Wednesday, October 27, 2010

For My Dad: A Deck-laration

O happy day, it's finally finished!!

As I think I've mentioned before, I don't usually like to write about unfinished projects. And currently the front of my house is a bit of a mess as I work to scrape (and repaint, before it gets too cold) a section of it. But at long last, the new front deck is finished, and I've had a special request from Dad (without whom this deck would never have been possible!) to post pics of this project that's taken up much of the past two months of both our lives.
And I can't really argue with him - after so much hard work, it's time to show off the fruits of our labour!

In case you need a refresher, here's what the front looked like when I bought the house:

notice the original deck: tiny, rotten, and utterly useless

I wrote about a bit of an update a year ago (at the conclusion of another long project with Dad), and (drumroll please!) here's how it looks today:

please disregard the unpainted wall! :)

Ooooh... Ahhhhhh....You should see it at night, when light from inside shines out through the slats. Love it!

Since I moved in, three new houses have been built beside mine (all are to the right in the above picture), so one goal with the deck was to maintain a bit of privacy, so that I'll actually want to use this new outdoor space. (It's a good size - the main part is about 9'x11' - so I want to enjoy it!) Another goal was not to look too 'cookie-cutter', or like all the boring decks on new builds like the ones next door. To that end, I designed a railing that I think is a bit more modern and unique, and does a great job of screening the deck from the street and nearby houses.

Obviously I've still got lots of landscaping and clean-up to do (after that wall gets painted!), but this was another major step in converting what used to be the back of the house into a proper front entry. Plans for next year include moving the front door - we positioned the new stairs right in front of where I want it to go!

So, Dad: once again thank you. I learned a lot, and definitely couldn't have done it without you! And now that we're done, you've got to admit - it was at least a little bit fun, right?! :)  Love you!

As for everyone else, what do you think? I really like that it looks unique, but do you think anyone else will (ie. future owners of my home)?  Does it look more like the front of a house now?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Through the Looking Glass

It's been a long time since I've made any updates to my dressing room, so I wanted to share a useful little project I recently completed.

Before:  no place to store my jewellery (of which I admittedly have a lot, but I make jewellery - I've gotta model my own product, right?  That's what I tell myself, anyway)

fun fact: I've had this full-length mirror for as long as I can remember. The frame's been painted many different colours over the years, and painting it was one of my earliest 'decor' diy projects. (That first pre-teen attempt was to paint it blue with a black zigzag. No explanation for that one)

But after some sketching and building (and, ok, maybe a little re-thinking and re-building...) I came up with this:

After: Problem solved!  Lots of room for rings, earrings, and necklaces, and the mirror doesn't have to lean against the wall anymore - I even found a mod wallpaper remnant to pretty it up a bit (just $5 for almost a full roll at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Have I mentioned how much I love the ReStore?!).

Rings are stored on pieces of wood dowel set into the pine framework, earrings hang from a metal bbq grill found on clearance and spray-painted brown, and S-hooks are used to hang necklaces from lengths of thin metal rod.

And as much as I love my jewellery, my favourite part is how it all disappears.  As you may remember from here, this room has just about everything else stored out in the open, so I wanted to keep this part of it looking sleek and un-cluttered.  I also think this piece will look even better when I get around to painting over the blah beige on these walls, but I haven't been able to settle on a colour yet. (Suggestions?)

Anyway, though I'm reluctant to think about just how long I've been picking away at this project (it looks simple, but it definitely tested my problem-solving skills!), I think the lesson here is that eventually any project can be finished. Timely, because remember my goal of completing that project I recently gave you a sneak peek of? Yeah, it didn't exactly materialize this weekend.  :(  A few significant steps closer, but still not finished.  One day, it too will be complete!

So, what do you think of my storage solution?  Do you prefer to keep your jewellery out on display?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here's a glimpse of the 'little' project that took over my life about a month or so ago...

lumber yard? or front yard?

Fingers crossed that by the end of the coming long weekend, the end of this project will also be in sight!