Tuesday, August 4, 2015

So happy you're here. Please take a peak inside...









 Keep It Beautiful.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Superheroes Have United

Last night our boys watched in awe as Thor, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Captain America and other Marvel heroes battled their way on stage to save the universe on an epic quest.

Marvel Universe Live hit Ottawa and is here to stay until August 2nd with 5 shows in total. The show is fantastic! Non-stop action, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, and superhero power. Our boys were super pumped and loved it all.

Of course, who can go see their favourite superheroes and not be one themselves!
The show was just under two hours. Yup, there were lots of spinning, light-up things to buy, along with, fighting, explosions and loud noises but this is all part of comic book superheroes. And the ramped up (literally) motorcycles had our boys yelling for more. We had a blast! Who doesn’t want to be a superhero? There was non-stop action until the end.  The kids saw their favourite heroes in the flesh working together to ensure good always conquers evil. Sounds like a good lesson to me. If you have a superhero lover in your life, this is their event! Overall, a great thing to do this weekend in Ottawa (tix still available) or check the website to see when the show is coming your way.

You can buy tickets here and I have a 20% discount code: MULOC

Keep It Beautiful

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Basement Bathroom Design

Hey guys!

I wanted to share an update with you on the pretty parts of the basement bathroom reno.

This is what it looked like last week and here is what has been going on this week.
The sub-floor has started making it's way in. We opted to go with DriCore.  Heard of it? If you haven’t, you likely know who their spokesperson is...Bryan Baeumler. He hosts the show “Leave it to Bryan”. I met him at my fav blogger conference, BlogPodium last year. He’s super nice, way shorter in person and easy on the eyes ;) I also follow him and his beauty wife on Instagram…along with 1000s of other DIY, renovating lovers.
Anyway, DRiCore is awesome.
it's a subfloor specifically designed for basements. The raised moisture barrier covers cold, damp concrete to protect, insulate and cushion your finished floors. It allows the concrete floor to breathe. You can lay it down and just leave it as is, or if you are fully re-finishing your basement you just add your under pad right over top. They come in individual squares and aren’t in-expensive, however the floor creates a warm and dry basement. Yes please.

Okay, let’s talk pretty. Let's talk bathroom. Here’s our layout.
We’ve purchased all the fixings for when it’s time to install and here is what we’ve got.
I had mentioned that we really wanted the grey barnboard-looking tile with the random writing on it, however when we went to buy it…it was gone. So we decided to go with the same look, but in brown. Brown was not in my original plan, but we we’re really digging the distressed look in the showroom. So that's going on the floor with a few of the writing tiles intermixed.“New York”, “Fragile”, “London” etc. Love the edgy feel.
In the shower, the base is white acrylic so no need for tile. The shower doors are glass with two walls that need tile love. We chose white subway tile to go horizontal “brick pattern” and a taupe glass water tile to be stacked vertically down the middle of one of the walls. Fingers crossed it will look fab.
I also picked up the Ikea Hemnes High Cabinet with Mirror. We were going to put a PAX system in the bathroom for mucho storage but I think we’ll be able to store what we need in this. Fingers crossed. 

We picked up the Hemnes vanity and Rattviken sink. I haven’t chosen a mirror yet and I'm in love with the light I just ordered (I'll tell you more about it later). The toilet was on sale at Rona. I just can’t get excited about a fancy toilet, so we didn’t choose the most expensive or the cheapest. Somewhere in between.

Let’s talk hardware. While shopping around Wakefield on the girls getaway, my friend Lisa and I came across this little store with so many hardware options. I’m in hardware heaven. They’re heavy, black metal pulls with some distressing. Of course, I forgot about a few throughout the basement so need to go back to Wakefield and pick a few more up. Good excuse for a country drive.
So, whatcha think? Think it will all come together?
Soon, I’m going to share with you some tips and tricks on in-floor heating. Yes to warm winter toes!

