Home Content – Reclaimed Wood Dining Room Table

When my parents got married, their parents bought them their Dining Room set – table & chairs etc. To this day we still have most family dinners/meals/gatherings at that table. So when we got married my parents wanted to do the same for us. I knew we were going to need something large and special to suit the space. Added to that we really wanted to go with reclaimed wood, but also have something that wasn’t so rustic it would look odd amongst our more modern & contemporary furnishings. And to throw one more ball into the juggle, my parents were paying for it so I didn’t want it to be outrageous in cost.

I searched high and low all over the city, the internet, word of mouth leads, etc. There’s no shortage of companies in Toronto that will make you a reclaimed wood table but their pricing was just out of the question. And then I stumbled upon HD Threshing. Their showroom and work shop are out in Cambridge, which helps them keep overhead down, it’s a family business, and they deal direct with the wreckers who take down old barns all over the country. We went to visit them in January and fell in love with their product. They don’t stain the wood but they do an epoxy finish that protects your table for life (I swear this thing will outlive my husband and I). This also adds a smooth surface which is helpful for kids doing homework, cleaning up crumbs and spills, etc. The colour of your finished product is based on how much sanding they do – the more sanding, the lighter the final colour. Everything is custom made and you can choose from a couple of different wood options, plus a variety of styles of shapes/sizes/legs/etc. We also opted for a bench to coordinate in style for the one side.

Last week they sent us photos of our table pre-epoxy;

table in progress 3 Table in progress side profile

And our bench;

bench in progress

And today they delivered the finished product! 8.5 foot Reclaimed Hemlock Barn Board, 100% amazing.

new table set up

To keep it feeling modern we opted for really clean lines with the legs, and to seat enough people we opted for a Trestle Table as opposed to a Harvest style so the legs don’t get in the way. Also the bench they designed to be in the same style as the table. The bench came out a little darker than the table which is kind of the brilliance of their process, i love it. I don’t like things to be too ‘matchy matchy’. And we opted for clear resin chairs on the opposite side thus keeping the beauty of the table top as the focal point as well as maintaining a lighter and modern feel in the room. We have two velvet upholstered chairs being made for the ends, they should be ready in a few weeks. I’ll post photos when they arrive.

new table decor

And to top off our new table, some fruit and fresh tulips. Can’t wait to host our first family dinner!

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Home Content – The Wallpaper Diaries

Ok so I admit I put the whole wallpaper search on hold for a while. I did order the mural for the family room, which just came in. And was debating just painting the hallway instead of wallpapering it, mostly because the cost of awesome wallpaper was just so high! (seriously – it’s an investment!). But I really didn’t like the idea of a plain hallway, i wanted impact and life, some creativity! It’s tough with a hallway, there’s no direct sunlight and i have really awkward light fixtures (they came with the house, see below).

Chandeliers 2

So I took the time while I was waiting for the mural to arrive (meanwhile we did the baby’s room and our bedroom) to brainstorm solutions for the hallway. Should I just do the one wall? (but then would the impact be there?) Should I try one of those stencils like you see on Pinterest? (seriously, at 30+ weeks pregnant I can’t exactly get up on a ladder and my husband is not really the ideal candidate for this job) Should I just say ‘eff it’ and do plain jane paint for the entire hallway until i have the money and inclination to do it right? And then I was watching Candice Tells All and discovered paintable wallpaper. Oh. My. God. Could this be the solution?

As it turns out doing the hallway in Paintable Wallpaper is going to cost less than half of what it would cost for any of the cool graphic print wallpapers that we were looking at. And there are a lot of options, you can get anything from just a really cool texture, to a geo repeat, and plenty of traditional options as well. Including an option that would be awesome for a ceiling to mimic tin tiles.

Geo:

PW geo diamonds

Texture:PW texture

Tin Ceiling:PW tin roof

And the winner for us is this guy, i just love the traditional pattern and the scale of it. Also the fact that the texture is on the raised pattern really adds dimension:

PW raised relief

So the plan is to leave it white (the ceilings are going to be painted white as well, this grey has GOT to go) and then when it starts to look a little dingy we can just put a fresh coat of white paint on it. It’s highly durable and designed for high traffic areas. Can’t wait to show you the ‘After’ photos.

Baby Content – The Beginnings of a Nursery

Two major additions to the nursery this weekend!

My dad somehow scored a really great rocking chair from a friend – for free! I had no idea what it looked like and saw it for the first time at Easter (where it was waiting for us at my parents’ place for us to take it home). I’m so thrilled with it, I’m putting it in the nursery and we’re putting the one Mr Content ordered for me in the family room. I tossed an ikea pillow onto it for comfort and have tucked it into the corner of the nursery by the window.

