Archives: house

baby room

Sometimes, if I don’t think about it, I forget that when we first bought our house it was in some pretty rough shape. I didn’t think it at the time but now looking back and seeing how much work we’ve done, I can see that it has come a looong way. There’s still a million things we still want to do, but I think that this will always be the case.

Here’s the Before and After of the room that has become Omi’s room.

Before

This room wasn’t the worst of the rooms we’ve renoed. However, it was wallpapered, which always sucks to peel off, AND as I peeled the wallpaper we found some black mold growing all around the window. The wood of the window was rotting and the moisture was getting trapped in between the wall and the layer of wallpaper. It was super gross. We stripped the walls down, insulated and ended up having to put in a new window. Once it was a fresh and new I moved all my things in, and it served as my office and guest room until Omi’s arrival.

After

 

This tiger print was a gift from our friends Jen Hsieh and Kyle Reed from Sorry You’re Happy. Kyle did the artwork -which I love! Every morning when Omi wakes up we say good morning to the various characters from the art work around his room. We call this one El-tigre (there’s Rooster & the Egg-man too).

For Omi’s baby shower we asked for books to build a library. His shelves are now pretty stocked. There are so many fabulous new children’s books out there; I can’t wait to discover Omi’s favourites and to reread and share some of the books and authors that I loved to read when I was a kid too.

a first for everything

This year has been a first for many things; becoming parents, being married and now our very first Christmas tree. Steve and I aren’t crazy Christmas celebrators so we tend to slack in the decorating and yuletide spirit department. There was a lot of talk this year of getting a Charlie Brown inspired Christmas tree foraged from the forest. Instead I did a quick last minute pick up of a mini table-top tree with tree stand and everything. It was easy to transport and seemed to fit with the ease of our non comital Christmas mode.

With a few friends, some popcorn and cranberry garlands were strung. Being a mini tree it was in no time that it was all dolled up and decorated with the Christmas decorations I inherited from my parent’s from when we were kids.

These are two of my favourite glass Christmas balls. I feel like they don’t make them like they used to anymore; so delicate and beautiful.

A very merry Christmas to you all! Can’t wait until Christmas morning to have the traditional Narula Christmas morning feast!

 

fiesta forever…

I would say that we’re no traditionalists when it comes to baby showers and other such celebrations.  So when my sister and friend offered to plan a “baby shower” they made sure it would be as unorthodox of a shower as you could get.  We went with the theme of a fiesta! I couldn’t have thought of a more fun and colourful way to celebrate.

Collaboratively we gathered up, bought and made fiesta decorations for the house and yard which were fabulously vibrant.  Everything looked so beautiful! The weather cooperated and it was proper summer hot and breezy.

Setting up pre-fiesta, with morning sun shining in.

frida kahlo drink coasters, fiesta wedding, fiesta baby shower

Loved the Frida Kahlo drink coasters!

Lavender, mint lemonade with lemon ice pucks.

We had a tub of cold cerveza, Mexican pop, and sangria. And of course a party would also not be complete without… tequila!

Since we already had our friends and family in attendance, and since there was great food, drinks, and lovely decorations up -Steve and I had thought to ourselves why not combine this baby-fiesta with non other than a SURPRISE WEDDING!! And that’s just what we did.

It was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done.  I loved seeing the expressions of shock on everyone’s faces, followed by tears, exclamations, and hooting and hollering.  We had such a fabulous day celebrating AND not to mention I felt content having escaped the pressures and stress that all come when you plan an unsurprise wedding.  There were people that of course we would’ve liked to have invited and would’ve travelled from a far to celebrate with us but this surprise wedding really made everything so simple and brought it back down to the basic crux of the matter -we got married and we had so much fun doing it!!

fiesta wedding, surprise wedding

 

set for 8

Over the weekend we had some friends over for brunch.  I love the brunch get together: it’s casual, involves my favourite type of meal, and it’s not an all day affair (leaving ample time for late Sunday afternoon lounging).

I was pleased as punch that we actually had a set of matching dishes that could seat 8 people!  Our glasses set is only at 6, but the rest of the dishes and cutlery made it all around.  I inherited this dish set from one of my parent’s friends.  My parent’s are at the age where all of their friends are downsizing and moving to condos.  So I’ve been encouraging my mother to send me over for visits as people sift through and purge.  From this little tactic we’ve managed to score some great finds.

