Thursday, November 26, 2015

{The Moving Chapters: More salon demo}

So, it turns out, we had a lot of work to do to tear DOWN the salon area before we could put it back UP.

Not a great reality for someone who is impatient to see the finished result. 

So, we got right to it.

THIS post is basically a quick visual flash back at what my little family was doing at the end of the summer. PS: shame on those who kept updating us on the gorgeous summer weather we were missing.  My pasty legs are already dreaming of fully embracing next summer. ) ;)

It took a couple weeks between working full time and gutting the rest of the house (stay tuned for pictures soon!!) But we demoed the whole space. We banished the two closets that were on either side of the salon door and we took apart the walls that had three inch nails keeping up paneling on them.

(My arms still hurt. And yes, they remained pasty too.) ;)

The space looked dark and barren for a while while we tore it apart. It had to get worse before it got better, right?

We knew that while the ceiling and walls were down it would be a perfect time time to reinsulate.  We took down all the old insulation  (there was barely any!) And replaced it with brand new insulation. My feet already feel warmer. ;)

While everything seemed destroyed and was pulled down to the studs, we decided which wall we wanted to put my salon sink on and where we needed electrical and plumbing. 

We also decided (with input from 10 different people on the day we got the keys to the house!!) Where we should install a salon bathroom -- from scratch.

I decide that ultimately the salon needed it's own separate powder room; even if it was just feet away from our families powder room in the attached mud room.  

I wanted something separate and fully contained. SO our best bet was to cut a hole into the left wall at the far end of the space; which allowed access to the space without impeding into the mudroom too much and without taking away from the functionality of the salon. 

A new space for us meant a new person entering the mix of this renovation. We needed it done well and fast. We have learned over time that doing it yourself is good and actually really fun, but sometimes it is best to call in someone who can get the complicated elements of a space done --and fast! 

 So that is the demo phase guys. (A month of work squeezed into a couple posts) Crazy, right?? I cant wait to show you how we put the room back together. :D Until then, wishing you all a happy weekend and a happy thanksgiving to all of my American friends and family.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Salon Ceiling Demo & Inspiration (The Moving Chapters: Chapter 5)

The first thing to go in the new salon area was the ceiling.  I knew we needed more lighting in the darkened space so the only way to get it up there, was to tear down what was presently there.
As an openly sentimental person, doing demolition on a home that was lovingly built and cared for was tough. Do you know what was tougher?? Actually tearing DOWN the ceiling! !! GUYS, I am talking three inch nails into everything, seemingly every three inches apart. We are literally saying that this place was built like a brick house.
Tearing down the ceiling took about half a summers day and it was tough work during one of the hottest days of the year.
DIY TIP: Hefty construction bags are your best friend when doing demolition. Just throw everything in and tie up. Nothing will poke through, those bags are pure magic.
I had big dreams for this ceiling and knew that everything that was attached to the ceiling in any way shape or form needed to go so we could build a perfectly uniform coffered ceiling. 
DIY TIP: What IS a coffered ceiling?
(Read the below definition if you like history and architecture and want to sound like a know it all to your friends and family when the discussion of coffered ceilings arise.)


