Saturday, 25 October 2014

Help! I'm trapped in the hallway and can't get out!

Remember when I started our hallway runner, only to discover I wanted more colour and I didn't have enough tiles to really pull it off. Well, because I'm really inpatient, I decided I could playing with some options in a digital hallway (i.e. adobe illustrator).

I came up with a couple of options, all really based on the design I started with. Which is really just cutting some tiles on the diagonal, and some not. 

But, I quickly realized that I could do this over and over and over again for hours. And though it was fun and kind of satifying, I just knew that once I had the new tiles in person, I wasn't going to fully follow any plan I came up with, because that just how I roll. I like to work things out as I go. So I decided to do the next best thing to DIY, which for me is shop for DIY materials. And to my amazement, I was able to snag some cheap green and blue tiles from the FLOR outlet, and then just ordered 2 orange Fedora.

And as soon as they arrived, I cut them apart and fit them into the hall. 

I love how all the color brings so much life to the hall, but honestly, I really struggled with those blue tiles. They just weren't the right tone. PERFECTIONISM ALERT! 

So I decided to go into the Flor store before ordering any more online to make sure that I got exactly the tone I was looking for. And guess what. They happened to have a couple of the one I wanted in stock. So I bought them. And just look how much better they go with everything. 

And then of course I cut them. 

It just so happens that this is one of my favorite colors, so of course I thought they were perfect. But changing those two pieces made me realize that what I really wanted was a herringbone pattern hallway. And so I experimented with all my half cuts and came up with this. 

And that's when I knew I was in trouble! Because I loved it! And so then a whole bunch more cuts lead to this. 

And after a little clean up it looked like this.

But I still didn't have enough tiles to complete the project, so back to ordering more! But I definitly feel like it's moving in the right direction. 

And even Henry can envision a finished hallway. Or is he looking at those boxes by the back door. What are those you ask, only the wardobe for our BEDROOM! But trust me, at the speed I'm moving, they will still be there when I finish the hall. 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Where there's a will, there's a leg!

Just a couple of weeks ago my sofa looked like this...

But now it looks like this, thanks to a super find on Etsy.

Remember a couple of weeks ago, when I shared about finding these legs and getting a green light from my husband to get them. Well they arrived and I got them installed. The whole process was suppose to be super easy. Flip the couch over, unscrew the old legs, screw in the new ones, and then flip it right side up. Done! And that's totally how it worked out for the first couch. But the second one just didn't want to be that simple. And as soon as I started having problems screwing the new legs in, I remembered that 7 years ago, we had similar problems with one of the couches and we decided to live with it because the ikea was 2 hours away and we'd had the couch delivered (essentially no way to exchange it). If you look closely, you can see in the image below that some of the legs aren't  bolted down, like the one in the top right hand corner. There is a gap between the leg and the couch. 

And that's because the bolt wouldn't thread properly. And it had nothing to do with the new legs.

So after trying to screw it in without wrecking the threading, I decided to just pull the embedded nut out. Which wasn't too hard, I actually just pryed it out with the nail puller on the back of my hammer. But then I needed to find a way to secure the bolt inside the couch, and you know, it just so happens that the wing nuts inside the couch, also fit the legs.

So I decided to steal some of them to hold the legs on with. 

And the reason I stole the wing nuts for the legs, rather than just use regular nuts, is that there isn't enough space inside of the couch to manouver a wrench to tighten a bolt. Only enough room for my hand, so the wing nut was perfect. 

But it did mean that I needed to replace the stolen wing nuts with regular nuts.

Once I solved the nut and bolt problem, everything turned out! The other thing that I did was change out the sliders on the bottom of the legs. I originally thought that the felt would be fine, but once they came, I didn't like the look. So for $3.50 each I bought to 2 packs of metal sliders, and just nailed them in place. You can order the legs with metal sliders, and if doing it again, I would have just done that. But you have to agree, the metal makes them look even more handsome. 

