Baby’s Room is Ready

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, baby, Home Decor

We’re now 34 weeks into the pregnancy and the baby’s room, for the most part, is completely ready for his arrival. I’ve been “nesting” for a while now, so it’s both comforting and sad that his room is ready – sad because now I have nothing left to “nest” with!

The baby's roomBaby's Room

The baby’s room is painted in two colors from Benjamin Moore with their Aura series paint, which is what we used for the entire house. The top color is Limesickle, 2145-50, and the bottom is Guilford Green, HC-116. We had a simple chair rail installed in white, which is the same as the crown and baseboards, which you can’t see in the photo. The curtains in the room are from Pottery Barn Kids and feature a green and white stripe with brown stitching accent stripes.

The crib, dresser / hutch and side table are a part of the Rossport collection from College Wood Work. The crib converts to a day bed then to a double bed, so it was a good investment piece. Adding the hutch to the dresser gives us a lot of extra storage, though there’s also a pretty decently-sized closet in the room (not pictured). The chair is a leather glider recliner from Dutailier, though it is last year’s model (Intermezzo series). We got it at a discount, and I actually prefer it to this year’s model. Since it doesn’t “look” like a nursery glider, we’ll be able to transition it to our living room eventually.

As you walk into the room, the crib is straight ahead from the door, against an inside wall. Behind the crib we have the artwork our friends and family made at the baby shower. To the right of the crib is the hutch, while to the left is the chair & side-table in front of the window. The door is on the same wall as the closet, neither of which are pictured.

New Toys for Christmas

Posted in Cooking, Gadgets & Gizmos, Home Decor

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?? We did!!


It was a great Christmas, I do have to say. All around fantastic. I spent 5 days in Toronto in early December to have an early Christmas with my mom and family, and had a quiet, if snowy, Christmas at home with Ianiv and my family here. Ianiv and I, without knowing it, each got each other a fun ‘big’ gadget for Christmas. Nothing camera related this time around (shocking, isn’t it?).

I got Ianiv the Cuisinart Griddler and Ianiv got me the Dyson Handheld Vacuum Cleaner.

My intention was to buy an upgraded version of the George Foreman Grill for Ianiv – something with grill plates that could be removed to clean or go in the dishwasher. We hated that our old model couldn’t do that. However, when shopping around I fell in love with the Cuisinart model. It came with 2 grill panels (grooved and flat) and could be used as a press or could open and lie flat for pancakes or something of that nature. It works with far better results than our previous indoor grill, and we have used it quite a lot already.

The little Dyson handheld was on my list for this year after I stumbled across it on their website. Earlier in the year we replaced our vacuum with the Dyson Canister vacuum. It’s lighter, quieter, easier to maneuver on the stairs, and gets up a really incredible amount of dirt and dust. Far more than anything we were getting up before. I love it, but even with its light size shouldn’t really be carrying it up and down the stairs with my injuries.

So, in steps the new handheld. If there’s some cat hair or something really bugging me on another floor of the house, I can grab the little handheld and clean it up. It has the same power as the canister vacuum, but is easier to use. Primarily I wanted it because it promises 5 minutes of full power work. Our previous handheld did about 30 seconds of “sort of” cleaning. Not picking up everything, but kind of helping. Drove me nuts.

So, those are our new gadgets. What did you get??

New Railing

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Home Decor

Yesterday, our new railing was installed. We’re getting the railing installed between the dining room and sunken living room (as shown here), as well as up the stairs (to be completed next week).

New railing

The spindles are from BH Woodturning:

The railing is not bamboo, but was stained to match as closely as possible. You’ll see how closely when we take some higher resolution images. ;)

Renovations Day 6

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Home Decor

Today is Day 7 of the renovations, but here are some pictures from the progress made up until last night:

These are just photos from my iPhone, so I’ll upload better quality shots when everything’s all done.

Today they are going to finish the majority of the flooring, leaving only the stairs and finishing work. Progress! Still, we’re looking at a few more days of mess and chaos.

Renovation Progress – Day 5

Posted in Home Decor

It’s day 5 of the major renovation of our floor. As I mentioned in my previous post, we hit a few snags in the demolition process. We ended up having to re-build the majority of the stairs and to grind down the concrete of the entrance. The whole process of demolition, plus these details, set us back a full day in the process. Today they began laying down the bamboo floor in the living room and part of the dining room:

Renovation in Progress

Our house is a dusty mess right now. But it’s great to feel that things are happening. I love love love the new stairs! I hated the design of the previous ones – though they flowed nicely, the sharp edge was just an accident waiting to happen. Here’s a before / after (well, so far).

