Craftsman Front Porch Posts

Happy Friday, friends!  Today I would like to chat a bit about front porches since the warmer weather has FINALLY visited Southern Ontario and I’m itching to get our front porch all cleaned up and styled for summer living and porch sittin’!

Our current front porch–there she is in all her post-build glory.  Womp womp!  Besides the fact that we are in need of a long and thorough power washing session, I would like to direct your attention to the posts.  I’m so happy with our stone choice and we decided to carry that over to the bottom of the porch posts as you see here.  The top portion of the posts will be in a craftsman style and are currently in progress by my super talented husband.  Our inspiration for the craftsman style porch posts is here:

We hope the top of our posts will look similar to this except without the taper.  You can see at the very back of the top photo that one post already had the trim finished when I took the picture.   Since then Doug has squeezed in some more sessions and now only has one and 1/2 to finish before we break out the caulk and paint to brighten those babies up.  After the posts are finished we hope to add black shutters like this to two of our front exterior windows:

Here is a shot of the front exterior of our house from a while ago–although sadly not much has changed…:

We plan to add the the shutters and window boxes to the windows on the very left (mudroom) and right (master bathroom) similar to this:

window box inspiration

I LOVE generously sized window boxes so they will definitely be deeper than the above, but I do like the look of black shutters and black window boxes on our stone and gray siding so that is the plan for now.

We had plenty of showers in April and early May so decided to harrow the front yard and scatter some grass seed:

It is not coming in as thick as we had hoped but we’re not giving up just yet.  We’ll harrow and over-seed one more time and see if we can get a luscious lawn going before the scorching summer sun arrives…  I’ll keep you posted!

For now we’ll be happy with the little pocket of green I installed on the front porch to help it look a little less brown around here ;-)!  Oh, also I just ordered this rug from Amazon and am so excited to get my hands on that package so we can better welcome guests into our home!

welcome mat

Isn’t it the cutest?!?  I’m so exited for that package to arrive!  I’ll leave you with a few more front porch inspiration photos that I am working with and we’ll see if I can get some welcoming style similar to these set up by the end of the summer…

I love all of the herbs and other plants that brighten up this porch!

The ferns are such a perfect touch here with all of the black and white.

The planters, lanterns and rug–all to die for!

This just invites you to sit and sip some lemonade, doesn’t it?

Loving this simple style for the upper part of the columns.

Again with lanterns and planters to die for!

Lovely and welcoming aspirations…  What is on your front porch?  Comment below and let me know what you think should be on the “perfect front porch”.  Or, do you have an “unfinished” front porch like me and need a little push to add some personality and warmth?  Let’s work on our porches together, shall we?  Keep me posted with your progress on my facebook page: (also to your right in the sidebar menu).

In the meantime, you are welcome to stop by the blog anytime and I hope you feel welcomed and right at home ;-)!  Happy weekend and happy home making!  ♥ Tina


Farmhouse Style Mudroom

Hello, friends!  Today we FINALLY have the mudroom corner pre-reveal for your viewing pleasure.  Although, no one else can be gathering more pleasure from this mostly completed project than I am ;-)!  With six sets of shoes, coats and various other outerwear items needing a spot to land, we were well overdue for this cute yet practical solution.  Here we were a few weeks back at the BEFORE:

This little corner is located on the wall that you face as you enter our home from the garage.  The laundry is to your right and a wall that has a great solution for all those car and house keys is to your left (I’ll post about that soon).  This corner is small but needs to contain all. the. things. if you know what I mean!  One obstacle, other than the size of this corner, that needed a creative design solution was that lovely window which lets in so much light.  After studying the inspiration photos (you can see them all here in this post) we decided that the best solution would be to have the top shelf of our storage unit rest on top of the window trim.  This would also help the room seem more open and take advantage of the 9 foot ceiling height.

Here is the partial install of the mdf we used and you can see the shelf up there, happily resting on the window trim.  Trust me, hubby was also happy with that decision as no extra cutting was needed to shape the shelf edge around the trim.  Despite all of the home improvement projects I throw his way, I do have his best interests in mind at all times ;-).

