Our back deck was painted a grey/blue colour, and has been peeling for the last few years. It is also extremely hot on the feet in the summer which always makes shoes necessary. Not exactly what you want in a deck. Plus, my little one likes to "collect" the peeled paint chips, which seems a bit dangerous to me. So, we have decided to strip down the paint and uncover the wonderful wood underneath. Easy weekend project right? Not exactly it turns out.
We rented a pressure washer from Home Depot and bought some paint striper. Here is the paint bubbling up, in the photo below, with the paint striper applied. Then we blasted it with the pressure washer. Results? Some of the paint came off, and made a huge mess of paint chips all over the yard.
Next, we tried simply scraping the paint off the deck. This worked a lot better, and kept the mess contained.
Even though this is a tedious project, I think it will be worth it in the end. I'm liking the wood underneath a lot better. We are also planning to cut the deck back and create a play area for the kids, which means we won't have to scrape the whole deck! I'd like to take a good portion of the deck off and have stairs heading down to a new grass area. Currently, the deck takes up most of the yard with an area on the side that is filled with gravel (See photo below).
I made a simple sketch of some ideas for the deck. After cutting the deck back I'd like to open it up to the area on the side, by creating large platform steps down to the play area. I'm hoping to fill the gravel section with grass and add in play structures and other play things. Then with the deck open it will be easy to keep an eye on the kids while they play.
I have been having fun finding photos of ideas for the play area! I'd also like to add in a veggie/herb garden too. Below are a couple of ideas I really liked. Check back at my Pinterest board for more. It will be a slow process (like everything else) but I think it's going to be worth it. We really need a place for Elara to play! I picture myself this summer (as I will be super preggo) sitting on the deck with a cold drink while Elara plays the sunny days away outside. Bliss!
New carpets arrived this morning! They are ever so soft and plush. We spent the weekend ripping up the old carpets and cleaning the cement floors as best we could. I'm so happy with our new carpets, they make the rooms super cozy. Such an improvement over the thin, stained, cream things we had before. However, now I'm not too sure about the paint colours in both rooms, they don't seem to match the new carpet. I guess we will see once we get the furniture back in place. The large room will be our office and the guest bedroom, and the small room we will be decorating as Elara's future bedroom! Check out more on that here. Can't wait to get it all set up!
We finally have the library in place on our newly constructed shelves. Jeff devoted so much care to making these. I'm so happy we decided to take the time to design this whole area ourselves. Even though it took so long to complete, we now have a very unique living room. They are so special compared to buying pre-made wall shelves (and they fit much better too). I just love looking over to this side of the room!
Just like the first side that went up, these shelves are also built on angles. Each shelf alternates which direction the angle goes, from skinny to thick and from thick to skinny. The only difference is on this side they extend right from the fireplace to the wall. The shelves were each made to fit exactly with the wall. However, they fit too well, as we ended up having to cut a piece off just to be able to get them into place. It's not too noticeable but there is a piece missing out of each shelf on the fireplace side. Jeff plans to make small pieces to fit in there in the future. So I guess the shelves aren't 100% done, but they are at least now functional.
To see how we created these shelves, and to see the process from the beginning check out my previous posts:
On making the shelves check out here
For the beginning of the process check out Weekend Project: Fireplace & Fireplace Update & Fireplace Done.
The balcony is finally done! Well, all the construction parts of the balcony are done. The glass panels are all in, the railing is up and Elara couldn't be happier running back and forth, and around and around the balcony's length. It's like a huge outdoor playpen! Next up, we need to seal the wood, add furniture, and possibly make some neat planters to go on it. I'm really impressed, and I'm thinking we will get a lot more use out of it now.
We have a balcony again! However, it's still a little bit dangerous as there is no railing. It's being ordered now, so hopefully soon it will go up. We will still need to stain it, but it's looking great so far.
The balcony is down, and in good time too. Most of the wood was rotten right through. When the construction crew stepped on the sagging side the boards collapsed. Ekkk, glad no one got hurt! It only took a few hours to come down. The view from the windows now feels so bright, and we feel really high up! Construction of the new balcony should start in the next couple of weeks. So exciting, I'll keep you posted!
Our poor balcony needs replacing pronto! Part of the support has snapped and the boards are rotting. Instead of doing this project ourselves, for the first time in our lives, we are hiring someone to take care of it. It's a strange concept for me to not be undertaking a project, but it would probably take us the whole summer to complete. The professionals will have it done in about a week! Gives us more time to work on projects we want to do and enjoy our summer.