Now I just need to sew some new pillow cases, and the couch upgrades will be complete!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Sprayin It Saturday

One thing I love about design is that sometimes it takes the smallest action to have a huge result. And actually, I love small actions with big results. That's why I'm so infatuated with carpet tile. But I have a second secret love - spray paint! 

I love how quickly it goes on, how clean the applications final appearance is, and how bold the colors can be, and how amazing the transformation can be. But of course there are some serious down sides to spray paint, like the fact that it's bad for the environment and its insane off gasing. But beyond trying to kill the world and everyone who lives in it, it's pretty amazing. And I'm totally in love with it.   For example, I found this cute/creepy cat ceramic which I thought would be less creepy and more cute if it was all one colour. WHITE.

And so I sprayed it down with a couple of coats of white. And voila.

A less creepy ceramic animal. And though I'm not a great lover of ceramic animals, I thought this little cat would later be perfect next to our cat memory frame (which is a frame filled with images of all the cats we've had in our life). I guess this guy is kind of like a little angel cat. 

The second thing I sprayed was these babies. 

Which I got for FREE! But their base was not so nice. So I did the classic on them. BLACK. But first I had to wrap and tape them up. 

Then I sprayed them with a couple of coats at my makeshift spraying station. And they came out looking like this. 

I like the spray turned out and since they will probably end up on a high shelf, I'm not worried about people seeing the brown inside base. I've also been wondering if I shouldn't have gone with something more interesting for a colour. But then again, I can always spray them again.  I did get some new candles for them, but I want to find the right spot for them before I show you them in the house. But now I have my sights set on spraying these. 

Which are the laundry bins that you saw labeled in our bedroom floor plan. We bought them at Target a couple of months back, and I loved them because I knew I could spray them later if I wanted. And I had bought some king sized pillow cases to fit into them, so you wouldn't see our unmentionables.  But it turned out that they weren't big enough to fold over the top. So for the last couple of months, they have looked like this. Plus we some how struggle to keep the sorting clear. I'd like to have the baskets colour coded. One would be white (for bleachables), then a cream one (for non-bleachable whites/lights), a bright colored one (for brights) and then a dark colored one (for darks). And since I have enough spray paint to make this happen, you better believe I'm off to make it happen.

Well, off to start another project! 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Changing Blog World

I've only been blogging for a couple of months now, and before that I really only read one blog. The very famous work of Sherry and John at Young House Love (which my sister got me into)! But just this last month, they decided to take a blogging break (which has left so many people with a huge blog sized hole in their heart, including me). And more recently, a New York Times article discussed the issues with blogging these days. The blog world is evolving at a rapid pace.

For many like me, we just type away for the viewing eyes of our friends and family. And maybe the odd stranger. But for the most part, it's a tight circle of people we know who read our work. But for some, their audiences reach far beyond people who know them into the greater world wide web. And hit after hit, people who the writer knows nothing about read their intimate words. Then with increasing popularity comes the attention of corporate eyes looking for some word of mouth promotion. Plus, once you've got that kind of reach, you are no longer randomly writing a blog here or there. And you have to fork out thousands of dollars to pay for webhosting to support that kind of traffic. So you need cash flow. Let's just say that everything gets more complicated as soon as people start reading your blog.  And this is what's happening now, not to me, but for some blogging is becoming a business and it's amazing and it's complicated. Really complicated.

Now that I blog, I read more blogs and am watching the corporate culture inclusion. For example, Manhattan Nest's new house purchase, or Vintage Revival's Nugget sponsored by the Home Depot. There are endless promo entries in the blogs I read and I'm cool with it. It's not this that I'm actually bothered by when it comes to blogs growing in popularity. My bigger issue is people's comments.

When I first started, I thought maybe my friends would comment on my blog. But more often than not, they just comment on my facebook. Well, expect for that one time my friend Kate actually commented on my blog (Thanks Kate!). And honestly, I felt a bit discouraged. Doesn't anyone care that I've laid carpet tile for the hundredth time! (lololol). But then I got to thinking about how hurtful some of the comments I've seen on other blogs can be. And how the comment sections of the web are filled with jerks, meanies and others just trying to get people rilled up. And I'll give people the benefit of the doubt, that sometimes things come out wrong in writing. But really, truly, I'm thankful for the silence, as I don't think I could manage if the world started having an opinion on what I do in my home.

