4.25.2012

Shine a little light...

Lighting is one of my favorite things to shop for. Seriously, when it comes to home decor, Im a big fan of lighting. Mainly because there are so many options out there and lighting can seriously change the look of a room.

It might also be because the lighting in this house was terrible when we moved in. Every single light fixture had a bulb burnt out. Every single one (we checked). Thats got be a record or something.

There are still many fixtures we want to change, but so far we've done about 6 main ones...not bad. Recently my mother in law mentioned to me that all of our fixtures were very 'sparkly'. I hadn't actually thought about it, but she's right....every single one is 'sparkly'. I now feel that someone needs to stop me from buying sparkly fixtures....oddly enough, Ian doesn't seem to mind or even care. Huh.

Anyho, this is my last sparkly fixture for a while. I swear.
Dont judge the sparkly fixture lady!

So our master bedroom has a hallway to leads into our bathroom and into our closets. It had a bulb hanging from the ceiling when we moved in (have I proved my point about bad lighting now?)

I wanted to change it out, but we didn't want to spend a lot of money on a light for this little hallway.

Months ago, my parents we renovating one of their properties, and had removed the old fixtures. I remember walking in to see what they had done, and spotting 2 old chandeliers. My parents graciously let me have them (Ian wasn't crazy about the idea at first...), but I could see their potential. Problem was, they were covered in nicotine from the previous owner (who was a heavy smoker). Ewww (now you can see why no one else wanted them).

I brought them home, took them apart and let all of the crystals soak in soapy water for a full day. After a few days of cleaning and preping, the chandeliers looked ammmmazing! The first one had to be rewired and Im saving it for another room in our home :) The second one was perfect for our hallway...perfect and FREE!

Putting up this fixture was another story...

The hallway began looking like this:





and after 2 evenings, 1 very frustrated husband and a few words that are too inappropriate to type, we ended up with this:





A close up of the sparkle sparkle....




and it even looks pretty with the lights off:






Do you see the ring around the top of the light? That was originally gold, but I used silver leaf paint, to paint it silver. Turned out pretty well. I got the paint from Michael's, and you dont need much at all to cover a surface- I barely used anything in the small jar to cover the entire ring (inside and out).

At night it casts a really neat shadow on the walls too:





I think it adds a bit of vintage flair to the room, and of course more "sparkle, sparkle". He he.




I love it. Funny thing, how often did I previously turn this light on for use? Barely ever. How often do I turn it on now? Every day. lol

As I said before, lighting really makes a difference!

4.23.2012

We're at it again....Bathroom #3!

Sooo...you might be thinking, how are they STILL renovating bathrooms? Have they not already done two?

Yes, yes we have.

But quite honestly, we just love renovating bathrooms SOOO much that we decided to do this one for fun. Did you even sort of fall for that? Didn't think so. The main floor powder room is the one bathroom that probably bothers me the most. Not because it was the worst of the 3 (it was probably in the best shape), but because its not only us that uses it, which means we can't hide it from the world.

So whenever we have guests and they need to use the washroom, I cringe at the thought of them walking in there and thinking...wow, Ive just stepped back into 1990.

For starters there is no towel rod or paper towel holder. You'd think we could get our butts in gear and put something up, but we figured this would force us to complete this bathroom sooner. Not-so-much. Secondly, the toilet is bad. Like seat falling off, and its just not a good scene. Lastly, the fixtures are gold/silver and rust. Not as in 'rust the colour', rust as in 'super-old-and-not-in-good-condition-rust-falling-off' rust. For those of you who've used this bathroom you're probably thinking its not "that" bad, but I know a few of you out there who are probably relieved to know that those were not our decor choices. NOT our decor choices :D

So over the past while, Ive been collecting "pinspiration" sources of powder rooms that have inspired us. We're starting to think about ideas and here's what we're liking so far (all photo's are courtesy of Pinterest and can be found on our board here):

Mirrored pieces:



Pastels... (Im a BIT obessessed with anything mint green right now- and always):


Wallpaper:


Touches of gold:


Rustic and warm:

Vintage touches:


Coloured vanities:


Truly in a small space or powder room, I think you can break the rules a bit. Feel free to use colour, wallpaper (as there's no tub or shower to we don't need to worry about moisture issues) and fun accents.

As you can see from the pictures, our thoughts are still all over the place. We're still working on a tight budget here, so we'll definitely be doing this space on the cheap as well. Hopefully we can come up with some creative ideas for this one ;)


What would you do in a powder room? Have any of you wallpapered, used fun colours or tiles in a small space like this?

4.19.2012

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Last time I posted about our vanity, the mirror was sitting on the vanity top and it wasn't completely finished yet. So I finally got my act together and finished it up.

That's right people, the mirror's actually up on the wall now. I convinced Ian to use a hammer and put a nail up....only because I know he'd kill me if I tried to do it myself. That, and I'd probably miss and put a massive hole in the wall that Clover could fit through....so the only solution was to bribe Ian to do it for me.
Food usually works for that.