Before PhotosRenovation in Progress

The stairs were also not to code because the railing had been removed, so that will go in later next week. But now that whole corner has much more room – it was essentially un-usable before.

The full renovation photo set can be found here.

Squak Mountain Stone

Posted in Home Decor

We returned to Greenworks on the weekend with our samples, only to go home with new samples. This time, for our fireplace (which was converted to gas). Once we begin the floor renovation, we’d like to demo part of the fireplace to make the hearth level with the floor and to cover the pastel-shaded brick in some way (plaster or new tile / stone).

We took a look at Squak Mountain Stone, a green material developed by Amee Quiriconi. The material is made of recycled paper, recycled glass, coal fly-ash and cement. It’s hand cast into slabs or tiles that look a lot like natural stone.

We’re currently considering the tiles to create a hearth flush with the new bamboo flooring, and also to apply on top of the old brick of the fireplace. It matches well with the floor – we chose the amber – and has a lovely texture.

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Our Path to Sustainable Flooring

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Home Decor

It’s renovation time again – in fact, it’s time for the renovation. The one we’ve been anticipating and dreading in the year and a half since we purchased our house. It’s time to redo our floors. Namely, the "1st floor" 3-level area of living room, dining room, kitchen & stairs that’s covered with sandstone. Unsealed outdoor sandstone (see stair photo to right). It’s not so bad looking, but it’s uneven, can’t be cleaned, and cold. It has to go.

We’ve been mulling over our options for as long as we’ve owned the house. Our other 2 floors were laminated by the previous owners. They look nice, but we’re not big laminate fans. Hardwood is undoubtedly more expensive, but more appealing. No matter the final flooring solution, the project will start the same: full demo of all tile and subfloor, new subfloor, carpentry on stairs to change the alignment, removal of carpet in living room, demo of part of the fireplace.

Since those costs will not change regardless of our flooring choice, we chose not to let it influence our decision of flooring. We started looking into what floors would be durable with 2 cats and found ourselves drawn to much more natural grained products, including bamboo. We came home with some samples of teak and bamboo and did some research. We looked at hardness/durability (Janka scale here) and looked at the costs of different products (bamboo is less expensive than other woods, although different products have different installation costs).

It wasn’t a huge leap to go from liking the bamboo to deciding to go all the way and look into doing a fully "green" floor. We did some research on bamboo and found that, while bamboo is a sustainable product, the flooring sold in most stores was most likely not "green" – using sealers and glues that are not eco-friendly. In fact, the bamboo was likely too young, making it prone to warping over time.

Yesterday we paid a visit to Green Works in Vancouver, which is a fully "green" building supply store. They have a lot of amazing stuff, but we were there to look at the EcoTimber flooring. We were open to any of their products, but the bamboo came out victorious again both on appeal and price. We saw our first sample of strand-woven bamboo and fell in love. Here are the two colour options – honey and amber:

Strand woven bamboo flooring is made of bamboo strands pressed together with a durable resin. Not only does it have more of a wood-grain finish, less linear than traditional bamboo flooring, but it is much more durable than traditional bamboo flooring – at 3,000 per Janka (very very hard).

Green Works gave us a lot of information about flooring in general, and the consideration of not just the material but also the finish in terms of durability considerations. The bamboo comes pre-finished, which makes it less likely to scratch, but more difficult to repair when scratched. This is the same with any pre-finished flooring. Floors that are unfinished can be sealed, and spot patched, as time goes on. More work but more easily repaired.

I feel like, at this point, we have a lot of information to make an educated decision about what flooring is best for us. I believe we will likely go with the EcoTimber woven bamboo option, as it’s only slightly more expensive than a non-green bamboo floor. It’s an expensive investment overall, but one we feel is worth it.

We have samples of both the amber & honey colours and are shifting them from room to room. Both are beautiful options. Hopefully we can make a decision on colour and begin the much more complicated process of hiring a contractor to do the major work of demo & installation. And we are hoping to budget in Fresh Start for the environmental disposal of all our reno mess.

Stay tuned for what will be an exciting (and stressful) renovation process!

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