Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Well, THAT didn't work!

Neither palette generator worked worth spit.  Actually, the one I linked in the previous post just plain didn't work while the one I shared last year - letschipit -gave me five different grays.  Perhaps I need to take the shower curtain down and photograph it outside on a sunny day.

But until then, I'm wondering about this combination:
Constance Ramos' Seaside
Seems peacefully neutral, but I'm wondering if it will be too dull and dreary on a rainy British Columbia day.  The yellow is a reasonable facsimile of the couch, but I'm really not sure... dull, dull, dull?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Maybe Coastal?

When we first looked at our new place, I thought it had been recently painted, but no... it really needs a new paint job.  There are lots of nail holes, chips and rough spots. Now, I'd really like to go all out and do the living room in "Chinese"... paint the battered dresser RED with gold trip and the two book cases almost black with a silver back.  But I don't think His Grace could deal with that, and I know our budget can't handle the new furniture that would be required to pull that look off.  "Early American" maple just won't work with Chinese.

So I'm thinking maybe Coastal would be the route to go.  That way, I can keep all the furniture as long as I paint it.

And I'm thinking that the shower curtain I got in AZ might have the colours I want to start with.

So let's see what the Color Palette Generator comes up with.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Adventure Continues North of the Border

I've been trying to decide whether to close this blog and start a new one for the new place.  Instead of "I Think I Can" I could call it "Of course I can, I'm just not sure I want to", but really, it just all part of the same adventure.

The movers came and loaded up our stuff on July 17th.

And there it is... our life in a moving van.

We decided to leave my desk, the love seat and the blue chair from the living room because, well... there are thrift stores in Canada.  As it turns out, I got a couch off craigslist.  It's about the colour of powdered ginger and it's in our friends' living room right now.  It was originally from The Bay, and is the nicest living room set I've ever had.  Quite modern, with clean, simple lines. I should have taken a picture of it before this happened.  (You can see part of the chair and the couch cushions on the left hand side of the photo)

The movers delivered our stuff to our friends' living room on August 17th.  Which is Discovery Day in the Yukon, but not here.  There's so many boxes, pieces of furniture, rugs, etc in there ain't nuthin' gonna be Discovered there until August 31st when we move it all out to our new home in Abbotsford.

That's right, we bought an apartment style condo out in the valley.  And this one is going to be a totally different design adventure than our Sun City condo.  This one is most definitely not a blank slate.  

The living room is quite large; the current owners have a couch, a love seat and two large chairs in it, plus a rather large wall unit and it doesn't seem crowded at all.  I'm not sure if it show here, but the walls are a rather nice mossy green rather like our kitchen and bathroom in AZ.

There is a reasonably sized dining room off the living room.

The kitchen is quite new, and it has drawers rather than cupboards in the lower unit.  That's what we had in Sun City, and it's a great idea.  The drawers bring the pots to you rather than you crawling around on your hands and knees trying to find something at the back of the cupboard.

What it doesn't have is either a dishwasher or pantry, unfortunately.  We could take out one of the lower sets of drawers and install a dishwasher, but without a pantry, I'm not sure we want to give up the storage space.  And His Grace is quite magnificent when it comes to washing up.

There is a large laundry room that is being used for storage right now.  The current owners have a freezer in there as well as a lot of shelves.

But I'm wondering about moving the left hand wall up to the dryer, and using the remaining space as an office alcove off the hall.  Things were much simpler in AZ when all I had to worry about was decorating... now I'm thinking about moving walls!  Megalomania begins.

I have even bigger wall moving thoughts about the bathroom.  This is a one bath place, but it is huge.

I'm wondering if we can move things around in it so that we could build at least a 1/2 bath off the master bedroom.

Both projects are dependent of cost of course, and whether or not the rather restrictive strata council will let us.  At least, we find it rather restrictive; our realtor says that it's no where near as restrictive as some he's seen.

On with the tour.  The master bedroom.

There are two closets, which is nice, and the room itself is quite big.  And there is a ceiling fan, which we always wanted in AZ but never got around to putting in.

And finally, there's a guest room/office.

