Interior Design Show 2010

IKel and I went to the Interior Design Show 2010 this past weekend at the Metro Convention Centre and saw a lot of cool and fun booths!  We didn't run into Sarah Richardson, but we did see her colleague Tommy walk by!

For those who's been following our blog, you'd know I've been in love with the Riobel Eiffel series faucets for the past half year or so.  I didn't think I'd see anything more elegant until this weekend! Check out the sleek and sexy curves on this Brizo Virage series!

Another set of faucets display we really love was the Axor Massaud.  We absolutely love the triangular sinks and soaker tubs paired with the faucets and branch like wall hooks.

While at IDS 2010, we visited our friend Tyco's award winning table "Fracture".  Below, I've taken a picture of Tyco and his award winning piece.  I've also attached a video that shows why his table is called "Fracture".  It's actually really cool, as it can be broken off into three pieces and used separately, as well as reassembled into different combinations for use that way.  You can check out more Tychotic Designs here.

Something else that really caught our eye at the show were all the different tiles on the market.  Check out these turtleshell tiles below by Saltillo.  Do you like the white or grey ones better?

And what about these bubble tiles?  Aren't they cool? :)

We thought this dining table and all its colourful chairs are pretty cool, too!

And finally, there were a lot of displays for electrical and gas fireplaces.  Out of all of them, this one really caught my eye.   Check out that tree in the middle, I thought the effect was quite unique.

Main Bathroom Makeover

When we first bought our house, the main bathroom was one of the few places we figured we wouldn't do much to.  We were building our new ensuite, which would be our private bathroom, so we figured we could slack on the guest bathroom on both work and budget.  However when Kel inspected the pipes, he found that there was a slight leak in both the toilet and bath tub, which means they'd have to go.  Kel then asked me if we were going to replace the existing tiles.  I couldn't remember what tiles they were, and Kel said, "those small octagon one..." "Eww.. the ones they use in the public bathrooms?!"  So yah, we got rid of those, too.  And good thing because I really don't think I can stand those yellow and black tiles on the walls!  Anyhow, we kept our choices simple, since it wasn't part of the original plan and we didn't want to cut into our budget too much.  Also, the space is small so we knew we had to keep the colours light to make it seem bigger than it really is.

Below is the picture timeline of our makeover.  It's not extravagant, but enough for the time being.

First week at the house

Now that construction is mostly over, Kel's been able to rest and catch up on his sleep.  But that's not to say we are taking a break, more like going around to purchase all the little things our house is lacking.  For one, we had to go buy all the air registers for the house (you know, that grate thing for all the vents).  Besides that, we had to fill in the knickknacks our kitchen is missing, and everything we buy is another thing to wash!  Oh, and we went and got the poles and shelving for the coat closet and linen closet.  There are so many little things to do, that I've made another list on Google Docs for Kel! :P

Here you can see our bedroom light fixture.  We've bought it for a while now, and Kel can finally install it!  The glass is actually white, not yellow, but there was no way to get a clear picture of the fixture unless I turn down the ISO on my camera.  Or if there is, maybe someone who knows and reads this can teach me :)
On the left is the floor lamp we got at the William Ashley warehouse sale.  We have it set up at the corner of our living room now waiting for its neighbouring furniture.  I don't remember the frame to be quite that black, and Kel thought the sides weren't that white.. but really, its been a couple months, so we can't really be sure.  We love it all the same.

I brought home two of my critters from work.  They've got magnetic hands and feet, but of course I forgot that ours being a stainless steel fridge, won't work with magnets.  So they'll have to be crawling up and down the handles..
And here you can see the first batch of stained stairs parts and trims Kel's been working on. I can't wait til he's done to see the results!

Moving Day!

For Kel that is! With the help of his parents, brother, and friends, we've cleaned up most of the place and ripped off the last bits of protective tape and styrofoam. First up, our kitchen side of the island.  We've finally taken off the protective blue film and styrofoam.  We've even boiled a pot of water (as per chinese traditions on move-in day).  Can't wait to start baking in our convection oven and try out the induction range!

The other side of our island aka the dining room.  Please excuse the bare window frames (I promise we'll get to them soon!).   You can see our temporary all purpose table and plastic stools. They've helped us out a lot throughout our renovations!  Kel's put together our two bar stools and finally, our new shiny hardwood floors are ready for pictures!

Our living room with temporary curtains and random knick knacks.  And no, its not hot or stuffy in the house, the fan is another chinese tradition for move-in days.  Our steps and rails aren't quite finished yet, so you can see our shoes on a piece of cardboard at the top of the stairs.  That's the new border of our no shoes zone!

