortunately, there is a walking path right outside our backyard and peeps be creepin’ all the time, man!
 This turned out to be one of my favourite rooms in the house – I hope you guys enjoyed the dramatic before and after transformation. This post was getting too long to include the closet so I’ll do a separate post about that one next!
Thanks for reading and enjoy your long weekend!

Mister Master

Or is it a missus?
So far the renovations I’ve shown you have been pretty basic. The master bedroom/bathroom were where the major renovations happened upstairs. There is a lot to go through so I’ll show you the master bedroom this week and the master bath/closet next week.
This is what the room looked before:

Upstairs_2 Upstairs_3

This was the only room in the house where we moved walls – to accommodate a larger walk-in closet! We also took out the double french doors and replaced them with one door that matched the rest of the doors in the house. The layout used to look like this:

Master Bedroom Plans Before

 And this is the layout now:

Master Bedroom Plans After

In addition to moving the walls and taking out one of the doors, we also:
  • Replaced the baseboards and trim. We stained the baseboards, trim and doors with “Cloud White” by Benjamin Moore.
  • Scraped the “popcorn” ceilings and painted/retextured. Again, we used “Cloud White”.
  • Painted the walls. The colour we used was Spider’s Web by Dulux.
  • Replaced the carpet.
  • Replaced the ceiling fan with a chandelier for a little bling.
Here is a few pics of how the room progressed:

IMG_1986 IMG_2094 IMG_2095 IMG_2096
This guy was hanging out in the room when the clean up began. I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of him. I kinda wish my vacuum came with a face and a name (are you listening, Dyson?!)
IMG_2346
Here is the room now:
IMG_2738
IMG_2739
IMG_2740You can catch a glimpse of our amazing view in this photo…
IMG_2741
IMG_2742
IMG_2729
Obviously, the room needs some work! We bought a king sized bed and used our night tables and console table from the old house, but we’ll have to buy more furniture. We’ll do that when we’ve saved some money again! I would like to putting a small seating area in the corner and perhaps a low long console table for display items on the other wall. Then of course, I’ll need to get drapes, artwork, new bedding (we’re using our queen sized coverlet still), etc., etc. I’ll post an update when I finally get the money/time/energy to finish it off! In the meantime, it’s a good place to have pre-bedtime dance parties (yes, that happens)!

Thanks for reading y’all!

 

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

C’mon Baby, Light My Fire

When we purchased our home a few years ago, I knew that I wanted to give the whole place a facelift. Everything was brown, beige, and blah! We started on the main floor which contains our kitchen, living room, laundry/mudroom, and powder room. One of my first projects was the fireplace.

 Here’s a few pictures of what it looked like before (these were all I could dig up because I never actually took any “before” pictures):

IMG_1894

Me with my token glass of champagne

fireplace before

What didn’t I like about the fireplace ? Hmmm, where to begin? The “Builder’s Beige” paint on the wall, the oaked out mantel, the faux stone porcelain tile, the tiny sconces that only cast light onto the ceiling (seriously, what’s the point?)…

I had big plans to completely rip out the boxed out drywall surrounding the fireplace, downsize the hearth, and install an ultra slim rectangular wood mantel. Unfortunately, there was no hardwood laid underneath the boxed out area and there was really no way to carry out my vision without ripping up a lot of the floor ($$$). So, I re-imagined my vision. Here’s what I did:

The Hearth

The entire dry-walled area surrounding the fireplace was retiled with 12″ x 24″ Carrara marble tile. I chose a brick pattern with white grout to draw attention to the pattern (at the recommendation of my tiler).

IMG_0463

The Mantel

I am a big fan of Sarah Richardson and my original vision was to build a mantel that looked like this:

Courtesy of sarahrichardsondesign.com

Once the whole area was tiled though, I realized that the mantel would have to be wider to provide balance to the area. I love walnut wood so we purchased a sheet of it and my father-in-law built the mantel. He mitered the edges together so there are no seams showing.  And for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the stain so I can’t share that with you!

The new mantel was installed right on top of the old one (to provide more support) and  glued in place with tile glue. The wall then looked this for the longest time (this is a year after the first “before” picture – you can tell by the Christmas decorations!):

IMG_3191

I think the patches of plaster and exposed wires add a little je ne sais quoi

The Wallpaper

Part of my vision was to wallpaper the wall surrounding the fireplace. I chose a neutral cream and grey wallpaper with a gold sheen to add some elegance. The wallpaper is by a company called Anderson Prints. The style is from their Gossamer Collection and the colour is “GM10206.” I have loads of scraps leftover that I am hoping to use for another project one day (suggestions, anyone??).

IMG_0462

Lighting

Sometime after the tile and mantel were installed, the old sconces were ripped out. It then sat that way for a long time while we waited for the wallpaper to be installed. I purchased these sconces online and, I have to admit, I am not totally thrilled with them. I love the style, but I wish they were bigger because I think the scale is a bit off. Oh well, I must live with them for now.

IMG_0465

Dressing It Up

I am still working on styling the mantel. I like each individual piece on the mantel, but it hasn’t totally come together yet. Nevertheless, here’s what it looks today:

IMG_0467

   IMG_0464

IMG_0466

Thanks for reading (if you made it the whole way through this long-winded post)! Stay tuned for a post about the kitchen reno!