Nice enough, but there's not a lot I can say about it.

We do have a large balcony with a view (on a clear day) of the North Shore mountains.  Unfortunately, we're not allowed to barbeque on it for insurance reasons.

The paint is all new (except for the laundry room lime) and doesn't need changing.  Although I'll probably change the bedroom to blue at some point in time because Pinterest says that people sleep better in blue rooms.

Other than that, most of it's going to be about furniture changes.  We have a lot of maple living room pieces which will not go with the new couch, which I love.  We need darker wood and cleaner lines.  I think I can stain the two Mexican pine bookcases we had in the living room a dark brown with maybe a silver or wallpapered back.

The maple stand the tv is on really isn't going to work, but tonight we're going to see a dresser that's on craigslist for $13.  I can see it painted red and sitting in our quiet living room.  His Grace... not so much.

And so the adventure continues!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What we've been working towards

Yesterday, after a total of 3 showings, we received 2 offers - both over our asking price.  

So, now it's on to BC, and a new home/decorating on a budget project.  On with the Adventure!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Well, now we've done it!

Listed the condo, that is.  We finished our 'spruce up' of the condo, and then it was time to list it.  Not 100% sure how I feel about that, but all we can do is trust the Lord and press on.

So, this is how we spruced.

The master bedroom:  from this

to this

to this

All the pinterest sites on staging a home for sale say to make things somewhat neutral, so I figured my lime green bedspread and hot pink picture frames were possibly not everyone's cup of tea.  They also said to put a lot of throw pillows on the bed.  I looked online for new bedspreads, etc, but they were all over $100.  I got this spread, skirt and shams at the Lutheran Thrift Shop for $15 - I love 1/2 price days- then paid $50 to have it dry cleaned.  I got 7 pillows at Goodwill for $2.99 (minus 20%) each.  One of them wasn't a very good pillow, but the cover was exactly the right colour, so I cut it up and covered parts of two others for better coordination.

The patterned brown rug also came from Goodwill - $35.  They must have scored a factory close-out, because they have had these rugs for ages and they're all new.  I actually bought this one to replace the one that's in our dining room, but ended up figuring out how to fix the one that was there.  I think it goes well with the bedroom and carries the 'Navajo' theme into the bedroom as well.  Even though the pattern looks very SW Native American, the pattern is actually called Ramallah, and it's very much like a carpet we had in Lebanon.

I carried the vinyl plank flooring into the master bath, and it doesn't look half bad.  Certainly better than the carpet that was in there when we moved in.

His Grace painted the hall bathroom, and I found a shower curtain at Goodwill that went with the new green walls.

The guest room is pretty much as it always was, except for the flooring.

I was able to get a blue bed skirt at Good will and a green/brown stripe rug at another thrift shop just to finish off the look.

In the kitchen, his Grace added knobs and drawer pulls, and we replaced the fridge, stove and dishwasher.  We had to hire someone to do the installation, but it got done.  The great thing about the stove - aside from it not being harvest gold - is that it had a drawer below the oven, so the existing storage drawers are not so crammed.  - Another pinterest staging hint - declutter.

I didn't get the counter tops painted because (1) I ran out of steam, and (2) our newtous dishwasher isn't working; they had to order a part; they ordered the wrong part, and during all this, His Grace is doing dishes by hand.  Which means I can't really take over the counters for the necessary 2 days.

On to the living/dining room, and just to refresh your memory, we went from this

to this

and in the dining room, from this

to this.

The carpet under the table is the one I managed to save.  The backing had dried and crumbled and it left a huge mess on the floor - bad enough with wall to wall under it, but a really bad idea with the new vinyl.  But I found a product at Walmart Environmental Fiber-Lok which I painted on.  It took 3 jars of the stuff, which came to over $50, but since I only paid $10 for the rug, and it's one we really like and want to take with us, it seemed worth it.  It seems to be helping.

And finally, here's a picture of the hallway:

The rug is one of two that I got (thrift store, of course) for $3 each.  This one is dark green with the patterns being in colours that go with the living room rug.  The other one - in the hallway that runs to the master bedroom - is a dark maroon and black with white and beige motifs.  Again, SW Native American inspired.

