Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Great Outdoors at Home

Morning everyone.

With the oddest start to summer around here weather wise, it feels late to be posting this but at the same time like summer just began. I was talking in store to a customer last week that her brain was in back to school mode already because the weather did a little flip and it went cool and rainy instead of the hot and humid we are so used to. It's funny how a few days can readjust your thinking and trick you in to rushing headlong into the next season. It just also wouldn't be very Canadian if we weren't constantly talking about the weather and the effect it is having on us. Personally I love summer, the heat, the sun, bring em on. As long as my a/c works at night to sleep, lets heat er up.

Speaking of heat er up. I'm out on the patio at home today. I actually am as I write this sitting on my new outdoor recovered sofa but we are going to wander around the patio here as well. Trevor and I did quite a bit of work out here changing things around this spring to function better, gain space and invest in the future I guess we'll say.

First things first. We got a new table. Well we didn't actually "get" a new table. We built the sucker and it isn't going anywhere because it weighs a freakin' ton.

i hunted around a bit for a new table for out here but 
a] they were too small
b] looked cheap for our price range or
c] were just gorgeous but out of the budget for what i wanted

Trevor, I think I have mentioned before is an HVAC mechanic and in his travels and on jobs he comes across things and brings them home knowing that we may have a use for them. He was working in a very old building locally in the winter and these massive wood beams were just being thrown out so home they came in the van and in our shed they sat until....

We came up with the idea to turn them into table legs. We purchased the threshing floor top from a local wood shop, I sanded it smooth and added 4 coats of outdoor varathane for protection. Trevor cut and sanded and sanded and sanded the table legs until they were as level as possible and we built this table in place.

it may not look too big in the photos but it is a massive piece of furniture. we added almost 1.5 feet from our other table. lots of room for our wicker chairs to fit comfortably and lots of room for food, drinks, good times and occasionally to function as my desk when i refuse to work in the house.

for reference this was the old table last year. it's been repurposed in our garage aka my sewing workshop as a bigger and better cutting table

a good view of legs of this beauty. also our new rugs. similar to the previous rugs we had as still black and jute colour but more modern graphics. the previous set lasted 9 years from home depot so I'm hoping we will get a good amount out of this set as well. these were the safavieh brand from lowes. 
it also looks like we might be missing a chair at the end of the table?

there is a chair missing because almost all of the time there is a cute little high chair with a mini me sitting in it. i could have brought the 6th chair out for the photos and styled it all up so you thought that chair was always out here but the reality of it is this year, that's just not the case. we bought the stokke tripp trapp high chair after reading all the reviews for different chairs. i wanted something that would look nice with our home not willing to compromise on huge amounts of style but i also wanted a chair we could pull up to the table so Emma learns to eat with us and not in the corner on her own. this may not work for everyone but it is working great for us. she sits with us at the table during dinner and won't know any different. we have busy lives and that little peanut gets carted around with us everywhere so we want her to be able to adjust to sitting with the "big people" just as easily as in her play areas.

i used the same old chicken feeders for succulent planters this year just without the grate on top. the white fibreglass lantern is from the shop as well as the gold planter and agave plant.

i chose to do a different blue tone pillow on every chair out here. i used faux down inserts so they are a lot softer and squishable to lean against making for comfy back cushions instead of ones that get thrown on the floor.

the other new investment we made on our patio this year was a new sofa. we previously had an old wicker one here that needed a new cushion and honestly just wasn't long enough to be comfortable to lay on. shopping for sofas also went down the same route as the table. most of the love seats under 1000.00 were plastic, or wicker and all looked the same. the ones in this style i was looking at in teak etc were pushing 3000.00.
i found this loveseat at canadian tire [moderna collection] on sale for a really good price. $500.00.
only downfall, i hated the colour of the cushions.
the style was right, the colour of the wood right. i read the reviews and apparently in full sun this set could fade or split from wear and tear however on our covered patio i knew this wouldn't be an issue. the fading fabric i could see happening as it was just covered in a cheap poly but since i know someone that sews i figured i could fix that right up.

here's what it looks like right out of the box. honestly i think they made a mistake with that fabric choice as it does nothing to make the frame of the sofa stand out and it could have been done better right from the get-go.

i chose to recover the sofa in a real sunbrella fabric that will last for years in a light tone with brown flecking. it is called parchment frequency for anyone looking for the same. i am also planning to slipcover the seat cushions of these black chairs just haven't gotten around to it yet.

