The Friday Five: Uptown Update

So, it’s been a while since I’ve shared an update from my home uptown. You would think that because I have completely hibernated this winter, I should have been able to tackle a lot indoor projects, but with the evening darkness and my general laziness, I really didn’t get that much done. Plus, I am dealing with the most ridiculous kitchen cabinet maker (more on that one day soon), which has stalled much of the work that I needed to get done in the kitchen. Nonetheless, I have made some progress and¬†here are a five updates:

1. Kitchen: The last time you saw the kitchen, it looked like this. Since then, one of the new cabinets was installed, and my dad installed my over-the-range microwave. This made a huge difference in the kitchen as it freed up a whole counter section and really makes things feel lighter.

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2. Kitchen: Since I took the above photo, I finished installing the backsplash (thanks to Tia and Jeff for cutting the tricky ones for me), but I still need to grout it (hopefully after work today).

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3. Big Bath: I have shared a small peek of my big bath¬†and a couple of before photos here. A lot has changed in the big bath. In addition to the tearing off of wallpaper, new paint on walls and ceiling, and new towel bars, I now have a modern rectangular sink on top of a new laminate counter and updated vanity doors (thanks to the power of paint!). I wanted to keep the current reno cost down just in case I want to plan a bigger reno down the road (ideas, ideas!). I’m still looking around for lighting options and I have to hang up the mirror. It’s by no means a beautiful room (yet), but it’s a big improvement from day 1.

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4. Big Bath: It has taken me quite a while to figure out what kind of art to put in the bathroom. At first, I thought I wanted something huge and loud. But then I couldn’t find anything that I liked, and I wasn’t sure I had time to paint something myself. As I unpacked my old gallery wall, I thought I could put it up in the big bath. But when I laid it all out, I felt it was too colourful. Then I leaned my DIY Rorschach-like art against the walls and I kind of liked it. Left it there for a few days to see if my thoughts would change. They didn’t. I painted up some more Rorschach-types, framed in frames that I already owned, and then hung them up on the bathtub wall. I’m really really liking the black & white art wall and I’ll continue to add to the grouping.

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5. Dining room: I hung up my white doily art on one of the dining room walls. I lined up the bottoms as I had done in my last apartment, but I just read somewhere that art should be lined up from the top. Have I made the biggest faux-pas ever?

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Bonus:

6. Entryway: I used Capture to give the carpet in my entry a refresh. It worked! Here’s the before (top) and after (bottom).

White-Cabana-Uptown-reno-4So, that’s a quick update from Uptown to end the week. My to do list is look pretty great – even though I keep adding to it. Here’s where I stand (see¬†original to do list):

–¬†change all the door locks to¬†these Schlage locks
– remove wallpaper in¬†all three¬†bathrooms ‚Äď one left!
–¬†choose a paint colour
–¬†paint the whole house white (the walls are currently¬†brown, beige,¬†burgundy,¬†pink, and green)
–¬†plant hostas
–¬†install a new vanity in the powder room¬†and upstairs bathroom & install¬†these gorgeous Delta faucets
–¬†install a screen door off the kitchen so that I can open the door to the deck without letting in all the bugs
–¬†buy a Ficus plant
–¬†break the big wall down that exists between the living room and dining room
–¬†break the small wall down that exists in my kitchen
–¬†patch up the walls after so much destruction
change all the light fixtures (I started with this one)
–¬†buy a new couch (looking at¬†these ones)
install new kitchen countertops
– install a shower in the basement bathroom
–¬†buy tiles for backsplash &¬†install backsplash

Here are some of the new additions:
– paint touch-ups (all over)
-office organization
-office art wall
-install fire smoke alarms (again)
-plan patio

I LOVE seeing so many things crossed off the list! Yay for progress. This spring I’m looking forward to (learning how to and) installing a stone floor on my small back patio and watching my hostas grow.

Have a great Friday & happy weekend, everyone!

The Uptown series documents my experiences as a new homeowner. Fun times ahead!

Uptown: Progress Update – Powder Room

Hi all. I’ve had a good couple of weeks offline and I hope you have too, but now I’m back to regular blogging, tweeting, and instagramming (new verbs, don’t you love them?) and I’m excited for what’s to come in 2014.

I had grand plans for my 2 weeks off from work – mainly I wanted to sleep in and watch TV. Instead, I had a total of 2 lazy days (one of which was Christmas) and spent much of the rest of my time working on my home. Painting, organizing, building Ikea furniture, unpacking boxes – it was a full-time job, really. Things are looking¬†much¬†better and I’m happy to share some of the progress with you this week.

I’m starting with the powder room as this is the room that is (pretty much) done. This is what the small space looked like when I took a tour pre-sale:

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And here is what things are looking like these days:

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You already know that I took a crack at installing the hex tile floors. I just love how they turned out. While the process took some time, it wasn’t that hard. Delta was kind enough to send over the Tommy faucet¬†and it looks beautiful with the Ikea sink cabinet. I bought the mirror at HomeSense and the Umbra towel holder at Canadian Tire.

I’m still trying to narrow down the art options for this small space but that’s it. This room is (almost) done!

Tomorrow I’ll take you on a mini tour of the living room.

 

Uptown: Powder Room Update

When I moved into my house, my plan for the powder room was to rip off the wallpaper and install a new faucet. Well, plans change.

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 powder room before

The powder room is now getting a full makeover. Oh, how I love a good makeover story! Progress has been slow but steady and I am really enjoying the full reno experience (minus the mess and constant clean up). To begin this makeover, I spent several evenings ripping down the wallpaper. Then I spent several more evenings (and weekends) scraping wallpaper glue from the walls.

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powder room – progress – wallpaper removed

It didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted a new vanity so at this point I handed the room off to my dad who, in addition to patching up a whole bunch of holes (thank you so much wallpaper glue) and rearranging the light source, removed the vanity and toilet. Once the room was empty, I decided that the vinyl flooring had to go so I ripped it out one Friday evening. I ripped it out without really planning what was going to come next but I was encouraged by a chat with Tia and a visit to Twin City Tile.

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 powder room Рripping out the vinyl floor

In between all of the destruction, I bought a new sink and vanity. I placed a tile order with Twin City Tile feeling only half-way confident that I could actually install a new floor by myself. After a mini-lesson from Silvano, I realized that I would need to install a new sheet of plywood over the subfloor in order to ensure a smooth installation of the new tiles. My dad and I cut a piece of plywood to size and the difference it made was pretty impressive. With the new flat floor in place, I went ahead and planned out the tile placement. I started with finding the centre point in the room and drawing lines to help line up my sheets of hex tile.

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 powder room Рnew subfloor ready to be screwed down

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 planning for the new tile floor

Over the period of 4 hours, I managed to dry-fit my tiles in the space, figure out how to mix adhesive to the correct consistency (not too soupy), and installed my tiles. I’m SO happy with the progress I made and I am incredibly proud that I managed to lay my first ever tile floor*.

IMG_6292top view of the powder room – new tile floor is secure!

I haven’t grouted yet. I’m going to try and get to it this week or upcoming weekend. I am leaning towards a grey grout. Then I’m going to build my vanity and figure out how to do plumbing**.

* Thanks to Silvano at Twin City Tile for a mini lesson, the Home Depot for offering a free backsplash installation workshop, and for the blogging community for documenting the tile installation process. I’ve learned so much from you all!¬†

**I’ll likely leave the plumbing up to my dad. We’ll see.