Below left is our office. Kel's moved in and assembled his desk.  We've moved his dresser drawer in here for now, but as you can see, the drawers are still lying on the ground.. :P
Below centre is our master bedroom.  Apparently, today's a good day to move in the lunar calendar, but not a good day to assemble the bed?!  Go figure.  Kel's going to sleep with the mattress on the ground tonight, and assemble the bed frames tomorrow.  We still need to go look for curtains, too.
And below right is our walk-in closet.  We haven't set up the shelves, racks, and all the goodies yet.  But then it's not like Kel's unpacked yet either.

As you can see, we still have a lot of shopping to do for the house and I've started last week with the Droppar jar sale at IKEA. :)

And I'll end this post off with our Quatchi chilling at the house.

A night of scrubbing..

Throughout our renovations, we've tried to be careful and clean up after any drips and splatters around the ensuite bathroom. At the same time, we figured tile floors should be fine, we'd need to scrub them down afterwards anyways, right? Well.... yes and no. Yes, because cleaning up at the end is inevitable. But no, because if we had covered up the floors more, I wouldn't need to scrub as much and hard as I did! I had to scrub the whole night to clean the floors of grout, primer, paint, silicon... etc. You name it, I scrubbed it!  For once, I wished our bathroom wasn't so big...  On the right, you can see the results of my night of scrubbing. The tiles are shiny and silvery once more! Yay!

It's really hard to believe that this used to be a bedroom.  Looking back at the before pictures, it's really kind of crazy.  I couldn't help but take a few more pictures.  I'm thinking of compiling a picture timeline of this room in a later entry!

The room looks so much more complete after putting up the mirror.  You can see the reflection of the shower stall in the mirror.  And I have to say I really love the effect of the floating vanity cabinets!  Good choice Kel!

And please disregard the naked window frame in the reflection.  We'll get to painting that soon!

Before we left for the night, Kel helped me put up a sign to officially corner off our first no-shoes zone! :)

Signs of Success

Ken and Elaine came over to the house yesterday to grab some tools.  They're going to start working on their kitchen, too!  Apparently they've been wanting to get a dishwasher, so they'll be adding an island and opening up some walls.  I guess they're tired of doing dishes for the last couple years and with an added island, they'll have the perfect place to house the dishwasher.  Besides the addition to the kitchen, they're also planning on getting new hardwood floors for the entire main floor as well.  However, there will be a lot more shuffling of furniture for them since they're going to be living there throughout the renovation.

Another sign of success is that I've gotten quite a few people asking (after seeing our after pics) if we were planning to live at our place for long, or if we were looking to flip the house!  Woot! Good job Kel, Erica, the dads and the rest of our helpers for bringing our vision to life!

We're counting down the days now and doing more finishing touches this week.  Kel's planning on moving this Sunday, and we've got the duct cleaning scheduled for Saturday.  We won't be finished with all the touch ups before the move, but this is definitely exciting times!  Pictures of the grand reveal coming soon, I promise!

Hardwood Brands and Quality

Since we bought our hardwood floors on sale, they were dedicated lot sizes. This means that we actually got three different colors and three different brands.  Our master ensuite (bedroom and walk-in closet) is by Mirage, the office is by Superior Flooring, and our living/dining/hallway is by Satin Finish.  After working with these brands, we can honestly say that although all three are Canadian owned and operated, there is quite a bit of difference in quality and care.  Simply the way the wooden planks were packaged inside the boxes speaks volumes. Every other row in the Mirage box was flipped.  This means that the underside of the planks would only come into contact with other undersides, and the smooth finished side with other finished planks. Superior Flooring took even more care with their product, in that they had a thin piece of foam between each row.  Satin Finish was by far the worse of the three. Their wood was laid in one direction so the rough underside of the top rows would be pressing against the smooth finished side of the bottom rows.  One would figure that they'd be more careful being "satin finish" and all, their surface is shiny and more prone to scratches.

As we worked through the house, we found that Satin Finish not only had the most scratches, but also the most defects.  The scratches didn't just come from the poor packaging, but also the poor quality finish.  There were planks with random dents, and sometimes even knots in the wood that wasn't fully finished.  As well, we also found quite a number of cracked pieces, that's broken down the vertical!  By now you may think maybe it's because we used a different species of wood with Satin Finish and so there's an added factor of them having a different hardness.  However, Maple was used for all three brands and so for anybody looking into getting new hardwood flooring, we will definitely recommend Mirage and Superior Flooring over Satin Finish anyday!