16 Apr 2014

Kitchen Reno Part One

We have decided to go ahead with our kitchen renovation!  I know I blogged about perhaps waiting to see what the new Ikea kitchen line will be next winter, but we found a cabinet solution that jives perfectly with our DIY mentality.  I am designing my own cabinets and having them made by a CNC manufacturer.  What this means is that I get a custom kitchen (plywood cabinets, dove tail drawers, Blum hardware and doors of my own design) for about the cost of Ikea.  Crazy, good deal!  So what we're basically doing is skipping the custom kitchen company and going directly to the person who makes the cabinets for the kitchen companies.  The only drawback is that I have to design everything myself (i.e., cabinet box sizes, drawer placement, fillers, kick plates, crown, etc.).  It has been very time consuming to do this and this explains my spotty blogging over the past little while.  Every evening I've been pouring over kitchen plans and options.  I'm hoping it will be worth it in the end!  

The other major factor in deciding to go ahead with the kitchen now is that we have to build our deck this spring and the new walkout from the kitchen impacts the placement of the deck.  We really can't live with a mud pit in the backyard with Nalle, our dog and the boys.  So the kitchen reno is on and today I'm going to show you what we have done so far.

First, let's look at the initial reno idea I had a couple of months ago:

Here is the plan we are going with now:

New Kitchen Plan

It really hasn't changed that much other than I decided not to go with an opening to the living room.  I decided that I really like having the kitchen in a separate area.

When we started to demo our kitchen a couple of weeks ago, we knew that our cabinets would still take several weeks before they would be ready and that our window would take a couple of months.  This meant that we had to plan the demo so that we could still use our kitchen while we wait for the new cabinets to be made.  We decided to relocate our old kitchen cabinets and counters into the new kitchen layout.  Everything went so well that we didn't lose our plumbing or gas for even a day!  Here are a few pictures of our kitchen before the demo.



Here is what we have done so far.  The cabinets that were under the window are now in the place where the new island will be.  The placement of the stove and fridge also changed. 

We had to open up one side of the opening to the dining room so that we would have enough clearance to get by the island to the walkout (which will be where the window is now) and to have enough space to walk through to our basement staircase.  Co-pilot is checking out the hole in the flooring where the wall use to be.  We will have to get the flooring patched here, but I would love to refinish all the floors in the house to something lighter and less orangey.  If we refinish the floors, the flooring boards across the opening could be feathered in making the transition seamless.

The window is where the new walkout will be.  We're planning to make the opening slightly wider as well.  I think it will be so nice to see the patio right through the walkout and it will really extend the living space.

Just another view of the opening and our messy dining room. :)

We scored this built-in fridge for a super deal.  It will hopefully look completely seamless on what will be the new pantry wall.  It's a Thermador (the current model) and we purchased it from an appliance repair guy who said it had been in someone's house for only a couple of days.  It was super clean when we brought it home and still had some of the packaging intact on the inside.  We also picked up a Miele panel ready dishwasher from the same guy.  It's working like a dream.  Love it!  So far so good with our new used appliances.  The savings were so good that we thought it was worth taking the risk with these used appliances.  I'll have to write an update at some point to let you know how they fare.

So that's where we are at with our kitchen reno.  Our kitchen is functioning, but definitely not pretty.  I'll be back with another post or two with the details on the kitchen design.  I have a few finishing ideas still swimming in my head that I'd love to share with you as well.  I can give you a hint of where I'm going…It'll have white, black and wood and be pretty minimal/simple in design.  Although, that's probably what most of you would expect from me anyway. :)

The new hall is being put to good use already:

Thanks to everyone who have been so patient with me while I have flip-flopped back and forth with this reno.  I really appreciate that you're following along!

9 Apr 2014

A Kids Easter Craft for Your Modern Home

I think spring is finally here!  I saw some crocuses blooming yesterday and the weather has warmed up quite a bit.  It has been so wonderful to get the boys outside more.  My oldest is also getting pretty excited for Easter.  I, on the other hand, have been all consumed with our renovations and am feeling like I'm dropping the ball on Easter.  He has been asking me to do an Easter craft with him and since our house is pretty much in chaos, I had to come up with something that was super simple to throw together.  We made modern easter egg art using the triangle pieces that I had used on our Valentine's Day geometric heart and some black and white card stock.  I think he did a pretty good job. 

