Boys’ rooms update and big news!

Last I shared, the boys’ rooms were on the docket for painting… and indeed they were painted. While they had a great time at my parent’s house over March Break (see below) I painted their rooms in what I dubbed “the least dramatic before and after project” since the rooms basically look the same only *slightly* more shiny.

Grandmas Rules

And while they were enjoying Grandma’s house rules, I also did a bit more shopping and indeed the design gods were with me on my trip to HomeSense and I found a pair of panels for Harrison’s room. I’m planning to add some blackout lining so that these summer months are a bit easier on us at bedtime.

We now wait for the paint to cure, in order to put a few things up on the walls – like the decals I have saved for Foster’s room. Once some of the more interesting changes have happened to their rooms, I’ll post photos of the progress.

BUT… I also promised some big news so here it is:

WE ARE PUTTING IN A POOL! (Yes, that required All Caps)

I’m calling it #projectpool so you can follow along on instagram. This week we hit a major milestone because the digging has begun.

After months of planning – seriously we started planning in October – it is finally time to see the plans come together.

Phase two of our yard projects that we planned for last year (catch up on Phase One in New Nest  – Exterior Tour), includes an in-ground pool, the required fence for said pool, the patio/hardscaping around the pool and extending the existing patio, a pool shed, a walkway from the front of the house around the side to the back, and adding some gardens and/or plants. Whew!

Pool

That’s a lot to take in, but that image does show the left side of the house that’ll be part of the plan this summer. We’re going to share part of the path to the back with our neighbours so we can each have a nice wide path until our fences, rather than two skinny ones separated by another skinny patch of grass. It pays to be friendly with your neighbours!

Here’s a closer look at the backyard area.

Pool3

The pool will be right off the patio area, leaving us a patch of grass that we can still use to throw a ball around in.

We decided to ditch the hot tub altogether, since we didn’t think we would use it much. And although we thought this project might take on 3 or more phases, the addition of the pool required a bunch of other “stuff” to be done, like putting in the fence to meet by-law and safety requirements, and the shed (more of a “want” so we can store pool-related items), it made sense to do all the rest of the plan at once. So phase 2 will be the end of the major yardwork we have done. I’m sure the yard will continue to evolve though as our family grows.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to see this starting to come together.

Foster and digger

Someone else is pretty excited too!

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Harrison’s Room – The Plan

Well it is March Break and the boys are at Nana and Poppa’s for a week of fun, so it is about time that I show you what I have in store for their rooms while they’re away.

Foster’s room will end up looking a lot like  Harrison’s “big boy” room in our previous house, with a few additions, and obviously a different shape and size. So let’s talk about Harrison’s room.

As I mentioned in the last post, I had found bedding for Harrison’s room and it was on sale at The Bay (now on clearance!)so I snagged it up while I could. He’s really into hockey right now, so I’m going to try to incorporate that into the room with some temporary and/or inexpensive accents and I’m planning a pretty neutral palette in the hopes that the room will be able to grow with him for a long time.

Curtains have been a sticking point for me. As you can see, there’s two options on the board above. I really like the rugby stripe because I think it’ll keep the room looking youthful, but those ones are from Pottery Barn Kids and are $109 USD per panel! I was hoping to find something at a lower price point. The other option I found at Urban Barn and they’re a bit more formal and grown-up and still also $79 per panel. So… I continue to hunt for a bargain. Maybe the decor gods will be with me when I hit up HomeSense.

I ordered the Stripes around the Cube Bins in yellow from Land of Nod and am not-so patiently awaiting their arrival. I have ordered these before in different colours and they fit perfectly in the Ikea Kallax (and formerly Expedit) shelving that has a home in each of the boys’ rooms. The hockey pillow is from Target.

A while back I picked up some white wire shelves/bins that I found at HomeSense to begin to corral some of the books/paper that is now coming into Harrison’s room from school. I think that’ll be great for beside his bed.

The first step is to paint the rooms in an eggshell finish (which I talked about back here), so that we can start to put furniture back, hang curtains and put art and decor on the wall and un-boring the rooms once and for all!

I have one lingering design/function question for all of you. I was thinking about putting a desk in Harrison’s room. What do you think? Do your school-aged kids have a desk in their room? Or do they do work/homework elsewhere in the house? Do you think a desk in a bedroom would just capture clutter? Let me know what you would do.

 

New Nest House Tour – Second Floor

It’s time for Part Two of the tour of the new house. Come on up!