the black chairs are from ikea and i made these long bed pillow size back cushions for added comfort. square standard pillows are always too low on this style chair and tend to be more uncomfortable than useful so i made a new style.

the third and final notable change on this patio this year was we removed the potting bench dresser thing that stood in this area under the flowers sign. it was bulky and deep and took up a lot of space to just hold pots. nothing against potting benches as i love them and moved this one on to my front porch but this patio just needed the breathing room. i had Trevor hang 4 rectangle metal planters on the wall and i loaded them with greenery. it looks high maintenance but in actuality it is beyond low maintenance. i water them 3 times a week and with the humidity they just keep growing. no muss no fuss. my motto today apparently.

nothing like shade loving greenery.

So thanks for visiting. Time to finish my coffee and get to sewing as remember that headlong rush into the next season? Well as a retailer thats actually my life. Pendleton wool pillows anyone? Give it a few months, then you'll be ready.

Have a great day,


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Lovin' a la plants and a few pillows

Good morning everyone.

More summer living space pictures to share today. So welcome to our living room.
Trevor and I had 3 days off around the holiday weekend, which is unheard of for us and the first day was full of restlessness and random wandering in circles as we both aimed to not work and settle into being at home. 
Any other self employed people have this problem? I believe they call it workaholic syndrome lol. 
Anyways that first day we were attempting to sit and have coffee in the morning and I happened to mention our sectional sofa. The back of it has been attacked by a cat who happens to be named Oliver. The pain in the ass at least did his dirty work in a not so noticeable part of the cover but still at some point this sofa will need replacing. If the sofa itself was in amazing condition I would consider just recovering it with another ikea slipcover or possibly getting one made by the many Ikea slipcover companies that are out there. That however, is not the case. This sectional has served us well. We use it nightly in the spring-fall-winter months and have fallen asleep watching random tv many a nights but the cushions are just not the most comfortable in the world. I would buy this couch again if in the same position, for the money it was well worth it but we are getting to a point where we are investing in pieces that will grow with our family.

This is all a very long winded way of saying that our family has grown. My younger brother is expecting his first child come September and having our living room divided by this sofa is not likely to be conducive to our future hosting family dinners and birthdays etc. We haven't done anything yet at this point but Trev and I started sliding and measuring and researching and we have come up with a plan so.....
this may be the last season this sectional shows up in my photos.
Don't hold me to it obviously as things change but I have started my savings pile for a new sofa and am excited about our new plan.

For this summer though, it is still piled with pillows in vintage and new. I love the combination of blues, greens, blacks and whites for summer. It feels fresh and keeps that eclectic vibe for our home. 

For my fellow plant lovers, the marble pot is planted with a prayer plant [maranta leuconeura], the plant behind is a snake plant

our coffee table setup for summer with another part of our fishing float collection.
i chopped off a few monstera leaves from my plant and they have stayed fresh in this vase for a month already

this lantern is from bali. i didn't buy it when we were there, in fact have had it for a number of years but love the look of it in here for summer time and it reminds us of a fantastic trip. i have meant to get a battery candle to pop inside but just haven't gotten around to it

 this striped pot is one from the shop and the plant is a brazillian tree fern. these plants get quite large and i am still working out the parameters of care as it isn't behaving like other ferns so far so we will see what the future for this guy holds.

Simplicity in this corner evoking travel. A japanese fishing float, with antique binoculars and a ship compass.

Our new console table rather unchanged since it's first appearance in the spring except for a huge hunk of decorative coral. I use the big old corbel to hold my hat so I don't lose it as I tend to not be great about putting it in the same place and find it crushed somewhere when I want to where it.

 Our Cameroon Bamileke juju hat still hangs above our television in the living room. I have really noticed this trend gaining traction again as of late. In fact these hats have been a trend for quite some time and I would dare say they may not be considered a trend as they have been around for about 15 years in decor at least at this point. The natural tone one here Trevor and I bought 11 years ago and it is still a fixture in our home so I consider that a decor piece money well spent on.

That's it for the living room everyone,
Enjoy the warm weather and if you're out shopping, buy what you love and make your space your own.


What I'm Listening to:
Head over Heels: Blue Rodeo
The Man: The Killers
Whatca see is whatcha get:  The Dramatics