Our Home’s Grand Revival: Part Two

***This post was written a couple months ago, and was intended to come out soon after the release of Our Home’s Grand Revival: Part One.  However, my world was turned upside down on June 3rd, and things are just beginning to feel somewhat right-side up again. On that fateful day back in June, my younger brother was in a near-fatal head on collision.  He survived the crash, but has needed 10 surgeries, and had his right foot amputated as a result of the accident.  We are all so grateful that he is still with us, that he did not suffer any brain damage, and that he will eventually walk again.  This experience resonates deeply with our family, as we already lost a sibling/ daughter/ aunt just a few years ago in a weather-related car accident.  It has felt like being struck by lightning twice. Once again, I am amazed by the fragility of our existence.  Our lives here on this beautiful rock are so fleeting.  By the same token, I am in awe of human courage and resilience, and our ability to find light amid the darkness.  My brother has been an inspiration to all that know him; he remains positive, full of humour and grace, and is determined to walk again.  This post is dedicated to him…he helped a lot with many of the renovations done to our old house, including adding the runner to our stairs.  I am super excited for the day when he will walk through the front door of our new place.  Love you brother!***

Hello again.  I’d like to share these pics of the work we did and improvements we made to our upstairs.  Now that we are just days away from moving to our new house, I’m feeling awfully sentimental looking at the images of the kid’s former bedrooms.  We moved here when Lily was only 5 years old, and Liam was barely a year old.  In the 9 years living here, so much has transpired.  Our kiddies have grown into mature, responsible, kind of annoying, yet amazing people.  I can hardly believe it is time to say good-bye.  In the time we have lived here, I believe we have accomplished my original goal for our gothic revival cottage home: revival.  I feel as though we have managed to breathe a little more life into its old bones — take a look, and let me know if you agree!

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Our Home’s Grand Revival: Part One

Alright folks…here you go.  I have created a slideshow of the renovations and updates we have made over the last couple of years to our downstairs; the biggest changes were to our kitchen and downstairs bathroom.  We did everything ourselves, with a lot of help from friends and family, including Michael’s incredibly handy brother, Philip, who installed a new ceiling in the kitchen, all the trim in the kitchen and bathroom, and created the kitchen’s built-in space.  We were able to accomplish all changes to our home on a tight budget, re-using and re-vamping what we already had.  This allowed us to splurge on a new stainless steel fridge, new flooring, and new countertops! Please enjoy the fruits of our labour!

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Hello Old Blog and Good-Bye Old House

I can hardly believe it has been nearly two years since I last wrote a post for A GRAND REVIVAL.  Two years ago, I had decided to forgo detailing the transformation of our century home in favour of starting a blog with informative articles to give voice to the concerns and lives of mothers and female caregivers.  Well, that never happened.  What did happen? Life, my friends, life is what happened.  Basically, I found a full-time job in another town, and, soon after, we decided to commit to renovating our house and put it up for sale.

However, that’s not the end of that story.

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A GRAND REVIVAL Returns ………….. Well Sort of

 26

That’s how many days it has been since I last posted.  That’s almost one whole month!  Yikes!!!

Regardless, here I am — alive and well — ready to continue sharing some of my adventures in home reviving.

I must confess something though…

While I have really enjoyed creating this blog, and sharing how-to tips and inspiration photos, I have come to the realization that home decorating is not the only thing I want to blog about.  I still plan on reviving my home on a tight budget, but I will not be sharing as many details about the ins and outs of this process with the world anymore.  I will continue to post progress pictures, and maybe the occasional post about some of the decisions we have made regarding the transformation of our home, but I will not be posting as often as I originally intended (3x a week).

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Progress in Pictures

You’ve been patient.  You’ve been understanding.  Basically, you’ve all been awesome.

As a reward for your patience, understanding, and awesomeness, here are the progress pictures of my kids’ bedroom revivals that I promised.

I am sorry for the poor quality of the photos; I am going to get my friend with a really good camera to come and take the final reveal photos.  Nevertheless, here are the progress pics as promised:

Ready…Set…Go…

Liam’s Room

— BEFORE —

A CLUTTERED ROOM WITH NO PERSONALITY.

— PROGRESS —

ALL CLEANED UP! WE USED WARM GREEN WALLS WITH BLUE AND ORANGEY-RED ACCENTS.

— TAKE A CLOSER LOOK —

FACE-FORWARD BOOKSHELVES ARE A GREAT WAY TO DISPLAY COLOURFUL KIDS’ BOOKS.

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Progress Confession, Part 2, or Why Multi-tasking is Dumb!

It has been strange not posting since early last week, but it has been very busy ’round here.

So, what have I been up to?

Well, I’ve been:

building watching Michael build stuff, sanding, staining, priming, painting, spray painting, framing and matting, deciding, deliberating, decorating, shopping, list making, more list making, freaking out over how much there is to do on my lists, calming myself down (eventually and only sort of) , realizing that reviving my home, just like reviving my life, will take time, patience, & positivity

 Feel free to take a look at some of the action and progress of the past couple of weeks…

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Unfortunately, my dear, (hopefully) patient readers, I must confess that I will not have both Lily’s and Liam’s bedrooms completed by Friday (big sigh).  That’s right folks, reality has bit me in the you know where once again!  I will, however, post progress pictures on Friday, and highlight some of the projects etc. that still need attending to…I promise, pinky-swear, cross my heart and hope to die…okay maybe that’s a bit extreme…I will try really, really hard to get some pictures up for you later this week :)

I suppose my expectations were too high — completely redecorating two rooms at once was not very realistic (given our budget and time restraints, anyway).  These last few weeks have been somewhat stressful, to be sure!

At least working on two rooms at once has taught me something:

NEVER WORK ON MORE THAN ONE ROOM AT A TIME!

