Stairwell slats

IMG_7810_2It’s all tying together. This week Billy finished the wood slats measurements, drilled holes to dowel in the slats and cut angled rectangles into the staircase to safely house the slats. It took two days to organzie, but it looks amazing and is super safe. It ties in the midcentury modern feel but is also fresh and modern. Have I mentioned Amber can design like a genius and Billy can do anything? I’m glad glad they are on our team.

The stairwell slats are below and are looking mighty fine. They mirror the slats in the living room and complement the floor. They also form a little boundary between the stairs and the dining room but  are open enough that the eye can travel trough and flow from room to room. I quite like it. Now to pick a paint colour for the walls… 


The Kids’ Room – Under the Sea

This room is going to be wonderful. The girls love it already. Amber really hit the nail on the head with them. All they told her was that they wanted an underwater theme and she went wild.  It’s awesome.

Here is the bunk beds the girls picked out from Berg:

Berg Bunk Bed in chestnut

Berg Bunk Bed in chestnut

They are totally cool and have so much space for storage and for homework or crafts. The girls love the stairs (they pull out into storage drawers!) and it is safer for the little one to visit her bigger sister 🙂

They come in a bunch of finishes and with different nob colours.  We have decided on natural with purple nobs to help the sea theme.

Then Amber took this as a starting point and came up with this idea. It is fantastic. Here is the idea board she designed.


It’s feminine but not over-the-top girlie. It’s exactly what they wanted to feel like they are sleeping underwater. It all ties together. What else can I say. I’m blown away!

The sheets are from Pottery Barn. They are called Preppy Shark. Isn’t that cute in itself?

Preppy Shark Then when you add in the octopus pillow and the turquoise duvet cover, it just all pops.


The rug is a real show stopper. They will literally be sleeping with the fishes and sea creatures.

Octopus Rug

The light fixture I showed you before, but even after not seeing it for a month my two-year-old looked at it and said it was her light and how much she loved it.  I have to say, I’m a little jealous!


Then there will be the reading nook. This will give lots of storage for the many, many books they have as well as a few toys. Plus they can read together there or do make-believe. So many options.

The wall colour is yet to be decided, but it will be a shade of turquoise to simulate the sea. The wall paintings are actually decals that can be ordered in a tonne of colours and configurations. That will be fun to design as well. (Courtesy of Etsy).

Wall decals

For the girl’s crafts, I am thinking of getting this Ikea rolly cart. It has the right colour scheme and structure and can fit in small spaces but is functional. Hopefully they will like their room and play area so much that they won’t drag their toys into the other parts of the house too often 🙂

RÅSKOG Utility cart IKEA

Well that’s the design for now.  I still need to think about stuffy storage. Likely a big bin, but most of them may head out to the playroom. That might be a last-minute decision once we are in the space. Not long now!

The new playroom

What would the ideal playroom look like? We wanted a place where the kids could really be themselves. They love dolls, legos, crafts and make-believe.

Upstairs Play room

Upstairs Play room

That’s a tall order for one space. Although I love a good fireplace, there just isn’t a good or safe reason to keep one in the kids play area. Maybe once they are older, we will replace it. For now, we are planning on removing all of the shelves and making the space customized for a 7 and 2-year-old girl.


Right now the girls have great imaginations. They love playing house/store and creating tonnes of doll adventures together. They have a wooden kitchen and Barbie dream house which take up a lot of room and that will be great to get out-of-the-way a bit. Here’s what the space looks like without the shelves, the middle wall and fireplace.

There was still a mild gap between the two walls, so we decided to smooth it out and make it ready to house those taller play items. Here is the wall plastered and sanded and then painted.


Playroom painted

Playroom painted

There is still a little to do in this area, but currently we are trying to decide on a storage system for the kids’ chaos of toys/crafts. This is the one we are thinking about. It’s from Ikea. We would use a combo of tall and short cabinets surrounding the dollhouse and kitchen.

