Weekend DIY Project: A Laundry Room Revamp

The only thing worse than having to do laundry, and there are definitely weeks I think we can all agree we’ve been tempted to just set the whole pile on fire and live in burlap sacks for the foreseeable, is having to do laundry in a basement laundry area that is full of detritus that naturally accumulates in the nether regions of the basement-land. I regularly had to trip over tools, bags, extra furniture and other unknown piles of crap to fluff and fold the sundries of the family… however.. NO MORE! We’ve pretty much run out of other interesting house projects to do that don’t require hideous sums of money, so it was finally the laundry room’s turn!

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100% Pure blech (and we tidied up the shot for posterity… a bit)

This is what the basically original laundry room looked like at the beginning of the reno. That door and missing wall beside said door belong to the utility room that used to be the laundry room. The issue with having the laundry room where it was, however, was that it was sharing space with the indoor workshop/Keith’s inner sanctum, and there was no room to fold anything, store anything, or keep stuff from getting covered in wood chips/drywall dust/etc when project around the house had things being created beside the washing machine. So we moved the washer and dryer outside, moved the original door way, and started framing up the new wall, which filled in where the door was to make room for a new, barn-style sliding door.

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That chipboard table you can see there was custom made for about $60 at Lowes out of… you guessed it, chipboard. We didn’t want to go custom cabinetry as a) that would require more $ than we had and b) more time to measure and configure, never mind the likelihood we’d get something that fit out machines and space exactly. So why bother? Firmly encased, the machines make far less noise than they did when they had free reign to tumble themselves out of position, they stay in the same place now and we can put stuff on top of the machines without it falling off due to aftereffects of said tumbling action.

We used an existing door from the house that we kept after our living/dining room doorway enlargements as the new door attached by black barn door hardware we got from Home Depot (on sale for $100 normally $146) and painted it black, for a more now/less old wood look. This may make some wood feature purists cringe, we understand, but the door was scratched up from the previous reno and being moved around for the past few years in the outdoor Love Shack that houses all warm weather projects (and backyard furniture). And the dark shade it was didn’t look right in the light wood/white of the basement and its bathroom, so it was for the best. Free door = good!

For additional storage above the machine area, we bought two pine shelves from Lowes ($25), painted them rose quartz and installed metal tubing with flanges as brackets to rest them on. The only thing that had to be modified was the original length of the metal tubes as they stuck out way too far from the wall and would have eaten into precious counter space, so Keith used a hacksaw to saw them down. Which, if you have watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail, sounds exactly like the construction noises from when they make the Trojan Rabbit to infiltrate the French castle. Or at least, that’s what we pretended it was in order to not go crazy with the sound of metal cutting metal being similar to other scratchy sounds we don’t like.

All in , it was about 2.5 days work, save the time it took for paint to dry, and the area is SOOOOO much better. We are going to be putting a little table on wheels in that can slide over that laundry organizer and provide an additional folding space, and we are also thinking of changing the stair configuration so that it turns left 90 degrees before getting to the laundry area, so we can truly contain that area to itself and have more separation between that and the entertaining part of the basement. But those projects, my friends, are stories for other blog posts.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Family Day long weekends thoroughly!

bfd

 

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New Year, New Kitchen! (FINALLY)

We know, we know. This reveal has been far too long in the making, and it’s because, as with most construction projects, unless you have a House & Home shoot on the books that means you simply MUST be done by a certain date, it’s taken for bloody ever to get it done. There were 2 little pieces of countertop that we didn’t anticipate needing that it took 6 months to getting around to getting, because $%^*, ain’t nobody got time for that… Especially when it means driving out to the burbs for a teeny piece of counter that doesn’t REALLY make a difference to using the kitchen, it just looks unfinished… But all of that aside, it’s DONE. And we are never redoing the kitchen again, until the next time… We redo the kitchen. For those of you unfamiliar, let us refresh the memories with the progress of where we started, and where we were a year ago, before the big revamphttps://bothwellfarringtondesign.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/our-projects-kitchen-reno-phase-1/.

Ye Olde Kitchen Circa 2012 (or 1992, either or)

This was what we bought. That is a 100% fridge, no freezer. Those are display drawers you’d find in a bulk barn or craft shop where you display what is in the actual drawer… but with nothing displayed in them. That is a laminate countertop. Black appliances. Corner sink with a nice high lip that caught all sorts of mould worthy food stank. AND. THAT. FLOOR.