Anyho, got the nail up, put the mirror up and presto- mirror on the wall!




I also added this cute little lamp from HomeSense:



It was on clearance and the colour was perfect. Only problem? I brought it home and it didn't work. Switched to a new bulb...still didn't work. Boo.

So I went to return it at a different store, and found another lamp exactly the same...also on clearance. This one better work! Brought it home, flipped the switch and ta-da! Worked perfectly!

Not only now do I have a mirror up on the wall, but a light so I can actually see what Im doing at night. SO much better for everyone involved here....



So there you have it! A finished project which only means we're one step closer to our master bedroom reveal.

For those of you who dont follow us on Facebook or Twitter (and why not I might like to add?! Join in the party!)- I often share sneak peeks of what we're up to on our Facebook page before I post about it. Think of it like a VIP club, where you get special privileges and cool stuff. Although ours is free and right now the bonus' are pretty limited...but again, isn't it cool to be a VIP? I like to think so.

So here's another small peek that I posted on Facebook this week, of our *almost* complete master bedroom...




Whatcha think?!
Thats all for now...I'm off to finish up that room people!

4.13.2012

Friday Feature

Who doesn't love Fridays? Its my awesome item for today. Just the fact that today is Friday rocks.

For those of you who dont follow us on Facebook, hop over and check out our page here. Lots of fun stuff happening over there :)

One of the announcements I made a while back, was that I was going to try and list one "awesome item" every day. For those of you who have read "The Book of Awesome" by Neil Pasricha, you'll know what Im talking about. For those who haven't I highly recommend it. Neil came to do a speech at a staff conference we had at work and he totally inspired me. So, thats when I started my own "awesome item a day" tally:

Monday- finished the 3rd book in the Hunger Games series and actually went to bed before 1:30am- awesome.

Tuesday- new sheets fesh out of the dryer, on the bed- awesome.

Wednesday- did not get attacked by the goose standing beside my car- awesome.

Yesterday I found a granola bar in my purse when I was about ready to eat 18 tic tacs to fend off my hunger- awesome.

Today is Friday- awesome.

Small pleasures people. Small pleasures.

Next week we are going to have some exciting changes happening to the blog and I can't wait to share with all of you (also awesome!)

Until then, I wanted to share something we are going to start doing on Friday's on the blog. I often feel that when you read someone blog you think, wow, is this real? These people always seem so happy and smiley and their world looks perfect. Well, lets be honest, at least in our world thats not always the case!

We save up for weeks to buy things and get everything on sale. Most of the time we are scrounging around in our kitchen to make meals (hmmmm grilled cheese on rice crackers and an old can of soup sounds delicious!) and spend hours working on every project we post- many of which don't always turn out as planned..."Ian why is this paint bubbling?"

So, in the spirit of "keeping it real" we're going to dedicate this Friday post to just that. Keeping in real.

Other than decor, I have a love for fashion and finding deals. These will just be some of the things we post about on Fridays. The best part? Everything we post about will be things that most anyone can do, try or buy.

A key piece to living beautifully (for us) is doing that on a budget. We hope this will let you all see that we struggle through situations like everyone else and things aren't always perfect.

So for today, I wanted to share something I thought was super awesome....

video

She really is the best :)

Did you note the big white painted square on our wall in the video? Yep, thats where the previous owners had installed a cat passageway. So after filling the hole, we haven't gotten around to painting it yet, and now there's just a big fancy white square there.

Just keeping it real :)

4.11.2012

Happy 1st!

Well its here!

Our blogs very 1st birthday.




I can't believe its already been a year since we made our first post. I feel like we've barely scratched the surface of all the things we want to do!

I want to thank all of YOU, our readers for following along with us over the year and for being so incredibly supportive and positive about everything we do. Without you, we'd just be writing a blog for ourselves (and maybe our mom's). So THANK YOU.

We hope you plan to stick around for another year...or maybe more to see what else we have in store :)

Happy Birthday Blog!! Now make a wish....

4.09.2012

Sourcing, Sourcing...

Ever since we posted our Master Bath Ensuite reno back in February, we've had countless people emailing and asking us where we got everything.

We've actually added a few things to finish off the bathroom since, and felt it was finally time that we could give you all a list of where we got everything.

I have to be honest and let you know it took months for us to source all of this...soooo you can thank us later when you spend half as much time sourcing your items based on this list. You're welcome :)

Where to begin....we're going to start with the Tile.

We've actually already posted a detailed source list for where we purchased all of our tile, which you can find here, but to break it down:

Tile:
Floor Tile- Tile Master




Shower Floor Tile (Marble Border)- Tile Master
Shower Floor Tile (White non-slip tile)- Dante's Tile
Shower Tile (White wall tiles)- Dante's Tile
Shower Tile (Glass mosaic tile on walls)- Tile Master
Shower Tile (White chair rail on walls)- Dante's Tile




So there you have it. We went to Home Depot and various other places to find tile (our smaller bathroom tile was mainly from Dante's and USave- who we highly recommend for flooring), but for this bathroom, we found the best prices and styles to match our vision at Tile Master and Dante's.

