Happy Canada Day!
Our tenant moves out today – in a few hours in fact. But before posting a flurry of ‘before’ pics of her flat tomorrow, I figured I had better make an attempt to get up to date with the progress down here.
Obviously the plan was to have finished posting about the reno downstairs before starting on the reno upstairs – but life is messy, well mine is anyway (particularly at the moment – more on that at some point), so we’re going to be doing an ‘upstairs downstairs’ thing for a while.
So, here’s a quite satisfying before and after of our hallway:
What a relief it was to get rid of all that PINK! The wall colour is Benjamin Moore Oxford White (which we used everywhere), and the wainscoting and trim is Benjamin Moore Bittersweet Chocolate, and oh my goodness was that rich brown colour satisfying to paint on. It took a while (as usual) to decide on the right colour, but I’m so happy with it (we have quite a bit left over, so I might use it again upstairs).
I love how the brown and the new vintage light fixture ($100 from the fabulous Renovators Resource – handily/dangerously now barely a block away from us) look like they’ve always been there. We won’t talk about how re-wiring the light at one point caused the TV to turn off when you turned the light on, and how having to call an electrician to fix the problem actually cost more than the light fixture…we just won’t…
The flooring? Well, I actually didn’t mind the lino/tile and spent a long time scrubbing it trying to convince Sam that we should just leave it. Turns out, however, that his elementary school had the same flooring, so getting rid of it was non-negotiable. Time, money, and the impending cold weather made a suggestion from my mom seem like the best idea ever – carpet.
Friends were horrified, but you know what? I don’t care. It was super cheap, very easy, and made the house suddenly feel like a home. Don’t look too close though – it was easy, but also, shall we say ‘a learning experience’ when it came to figuring out how to join the pieces together. I’m not worried though as we can just pull it up again and start over, and it did give us confidence that we could do it again – much better – somewhere else (maybe the bedroom when we move upstairs?).
I would have rather not had window coverings, but as the edge of our house is also the edge of our property line, we’re looking directly into our neighbour’s yard and need some privacy – particularly as you have to make the sprint down the full length of the hallway from the bedroom to bathroom. Luckily this gave us the perfect excuse to buy some super cool curtains from Smoking Lily in Victoria when we were visiting my parents at Christmas:
At less than 3 ft wide (2ft 10in. actually), the hallway is extremely frustrating to photograph from the side (especially when I forget to re-shoot at night to avoid the glare but then use the bad photos anyway as I’m already overdue posting something and it’s Canada Day so I know I won’t be doing blog stuff this evening, blah blah blah), but here’s a few anyway:
The photos on the wall above are of Canada’s Painters Eleven – a group of English abstract painters (as opposed to the French Automatistes) from the 50’s and 60’s (my favourite time period for Canadian painting), Harold Town in his studio taken by photographer John Reeves, and a funny little photo we got at auction of ice in Niagara Falls (that came as a lot with the larger photo we have in the bedroom and another long photo of the Rockies also in the hallway). The painting is one Sam grew up with in his childhood bedroom, and unfortunately, we’ve never been able to identify the artist. The etching is also from auction, and is by a 19th centry English artist of Lynmouth lighthouse in Devon.
Above is a Denis Juneau watercolour on the left, with Katie Bond Pretti above a Toni Onley etching. Not shown (as the photos are just too terrible and therefore just unfair to the artists) are two drawings by Kazuo Nakamura and two paintings by Anna Yuschuck (you can see them a bit on the right in the first ‘after’ photo above). We also have a poster from the Canadian War Museum (the counterpart to the one in the kitchen, and both used to hang in my office when I worked at the Victory Services Club in London), and an early panoramic landscape photograph of the Rockies. One day I’ll document them all properly…
But, as with everything, it’s still not totally finished. The trim painting was done during a slightly intoxicated painting session by me and my friends, and is embarrassingly sloppy in places so needs touching up. The baseboards haven’t all been replaced yet, and as we painted before we moved in, the corners of the doorways all got chipped and scuffed.
Oh well, onwards…
(and time for some July 1st celebrating)