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31 Jan 2014

Pared Down Living & 6th Street Design School Feature

Hey everyone!  Welcome if you're visiting from Kirsten's blog.  I'm so happy to have my home featured over at 6th Street Design School today.  You can view the tour here.  

Our living room is looking quite pared down after Christmas.  I've been thinking of making some furniture changes, but I think our kitchen reno is going to take most of my attention for awhile.  As our concrete is being finished in the basement, we've had furniture creep upstairs.  This include's Tech Guy's leather armchair (too much orangey wood and leather for my taste).  There's a bunch of things to craigslist as well.  They're all piled up in the den where we can shut the door and ignore them if we want. :)  I have a knitting project on the go as well.  The wool is a beautiful cashmere merino blend wool in a lovely blush pink colour.  Now I just have to find some time to sit down with my needles!

Have a great weekend and thanks so very much to Kirsten for sharing our home on her blog today.  Head on over and check out her blog for lots of inspiration.

29 Jan 2014

Initial Kitchen Reno Plans

You may remember this post about our temporary kitchen reno from a few months ago.  We're now planning out another reno to be started in the next month or so.  We were technically not supposed to start this reno for another couple of years, but my mom needs to get her kitchen done and wants our cabinets.  She felt that it made more sense for her to take our cabinets since she is not sure how long she will be living in her house before downsizing.  So long story short, we're trying to figure out the best layout for our new kitchen.

This is the idea we have right now and I am totally up for any input you may have.  The major changes that will be made to the room are a 9 foot walkout to a deck/outdoor living space and a small opening to our living room.

The walkout would be along this back wall with a new island with the stools on the opposite side to where they are now.  The sink will be relocated to the island.

The back wall will be a pantry wall with an integrated fridge.

The stove will move to one side of the current fridge/pantry wall.  And we would add a 4 foot opening to the living room approximately where the fridge is now.  The lower half of the opening will be covered by cabinetry with the countertop extending through.

Here's a little sketch I made of the opening wall and island with possible cabinetry configurations.  These are really rough and the island drawing is overlapping the wall with the opening.

I'm still considering the opening to the living room.  It was something I had wanted to do when we first moved into the house, but I'm wondering if it will look good.  It would be great for keeping an eye on the kids and would give a great connection to the new walkout, but I'd also loose some of the privacy from the kitchen mess.  I taped out the opening on the living room side to see what it would look like.  The little pieces on the left show where we would be opening up the dining room bulkhead.

So that's where I'm at in terms of a floor plan right now.  I'm still trying to decide if it is exactly right.  If you have any ideas for me, I'd love to hear them!  I'll share with you the design details a little later.  It's looking like it's going to be pretty minimal and clean lined.

27 Jan 2014

February 2014 Printable Calendar

I hope you all had a great weekend! I'm just popping in to share the February 2014 calendar printable.  I can't believe there's less than a week of January left!  Links to the English and Finnish downloads for both the pdf and photoshop versions are below.

This month I added a picture of my boys from last year's knit heart elbow patch DIY post.  I loved this sweater so much and the elbow patches were so cute.  Sadly, the baby has outgrown it, but I think I will have to find a special place for it somewhere in the house. :)  To add your own photo to the calendar you will need to use clipping masks in a photoshop program.

Here are the links to the downloads (for personal use only).

Happy Monday!

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25 Jan 2014


One of my goals for this year is to take more pictures of my boys in hopes of capturing them as they grow.  I have always meant to start the 52 week project and here I am starting already behind!  I have had urgency to photograph the boys more.  They just grow too fast!

"a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014"
My baby is so so big already and really more of a toddler.  He is climbing so much that I am constantly coming to his rescue and not getting much else done.  He hit his cheek quite badly this week on the coffee table and got a bruised cheek and black eye. :(  Crinkly nosed smiles are the best!

Big brother's picture is from my iPhone this week.  He was so proud of himself for figuring out how to make the propellers on his airplanes spin with the help of the air blowing from the dehumidifier.  Our concrete in the basement has been drying leaving our windows all fogged up (hence the dehumidifier).  I love that you can see the shadow of the plane on his face and his reflection on the machine.

22 Jan 2014

DIY Geometric Heart

Wow, it's been crazy around here planning out three kitchen layouts including a new kitchen for us!  We're meeting with the kitchen cabinet builder today to go over details, but I'm still trying to decide if going custom is really worth it.  Once we have our plans a little more concrete, I'll be sure to fill you in on all the details.  For now I have a little Valentines Day DIY.

