This year’s early-summer weather in Iqaluit has had its ups and severe downs. It has been cold, grey, and quite uninspiring for home decorating. On the downside, it has brought lots of fog and ice into town that has drawn a number of polar bears near our house lately – meaning that we can’t wander far from home (at least not without ammunition or bear spray). On the upside of it though, it has meant that bug season has been delayed enough for me to spend more time in the front yard doing some landscaping.
I was initially thinking to do just one or two small things to add some curb appeal to our place over the summer. Nevertheless, once one project was started I began finding other little things I could do to improve our curb-side look and my ‘to-do’ list quickly snowballed.
I’m very excited to introduce you to Pascale Arpin, who is ARCTICdeco’s first guest blogger! Pascale is a brilliantly talented artist, teacher, and all round lovely lady who came to Iqaluit in 2011 from her home city of Ottawa. She came to Iqaluit out of curiosity and has made this community her long-term (we hope) home. She’s done some incredible work on her first home and major fixer-upper, including this incredible bathroom reno – which puts my little renovations to shame, might I add. She too has begun documenting her reno journey on her blog Cold World Reno, so be sure to bookmark it for exciting future updates.
I’m enjoying a lot of the paint-dipped motifs that I’ve been seeing lately and with a bit of spare paint on a sunny afternoon, I decided to try some out for myself. I’ve also been on a geometric kick lately too, so I figured I’d have a little fun with a scruffy old IKEA FROSTA stool we had lying around.
I wanted to quickly share with ya’ll one of my favorite little household contraptions. It’s one of those things that makes my life infinitely easier as it prevents me from having to do a chore I least enjoy – by making it slightly more enjoyable. It’s My Little Steamer® Go Mini Hand Steamer!
It’s a lovely, bright, sunny, warm (-25 with no wind!) day today, and I’m stuck inside with a head cold. *sigh. On the plus side, the greenhouse is warming up with the longer days and it was nearly +28 in there yesterday. So I figured I’d take advantage of the brightness in the house and post some nicer pics of the dining room.
I’ve just realized that I’ve left you all in limbo on some of the first projects we did in the house and never got around to posting the afters of the powder room renovation – or kitchen for that matter.
The kitchen is only a few more weeks away from being finished, so I’m going to prolong the suspense further. Yes I’ve been too lazy to finish painting that one last cupboard door, but can you blame me? I only just got back the use of both my arms.
As for the powder room, there are also a few details I’ve yet to complete, but am in no rush to do them, so I’ll share with you what we’ve improved so far…
Its been a while since I last posted. That’s mostly because I’ve been too busy enjoying my holiday downtime to do anything as laborious as opening my laptop. Reading books, baking, decorating, watching the Die Hard series 4.7 times – has been a full-time gig, and it’s be so wonderful! I’m all about ‘stay-cations’ now that we have a home of our own. I never want to leave. I’m not one to get homesick, but after travelling constantly for the past 4 months, I found myself yearning for the quiet of our house. So, I took two weeks off and enjoyed it thoroughly. There’s nothing like just being in your own space and soaking it in.
The time has come when plaster dust is finally a thing of our past. That’s right – the kitchen and living room renovations are done! Well, sorta. The worst is definitely over. There are a couple cabinets we’ve yet to install, some painting on the far wall of the kitchen and a feature wall in the living room (plus the living room layout will turn 90 degrees), and the top of the range hood that still needs going up. But for now, as far as I’m concerned, we’re done!
After having been away for work over the last couple weeks, J has been diligently working on the kitchen and living room renovation to get the walls up and plastered. If you remember the living room earlier there was a half wood-panelled wainscotting wall that I really wanted to get rid of.
After pulling off several of the panels, however, we realized that they weren’t just nailed into place, but also reinforced with industrial glue – so that when pulled off the wall they took half of the drywall with it. Once it was started it was too late to stop (though we’ll be thinking twice before tackling the hallways). We removed it all and then stared at the mess of a wall that was left over. We then had a choice of either trying to plaster over it and take a LOT of time trying to make the wall look smooth again, or tear it out and re-drywall. After having some contractors come and take a look, they strongly recommended we re-drywall, and so it began.
So I realize it’s been a while since I last posted. It seems that tennis elbow isn’t as innocuous an injury as I first thought. It’s actually been extremely, profoundly, annoyingly, and inexplicably painful as well as inconvenient. Unfortunately having a daytime desk job hasn’t increased my recovery rate, if anything it’s been quite the opposite. Although I am now (as a result) an accomplished ambidexter, I’m still fairly incapable of writing a full email without requiring an ice-pack and several pain killers. Hence my delay in posting.
Nonetheless, after taking over 2 months off reno-detail, and with J having amazingly taken over as lead renovator (as well as bag-carrier, dinner-maker, floor-cleaner, and teeth-brusher) in the house, I’m gaining strength and mobility and may even be able to paint the kitchen walls this weekend. Ya, you heard me, those puppies are ready for paint! Now, I’m not about to give it all away today, but wait until you see the drywalling that’s been going on here!). I’ll be following up with the final reno pics of the kitchen in the coming weeks, but for now, you need to get caught up on all the other action, namely the upstairs bath.
It has been quite a week. My last week of ‘vacation’ and I’ve been going 9+ hrs solid each day on the bloody kitchen, but we’re seeing some progress finally.
Let me start by saying, if you are ever contemplating whether to buy new kitchen cabinets or refinish your old ones, think very hard on it before you commit. Because after this week, I’m wishing we just spent the rest of our savings and bought a whole new kitchen. As much as I researched the process for painting kitchen cabinets, I couldn’t have imagined how laborious, tedious, boring, and strenuous the whole process would be.
It’s been a very busy week. We’ve managed to nearly finish the powder room downstairs, but have yet to install the final light fixture – hence I’m holding out on posting any of the after shots. Nonetheless, we’ve made great headway on the kitchen and the upstairs bathroom renovations – which are also missing a few last fixtures before the final shots are posted. I’ll follow up with a post on the kitchen progress soon.
We’re tearing down the house! Okay, not the whole house, but there has been some serious crow-bar action going on in the kitchen this week it feels like we’re demolishing the hole place.
J has been working away on the kitchen renovation by removing the top cupboards that I have been DYING to remove since we got into the place. Here are the before shots (notice how dark the kitchen is with the upper cabinets casting shadows everywhere)…
So I mentioned in a previous post that I may have gone a little crazy on the powder room renovation over the weekend. Basically I wanted to get rid of all the very, very old hardware and cabinets, and rather than waiting to get the proper tools from the garage, I pretty well ripped everything out that wasn’t welded in place, aside from toilet and sink. It felt good, but I then realized how much more work I may have made for myself in the process.
Here they are! The before pictures. Now most of these were taken before the latest round of renos/repairs, so there is already quite a lot that looks different today – but since I haven’t taken any shots this week, you’ll get more of a surprise with the after shots after seeing these.
P.S. Yes, I noticed there is a lot of wood panelling. A LOT. All the more fun for renovating!