Foyer and Stairs

From the top of the stairs there’s a hallway to the right that leads to all the bedrooms on the 2nd floor.

hallway

The closed double doors you see above lead to the walk-in linen closet. At the very top of the stairs on the right (the partial door you see above on the right) leads to our guest bedroom.

Guest Room

A guest bedroom was high on our list of “wants” when searching for and then planning our new house. Since all of our family live out of town, we wanted to have a space for them when they come to visit (hint-hint). We have already put this room to good use and it has been so nice to offer our friends and family who visit, a place of their own in our home. (I hope they enjoyed it too!) And we don’t have to offer them blow up mattresses in make-shift “bedrooms” any more.

Guest Room Ensuite

The guest room also has its own ensuite – again to give our guests a space of their own when visiting. No need to subject them to the boys’ bad aim, or the ring of dirt they seem to leave in the bathtub every.single.time.

Next up I’ll show you around what I’ve been calling “boy zone”.

boy zone 1

Open door leading into Harry’s room. Closed door leads into Foster’s room.

boy zone 2

Door to Foster’s room.

boy zone 3

Looking out of “boy zone” into the hallway towards the guest bedroom.

When we were first planning the house I thought this space was kind of wasted, but based on the design plan the space couldn’t really be attributed to either boy’s room or it would make the doorways extremely awkward. Our builder also pointed out that this division helps to give some separation to “boy zone” (the bedrooms) and will help with sound dampening as well. And now that we have it, I really love it. I think it’s unique and gives our boys a little extra shared space, and I have so many ideas about how we’re going to make this area special and functional for the boys.

Foster's Room

Foster’s room is the one at the front of the house and it gets beautiful sunlight in the afternoon and evening. The door you see above leads from Foster’s room into the boys’ shared bathroom.

Boy's Bathroom

From each bedroom the boys enter into this common sink area. I really wanted to do something fun and special for the boys’ bathroom so we opted for the green cabinets, and a single trough sink with two faucets. I LOVE how it turned out. (Also the door you see above leads into Harry’s room and is the only peek into his room that we have from before the move).

Boy's Shower Room

From the sink area, the boys then have a tub/toilet area that can be closed off from the sink area. Which I think will be really great as they get older and want some privacy. The separation will allow them to both use different parts of the bathroom at once.

Master Bedroom

And our master bedroom is at the back of the house and our large window makes use of our great views. We often see deer out in the field behind our house in the mornings or at dusk and the sunrises are incredible. If you were standing at the window looking out and turned right you could see into our master ensuite.

Master Bathroom

We decided to go with classic white for the cabinets and the countertops are a white quartz with just a hint of sparkle to give it a bit of elegance. We also upgraded to a kitchen height cabinet in our bathroom instead of standard height since both husbandman and I are relatively tall. It was well worth it.

Master Bathroom Shower

Our walk-in shower is insanely large. What else can I say?

Master Bathroom Tub

And this tub is just awesome. It faces the window (the reflection of which you can see in the shower photo above, and the first bathroom photo) and it looks out on the field and the green space behind our yard. I specifically asked for the window to be large and low so that I could take advantage of the view while in the tub.

So there you have it! A tour of our 2nd floor four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

If you’re catching up, check out these posts: New Nest – The Plan, New Nest – Exterior Tour, New Nest House Tour – The Main Floor

New Nest House Tour – The Main Floor

Now that you’ve seen the plan and the outside of the house, it’s time to show you around the inside. These photos were taken right before we moved in. I thought I’d give you the “clean slate” tour.

Since our move in November we’ve added lots of love and chaos (and furniture, of course) and I’ll show you some updated shots in another post. We haven’t done much decorating yet as we’re just living in the space and trying to figure out how we want the space to flow and what we need/want for each space. That list is getting longer and more specific every day, and the boys are begging me to decorate their rooms, so I suspect I’ll be busy this fall with adding some touches to the house that will make it feel even more like home. And what better time than fall than to cozy up the house?!

Foyer from stairs

Foyer and Stairs

The powder room is behind the door pictured above.

Family Room and Coffered Ceiling

The coffered ceilings in the family room is definitely the best bang for our buck item we put in the new house. LOVE!

Kitchen View 2

As you saw in the plan post we decided on a very open floor plan, particularly because we like entertaining (and also for keeping an eye on the kiddos). Hopefully you can see in these photos that though it is quite open, the spaces have some distinct separations. Like how the kitchen can’t be seen from the front door, and the dining room is tucked in the corner of the house – close to the kitchen but out of the way for a little dining privacy.