However, they are only building it for us, we still have control over design! So we have been working through ideas for railings. The main footprint of the balcony has to stay the same, or we would need a building permit and it would be a major cost to change the cement supports on the driveway.
Idea 1: Remove Balcony
We even thought about removing the balcony completely and adding a Juliette balcony instead, which would be a lot cheaper. However, I think we have come to the conclusion that we like having the use of the balcony. Although, the house actually looks a lot better without the balcony than I thought it would.
Idea 2: Dark Wood with Aluminum Railing
We originally wanted to use composite for the boards, to limit the maintenance we would have to do in the future, instead of the wood. However, it was just too expensive, especially since we would like to have a fancier railing. Turns out glass railings are the most expensive! So, I came up with a design that would incorporate some glass and some aluminum, which is still costly but not nearly as much.
We are still tweaking the plan for the railing, but we are moving forward with the balcony. Should be starting construction near the beginning of June. So close, and so exciting!
Since it's the start of a fresh new year I thought I would do a whole house overview; to see where we are and where we want to go in terms of house renovations. This past year moved a little slower in getting things crossed off the list, as a new baby took up a lot of our time. However, we still managed to get some exciting projects completed. So here is an overview of our home, from where we started to now, and where we would like to go in the future.
Nope, you are not imagining it, nothing has changed out here except the seasons. However, we have big plans and hopefully we will be able to start on it this summer!
We haven't changed too much in here this past year. All the future projects we want to do in this area are low priority right now. Hopefully the front doors we will change out this summer as part of our front yard project.
Entertainment Room (aka now Elara's play room)
Elara's toys have slowly migrated down here, and after Christmas they exploded! It's the perfect room for her as we can close her in, and there isn't too much she can get into. We have only made a few small changes in here over the past year, and there are very few to do in the near future.
Not much has happened in here, except for adding hooks at the back and putting the throw rug down. I'm hoping to one day separate the furnace from the laundry area. Then build in the laundry with a nice sink and shelving for all our cleaning stuff. I'd also like to add a bench and hooks for the kids to use when coming in from the garage. Future project! Everything from the furnace to the dryer are on it's last legs. We are waiting for everything to die in here before replacing it and renovating.
We have renovated this bathroom as much as we will for awhile. One day we will rip it all out and change it. But for now it will do, especially once the kids move in.
The guest room has gone through a few redecorations over the last couple of years. I'm so happy with how it looks currently. However, there are still some items I would like to add.
This is a temporary room, but for now it houses both of our offices. One day, probably sooner then I think, it will be a kid's room. I'm happy with it for now as an office, and at night it is quite cozy in here.
Looking forward to making our plans into reality. Stay tuned for "Part Two: Upstairs" next week.
We have been undertaking a huge carpet cleaning project. And I'm happy to say we just finished all the carpets this past weekend. The guest bedroom carpet is by far the worst. While some of the stains came out, a lot are still there, but it definitely smells better! At the same time I decided to give the room a slightly different look; I'm really liking it. I changed up the bedding (everything I already had in storage) and moved some of the furniture around. The black shelf is now in our office, and I added the white bookcase from the entertainment room. We decided to move the bookcase because Elara kept getting into while it was in the other room. Plus. now guests can peruse the books when they have a moment to themselves. It fits quite well into the corner.
The room actually feels more spacious with the subtle colours, and with the black shelves gone. I also moved the coffee table from the entertainment room to be used as a bed side table. I also added more art on the walls. It's so cozy now I want to move in!
We had almost finished this project, and then we let it sit for a long long time. We just never found the time to fix up the lines. Every time one of us would use that bathroom we would have a moment of "oh yeah, this needs to be finished". And then promptly forget about it again after leaving the bathroom. Well, no longer! It is finished!
We had originally thought to add some yellow/orange lines to match the drawing of the scooter on the opposite wall, but then I had the brilliant idea to just buy a hand towel in that colour to give it an extra pop of orange. It was hard to find one that matched exactly, this one is a bit more yellow, but it still has the same effect.
A big thanks to my mother, who helped make the finishing of this project happen! She painstakingly fix up the lines that had bled under the tape with a fine paint brush.
Everyone who uses the bathroom seem to be excited by the pattern on the wall. It is unexpected, and unseen until you are inside the room, which adds to the dramatic effect. I'm quite happy with it, and it is so original compared to using generic wallpaper.