There he is working away… love it!  Also note the dirty hockey jersey in the foreground…. which means the end of hockey season – yay…and the emptying of hockey bags with stinky equipment – boo!  As you can see our laundry sink, washer and dryer also share the window wall.  This is the only entrance into our home that our sons are allowed to use.  With no grass on our front yard yet, the mud must be contained somehow–mudroom to the rescue!  Although our amazing slate tile-look vinyl flooring helps to hide lots of dirt and grime:



My smart husband purchased side panels for the cubbies with pre-drilled holes for the shelving from Home Depot to make his life a bit easier.  Also, if our needs or basket sizes change in the future, the shelves are easy to adjust.

So that brought us to the point where trim was needed to bulk up the edges of the shelf and bench to make it look more substantial.  AND we decided to shiplap the back wall of the coat hook portion:

And no, we don’t wait for a project to be completed before we start to use it for storage in case you were wondering… 😉  Then it was time to paint and install the hooks.  I used Simply White by Benjamin Moore to coordinate with the trim throughout our entire home.

I love the way the white really makes the shiplap look crisp and clean!  The hooks are from Canadian Tire (here in Canada) and were around $7CAD each.  Here they are at Home Depot for $5.55 each in the United States.  I think that is an amazing price for such a large and expensive-looking hook.  I measured the hook area, made a cardboard template for the screw holes and we were ready to hang those hooks:

I had forgotten this fun little detail but there obviously must have been a Maple Leafs hockey game on tv and my husband obviously didn’t think I would be posting this picture on the blog.  Gotcha!  😉

Oops, back to the store for one more hook.  Since I purchased the hooks before we built the unit, we decided the final coat hook configuration after the unit was built.  Thank goodness the store still had them in stock and we grabbed one more and then voila:

This is not the final reveal as I am waiting for a sunny day 🙁 and I want to sew or find cushions for the bench.  The baskets on the top shelf I already owned and used to sit on top of our mudroom cubbies in our last house.  I need to dig up some pictures of those as they worked so well for our family (each one of us had our own 2′ x 2′ locker with shoe storage below and the basket sitting on a shelf above).  The other four square baskets are from Ikea a long time ago–like 18 years ago– and I am amazed they are still intact as they have held everything from toys, to shoes to hand-me-down clothes.  Definitely worth the initial investment ;-).  Anyway, they fit so perfectly they might just stay here and then I don’t have the added financial and time costs of having to find new ones.  The basket on the floor has always been in our “mudroom” wherever we have lived for the past 11 years and holds an assortment of soccer shin pads, ice skate blade covers, whistles, balls, gloves and general mudroom paraphernalia–don’t pretend you don’t know what I am talking about ;-).

Our family (OK, maybe it’s just me) is so relieved to finally have somewhere organized to hang our jackets and put our shoes!  One more project we can cross off THE LIST!  Speaking of “The List”, I have an exciting reveal coming up of our stairway to the basement, stay tuned but here is a sneak peek:

stairway sneak peek

Have a wonderful Wednesday and thanks for stopping by!  I hope you come again real soon! ♥ Tina


Teen Boy Cottage Bedroom Reveal

Hello, and happy Saturday!  I am so excited to head for the airport soon to pick up our long lost son ;-).  I wrote about where he has been and why he has been away so long yesterday.   I know, it has only been 10 days but we are missing him tons and can’t wait for him to see his NEW ROOM!

cottage basement bedroom for teen boy

So yesterday I mentioned that I was going to sew up a few pillow covers with the buffalo check and deer head fabrics that I purchased recently from  Despite having flashbacks from many of my 4-H sewing disasters years ago, I dug out the old sewing machine and ironing board and got to work.

cottage bedroom teen boy

One chick flick and a few pin pricks later, I managed to complete three pillow covers (two for the bed and one for the chair).  I know, right up there with Martha Stewart, hey?

cottage bedroom teen boy

Ok, so my mom was my 4-H sewing instructor, and maybe that paired with the fact that I was a sassy teenager caused the flashbacks because I didn’t do too badly with these covers after all.  Mom, don’t look too close during your next visit–definitely NOT 4-H fair quality ;-).

