Prairie Days Design

loving your home one prairie day at a time.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

help... this shouldn't be so hard...

As my grandma would say, I “switched horses in the middle of the stream”. I have quit working on the upstairs in our home because I was stuck, so I went downstairs and started painting down there because we have a very VERY clear vision for the basement! Before I show you what we have actually been doing in the basement, I want to talk more about the upstairs, specifically our bedroom.... where i’m REALLY stuck. It’s driving me bonkers.
I thought that I had a pretty clear vision for our bedroom. I had good ideas, but actually finding the items that I would like at the price that I would like (preferably free!!), is turning out to be a lot harder than i had first anticipated. This is what the room currently looks like...

Once the headboard was in, my mind started racing. I was determined to find curtains that I loved next, and then when i found them, they were going to cost a small fortune, AND they were not going to be black out blinds. Then the hunt was really on... and I should really say the hunt is still on because for the life of me, I cannot find anything that even remotely appeals to me and is also practical!! So there’s that... then there’s this...

I was out at my brother’s place for the weekend, and they were sorting through all their belongings for an upcoming move. Tthey presented me with not one, but TWO of my dad’s old Hudson Bay Blankets. I THOUGHT THEY WERE GONE!!!! I thought they had gotten lost in the shuffle when we originally went through his belongings and were long gone! I had no appreciation for them back then, but I SURE DO NOW!!! These blankets are gorgeous. And I want to use them, but where? So I threw one onto the end of our bed, and my mind started racing in a completely different direction... maybe i could use this blanket as our new bedroom inspiration... it would suit Steve much better than the purple I’m sure! However, if I stick with the purple theme, then I’m halfway there already. See where my dilemma lies? ! #firstworldproblems.
So, I have prepared a couple new mood boards for our bedroom. As you may remember, I have already discussed our need for new lighting as the light on my side of the bed doesn’t even work right now. So I am considering steeling the sconces from our spare bedroom and putting them in here. And we have a new IKEA dresser that’s waiting to be put together and painted, so that will definitely be in the room too, just a matter of what color to paint it!
Here is design #1, using the Hudson Bay blanket as my inspiration.... and I should mention I still have gift cards for Urban Barn so a lot of the pieces are from there too, like I said, best if free!


Then you’ve got design #2, which I think i’m actually leaning towards... it’s more me, but will steve kill me if the purple stays? (hey , i’ve gotten away with it so far)!!! Oh and in this design, the tapestry from urban outfitters is simply inspiration. I think i would take white, blackout curtains from IKEA an d stencil on the triangles... so much more fun! Thoughts?


With either of these designs, new sheets might have to be bought/splurged.... as we crawled into bed last night I noticed a giant hole in our best/most comfortable sheets. How sad, right? I was super bummed. They are just so damn comfy and you can’t get them anymore! Ugh... #firstworldproblems. Sh#t happens, I know! Now, will you please help me decide what to do with our bedroom? I thought that writing this post might help... no such luck!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

pretty kitchen...

If you missed it... I talked about our plan to renovate our kitchen here... and now I'm going to discuss with you the pretty plans that we have for the kitchen!! That's always the most fun anyway, isn't it?

This is where things are at currently... Not much to look at... literally. It's in pretty much it's original state, there are just prettier appliances!
Originally I wanted to be adventurous in our new kitchen and had thought about doing a darker color on the bottom cabinets and white on the upper cabinets. I love IKEA, but their selection for cabinets isn’t expansive... so we worked with what they had and decided to go all white and add color/texture in other places. We chose a basic white cabinet. I am happy with this choice, and as much as I would love to try a dark color on the bottom, this is definitely timeless. Now I know what you are thinking... white appliances, white cabinets, too much white? You can NEVER have too much white in my opinion! However, we do plan to break up all the white!
For a countertop we chose butcher block. Not only is it durable and functional, it also adds a natural element to the design! I love LOVE a beautiful wood countertop... it just warms up a space! We are looking into possibly getting a coating put over top of the countertop so that we don’t have to worry about it for years, instead of just putting a urethane coat on it. That’s a decision for another time though!
For backsplash, we have talked about doing a simple subway tile... again in white. Now THIS might seem like too much white, but again, I don’t think you can have too much. I have a lot of inspiration photos floating around in my head and all of them are telling me that this is a good idea! I know that I would get tired of some sort of fancy colored tile, and I would LOVE to do a marble, but that just isn’t in the budget! SO, white subway tile it is! We are considering doing a black grout along with it though! Just to be a bit different ;)
For hardware, we are going pretty simple and sticking with good old IKEA. We want to do these drawer pulls for the lower cabinets which are all basically drawers..

and these for the upper cabinets...

