Our Home’s Grand Revival: Part Two

***This post was written a couple months ago, and was intended to come out soon after the release of Our Home’s Grand Revival: Part One.  However, my world was turned upside down on June 3rd, and things are just beginning to feel somewhat right-side up again. On that fateful day back in June, my younger brother was in a near-fatal head on collision.  He survived the crash, but has needed 10 surgeries, and had his right foot amputated as a result of the accident.  We are all so grateful that he is still with us, that he did not suffer any brain damage, and that he will eventually walk again.  This experience resonates deeply with our family, as we already lost a sibling/ daughter/ aunt just a few years ago in a weather-related car accident.  It has felt like being struck by lightning twice. Once again, I am amazed by the fragility of our existence.  Our lives here on this beautiful rock are so fleeting.  By the same token, I am in awe of human courage and resilience, and our ability to find light amid the darkness.  My brother has been an inspiration to all that know him; he remains positive, full of humour and grace, and is determined to walk again.  This post is dedicated to him…he helped a lot with many of the renovations done to our old house, including adding the runner to our stairs.  I am super excited for the day when he will walk through the front door of our new place.  Love you brother!***

Hello again.  I’d like to share these pics of the work we did and improvements we made to our upstairs.  Now that we are just days away from moving to our new house, I’m feeling awfully sentimental looking at the images of the kid’s former bedrooms.  We moved here when Lily was only 5 years old, and Liam was barely a year old.  In the 9 years living here, so much has transpired.  Our kiddies have grown into mature, responsible, kind of annoying, yet amazing people.  I can hardly believe it is time to say good-bye.  In the time we have lived here, I believe we have accomplished my original goal for our gothic revival cottage home: revival.  I feel as though we have managed to breathe a little more life into its old bones — take a look, and let me know if you agree!

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Our Downstairs’ Revival

Alright folks…here you go.  I have created a slideshow of the renovations and updates we have made over the last couple of years to our downstairs; the biggest changes were to our kitchen and downstairs bathroom.  We did everything ourselves, with a lot of help from friends and family, including Michael’s incredibly handy brother, Philip, who installed a new ceiling in the kitchen, all the trim in the kitchen and bathroom, and created the kitchen’s built-in space.  We were able to accomplish all changes to our home on a tight budget, re-using and re-vamping what we already had.  This allowed us to splurge on a new stainless steel fridge, new flooring, and new countertops! Please enjoy the fruits of our labour!

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Progress in Pictures

You’ve been patient.  You’ve been understanding.  Basically, you’ve all been awesome.

As a reward for your patience, understanding, and awesomeness, here are the progress pictures of my kids’ bedroom revivals that I promised.

I am sorry for the poor quality of the photos; I am going to get my friend with a really good camera to come and take the final reveal photos.  Nevertheless, here are the progress pics as promised:

Ready…Set…Go…

Liam’s Room

— BEFORE —

A CLUTTERED ROOM WITH NO PERSONALITY.

— PROGRESS —

ALL CLEANED UP! WE USED WARM GREEN WALLS WITH BLUE AND ORANGEY-RED ACCENTS.

— TAKE A CLOSER LOOK —

FACE-FORWARD BOOKSHELVES ARE A GREAT WAY TO DISPLAY COLOURFUL KIDS’ BOOKS.

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Puppy Love, or Using Spray Paint to Update Ceramic Decor

As it is a holiday here in my part of the world, and very shortly I will be helping to revamp and revive Lily and Liam’s tree fort, I will be keeping this post brief.

Remember Twiggy???

— BEFORE —

Lily picked up this handsome fella at a garage sale for only 25 cents (you can read more about some of the incredible deals and discoveries we have made in recent months in Deals + Discoveries + Decisions or Deals + Discoveries + Decisions: Liam’s Bedroom).

Well, take a look at Twiggy after a spray paint makeover…

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In the Navy, or 10 Tips For Painting Furniture a Dark Colour

To be fair, this post should really be called In the Navy, or 10 Tips on How-Not-To Paint Furniture a Dark Colour — that is, if you want your furniture to look factory perfect.  However, if you would like to paint a piece of wooden furniture with a dark colour and are okay with it looking slightly distressed, then stick around.

THIS WOODEN DRESSER FOR LIAM’S BEDROOM WAS ORIGINALLY PAINTED WHITE (I KNOW IT KIND OF LOOKS LIGHT BLUE IN THIS PICTURE, BUT TRUST ME IT WAS WHITE).

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Mirror Magic, or How-To Spray Paint an Ornate Mirror

A few weeks ago, a fairy god mother (in the form of my mother-in-law) made both my and my pre-teen daughter’s dreams come true.  You see, mom-in-law Joey, who was recently given an ornate mirror from a friend, was kind enough to bestow said mirror onto us to use for my 11-year-old daughter Lily’s bedroom revival.

Here is a picture of the mirror as it looked when we first brought it home.

ISN’T SHE LOVELY?

The original mirror, while beautiful, lacked the type of personality and whimsy that we felt would best suit Lily’s bedroom’s new style.  Basically, it came down to this…the mirror needed colour.

In my previous posts, Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall and Mirror Image, I presented a number of colour options worth considering: blue, red, yellow, white, and dark gray.  Thanks everyone for your suggestions and opinions on this matter, but in the end I let Lily decide what colour she liked best.

So,

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

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Reality Bites

If you’re like me, the reality of Monday morning stings a little.  After a weekend mixture of relaxation, quality family time, and catching up on house projects, I often go to bed on Sunday evening feeling energized and ready to take on the world the week ahead.  I fall asleep dreaming of how this will be the week I exercise more, make sure my kids eat lots of veggies, clean out the fridge, walk the dog at least twice a day, make important phone calls, organize my work files, make time for creative writing, weed the garden, finally get around to doing projects ABCDEFG…well, you get the picture.

STAYING ORGANIZED: EASIER SAID THAN DONE

Unfortunately, somewhere between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am, all this energy, excitement, and determination leaves my body.  I wake up Monday morning only somewhat bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and soon become overwhelmed by all of the realities that face me: leftover laundry to put away, a child with an ear ache, dog puke on the floor, a car that won’t start, uncooperative weather, etc. — CAN I GO BACK TO BED NOW???  

The older I get, the easier I am with making room for the realities of life.  I won’t lie, I’m a dreamer and a planner who still finds it frustrating when things and events don’t go exactly as planned.  For example, here is a list of recent dreams and plans that were subjected to the bittersweet kisses of reality.

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