Semi “staged” old kitchen and we kept the fridge and sink

We painted the whole damn thing (including floor) white, got a white dishwasher off Kijiji, ripped out that countertop and put in concrete slabs Keith made himself from fast setting concrete (less than an hour to dry, FOR REAL), put in a subway tile backsplash, replaced the cabinet hardware and installed our fab fridge (a wedding gift). It was livable, but a bandaid, and come 2017, it was time to say goodbye to teenage kitchen and do a grown up, fully committing to a new kitchen… kitchen.

Then there was the tile. So much penny round tile.

When I closed my eyes it was grey tile. With grey grout. Originally wanted to go white like above, but then we went back to that whole too many white competing thing and thought why do that to yourself? Also, if you’re doing the tile yourself, for only your second time, don’t choose mosaic tile with a grout darker than the tile because if you don’t line that stuff up straight it looks patchy. And you can see the squares of tile if they aren’t interconnected properly. Which, once you’ve done mosaic tile,  you will also now notice the correct seams in every mosaic tile wall from now until eternity. Which is great as a conversation starter. Nice tile, dude.

Once that was all done and cleaned up, we were finally DONE! *drumroll*

Here it is, peeps!

So basically the same layout you are used to… But better. And cleaner. And less dusty space at the top of cupboards for collecting crap we don’t need.

And for those of you wondering where it all came from, a selection of links for your shopping pleasure….

What we bought:

NOTE: All Kitchen Aid appliances were bought on Black Friday 2016 (yes that’s right, it was THAT long ago) and then delivered to the house in March 2017. So we ended up getting the whole suite for under $5k. For a big investment like this, we HIGHLY recommend you do the same. Takes a bit of planning ahead, but the savings are worth it.

We chose this suite mainly because we liked the handles. No joke. We were hoping to be able to get this set in white, but they didn’t have the clean gas cooktop we wanted NOT in stainless steel…. So as much as we were trying to avoid stainless, and we WERE trying to not go there… We ended up with stainless, which in retrospect was probably the better option given we had white cabinets. Too much white, too much opportunity for white clashing. Which is a thing. That will make you roll your eyes, but yes, there’s 5 million different whites, so if you put em all together it may not look as good as you’d envisioned. So the stainless breaking up the whole look, again, was the better option.

Big Chill Retro Fridge in Jadeite Green $3,395 USD from BigChill.com

The actual dealer we got our fridge from is located in Toronto at KWA Appliances on Eglinton West and we ended up paying the same in CAD that the price is currently listed at in USD on the Big Chill site. NOTE: This was in 2014, so the price may have changed since then. We worked with Paul and he was excellent in answering all our questions and handling the order. Highly recommend if you are looking for a N American made, SMEG alternative. This fridge is completely new and modern on the inside FYI, so have no fear about the electricity usage. This is an Energy Star fridge. Just with a fancy outfit on.

Flooring and cabinets were bought from Lowes for approx $12k including installation (Floors were approx $5,500 of that). The floor tiles were not particularly expensive, as we went with a hard wearing ceramic in a concrete ‘look’,  but the installation was a little more as we went bigger rather than smaller, and they did have to re-level the floor. We also had to pay to get the underfloor tested for Asbestos as after the whole thing was smashed up, we discovered old linoleum tiles and the tile guys couldn’t be sure how safe it was to continue because our house is old. Hooray. That was another $150. We went with modern, flat faced, high gloss white because a) white goes with everything and b) flat faces are easy to clean. Even though shaker style is more ‘in’ at the moment, the cleaning in the little cracks you have to do is SO NOT. Eff that. And all the drawers are silent, so you can’t slam in anger (or look back… #oasisjoke #oldfarts).

Brushed Nickel Pull Ring from CB2.com (sold out, they were on sale for $1.97!!! down from $7.95 CAD)

The pulls we bought are no longer available, which is funnily enough how we ended choosing this style of pull in the first place… The ones we originally wanted were sold out (and of course they are NOW, 6 months later, totally back in stock) but we’ve actually come to really like the actual pull knobs, they are super functional and look way better than we ever thought they would.

So there you have it folks, we can now relax. About the kitchen anyway. Wait till you see what Keith’s working on in the laundry room!

bfd

BFD Update: Teenage Room Revamp

So it’s not completely done yet, but the room that we have started, and has drawn inspo from the board we put together in this post is getting there… We still need to paint a bunch of the furniture, and you know, make the bed on a regular basis (because #teenager) but here’s the progress so far:

So we started out with some Ikea LACK shelves and a dream… Which was to put this marble paper on the shelves and make em look like marble. Easy right? WRONG. NOT EASY.

