Thursday, 14 August 2014

Baby Got Back - A Backyard Table That Is!

We love having people over, but our table situation wasn't exactly the most desirable. It was more like a game of tetris, with trying to fit friends and food on those small white tables. So, the table started out as a number 1 priority and since I'm man-handy (as we say amongst my friends) my first inclination was to build something. So, as per usual, I set off to find some interesting images and gather ideas! Pinterest to the rescue. And I came up with these.

What I discovered is that I like when the top and the base are different materials and show that difference. As well, I love the use of colour in the last option. But I was also keenly aware that I don't weld or do any form of metal work. And though I could put some wood together, a metal base would be a little bit more complicated. Then I remembered that we had bought our desk legs at ikea, and that I could probably use something from there. So, I headed over to the ikea website to peruse their desk bases. And low and behold, look what I found.

Which was perfect for letting me add my own top, and since it was metal it would be able to withstand the outdoor elements. Never mind the price! Totally worth it. And even getting 2 wouldn't break the bank at $40. So I picked them up and all I had to do was put them together. So in my usually disorderly way, I set up a little workshop and screwed them together. Super simple!

Once the first table was together, I laid out some 1 x 6's and used it as a work station to put the other table together. I also used the flipped over table as a measuring guide for my 2 x 4, which I planned to attach all those 1 x 6's together with. I decided to cut two pieces of 2 x 4, one for each end, and to a size that would fit within the frame.

I decided to screw the pieces together from the underside, as to not create any screw holes in the top itself. I also decided to go with (4) 1 x 6's and (2) 1 x 4's, to give the top a little more interest. But also, as I was attaching the 2 x 4, I really got a sense of how warped some of the wood was, so I decided to really inset one piece of the 2 x 4, and keep all the warped-ness (yep, that's a word) to one side. My plan was to later trim off that really wonky wood. 

But so far I haven't gotten to that. And I'm not actually sure that's what I want to do now. I think with another piece of 2 x 4 and some better securing, I might be able to straighten them out. Maybe I'm just dreaming. Here's what it looks like just completed.

And though it looks done, the table is still on the garden list because of it's incomplete top. I need to secure it again/better and then I want to add some sort of paint detail. Like the bright stripe in the pinterest image above. But I'm also thinking more about something pretty because of the rug pattern. Here's what it looks like now, with a little age. Oh how I love that grey tone it has developed. Now how to keep that and add some interesting design.

Any ideas, do you have any favourite patterns or stencils! I'd love to know.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Drop it like it's hot! - But don't hurt yourself.

And by that I mean, take those shelves down! But be careful not to drop them on yourself or someone else. Well, you're probably wondering what the heck I'm talking about, but today's blog is all about my work office. AKA my worky worky space. I actually have two offices because I have two part-time jobs, but this office is probably, hopefully one day, going to be my real job office. And I say that, because I'M RENOVATING IT!

Which of course it's a huge joke around the office that the first thing the intern architect is doing is renovating is my office. And to be fair, I am actually working on the Emergency Department. But I was told I could make the changes I needed, and I am. Though they aren't life or death. So here's what it looked like after my first couple of days.

It's a pretty classic office. But there wasn't any space to lay out big drawings. You know the type that the architecture firm brings you to review (oh how the tables have turned in my architecture life!). So there was really only two spots with enough space to lay out drawings on, the back part of my deak, or the front part. And since my chair is massive, it was going to be super awkward to stand behind the desk with someone. So that left the front part of my desk. But the issue was that the huge cabinet on the side wall over my desk was in the way. So you know what I said, drop it like it's hot!

So now it looks like this! And I'm surprised by how much brighter and more open it is. The next thing is to not have that strange open space on the back wall. Soon, there will be a small box that fits in that space. But of course I couldn't just have it fitted, I actually want the middle one moved over, so that the little one is in the middle. And all the cabinets hung on the wall, so that there isn't a support piece breaking up the work surface.

Also, I bought a bunch of colorful pots to put on those cabinets, because I can't be a healthcare architect without making sure people have access to light and nature! I'm hoping on Friday afternoon to hit up the Canadian Tire (because it's close to work) for some tropical plants. So if nothing else, next week I should have some plant pictures. Beyond that I want to do a wall quote. Specifically this one by Winston Churchill.

I've done things like this before. Like here, when I did new wayfinding for First Unitarian. What an amazing pic right! Totally the best I had! Sorry.

Or like the one I picked and installed at ADSTV, back in the day. 

But you get the idea. I plan to do it in black, font unknown. That's why I love my silhouette, I can decide and cut and then recut if I want. But I'll probably put it above my desk. Or on the opposite wall. Because the opposite wall will have several magnetic knife stripes.

Because you know architecure is cut throat. No, that't not why. The stripes will be to hang big drawings up on. So it might be nice to have the quote above that space. Also because I'm secretly hoping that one day I'll have a massive screen above my desk to show digital models with. Though that's a big item lust, I'm also currently lusting after a whole wack of this!

Because who doesn't want to fill their desk with Poppin gems! But the next step is to start filling the space with colour and with life!

Are you lusting over any desk gems?
Got anything on your office lust list?
And I don't mean co-workers. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Talk Dirt(y) to Me!

Actually, the truth is there is no more dirt to talk about. Which also means that I've checked another thing off my garden list. As well, I decided to make a "this year" - "next year" swap and I changed the list around so that you can see what I've done (in black), what's left (in green) and what's coming for 2015 (in grey).

