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

Happy IKEA Hack Friday!

Just came across this article in the old Facebook newsfeed and it’s the first one we’ve seen in a while that actually has some new updates besides the old spray paint your lack table (ok that ones still in there) suggestions we’ve seen going around for the past few years.

A few of our faves:

For more weekend DIY suggests, check out BuzzFeed’s latest list! 

bfd

Another BFD Reveal: Staging 1 Shaw

So we have a condo that we currently rent and are looking to sell, but it’s been a while since it’s been updated. Luckily,  the tenant was away on holiday and said it was fine for us to go in and spruce up the place for photos. Less luckily, the walls hadn’t been painted since Keith bought the place in his ‘bachelor days’.

What we did:

  1. Took down everything off the walls.
  2. Packed up everything from the furniture and kitchen counter surfaces into boxes, each labelled according to its requisite room.
  3. Moved out all the furniture from the living room and the clothes, dresser and tables from the bedroom (left the bed).
  4. Took down the light fixtures off the bedroom walls and kitchen ceiling (it was time for a Craigslist find!).
  5. All of the furniture fit in a panel van and we stored the extra pieces for a few months at a storage place. No stress, slightly less moving things in and out of places.
  6. Then we brought in new furniture (ours, from the basement with a few living room pieces you may recognize…)

    IMG_1711

    The Bill Murray throw and throw pillow were actually gifts we registered for from our wedding! from Society6.com

    IMG_1754.JPG

    Sherwin Williams Superpaint 2 in 1 Paint and Primer $36.24/gallon

    Then the painters started. It took them from 8am to 4pm. They used good paint. Which helped with the number of coats they had to do, cause we admit it, the grey was a pain in the ass to cover. It was 2-3 coats total (some walls took a bit more).  And now… the REVEAL…

    Money Shot

    The money shot

    The entire process of moving stuff out, painting, cleaning, moving the stuff back in and arranging it all… 2 days. 2 of us and 2 painters. By Sunday night? Absolutely knackered. Advice for next time? Make sure you have massages booked at the end. Lots of stuff is gonna be achy.

Need staging for your place or just some goddamn help already?

Get in touch!

bfd

Another BFD Reveal: DIY Backyard Wall Art FTW

So when we first moved into the house our backyard was a dust pile w very little character and even less on the style scale. Like negative 10 on the style scale.

Does it look slightly better like this? Perhaps...

Does it look slightly better like this? Perhaps…

For the whole rigamarole, go here (if you’re new). If you’re lazy and can’t be bothered w the process (and was one of those people who just knew the answer and hated showing your work in math class *eye roll*… Like I did) this is the finished product from last summer…

Backyard Ta Da!

And this is the even more finished-er product with some plants and furniture from the spring of this year…

White wall and plants in the garden!

This is breaking the space/time continuum as that wall is already white (mind blown), but now you see the lighting and the plants!

So first step: paint the wall white. At this point I wasn’t too sure what the final design was going to look like, but I had a pretty good idea that a blank canvas would help much more than the sky blue yuck we were dealing with already.

IMG_0832

Once the wall was fresh again, I decided to paint some freehand doodles with some basic black paint (Behr Semi Gloss in Carbon to be exact, available at HomeDepot.ca) based on some projects I’ve seen done by Kelly Wearstler. She’s developed a drool worthy wallpaper line that is not so much affordable, but totally fabulous, based in the same aesthetic. Given how much doodling I did in highschool, and continue to do on notebooks in meetings… We figured I had a pretty good shot at doing a halfway decent job, sans $1,000 wallpaper. Also cause wallpaper + rain is not a good idea. Especially on a shed that will most likely blow away if a wicked witch even looks at it.

West Side Lofts Sales Centre Inspo (From Queen & Abell) 

Also have to give an inspirational shout out to the old West Side Lofts condo sales centre. This is a sentence I never thought I would write. Right up there with ‘I told you if you kept on doing that that would happen, now stop it or we are going home.’

When the above building first went up in the Queen and Dovercourt area over 10 years ago, we admit to being on the ‘what an ugly POS’ bandwagon, with most of the other pre condo residents  of the area. It was an unwelcome signal of progress that meant the underground cool of the neighbourhood was living on borrowed time. We could all hear the bell ringing, signalling the beginning of the end of West Queen West as the edgy, arty and affordable area it was… But that white blob sculpture grew on me, development be damned.

IMG_1705

Doodles abound 

And so I found myself, in my highscool basketball team gym shorts, no less, painting on the side of my garage… my condo art influenced doodles. The black and white was chosen because black and white go with everything, and we wanted something that would contrast with the green of the grass without competing with the colour. All of the doodles were done freehand with a 1″ wide paint brush.. Which is recommended. This project will take WAY too long if you pencil in and plan out how this is going to look. Though if that’s your jam, then go for it (but it’ll add on at least a few more days worth of work, and *might*  make you wish you had just picked a solid colour and not bothered. Just saying)

It took 3 week(end)s total, because although I thought I could handle the casual, not filled in brushstroke look of Ms Wearstler… Turns out I couldn’t. So the doodles ended up having to be filled in and refined over 3 stages to make sure the brush width and colour was consistent. Another fun element that was not originally considered was the fact that this was on ridged siding. And making sure that the POV of the brush strokes from piece to piece was consistent was a bit of a pain in the a$&. So patience and a steady hand is key. If you have neither of these things, maybe try a paint splatter motif instead.

IMG_2345

Final Backyard Doodle Wall 

But in the end it was worth it. And we are quite pleased with the finished product. The neighbours kids did ask if we were going to colour it in… Which is a fair question.

IMG_2348

But we think we will leave that work till next summer and enjoy the monochrome for now.

bfd

BFD Sunday DIY Project: A Side of Tables

So Keith is a big weekend project kind of a guy who gets antsy when he’s not projecting, and a long weekend means a lot of free time. So he made some stuff!

Cost of nails: $15.

Cost of wood: Free

Cost of style: Inherent

Final Cost: Still just $15

Not bad, eh?

Hope you had a good long weekend, y’all!

bfd