Tagged: my new house.

My future library is now well under way. Next is a new wood floor YAY! Pricy but gonna look so good :3

12:00 pm, by erinltompkins  Comments


12:00 pm, by erinltompkins  Comments

January Cure status update

I signed on for Apartment Therapy's January Cure as soon as it came up somewhere in December, I guess.  I have to admit, I haven’t done much to my house to further my goal any.  At most I edited out some unwanted Christmas decorations that I knew I wasn’t going to use and that’s about it.  

My list included:


For some unknown reason, after yoga today I looked around at my living room and found a burst of energy and got to work, even though it wasn’t on my list.  So I started off with this (and I took a panoramic photo so it may be hard to see everything, but go here to see how my living room has been pretty much from the moment I moved in).


And then here’s the after.


And some close ups…




A little eating nook idea I’ve been toying with for a while.  I was going to put my dinning room table here, but the chairs in front of the window would have made it too tight.  I needed something here, so this was my solution.  I don’t have an eat-in area to my kitchen, so this may be something that stays, it may not…

I’ve been thinking about the fireplace.  I want to paint the brick but am unsure if it should be white or perhaps the same color as the walls.  If anyone want’s to give me their thoughts, I would appreciate it :D


The stump is actually recycled wood from a tree that was taken down last year.  I was going to treat the wood with steel wool soaked in apple vinegar but I didn’t get that far.  Have I mentioned lately how much of a procrastinator I can be?


The blankets on the arms of the couch are a necessary evil.  They prevent Jade from further destroying my couch due to her scratching.  I think I should look into a slip cover what with all the blankets the couch needs….

12:00 pm, by erinltompkins  Comments

Bathroom refresh reveal

My father seemed most impatient tonight over my lack of update with regards to my newly finished bathroom.  Which is just funny to me because both mom and dad are new to the world of Facebook and I get a little chuckle thinking of them fumbling the mouse over various links other people have posted to FB and then they suddenly remember that they haven’t seen any update from me.  So, Father dearest, here is it.  I’ve taken a timeout from paper writing hell that I’m currently mired in to show the world my awesome bathroom refresh!

To get the back story of the progression of my bathroom story you can check out my Bathroom Tag.  

I’ve come a long way from the days of carpeted floors, window curtains in the shower, and folding shower screen.  Boy, looking back, jeeze it was pretty bad.  I’m just gonna show the very beginning pics I took just after I moved in and then show the good stuff.

I don’t think I need to say much more then what I’ve said through my progress posts and I’m just going to skip over the pre-painted pic, so I’m gonna go right to the reveal because of the awesome that I get to live with everyday now is awesome.

The light is okay, but a skylight would be awesome since the shower curtain dims what natural light makes its way into the bathroom.  

Cost Break down:

Mirror: $99.00 - Home Depot

Light fixture: $89.00 (I think) - Home Depot

Paint: $0.00 Reused paint from the living room

Shelf brackets: $4.00 for a pack of four - Home Depot

Wood for shelves: free - found drift wood from the beach

Apothecary Jars: $19 (large), $14 (small) less 50% off = $10.92 and $8.05 - Chapters.ca

Woven Candle holder: $19.00 less 50% off = $10.92

Artwork: $13.00 - by Corid 

Total cost of bathroom refresh = $234.89!

07:19 pm, by erinltompkins  Comments

Bathroom update (no longer in a holding pattern) plus other stuff…

I really have no excuse for my totally lack of house update posts.  No, really.  No excuse.  I’m just a lazy bum.  I’m a procrastinator.  I’m sure I mentioned this at some point.  I’m not a very good DIYer and apparently not a very good, consistent blogger.  Man, if I was getting paid for this I don’t think I’d be any better =_=

But anyway!  I actually have news if the post title didn’t give it away already.  I’ve hired an electrician and I had a nice list of things to update.  A few light fixtures, all the plugs and light switches switched from beige or black to white—and oh man, does it make things look awesome!

And then I got a new light for my bedroom!! *happy squirming*

Previously I have this fan, which normally would have been fine, but it was so awesome not that I couldn’t have the fan on when it’d be useful during a hot summer night, because there was no way to have the fan run without the light being on…  Well, it’s just lucky for me that over the two summers I’ve been in this house, and this summer being especially hot and humid, and I didn’t need it at all.

