Bicycle Art for the Living Room

We went to Southern California on vacation a couple of weeks ago.  The vacation started with a family reunion on a lake, then to the beach to see friends, then out to the Palm Springs area to spend time with more good friends.  We had a great time!   While in the desert, my good friend and I hit Home Goods.  As soon as I saw this picture, I was smitten!

I love canvas art, love flowers, love the bike, love the colors....  But, I had recently found a piece of typewriter art that I loved too.  I thought about it overnight, then rushed back to Home Goods and luckily it was still there.  I decided that I would change out the art as I change out the pillows with the seasons since I love both pieces.

I found these blue/green ticking pillows at Pottery Barn.  (I made the little pillows years ago)

I made this pillow recently.  You can see how to make one HERE.  I have a neat bicycle graphic that I will use on another pillow.  (The darn job is certainly getting in the way of all of the crafts I want to do!)

I found this birdhouse at Home Goods too.  It was on clearance. I love when that happens!

My sister and her boyfriend sent these beautiful flowers.

Thank you for your visit! 


There are only a few days left in the Palatin Remodeling, Inc. contest for Most Innovative Blogger.  I'd love it if you'd vote for me HERE.  There's nothing to sign up for, it's just an easy click and you're done.  (My blog is Our Adventures in Home Improvement)

I am linking to the following parties:

Savvy Southern Style's Wow us Wednesdays

Cottage Style Linky Party


KHI Quarterly V3 Q3 - Summer 2012

Five Ways to Increase Your Home's Value

If you’re planning on selling your home in the future, there is no doubt you want to do everything possible to get a great deal; certain projects can add significant value to your home. So which home improvement projects should you invest in? Below are some helpful tips for home improvement projects that can increase the value of your home.

1.  Remodeling the Kitchen

Most people don’t want a home that has an outdated kitchen. When you modernize your kitchen, your home value will go up and it may make it significantly easier to sell. Because we spend most of our time in the kitchen, updates here really pay off.  According to HGTV.com you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of your investment on a kitchen remodel. In addition to increasing the value of your home, if you decide to stay put a brand new kitchen can renew a love of cooking and make you eager to entertain. You’ll be able to add more space to move around and you’ll probably increase storage as well.

2.  Remodeling a Bathroom

According to "Remodeling" Magazine, remodeling an existing bathroom was more profitable in terms of resale value than adding one on. QualitySmith.com states that if you are in the process of taking care of necessary repairs throughout the property, and you include a bathroom remodel as part of the home upgrade, you can expect to see as much as an 80% return on your investment.
In addition to improving your bathroom’s appearance, remodeling allows you to make better use of space. Bathrooms are often too crowded, especially in an older house. Today there are many new furniture and fixture choices that look great and take up less room, so you can make the best of the space that you have. With the right fixtures, d├ęcor, and a great tub, your bathroom can become an oasis to relax and sooth away the stress of the day.
3.  Adding Energy-Efficient Windows

These days, buyers shop for homes with energy efficiency in mind -- so old, drafty single-pane windows are a major problem. Energy Star claims that adding Energy Star-rated windows can save you up to $500 a year in heating and cooling costs by making your home more energy efficient. According to HGTV, you can expect to recoup 60%-90% of your costs when you invest in energy-efficient windows. You may also receive a green energy tax credit of 10% for this upgrade, as long as you install Energy Star-rated windows. There may be additional credits from the state or utility company as well. Since new windows save you several hundred dollars a year and you receive a tax credit, you will recoup your window investment sooner than you think.

 4.  Finishing a Basement

Beyond the functional, social, and environmental benefits of finishing your basement, it also significantly increases the value in your home. Finishing a basement offers the best price per square foot of any remodeling project and is very marketable, especially for large families. You can receive as much as 150% return on your investment with a finished basement.

There are an endless number of ways that you can use the space.    Basements frequently work well as second living rooms or bedrooms, a child’s playroom, a game room with a big screen TV and pool table, a home theatre with surround sound or a gym. A finished basement often ends up being a favored room in the house and where most family members prefer to spend their time. A well insulated basement is commonly the coolest place in your home during the summer and the warmest in the winter. With today’s new technologies and specialized products, it is easy to be comfortable in your finished basement without paying outrageous energy bills.

If you’re looking to improve the value of your home while providing the immediate benefits of a remodel, finishing a basement accomplishes both, increasing square footage and value simultaneously.

5.  Adding a Deck

Building a deck can be a smart and enjoyable way to maintain or improve home value. After all, it's less expensive than building an additional room but it still expands living space and bridges the gap between indoors and out. Robert Markovich, home and yard editor for Consumer Reports says "It's safe to say that a deck is one of the more cost-effective things you can do. Decks are really a high-return item."

Outdoor living spaces have become more desirable, especially since more people are staying home for vacation than in previous years. If you make your deck and your backyard more comfortable, your house will be more appealing to prospective buyers if and when you decide to sell. HGTV.com claims that homeowners recoup 65%-90% of their investment by adding a deck. Improving your outdoor living space is a smart move in today's uncertain economy.