The desk is now complete.  I used gray chalk paint to paint the trim and bars on the bottom and paired with the twin bedframe legs I told you about yesterday… I think it turned out great–simple and cottagy looking!

cottage bedroom teen boy

We were also pleasantly suprised with how well the ceiling turned out.  I talked about how we tackled that project here.

We ended up using a leftover light fixture (found on Amazon here) we had from our build since it would give plenty of light, is mounted close to the ceiling and we already had it on hand.  I tried to use materials that we had on hand already for this bedroom as a challenge for myself to see how much we could actually save.

The nightstand is one his older brother had in our previous home and doesn’t clash too badly so we are using it for now.  He made the concrete bedside lamp in shop class at school last year so I just added an Edison bulb to make it more vintage-looking.

Great-opa’s wardrobe is in the corner under the bulkhead storing all of his clothing and hamper.

cottage bedroom teen boy

His grandpa’s guitar closes off the tour.  He used to mention guitar lessons from time to time so I had him try some sample lessons on the internet and he soon lost interest.  Um mmm, momma knows how much she used to HATE piano lessons.  You can be sure I am going to test how serious my boys are before dropping major cash on any sort of music lessons.  NOTE:  As well as being my patient and kind 4-H sewing instructor, my mother also lovingly forced me to take 8 years of piano lessons.  I’m suprised I’m not in therapy ;-).  Sorry you didn’t get your money’s worth, mom.  Love you ;-)!

cottage bedroom teen boy

Anywho, sure had fun doing this project for my 17-year-old son and we finally get to show him his new room late tonight–actually VERY early tomorrow morning.  Also, props go out to my super husband who crafted the plank ceiling, framed, drywalled, taped and installed the flooring and trim (oh and also the blinds and light fixture).  Obviously I could have done it without him but why work on something alone when we could squeeze in some quality “couple time” ;-).  Love you, babe!

Was anyone else out there forced to take music lessons?  Maybe I am the only one that didn’t like piano lessons, but despite the teen angst-filled sewing instruction sessions, I’m sure glad I know how–thanks, mom!

♥ Tina

Cottage Basement Bedroom is Done – Teenage Son is Stranded…

Happy Friday, everyone!  So sorry for the blogcation I took this week.  I have been a busy little bee trying to get our son’s bedroom completed before he returned home from his mission trip late Wednesday night.  Guess what?  He is STILL in Haiti!  It is a bit of a story so let’s continue with the progress pictures while I tell it.

cottage basement bedroom teenage son

Here we are at the beginning of this week.  My super amazing husband managed to get the floor installed and most of the trim done by Monday so I could get some detail painting done.

building house making home basement bedroom laminate floor

We are so pleased with how the laminate flooring turned out.  We chose the Classen Megaloc in Sahara Oak from Lowe’s because of the light variated gray tones and also because of the $1 per square foot sale price ;-).   The light gray color helped with the beachy/cottagy theme I was going for.

And it did feel really beachy inside the bedroom until I looked out the window :-(.  Speaking of beaches, back to our son in Haiti.  Due to some political unrest, there was a strike at the airport on the day they were scheduled to fly out and their flights were cancelled.  I prayed for his emotional state on that day because our second son is not one to take a change in plans well.  We were very thankful his group was not at the airport and could stay safely at the mission for the time being.

cottage bedroom shelf paint stain


There is a shelf on two walls of his room that we wanted to paint and stain to match the flooring as closely as we could.  I began by painting about one foot at a time with the same gray paint (Sherwin Williams Light French Gray) I used on the walls and then immediately wiping it off with a damp cloth.