So, out with the old in with the new!!  Look at my new baby <3  I love how it looks, and totally love the bling, the way the shadows twist all over the ceiling and how I get tons of mini rainbows.  Totally worth the mega bucks it cost.

Now, the bathroom, which was the reason for this post.  Oops, kinda sidetracked by the bling O_O

Just a little reminder what I started with…

Ugh, those lights, the cabinet, just ugh.  Mom was all like, “but the storage, the convience”, and I’m like “ugh more yellow wood”.  I knew what I wanted and it wasn’t this >:(

Well, I ended up with this.

Already an improvement, and then:

The light looks dark because by the time I snapped this photo it was getting late, and the bulbs are yellow and not florescent bulbs, plus the light is now “down” rather than omnidirectional.  That hole has to go though, and the various holes made due to the plug moving need to be fixed first.  I found this post very handy on how to fix a drywall hole, but by the time I could tell my father this, he had already started.  I guess he knew how to do it already.  Why didn’t I get that memo?

And here’s the rough-in patch.  The plug will be white, but I’m just waiting on the electrician to get the proper box to house the plug before it gets switched out.  Once that’s done it’s full steam ahead to paint the walls and then I can decorate the space.  I have my eye on a reproduction apple ladder for the other wall, and I plan on using some driftwood boards my parents scavenged for me last year as open storage above the toilet.  

11:04 am, by erinltompkins  Comments

It’s all on the line now~

and I need a tie breaker vote.  I’ve narrowed down my choices for my bedroom light to two  and tho I’d like to say I went out and found some economical choices on the cheap, I didn’t.  I found two lights that I think are pretty “girly” (for me) and while I might lean a little more towards one over the other, I need an outside opinion.  

Option 1:

This one is found at Backyard & Veranda, a modern furniture store where everything is pretty but over priced  This light is $299.00.  I got to say this much about this particular light, I have been coveting it ever since it came out a few years ago.  At first I thought this light was too pretty to be hidden away in a bedroom and thought about putting it in the hallway, but now I’m not so sure.  It could work in the bedroom just as easily.  No matter what I would like to put this somewhere in my house.

Option 2:

The other choice is found at Home Depot and sells for $159.00.  It’s white with hints of pink which doesn’t really show in this photo.  This fits with a more traditional idea of what I think a bedroom light ought to be, but what do I know?  Light fixtures aren’t something that makes me very excited as a rule.

Options 1 or 2?  Thoughts?

11:58 am, by erinltompkins 5  |  Comments

Bathroom update (even if it’s in a holding pattern)

I figure that even with the sick humidity Halifax is “enjoying” right now, which means my bathroom refresh is currently on hold until it breaks, that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about where I’m at currently in my refresh plans.  It also means that I noticed that I haven’t created a bathroom tag so it’s quite possible that I haven’t talked about my bathroom’s state ~evar until now which means a quick look back through the various stages it’s gone through till now.

Can I just say though, when I moved in there was carpet in the bathroom.


And can I also say, it was stained in this ring around the toilet.

*double shudder*

Yeah, that was one of the very first projects that went down.  Under the carpet (which was glued to the floor—what even is that?) there was some standard linoleum floor tiles, possibly even asbestos tiles based on their size.  

There was also this awkward folding shower screen that made the process of showering into this contortionists act where folding ones arms became unthinkable.  So that was next to go.  Not long after, the curtain over the window also got tossed because it would stick to wet arms as one manoeuvred between the folding screen and the water. 

The naked bulbs were really stellar, I tell you.  Real high class stuff…

I don’t know why I waited soo long to change out the wooden toilet seat.  It was horrible and I guess my only excuse was that after a while it became sort a non-thing.  I stopped seeing how weird it was and bam, I didn’t change it out until June of this year.  Here’s the before shot before I switched the seat.  

And the after shot.

I kinda wish I had the same angle for the after shot, but oh well.  

And now for the progress shots! \o/

I removed the towel rod thing-y and the mirror, filling in the various holes that occurred as a result.  

I plan to paint the walls the same color as the living room to make the sea foam green tiles pop (hopefully).  Since this is only a refresh and not a redo (that will come much, much later) I have to live with those special sea foamy tiles.  They’re not bad, per se, just not my taste.  If I had my way and a million dollars, the tub would be gone and in its place I’d have a glass shower inclosure and the basement would have a second bathroom with tub.