We are also looking into these bookcases from the Land of Nod. They have the midcentury feel we are going for, but are still kid friendly and not vintage expensive.

We have lots of choices to weed through, but I am excited about the possibilities and to see what Amber comes up with for our final plan.

Shower addition

We are getting over closer to having our downstairs bathroom finished. The framing and plumbing is complete. The drywall is done, now for the sealing and painting, the concrete base, the fixture placement, you know little stuff.

But in the meantime, here are the updated shower pictures.

The tiling is going to be next up. Here is a copy of the updated tiling grid that we were planning on putting on the floor.



The bathroom floor tiles finally arrived this week from Italy but when the guys unpacked it, they noticed that the tiles were all off size by varying of portions of cm.

Handcut tiles

Hand cut tiles

This is really screwing with our grid formula for the floor. Now we have to either have variation in the grout lines or stagger the tiles instead of making a grid. Something like this:

Staggered tiles

Staggered tiles

It’s still very pretty, just not as geometric. Hmm decisions.

I think we will end up with the staggering, but I’m still brainstorming with the team. Any suggestions out there?

Let’s Check in…

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today with all the big changes I saw at the condo this week. I went back to my original post and looked at my “must have” list. Wow, things have changed. Let’s take a look.

Our Must Haves:

  1. Open concept kitchen with an island √
  2. Replace the hardwood floors throughout √
  3. Expand to two full bathrooms √
  4. Have a great play area for the kids
  5. Update the design to suit us  √

We are slowly but surely ticking things off our list. We haven’t decided completely about the kids play area yet, but we are looking into a few storage options. Stay tuned for a post about their bedroom and playroom. The girls are very excited about it.

But what else has spiralled out of adding a bathroom and tearing out the kitchen?

Our new additions:

  1. Open the stairwell to let in light
  2. Change the glass to a floating glass system throughout the stairwell
  3. Change the glass on the loft balcony to match the stairwell
  4. Add new lighting throughout the house/add recessed lighting ceilings
  5. Add heated floors
  6. Add a workstation for homework and crafts and adult work at home days
  7. Add organizational systems to the closets downstairs
  8. Open up/widen the doorway between the kitchen and living room
  9. Add AV and electrical to make it a “smart home” since the walls are already open
  10. Paint everything!

I always heard that a reno is more like a living organism than a static project but now that I reflect on it, it is really clear.

Lighting Update

This weekend we finalized our lighting fixtures for the bedrooms and the stairwell. I’m so excited! One step closer to seeing how things are actually going to look in the new house.

Amber and I went to Robinson Lighting to get some ideas of what was out there. I’m glad that we went in knowing what style of lighting we want to have in our house. It can truly be overwhelming. So many chandeliers, so much sparkle and baubles and glitz. We are keeping with the midcentury feel, so staying away for almost all of the above, but we got a little hooked for glitz in the girls’ room 🙂

For the stairwell, I wanted something with great geometric style but still practical to light the stairs safely. At the store, there were two beautiful wooden carved chandelier pendant lights, but they really didn’t give off enough light. In the end we went with a grouping of three pendant lights that were very different but complementary in shape to give the retro feel but still had great light. Amber is also introducing me to a cool new lightbulb that is bright but has silver on the bottom, so when people are walking up the stairs, they don’t immediately miss the fixture and just see the light bulb. Very cool ideas that woman has!

Here is the stairwell light fixture grouping:

We wanted something a little more simple for our bedroom. We will have reading lamps on the walls, but wanted something for the overhead light to find our way to the back wall without stubbing our toes in the dark. Since I couldn’t get the wood chandelier for the stairwell, I thought this walnut circular drum light would work with our walnut bedroom set really well. Here is the light I picked for our bedroom:

This one I never would have picked myself, but it is perfect for the underwater theme the girls want for their shared room. It looks like bubbles rising to the surface and reflects lights on all the walls. The girls are tickled pink for their underwater adventure.