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My Shed: Even Pigs Need Lipstick

I can distinctly recall the conversation my husband and I had when we moved into our current house. The only thing on his “must have” list was a garage. Well … I think he caved when pressured by his then pregnant wife and didn’t hold his ground. Because not only did we not end up with a garage. We ended up with a “shed”. Small, sort of run down and in need of some TLC.

We have since decided to expand our shed – next year. In the meantime we had a party at our house last weekend and I knew that I couldn’t have sixty people standing on my deck with the f-ugly shed glaring down at us.

Here’s what we started with:

Last summer we fixed up the door (so that it actually opened), reshingled the roof (which massively cleaned it up!) and replaced the fascia board.

Then winter hit and painting our little shed didn’t happen.

Until I had a deadline … yep. We had a backyard party and I got busy with the paintbrush and applied some grey and raspberry lipstick to the pig (I mean, shed).

Pretty good huh? Unfortunately I ran out of time pre-party and didn’t get to painting the fascia board or the trim around the door and window (it was meant to be painted black). Fortunately no one noticed and someone even commented on how pretty the shed is! I’d declare that a success.

I got slightly busted by the group that was hanging out on the grass … oops … missed a side!

Let’s just take a look at where we started and where we are today shall we?

Definitely an improvement I’d say! Amazing what a coat of paint can do!

Do you have any projects that just need a quick coat of lipstick to class them up?!

Fall Projects & A Giveaway!

Fall has definitely arrived.

Kids have started their second week back at school, activities are in full swing and I have been a machine around the house trying to restore order after the chaos of summer holidays.

September has always been a month of new beginnings for me. I remember the first few years of working after graduating university I felt like I should be going back to school or starting something new after Labour Day.


One project around the house that will satisfy me to no end is to figure out how to get the kid crap under control. This includes a creating a landing spot for school notices, sports equipment, library books and all the little artwork “treasures”. With three kids in various activities creating a wall calendar for the week is key to ensure everyone knows who is going where. My goal is to have this more or less in place this week. If I don’t I might never surface under the mountain of stuff!

Once I have restored order to the house we can start tackling other projects on our list! Things like ….

– creating functional storage in my older boys shared room (they currently call the closet a dressing room – intelligent storage is non-existent!).

– third floor washroom mini-re-do (combine better functionality for storage with a lot of pretty … right now it’s a horror show!)

– backyard shed (we want to expand it – this is likely a spring project but will take the winter to map out a plan)

– maybe a little master bedroom zhush?!

I will keep you posted with the progress. The list will likely get updated as we go but here’s a start!

One of the places I like to go for inspiration on home projects is the Fall Home Show.

In addition to a variety of exhibitors there is also a great line-up of speakers covering everything from renovation planning, to colour inspiration to maximizing your renovation dollar. This year the Fall Home Show runs from September 20-23 at the Better Living Centre in Exhibition Place.

I’ve got two pairs of tickets up for grabs to anyone living in the GTA. To be eligible simply leave me a comment telling me what projects you have going on for your home this fall! Contest closes at noon EST on Saturday September 15th.

So there you have it … some insight into what projects I’ve got coming up around my house and a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Fall Home Show.

Happy Monday!

Going Home … What it Means to Me

One of my blogger friends Lisa writes a fantastic blog called Wicked & Weird. She has been away this month visiting her parents in New Brunswick and asked me to write a guest post on what Going Home means to me. Take a minute to check it out!

What does Going Home mean to you?

Feeling Kinda Fernney

Is “Fernney” even a word? Me thinks no. But here’s the deal …

I love having fresh flowers and greenery on my front porch. It just finishes the house. Back in May I bought two beautiful baskets to hang. They were stunners … I had neighbours asking me where I got them they were so fabulous. Then it got hot and we were on holidays and, up until this morning, I had this hanging:

Aren’t they sad little things?

So I popped by one of my favourite flower markets today to see what was there. I’m not ready to make the full transition to fall flowers and it seemed silly to be buying summer flowers at this point in the season so I came up with a compromise …

A little leafy, Fernney goodness! Check it out:

Ferns! Aren’t they pretty?!

What do you do when you are in need of a fresh look and it is between seasons?

New Blinds for the Kids – Finally!

Remember ages ago when I posted about fabrics I was considering for the my kids rooms? Well, I finally made a decision and lordy-be – installed the blinds! I had Roman blinds made because I like how they sit flush with the window. I also had blackout lining added to darken the room (as they get the bright morning sun) and to prevent damage to the fabric from harmful UV rays.

I’m not sure it’s helping the kids sleep any later in the morning but they sure do look pretty!

Here is room #1:

and up close!

And in room #2 …

I love how well they turned out! They were made by Tonic Living and were super easy to install too!

I’m a huge fan of Roman blinds. What about you?

Kids Play: A New Piece of Art

I am on a mission to lighten up our front room in our house. I love the wall colour (Benjamin Moore Davenport Tan), I love our couch but I wanted to inject some new colour in the space. It just felt too dark. More on what else I am going to do to change things up later but today I wanted to share with you a project I did with my boys … perhaps budding Picasso’s?

We took a giant canvas I had bought ages ago at HomeSense and made it uniquely ours!