And that's where I take my hat off to all those that have popular blogs and manage to keep their sanity while the world chimes in. And I hope, so hope that this week or next, Young House Love will return, and not be consumed by all the negative energy that has come their way. I hope they will hear the love of the internet and all their fans. Bigger than that, I hope we all find ways to let the negative slights that try to take over our hearts, be silenced by all the love that the world is truly speaking to us.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Run, Run, Runner! A Hallway Runner!

Since carpeting the bedroom and the living room, our hallway floor has just seemed so empty and sad. Even with the bright walls, and the smiling faces of our loved ones, it just seems bare. And for a space that connects every room in our apartment, I thought it was time to add a little warmth with a carpet runner.

I started with some basic measuring and sketching to figure out just how many tiles we would need. It turns out that our hall is 1 + 3/4 of a tile wide and 14 tiles long. So for a wall-to-wall runner, I would need around 25 tiles and for a 1 + 1/2 tile runner, I would need 21 tiles.

So, I put down some random carpet samples that I hadn't yet returned. Because this was a simple experiment, I cut nothing and went with the 1 + 1/2 style. And for the most part it was ok. It served the purpose of warming up the hall and making it acoustically less of a tunnel. But it wasn't that interesting. And those side pieces collected a whole ton of dog and cat hair, which meant endless vacuuming.

But Henry made the best of the additional vacuuming time, by doing this. Which I'm not even sure why he needs to smell the vacuum but he did and of course that's why we call him Helpful Henry! But even with all his funny antics, the hallway was still a bore. And after several months of thinking about different designs, I decided, why not just cut some pieces up and work something better out. Because that's how I roll! 

And so by cutting up some project scrapes, I came up with this. But because I didn't have enough tiles, it ended up like this. 

Plus, many of these are samples that I need to return. That's why I didn't cut it to fit perfectly, and I'm also not totally sold on it being done because I need to hunt down a couple more cheap tiles to fill the gaps. I also totally want more colour and less grey. But all in all, a vast improvement to what it was. And I'm totally sold on having it go wall-to-wall.

Now for some serious cheap carpet tile hunting!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Late Night Workin It Wednesday

With my bazillion jobs, late night work has become my norm! But officially today, I'm no longer a research assistant (a job that I've continued even though I'm no longer a grad student). It's bitter sweet. And I'll still have some work to finish up in training the new RA's, but I also had to make a decision about my time and spending it on more design/architecture stuff. And I can't wait to really get cracking on the "Clinton House" project. But really the focus of this blog is my office. My actually office and the last time we left it, it looked like this.

Well, the exciting thing is that lots has changed and today, it officially looks like this.

And I'm so totally thrilled with how it's coming along. As you can see, my back shelves are up and I've got lots of potted plants (which I potted in my office).

You might also notice, I had a desk extension added, though it's folded down in the picture, which is for when I'm reviewing big architectural drawings. And though it's really hard to see, but beyond that, there is a cabinet door on the bottom back cabinet, so that my rolled drawings aren't just hanging out. But my absolutely favourite part of this whole thing is those two black chairs.

Which I absolutely adore! And the funny thing is that they were FREE! And though everyone in the office jokes about my old chairs, I love them. The story is that several weeks ago, we were at the another one of the Hospital's sites and there was a ton, and I mean a ton of modern furniture, just waiting to be thrown out (which is totally heart breaking to me but everyone else sees this type of stuff as garbage). So I begged my director to have these two chairs brought over for me in the next move. And guess what arrived today! MY CHAIRS! They are in perfect condition and just add so much to the space. 

Because really, what's not to love about them! They have such great shape and style. And they are light enough to move around for meetings. Many think that they were probably from an executive office of the past, which would make sense since they have barely been used. But I'm smitten with them and so glad to have them.  Plus, I'm totally plotting a furniture rescue for some other items! But shhhh! That's a secret!