I chose to frame his little masterpiece.  I was hoping to frame it in a white or black frame, but couldn't find our frames since everything is packed up so that it's out of the way during the renos.  The light wood farm will have to do for now.

This modern easter egg craft is really simple: 

1.  You will need to cut several triangles from assorted paper/ card stock and two sheets of card stock (one with an egg shape cut out of it).  In the photo I have two pieces with the egg cut out, but you only need one.  I was trying to decide if I wanted the background white or black.  I used this colouring page as my template (shrunk to 70% of the original size).

2.  Glue the triangle pieces to the solid pieces of card stock randomly to create a collage.

3.  Glue the piece of card stock with the egg shape cut out on top of your triangle collage.

4. Hang or frame your new modern Easter art.

I think this three year-old's art looks pretty darn good in our living room. :)

Did you notice that I took down the DIY floating shelves above these cabinets?  I was looking for a cleaner look in this space and am hoping to incorporate a spot for a record player somewhere.  It has to go higher than the top of the cabinet so that my curious boys can't get at it.  I still need to convince Pappa to hand over one of his turn tables though. :)  I really like the sound of a record player and would like my boys to grow up listening to music on one.

I was so glad that this Easter craft was super simple and quick to put together, which, in my opinion, is the best kind of kid's craft. :)  I also loved that Little Pilot was able to do the whole craft with very little help from me.  I hope you liked Little Pilot's modern Easter craft!

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5 Apr 2014

13 / 52

I'm a little behind on my photos of the boys.  These photos are from two weeks ago now.  I'll be playing catch-up this week.  The pictures I chose were both from behind.  I generally end up with a lot of these shots on my roll since I tend to be chasing after my speedy little boys. :)  I don't mind these shots though.  They sometimes let you take in the whole story of the photo rather than just focusing on the facial expressions.  I notice Little Pilot's hand and tiptoe foot in this photo.  He was all packed and ready to go to church.  He also picked his own clothes (something he has to do everyday now).  He often ends up choosing coordinating colours like the blue shirt and socks that match his pack sack too. 

Co-pilot loves to pull things lately.  His hair has also really started to grow, and like his brother, I spy little curly ends.  :)
"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014"

2 Apr 2014

Modern Easter Egg Garland

I've started a little decorating/crafting for Easter in one corner of our house.  The rest of the house is a big sea of cabinets and construction materials.  We started working on our kitchen on Monday and you can see a picture of what we did the first day on instagram.  I'll try to post some of the progress as we go along on instagram to keep you all up to date.  I'll hopefully have the details of my plan to share with you here on the blog as well once I finalize a few more details.  However, today I have a lovely Easter craft to share with you.

I made some 3D Easter egg garlands which I hung from the ceiling.  I must have been inspired by my Christmas tree garlands. :)  I think these garlands would look really lovely draped horizontally too (across a mantel for example).

I'm really pleased with the simplicity of them.   They suit the more minimal and modern look which I love.  The eggs are in my favourite colours as of late:  pale pink and shades of grey.  I used washi tape to hang them which worked okay, but I had to use quite a bit to keep them up.
To make the garlands:

1.  For each egg cut out six egg shapes from paper (I used scrapbook paper)

2.  Stack the six layers together and mark the centre of the top egg layer.  I folded one of the egg shapes in half gently to get my line.  I also used washi tape to hold the layers together while I sewed (step 3)

3.  Decide how many eggs you would like in a garland and sew each egg pile together.  Make sure to leave an extra length of the thread before you begin to sew to give you some string to hang the garland from.  Between, eggs allow your machine to run creating a string between your eggs.  I used a paint chip as a guide for how long to make my sewn string between the eggs.

4.  Hang your garlands from the ceiling, a mantel, door, etc.


So that's my super simple Easter craft.  I'm really hoping I'll be able to do a little more crafting even with all the work being done in the kitchen.  What do you think my chances of that are?!  Easter is such an important holiday to our family that I think I'll have to figure out a way to get our home looking a little more springlike even though it's literally chaos around here! :)

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