This cabinet thing-y, which I suspect is a recycled kitchen cabinet, is gonezo.  In it’s place I have a mirror and plan to either recycle some driftwood into shelves or recently I was thinking some glass shelves would be nice too.  

I already picked out the light for the bathroom and it’s currently sitting in a closet just waiting on my picking out a new light for my bedroom before I call an electrician.  Neither my father or I feel up to the challenge of tackling wiring and risk getting a shock.  The plan is to have a bathroom light, a bedroom light, and an outside security light to replace, plus a few odds and ends for a professional to handle.  

I hope the light makes it feel “beachy” like I’m aiming for.  I think it should.  Plus anything’s a step up from naked bulbs.  

Now, if the weather would just break a bit and then painting can begin… 

01:47 pm, by erinltompkins 1  |  Comments

I am so bad at house updates these days. But truly, not much is happening lately. The bathroom refresh is in a holding pattern until I buy a new light for my bedroom. That will mean I have the bathroom light fixture, the bedroom, and a replacement security light for the outside for an electrician to install. Further it’s just too damn humid to be painting anything seriously—so, waiting.

12:00 pm, by erinltompkins  Comments

Entryway progress and reveal!

Well, I never did do a reveal for my hallway makeover.  Why?  Partly because immediately after finishing I welcomed my Chinese student into my home and the disaster that followed sorta killed my enthusiasm.  Also I kinda wanted to have a completely finished look before I showed off my efforts, but that includes the potential for a stencil that I fell in love with but seems way over priced to my mind.

Today’s reveal is for the entryway (gee, how’d you guess?  Perhaps it was in the title??).  Back in November of last year I made a post about drift wood my parents had pickup for me on one of their many travels around the provence.  After “curing” the wood in the basement for most of the summer I finally got around to prepping the wood.  

You can read all about the “build” here, but here’s a brief photo review.

Inspiration photo (source)

After assembly, the future coat rack sat idle in my basement until just a few days ago.  What was the hold up?  I had a vision that wouldn’t settle for compromises.  I wanted something light and airy, whimsical even, and fun to go with the casual look of the driftwood.  I’d seen a few potential hooks in my travels, bent forks and spoons made into hook shapes but those seemed like they wouldn’t hold up if faced with a heavy coat.  I thought about antique glass door knobs but didn’t feel like paying full antique prices.  And finally, I thought about glass knobbed hooks.  What I found of the latter was too expensive in my mind, so I kept on the lookout for something cheaper but in keeping with this idea.  

In the end I couldn’t find anything cheaper than $10/hook (less 25% when you buy two or more) so I just said F$%@ it and bought four hooks and when I laid them out on the driftwood I felt a deep sense of satisfaction of my idea realized.  It was so beautiful, too!

The hooks are just the right side of whimsy that I wanted and they don’t over power the look of the driftwood, nor do they clash with it.

I have a beautiful double folding chair that I have placed in what used to be the entryway closet (that closet has moved here).  It had to be removed temporally while my father and I wrangled the driftwood into place.  I used painter’s tape to make a template for the wall (which I failed to take a picture of but see Younghouselove for the general idea).  Here’s a quick sample of YHL incase you’re too lazy to click through:

And once it was up I was so pleased with the effect!  I can’t wait to add my planed accent color as a future to-be-decided stencil to the opposite wall.  Since I’m going for a beachy theme in my house colors, I shopped my stuff and decided this shadow box of Blue Jay feathers I had collected over the years deserved a front and centre home on top of the little ledge.  I also like how the Indigo book bag spices things up a bit with the lovely cream and peach colors.  But check out the look for yourselves!

I then added a free enamel pitcher I got at last year’s town yard sale and a baby pegesus figurine just because.  After putting it up both dad and I had to double check the level-ness of the shelf.  And despite declaring it level the eye reads it as being off kilter.  We decided this was because the wood itself isn’t plum anymore after the extended soak in the ocean and so we didn’t worry about it further.  

Cost break down:

Wood:  free
Hooks: $10 x 4 less 25% when buying two or more = $30
Hanging hardware: approx $5 for a pack of two brackets.  
Decorations: free

Total cost of awesomeness: $35!!!!  

Anyone have any idea what something similar would possibly cost in a store?   

11:45 am, by erinltompkins  Comments

(via Kit Houses for the Ultimate DIYer | Apartment Therapy)

Recsorces for my future writer’s cottage that’s WAY in the future :S

  06:19 am, by erinltompkins  Comments

Paint the back deck +50 exp points—level up!!