HAHAHAHAHA!!!

 This experience has also reminded me how important it is to focus on one task at a time and be mindful of my actions in everything I do.  Remember the days when you could play with your favourite toy, or look for a four-leaf clover in a field, for hours at a time — when whatever you were doing was the only thing on your mind???  I miss that feeling, and would argue that most of us were very adept at single-tasking as children.  It is sad that by early adulthood this skill (yes, it is a skill) is beaten out of us; multi-tasking is viewed as not only important, but essential for a productive adult existence.

However…

I say BOO!!!…multi-tasking is dumb, and often makes us feel overwhelmed and disconnected from what we are doing.

I am not the only one who feels this way.  Check out these articles:

How NOT to Multitask – Work Simpler and Saner
http://zenhabits.net 
Multitasking Makes You Less Efficient: Study

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Is Multi-tasking Bad for your Brain? Experts Reveal the Hidden Perils of
Juggling too Many Jobs
http://www.dailymail.co.uk

So today I proclaim:

I will try harder to focus on one task or project at a time, and be more mindful of my actions with everything I do!!!

Wish me luck!

Progress Confession

Hey Peeps!!!

I am sorry to report that I will not be keeping my regular 3x a week posting schedule for awhile.  The reasons for this are as follows:

  1. I SERIOUSLY need to keep moving on the kids’ bedroom revivals and need as much time as possible to get down to business…ahhhhh!!!
  2. There are only 3 weeks until school starts up again = I need to figure out lots of back-to-school stuff…ahhhh!!!
  3. We are going away for a much-needed vacation at the end of August…yay!!!

Never fear…I will (hopefully) be back next week to present both Lily’s and Liam’s updated bedrooms. Progress on their rooms is coming along nicely…though, with only 11 days left until their big reveals, I am starting to panic a wee bit.  Trying to tackle two rooms at once was perhaps a little foolish on my part, and I must confess that I have probably bitten off more than I can chew!  However, I am resolved to get as much done as possible before we go away on vacation.  I think it’s time to put on my “one tough cookie” t-shirt, put on some good tunes, and get her done!!!

ONE TOUGH COOKIE

While we don’t have the time (or the money) to complete tasks like redoing Lily’s closet and replacing Liam’s flooring, the changes we have made so far have totally transformed the look and feel of their bedrooms — so, yay!  I look forward to sharing lots of reveal pictures and details with you next week.  Until then, here are the ideas and original mood boards behind the kids’ bedroom revivals as well as their updated checklists. Have a great week!  Wish me luck :)

Liam’s Room

Liam (in a nutshell): 7 years old, curious, observant, serious (at times), quirky, loves lizards and LEGO, interested in different cultures, history, nature, science, and learning about everything in between

Favourite Style: according to an easy Style Finder Quiz on REAL SIMPLE, Liam’s style personality is Vintage Eclectic

Favourite Colour: green (he also likes navy blue & orange)

Room Theme Key Words: natural, adventure, clean lines, vintage, old world, rustic

Room Features: odd-angled ceiling, carpet (to be removed), wood furniture and bed frame, no closet

Liam’s Bedroom Checklist

  • take pictures off walls CHECK
  • organize toys, clothes, etc. CHECK
  • tidy up bedroom CHECK
  • move some furniture & other items out of bedroom CHECK
  • cover up furniture left in bedroom CHECK
  • patch up & sand holes in walls CHECK
  • wash walls, trim, & ceiling surfaces (correction: we actually sanded and brushed off surface particles with a small broom — this was a tip from Michael’s brother, a professional painter) CHECK
  • prime hole patches CHECK
  • paint trim & door CHECK
  • paint walls & ceiling CHECK
  • install new ceiling light fixture CHECK
  • figure out what dresser & desk to use (decided to re-use what we have) CHECK
  • refinish 2 dressers & 1 desk (white dresser, wood dresser & desk)
  • build headboard
  • purchase new bedding CHECK
  • make shelving & storage units for collections
  • purchase and/or find vintage maps & images to use CHECK
  • purchase and/or find jars and containers for collection display purposes
  • pull out carpet (to be done at a later date)
  • install new flooring (to be done at a later date)
  • purchase or re-use rug (to be done at a later date)
  • put it all together

Lily’s Room

Lily (in a nutshell): 11 years old, sweet, caring, sassy, funny, loves animals, interested in writing, reading, and drawing

Favourite Style: according to an easy Style Finder Quiz on REAL SIMPLE, Lily’s style personality is a tie between Cozy Casual and Sophisticated Classic

Favourite Colour: blue (she also likes green & red)

Room Theme Key Words: pretty, romantic, cozy, soft, old world, transitional (from kid bedroom to pre-teen paradise)

Room Features: odd-angled ceiling, lack of lighting, wainscoting, orange-hued laminate flooring, white furniture, black metal bed frame

Lily’s Bedroom Checklist

  • take pictures off walls CHECK
  • organize toys, clothes, etc. CHECK
  • tidy up bedroom CHECK
  • move some furniture & other items out of bedroom CHECK
  • cover up furniture left in bedroom CHECK
  • patch up & sand holes in walls CHECK
  • sand & wash walls, trim, & ceiling surfaces CHECK
  • prime walls CHECK
  • paint trim & door CHECK
  • paint walls & ceiling CHECK
  • install new ceiling light fixture CHECK
  • figure out what dresser & desk to use (decided to re-use what we have) CHECK
  • refinish 2 dressers, bedside table, 1 desk, & 1 shelf CHECK
  • purchase new bedding CHECK
  • purchase and/or find colourful animal art and decorations to use CHECK
  • purchase new rug
  • redo closet (to be done at a later date)
  • put it all together