After that dried, I broke out the Minwax Dark Walnut stain and did the same thing with the stain–brushed on one foot and then immediately wiped with a cloth.

cottage bedroom shelf paint and stain

That technique ended up giving the shelf the exact coloring we were going for so I stopped after that step and didn’t fiddle with it anymore.

stays clear polyurethane

The final step was to apply some Stays Clear Acrylic Polyurethane to the shelf to seal it and make it more durable.  Good thing this product stays clear because we spent the entire day on Wednesday being very unclear on when our son would be able to fly home.

cottage basement bedroom teenage son

So here we are with the planked ceiling trimmed and the shelf now matching the floors – yay!

dutch armoire in basement cottage bedroom

Next step was to assemble the wardrobe from my husband’s grandfather who immigrated to Canada in the 40’s and took most of his family’s furniture with him.  This baby has been in more houses than I can count on two hands!  It is still standing strong due to some amazing 1930’s European construction–they just don’t build them like they used to ;-)!  It actually completely comes apart and folds to lay flat.  Maybe this was one of the first IKEA pieces?  😉  One of the handles is broken but I plan to fix that soon.  Anyway, it is pretty special for our son to have his great-grandfather’s wardrobe for a closet and it is so spacious–it doesn’t look big in this shot, but trust me, it is massive!

cottage basement bedroom teenage son blinds

I had accidentally ordered an incorrect size of bamboo blinds from Amazon in December so we just made sure that the window frame was appropriately sized so that the blinds would fit in this bedroom and it turned out to be a happy accident!  I love how the bamboo brings some warm tones into the very gray room!  And yep, still snow on the ground…

black painted door

Another finishing touch was to paint the door black.  This is a picture after the first coat.  The next challenge we faced was what to use as a desk.  We had some old twin bed frames hanging around our basement–does anyone else have that problem?  They are SO hard to get rid of! 😉  #furnituresquatters  Anyway, my husband and I devised a plan to cut up one of the frames to create four legs for a desk.  Now what to use for the top?

desk in cottage basement bedroom

We also happened to have various pieces and sizes of melamine from old furniture, shelving and reno projects saved up and stored in our basement as strange couples like us do.  We found a four by two foot gray piece that would work perfectly for a desk.  This shows the “desk” before the final trim was installed and painted around the top edge.  Again, full reveal coming tomorrow.  Speaking of coming tomorrow… our son will now arrive home late tomorrow night and I’m sure he will be so tired he won’t care where he sleeps, but it will be in his BRAND NEW BEDROOM nonetheless ;-)!  Woot woot!  I’m so glad we didn’t know about his flight delay until Wednesday or I don’t think I would have gotten as much done this week!  After finishing the bedroom, I managed to reoganize some closets and clean up more areas in our unfinished basement in preparation for finishing those areas as well!

Another reason I am saving the full reveal for tomorrow is because I added a few details after I took the above pictures and I plan to sew up a few pillow shams tonight for his bed and chair.  Remember these fabrics?
Buck Forest Night

So excited to get started on that final project to complete the bedroom.  Yay for a super productive March Break!  If I can’t be lounging on a beach somewhere on the break, I certainly want to be accomplishing loads at home.

What did you do on your Spring/March Break?  If you spent it at an all-inclusive resort somewhere hot, please don’t comment.  Just kidding!  I’m happy for you, really I am….  😉

♥ Tina

Cottage Basement Bedroom Progress

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  Today I wanted to quickly share the progress on our son’s cottage-style basement bedroom so far.  We had a productive weekend and the ceiling and walls are now painted and the flooring installation is halfway done.

cottage basement bedroom for teen boy

The ceiling was painted with white ceiling paint (no specific color–just got it off the shelf that way and had the associate shake it up for me).  We chose Light French Gray from Sherwin Williams for our wall color:  Light French Gray Sherwin Williams


In our previous home, our master bedroom was painted that shade and so I know that it is a GOOD, NEUTRAL gray–doesn’t read green or very blue at any time of the day.

My handy husband had ripped sheets of thin plywood into strips and installed them so that I could do most of the painting all at the same time.  I had originally hoped to be able to paint these planks before he installed them, but the timing didn’t work out on that :-(.  The fact that we both work full-time means sacrifices in optimal project step timing.  Oh well, I’ll take a DONE project over a perfectly-timed project-IN-PROGRESS any day ;-).

I do plan to paint the trim before he nails it in place but we’ll see if that actually works out.  I’m planning to use Benjamin Moore’s Simply White for the trim in the basement as that is our trim color on the main floor.