A coffer in architecture, is a series of sunken panels in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon in a ceiling, soffit or vault. A series of these sunken panels were used as decoration for a ceiling or a vault, also called caissons, or lacunaria, so that a coffered ceiling can be called a lacunar ceiling: the strength of the structure is in the framework of the coffers. The stone coffers of the ancient Greeks and Romans are the earliest surviving examples, but a seventh-century BC Etruscan chamber tomb in the necropolis of San Giuliano, which is cut in soft tufa-like stone reproduces a ceiling with beams and cross-beams lying on them, with flat panels filling the lacunae. For centuries, it was thought that wooden coffers were first made by crossing the wooden beams of a ceiling in the Loire Valley châteaux of the early Renaissance. In 2012, however, archaeologists working under Andrew Wallace-Hadrill at the House of the Telephus in Herculaneum discovered that wooden coffered ceilings were constructed in Roman times. Experimentation with the possible shapes in coffering, which solve problems of mathematical tiling, or tessellation, were a feature of Islamic as well as Renaissance architecture. The more complicated problems of diminishing the scale of the individual coffers were presented by the requirements of curved surfaces of vaults and domes.
A coffer in architecture, is a series of sunken panels in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon in a ceiling, soffit or vault. A series of these sunken panels were used as decoration for a ceiling or a vault, also called caissons, or lacunaria, so that a coffered ceiling can be called a lacunar ceiling: the strength of the structure is in the fram…
That meant that these two closets flanking the front door to the salon needed to go so our ceiling beams could sneak right up into the corners of the room.
If you aren't too certain what a coffered ceiling looks like, here is my all time favorite coffered ceiling in blog land.
This ceiling is the picture I sent my husband when I was explaining to him what I was envisioning for the space. Because he is awesome and likes a challenge, he agreed to make my ceiling dreams come true.
#hubbyoftheyear #myhero
But if I we are both being perfectly honest, we knew we were a far cry and a few days worth of demo from even beginning a pretty ceiling treatment. Here is a few more before photos of how the space looked during demolition.
Here is a view to the garage from the salon area. All those bags are filled with debris. Guys, Demo is meant for you if you like to get your hands dirty. If you don't like to, just remember that it is best to have your child be around the age of nine and eager to help. Our first born babe is getting a lot of first hand experience during this home renovation.
DIY TIP: Giving children popsicles is fair compensation for hot summer work. Also, promising any kind of cold sugar will work just fine: ie; slurpees, slushies or icecream of any flavour.
This wall will be where my salon sink will go and where we will build a bathroom.
My salon mirror and new fireplace will be on this wall closest to the garage. 
This room has come a long way from a few months ago, I cant wait to show you what we have done and to share our DIY coffered ceiling tips and tricks soon.
Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lighting Options

I'm a firm believer that lighting can make or break a space.
Because of this belief, for years I have opted out of birthday and Christmas gifts and have instead asked Hubby/family/Santa for pretty chandeliers instead.
If you're a lighting lover like me, then I totally suggest this tactic. Pretty lighting isn't a necessity for living in a home, BUT a pretty chandelier can act how jewelry does to an outfit. It takes a space to the next level of pretty and can give a space a feeling of sophistication and completeness. 
The only problem with this tactic, I have found since moving three times in ten years, is that when you move, you typically leave your beloved lighting behind. 
And so, here we are in the middle of an entire home renovation where we don't have a kitchen yet, and yet this accessory loving gal is over here dreaming about what light fixtures to ask Santa for this year. ;)
I know I can't be the only lighting lover can I??
When we first moved into our old home, I embraced bling, shine and chrome and then ended up changing out some of those pretty fixtures in our main living area for oil rubbed bronze.
Here is a quick look back at some of the phases and some lighting that remained the same.
Breakfast Nook Lighting (First Phase)
Breakfast Nook Lighting (Second phase)
Dining Room Lighting (First Phase)
Dinging Room Lighting (Second Phase)
Master Bedroom
In our new home though I am going for classic shapes and darker material from the beginning. I love how the depth of darker lighting can really ground a space and am embracing that this time around too.
 My hubs is kind of over my pinning and endlessly searching the internet for the perfect pieces, while discussing the pros and cons with him, and I GET it.  He is focusing on insulating our house for our harsh Canadian winters and Im all ready to decorate around the piles of tools. ;)
Be not dismayed thiugh, im not usualyl discouraged. ;) I have dwindled down my lighting list to four beauties and would love to know which you prefer. Each one was found on and each is similar in pricing. 
I've been a good girl this year so I'm hoping Santa thinks so too and remembers how I single handedly packed our entire house in 24 hours... with no sleep. ;)
So, tell me my lovely lighting lovers, which would you prefer over a long farmhouse style dining table? Which is your favorite? Which one is the prettiest? Also, keep in mind which will work with our modern farmhouse vibe and which one you think will seamlessly fit down the chimney too?
Thanks in advance friends!
PS:  I couldn't make a post today without remembering and mentioning the reason why we live in a beautiful and free country. Thank you to the men and women who serve and who have served our country and given my families and yours the freedom to live and love and learn.
Lest we forget.
To see what we did last Remembrance Day you can check out this post.