Marble Paper Mess Post First Application Attempt

Air bubbles are the biggest bastard pain in the a$$. Smugly we were all, oh ya, 3 rolls? Please we’ll only need 1! Ya, no. Not so much. Luckily we figure it out in 3. The key is pushing the air out at the same rate you are attaching the paper to the surface, and to not try to line up the corners of the paper with the corners of the shelf, even though technically there are a lot of 90 degree angles you can be taking advantage of cause guess what? You won’t get it straight. Not even on the 10th try. So just don’t. Give yourself some room off of all 4 sides for it not to be straight and focus on getting the bubbles out.

It worked! Check em out!

Start pressing the air out on one side while applying the sticky side to the surface of the shelf, and use a hardcover book or equivalent (not an edge type thing you’d use for real wallpaper, it makes creases and pushes down too specifically on the paper, not spreading the adhesive portion around enough to get an even cover.#trust) to push the air out. Stick and push along until you get to the end of the largest surface and then stick to the side. Cut off the extra bits that you will inevitably have with a very accurate pair of scissors or exacto knife. To cover the long sides in the front, you will need to cut into either side of the paper before you adhere to the shelf so you don’t have an extra external fold you’ll have to cut off later. This is basically like wrapping a very large book really nicely with sticky paper.

And here they are! VOILA!

Two things we discovered and totally didn’t anticipate.

1. You’ll need to cover the full top and sides of any shelf that is at eye level or below. The underside doesn’t matter that much if you run out of paper.

2. Any shelf surface you are covering that is eye level or above? Put the patterned paper on the underside of the shelf and the sides instead. Cause physics.

As this is all illusion based decor anyway, jus think about what parts of the shelves you are actually going to see, and don’t worry about those you can’t. Especially if you run out of paper cause this project ends up NOT BEING AS EASY AS YOU THOUGHT. Or so we’ve heard….

The progression of the DIY feature wall

The other main part of the room makeover was the feature wall, which was NOT as difficult as the shelves, but was time consuming as the surface area was significantly larger. All in the whole project took an afternoon between 2 people, so not an unreasonable task to accomplish on a weekend.

And here we are so far!

For a complete overview of how we put the wall together, you should check out this video, it’s got the whole process into less than 5 minutes!

All you need is painters tape, 3 colours and a ruthless eye for straight lines! The thing to remember is that just because tape is straight, that doesn’t mean your lines will be. The best way to try to keep your lines straight is by letting the tape dictate the line by flattening it out as you go instead of trying to stretch it according to where you think it should be going. That’s where the curves comes from that you’ll need to go back and fix.

Next stop on the journey: painting the furniture, that dark mid 2000’s wood bed frame included!

bfd

Our Projects: A Teenage Bedroom Revamp

Admittedly, it’s been a while since either of us have been ‘hip with the kids’ or had any semblance of what’s ‘cool’.. though it seems I totally should have saved my Filas, CK One and lace up fronted tops as apparently the cycle of old is new is getting smaller and smaller and we are only 20 years behind right now. I don’t think anyone thought they’d see florals or duty rose back in effect (or maybe we were just hoping) in our lifetime, but you can’t seem to go anywhere without a little pink on the aesthetic menu. So why fight it? Especially if it’s what the kids want. So we decided to full on just make out with pink and pretend like we didn’t ever break up and that that whole mid aughts dark wood furniture thing was a total misunderstanding and we now know that back in the white and pink embrace of Belinda Carlisle is where we should be.

And on to updating a teen girls bedroom with a modern twist on the Hollywood glam brass and pink combo a la Dana Barrett from Ghostbusters.

There is no Dana… only Zhoul… and that unbelievable upholstered headboard

Don’t front like you didn’t slam your fridge shut while screaming a few times as a kid pretending you’d just seen a ghost dog ‘writhing and snarling’. Allow us to introduce our Dana 1.0 meets modern scandi ‘Teenage Dream’ bedroom inspiration board!

