Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sub-what-way tiles

I may be the only person in existence who hates subway tiles. I think they’re boring and safe, and they literally make me feel like I’m in a subway station (I spent enough time in those during my University years!)

subway tile[3]

But I want to tile the bottom part of the walls in the cottage bathroom, and I have to use small tiles because the walls aren’t perfectly smooth and flat and hubby said there would be problems with using larger tiles. So, 3” x 6” subway tiles it is. But I don’t want to do the typical subway tile pattern.

So I’ve been doing some googling and looking for other layout options. I really like the herringbone layout, but it may be a bit busy for the bathroom.

herringbone inspired by lynne Image via HGTV Canada


herringbone lowesImage via Lowes

I LOVE the look of this vertical stacked layout with accent tiles. I reminds me of plaid.

vertical this old houseImage via This Old House 

There’s also the horizontally stacked layout, but it’s more modern feel may not be right for the cottage.

Stacked_Subway_Tile Image via Westside Tile and Stone

Vertically stacked too.

I think this is what I’m going to go with – a 1/3 offset layout.

1 3 offset Image via Lowes

Although I just saw this layout a few days ago night, and I kind of like it too. It looks like it may be 1/5 offset.

tile layout
Image via The Block Glasshouse

What’s your favourite subway tile layout?

To see some other cool layout ideas for subway tiles, check out 10 creative ways to use subway tile.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Design in a day

The cottage bedroom makeover is on the back burner while we work on the cottage bathroom. I totally forgot to take a before picture – DOH! – but this is a picture of the gutted bathroom with the same 4 foot extension that was added to the bedroom (the part with the subfloor). Notice the dirt and leaves and crap where the old floor used to be ;-)

bathroom gutted 1

There aren’t many places to shop for bathroom materials near the cottage, so we took my dad’s SUV and trailer back to Ottawa for a couple of days and I went on a serious bathroom shopping blitz. I really had no idea what I was looking for – the only thing I knew was that I was on a super-tight budget.

My dad loves brown and kinda sorta suggested that perhaps possibly maybe the bathroom could be brown… so when I saw the Luna Crest laminate countertop, I had my starting point.

luna crest laminate

Over in the tile aisle I found these mosaic tiles that also fit the brown bill:


Together with white subway tiles, I was onto something :-)


Next I found simple and inexpensive grey ceramic tiles for the floor.

naturi lagos gray

My original thought was to paint the vanity white, but there’s already going to be a lot of white in the room with the subway tiles. And then I had an Ah-Ha moment – teal!


 Traditional Kitchen by La Jolla Kitchen & Bath Designers Studio Stratton Inc

I chose Benjamin Moore Aegean Blue for the vanity colour-matched to PARA Paints Cabinet & Furniture Paint. This is seriously nice paint and holds up to wear and tear extremely well.

aegean teal

I had originally thought brown or grey for the walls and ceiling, but I wanted more colour I debated between a few shades of greeny-blue, and finally decided on Benjamin Moore Smoky Green. OK, it looks grey in the picture, but really it isn’t!

smoky green

I also picked up a sink, shower & vanity faucets, grout, tiles spacers, and everything else I could think of that we would need. Then the next day we loaded up the SUV and trailer and hauled it all to the cottage.

And now the reno is in full gear – more coming in my next post!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sexy Mexsii

I’m totally in love with these headboards from Mexsii Bedheads based in Melbourne, Australia.

mexsii moroccan eye

mexsii nomadic heart

mexsii sea

mexsii icelandic dream

All of Mexsii’s headboards are made with environmentally sustainable foam, 100% organic Belgian linen, non-toxic dyes, and recycled wood. So they’re not only beautiful, but they have minimal impact on the environment as well.

*Sigh* If I didn’t live on the opposite side of the world, I’d have one of these babies in my bedroom!

mexsii the block

Click here to read about Mexsii and drool over more of their gorgeous headboard designs!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cottage bedroom makeover: Update #3

Holy Crap. Who knew that white would be such a PITA to paint?! In my last cottage bedroom update, the ceiling was painted and the walls were primed and waiting for me to choose a white. Which I finally did – Benjamin Moore OC-117 Simply White. I thought choosing the colour was going to be the hardest part. Wrong-o. I don’t know if it was a problem with the paint or the primer or the fact that I was painting paneling, but in the end two walls have a coat of primer and five coats of paint, and two walls have a coat of primer and six coats of paint. Yes. SIX. Absolutely insane. By the fourth coat, I was ready to pack it in. But I kept going, and after picking up another gallon of paint, finally finished painting the walls this weekend. What used to look like this…

before 1

Now looks like this!

after 1 pm

after 2 pm

Whew! Sooooooooo happy that’s finished!