Monday, November 02, 2015

New Salon Inspiration Board & Before {The Moving Chapters:Chapter 4}

When we saw our potential new home for the first time I was smitten with the little area off the front of the house. We weren't sure if the room was previously used as a mudroom or as breeze way or as a little rec room or as a sun room or as part of the garage. 
But one thing was certain, for our use as a little salon space, it needed to be brightened up.
This was the first picture I snapped of the space. As you can see, although it was a sunny day outside in early May 2015, the room remained dark.
It had one light fixture hanging from the middle of the room and that was it. It may have been dark, but I knew that the wall situated with over sized doors would be able to let in SO much light once the walls were lightened up.
To give you a better idea on how the room looked, I brightened up this photo on an app on my phone called Aviary. (TIP: it is also a great app for smoothing out that giant zit us ladies get annually. You know the one, it always shows up smack dab in the middle of our chin when we least expect it.) 
You're welcome. 
As you can see from the above picture, the floors were a travertine that was in fabulous shape. They didn't have a scratch or dent anywhere and the original 50s flooring had the prettiest granite specks that sparkled ever so slightly. The overall tone of the floor was greyish which wasn't too bossy either. (Perfect. Nobody likes getting bossed around. True story. Just ask my husband.)
Once we got possession of the house, in mid august of 2015, it didn't matter how dark the room was, because it totally showed off this view and it still had me all googly eyed.
In case you are new around here, this space was going to be the perfect spot in our home for my salon for so many reasons. But most of all I loved how separate it was from the rest of our home and that there was direct access to it from the front of the house and then again directly to the backyard. It also had access to the garage and had a locked door to the core of the house where my family would be doing most of our living. Did I mention the pretty view yet? ;) 
I pictured the space eventually feeling like a little spa, but first we had a lot of work to do.
The list included:
  1. Adding a bathroom where there wasn't one
  2. Adding electrical outlets
  3. Putting more lighting in
  4. Adding a wash sink and plumbing
  5. Creating a unique ceiling
  6. Making a coffee corner with electrical
  7. Installing  four new doors
  8. Installing new door hardware
  9. Creating a wall treatment
  10. Insulating all the walls 
  11. Putting out door lighting where appropriate
It seemed like only a little bit of work at first, until we sat down and made out a list of all the things we needed to complete in six weeks time.
IT was a lot.
So, I did what every DIY woman would do and I wasted valuable time creating a pretty design board to keep me focused and motivated.
My plan was to create a classic look on the large substantial
 areas like the walls by using traditional white subway tile and planked walls on an opposite wall to incorporate some texture and warmth. I wanted to bring in a pair of graphic chairs and a new linear low fireplace so I would be able to hang my giant salon mirror at a perfect height.
 Ultimately I wanted the room to feel like a modern farmhouse salon, with even parts rustic and glam, served with a side of big hair and hot tea. ;)
Next up, we had to stop dreaming and shopping online and get down to the dirty that is all things reno and demo day. As always I have a bunch of real life, behind the scenes pictures of our regular little family biting off more than we can chew. BUT as always, I hope it inspires you to conquer your projects.
Until then, happy Monday!

Friday, October 23, 2015

New Salon {The Moving Chapters: Chapter 3}

So this post has been a long time coming. LONNNNNNG time.
I guess I haven't known how to tell you the story of heartbreak and anxiety and all that happens in between those two awful emotions.  I guess I didn't know how to sum up four weeks, way back in April 2015, that were jammed full of real estate nightmares...that eventually got us to where we are now.
Sooooo how about we say for now that we just skip past that part, K? 
Let's leave that chapter for another day and later I'll fill you in on the way our dream home was sold (twice!!) to two different buyers before it (miraculously!) fell back into our laps. #nailbiter #forreal #cantmakethisstuffup
Let's leave that drama out, cause guys, it's Friday and on Fridays we don't talk about junk like that. Nope. On Fridays we focus on all that's good in the world like ordering in Friday night pizza and putting on pajamas at 7pm and sleeping in on Saturday mornings. Yep. I'll fill you in on the missing chapter of this story on a Monday or something, so we can all wallow in sadness for only ONE day of the week. K? OK.  
So, let's just skip past spring and summer of 2015 and get to the part when we got the keys to our new home in mid August of this year.
It has been a whirlwind of renovating and stress since then, yes, but we have also happily been a part of changing this space below into my current salon.

