Saturday, 25 April 2015

A Piece of History Uncovered

Last summer I posted a few pictures of the Courtice & Jeffrey Harness Shop that was located on Queen Street in Port Perry.  You can read that post here. 

We recently found an even better picture of the factory that was owned by the man who built our house back in 1883.  I don't know what year the photo was taken, but I love how it takes me back to the time when Port Perry would have looked much different.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Dining Room Transformation: From Disaster to Delight

It's hard to believe that it's been 4 months now since we started this project.  This room was so dark and heavy feeling.  I know that's in keeping with Victorian style, but it's not the type of feeling we are going for. As a quick reminder, here's what we started with:

Our first step was removing the spindles and carpet.  We also took out the old bookshelf that was hiding an original door frame.

Then, down came the wallpaper and fake crown moulding.

After much debate, we ended up drywalling the top half of the room (ok, my brother drywalled the top half of the room for us!)

And then we started painting...and painting...and painting some more.

Finally, the new crown moulding went up, the drapes were hung and furniture was moved back in. Today I spent some time recovering the dining room chairs.  We had purchased the fabric back in the fall, but were waiting until the room was done to actually recover them.  It felt great to finally get this task done!

We still have a few small bits left to do like hem the curtains, paint the doors and stain some patches in the floor, but those will all be rainy day projects.  For now, this room is ready to be lived in again, and we love it!


Saturday, 18 April 2015

"Decorations Still Up" In March? You Bet!

Our decorations, Dec 2014.

How would you feel if you came across a picture of your house that somebody else had posted on the internet?  What if it was posted in a negative context?

Yesterday as I was checking out some pictures of homes in Port Perry, I came across a shot of our house that was posted here.  It was posted a few weeks ago, and talks about how some of our Christmas decorations were still up in March.

I was horrified as I read through the post and comments.  A few of the commenters called us "lazy, lazy, lazy" and said that they "would hate to live across the street from us".

We have done nothing but work since we moved into this house seven months ago.  In fact, in the past seven months we have thrown a great wedding, had the house rewired, cleared out a jungle of gardens, renovated our bathroom, walk in closet, living room and dining room, and started the process of adopting our first child.
I don't think that's being lazy.

Fortunately, once the ground thawed, those decorations came down.  It's finally spring and we've already been outside gardening.

Unfortunately, I'm a sensitive person who takes everything to heart.  This will haunt me for a long time to come!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Crowning the Dining Room

After a few busy weeks, we finally managed to get some more work done in the dining room this weekend.  The next thing on our to-do list was installing the crown moulding.  Jeremy and I have installed crown moulding many times before, and it's definitely not one of our favourite tasks.  It can be so hard to wrap your head around working upside down and backwards.  We also knew that our corners and ceiling would be way off.  They are 130 years old, after all!

See how the ceiling in the photo above slants up in the right corner?  This was not going to be easy!

Fortunately the crown moulding we wanted was on clearance at our local DIY store.  Unfortunately they didn't have enough in stock and we had to drive to another location 1.5 hours away to get more.  We went with a 5" crown that has a very detailed profile.  It matches all of our original trim really well, so the drive was worth it.  We are hoping to have enough left over to do the front hall as well (YAY! More crown moulding...).

The first thing we did was read and print off instructions from this blog which we found on Pinterest.  She gives very clear templates for cutting inside and outside corners and how the moulding should sit on the saw for each different one.  In the past we have tried to stand the moulding up to cut the angle, but with her instructions you lay the moulding flat on the saw.  It was so much easier!  We also purchased a handy angle measurer and printed off a list of mitre cuts for every angle imaginable. So with our angle measurer and the new mitre saw we got for Christmas, we were ready to go!

Installing crown moulding takes a lot of patience and precision. We literally were measuring twice and cutting once.  We also always cut our pieces a little on the large side, because you can take more off but you can't put it back on.  

So we're about 3/4 of the way through the room right now.  We still have the bay window to do, which has some very interesting angles in it.  Hopefully that goes ok!