And the piece de resistance? I want to go with a black faucet... something like this...

How gorgeous?! I know this all seems super simple and plain, but i know it’s going to look sooo good, and I can add other pops of color in different places. For instance, all my cooking utensils are super bright colors (which I love!) and I still have this entire wall that needs to be painted!!

This wall is opposite to the fridge. When we first looked at the house they had a banquet in here that they decided to take with them... cue tears . We will likely do something very similar! I love the idea of having a little eat in kitchen! It really does excite me! (Possibly more than it should?)

Other finishing elements will be lighting... as fluorescent lighting is AWFUL and I will never understand why it was ever thought to be a good idea! Besides that, they take about 15 minutes to actually turn on all the way! Drives me bonkers! I have been looking at something like this for the main light in the middle of the room...

And this for over the kitchen table....

Lighting plans could DEFINITELY change though and will likely be the last thing that we change out!
I have also been asked if we will be doing anything with the beautiful bay window above the sink and the answer is no... I will not be painting it or doing anything to it... someday it might get a different stain applied, but that would be all. I love having that window and I would love to keep it natural!

Steve and I were watching, Sam Pynn's Open House Overhaul the other night, and as you may or may not know, she uses a LOT of IKEA pieces in her designs. Well, she just happened to do a kitchen... our kitchen!! She used our cabinets, our knobs and our countertop! It was a beautiful reassurance that I picked the right kitchen... I LOVED IT! My voice was rather high pitched when I saw it! "THAT'S OUR KITCHEN!!!" Here's a little peek...

All this talk makes me SO excited to get started...and finish our kitchen!! It's going to make it feel so much more like "us" in here and I cannot wait!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

what's goin on....

There's been a lot going on around here lately, but it feels like none of it has had anything to do with our house! This weekend we are going to be able to tackle a few projects though, and I'm THRILLED that one of them will be having air conditioning installed!! We moved in last August (almost a year! how did that happen?!?!) and it was a VERY hot month and we learned very quickly that A/C was going to be the first major change to this house. Ah I'm just so excited!
The next project that we (Steve) hope to complete this weekend is adding a seat to this table...

This table was given to us by my step-grandpa.... how weird does that sound? We call him Joe. He is moving in the very near future and had a few “gold mines” in his home that we were glad to take off of his hands! This table was a resounding YES as i knew right away that it would fit in perfectly in our sunroom. Confession: I love this sunroom but DAMN it’s hot in there when it’s even remotely warm outside. I am really not sure how to prevent this... I realize that’s what a sunroom is for... but we basically will not be able to use it all summer. It’s more of a two season room – Spring and Fall. Anyone else have this “problem”?
Anyway, back to the table. It looks like a picnic table, right? It is just lacking a very pertinent feature...a place to sit your bum down. Well, I have asked that Steve build it out so that it actually does function like a picnic table... and then?! Then I plan on painting it... the top for sure. I am not sure whether I should go with a fun, bright color, or stick to a more neutral pallet.

The room itself will not change for the most part. The stucco will stay the same and the cedar is not going anywhere (it smells amazing!!), but it needs something. Our Adirondack chairs are more out of necessity and convenience than style, but I have tried to make them as pretty as possible! I plan on adding a bench against the wall in here, and maybe a couple plants (fake or real)? It’s all a HUGE work in progress, but at the very least, it’s now a useable space, which makes me very very happy! It truly is my happy place lately. I love to eat out here, hang out with friends, or just sit in the corner enjoying the sunset in our backyard with a drink in one hand and a really good book in the other!

This table is our main project right now, and the dining table is always in the back of our mind too! Steve is a busy busy man and I rely heavily on him for such projects so they may take awhile to near completion, but i know it’ll all be worth the wait!

We spend a LOT of time outside lately, keeping the yard up to snuff, and I am loving it, but it definitely takes up a good chunk of our spare time! We have a garden planted and I am slowly seeing progress, good progress! I have never planted a garden of my very own, so I really don't quite know what I am doing, but with a few tips from my grandparents and some general knowledge of how things grow, I think I can at least make half of what I planted eventually become edible!