You have all been asking where the salon started and HERE it is.
This space was one of the things I loved most about our new home. I looked at this little box of a space and saw major potential! What do you guys think? Do you see it too?
I mean, it is a space that is directly off of the front of the house. Perfect! It is completely accessible. Perfect! It also has two large doors to the outside that offer a serene view of green space. Perfect! It had potential to have so much light because of those two walls filled with doors. Beyond that, it is completely contained away from the rest of the house. Perfect! Exactly how I have always wanted my business to be.
Do you think you would have seen this space and liked it?
I showed a few people pictures of this space and they didn't see what I saw, but that is the beauty about being a grown up; getting to make your own choices. ;) Obviously I took the advice of those who didn't see the spaces potential, but above all, hubby and I followed our hearts and we knew this room was a diamond in the rough.
Personally, I couldn't help but LOVE it! I knew immediately that with a little sprucing up this little space could be transformed into a beautiful and relaxing space that my clients would love to be in. 
If you have been following along on my Instagram then you KNOW I have been sharing sneak peeks of our progress along the reno way ('cause I couldn't help but share some of the pretty! Like this pic below.) I AM a Stylist after all.
THIS first picture in this post, sums up where we began. I can't wait to share with you more then sneak peeks on where we have taken this space.
I am a firm believer that if you look hard enough you can see potential in everything. Life, people, spaces and situations.
Just to make sure that I really truly DID believe that, we took a chance on this space, my way to make a living for my family and ultimately my entire business rested on this rooms transformation.
I can't wait to show you what we have done the last little while. The messy, the more messy and the messiest times. ;)
I hope you love a good transformation as much as I do! Stay tuned! 
(Also, look out for "the missing chapter" in some future MONDAY post.  Don't say Im not looking out for the well being of your weekend. ;) Love to you all. ;))

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Decade of Marital Love {Lessons from a messy love, baby and reno filled marriage}

When I got married I thought love meant everything I saw in the movies.

I thought that love was whispering goodnight cradled in an embrace and waking up to that same embrace. I thought that the definition of love meant holding hands in front of a fire, watching sunsets side by side and ultimately I thought it meant someone completing me.

I thought big love meant big moments.

After ten years of marriage and twelve years together though, I have realized that love is much less than just big moments.

I guess I realized it after the first few years actually. When the honey moon stage was over and instead of whispered "goodnights" through the darkness, we yelled "goodnight!!" to each other while we did our own thing in different rooms within our little house. Or, maybe I realized it after our first big blow up.

It is true, after ten years of marriage, or maybe sooner, I realized that love was very different than what I had always thought it was. It was not big moments at all. IT was less than that.

Love was made in the little moments.

In the quiet moments, in the small day to day doings, in the monotonous details of holy matrimony, that were in fact not significant at all, except that when I look back at the last ten years, those little moments are what has kept our love strong after a decade of hollering goodnight to each other. Those bigger moments that I use to think defined love, were there of course, sprinkled along the path of marriage, but the little moments are what stand out the most to me.

Those small moments WERE significant and cherished because in those moments true friendship grew and the beginnings of a long marriage were built.

Moment by moment.

I wish I knew what I know now, then.

I wish I could turn back time and grab the shoulders of the young bride with the grandiose ideals and tell her that she should embrace the times to come. The ugly moments, the stressful moments, the jobless moments, the empty bank account moments, the broken car moments, the teething baby moments, I wish I could have told her that when the love between her and her groom felt like it was slipping away.. it was actually not at all. It was growing stronger.

I wish I could go back a decade, look myself in the eye and tell the me of the past with the unrealistic expectations that "The hard times do not define a marriage, but what you do with those hard times defines your love."

