Author Archives: carla & pierre

2017 Summer Garden

I did not have a lot of time for my garden during 2017. It was a year full of projects, most of them I still have to post here, and some bumps in the calendar. But as most of the garden is well set, it put a beautiful display nonetheless.



Entryway – panel

As I said in the last post, instead of fully closing the wall with drywall, we opted for a movable panel for the little wall in the corner, the little bump by the door. Behind the mix of wood and drywall covered in wallpaper, all the plumbing and electricity of the second floor passes.

So it is wise to have an easy access to them.

First I built a little side wall, in drywall.

Then, I built the panel in 2 pieces to reducing risks of warping and also to be easier to move. The panels are very light, just 1×2 and pine paneling.

After painted in white and installed, we could see quite well the line between the 2 different panels.

To conceal it and also to be a landing space, I installed a little shelf. And there it is. Another finished projet in the entryway.

I still have to finish the baseboard in the little corner, stripping and repainting the radiator and decorating.



Entryway – the walls

Couple years ago I decided to start a fast project: strip all the wallpaper from the entryway walls. It is a small space, so it should be fast, but I knew there was a risk. As some of the walls are original plaster, you never know exactly what you are going to find.

Obviously, there was several layers of wallpaper over crumbling plaster..


And from a dated entryway we went to a horror movie one.

The problem was that I just had some weeks available to this work so we had to live for a very long time with a construction zone entryway. The first thing to address was repairing de walls by stabilizing the plaster with washers, then patching holes with drywall and a lot of mudding after.

Same thing on the walls by the front door.

The wall on the corridor to the back of the house was in better shape but had its own challenge. At the back, by the door, there was a big patch (that is a sort of built-in on the other side inside the office). The patch was part drywall and part wood.

I also didn’t like the office side of it, so finally we decided to demolish it all.

And patch it properly.

On the opposite side, by the front door, there was a bump on the wall, just behind the radiator. Again it was a mix of drywall and wood.

Under it, it pass all the plumbing and wires of the second floor.

As we will have to rewire most of it at some point and it is always wise to keep this kind of things accessible, I decided to build a removable panel to cover all the pipes and wires. So no closed walls here.




Pierre’s office


We have a new office in the house! If the new houses arrangement, we decided to separate our offices, as both of us work from home and extra space would be nice.  So, the previous TV room, that was initially purple…


And then passed through a fast makeover..


First, we had to address the floor. As most of the house’s floor it was in need of refinishing but in good shape.


I stripped the old varnish mixed with glue and whatever else was mixed there.


Then we cleaned up and sanded everything.


For finishing we decided on staining and oiling. I found an interesting product, that needs just one coat and can be reapplied without stripping or sanding (what is particularly interesting in a house with two running dogs). And here are the floors finished, just before painting the baseboard.


And after furniture and deco went in.

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The new den

A lot has happen this last year and so. I finished woodworking school after two years (I’m not attending the final year) and we bought a second house. We decided for a particular home arrangement and we are now leaving in two houses. So the use of rooms here are changing.

First room to be reassigned was the previous twins rooms. It is now a TV room and also a guest room. It will be also the house library, when I build the bookshelves.

The room is quite small, with sloped ceilings. It had beige walls and floors and bordeaux trimmings.


The plan was to make it lighter and fresher. A cozy, comfortable space to watch movies, read, relax. Walls, trimmings, windows and doors are now painted in white. The tin ceiling got a new coat of white. The floor kept beige. We changed the light fixture.


The radiator got a coat of antique brass, and it is so much nicer.


I also stripped all the painting on the windows pull back to the original brass.


A day bed, that was previously in Kyana’s room, got a lot of pillows to double as sofa, mostly, or bed when the kids come to sleep over.


I am still working on decorating the room, and the other side will get some built-ins to be a sort of library. We might get a new post soon on all that!

Recap – Atelier

The second room in operation beautification was the little kitchen that has became the kids atelier. It had very red wall, half solid red, half sponge painted…


The main goal here was to get rid of all the red.


We had already got some nicer furniture there, and I have some future plans for it that requires some work, so we needed to have it a little nicer till future arrives…

So here is where we are now:

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Recap – Front door

The days before starting the school, I decided to put some deadlines for me as I imagined that it would be difficult to keep working in the house during classes. So, we took the front door out (it was already broken but still functional), so I had some months in front of me to have it finished before winter arrived. And we did it! We installed the door under the first snow, but we did it!


There were some problems with the front door: one of the hinges was broken, forcing even more the others; the hinges were not strong enough; it opened to the side that was more likely to get wind coming in, forcing it open; the hardware was really not beautiful and had nothing to do with the house. So..

The door is not solid wood. But is still very heavy. Someone built it using solid pieces of wood, a lot of them, and two plywood planks. The plywood was in bad shape, but not the structure, so I made some repairs were the wood had rotted, and changed the plywood.


I will have to make some extra coats of red next spring because red on plywood is kind of a complicated mix to achieve a great result. But it is already much better.

The hinges and knob are from a place specialized in replicas, and are very similar to the ones on the basement door (that I don’t know from when it is, but it is problably not original to the house. Or maybe it is, hard to know). And they match the house style much better. The letter box plate is the same that was there before. I just stripped the paint and spray painted in black.