Also, you can see that I've crossed off two new items and that's exactly what this blog is about. 

Remember this guy, doing the things he shouldn't? Here he has totally forgotten I'm watching and suddenly thinks he hears my husband coming. Oh spaniel. Well, it was because of this that I decided it was time to deal with a couple of dirty spots in the yard. 

The first area is between the eating area and the back planter, while the other is much more hidden and next to the recycling bins. This might actually be his favourite spot; it is hidden by the garden boxes, making it easier to dig and not get caught. 

To deal with the first section was pretty simple. First, I pinned down the landscape fabric I had put under the carpet, as it was starting to show. I didn't add more fabric because nothing really grows there. I used pea gravel for the edges of the patio and carpets, but I'd also seen the spaniel dig through that in no time, so decided to go with a mix of bigger rocks with the pea. After clearing a little soil, I put the rocks down, mixed them together, and it was done. Oh, and I brought my sad little rhubarb plant over into the area (more about that soon).

For the second spot, I did a similar process. But instead of dealing with landscape fabric, I just pulled all the weeds out, cleared some soil (so that the gravel would be flush with the sidewalk) and laid down some stones.

Once they were in, it seemed a little bare, so I added some more rocks of a different variety. I think the first one was slate and the second one was regular gravel. The mix made it look much more complete. But someone seems upset with the final results!

It's so nice to sit out there with him now and know that he's not secretly digging a hole! Another project done. Now back to that rhubarb. Though I'd planned to find it a new home next year, I found a big planter marked down to $9.99 and I couldn't resist picking it up. 

As you can see, it's twice the size of the current pot the rhubarb is in. The process of the change over was simple, drill holes in the bottom of the pot for drainage, added some gravel (also for drainage), some additional soil, and then add the rhubarb. Done! And I know in a couple of days, it will be happier and healthier! Plus, it's big enough now to not be a tripping hazard to the person getting in and out of the end seat. 

These two quick projects mean that I only have two projects remaining for 2014! Here's the updated list.

And I've been dealing with the canopy, but still haven't resolved it. So that's in progress. Any last garden projects you're trying to finish before fall? Leave a comment and let me know. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Finally Friday! Living Room Carpet

For the past 2 years, we have had one single ikea rug in our living room, which has mostly served as the ottoman's mini carpet. And after getting wall to wall in the bedroom, we thought it was time to get ourselves a little more square footage in the living room, which is also the office and our dinning room. I actually went through three different ideas about how to cover this space. 

Idea #1 - Carpet tiles everywhere! With the main living space as the main priority, we would need at least 9 x 13. And though I'd hoped to do something interesting and fun like the image below, at $672, no way. And even with using the outlet, at $6.99 and needing at least 42 tiles, $294. So Idea #1 was out! 

Idea #2 - Let's just get a second, identical rug from ikea. It would cost $30, and be fine. But after much searching at 2 different ikea stores, and looking on the web, we couldn't find an identical one. Turns out they aren't offering them any more. So no dice on Idea #2. But while we were at ikea we found these. And realized that putting two side by side would only cost us $80, and would cover almost all the space we needed.

Plus, because of their high pile, you wouldn't even see the seam! But deciding on colour was probably the most difficult part of this decision, because my husband fell deeply in love with the pink ones. I felt like the cream ones would get to dirty with the spaniel. SO we decided to compromise and get the green ones. Just joking. We both thought the green was the best option.

But you know me, this couldn't be a post about carpet without a little carpet tile creeping in! So of course Idea #3 was adding a CARPET TILE BOARDER! And after seeing images like these during my bedroom carpet search, I was inspired to push our plain rugs to the next level.

First, I had to figure out how many carpet tiles I would need to make a boarder. I decided to go with a half tile boarder as it seemed the most cost effective and would require the least amount of cutting (compared with a quarter or third of a tile). And check out the total price of the rug below, $1,163.84!

I discovered I would need at least 14, and decided to order 16 for safety. And since I was going with outlet tiles, it only came to $105. I also ordered some additional flor dots. Once everything arrived, I began cutting the tiles in half and laying them around the edge of the carpet. But then it came to the section where the half a tile boarder on one side lead to a strange edge, which meant having a full tile boarder in that space. Because who wants one leg of the couch to not be on the carpet! So I decided to go with the full tile, and cut the half tile to fit.

But then came the moment of connecting the half tile boarder to my new full tile. And this was the last tile I needed to place! So close to the finish!

So I had a choice, put a half tile piece in there or a full tile piece. I decided to check out what both of the options would look like. Here's a peak!

Well, you better believe I went with the full tile piece. Because it looks a bazillion times better. 
Once everything was in place, I went around and stuck them together, I also stuck them to the two rugs. We also decided to get a couple anti-slip mats for under the rugs for added stability. And VOILA! Our living room has a completed rug for under $200.

And as you might notice, I've attempted to repurpose our old rug for under our desk. It's still a work in progress, but it's coming along. Also, you might notice that from the original image to the updated one, we also changed the couch covers. Because let's face it, it was time and finally ikea had some that we liked for a great price ($30 each). But how we ended up with two different coloured ones from the original image, is a whole other post about dyeing fabric (totally a throwback thursday post!). Now just for some new pillows and maybe even some new legs for the couches.