Keep it Beautiful.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fabulous, Starts From the Ground Up! Let's Talk Laminate Flooring.

Hi guys,

I just got back a couple of days ago from Toronto, watching some of the PanAm Games. Awesome! My brother got the ladies in our fam, tix to see some of the Games for Christmas. The feel in the downtown core of the city was great. Lots of activity, excitement and energy for the Games. We saw Rhythmic Gymnastics. I can’t even hool-a-hoop around my waist, let alone launch it in the air with my toes and catch it beautifully with one finger! It was awesome.

As you know, we’re in the midst of our basement renovation and wanted to give you an update. We’ve always done our own renos and I have to say, it’s been wonderful getting home from the office and not having to tackle the depths of the basement till the late hours. Like any home renovation, we’ve hit some roadblocks and we’re about 3 weeks behind schedule.  Our contractor has been wonderful and really helped us get through various issues with the City and what they have required. Let’s just say…frustration! We have one more minor adjustment to make, and then, fingers crossed we can continue to move ahead! Biting tongue now.
While making the adjustments to meet the City’s requirements, we have made lots of progress on moving the main plumbing stack of the house from the centre of the basement, to run alongside the main pillar and out through the front of the house. A new furnace was installed and all the ducting and piping was moved and some of it was re-worked into the ceiling beams. The electrical was all done with a new panel added and LED pot lights installed. They require almost zero space in the ceiling which is great for achieving maximum ceiling height in basements. The vapour barrier is up, insulation and framing complete. It’s starting to feel like a space, instead of a beach!
The main obstacle we had with the City’s requirements was the ceiling height. The main ceilings met the height requirements, except for the height where the main beam holding up our house was. So, what were we going to do with that? Replacing the 100 year old beam with a new steel one didn’t add height and underpinning the house was going to be an additional $50,000. Nope, no thank you, not an option. Our contractor worked hard with the City to come up with an option. The solution was to cut a 4 ft. hole out of the main beam and support that load with a new post.

This way we technically have a “breezeway” from one side of the basement to the other that meets the ceiling height. I wasn’t thrilled that it added a post, but our contract is going to hide it in a wall and in the end, the ceiling height does create a good amount of height. These old houses are so beautiful and so finicky at the same time!

Can we start talking about the pretty things? Let’s talk flooring. I love carpet in a basement, however we just didn’t feel it was the way to go for any water issues.  We also didn’t go with hardwood for the same reason. Laminate was the choice for us. Laminate has come really far. The options are endless and the price is right. We shopped around, looked for sales, picked up samples and made our decision. We knew when we started that we wanted a grey floor…  
In our search for the floor, we learned a few things. I thought I would share a few tips when shopping for laminate flooring.
Laminate flooring has a:
BACKING layer to provide a barrier against moisture and gives the floor support.
CORE layer, mostly made of fibreboard.
DÉCOR layer, a photographic image that makes it look like hardwood. The images have come a long way on laminate and often it is very difficult to tell that it’s not real wood.
WEAR layer, this is what helps keep the floor looking oh.so.pretty and not scratched.

Thickness of the laminate does not necessarily mean that one is better than the other. We learned that buying quality over whether a board is thick or thing, as well as, having a really good underpad is more important. It is the materials and the way the board is made that is more important, otherwise you just might be buying more fibreboard.

This is really important. If you are installing laminate in a basement, the recommendation is to get the underpad that is designed for areas where water could potentially be found.

Look for a sale! After scouring the city’s big-box stores and smaller flooring companies, we went with laminate from Rona and waited till it was not only on-sale, but the weekend we bought it, they had a “get 15% back in gift cards”. Win! Don’t forget to buy about 10% extra for any mistakes.
Definitely try out the floor in the actual space. What you may think you love in the store, can look completely different under the lights of your room. We're loving this soft grey, with lots of grain-looking texture. Let’s hope we can get it out of the box soon!
Have you recently put laminate in your home? I would love to see where and what you chose.
Keep it Beautiful.

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