July 18, 2014

Show Me Love

I thoroughly enjoy tackling DIY projects and decorating our space, especially because it almost always means spending quality time with my Handy Hubby.  Sometimes a fabulous outcome is just icing.  Folks commending us on a job well done?  That's the cherry on top.  Before I get any hungrier (I'm on Weight Watchers - how many point is icing?!?), let me cut to the chase:  I owe a huge thanks to some fabulous folks who gave the lakehouse and our projects a little love recently.

Most recently I was a guest blogger on House of Turquoise - which is obviously the mother-ship for a turquoise-loving gal like me.  I'm so flattered to have been asked, and thoroughly enjoyed meeting other folks who love turquoise as much as me!

The turquoise kitchen reveal has been getting a lot of attention, which feels surreal because for a looooong time it looked like thisCentsational Girl added our kitchen to her "Best of DIY" collection.  Wow!

Delineate Your Dwelling featured the kitchen in the latest link party.

I really enjoyed link parties after the kitchen reveal - something I rarely do.  But partying lead to neat things, like The Makers choosing me as their featured blogger!

Yep, linky parties were a real ego boost because a Stroll Thru Life also featured the kitchen, as did My Re-purposed Life

Apartment Therapy also featured the space, which always yields a flurry of surprising comments.  . 

Some folks want me to add more colour.  It's a good idea, but....NEVER!!  I am in love with the kitchen palette which, to be fair, is different shades of aqua, blue, grey, cream and pale green.  See?  So varied.  Adding orange and yellow is like adding oreo cookie crumbs to a butterscotch sundae for me.  Certainly that sounds enticing to some (and I certainly do love butterscotch and oreos separately), but I just want to savor my butterscotch.  And then maybe eat some oreos later.  How many points are oreos? 

But I know the feeling - there are many homes in blogland and in magazines that I'm just itching to tweak (or do-over completely).  Sorry for causing any twitchy fingers, but I'm happy as a clam in the kitchen.  And the turquoise laundry room, which Lindsey featured on Better After.

This is an oldie, but a goodie: my painted fireplace was featured on Remodelaholic.

In other news, Brit + Co featured my Ikea Expedit Hack in a fun round-up of Ikea shelf hacks.

Not only did I get many pats on the back for DIYing, my thrifting prowess even earned me some fist-bumps.  Vintage Revivals included my Eames find in their newsletter, and then the secret mid-century sectional I have stashed in my garage was featured on the VR blog!

I do my best to keep track of all features on my Press Page but if you see some link love I've missed, let me know.  I'm so appreciative of the support.  But, more important than accolades: you!  Thanks for reading.  I love sharing my projects and hearing your feedback. 

July 17, 2014

Concrete Floors

This might seem kind of nutty: we just finished our temporary kitchen makeover and I'm already dreaming of the next one.  I know time will fly by and sooner than we think we'll be faced with big decisions, like choosing flooring.  The kitchen, entryway, laundry room, and powder room all have the same linoleum, while the rest of the house (excluding the main bathroom, which also has linoleum) has walnut-stained maple hardwood.  The hardwood is in okay condition, but it's scratched, dented and gappy in the winter.  Szuka has really gouged it, no matter how well we trim her nails.  I think that five years from now it might just be wise to replace the flooring in the entire house and make it uniform for a cohesive look.  We've been pouring over flooring buying guides and tossing around flooring options:
  • Hardwood = scratched and dented easily
  • Laminate = just not our jam
  • Tile = I hate grout and despised cleaning the ceramic tile in the townhouse entry and kitchen
  • Vinyl and linoleum = scratched and stained easily
  • Cork = just not our jam either
Recently, it dawned on me: concrete!!

We live in a lakehouse, so I think we get a pass concerning any rules about "appropriate" materials and finishes.  Concrete floors bring to mind cool loft spaces, but I think we can pull it off.  It would be super easy to clean and would stand up to Szuka's wear and tear.  We can add in-floor heating to make it cozier in the winter.  There are some cons, of course: it can crack (but can be repaired), it can be rough on joints to stand on it (we'll tough it out), and it can be cold (that's where in-floor heating comes in).  But I love that it can be stained or even painted as our style evolves, plus it's pretty affordable.

Of course we have quite a few years to noodle on this, but if I had to decide today I would definitely be looking very seriously at concrete.  Thoughts?

July 14, 2014

DIY Mod Dog Bowl Stand

Szuka is a tall gal, which you might have gleaned from this leggy Instagram shot of her.  After watching her strain to reach her ground-level bowls like a brontosaurus, Hubs and I decided she could use a raised bowl stand.  I decided that it should be mid-century modern inspired.  And turquoise.  With hairpin legs.  These raised feeders were clearly the inspiration but they're unavailable, plus we wanted to customize the height, so we whipped up our own version.  Ours is so wonky it can hardly even be called a knock-off, but the three of us love it equally so we'll call it a success!

The first step was figuring out the height, so we created a cardboard cutout and put treats on it for Szuka to munch on while we held it up at different heights.  We made sure to factor in that the food would actually be lower once the bowls were in place.  She thought it was the most. fun. game. ever. (free liver, just for standing here?!?).

  • Three hairpin legs
  • Plywood
  • Pre-glued edge tape
  • Primer
  • Semi-gloss latex paint 
  • 2" paint brush or smaller roller
  • Two metal dog bowls with a wide lip
  • Jigsaw

We ordered our hairpin legs from Hairpin Legs for Less because of their great selection.  Even though I ended up choosing the gloss clear powder coat, I still enjoyed being tempted by white, turquoise and even brushed gold.  The quality is excellent, they were shipped with care, and I was able to customize the height.

To assemble the stand, first we used our cardboard cut out to trace the design onto a piece of plywood.  (We really should have blown up the image of the bowl stand we liked and traced it, but that felt too much like copying).  We marked where the legs and bowls would go and then the bowl holes were traced and cut with a jigsaw before we cut out the whole shape.  We made the bowl holes smaller than the bowls, so the edge would catch and hold them in place.

Once it was cut out, the entire piece was wrapped in edge tape (see this post about our DIY kitchen pantry, or this post about our floating credenza top to see how we do that).  Then I primed and painted it.  I mixed together the creamy white from the kitchen pantry and shelves, plus the turquoise of the cabinetry and the mintier office closet colour - all in semi-gloss - for a paler hue.  See?  There's lots of colour variation in the lakehouse: there's lighter turquoise, darker turquoise, greener turquoise, bluer turquoise...


Once the paint was dry, we attached the legs and dropped in the stainless steel bowls (from Petsmart). Szuka took to it right away.  I photographed it in the dining room because the laundry room - her spot to chow down - is windowless and difficult to photograph.  You'll have to trust that it fits perfectly in the corner and looks cute with the turquoise curtains and her matching quilt.

With raised feeding stations, there is some controversy as to whether this can cause bloat in dogs.  Some studies say higher bowls contribute to bloat while others say they prevent it and relieve digestive discomfort.  I didn't want to put Szuka's health in the hands of random internet sources so I consulted with our Vet who said the raised bowl is in no way a risk, especially given that Szuka is a pokey eater.  But if you're thinking of making your pup a bowl stand - high or low - chat with your Vet about what's healthiest because, after all, I'm just a random person on the internet too.

Thanks to Hairpin Legs for Less for providing the hairpin legs for this project!
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