Oh! I am also starting to work on our basement! I don't think I have talked too much about the basement, so I will have to do a separate post on it in the near future. It's going to be Steve's "man cave" and so if you know Steve at all, you can probably guess that it will be a Winnipeg Jets theme room. I am really excited to get this started for him! I have bought the paint and I have recruited a friend of ours to paint a mural wall... Thanks Josee!!

So that's what we are up to lately, what do you have on your "to do" list this summer?! Can summer please slow down so we can finish all our projects before the cold of winter closes us in again!? It's Hard to believe that June is almost over!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

ugly kitchen...

Well hello!! Have I mentioned that I love living in the country?? I do, I really do, but what I don't love is our internet!! UGH! I'm sorry I have been MIA again, but it is extremely hard to blog when you can't get an internet signal in the boonies! Good news? I'm back, and I have some lovely (sarcasm?!?!) images for you!!

Today I am going to chat about one of the most neglected rooms in our entire home... the kitchen. Kitchens are tough, aren’t they? They need to be functional, and it’s really a great added bonus if they are pretty too! Well, ours is definitely not pretty, but it’s functioning decently... for the time being. When we first moved in, I wasn’t overly worried about this space, because it was clean... that is of great importance to me! If it was a dirty kitchen, this post would be going very differently! I also knew, along with the other rooms in our home, that I really wanted to use the space in it’s current state for awhile before we decided what to do with it... to see what functioned best for us. There were a LOT, and I mean a LOT of conversations about this kitchen. We knew for a fact that the appliances had to go... they had to. Not only were they very old, they were hideous too. When was almond ever a good color for appliances? Whose idea was that? With that being said, for the time being, they worked... they functioned, so we left them. Not for long though!

We were walking through a local furniture store one day about a month or so after we had moved in, and we were actually looking for sofa ideas when we noticed that they were having a rather large sale on appliances. Why not just have a look, right? Well, window shopping quickly turned into purchasing... the next day we finalized the purchase. We went with a “white stainless” look, called "White Ice". I like white. I know a lot of people may think I’m slightly crazy, but I do. I think it’s timeless. Don’t get me wrong... I love stainless too, but I am stubborn and like to be different, so we went with white stainless. It’s white, but it’s got the sheen of stainless, and the handles are all stainless which makes them look a touch more high end. We purchased everything, fridge, stove (double oven), dishwasher and even range hood/microwave as we currently did not have a range hood and that drove me insane.

I have to back track for one second here. In the short evening between our window shopping and our purchase, we obviously went home and measured everything to make sure that they would all fit. We knew that the fridge would be tight, but what we sort of failed to realize was just how small our current fridge was. I mean it was small. So the conversation went from replacing appliances, to removing cabinets to accommodate a new appliance, to wow that’s ugly. Where am I going with this? Well in order to fit the fridge, we had to remove the upper cabinets above the fridge; we needed at least 5 more inches for a normal size fridge to fit! So, the cabinets came down and we were left with a hideous yellow portion of the wall exposed amongst green paint. Then since those cabinets were attached to a wood valance that was above the window, we removed that as well.

Now keep in mind, at this point we literally had only discussed replacing the appliances in this kitchen. No other renovations were really on our radar yet!
After the appliances were installed, later that evening we decided to try and install the microwave/range hood. Well that was a quick fail... the unit was about a ½” too wide for the space and with small cabinets above the stove too, the range hood/microwave would have hung down far too low. SO, a new conversation arose. I believe it started like so.... “this kitchen sucks”, and from there, I tried to look on the bright side. We talked about just taking out the two cabinets above the stove and then painting out the cabinets and replacing the countertop. The cabinets are in good shape, they are just tired... especially the inside. They are oak so they are durable, but they are definitely tired. And the orange inserts in the corner cabinets? What is that about? Really? Orange was the best you could come up with? Clear was not an option??? Anyway, they would need paint, inside and out, and they would need new hardware and obviously new inserts for the corner cabinets. And the countertop? Get ready for this... it’s laminate flooring on top of a wood base. That’s right... I said that our countertops are laminate flooring, oh and the backsplash is too! The best part? Because it has a pink tone to it, when we turn on the under cabinet lights, the lighting looks pink!!! HA! It just keeps getting better, am I right? SO, after much deliberation and figuring out just how much time and effort it would take us to do all of this work, we decided that maybe we should look into a new kitchen...

