Saturday, March 16, 2019

spring in the master bedroom

I spent some time decluttering the bedroom the other day, and thought I would make the most of the clean room, and take a couple photos. I don't even remember the last time I've shown this room, if ever fully.

On my list of things to still do in here are the following:
- replace shades with similar neutral ones.
- make a bed skirt
- set up a small desk where the rocking chair is, once I'm finished using it for late night or early evening feedings with George.

This antique four poster bed was a Kijiji (like Craigslist) find years ago. I paid $100 for it. It was already painted white, otherwise I would have left it wood, but I don't mind it. 

Given the white room, with white bedding, it's nice to have pieces like this side table and the baskets to add warmth.

The basket corrals what's on the night table, and keeps things to a minimum.

For perspective, the master bedroom is one top half of the original stone home. So it has four windows - one facing East, two Southern-facing, and this one facing West.

We love the old radiator in this room - it's huge with pretty details.

This is the view when walking in the door to the bedroom. One day, we will expose the stone on this little section of this wall, and the other bit of this wall that's to the left of the closet.

Also, I've wanted to add a rug to this room for a while, but just don't want to spend the money on what I want yet. In the mean time, this little $25 jute runner from Ikea adds some texture at a next to nothing cost. Adding texture to a room is equally as important to me as adding warmth. The natural rug and hamper, the aged pot, the antique gilt frames, the woven throw with fringe, the lace-trimmed pillow covers, the reed baskets and worn wood - they all add texture. Even the aged and worn floors and wavy plaster walls and imperfect glass in the old windows add texture. It just all adds character.

This is the doorway to the hall, which allows in so much light and warmth, as it gets all the afternoon sun. The little blue plate was a souvenir I took home from our trip to Nantucket last year. I paid so much more than I would normally have, but I loved it. I thought about it for the couple days we were there, and when we were passing it in town, on our way back to the ferry, I popped in to Flowers on Chestnut and picked it up. I didn't regret it. (As we drove further out the cape, I found another matching blue platter and the price was so good, together the little plate seemed more reasonable!)

Behind this door is our closet, which we both share. Originally a chimney ran up through here from the room below. The trunk under the other window (which is darker because the shade strings have broken), is a family heirloom. My mother in law recently re-did her bedroom and gave it to us. I believe it's what Ryan's grandparents used to bring belongings over from Holland when they immigrated. She stripped it to look like this. It reads a tad orange in the photo, but it's such a beautiful piece with so much character. And again, it adds so much to the white room. It's also a great piece to store extra blankets and off-season linens in. I also have an antique oval mirror to hang on the open space of that wall, but hanging anything that heavy on these plaster walls requires my husband, and that means it will have to wait a while.

And finally our wardrobe, which we also share. It was an antique piece I had as a wardrobe when I was little. It was originally used to transport bolts of fabric on a boat from Europe. The back has interesting stamps and printing on it. My dad added shelves to it for clothing.

Our bedroom is one of five, now that we've opened the apartment to the main house. Us and the two little ones are upstairs (they share the nursery), the two older boys have a room downstairs by the family room, another is being used as a playroom, and the last one is being used for storage, and will one day be set up as a guest room.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

a girl's morning out

Yesterday I spent the morning out with my mom and sister. My sister's been on bed rest and then recovering from her c-section, and is finally feeling like herself and itching to get out. Of course it's the perfect excuse to get out with her! So out we went - for coffee, thrifting, the greenhouse (again!), and then to lunch.

Years ago, when I only had one or two children to tote along, I went to every estate sale and weekly auction, and regularly circulated through all the local thrift shops. I would collect for the entire year and then have a huge tag sale on the Thanksgiving long weekend. It was something I loved to do. But over the years, it's just gotten harder to get out with four kids. Gone are they days when they sleep quietly in the stroller while the auctioneer rambles on. Plus four children take up all extra room in my vehicle which would previously have been used to pile in furniture and finds.