Once the walls were done, I moved the painting job outside Here are the original bedroom door and the bathroom door waiting to be painted…

doors before

I used BM Simply White and FAT Paint Indigo on the bedroom door. I’ll wax the door next weekend to give it some sheen and a durable finish. The paint is still wet in the first picture.

bedroom door pm bedroom door 2 pm

I went to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store in Ogdensburg last week to pick up some nautical fabrics. But that plan went out the window when I saw a beautiful green & blue & white paisley. I found two pretty fabrics that coordinate nicely with it, and fun green pompom trim :-)


The paisley fabric is for a window treatment, and the turquoise & white fabric is for curtains to hide the area above the storage shelf. The navy & white fabric was going to be for cushions, but I have a new plan for it now. You’ll see what in the next makeover update :-)

And finally, I bought a piece of live edge maple burl for a floating shelf between the beds. There’s a baseboard heater right where the night table would go, so I’m going to use the floating shelf instead.


Can I just say one more time that I’m soooooooooo happy I’m finally done painting the room! On the agenda for next weekend – a DIY project, painting some furniture, and hanging artwork.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Some cottage bedroom pretty

So I went for a haircut yesterday. As the hairdresser was cutting my hair, she asked me, “Have you been painting?” Yep, got paint in my hair and it still hasn’t washed out a few days later! Oh well, that’s how I roll.

So far, cottage bedroom makeover update #1 and update #2 haven’t been very glamourous. So today, I thought I’d share some of the pretty that will be going into the room.

I want to put a swing arm wall lamp above each bed. I found this one at Bellacor – it’s a plug-in with the switch right on the lamp, which is exactly what I was looking for. I really like the brushed brass finish, and the price was right too – on sale four about $60. image

I really can’t spend a lot on the bedroom, and I’m trying to re-use & re-purpose as much as possible. But I don’t have any suitable bedding for twin beds – which were originally the bunk bed that my brother and I slept in when we were kids. I popped into Target a couple of weeks ago and found this comforter set that’s blue and cheap – sold!


My mom’s old night table that I made over a few weeks ago will go between the beds.

night table after 1

This weekend, I hope to start working on the two dressers that I bought from Kijiji. I’ve pretty much decided how to make over one of them, still thinking about the other one. These are some inspiration pieces…

dresser inspiration

As I’ve mentioned on my blog many times, I love original art and supporting artists. I discovered the work of Derriere Les Bois at the New Art Festival this past June. They had sold their only sailboat piece, but they said they take custom orders and would make one for me. Yay! Isn’t this cool?

derriere les bois

I have a lot of other coastal-themed artwork that didn’t make it onto my gallery wall at home. So those pieces will go up in the bedroom as well.

OK, this isn’t exactly glamourous, but galvanized boat cleats are the perfect solution to a problem I’ve been trying to solve for years. At $2.00 a pop from, really can’t go wrong!

Galvanized Boat Cleat, 6" - Seasense

And after whole lot of waffling and debating. I’ve narrowed down my white choices to two – Benjamin Moore Simply White or Cloud White. Turns out that Paper Mache is more yellow than I thought (thanks Lindsay for the feedback!)

simply white square cloud white square

Yes, they look almost identical. Yes, I’m way over-thinking this!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cottage bedroom makeover: Update #2

We didn’t get much done on the cottage bedroom two weekends ago with family get togethers on both Saturday and Sunday. But we made up for lost time this past weekend :-) The fact that it rained pretty much all day Monday certainly helped – if you can’t play outside, may as well work inside!

If you remember my first update, the cottage bedroom was stripped down to the studs. It occurs to me now that I didn’t take any good “before” pics of the addition. You can see a bit of it on the right of this picture:

before 1

Hubby drywalled the bottom of the storage shelf and the ceiling in the addition last week, and he finished paneling all the walls on Sunday. Yay, it finally looks like a room again! A very messy room, but it’s all part of the process :-)

paneled 3  paneled

paneled 2

paneled 4

I primed the paneling and drywall on Sunday and Monday, and painted the first coat of blue on the bottom of the storage shelf and the ceiling in the addition.

bedroom primed 1 bedroom primed 2 bedroom primed 3

Now I REALLY need to decide on a white, because painting the walls is on the agenda for next weekend. I keep going back to Benjamin Moore’s Paper Mache in the Aura collection.

paper mache square

Lindsay at Little House Blog used Paper Mache on the crown moulding on her Adele kitchen cabinets from Ikea. You can see that the colour is a bit creamier than the white ceiling.


Another example of Adele cabinets with Paper Mache crown moulding from  Danks & Honey. You can see the difference between the creamy white of the cabinets and the white trim.

cabinets 2

I have until Saturday to decide – choosing a white really shouldn’t be so hard! Do you have Ikea’s Adele cabinets? Have you used BM Paper Mache? If yes, please let me know what you think of the colour.

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