The table was set and the sun was shining through and everything looked so nice.  I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures.

table set

brunch, table setting, vintage plates, and cups

street find

A couple of weeks ago I spotted an amazing street find just outside of La Cantina.  It was still there a few hours later, so we went and picked it up.  It’s found a nice little spot in our living room.  I’m not entirely sure if it will be a permanent fixture, but for now I think it’s alright.  I love curb-side finds!

curbside find, green vinyl bench

trim

The trim is finally up!  During the renos last summer Steve salvaged the old original 10″ baseboards, which have been painstakingly reaffixed to their appropriate walls.  It was a tough job as each wall’s baseboard did not necessarily measure up or match with the pieces that we had left over post reno.  The size of the baseboard from wall to wall varied anywhere from 9 to 11″ tall.  So it was a matter of puzzling everything back together and making some nice clean angled corner cuts too.  So happy that Steve took on this precision work.

old 10" trim, victorian house

Luckily this time around we had a little help from our friend the nail gun.  This saved me from my usually assigned task of tapping in nail heads with a counter sink and hammer (groan).  Thank you compressed air nail gun, you were my savior!

The outcome was grand.  We went with a soft semi-gloss grey, and added another piece of 2-3″ trim to help with the gap that appeared between the wall and floors during the reno when 4 layers of flooring was ripped out.

refurbished 10" victorian trim

Last we painted the interior front and basement doors with a nice dark blue-black, which I feel makes everything look nice, clean and polished.

Sometimes it feels like we still have so much more to do, but when I think about it retrospectively, we are living in a totally different space that pretty much looks unrecognizable to how it looked when we moved in 2.5 years ago.  I love it!

 

 

when we was young

Back when we were young(er -ahem), Steve and I lived in a very old storefront building on Queen West at Ossington in Toronto.  It was in truth a bit of a ram shackle dive but we liked it, the rent was cheap, and we had no lease!  It was a 2 bedroomer and had a giant urban rooftop.  The master bedroom was huge and doubled as my workspace, and the 2nd bedroom operated as Steve’s studio.  We threw some legendary parties in that apartment for many a year, and Steve along with the art collective A Collection of Foreign Objects even had an art show in the temporarily vacant apartment below us.

Looking back I can’t believe that we lived there for 4 years! We saw the neighbourhood go from dodgy to mega hipster.  We moved to Hamilton just in time to miss the Ossington super explosion of gentrification and boy am I glad we got out of there when we did.  Queen Street was getting progressively rowdier and the local watering holes were no longer really servicing the locals. I couldn’t be bothered to wait in line ups, compete for taxis or navigate through crowds of overpacked swassy bars.  Don’t get me wrong I still think it is a great area and I still love going back to visit to check out all the new places that are continuing to pop up on that strip and beyond.  However, I do have to say that I really adore where we live now. Hamilton, I have no regrets!

seema narula, queen st. west, toronto

Walking down the old 'hood back in winter of 2006.

Fluorescent green kitchen. Note the tape collection. Awwe I kinda miss our eating nook.

 

festiveness for the rest of us

Usually I am not one to really go all out and decorate for Christmas.  Actually for the past 7+ years Steve and I have really done nothing in the form of holiday decorating.

Since I was hosting my staff Christmas party at our house this year, I thought that it probably wouldn’t be acceptable to be a total grinch.  This would have to be the year that we do it up (just a little) for Christmas and the holidays.

My mission with this started off with buying some cedar and pine boughs from the corner of Main St. and Ottawa.  They had a fresh and wonderful collection of cedar boughs.  The next stop was to Gage park to collect some pine cones for table centre pieces, which were actually strangely hard to find. I also picked up some tangerines, cloves and red ribbon from the store to make some deliciously scented orange and clove ornaments.

Gaige Park, Hamilton

With the sun setting on Gage park, and the temperature dipping we got home and warmed ourselves with some hot chile cocoa and marshmallows before getting down to business.  I was a bit of a neighbourhood sleuth/thief as I clipped a couple mini branches of red berries from the house down the street.

Christmas door decoration, wreath, cedar boughs, pine

My friend Lis, who was visiting for the day, helped to make our tangerine clove decorations.

clove and orange Christmas decorations, ornaments

A few final decorative Christmas pieces came from my parents house.  I visited them a few days back and dragged out from under their stairs, an old box of Christmas decorations.  My favourites were these quilted ornaments.  Although, we did decorate this year, we haven’t ventured into the world of Christmas trees yet, so I hung the quilted ornaments on picture frames, and door knobs.

quilted Christmas ornaments

I even strung some popcorn cranberry garlands, and made little cedar and pinecone centre pieces for the tables. I admit having a little Christmas spirit did me no harm.  Maybe we’ll even move on to a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree for next year.

 

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