Ottoman Considerations

Did you have a good weekend? I think the busyness of the holidays and client projects caught up with me, and I found myself with less energy than normal. I’m not a big fan of lazy weekends, but I guess occasionally doesn’t much matter.

Today I’m back at it with a trip planned into the city to check on the progress of a client’s renovation project and then I’ll be swinging by a few furniture and accessory stores to source items for our basement. Luckily our sectional sofa has been ordered and our ottoman fabric has been chosen in a couple shades darker with a textural woven pattern. Now I just need to decide on the style. Because the sectional is the same length on either side, I’m leaning towards a large square ottoman with storage for blankets, pillows and whatever else we want to tuck away (too much storage is never a problem).

Ryley Ottoman- WhittakerThe difficulty lies in finding a large square storage ottoman with some kind of detailing. I don’t want it to look like a large lump in the middle of the room, yet it needs to be comfortable and serve as a cocktail table (equipped with a tray) while entertaining. I really like the look of button-tufting, but adding it is a substantial upgrade, and I’m trying to convince myself it’s worth it.

Square Tufted Storage Ottoman- Ballard

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Family-friendly Upholstery Fabrics + Basement Sectional Update

As soon as we were able to clean and organize everything in the basement after our renovation, I turned my focus on a few other projects around the house. Do you ever get tired of focusing on one area of your home for so long that you’re happy to put it on the back burner for a while and tackle something else?

That’s not to say we haven’t enjoyed spending time down there. In fact, our basement family room is used on a daily basis and we’re really appreciating the flexibility it has given us while entertaining, as well as being the perfect solution when I just don’t want to watch another football game and can retreat to our upstairs family room instead.

Now that I’ve had some time to look at the basement with fresh eyes, I’m ready to push forward and make the final decisions for furniture and window treatments. You may remember that I wrote a post way back about some of the sectional sofas we were considering. Well, I discovered a few downsides to some of the fabrics we were looking at, like not being able to spot-clean them or having a tendency to pill quite bad. I had to go back to the drawing board and find a balance between design and function.

At the moment we have it narrowed down to two sectional styles- one with a roll arm by Stylus and another with a square arm by Whittaker Designs. The roll arm is definitely the most comfortable choice, but the square is a nice clean-lined look.

Tofino roll arm sofa by Stylus

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Storage Rooms + Why I Need to Put Thrifting On Hold

Is it just me or did this week seem to fly by? Now that I’ve put my outdoor projects to rest for a while, I thought I’d turn my focus to organizing our basement storage rooms. I thought it seemed like the perfect opportunity before our media room gets filled with new furniture and I’m left with little room to pull everything out, get rid of the drywall dust from our basement renovation, and put it all back a little more organized than it was in the first place. If you’ve lived through a renovation, you know that dust and debris gets everywhere. Although I covered as much stuff as possible with plastic, the mess that was left when the dust finally settled (sorry, couldn’t resist), was a just a little overwhelming.

Although we still have a full day of work before our storage rooms are complete, I wanted to show you some of the progress we’ve made. Remember those double shaker style doors we installed for ease of moving items in and out of the side room (predominantly the treadmill)? It’s one of the best decisions we made.



It works really well to swing the doors wide open and easily retrieve storage tubs or whatever else we’re needing at the time. It also prevents the narrow room from feeling too tight.

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Construction is Finally Done! {Our Basement Reveal}

After weeks of planning, and what turned out to be months of construction, our basement is finally ready to occupy. If you’ve been following along on this renovation journey, you know that back in early May we set out to create a family TV and entertaining area. With a few obstacles, combined with summer holiday trade schedules, our timeline seemed to expand. But, as of this week, we are finally able to make use of the space.

Remember what we started with? It was basically an open space to store everything from hockey equipment to Christmas decorations. It was also where my teenage son and his friends would hang out (reluctantly). Definitely not the most welcoming area in the house!



I don’t think we have anything to feel guilty about anymore. Somehow I think the basement may be preferred over our upstairs family room! Here’s a shot of the newly added closet that fit perfectly between those two support posts.



As you may remember, we wanted to fully utilize the area to the left of the stairwell and decided to create a storage room.



We added double doors to allow for easy access to our treadmill and large storage tubs.


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It’s All in the Details {Basement Update}

We’re rounding third base on our basement renovation and I couldn’t be happier. To recap, we started with an unfinished basement and set out to create a family-friendly room for entertaining and relaxing, as well as additional space for when we have overnight guests. To date, with a lot of help, we’ve completed the framing, electrical, drywall, trim work, painting, and flooring. Here’s a sneak peek of our progress.

Our Basement Renovation

Like most renovations, we’ve had our share of bumps along the road, including doors that didn’t match, an obvious slope in one corner of the ceiling, and speaker wires installed backwards (to name a few). However, these have all been addressed and the room is shaping up to be just as we had envisioned.

The next step in our basement journey is re-hanging the shaker style doors, finishing off the snack bar area, and mounting the TV and speakers (in those little niches). I’m also waiting on two ceiling light fixtures to arrive so they can be installed in the stairwell and hallway. Then it’s on to furnishing and decorating the space.

While I was planning the snack bar area, I had trouble deciding on a number of factors. Should the cabinets be painted white or grey? Upper cabinets with glass doors or open shelving? Subway tile backsplash or marble? Overhead lighting or under cabinet? The number of decisions to make for this small area really added up.

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