Rocking Chair

 

And here’s the big one – THE CRIB IS UP!!! I can hardly believe it. It still isn’t sinking in that there’s a wee one joining us in less than three months but it’s really happening! We’re thrilled with the crib, and it was relatively easy to put together (thank goodness!). It has three different heights for the mattress, converts to a toddler bed and eventually to a regular bed – the front and back turn into a head board and base board. This was a gift from my mother-in-law (Thank you Alice!) and we know it will be much loved for many years to come. No bedding yet, I’ve put it on the registry  so I will post further updates as it all comes together. Also I’m still playing with the layout of the furniture in the room, and am holding off on hanging anything on the walls until the furniture is figured out. Stay tuned for the evolution.

Crib

Home Content – DIY Antique Sideboard Update

I sort of have expensive taste. That’s not really a secret. But right now I’m working on a budget and I’ve got a long list of ‘wants’ for the house regarding decor. My husband has a long (more expensive) list of ‘needs’ for the house (air conditioning, new windows, etc.) So I’m trying to get creative wherever possible to save a few bucks and still get the outcome I’m looking for.

I LOVE setting a gorgeous table, so when it was time to do a registry for our wedding last year I didn’t hesitate to pick out China knowing I’d put it to good use eventually. Until this weekend it’s all been sitting in the boxes it originally arrived in, just waiting for a proper home. I was looking at a full fledged China Cabinet but to get the size I need to look appropriate in our space it would have had to be custom made running us upwards of around $4000. Not really where I wanted to spend that kind of money right now. So I hit up Kijiji and got my craft on. I opted for something a little more ornate, knowing with the right paint and new knobs it would balance out some of our more modern/industrial furnishings. The beauty of antiques is that they were made so well! This sideboard is as sturdy as they come.

Original Sideboard ($250);

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The process (remove knobs, sand down thoroughly, wipe down with damp cloth);

ImageI opted for a high gloss navy to offset the black/white/grey theme in the rest of the space;

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Fill drawers and cupboards;

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I used one of my favourite (and previously framed) tea towels to line the drawers.

Add art (more to be hung still) and Voila!

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Home Content – A Big ‘Ol Clock

We’ve been wondering how to tackle our kitchen, we’ve got this great big brick wall in it and it’s begging for the right furnishings. The previous owner had a series of mirrors across it, not overly inspiring but it did add both space and light. We knew for sure we didn’t want to go that route so we’ve left it as a blank canvas until now.

We have finally decided on a theme of old Canadiana, Newfoundland, and Dutch paraphanelia. My dutch tiles and plates for sure will find a home there, and we’ve got a number of items from Mr. Content’s father who was a lobster fisherman in Newfoundland. But we’ve got a number of little items and a big wide canvas and have been waiting for inspiration to strike us on how to anchor everything together…. And then inspiration hit when I saw this in CB2;

Kitchen Clock 1

Originally I thought I’d put this above the door in the kitchen that leads to outside but alas it was too big! So we scratched our heads, pondered, turned about 45 degrees to our left and thought – ‘what if?’. And lo and behold, it’s the exact perfect item to centre on the brick wall and act as an anchor for the rest of our trinkets.

Kitchen Clock 2

More posts to come as our heritage paraphernalia starts to join the clock.

Home Content – Inspiration is Everywhere

Our bedroom is the last room to tackle in our home decor rampage. It also happens to be the most mismatched room in the house during our ‘make-do’ stage, and awkwardly laid out. As a first time expectant mom I’ve never ever been more motivated to turn our bedroom into a sanctuary, knowing that rest is of the utmost of importance both now and in the months to come. So where does one even begin to start? We don’t have one single piece to start with.

I’ve showed countless online images of headboards and duvet covers to Mr Content but he just couldn’t give me any direction from ‘a picture’. So I thought I’d take it a step back and dropped by the paint store to pick up some potential paint swatches, but instead of showing him one at a time, i put two potential palettes together and presented them that way. Bingo!

The room is small, so a light bright colour was the only way to go for the walls, but i added in some more saturated hues to show how some accent colours could really compliment the light. (think bedding, pillows, curtains, etc.)

Proposed Palette #1; Blues with a little Seafoam Green action

Blue Palette

Proposed Palette #2; Purples with a little Rose and Neutral action

Purple Palette

As it turns out Mr Content is not a fan of anything green, (not even seafoam!) so those were quickly eliminted from the blue palette. And although purple is his favourite colour he thought the light colour options for purple too grey toned, and anything else was too feminine for the walls. So we chose the lightest brightest blue in the palette and then started playing with accents, we ended up with an array of blues but i still felt like we were missing something to kick it up a notch. That little hit of the unexpected. And then I saw one of my scarves sitting on the dresser and it all came together in an instant!