Now for the larger items :)

Tub:
Our freestanding tub, was purchased from Costco.ca. Ive actually given you the direct link to our tub- the Jade Capri Soaker Tub.



Floor Mount Faucet:
We also purchased our floor mount fauct, the Jade Fontana Freestanding facut from Costco.ca.



They had amazing prices and honestly we liked the shape of the tub the best. We found a lot of freestanding tubs, but they were either too expensive or didn't fit our space or style choices.

Toilets:
The toilet (we replaced EVERYTHING in this bathroom), was from Lowes. When they first opened in our town, they had a Grand Opening sale where American Standard dual-flush toilets were incredibly cheap. We contacted our good friend (who happens to be a plumber) to see if they were any good. We were told they were a great purchase, so we ran out there at 6:00am when they opened to buy the maximum amount per person. We ended up with 4, to replace every toilet in our house. They ended up costing us just under $400.00 for 4 (on sale), but we managed to get a rebate from the city, for replacing our old toilets with new ones. We got a rebate of $180.00, so in total, we spent around $50.00 per toilet. Total score.

So, like I said, we ended up with American Standard toilets from Lowes, I think these here are comparable to what we have.




Shower/Sink Fixtures:
For this bathroom, we wanted to go with fixtures that would last and be of excellent quality. We also didn't want to break the bank. Another thing to consider was fixtures that wouldn't date quickly. We decided to go with chrome (after our debate, which you can read about here!), as it was affordable, easy to clean and matched the look we were going for.

We purchased all of our shower fixtures from Mark's Supply. They offer wholesale products with a 20-30% discount from regular retailers. We chose the Moen (as it was the most afforable for us, and we liked the style the best) for the rainfall showerhead, handheld showerhead and valves. We also purchased our sink faucets from Mark's and again went with Moen (so the styles matched with the style in the shower).

Mark's Supply were great to work with and we would definitely go back to them again. They have a large showroom as well, so you can see and feel how your choices would work.




Vanity/Sinks:
The vanity that we chose was also from Costco.ca. They feature the company our their site that we purchased from, but not the actual vanity. The company is called Studio Bathe, and we took a trip down to their showroom to see everything they had before we made a decision. If you check out their site, ours was the 75" white, but they have a lot of choices.

The great thing about the vanity, was that it came with the marble top, 2 mirros, as well as the undermount sinks and drains. It also came with faucets, but we opted to purchase our own style (they only had 1 option available). We also received the mirrors as part of the package, but purchased our own.



Mirrors:
Its funny, because so many people ask us about the mirrors. The mirrors we purchased at HomeSense, but the outer frames on them were black, so we spray painted them white. I had a bunch of pictures of us doing that, but it was a bit of a mess so I decided not to post it. You can also purchase them at Home Depot. Ive found the link here.

Glass:
We chose to do a fully enclosed glass shower, with a transom above the door. Our reason for doing this was not only esthetic, but also for function. We liked how the glass looked going fully up to the ceiling, and the transom provides an outlet for steam to escape, but also gives us the option of a steam shower if we wish to do that.



We purchased the glass from "Fulton Glass" a small company, that did a great job, and offered us the best price. I mean, glass is glass right? We made sure to get the right thickness and double checked all the details with the other companies to see if we were getting the same product, as basically we were. They unfortunatley dont have a website, but you can just google the name to get the information.

Lights:
The sconces flanking the mirrors were from Rona, and the potlights from Lowes.

Chair Rail and Picture Frame Mouldings:
You can read all about how we did it here, but we purchased the chair rail from Rona, and the wood for the picture frame mouldings from Lowes.





Paint Colours:
Lower Wall: Simply White by Benjamin Moore
Upper Wall: Misty Moonstone by ICI Paints (now Dulux Paints)


Accessories:
For all of our accessories, we searched around a lot, but here's our list:

Chandelier: HomeSense
Towels: HomeSense
Flowers: HomeSense
Small Mirror on Vanity: HomeSense
Glass Jars for Cotton Balls, etc: Michaels
Picture frames (not shown): Ikea
Rugs (not shown in pictures): Home Outfitters
Curtain Fabric: Tonic Living



Since these pictures were taken, there are a variety of changes we've made and this ensuite is pretty much complete :)

Once I put the photos into the frames on the walls, I'll be posting some new pictures.

I hope this helps all of you who wanted to know where we sourced everything. Keep in mind, that for almost every item we purchased, we waited for sales, used coupons or deals and managed to get the items for a price that fit into our budget. This took a LOT and I mean a LOT of extra time, but it was worth it in the end. Even the day when we raced across town on our lunch to get fixtures on sale, or spending countless evenings going through flyers and websites :) Good times, my friends, good times.

If there's anything Ive missed on here, please feel free to email us at livingbeautifully1@gmail.com and we can try and provide you with the source for the item.

Are any of you currently working on a bathroom or Master Ensuite? If so, how is it coming along?

Happy Renovating!
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