And while I do try to get out antiquing every so often, I don't usually make it to any thrift stores. But yesterday I was reminded how much I enjoyed hunting through one. We all found some great things, and decided we needed to do it more often!

Of course all good days out begin with coffee and croissants - yes Mom, even if we'll be eating lunch in two hours... These were from De La Terre, and are a favourite.

Our next stop was The Watering Can, a greenhouse with a flower market and cafe.

It was so nice walking though the greenhouse, where it's so warm and sunny.

After this, some thrifting, and then onto to lunch at The Grand Oak for soup and a sandwich. They also have fresh breads, cheese and lots of different preserves and gourmet food items to browse.

I've brought home a couple different plants over the last few days. Usually I have cut flowers, aside from some Myrtles and Ivy, but I couldn't resist these. A Helleborus (left), Begonia (middle) and an Oak Leaf Ivy (right).

I'm always drawn to greens and soft whites, and I love the hints of blush and burgundy in them all. 

I also couldn't pass up a bunch of White Parrot Tulips.

So, my thrift shop finds...

First, I have to preface this one find, those little bamboo forks, by saying this: Never ever, have I ever, not even in an antique store, let alone a thrift shop, have I ever found bamboo flatware. I've looked. So when I looked into the random junk bin of kitchen cutlery and saw bamboo, I audibly gasped.

They were a dollar.
(For all you American readers - 77 cents!)

I scored a collection of these great square canning jars.

I found some books, a waste basket, and a nice sized basket with a handle that will be perfect for an Easter arrangement.

And yes, this is my third copy of this Martha Stewart book, but it's in way better condition than my others. One of them will now be used to tear out of, like I would a magazine.

So I think it's safe to say I'm hooked.

Monday, March 11, 2019

spring in the dining room


It's deceptively sunny out this morning. We're well into March, but the temperatures don't seem to want to budge above freezing. That being said, the sun is decidedly warmer, so it at least feels spring-like inside. The Cherry Blossoms we've been forcing have started blooming and all the sunshine has brightened the dining room up. It doesn't get direct sunlight aside from first thing in the morning, so it can always seem darker than some other rooms in the house.

As it's been so long since I've shown much of the house (or anything for that matter!), I figured I'd start here.

Few things feel more like spring than blooming branches. The perfect way to add some spring to any room is by forcing some. My dad dropped off these branches on his way home from the flower market a couple weeks ago. They've made for lots of interesting lessons with the boys. We've painted the stages of the blossoms opening. We've studied the life cycle of the tree. We'll get around to studying pollination and the anatomy of the bee. And we unexpectedly discovered Hanami, the Japanese Cherry Blossom (Sakura) festival.

And then there are these beautiful Hellebores - another favourite spring flower. I picked this one up from the garden center. I've always wanted to plant some in our gardens as they're perennials. I love the variety of blooms varying from creamy white, to fresh green with hints of pink. If you find one with lots of new buds it will last a while. They look delicate, but they're actually very rugged. The leaves are almost hard and prickly. But when you need to push your way up through snow and slightly frozen ground, and survive those last unexpected cold snaps, you'd need to be pretty resilient.

Our dining room is in the original part of our home, which consists of the stone house and then a series of additions behind, so it has all the character.

And now that it feels more spring-like inside, I think I should probably take down our wreathes on the windows outside. Which is a tad sad because they're still pretty green!

This week we are taking some time off from school as it's spring break. I'm planning on going through the house and doing the Ruthless Declutter Challenge from Simplified with Emily Ley. It's a one week challenge to declutter your whole house, room by room, in a week. I did it last year and have been surprised at how decluttered things have stayed over the last year. I'm looking forward to it because I think it will be good to go through everything inside drawers and cupboards before trying to spring clean the house. You can follow along in my stories on instagram @growersdaughter.

Friday, November 30, 2018

christmas in the living room

I spent most of last week hurrying about, trying to get the house in order for this year's Holiday Home Tour, a charity event here in town. It was a lot of work - my favourite kind of work - but a lot, nevertheless. We cut down and decorated four trees, I made garland for the stairs, set the table, wrapped gifts, arranged flowers and tried my best to keep everything tidy. Saturday saw 250 people come through the homes, and the event was a huge success. I loved meeting some of you who came out, and George stole the show. He entertained all the ladies walking past from his bassinet, all smiles and wide eyes. We even made the local papers!