I made a geometric heart for our chalkboard wall from wallpaper and card stock triangles.  The black and white triangles are cut from the Marimekko ruutukaava wallpaper sample which you may remember from my front entry mood board and from my workspace where I framed it to cover the outlet in the wall.  I actually got the inspiration for this project when I was checking out the wrapping paper section at Target and they had a geometric heart on one of their gift bags.  It really seems like geometric hearts are everywhere lately including our kitchen now. :)

I chose to use a few of the colours that are popping up in our home lately: black and white with some gold and blush/rose pink.  I really like this combination right now along with a little grey, of course.  This heart would also look really great framed and up on a mantel, shelf or wall.  The heart I made is about 10" wide and tall.  

To make the heart you'll need to cut 2.5" squares from card stock which you will then cut in half on the diagonal to create the triangles.  I cut 3 squares(6 triangles) of the gold and black and white card stock and 4 squares(8 triangles) of the pink card stock.  I then taped the triangles on the wall using paint safe masking tape.

I love how this little project turned out and you may recognize a couple of the other decorations on my chalkboard wall as well: the calendar printable and the gold circle garland from Christmas.  Ahh!  We still haven't switched out that light switch to black even though all the parts are just sitting in our garage.  Maybe one of these days. :)

17 Jan 2014

Planning a Marimekko Entry

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

It's been a little more quiet around here on the blog project wise.  We had some delays with the concrete pour in the basement, but I'm happy to let you know it was done yesterday.  We still have to wait for about a week before we can do some samples of the final finish that will go on top.  The concrete is a little more complex since it's going on top of radiant floor heating, but I'll get into all that in another post where I can hopefully show you the floors.  

Even though the projects are a little lacking this week, I have come up with all sorts of plans and redesigns for our house.  This includes our living room, entry, the boys room and even our kitchen!  You may have seen my kitchen rearranging on instagram.  Out of all of these plans, the entry seems to be the one I have actually gotten a small start on.  Above you can see what our entry looks like right now (minus the folding chair diy).  I have plans to make it a little more modern as you can see from my mood board.  The Marimekko Ruutukaava wallpaper is on order which means I'm going to be taking down all that board and batten.  I have a couple of the Muuto dots coat hooks already (you may have spotted them on my string shelf) and am planning to order a few more.  I've been toying with the idea of adding just one pink one to the mix to represent the lone lady in the house. :)  We are really missing a spot to drop our keys when we come in the door so I'm hoping I can fit the ikea shoe cabinet in the entry along with a great chair (there's a couple options above).  There's an Aalto pendant that I'm also drooling over.  We'll see if it will be in the budget or if a great sale comes along.  So that's the plan - a little Marimekko with black, white, grey, rose and wood accents.  I'm getting excited for this space already!  Happy weekend!

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14 Jan 2014

Looking for a Scandinavian Coffee Table

Our basement reno has been at a standstill for the last week.  I know in my last post I said we were getting the concrete poured that day, but late the same morning we found out the pump truck was broken and here we are about a week later still waiting on a truck to pump the concrete!  I'm crossing my fingers that it will be poured soon.  In the meantime, I have had lots of time to think about the decor for the basement.  

Our basement will have a really large rec room down there which will need a big sofa or sectional and our plan has always been to move the Saarinen tulip coffee table from our living room to the basement.  This means that I am in the market for a new coffee table/have an excuse to look at coffee table options.  I know this purchase may be a ways off still, but it's fun to look at some options in  the meantime.  I would like to get something that I will be able to keep forever and possibly hand down to one of the boys if they ever may want it.  Below are a few options I'm considering.  They're all Scandinavian or have a Scandinavian feel which I think will go well with my style and with my goal of trying to create a home that will teach my children about their heritage.

I've also gathered a few inspirational pictures of each of the tables below.  I love how many of these tables come in a few colour options and sizes allowing them to be paired together.  Many of them are also really versatile in that they could easily be used as side tables as well.  I chose mostly natural wood, white, grey and black since they would be the most versatile in my space, but if you click the links to the manufacturers above, you may be surprised at how many colour and sometimes wood choices there are.





Now I have a really tough decision to make.  At least I have some time to make it while the basement is being finished. :)  One thing to keep in mind though, is that many of these types of pieces take weeks to get in so I may be able to make the decision a little sooner?  Which table do you like best?