First I painted over the bright colours.

Here they are all ready to paint!

Then I pulled out extra paint that I had lying around … and let the boys at it.

We dried it on the grass in the bright, hot sun …

And hung it up!

I love the lighter canvas and the fact that it is uniquely ours. We even signed the back! So simple and such a fun project for us to do.

What have you created with your kids lately?

My Gallery Wall: A Start

One of the things that I’ve had on my list for a while is to create a gallery wall with all my favourite photos of our family.


I like the way the black frames with white mats unify the gallery. I am also a huge fan of black and white photography but for my wall kept the pictures in colour to add some kapow to the relatively neutral space. Kind of like this picture …


My poor little staircase previously looked like this:

And now … I smile at my boys every time I go upstairs!

There are still more to add but that’s for another day!

I am very pleased with what we’ve got so far! Hanging art in your home is what truly makes the space you.

Do you have a gallery wall in your home?


BlogPodium, PARA Paints et moi

I am super excited to be attending BlogPodium this coming weekend. One of the sponsors of the event, PARA Paints is running a contest to be part of their “Blog Crew”. Open to attendees of BlogPodium, the winners get free paint and a stipend towards supplies for their projects. And, do I have some projects!

I was first introduced to PARA Paints last year by one of my instructors at Seneca who required that we spec PARA colours for our final project. It was a great initial opportunity to dive into the colours of a paint company I hadn’t used before. I particularly like that it has Canadian roots!

I’ve got a few spaces and things around my home that need some paint love and I thought I’d share these with you today. Don’t judge … they are in their very RAW form and ain’t pretty. Projects can periodically have long completion rates around here but I’ve been on a roll lately and am motivated to keep painting … so without further delay here they are:

The first two projects are inspired by grey siding, white trim and a yellow door … kinda like this:

via Houzz

Project #1: Our Back Shed

It’s currently a lovely shade of green and plywood (yes, plywood is a colour in my books). Instead of replacing the shed last year we had it reshingled and refaced portions of it.

See that bit of grey paint slapped on the green … well … I got a little slap happy with some random grey sample and then the weather got too cold to paint the exterior. We have been “admiring” it from our family room all winter. A-hem … not really.

I want to paint the shed a slightly darker grey than the siding on the addition at the back of our house.”Straight Goods” would work very well. It is a fairly “pure” grey meaning derived from a mix of black and white with no undertones of another colour in it. It is not too dominating or darker either.

Project #2: Exterior Doors

I love yellow and I’d love nothing more to have our doors splashed with a coat of yellow paint. It would look amazing next to the red brick on our front door and the grey siding on the doors to our mudroom and shed.

For this I’m thinking about “Sunflowers”. It is the right mix of a pop of colour for the door without being too bright.

Moving indoors …

Project #3: My office walls

A while back, I posted about the new bench seat and blinds I had made for my office … well … I still haven’t painted the walls yet!

I want the space to feel light, like I’m working covered by a pale blue sky. Kind of like the walls in this living room:

via Houzz

For this space I’d love to use “Skydiving” or “Clouded In”. “Clouded In” is the likely winner as it is more of a white with blue undertones but I would paint some larger samples first to test the colours before starting to paint the entire space.

I’ve got other ideas too but that’s just a taste of what is at the top of my list. So … PARA Paints … pick me pretty please! I wield a mean paint brush!!

What are you inspired to paint right now?

Fabric Choices for the Kiddos

I’ve been mulling over fabrics to add new Roman blinds in the kids rooms. You see I have this half baked idea that if their rooms are super dark then they will actually sleep in past 7am. Um, yeah. We’ll see how that rolls.

So I thought for Friday morning we could take a look at some fabrics that I stuck up in their rooms.

The kids have voted … Now it’s your turn.

Room A – The Big Kids (think lots of blue with red accents currently):

Option 1


Option 2


Option 3


Room B – The Kid Who Thinks He’s A Big Kid (think yellow with red accents)

Option 1


Option 2


Option 3


So there you have it. I’ve made my decision (well, mostly) and the kids have chosen (of course not the same).

Two rooms. Three choices for each. What do you think?

A Little Stool Re-Tool

Part of me wanted to title this post “The Saga of the Stool” but I’m very pleased with the results. When we purchased two black leather cube ottomans from Home Sav back in the Fall it wasn’t supposed to take five months before we could actually use them in our family room!

To keep a long story shot when you let a seven year old boy attempt to open a shipping box with an exacto knife there is a decent likelihood that part of the leather will get sliced. (Disclosure: my husband was helping him so I’m not entirely sure who actually cut the leather but there was adult supervision – we don’t let our kids wield exacto knives I assure you!)

Here’s the evidence. I’m sure the neighbours could hear my screaming – it wasn’t pretty.

I knew we had to do something to make the ottomans functional. I wanted a little va-voom, a little something that would make me smile but needed something insanely durable (see story above about enthusiastic seven year old and multiply by three).

I found this faux ostrich leather from Maxwell fabrics …

And had the tops of both stools reupholstered complete with a nailhead trim detail around the base.

Et voila!

I’m liking my new custom ottomans in our family room.

Do you have any ottomans that are in need of a little zing?