November 17, 2010

Painting has been a frustrating process to say the least, and has taken us much longer than we anticipated. The previous owners did a fairly good job with their renovation, but the one thing that really fell short was the trim work. There were lots of gaps and uneven joints, so we have spent a lot of time filling and sanding everything to make it look really smooth and clean.

All the ceilings and trim have been given a bright fresh coat of white paint. We used Benjamin Moore Ultra White CC-10. It's the brightest white in their palette, and it's amazing how much fresher everything feels now. The old ochre ceilings were so oppressive. The white has really lifted the space. Also, painting the top moulding to match the rest of the trim has given the rooms an extra touch of polish.

The living room has been painted in the ever popular Chelsea Gray HC-168, also by Benjamin Moore. I love colours like this that transform in the daylight.

Even the ugly fireplace looks better. Or not.

Then we come to the office. I was completely wooed by all the black painted rooms that have been touring the web recently. I couldn't resist having a black room of my own.

This is a very unstyled shot, but totally realistic with how we are living these days with minimal furniture. The step stool does the job, but it sure hurts your bum after awhile. Anyway, the black is stunning! Everyone who come into the room is shocked by how bright it still is. And nobody really believes it's black. But it is, Black 2132-10 by Benjamin Moore.

Oh, there's a door we haven't gotten around to painting yet... bother.

So that's where we are at today. Hopefully after the weekend there will be more to show and tell!

November 14, 2010

We've been in the house for about 6 weeks now, and are starting to make some progress. As much as I love before and afters, I really wanted to show the progress of everything with my blog, even if it means revealing my unfinished business. But in order to show you progress, I have to show you all the before shots. So without further ado...

This is the entry vestibule, and you open the front door onto this elevation. The main floor has 9' high ceilings throughout the main floor, and it makes a huge difference here. Despite having a small footprint, the entry still feels grand.

Here's a shot of the front door. We would love to be able to refinish and restore it, but I think it is well passed it's prime. The veneer is peeling off at the bottom, and the exterior side is in pretty bad shape. We need all new hardware anyway, and it just makes sense to replace the whole thing. However, I have to wait for the new door, before I can wallpaper the vestibule. This makes me sad.

To the left of the vestibule is the office. It's the brightest room in the house, as it has two big windows. It also has this fireplace. The grate is the original honeycomb gas burning unit, which is apparently illegal. So we need to shut it off ASAP. I think it's a hazard anyway. But the unit is cool, and I'd like to keep that.

I think the light fixture is also original, but the glass is broken. Either way, it was going to be replaced anyway.

Here's the focal point of our living room. What a beauty. Retch. I can't get rid of this fast enough. This fireplace would have originally been the same as the office, which means the only option for a gas insert would be a 22" x 26" model. That doesn't float my boat. So we are looking into alternates.

The living room has a sliding panel, to hide an entertainment unit. While we likely won't have a TV here, it's cool that we can shut off the rest of the electronics.

Despite the large window, the living room is actually fairly dark. It has no existing light fixtures, so I'm hoping to have some potlights installed.

This is the kick ass dining room. It's huge, by my standards anyway. And you can see the little kitchen beyond.

The existing light fixture is hung ridiculously low, so that will be changed out shortly. You can also see the little niche in the corner. I'm not a big fan, but I'll live with it.

I want really dramatic curtains here in the dining room. I'm most excited about pulling this room together.

The bedroom is fairly straightforward. It has one smaller window, and a tiny closet. I wanted to drywall that up, but was talked out of it. We will just hang a curtain there instead.

So there it is. For now. This week I'll start showing some of the progress of each of the rooms. Christmas is looming and is really kicking me into high gear.

November 11, 2010

I've been wanting to share this second Vavcouver shop since my last post, but got thoroughly delayed due to a week without the internet at home, followed by a killer stomach bug this past Monday. Oh well, better late than never, and this is too good a place not to share with everyone.

My last day in Vancouver, Jacqueline and I arose early for a stop at The Cross, and then made our way over to an antique shop, called A Bakers Dozen.

A Bakers Dozen is one of those shops you could spend hours in. The shop is filled to the brim with a really incredible collection of great finds. We gasped as we walked in and saw just what we had found.

I'm not a big antiques store shopper, as so many have turned me off with their odd collections of junk, and the messy way that things can tend to accumulate. But this place was just the opposite. Everything had been organized and arranged in cabinets of collections, like the trophy case above. And there was no junk. Nothing was damaged, or in disrepair. Anything that was in the store was carefully selected to be there.

The shop was divided into two main rooms that housed the majority of the collection, but there was a dedicated ephemera room, for old papergoods, and a huge antique toy room that was fabulous.

But the best part was a special locked room at the back. They wouldn't let us take photos inside due to the proprietary nature of the objects, but the picture above gives you a small sampling. With some of the odd objects, broken things, etc the shop would put together these amazing arrangements. Some were taxidermy that they accessorized to further animate the animal, but others were 3-D collages or sculptures of found objects. They were so extraordinary. They had a collection of frames that each had a whimsical doll display. There was a strange little sculpture with a pair of old dentures. I remember an odd standing cat, and some little birds too. My description just cannot justify how incredible that room was. You must check it out if you can.

Next time you are in Vancouver, please head over to:
A Bakers Dozen Antiques
3520 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V5V 3N3