9 Jan 2014

Instagram Wall

You'd think since the polar vortex was keeping us all inside, I would have had plenty of time to work on projects around the house, but the cold just made me want to cozy up and keep warm.   I didn't get a whole lot done, but I did end up getting a few instagram photos printed and put up on the wall above my workspace.  This is not a new idea or anything, but I ended up being super pleased with the result.  

Since Valentine's Day is coming up in just over a month, I made a couple of Valentine's themed pictures in photoshop.  I added a heart to one photo and the word, "LOVE"to another.  These two pictures also had lots of white space to give some visual relief/interest to my instagram wall.  I also used the same grey, black and pink colour scheme as my DIY calendar.

I have an outlet in the wall that was probably used to light a painting by the previous owners.  It's a pretty nice feature, but since we widened the opening from our foyer to the living room, it's no longer centred in the wall.  I decided to cover it up for now with some "art".  It's a piece from a wallpaper sample I received recently.  I'm thinking of using it for our foyer.  I'm also thinking this little outlet might be great spot to plug in a pendant of some sort.  I'm on the hunt for some task lighting since my lamp died on me. 

So here's a little peek at how the space is looking right now.  I swapped out my Stokke chair for the Eames one Tech Guy bought me.  I'm not a super fan of the colour.  I would have loved it in a more neutral tone, but I think it will be fine in the basement if we ever get to actually furnishing it.  By the way, our concrete pour had been delayed by the polar vortex and should happen today.  Things down there are progressing and I probably should write a post about it, but it's hard to get excited about mechanical systems, concrete, water proofing, etc.
Anyway, back to my workspace. :)  I'm happy with the bones of the space so far.  I still need to figure out a few desk accessories/organizers and lighting, style my string shelf as well as get a keyboard and mouse for my new screen.  I was lucky enough to get the monitor when it didn't work out for one of Tech Guy's clients.  It is so much nicer to edit photos on the large monitor than my laptop.
That's a little more progress on my workspace.  I think it's looking a little more my style from where I first started. :)  I hope you all stayed warm during the last couple of super cold days.  I'm looking forward to the warmer weather promised for Saturday - +6 C!  Maybe our cars will actually defrost a bit!
P.S. if anyone is interested in the photoshop templates for the heart and "LOVE" instagrams send me an email (anu@nalleshousedotcom) and I'll shoot them over to you.

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6 Jan 2014

DIY: Wood Veneer Calendar & Free Printable

Happy 2014!  I've been taking a little time to be with family over the past couple weeks and am slowly getting back into DIY and house stuff.  Tech Guy and my brother-in-law, on the other hand, have been super busy getting the in-floor heating tubes (radiant heat) down in the basement.  They'll be tested today and the concrete poured on Tuesday!  This means we will finally have a floor and I'm excited to see how the finished floor will look.  It will still be quite some time before the basement is ready for finishing and decorating and in the meantime I'm still trying to tackle some unfinished projects upstairs. One of these projects is my little workspace.  

From the washi tape Christmas tree post you probably saw that I had added a string pocket shelf above the desk, but that's as far as I have gotten, yikes!  I'm hoping to start finishing this little nook this week and I got to a small start this weekend with a DIY calendar and I am sharing the printable with you in case you might still be looking for a calendar. :)  This is the customizable English version:

And here is the Finnish version that I made for my space because you so need a Finnish calendar when living in Canada. ;)  I also added a a wintry black and white photo to one of the circles.  At the bottom of the post are PDF and photoshop versions of the calendar in both English and Finnish so that you have the option of customizing it with your own photo (you'll need photoshop for this).  To mount my calendar I used washi tape to attach it to a leftover piece of birch veneer from my paper chain project. I then punched a hole at the top and hung it with some baker's twine.  

I love how the birch veneer is similar in tone to the wood on my string pocket shelf.  I am planning on making a new calendar each month.  I've already started February's calendar and I think it will be fun to change up the shapes and photo each month.  I'll try and share them here on the blog too in case anyone is interested.   I'd still like to add some more art to the wall above this new calendar and get some kind of desktop organization happening too and my new shelves need a little styling too.  Let's hope I can get to all that soon. :)

 Here are the links to the calendars in the two languages and in PDF or photoshop versions.  The calendar is approximately  4.5"x 7":

*to add your own photo to the calendar you will have to use clipping mask.  Here is a good tutorial on how to use clipping masks

That's my first DIY of 2014!  Happy Monday!

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