Bedroom 1

The very light blue is going on the walls – ‘Sheer Bliss’ from Benjamin Moore, and the rest will serve as direction for bedding, accent pillows, headboard/bedframe, etc. Before and After photos to come hopefully in about a month.

Home Content – Plates Aren’t Just For Eating!

I grew up in a house that had plates and tiles hanging on the wall in the kitchen, and it’s something that’s always stuck with me. I have some of my mom’s old Dutch tiles and plates and they are going up in my kitchen, but in the Fall I fell upon these Rob Ryan plates at The Bay and fell in love I bought them immediately knowing I’d find the perfect spot for them in our new house (which were weren’t moving in to until January).

So now the time has come! I indeed found the ‘perfect’ place for them in our dining room, right near the entrance to the kitchen. I am not a fan of everything being perfectly symmetrical, neither is Mr Content so we opted for an untraditional layout that still looked balanced.

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I might need to tweak the hook on the back of the ‘Summer’ plate (second from the top, they are in seasons Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) it looks slightly skewed. And of course our dining room will look even better once our dining room table arrives next month;
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Baby Content – The Dangers of Bumper Pads

As gorgeous as they are, are you aware of the potential dangers of bumper pads? They are used purely for aesthetic reasons and the Government of Canada warns strongly against their use citing that they could be a contributing factor in SIDS.

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The official Health Canada statement is available here, note that it’s dated 2005 – so why aren’t more new moms & moms-to-be in the know? And why are they still available for purchase in Canada?

What are your thoughts? Did you use bumper pads?

Style Content – Filling Empty Spaces, Before & After

It’s no secret we’re in love with our new-old-home. Now that we’ve been in our space for a couple of months and have some painting done, some art purchased, and some storage planned we’re getting into the detail work. Or at least for the first floor we are – the second is just getting ready for a full on makeover.

Working around radiators is one of the biggest obstacles, as well as the fact that as tall as the house is, it’s also skinny. So we’re carefully planning furnishings with these ‘obstacles’ in mind. We clearly needed something at our entrance, as much as we love our exposed brick and we’re thrilled with how our massive mirror looks hanging on the brick – the entrance still needed a little something.

Before:

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The rest of the room has a very modern industrial feel to it’s furnishings. Clean lines, mixed metals, concrete, etc. So it couldn’t be just ‘any’ console table that would work. We found this at CB2 and are thrilled with the final outcome.

After:ImageThe glass and metal are a perfect compliment to the space. And now I have somewhere to put all those glass vases I’ve apparently accumulated over the years, plus it’s the perfect spot for that ‘change tray’ that Mr. Content likes to empty his pockets into.

Baby Content – Sleeping solutions

Cribs are one thing, but for the first few months Baby Content will be sleeping in our room which is rather limited in size. So what to do for those first few months?

Originally i was thinking I’d just get a stroller that comes with a bassinet that I could just plot onto a stand in our bedroom but I ended up deciding on a stroller that doesn’t have that option.

So here’s where I’m at; I’ve picked out two options – one is more on the inexpensive and functional side, and the other is gorgeous and still functional but maybe not as versatile.

First up – Summer Infant’s By Your Side Sleeper. It’s compact, travels well (convenient for the trip to the East Coast we’ve got booked for next September), has the mesh sides which aids in SIDS prevention (allows air movement so the baby essentially does not suffocate in it’s own CO2 while sleeping). It appears to be designed to be on the same bed as you, or on the floor or a counter of some sort – this is one of the major downfalls because our bed is quite high and I don’t have anything to place the sleeper on to keep him/her closer to my eye level. And you can’t really beat the price, $59.99.

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Next up is Restoration Hardware Baby & Child’s Heirloom Wicker Bassinet. what can I say about this that isn’t already obvious? It’s. Just. So. Beautiful. *Le Sigh* It comes with a stand that has a convenient shelf underneath for all the baby things you need to keep handy for the middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. I can park it right beside my bed and have Baby at eye level for quick and easy supervision. And I can remove the basket to use in another room if we decide to take a nap in the family room together, or i want to hop in the shower really quickly and keep an eye on the wee one. It won’t travel well – not to the East Coast anyways, but that’s only a week out of the entire year. And it’s such a beautiful piece of furniture that would not be obtrusive in our own bedroom. Eventually I can use it to put some toys in, in the baby’s room once we’ve moved on to a crib. A little more pricey at $299 usd, but if you compare to what Pottery Barn Kids has to offer – not outrageous.

RH Baby Bassinet