Oh gwad, it was such a nice long weekend, but there’s rain in the forecast tomorrow (not a good scooter day) so I guess it’s as good a day as any to return to work…  

I have a get together planned for this Saturday, potluck of course, and in preparation for that I had to spruce up the back deck (GREEN!  Why so much green?!).  A few weeks ago I did the front steps so I just needed to wait for my pay day to buy more paint, but luckily my parents gave me a $100 gift card to Home Depot for my Birthday (Sweet Jeebus I’m turning 35 8O ) and I got the job done before the party.

So, memory lane time, here are all the befores I can scrounge up:

December, when I moved in

Showing off my newly built table last year.  Note the roses poking through the spindles. Those puppies are all trimmed back now.

Laundry day.  Since I don’t have a clothes line, I use these instead, and hey, I save money by drying au natural.

How I keep Jade in the yard.

I hate those green chairs.  I want new ones >:(

And now, the green vs. grey-blue duel death match to the…death >_>

What do you all think?  Better?  I think it makes the deck seem brand new and the color is very modern feeling.  (also see how short those roses are!  They have recovered from the shock of pruning and are growing fast and furiously.) 

I also sprung and got myself some patio furniture!  It was only $299 at Kent and it’s the perfect size for my deck.  I’m very happy with it, plus each seat can be moved, combined or broken apart as the mood strikes me.

Of course, once again the sun has moved around so that it’s hard to see the color other than noting that it’s ‘dark’.

The sectional came with all the cushions plus four orange throw pillows in outdoor fabric.  Mom had picked up the striped cushions at Value Village and donated them to me so I held back two of the orange so I didn’t get lost in all those pillows ^_^;

I blasted my “blast from the past” playlist while working and it made the time really fly.  I think I’ve got a near perfect playlist here.  Truly, songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and a few from the nineties and just sooo good.  

12:49 pm, by erinltompkins  Comments

Curb appeal added +25 exp points

We are having absolutely perfect weather for the long weekend!  Sunny, hot, no trace of rain in the forecast—perfect.  

When I took my week off to work on the living room I also planned on painting the front step.  I did a mock-up way back in June of last year on Behr’s website and chose the color Paramount as the winner.  The house siding is a very pale green (again with the green, oi vey) so it had to be something (not green) that would stand out.  But first all the befores I can find!   

Ha!  I could only find this before shot from last year (note the much taller lilac bush before mom hacked it up).  I guess I didn’t take that many pictures of the front of my house since then.  Anyway, you can see the green steps.  In fact this very color is painted throughout the house, mostly in the basement, but green…in the hallway to the basement, pipes are green, door frames (both in the basement), upstairs the kitchen counters, and under the wallpaper in the second bedroom, forest green.  *shakes head*

Here’s a before-I-started-painting shot from three weeks ago.  I scraped the pealing paint off and then sanded down the edges so they weren’t so sharp.  Some websites recommend spray washing the decking as well, but heck, I didn’t have one of those and I didn’t care too much that I might paint over some dirt, ya know?

The front step was pretty desperate for new paint…

The concrete step was showing some wear and tear.  Flakes of concrete came off over the wintertime.  Dad found a silicone product that filled and sealed, however it dried into a nice smooth, slightly springy fill.  I’m not sure how it will hold the paint in the long term because on painting it it seemed to resist the color…  *fingers crossed that it’ll last* 

Of course by the time I had finished the sun had come ‘round the house and it was bright and shiny! and hard to really see the new color.

It looks pretty much like the mockup I did on Behr’s site.

07:09 pm, by erinltompkins  Comments

(via 320 * Sycamore: penny tile cabinet backs)

Found this via Apparmenttherpay (of course, it’s the most stalked by me home idea website) and immediately thought of my future kitchen refresh that’s in the works. I know I want to paint the lower cabinets a darker color, maybe a deepish grey, and the uppers will be a white or cream. I also want to paint the vinyl counter tops because green—again, ugh.

Now this, this would be really cool if I switched out the current cabinet doors for glass and did something cool like penny tiles on the back of the cabinets.  Soon… first, finish painting the back deck.   

07:01 am, by erinltompkins 1  |  Comments

Living room before and after!

