Update on #Projectpool

It is time for a photo onslaught to update you on the progress that’s happening in our backyard. It is getting really exciting! And now that the weather has turned into real summer-like weather we’re getting really anxious to get the liner in the pool and get it filled up.

Late last summer before the new grass had re-grown after #projectpatio our backyard was looking like this:


We didn’t have much patio furniture to fill it out but boy did we love it! So much room… and access to the backyard via those stone steps. We were out there constantly and it allowed us to extend our use of the backyard much later into the fall. We also added a conversation set to the patio – which you can see in the next photo. We opted for the Brandemore set and ordered it through Costco.ca.

Let’s take a walk not so far down memory lane to earlier this spring to see what we were working with.


A sure sign that work was about to start. Never been so excited about orange spray paint before!


The first thing to go in was the pool. Once the pool was dug and installed (mostly) then the landscaping could begin. So, right on schedule the “pool guys” showed up and went to work.


The pool went in so efficiently. We were so impressed with how quickly they dug the pool and then put it together. In only a couple of days it looked like this. After about a week, they had pretty much wrapped up their end of things, with a promise to be back when the major stone work was complete and heavy equipment had done their job.

We had a wet spring this year, though, so that set back the landscaping team a little bit. So our pool sat like this for a couple of weeks without any other action in the backyard.


Once the landscaping team arrived, though we started to see big changes immediately.


Big armour stone on site and lots of flagstone on site to be placed. The pool surround had the concrete poured so that the pool coping could be set in place.


Then the water feature started to take shape and a lot of the heavy lifting with the skid steer. It was amazing to watch the painstakingly detailed work that takes a lot of effort. The large rocks were moved sometimes 3 or more times just to get them in the right spot, in the right shape, and then into final position after mortar had been placed.


If you’re following #projectpool on instagram, you might’ve seen my giddy post about some of the large trees showing up on site. You’ll also see in the photo above that the fence posts were starting to go in.


More fence progress and some extended patio work. That just about takes us to the end of last week and things were really starting to come together.

We’re getting pretty close and can almost see the finish line now!

Hoping to be swimming to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

What are you planning for Canada’s big day?


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.


Totally floored

Author’s note: This post takes many detours please follow the signs. Also, last week when I said I’d tell you all about this on Friday. I totally meant this Friday. Ya. Really.

A few months ago, R and I went to the KW Home Show because we’ve been thinking about doing a few updates to the house, and it didn’t hurt that we also had free tickets courtesy of our friend and real estate agent, Krista. We met lots of landscaping companies, a handful of garage door companies and contractors, and saw an uncanny number of vendors who had nothing to do with home renovation. Jewelry? Really?

While we were there we met a “flooring guy” who had a stranded bamboo floor on display that we both liked. I figured that since we both liked this particular flooring the price would be prohibitively high and we’d have to keep searching but, SURPRISE OF SURPRISES! the price was also well within our range. So a few weeks ago we set a meeting and went down to the DIY Hardwood showroom and talked bamboo, oak, maple and finishes and took home a few samples.

After laying out the 4 samples we brought home, we agreed there was  a clear winner – not the stranded bamboo we had both agreed on at the home show – but a medium tone oak.

We really  needed to choose wisely because there was already a lot of wood in the adjacent room, our kitchen. We needed to choose something that wouldn’t be too dark, because of our light-stained oak kitchen (that we are not ready to change) and we couldn’t choose anything too close to the wood that’s already in the room/kitchen for fear of it looking like we tried to match the two but failed.

We’re working with this kitchen:

We enlisted the help of our friend Dan for the weekend, but before the boys could get to work, the room needed to be emptied and the carpet needed to be taken up. (So THIS is what married couples do on Friday nights.) This caused much disruption in the house. This is where we eat:

On Friday night we got all the furniture out.

Got the carpet up.

Took up the underpad, the nails, the tack strip, and the baseboards.

Ready for a clean start on Saturday.

On Saturday morning the reinforcements arrived with many tools in hand. It took a little while to get started, get the tools set up, the boxes open etc. but the boys made great progress on day one.

They couldn’t use the big nailer until 3 rows had been put down and nailed with the hand-nailer, so getting to the point in the photo above took about 4 or 5 hours of actual work (plus a run to the Home Depot, Tim Horton’s and a lunch break). It’s at about this point where R suggested, “Okay, so now we just ‘copy and paste’, right?”

While the boys were inside working hard, I was working hard too, you know. The Eastbridge community yard sale was happening and I wasn’t going to miss that opportunity to get rid of R’s stuff, clear out some clutter.

And now for a brief post detour:

Megan brought some of her stuff over to put out for the yard sale as well and we chatted outside in between “customers”. I made $54! Except that R spent 10 of that (in our own driveway) buying Megan’s original GameBoy. So much for getting rid of stuff we don’t need.

By the end of the day the floor was starting to take shape, and organization ruled.

On Sunday, the boys got an early start and were ready to roll from the progress they’d made on Saturday. I thought it best that I leave them alone, so naturally, I went to brunch and a movie with Elysia. (We also stopped at Bulk Barn for movie snacks and OH. MY. GOD! Have you been? I had no idea such awesomeness existed.  My excitement could not be contained. You guys, you have no idea. It was like Elysia was showing me around Atlantis. A whole post about my new-found love for Bulk Barn is certainly in order.) Anywho, by the time I got back, LOOK!

That photo was taken at about 5:30 pm. By the time the next photo was taken it was about 10 pm. Those last little bits are tricky, aren’t they?

Final Before and After (with new baseboards) coming tomorrow.

So… what weekend projects are you guys up to? Anything that you’re doing yourself? Doesn’t it feel good to know you’ve made a big difference in your home? I had very little to do with installing the wood, but I know how proud the hubs was that they were only out 1/32 of an inch. Pretty impressive, I think. A job well done.