Sunday, May 4, 2008

Late to the Party

Better late than never, or so they say... I'm linking up with the Design Time blog carnival at Mary's place. Mary's family is moving into a foreclosure, and she's looking for some ideas. I've got a few suggestions of what to do, and what not to do!

Do: Check out her site for other participant's design time posts.

I'll start out with some lovely samples of, well, the beginning. We bought our 30-some-odd-year-old house 2 years and 4 months ago. As you can see, we started out with a (mostly) nice white clean slate. A little elbow grease to eliminate the lovely *ahem* floral borders, and I had a blank canvas!

Don't: Paste on floral wallpaper. Anywhere! Ever!

This is our stipple ceiling. You will note some interesting flecks. The camera doesn't display these in all their splendour, so you may have missed the fact that these flecks are (wait for it) sparkles! We have yet to do anything about our starry night ceilings. I just can't bear to bid them farewell.

Don't: Do I even need to say it?

The picture to the right is, in fact, right-side-up. I am standing at the top of the stairs, looking toward the basement. If you're wondering, yes - that is burnt orange shag carpeting on the wall. You'll notice the lovely shade of rubber-backed office carpet on the floor, selected to match. The bad shade of yellow on the wall - my bad choice. We'd love to one day completely gut the basement, reconfigure the layout, and put down some quality carpets. But I just don't know if I could ever bear to remove the shag from the wall!

Please, please, just don't!

Here you will see the view from our kitchen to our dining room. Well, you can certainly see the big wall between them. If you look carefully you will also note the linoleum in an adorable shade of lemon yellow. Next to it, the carpeted dining room. Ack!

Seriously, don't.

Step one, much to Pat's enjoyment - knocking out the wall.

Do: Open up spaces that make you feel so claustrophobic that you want to scratch out your own eyeballs. (Um, make sure you have someone who knows stuff check out if your walls need to be there because they, like, hold up the whole house.)

Also Do: Remove old, dated, horrifically ugly flooring and replace with something nicer.

For the main floor, I was desperate to try something bold, with a 'pop' behind it, and I was dreaming of red. For obvious reasons, red could not be our main colour, so we selected a complementary yellow. (I don't know why I say 'we,' I do the paint in this family. Pat does other labourious jobs that don't require perfection, patience, and multiple coats. LOL!)

Do: Colour. Really, just DO IT!

Do: Art. Paintings. Photos. These are all good things to put on your walls. It makes it seem like people really live there.

Don't: Ask to see any other walls in my home.

Do: New light fixtures and window coverings. Choose to match your personal style. If you don't know your style, um, ask for help at Home Depot. ;)

(If you love the paint colours, they are from the old Benjamin Moore collection - Dijon and Bonaparte. I used Totem's colour match system and used their store brand paint. Um, DON'T! It's pretty good paint overall, but for strong colours...let's just say, 4 stinkin' coats later!)

Here's a close-up of the painting pictured above my loveseat. I had a budding artist friend custom make the 3x3 foot red orchid for me. I asked her to creatively build in the word Yahweh so that it was visible, but unobtrusive. Nice, nice work Angela!

Here are some handy little projects Pat has completed over the past 28 months...

Do: Cool storage options. This one's from Ikea.

Don't: Ever let me see your bookshelf look as disastrous and cluttered as mine! It's shameful, really.

Do: Create bench seating for large families. This is a major space-saver!

Do: Completely change the look of your kitchen by installing super-uber mosaic tile backsplash!
Don't: Forget to refinish your dated cabinets to go with the new backsplash. (I especially don't recommend waiting more than a year to do this, or you might just give up and settle for ugly.)

Don't: Leave appliances and dirty dishes on your counter when taking pictures. Sheesh!

Okay, at the risk of making this post even longer, I must tell you that I have saved the best for last! I am about the least artistic, crafty, creative person you will ever meet. BUT, I have a gift of creating kid bedroom masterpieces! (Hey, if you've got it, flaunt it!) I may have mentioned that I LOVE colour. And stripes. Stripes are fun, and cute, and oh-so fun!

Do: Be asymmetrical. It's not square. (Get it?!)

Do: Let your kids help in ways that won't destroy all your hard work. Note the removable Tinkerbell stickers.

Do: Let other people do the work that you're not talented enough to do yourself. (Thanks for the freehand work - Pat and Mom!)
Oh, how I could go on. We're nowhere near done yet - just pluggin' away as time (in-between births and birthday parties) and finances (when feeding 7 mouths doesn't split my purse into smithereens) allow. But, pretty proud of what we've done so far. Next on the 'to do' list: re-shingle the roof. Fun times!


  1. I love the red!!!
    I also LOVE the book shelf. By the way, what clutter? The shelves look great!

  2. Aw, Judith, you are too sweet! I promise not to notice any clutter at your house, too. :) *hugs*

  3. oh Tyler,
    Love your house!...I need to come and visit you sometime for tea and craft idea...Love it!!
    Now if I can get Guy to build me one of those benches for the kitchen table so we can all fit in and I could also hide stuff...
    I will be giving you a call...

  4. Great ideas! I also liked your take on what to "do" and "don't"!

  5. I love the painting and the idea to incorporate Yahweh on it!

    The shelves look great (I don't see clutter either) as does the bench, opened spaces and wood flooring!!

    I love your children's rooms - great painting ideas...I wish I was more handy with a paintbrush..but for now, I guess we'll leave the walls brown! :-)

  6. Great job!! What great improvements you've made. I'm all about the red wall myself:)

  7. OH, I so want a red wall. I want it even more since seeing your post and Monica's! Lovely, especially with that nice yellow/buttery/tan color.

    Love the kids rooms. I am a big fan of the stripes. What fun rooms.

    Thanks for joining in. I loved your do adn don't...made me feel like there are other crazy folks buying up these houses with "personality" ;) (The carpet shag on the walls ranks up there with my hot tub penninsula)

  8. ok, sorry that was me up there. i saw that "kris said" and thought, hmm, i don't remember commenting on this. haha, looks like you have 2 kris' now!

    great post ty, i also thought your "clutter" looked great! you've done an awesome job, very funny too:0)

  9. Kris (adoulasheart) - I thought that was you, too! LOL! How fun, two Krises! :)


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