We plan to install simple shaker-style trim in this room similar to the above.  I am so impressed with the laminate flooring that we got for such a good price ($1/sq. ft. CAD)!

cottage basement bedroom for teen boy

The flooring reads more gray in real life so ties in well with the wall color.   We currently don’t have a nightstand for this bedroom so I’m looking at options for painting a thrift store find or having hubby whip something up.  What do you think of the options below?

teen boy nightstand

teen boy nightstand

Your comments would be appreciated on the nightstand issue as I have a very limited time frame to decide!  I’m so excited to get the trim finished in this room so I can start moving in furniture and styling in time for my son’s return home.  I’m sure he will really appreciate all of my decorating and styling efforts . . . #teenagerenoughsaid  😉

Thanks for stopping by today and come again real soon!

♥ Tina

Cottage Style Bedroom in the Basement

Woo hoo, it’s Friday!  Can’t wait for the weekend to begin so I can tackle all of the fun painting projects I have planned to squeeze in!  Remember this planked ceiling?cottage bedroom planked ceiling


This is the ceiling in the first basement bedroom we are currently finishing up.  My husband and I were brainstorming ways we he could do less drywall taping for this project and we came up with the idea to plank the ceiling.  I had wanted to plank the walls instead (#shiplapobsession) but the ceiling made more sense for this project.  Then I was thinking back to an inspiration photo I had from the last time we finished a basement bedroom for a teen boy:

Lettered Cottage Guest Bedroom
The Lettered Cottage

You guys, that bedroom had a planked ceiling!  And I loved it four years ago–and I still love it now!  Which means it has timeless style.  I still have the red paint that I had planned to use in that former bedroom somewhere so I’ll incorporate it somehow…  door, dresser, chair, stool, nightstand?  I recently purchased some black and white buffalo check fabric

and also some other cottagey-looking fabrics

Buck Forest Night

that I plan to use for pillows on his bed and curtains, etc.  And you all know I already have a can of black paint from my recent stairway painting project ;-).  We also already have the bamboo blinds as I must have accidentally ordered the wrong size for an upstairs window – oops!  Happy accident though because I love how Layla used the bamboo blinds to help warm up the space along with the light wood floors and baskets in the inspiration room.

Lettered Cottage Guest Bedroom
The Lettered Cottage

We picked up some laminate flooring on sale for only $1/sq. foot at Lowes similar to this:

light laminate flooring

It is all starting to come together… in my head ;-).  Now to make it come together in the actual room!  I have my rollers and brushes ready and plan to prime and paint this weekend so that my hubby can install the flooring and trim next week.  Ceiling will be white and the walls will be Sherwin Williams Light French Gray:

Light French Gray Sherwin Williams

Our son, Tyson, who we are completing this room for, is leaving for a mission trip to Haiti early on Wednesday morning so I don’t think we’ll be quite finished before he leaves.  But definitely done upon his return… #fingerscrossed

Here is a quick peek at another little project I completed while I had that black can of paint opened up last weekend (when I have a can of paint open, watch out!  Nothing is safe!):

mud room door before

So here is the door that enters into our mud/laundry room from our garage.  As you can see, the whites didn’t match (and also the door handle was installed crooked).  Drove me a lot little crazy but wasn’t high on the priority list of things to adjust.  However, once I had that can of black paint open, I had my husband adjust the handle and then went to town on this baby and voila:

black mud room door

I love how the black door pulls in the black from that French laundry sign (Chambre de Blanchisserie is French for “Laundry Room”) and contrasts with all of the white and gray in this room.  Now I’m looking for a striped rug similar to what Erin has in her kitchen ( for this room.

black and white striped rug

I have such fun plans for this room above the washer and dryer and in the coat/shoe storage area!  Can’t wait to show you…  Actually can’t wait to get STARTED on that project and finally have some functional storage in this room!  Coats, hats, mitts, boots and shoes for a family of six is not a pretty sight when there isn’t functional storage installed.  BUT, let’s focus on a project that I DO have complete, shall we?

black mud room door before and after


Yay for completed home projects and yay for the weekend!  Enjoy yours, I know I will enjoy mine (primer fumes will help)!  And maybe a little glass of wine to celebrate when I’m done will help too…  😉


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