End of my work week/vacation of painting and I plan to end it on a bang.  My girlfriend and I are planning on seeing Avengers tonight at 7:30.  I’m so stoked!  I try not to look at everyone’s Avenger gif sets because I don’t want the spoilers and I just finished talking with my friend on the west coast who had already seen it and I could see it was killing him not to talk about it.

But the actual reason for my week off is now finished and the results—fantastic!  I was worried for a while there about the shade of yellow I had chosen since at first it seemed like the wrong choice.  I told my self that I wouldn’t freak out until the finish product was, well, finished.  The living room is gorgeous now.  The yellow is perfect!  Even dad’s worries over painting the ceiling a non-white color was groundless.  Everything turned out as I had hoped for and now, the before and afters!! \o/  But first, get caught up on the story here and here, also my living room tag here.

Already you can see how much the window pops now that the trim is a bright and shiny white.  The windows are old, single pane, and not very efficient unless you count the added bonus of storm windows that were installed on the exterior of the window.  But slap some paint on them and, from the inside at least, they’re like brand new.  It feels fresh and not that dingy yellow that the trim was in the past. 

All the AFTERS:

(oops, my notes on how to paint a fireplace made it into the shot ^_^; that’s a future project soon on the horizon)

Check out my newest addition!  This dresser turned TV console is a family piece that comes down via Aunt Aida who was a relation (not sure how) to my grandparents, then it went to my uncle and most of his kids had it at one point, and when they were cleaning out the basement (my aunt and uncle) they asked my father if I’d be interested in the piece.  The art deco-ish details sold me, plus the white marble top (even cracked and stained with age).  Being a dresser there’s a mirror that goes with it but I won’t be using it in this case.  

And since I re-purposed my bookcase I lost my DVD storage and this dresser does double duty in that area, so win-win!  I have way too many DVDs now so it’s as good a time as any to purge.  I lot of anime I don’t want anymore and they will go towards a yard sale in the not to distant future.

09:36 pm, by erinltompkins 1  |  Comments

What a great painting day I had today.  After finishing all the prep work on my living room yesterday, my father and I primed the heck out of walls, ceiling, and trim (they got two coats!).  The plan for tomorrow is to paint the trim with white trim paint (two coats) and the ceiling (two coats) leaving the walls for the following day.  

I had my “Bast from the Past” playlist on while we worked.  Basically it’s any and all music from the 80s and later (70s, 60s, some 40s thrown in for giggles).  I really wish I knew this was going to happen but when ABBA’s Dancing Queen came on, my father randomly starts to sing along.  Let’s just be clear here, my dad, not a singer.  Not even randomly.  He’ll tap, hum along, but never sing (that I can recall, anyway).  So, we’re doing the trim the first time round and dad just goes, “ooh, you can dance~, you can jive~” and then I start giggling almost hysterically.  And his only comment was, “I don’t like the tone of that laugh”.  Then whenever a new ABBA song came on, I’d listen intently to see if it inspired another—albeit brief—sing-a-long.  Dad did not disappoint!  I had the best time just listening for that.  I was tickled pink! 

The living room walls will be painted Dolphin Fin by Behr.  I always knew I wanted grey for the walls somewhere in my house, and I guess subconsciously I wanted it to be the living room since I never hesitated when I chose the color.  Unlike the other color choices I made where I would constantly change my mind right up until I picked up the paint from the store.

 For the ceiling I’m trying something new.  I tried to get my dad to go for stripes or even chevrons, but didn’t go over very well (just kidding, I’m not that taken with that trend).  However, what I did want was to get away from the white ceiling.  So on the same card as Dolphin Fin (same color family) I chose Irish mist for the ceiling.  

And of course for an accent color I picked out a yellow called Daffodil Yellow (see here for the downlo on that).  

Now that the walls and trim are all primed, the yellow isn’t looking so awful.  I’m still reserving judgement on whether the yellow is a go until I see the finished product.  According to the mock up I did on Behr’s site, it should look fine as seen below.  (also, I couldn’t figure out how to make Dolphin Fin, the wall color be the big square, so the ceiling is the big square and the walls are a small square).

If all goes well (and quickly) we should be done the living room by Wednesday.  I would also like to tackle painting the front step (which I talked about last year here).  I have decided to paint the steps the darker color.  The house, a pale green, would pop much better over green on green that it is now. 

And that would be my working vacation.  O_o  It will be worth it though, to knock out that much work (even if I did have to use my V-time to do it :S)

05:47 pm, by erinltompkins  Comments