Kitchen View 1

Kitchen View 3

Kitchen sink

quartz close up

cabinets close up

Kitchen and Family Room

Hallway

Butler's Pantry

Dining Room

Most of our finishes were selected from our builder’s selections so I don’t have specific details on all the items in the house, like the floors or doors. But here are some of the big items:

Paint colour: Sherwin Williams Repose Grey

Kitchen countertops: Caesarstone Bianco Drift

Kitchen sink: Kohler

All the light fixtures except the dining room: Canarm

Dining room light fixture: The Bay – Renwil Perugia

New Nest – Exterior Tour

I hope you guys liked the sneak peek at our new nest plans and some of the interior spaces. Before I take you inside for a house tour, I thought I’d start by showing you around the exterior of the house just like you were pulling up to our house for a visit.

Also if you follow along on Instagram you know that in late July and early August we had a patio project on the go, so it seems appropriate to show you this newly completed project that I teased on Instagram and that has made such a difference to the whole look of the house and the function we get from it.

But first, let me show you what the house was looking like when we moved in.

Eaglecrest with driveway

Our house is new craftsman in style and the exterior reflects that. We didn’t go wild with colour choices and tried to stick with browns and greys. Choosing exterior colours was extremely nerve-wracking. The samples to choose from are quite small (especially when you consider the size of the house) and there weren’t any other houses in previous neighbourhoods that we felt got it exactly right (for us), so we had to select “blind” in a way. And once you’ve selected you just have to wait for them to start putting it on the house and hope and pray that you love it because there’s no going back now.

When we moved in last fall we put the patio at the top of our wish list for projects come springtime. We use our bbq year-round and the boys need to run around so we knew we’d want to make use of our backyard (and have access) as soon as possible.

First up, our lawn was installed right before the May long weekend. And boy did that make a difference to how the yard looked. We only had to stay off it for 3 weeks. #kidscantwaitthatlong

new grass

 

yard looking left

 

sprinkler

Don’t let those photos fool you. It looked extremely green in the spring in the few weeks after we got sod… and then we had one of the hottest, driest summers on record.

In terms of planning the yard we knew that building our dream yard would be more than a one year project. Being able to budget and save up year over year was the main reason, but also because it’ll give us a bit more time to live in the house (and the yard) and decide what’s most important to us, and how we use the space.  We asked the designer to show us a plan of our yard that would offer us all of the wants/needs for our yard all at once so that we could see the big picture and not make any hard to undo “mistakes” that we’d be kicking ourselves over later. Once we had the big picture then we’d consider how much we wanted to bite off at a time. For example, we didn’t want to put in a patio this year that the designer would tell us would get in the way of a future pool or fire pit next year or beyond.

Our BIG wish list included:

  • Large kid-friendly stairs leading out from the patio doors,
  • A large patio that could accommodate grilling, dining and lounging,
  • Low-maintenance gardens
  • A pool
  • A hot tub
  • A fire pit
  • A walkway from our driveway around the side of our house to the backyard
  • A fence (especially required if we put in a pool)

I’m guessing that like many home plans the yard will evolve as our family grows and will constantly be a work in progress.

We really want our backyard to be a place we can spend our summers entertaining, enjoying the natural surroundings of our yard, play with the kids and eat as many meals as possible al fresco.

So this summer we tackled  “phase one” which included front gardens, gardens on the right side of the house, and stairs from the patio doors and a stone patio spanning the width of the house and some some additional planting. We also included some lighting in the gardens and on the stairs.

Before work started the yard was already starting to look pretty crispy, despite our best efforts to water it on our watering day.

DSC_0972

 

 

 

 

 

Back Before

Pathetic Stairs 2

Those are some seriously sad-looking stairs.

It only took about two and a half weeks to complete the project (12 working days in all).

Front After

The birch tree in the front makes such a huge difference inside and outside the house. From inside you can see the green leaves through the transom above the front door and it makes our house feel so much more finished. #crazybutitstrue

Side Front After

Side garden

We’re told our side yard is almost no maintenance. This is the side of the house we decided we wouldn’t use at all as a means to get to the back of the yard. The other side of the house makes the most sense, so we decided to simply use up the whole space with garden so that we don’t have to mow it or maintain it much, but it still looks nice.

