Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Four Years

Four years ago today, David and I were married.

video

The past four years have been filled with adventure. We have road-tripped through Yukon, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Montana. Together we have travelled to Japan, India and Nepal. We have hiked, skied, climbed, flown, helicoptered, canoed and kayaked. We adopted a second dog. We have renovated a kitchen. And when we survided that, we decided to test test our marriage again by renovating the whole house.

I look forward to continuing our adventures in the years to come.

Amy

Monday, May 28, 2012

Black or White

The current debate in our house - should we paint the exterior windows and doors:

 Black?

View from Walnut Street traditional exterior

Porch and Exterior Mouldings Design and Colors traditional exterior

Cannon House - South Main, Colorado traditional exterior

Cannon House - South Main, Colorado traditional exterior

Or white?



New Old Farmhouse traditional exterior

Quaint Hyde Park Exterior traditional exterior

All images via Houzz


Amy

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mixed Metals

Lately I have noticed that there seems to not only be a lot of gold-hues popping up in interior design but a lot of mixing both silver and gold tones - especially in kitchens.

Via Side By Side

Via Conspicuous Style

Via Houzz

Via Homes and Antiques

Amy

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Glimpse Into The Past

Recently we had a stack of filers for a local real estate agent show up in our mail box. The filers feature photos of different houses in the neighborhood at various periods in the past.






The next day a fifth filer showed up in our mail box... I am guessing it was dropped off by a thoughtful neighbour.


Recognize the house?

That is our house circa 1975! I have always wanted to find a photo of our house in its original state and luck would have it that one magically shows up in our mail box.

What a difference 37 years make.

1975

2005

2012

I am happy to see that we have managed to restore a lot of the original character with our renovations. We were able to match the styles in the windows and the details in the siding.

I would still love to find an original photo of our house when it was built in 1912.

Amy

Monday, May 14, 2012

Master Bedroom Inspiration

I have been working on a mood board for the master bed room for a long time... a year ago I was set on a yellow and grey colour scheme but now I am completely indescive... jumping from bold to pastel, swinging from serene to eclectic and rotating through every colour scheme under the rainbow.


serene monochromatic purple and taupe

Via Elle Decor

Via Michaela Noelle Designs
 

soft purples, blues, greens and yellows

Via Caitlin Creer

Via Kerrisdale Design


bright cheerful patterns

Via Opal Design Group

Via BHG

Via Decorology

Avatar Homes Model contemporary bedroom
Via Houzz

Amy

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Contractor Review: Baths from the Past

Ok... so I am a little behind on posting this... the tub has only been installed for about a year now... I am a little behind on posting in general lately.

When we purchased our house 7 years ago, we were ecstatic to have found a house with its original clawfoot tub - even if it had suffered some horrific refinishing attempts in the past. At one point the entire tub had been painted with wall paint - including the inside!

When we renovated the bathroom the first time 5 years ago, we attempted to refinish the tub. We found a electroplating company to chrome plate the tub feet and Dave sandblasted the old paint off the outside of the tub and re-painted it with a black marine enamel. Then we hired a contractor to refinish the inside of the tub with an epoxy enamel product. The process involved acid etching the surface then applying a layer of epoxy enamel and was done with the tub in place in the bathroom.

After three attempts, Dave and the contractor were unable to agree on the quality of the finish (the contractor refused to fully remove the old chipped finish before applying the new finish) and the contractor kindly offered to fully refund our money so that he would never have to hear from us again. Needless to say the finish on the tub did not last more than 6 months.

When we began this renovation, we did an extensive amount of research into refinishing clawfoot tubs and decided that a shop-applied baked porcelain enamel product was the answer. Our research also led us to Chuck at Baths from the Past. Baths from the Past has been refinishing tubs for over 10 years, provides a 5 year written warranty and, best of all, Chuck promised to remove ALL the old finish before applying the new coating.

The porcelain enamel process is much more extensive then the epoxy enamel process. First of all we had to haul the tub out of the house to the shop. At the shop, the old finish was removed with an industrial strength stripper and lots of sanding.



Then the surface was acid etched to prepare it to receive the new finish.



After the etching, the tub was sanded one more time and a primer applied.



The new enamel is sprayed on over the primer and baked for 48 hours. After the new enamel is cured, they sand and polish one more time before applying a final clear protective top coat. The whole process takes about two weeks so you have to be prepared to live without your tub.




We couldn't be happier with the tub. It is so shiny and perfect! Even a year later... much more then could be said about the original epoxy system.




Chuck was fantastic to work with. Constantly emailing us progress photos and being available to answer any questions we had before, during and after. He even provided us with a little gift basket to enjoy with our new tub - a loofah, bath salts and tub cleaner. 



There has already been one *tiny* chip, hardly 2 mm wide, due to a screw driver being dropped while installing the shower curtain. We were able to fill it with American Standard porcelain touch-up paint that we found at Home Depot. You can not even see where it has been touched up and we have had no further problems.

We would be happy to recommend Chuck at Baths from the Past to any one looking to restore a clawfoot tub.

For more details on the refinishing process, check out:

 

Amy




Monday, May 7, 2012

ecoEnergy Retrofit Program: One Year Later

It has been one year since we completed the ecoEnergy Retrofit program on our house.




In hopes of improving the energy efficiency of our 100 year-old home, we:


According to our energy audits, we improved the EnerGuide Rating on our house... but did we actually improve the energy efficiency of our home?





Thankfully, I have been tracking our utility bills since we moved into the house so we can see exactly how much we have improved the energy efficiency.

Our natural gas usage has decreased from an average of 8 GJ per month to 5 GJ per month - a 38% reduction in the amount of natural gas we are consuming! I think it is even more impressive to see our peak gas use in the cold winter months has dropped from 25 GJ in 2006 to 10 GJ this past January. Proof that the high efficiency furnace and spray foam insulation actually do their job! Especially since we also switched from an electric to a natural gas stove in 2008 which would have increased our gas use.

Natural Gas (GJ)

Our water consumption has dropped from an average of 18 cubic meters per month to about 9 cubic meters per month. I was skeptical low flow toilets and taps could actually make a difference but I guess I am wrong. I am interested to see if there is a noticeable drop when we get around to purchasing a high efficiency washing machine. I know there would be a drastic drop if Dave would give up his epically long baths.



Water (m3)


The ecoEnergy Retrofit Program did not specifically address any electrical items but we have been gradually changing the light fixtures in our house and generally trying to improve our electricity use habits. Our electrical usage has dropped from 475 kWh to just over 350 kWh - a 27% reduction. You can see that our good habits have been slipping and our electricity consumption has been increasing as of late... we need to get back into the habit of turning off our lights! We are also in the progress of switching the 50W halogen bulbs to 4W LED light bulbs - hopefully that will make a big difference.

Electricity (kWh)

So there it is - statistics never lie - we actually did improve the energy efficiency of our home. Not to mention we got a wonderful $4,270 refund check from the provincial and federal governments. 

Good to see all of our renovation efforts were worthwhile and we will be rewarded with low energy bills for years to come!

Amy

Thursday, May 3, 2012

♥ List

I am loving... swings and slides




















All Images via Pinterest

Amy

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Linen Closet

Since the shelves are now installed in the hall closet just waiting to be painted, I have been daydreaming about beautifully organized linen closets.

Yes, I am that sad.


Via Beneath My Heart

Via BHG

Via BHG

Via Family Circle

Via Storage and Glee

But it is easy to be excited when for the past year our sheets and towels have been crammed into  the spare bedroom closet with everything else that does not yet have a home.



Amy
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