– 1. Marble and Brass Shelf CB2.com – 2. Art Deco Brass Shelf Bracket Anthropologie.com – 3. Marble Look Self Adhesive Vinyl Rona.ca  – 4. Rose Quartz Drawer Pulls Etsy.com  – 5.  Pastel paint colours from Behr.com (available at Home Depot)  – 6. Masking Tape Wall Design from Pinterest.com  – 7. Grey Duvet set from Ikea.ca  – 8. DIY Hollywood Vanity from DecorSnob.com

It remains to be seen what the touch customer will think of our little decor suggestions, but there’s fairly inexpensive ways to do the whole Hollywood glam look with a modern twist, as long as you have a handy person to make a vanity, a painty person to help with your feature wall… and a… sticky person to make your plain wall shelves into ‘marble look’ with some contact paper from Rona (if you don’t have the ability to do the real thing… A Lack floating shelf from Ikea is the easiest to cover in our opinion as it’s as right angled as it gets, and decidedly less heavy than the real thing (which would need super strong walls and anchors)

The finished product is coming soon… along with the kitchen reno reveal, which is 98% finished. Which. Is. So. Close. #weknow #ugh

bfd

Tile Tuesday: A BFD Kitchen Update

Anyone who says picking tile is easy either isn’t picking tile for their own house, or they can afford any tile they want so they can get the good stuff right off the bat without having to do any digging. Thankfully we have picked some, but it wasn’t before we spent a week looking online and in store for tile. HINT: most good tile stores don’t have great sites, cause you know, they want you to go to the store, so you have to get off your ass and go look at them.  Which is exciting and overwhelming and exactly the kind of adult experience where you find yourself saying. ” I cannot believe this is what I’m spending my time doing and that I care about this.” Because how could you not? Tile is fab. Look what we found at Ciot.com in the Castlefield design district:

And then we went to Surfaces & Co. Where tile dreams come true. Le sigh x a million. Featuring the only place in Toronto to get Mosaique Surface tiles from Montreal, brace yourself. And your wallet.

And they also had these….

You can hear the angel music when you look at this one, can’t you? (via mosaiquesurface.com)

Oh yeah, and THAT was just  Saturday. We went to The Tile Store and Ceramic Tile World in the east end of Toronto near O’Connor and St Clair on Sunday…

BUT WHICH ONE DID WE CHOOSE???? Did we go graphic, mosaic, blow the bank or keep it colourful??? Not done yet. We’re installing the backsplash this weekend, so stay tuned. The big reveal is NIGH! (well, almost night, give or take a weekend)

Tee hee!

kitchen ninjas out

bfd

Spring Has Sprung: Time to Get Refreshing!

Realizing that we are tempting fate by writing these words (it snowed inToronto on Friday am, but it’s apparently spring now and is going to be 20 today), it’s finally beginning to look a lot like nicer, warmer weather? We’ve already started getting things spruced up now that light has come back into our lives and we are no longer inside 100% of the time. Which means chores. Which can be… a chore. But what are the absolute must have things you can easily do that will get your abode back into shape and reinvigorate your cynical winter soul? Allow me.

BFD’s TOP 5 SPRING CLEAN MUST DO’S

Purple Irish Mohair Throw from Avoca.com, Black & White rug from Ikea.ca

  1. AIR, AIR, AIR:  Cannot stress enough the importance of taking all those blankets and pillows and airing them out! Whether you take everything and create a bohemian den of sunshine inequity in your backyard or your balcony, there’s a lot of dust and smells that have been hanging around all winter inside that stick to your fabrics and textiles and need to be exorcised! We also suggest using a fabric refresher like this one by Canadian eco-friendly brand ATTITUDE to help level the playing field and get things fresh-i-fied. If you don’t have a specifically outdoor space, laying cushions on chairs in front of open windows is a good alternative. Wherever possible, take cushions out of their covers and air out the actual pillows themselves. It also goes without saying that you should open up as many windows in your house as you can to get a breeze going, disrupt stale air take advantage of the fact that you ACTUALLY can open your windows now and don’t need to be dictator about the thermostat.

    ALL CLEAN! Footstool cover from Bemz.com, Pink cushion from heavenly chair we bought on Kijiji, Palm Print bolsters from ThreeDesign.com and Salmon Velvet pillow cover from WestElm.com

  2. WASH ALL THE THINGS: Seriously. Anything that has a cover, take it off and wash it. And sometimes even things that don’t have removable covers but will fit in a washer/dryer anyway, like pillow inserts. We are lucky that we also have a couch with removable covers, but apparently the one we have (which we were going to feature)  isn’t made with removable covers anymore! As a household with pets, kids or messy eaters, being able to wash the upholstery is SUPER helpful and necessary if you really want your furniture to stick around for more than a few seasons and not require dry cleaning that costs an arm and a leg.

    And if this is too Ikea-y for you, check out Bemz.com where they sell custom covers for Ikea couches that are a delicious departure from the standard colours/designs on offer.