On one hand, it was nice to know that come December, everything would be finished so I could enjoy the month. But on the other hand, I kind of missed taking my time transforming the house. Though nothing is stopping me from adding bit of Christmas here and there still.

Anyway, here are quite a few photos of the room. It looks similar to previous years, mostly because this is what I'm drawn to. I did, however, add a few hints of blue and green to mix!

Our trees are all cut in the wild on a neighboring farm near my grandparents' farm. We can go in and select trees to help space out others, which helps prevent overcrowding. They are never perfect, but I love the look of them.

It's a fairly sparse tree, so I keep it simple with white lights and my favourite ornaments. The mercury glass feels so traditional, and sparkles beautifully from the twinkle lights.

I keep the rest of the room quite simple, with just some fresh greens here and there.

I love that you can see the wreaths from the windows outside. We have them on all the windows around the original stone house. (I'll post a photo.) I also love that you can see the tree from outside, as it's in front of the window.

I always love the hints of blue in the Cedar Berry and Juniper. The ribbon picks up the blues and green from these boughs perfectly.

And an assortment of blue pots planted with bulbs on the coffee table, another inspiration for the hints of blue.

I loved this pretty dusty blue ribbon.

And I love the classic navy and moss green velvet ribbon. The pretty tags and wrapping paper are from Everyday Occasions. I will post in more detail on those later, as it's one of my favourite parts of the season, as well as the other rooms.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

the stone cottage

This is the lovely stone cottage we rented through Airbnb. It's located in Navarre, Ohio and was built in 1846.

The night we arrived, it was quite cold and dark. We had been up since 4 in the morning and then spent the day touring around. But on the way into town, we passed the local high school. The field was lit up, the stands were packed and the field was covered in football players, cheerleaders on the sidelines and two marching bands. It was a Friday night football game! Welcome to the U S of A. The boys were so excited (even Ryan admitted he would love to stop and watch) so off we went. "It's kind of like hockey but with no sticks and ice!" announced Hudson as we made our way to the field. Unfortunately, the minute we got to the entrance it started pouring.We had umbrellas and raincoats, but we could only make it through about 20 minutes. It was just too much for the littlest ones.

Driving up to this old house was such a warm welcome. We were so excited when we opened the front door because honestly, the photos online didn't do it justice. And really, neither will mine. But here they are anyway.

The entire house must have been redone - a total gut job.

Thankfully, all of the beautiful character was left, and in some cases, made more beautiful. The exposed stone looks like it has been re-pointed. The beams have been exposed, but all the electrical and plumbing has been moved and hidden. This makes everything look clean.

Patio doors to the back yard allow for extra light. The hidden plumbing and vents are to the right, in the bump out.

There is a brand new kitchen.

And small dining area.

And then upstairs, there are two bedrooms, and a bathroom. This is the master bedroom. It's a good size, though it had a double bed. I think this may be because it would be hard to get a queen sized box spring up the stairs.

I'm very picky when it comes to quilts, but she had a couple lovely ones! The blue one was actually the reverse side of a very classic, busy quilt, but I so preferred this fabric.

The bathroom is also lovely with a large shower (though no tub), and an antique wash stand that has been made into a sink.

The second smaller bedroom is also so charming with it's exposed beams. It has a tiny door which lead to a tiny ladder-like staircase to the the attic space. It hadn't been touched, but it would make a cozy loft space.

It was so nice to have a whole house to ourselves - especially for the kids. It gave them room to play and stretch out (or separate) after being in the car for so long. And we had everything we would need, including access to laundry, which was very handy.

For a rental house, it was furnished nicely, but it was so fun to sit with my coffee, dreaming up how I would furnish it if it was ours. With a house this full of character, it doesn't take much!