Back After

Back After 2

The day I took these After photos was extremely bright and a lot of the photos of the patio itself and the patio stones got really washed out. I’ll try to take some new photos on a dimmer day so you can get a sense of the colour. The in-progress photo below does a so-so job but in reality it is much darker grey than these photos suggest.

patio

Already, less than one month later, we have enjoyed so many meals on the patio, and more than a few glasses of wine on the patio after the kids have been tucked in.

Next up patio furniture to fill up the space. The dining set we have fits in the space better than we expected but we’re putting an 8-seater on our patio wish list and keeping an eye out for some end of season deals.

 

 

Notchwood – The Final Chapter

At the beginning of the year I mentioned, kinda off-hand that we sold our second home. And I even showed a few photos from the updates we did to the (now old) house.

I thought that a nice way to wrap up that house with a bow and for a little closure and posterity’s sake I’d share with you some parting shots of our second home.

Notchwood- foyer

The main entrance of our house – the foyer. We painted in here, replaced the light fixtures, painted tone-on-tone stripes for an accent wall, and put up some decorative shelves.

Notchwood- Living RoomThis room was basically unchanged the whole time we were here. Our “formal” living room was never really used – except for epic dance parties and when we used it as a guest room for visitors.

Notchwood-dining room

Always loved our dining room. The only somewhat DIY that we did in here was replace the light fixture with the one from our kitchen  after we found a new light for our eat-in kitchen. Did some sewing projects here and shared some delicious meals with friends and family.

Notchwood-9

Notchwood-13

Notchwood-kitchen

Refinished the kitchen table and chairs and repainted the walls, and replaced the light fixture but otherwise this kitchen was already renovated when we moved in.

Notchwood-15

Lots of transformations and updates in this room. New furniture, new paint, new floors, new curtains and a new rug before we left.

Notchwood-master bedroom

Our master bedroom had its fair share of updates too. New paint, new furniture and bedding, new drapes and some bedside table makeovers. And no room in this house had more of a transformation than our master bedroom ensuite.

Notchwood-master ensuite

All new everything.

Notchwood-Harry's room

Harry’s room was transformed from our guest room once we had made enough people to fill all of our bedrooms. I’m so happy with how this room turned out even though there was still more I wanted to do to it. This room had a new coat of paint, and was the room that kicked off the new trim colour throughout the house. Our DIY dresser still lives in Harry’s new room. One of my favourite projects. And so easy!

Notchwood-nursery

So many happy memories in this nursery.

Notchwood-basement1

Notchwood-basement2

And finally the basement that was one of the last big projects that we tackled by sprucing it up with some paint and making the boys’ playroom a lot more functional and organized.

Notchwood-basement3

The playroom project in that house is another one that I was so happy with. I’m hoping to create a similar space for the boys in the new house.

So that’s it! That’s the grand tour of our second home. I have so many great memories of our time in that house – from decorating the nursery and bringing home both boys, many happy meals (and McHappy meals), and hosting friends and family and watching the boys run around in the yard and out to the park. It was such a good house and we’re happy it has found another great family.

PS: All of these amazing photos of the house were taken by the talented Ryan at First Look. So if you’re in need of real estate photography give him a call.

High/Low

Jumping right back in to share an update for a project that I’m working on at the new house. We’re about to host our first legit house guests in our new guest room next week. We managed to move some furniture around (and we even bought ourselves a new bed) but the guest room is one that was lacking items to make it “live-able”. We’re in a bit of a race to get this room together. One of the first things on my list was to get some new bedding for the room.

I want to keep the room light and airy feeling and somewhat neutral so guests feel relaxed, but also so that I can throw in a pop of colour or some accents as the mood strikes me. And I recently came across some bedding that I really loved. But the price… not so much.

Zara home pleated bedding

high

Beautiful and simple, with a little detail to make it not so plain. So, needless to say I was on the hunt for a more wallet-conscious alternative. And lo and behold, Ikea had the answer to my bedding dreams.

alvine-stra-duvet-cover ikea

low

Save $100? Count me in! The Ikea version was an easy choice once I found it, and not to mention, the Ikea set comes with two pillow cases. If you’re on the hunt for some bedding along these lines I found a few more on my search.

I really like this one from Urban Barn, this one from West Elm, and a slightly different take also at West Elm.

What about you? Got any projects on the go with a very looming deadline? Shopping for bedding? Show me your finds!