    Airing out our ENDY Mattress; Bed from CB2.com

    3. SORT OUT THAT MATTRESS: Now if you’re like us and your mattress is in a relatively good state, it is recommended (according to the internet, which is always right) by multiple blogs/sites that you flip your mattress at least 4 times a year. We also like to freshen it up by shaking some Arm & Hammer baking soda on the mattress, massaging it in with a dishtowel, leaving it sit for 45-60 minutes, and then vacuuming it all up. This deodorizes and cleans the mattress, and vacuuming will also take care of any dust mites hanging out in there too. Some people also add essential oils (like lemon or lavender) to their baking soda mix for a nice fresh scent: just make sure you add it in to the box and shake it up good or else you’ll get clumps which are a pain to work with. If this is all blah blah blah cause you’ve been doing this for years and your mattress is getting harder and harder to freshen up, well maybe consider getting a new one? You’re supposed to replace your primary mattress every 8-10 years, so if you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress you’ve had since you used to be able to party all night and barely get a hangover? Time to get a new one.

    Having recently purchased an online mattress, we definitely think this is the way to go in terms of convenience and competitive pricing. Leesa is currently having a promo that saves you $130 CAD(enter code SPRING130 at check out) / $100 USD off the above price and they donate 1 mattress to a shelter for every 10 they sell and plant a tree for every single sale. AND they deliver (for free) right to your front door (shipping usually happens in 3-5 biz days)!

    This is the mattress we have, and we ordered a King size which was delivered within 5 days of us ordering it. We have honestly never slept better, but I think that’s because we are also sleeping in the biggest mattress we have ever had. We chose this for its firmness rating, and the fact that it’s made here in Toronto and we are impatient. ‘

    Dirty shower curtain from CB2.com (but from like 5-6 years ago)

    4. CLEAN YOUR SHOWER CURTAIN: Again, another relatively easy thing to do, but when was the last time you were bothered? Seriously? If you have a material liner, it’s easy enough to throw in the washing machine and boom, but if you’ve got a plastic one, like we do, I suggest laying it down somewhere you can spread it out as flat as possible and giving it a 5 minute scrub with some CLR. Easy peasy, and will make your next shower brighter and YOU a happier, more productive member of society.. .or something close.

    InterDesign Shower Curtain, Flamingo $19.99 from IQLiving.com

    But in case it’s time for a change, there’s always flamingos…

    Fabulous crap corner. Pink corner cabinet from Ikea.ca

    5. AND FINALLY, CLEAN OUT YOUR CRAP CORNER (or closet or whatever): This is mine. We all have it, and it piles up and takes over and before you know it… So whether it’s Craigslist, Bunz.com (we LOVE Bunz, but it is addictive, be forewarned) or a local Value Village, get it organized and get it out of there. We’ll try to do it too. Before the end of the week. Seriously.

bfd

 

Our Projects: Kitchen Reno… Phase 1

As you may or may not be aware, we are redoing the kitchen. Various snaps at stages of undress have been posted on the socials already, but this is the definitive renovation part one instalment of the saga. Hoping sags won’t be toooooo long. Anyone who has renovated knows this above all is the mantra you repeat when crossing your fingers and signing on the dotted line. Originally, the kitchen looked like this:It was… interesting to say the least. So we painted all the cabinets, the floor, dumped that fridge, which was legit 100% fridge. With a separate freezer in the basement. Which, if you like ice in your drinks, is super convenient. 

We had to paint it all. The floor was so not us.  But we knew the white paint, while ok for now, wasn’t going to be the end of the kitchen’s transformation. New fridge, new hardware, new sink and concrete countertops definitely helped, but those cabinet fronts and awkward wasted storage space at the top? Had to be fixed.

Looks pretty good, eh?

Full bloom kitchen on a sunny day was nice and bright

But all those knick knack whatevers at the top of the cabinets were dumb and dusty and the cabinets were full of corners that collected dust and needed to be updated. In short, dust was the inspiration for the kitchen.

First in was the new appliances. We love them. Half of BFD does not cook, but 100% of BFD thinks these appliances are cool.

Then we had to figure out how this place was gonna look. Same layout but newer. Looking at it now actually makes it look pretty same-ish to now except a few upper cabinet modifications. And everything’s a different colour. So like still a change but not an OMG it’s not avocado anymore kitchen pre/post. We can do the old, OLD kitchen though in the final reveal. We just couldn’t stand to live with a kitchen that looked like that until we were able to reno it, like 5 years later…

So this was the new plan

And this is what we chose for the counter, floor and cabinets from Lowes.

…and here is the tile, counter and cabinet fronts we’ve picked from Lowe’s… stay tuned….

Next up… cabinets come out and the floor goes down. Oh yeah.

bfd