Ongoing travel stories have made me feel like I only write in past tense. I need a break! How about some around the house stuff?
Fall is kicking in. The leaves are turning, the evenings crisp, and Todd and I are sorting things to get ready to spend more time indoors. Our home is over a century old this year and needs ongoing renovations like most old homes do. It's been a while since we've been able to do anything cosmetic and just for fun. Our last budget busters included roofing, new soffits and downspouts. Ah, the joys of home ownership.
A couple weekends ago we were able to go through a whole pile of stuff we've been collecting ever since we moved into this place so many years ago. My inlaws helped me sort and catalog the whole lot before Todd sold most of it in online classifieds and we donated the rest. After that, our upstairs sunroom turned back into an actual wardrobe room rather than a storage closet that just made me depressed every time I looked at it. This room is right off of our master bedroom and used to serve as what was called a "sleeping porch". Sleeping porches were intended to provide relief from hot summer nights back when the house was built in 1914 and air conditioning meant a fan with a bucket of ice in front of it. The wardrobe itself spans the entire back of the room. My dad built it for me years ago but it never was completely finished before the room got re-designated as a catch-all storage dump. Now with a fresh coat of paint to hide some weird stencilling I thought was cool (it was starfish, ridiculous!) and new apple wood laminate flooring, I'm pleased to say it's fully functional. I won't pretend that Todd and I are super DIYers. Todd's dad is an awesome painter and handyman and has done so much to our house to make it feel comfortable, it's been a huge blessing. I think this particular room turned out fantastic. The light in here is so great, it just cheers me up to chill and play guitar or enjoy a glass of wine and a book. The kids aren't used to the room actually being useable so most of the time, they don't even think to come in there to find me. Haha, brilliant!
My dad did a beautiful job making the cabinet look like it was always there. It offers loads of storage, which in an old home is hard to come by. I love it!
Finally a place to keep my loads of thrifted costume jewelry. I'm on the hunt for some creative storage ideas to hang on the walls. I also ordered a print of a photo I took in Big Sur to hang somewhere in the room. Those sea blues just radiate serenity.
The screen printed, felt, log pillow was an Etsy purchase from somewhere around 2008. I found it in the back of the closet covered in cobwebs. Nothing a little vacuum can fix, I hope!!! The pendant light is an antique school light from the Old House Revival Company in Winnipeg. Great patina on the canopy!
I bought this dresser at auction about 10 years ago for $200. It has very unique scalloped joints that mark it as a European piece. I still enjoy it even though I'm usually more attracted to midcentury furniture and 70's handcrafted pieces. I think it's easier to really mix the eras together in an old home.
Another reclaimed space in our home has been our front sunroom. Last year we made an effort to create storage for the kids toys using two ikea toy boxes and a butcherblock countertop. That ikea hack really solved a lot of our clutter issues and this year I've been able to build on that. I found a very simple wood futon on kijiji to put on the opposite side of the porch and it's been the perfect addition. I clocked in a lot of hours in this room this summer, soaking up the natural light and playing the guitar. Eve and Luke still love the hanging basket chair (also a kijiji purchase from a few years ago). It's starting to get a bit battered since the caning is old and brittle. A project for next year I suppose.
And while I'm at it I'll mention that Luke has been working real hard at skateboarding. We sent him to skateboard camp in the summer and it really boosted his confidence. A few weeks ago his skateboard was stolen out of our car and he was heartbroken. Todd picked things up and upgraded Lukes board. I wasn't sure if it was worth the extra expense but the difference was noticeable right away. I'm so proud of him and how dedicated he is to going to the skatepark every day. That kid is growing up just right, I tell ya.
Next up for us is hopefully a renovation of our main staircase and banister. It's been a long time coming and will really upgrade the look of our entryway. It feels good to be getting things done around here again!