This all occurred within the span of about 3 months? In that three month span, we had bought a house, Got married and had a few parties, so we were well aware of how we were using the kitchen and it was just not working for us at all, and I was getting very tired of staring at a half yellow, half green wall, with pinkish laminate countertops! One day, a few weeks after the wedding, we got a flyer in the mail for IKEA...they were having a “kitchen event”. For every $1000.00 you spent on a kitchen, you got $200.00 back in gift cards. Hmmmmm... sounded pretty good! We thought about it for a few days and decided that if we were ever going to renovate our kitchen, it should be now... because we had the money to do so and we would likely never do it if we didn’t just do it now. So off to IKEA we went! We spent an evening looking over each kitchen they had on display, trying to figure out what we wanted and what we could afford. We (and by we, i mean Steve) then sat down and learned how to design our kitchen with the IKEA kitchen designing software (while I wandered around trying to figure out how to spend the money we were going to get back in gift cards)!! It took us about a week to make all the measurements, place the kitchen where we wanted it, pick out what kind of cabinets we wanted (drawers or doors), and finalize what it was going to look like. Then we headed back to IKEA, printed off our design and they ordered everything up for us! It really was pretty simple! It definitely helps that Steve has worked with AUTOCAD for a good portion of his adult life, so the design and measure part was a bit easier for him. It took us three different trips to IKEA to pick up all the boxes that were needed for our kitchen design, and they have sat in our basement ever since... so for about 7 months now. UNTIL A FEW OF DAYS AGO!!!!

I had a couple of girlfriends over (thank you Meaghan and Josee!!!!) and we had a cabinet making party on a Sunday afternoon. It was so EASY! It only took us about 3 hours to put every cabinet together. And now it is Steve’s turn... demo and install!! I will discuss in another post our actual plans for the new kitchen... all the fun design elements! The best part of whole project!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

what's not to love?!

Well hello, happy Wednesday! Today I have a beautiful array of some of my new favorite things! I wish I could afford them all, but maybe in the coming weeks they'll sneak into my home slowly... without anyone noticing... Wishful thinking?!

1. I love Anthropologie. I seriously love everything about that store and I am so glad that we now have a store of our very own in Winnipeg, even if all I ever do is window shop it ;) All I can think about is putting this wallpaper in a little girl's room. How precious and fun would it be?!
2. Coasters... am I the only one that still uses coasters? I feel like every time we have company over, I'm the anal little housewife that runs around making sure everyone has a coaster for their drink! I'm Monica from Friends!! Maybe if I had beautiful coasters like these more people would be inclined to use them without my strong hinting!
3.I don't think it's any secret that I love LOVE the written word, but when it comes in a super fun and playful form like this, I love it even more!
4.Sheets. I am always looking at sheets. I am going to sound like Monica again, but I try to change our sheets weekly because one of my most favorite things in the world is crawling into a bed with fresh sheets. Seriously, you cannot tell me that there are many things better than that in this world! Anyway, because I am constantly changing our sheets, I'm always looking for more, and I would love to get something with a pattern even if it's simple like these stripes! Can't go wrong with stripes, am I right?!
5.You can get anything on a t-shirt now a days and I freakin love that. I love finding new and different small shops that carry their own unique brand. I came across this little shop on Pinterest one day and I instantly fell in love. I might just have to break down and get this one tomorrow... or today.. maybe a little hump day treat?
6.I think every designer that I follow has this design book by now! I keep seeing pages out of it and have read amazing reviews and so it is absolutely on my book wishlist now!
7.I need a new purse... I am not really an accessories girl? I can use one purse for a year or two before I decide that I need a new one!? I am on about a year and a half with the one I currently have. I would love to get something sturdier like this bag, but I keep thinking that the bigger bag I get, the more i'll just fill it, right? I need something a bit larger though because I carry a book with me wherever I go so maybe this would be just right!
8.Last but not least, you, you HAVE to go and check out this shop on Etsy. This guy makes the most rad quilts ever! They are so modern! They taking quilting to a whole new level in my opinion! I love most quilts but these just take the cake! Go, look, and enjoy the eye candy! If you don't love them as much as I do, well.... then you have different taste than me and there is nothing I can do about it ;)