Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home for the holidays

My husband and I have been teaching in a small Inuit community for the last several years. We leave our home in August and then patiently wait 4 months until Christmas so we can go home for a 2 week break. This year is exceptionally hard seeing that we have our daughter with us now. Our family is anxious to see us and we them. We are also eager to get into our house for our first Christmas at home.
We finished school on Friday and were excited to fly down home on Saturday. However our flight was cancelled due to the weather and was only rescheduled for Monday. We are heartbroken, but keep a smile on our face for our daughters sake.
Instead of wallowing in the fact that I am not at home putting up the tree, I did some research for ideas on how to decorate my first home for its first Christmas.

Here are a few photos that caught my eye. I am definitely a traditionalist and I am partial to the
clean and natural Scandinavian look that these photos seem to embody.

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

I have a small collection of decorations that have been handed down from our mothers and a few that we have bought for Niamh. I however need many more to fill up the tree and to fill up the house.

Maybe I could add these to my collection?

Chris_J @

Sarah Richardson HGTV

I don't know if this is something I would ever do, but I love the look. I will keep it in my look book just in case one day I get a real burst of energy with the kids and want to have some Christmas fun.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas comes early

My birthday is two weeks before Christmas. And for some years I get a combo birthday/Christmas present. This year my husband is going this route, but instead of waiting until Christmas to give it to me I got my gift on my birthday.
Drum role please...... my husband has offered to pay half of my tuition to the Sheffield School of Interior Design!!!!!
I am over the moon ecstatic!!! I can't wait to take my passionate hobby to the next level.
Sheffield is a an online school which offers a range of courses from interior decorating, to wedding planning, to even jewelry design. This is a great option for me as I will be at home for another year once the new baby arrives. And what better way to spend my time at home then decorating my home with the help of real experts.
I will be assigned with a real decorator who will guide me step by step through the 6 units and help me on my way to becoming a real decorator myself.

I will keep everyone posted on my learning adventure once I finish my application and receive my first course load. Wish me luck!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reading List

Here are a few books I read before the renovations took place.

I wanted to be as well informed as possible on the renovation process and I wanted to make sure I didn't leave anything out when it came to designing the house.

Now that the main renovations are finished I have updated my reading list to include books on decorating. This is my favourite and most anticiapted part of owning a home......decorating it.

Of course my reading list is not complete without my two go-to decorating magazines, Style at Home and House & Home.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Outsiders

While we were all snuggled up in our beds, the construction workers were still busy hammering away. For you see while most of the inside was finished, the outside was still missing a key feature. The siding!
The siding we used was called Maebec. It is a wood siding, and unlike other varieties of siding it needed to be very well installed to make sure the warranty was not jeopardize. Each cut on each board had to be painted, and each joint around each window and corner had to be chalked. My contractor was not to keen on doing this in February weather, so it had to wait until warmer weather arrived.
Once the work got started it took about 4 weeks in all to get the siding up and finished. But what a difference those 4 weeks made!
Our house, for the most part, looks complete. All that is missing are the balconies and overhangs.

Just a little reminder of what the house used to look like.

And here it is now.

Home Sweet Home!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Master Bedroom: Conclusion

Finally a place to rest our weary heads after a years worth of renovations.
We still need to decorate the space and get pretty much all the furniture, but it's finished!!
And we couldn't be happier to call this room our master bedroom.



The floors turned out beautifully and we love the colour. I don't think we could have found any type of new flooring that would have topped this. We still need to find a set of side tables, some art and a nice rug for under the bed. So much shopping to do!!!

We had the headboard custom made at a small boutique called Revive. We fell in love with the fabric and the nail head details around the trim. It is a very soothing palette. However I would love to find an accent colour to help bring a bit of pop to the room. The green bureau will be getting a paint makeover soon as I think we will be going with an all white furniture scheme.

Oh what a lovely site I see whenever I open my closet door. We installed an Ikea PAX closet system and I love it!! Nothing is better than having my OWN closet for all my clothes and shoes.

The two windows bring in allot of natural light. We bought white bamboo blinds to hide the sun and the grey curtains give a tone on tone look that I thought would be calming and romantic for the master.

Our office space turned out great. We bought the sage chaise at the same store as the headboard. We couldn't resist the suede material and the fact that it matched perfectly with the headboard fabric. The tripod lamp is also from the same store. The glass topped desk is an Ikea purchase. seeing that the space isn't huge we didn't want the desk to take up to much visual space. We plan on putting floating shelves both above the chaise and desk in the future to give a bit more of a library feel.

I could just lounge here all day.....and I think after the year we had I just might.

Master's of our domain

Last but not least on my lists of rooms is our master.
We really wanted to create an oasis for ourselves. After all the hard work getting this house finished it was so nice to come in to our own little haven away from all the hustle and bustle.
Now it is far from finished and we still need to come up with a proper design scheme, but we like the way it has come together so far.

However before we were able to move in and make ourselves at home the room needed to go through a major transformation. Originally the area we would designate to become our master was 3 small bedrooms and a bathroom. We tore down all the walls and got working on designing our perfect space.

The dividing walls come down and we opened the space into one giant room.

We were originally going to close the office off from the master but we loved the loft feel of the room so much that we decided to leave it open to the rest of the room.

The shims are in place to make sure the old walls are even to put on the gyp-rock. The two gaping holes left in the walls will be the location of our future His and Hers walk in closets.

The framing goes up and we now have an enclosed space. Well except for the giant doorway to nowhere. We will one day have a balcony off the office.

The master is starting to take shape. The gyp-rock and windows are in and the plastering is underway. The floors still need to be sanded, but you can see the character they possess even under all the plaster dust.

The walls are up and the window and door in place in our office area.

It's hard to tell in this photo but the walls are painted. I fell in love with the colour called Coventry Grey by Benjamin Moore. As you may have guessed I am a huge fan of the colour grey.

My piece de resistance.....the chandelier. It was really expensive and really silly for me to buy it, but I couldn't resist. I loved it and felt that it deserved to come home with me.

Niamh's Room

Niamh's room deserves it's own post. While it is still a work in progress I love the way things have turned out so far in my little girls room.



The window is the real show stopper in this room. We still need to fix the plaster around it and figure out how to make the moulding, but it's beautiful all the same.
The green light is the colour inspiration for the room. It came from my grandmother's childhood home and has found a new home here in Niamh's room.

The slanted roof is so quaint, however my husband has to watch his head as he is 6 feet tall. We haven't really figured out the right furniture configuration yet, but once we get Niamh into a big girls bed I am sure it will all come together.
The quilt on the floor was made by Niamh's grandmother before she was born. The same colour green as the light was used in the quilt, and it is accented with a great shade of pink. While we haven't really decorated the room yet, we have started gathering ideas and pieces to get started once we have time to devote to finishing off this princess's room.

The hutch came from a local antique store. We loved the cream colour and the worn in look. It is from the 1800's so we thought it fitting that it should be in the oldest part of the house. Perfect size for a little girl too!
Don't you just love the mini closet. It's like a door to magical world....or so I can imagine Niamh telling herself as she gets older. The baby change table actually came out of the old bathroom. My dad put the edging on it, we gave it a lick of paint and voila, free change table.

The book shelf was a gift Niamh got when she was born from her great-aunt and uncle. They told us it was to be filled only with children's books. Which is perfect because Niamh loves reading books. The only problem is I end up having to re-place all the books back at the end of the day.

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