And the final project in this 'spruce up' was for His Grace to rip out the green fake grass carpet at the front.  He was able to get the concrete clean enough that we didn't have to paint it.  I put two planters and the birdbath with a plant in it out the front along with a mat that says welcome.

So now we wait.

Friday, April 17, 2015

And I'm back

And maybe a little bit sad.  We're on a bit of a fixer-upper frenzy right now 'cause we've come to the conclusion that we're going to have to sell this place and move back to Canada.  

All along I've been looking at this place as our dream-home fixer-upper; the first place we've actually owned since we were first married.  But as it turns out, this is my 'make all my reno mistakes here' place.  I'll do much better next time.  

But we've been busy.

First of all, I finally got the master bathroom painted to match the bedroom.  

This is the before, but I"m not sure it shows up properly - pink sponge blobs on white with wall to wall carpet.

This is the blue.  And what looks like a big over slop onto the shower enclosure is actually

And the carpet has been gone for awhile.  I found some 70s white lino underneath, but it had been all scarred up, so has to be covered.  I think I showed you the ceramic tile I scored at a thrift store that I was going to use for it.  Weeellllll... when I carried it into the bathroom to see how I wanted to lay it out, I realized that I had two different patterns, which I could work with and two different thicknesses, which would be a lot harder.  

Pause for rethink.

While pausing, I got tired of the green carpet on the lanai, so I ripped it up and painted the space with  Sure Step paint from Home Depot.  Actually, I''ve been at Home Depot so often lately, I could just call it Home.  You have no idea how much sand can blow into a carped in 40 years.  Not a clean project.

I couldn't get the colour I wanted, but this is okay:  

I'm thinking we should probably paint the walls the same mossy green as the garden wall, but that's probably last on our list.

Then we started on the kitchen.  So far, His Grace has added knobs and drawer pulls.  Not only does it make the cupboards look so much more finished, it keeps them cleaner; I'm not always grabbing the corner of the door with my messy cooking hands.

The pictures will also serve to remind you of our harvest gold stove, counter top and backsplash.  Which are soon to be gone.  Well, soon in our little Duchy; probably not as fast as it happens on planet real world.  

First off I got some paint for the countertops.  It doesn't look too difficult, but the blogger on pinterest did say to watch the video several times before you start.  I'm also thinking about the backsplash... maybe this or this - but painted white.

And I got a newtous light almond fridge, stove and dishwasher on craigslist.  We had to get a new fridge anyway, as the one we had was clearly on its last compressed gasp.  Problem is, both fridges are too wide to go through the door without removing part of the door or the doors off the fridges, our existing stove is built in and who knows how they wired it in 1972 and the dishwasher are just more than we want to deal with.  And as the lovely Lady Bidango Smith-Somethingorother tells me often, "Mumsie... there are people for that."  So I called Chris, the guy who took the ugly porridge off the ceilings in both bedrooms.

We're also getting the porridge removed from the ceiling in the living room and dining room.  There was another person for that.

So I've been begun work on reflooring the whole condo.  The whooooooollllllleeeee condo.  We realized that dirty - as in just about impossible to clean - worn out wall to wall wouldn't help our sale potential.  I was looking for relatively inexpensive but easy to install and found TrafficMaster Allure flooring in teak.  It really is pretty easy, but so far I've just done the square part of the master bedroom.  The next row gets into the angled walls, and that is going to be more challenging.  But - using my best Scarlett O'Hara voice - Tomorrow is another day.

But I do like it so far.

While I've been ripping out old carpet and putting down new flooring, His Grace has started on painting the hall bathroom.  Why, you ask?  Because this is the wall paper.

Even though I want to slap those people on House Hunters who have hissy-fits about things being 'dated.' even I have to admit that this is possibly the definition of that word.  But we've decided just to paint over the paper as the stuff under it would have to be surfaced before we could paint.  

And that wallpaper may not be the definition of dated.  When I removed the mirror in the master bath to paint, this is what I found.  And covered up as soon as I could.

It's actually flocked gold and orange wallpaper.  Scary.