Like in those sleepless nights when our babies were small.

When we were patience and sleep deprived. When we had a baby tossing and turning between us every night of the week, when we played rock paper scissors through the darkness to see who had to take the next temperatures or warm the next bottle.

Hard times do not define a marriage, but what you do with those hard times defines your love.

When we knowingly looked at each other through the darkness and whispered "good night".  It wasn't how I imagined it would be at the beginning of our marriage. Or when the sun was just starting to squeeze out the darkness of a sleepless night and peek in our bedroom window and we caught sight of each other's tired eyes and simultaneously shook our heads in exhausted disbelief as we whispered "Good morning"

Friendship grew through the hardships. I didn't know it then, but I know it now.

The meaning of love changed during those nights when we rubbed babies backs and found each others moving, nurturing hand in the darkened bedroom. When we intertwined fingers and knew we were in this together.

I have learned a lot about love, we both have. And for that I am so grateful. We have learned that love is staying through the hardships even when you want to run to the hills.

Love is being there for each other, being an unbreakable team.

Love is working opposite shifts to pay the bills. It is being tired and hungry and taking the time to make your spouse a meal you know they will love, because you wish, if only for one meal, you can alleviate the stress of their day.

Love is taking out the garbage and changing diapers. Doing the dirty work for the other so that you can carve out five minutes to sit down and talk before a baby needs another bum change.

Love is showing patience, care, joy and gratitude to each other.

Love is doing bed time routine so your spouse can go out for the night so they don't totally lose their sense of identity and their mind during the baby years.

Love is holding the measuring tape, ladder, hair, in a moment of need, without being asked.

Love is surviving lost jobs and lost wages and giving up the things you individually want to purchase so you can save for your mortgage. Because love is making a home together.

Love is agreeing to disagree.

Love is filling up gas tanks and lunch pails and laundry machines.

Love is squeezing in moments to catch up with each other on the days when you can barely catch your breath, because you genuinely want to know how they are doing.

Love is being the first to say "Im sorry" because you don't want to be distant anymore.

Love is putting up with their habits and appreciating their uniqueness, even when you want to strangle them with the socks they daily leave beside the laundry hamper.

Love is making the IKEA furniture instead of making them suffer through 10 hours of hair pulling angst.

Love is being grace filled.

Love is having each others backs through the thick of things. Believing in each other when seemingly no one else does.

Love is loving their bed head, morning breath and new wrinkles.

Love is letting your spouse have quality time with out you so that they can cultivate deep life long friendships.

Love is doing dishes that you didn't dirty so that you can both watch Netflix together.

Love is laughing at their jokes even though you have heard them a million times.

Love is learning to share similar passions, like when you both scream from the sidelines of your children's sporting events together or when you obsess over HGTV shows.

Love is forgiving faster than you want to so that you can move forward.

Love is showing interest in what they love, even if you could care less about the Superbowl or The Bachelor.

Love is wishing you were the one that was sick, sad or angry -- instead of them.

Love is laughing about something until you cry together.

Love is spending a weekend losing your mind in the hardware store together so that you can create something lasting together later.

Love is made during the forgettable moments, during the mishaps, during the disagreements, during the sacrifices, during the itty-bitty acts of kindness, during the working overtime, during the quiet adoring and during the moments that you survive together.

Love is not all cuddle fests, sunset gazing and having someone complete you. It is not "all that" it is much less than that.

I have learned during our decade of forgiving, caring, laughing, sharing, fighting, and  joking together that love grows best during the little moments when our deep, shared care for each other grows.

Of course there will inevitably be snuggling, sunset loving and side by side fire watching; but there will also be side by side teeth brushing. When we catch each others eye and smile an oozing tooth paste grin while life swarms around us. When we cant help but laugh through the chaos of these early years because we now know that, "The hard times do not define our marriage, but what we do with those hard times defines our love."

Artur, happy 10th anniversary.

Here is to 100 more!! To surviving life with you and to loving ever little second of it. I love you more today than ever. Thank you for being forever mine and for all the lessons you have taught me about love.

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