For more information on anything you see in our newsletter or if you'd like to obtain a quote, contact us at 860-584-8784. 


white fig tree

I love the look of Fiddle Leaf Fig trees. I've been craving some greenery in our home and had my mind set on a fig tree. A few weeks ago I found an assortment of large Fig Trees at Sheridan Nurseries,  With great excitement I purchased one (it was quite pricey) and had it loaded into the car and my Mom and I drove away. I kept turning around to look at it where the tree lay in the back seat - It was gorgeous. It was also huge. Within us driving a few blocks, reality started to sink in about how big the tree really was.  With great disappointment and embarrassment at my inability to judge size, I realized we had to turn the car back around and return it. There was no way it was going to fit in my house.

Last week I was walking by my local flower shop and I spotted a small little potted tree that had a handwritten sign: "White Fig Tree, $10". I walked back later that night and bought him and carried him home. He's perfect. :) Although the leaves are a little different (not as rubbery as the Fiddle Leaf Fig) it still gives me the look I wanted, was easier on the pocket book and small enough for our house. Success! Let's see if I can keep him alive.


too pretty to eat. but we ate it anyways.

We had a little celebration tonight at my Mom's, one that required a cake. I purchased this cake from Knead Bakery that is in our neighbourhood. This is your classic neighbourhood bakery - Small, and tucked off the main road, it has the most delicious breads and sweets. The cake was so gorgeous that I felt as though it was worthy of its own post. I have yet to see a cake ever decorated like this before. Even if you can't visit the bakery - you may find this photo as inspiration for your own cake decorating adventures. xo Lindsay


Neat Old "Maid of Honor" Sink

I was out doing my normal Saturday garage-saling this morning and not having any luck!  I probably went to six or seven different sales without buying anything.  I then went to the west side of the city where I have had pretty good luck in the past.  Yes, I found stuff immediately.  (hmmm, maybe I should start on the west side from now on!)

I met a lady who was selling beautiful jewelry.  She had some banana boxes and old metal stuff off to the side that really caught my eye.   At first I was interested in the banana boxes, and although they were fabulous, they were pretty big and pretty much over my budget.

I then asked her about this sink. She gave me a price and I told her I'd think about it. As I was driving away, I decided that I had to have it! I quickly ran to an ATM and got more cash and hurried back and bought it.

It wouldn't fit in my car, so we came back later with the truck.  She said that several people had stopped to try to buy it.  I'm so glad I went back immediately when it hit me that I had to have it.  :)

I cleaned it and brought it in the house for now.  I might use it as a party cooler or maybe put it out on the back patio with annuals set in the tubs.  In the meantime it's in the downstairs kitchen.

She asked that I please not paint it.  I promised her I wouldn't!   I love the patina and love the rusty legs and wheels.

She was so sweet that she even gave me this picture as we had discussed our mutual love of gardening earlier. I love garden friends!

What a fun day of shopping!  I love the fact that I'm not looking for anything in particular when I go out, yet I usually come home with something that makes me very happy.

Thank you for your visit.


I've been nominated by Palatin Remodeling, Inc for Best Innovative Blogger.  The voting ends next week.  I'd love it if you would vote for me HERE!  You don't have to sign up for anything, it's just an easy click!  Thanks!

I am linking to the following parties:

Ivy and Elephants What's It Wednesdays

Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style



full wall of tile

I'm not holding back "reveal" photos of our kitchen on purpose ... we're really still working away on it! :) So I'll keep blogging showing you the steps that we're taking to really make our big box store kitchen look custom. For example...we're tiling an entire wall in white subway tile. I was a little nervouse taking the leap to do this but I'm really glad we did as it shows off our tall ceilings and really adds great detailing. It reflects light, and makes this once dark corner sparkle. Can't wait to show you the "after"!! Eeek!

Ps., Looking for some inspirational "wall of tile" pins from Pinterest? Check out this, this (although it's a bathroom) This photo from The Home Depot "Dream Book" was inspirational too.


Cute Minty Green Bookcase

Our friends have been searching for a display cabinet for their daughter's dolls for a couple of years. A few weeks ago, my husband offered to make one for them. They got exactly what they wanted.  And, being custom made, the beadboard and feet match the other furniture in her adorable room. 

It took him two weekends to go from boards to the finished product.

I love the mint green color.

He added a couple of pieces of moulding to make a pretty crown.

She now has a place to display all of her favorite things.

It was funny that one of our friends came over right before we delivered it.  She said, "I hope they don't like it, because I will buy it immediately if they don't!"  (They did like it)  :)

Thanks for your visit.  And thank you for all of the heartfelt comments about Max.  I sincerely appreciate the love!


I've been nominated for Best Innovative Blog at Palatin Remodeling, Inc.
I'd love it if you voted for me HEREYou don't need to sign up for anything, it's just one easy click.  Thanks!

I am linking to the following parties:

Cottage Style Linky Party
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday
Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After Party
DIY Show Off

kitchen tricks: hidden outlet

One thing you won't see when I reveal the kitchen is this hidden outlet. In order not to break up the backsplash with an outlet but also because this wall is concrete (it's a shared wall with our neighbour) we didn't (and couldn't) install wall outlets along this one wall. So a plug was hidden on the base of our upper cabinets- out of sight but easy to plug in things when you need to use that blender. Here is a nicer shot of how someone else did it over on Pinterest.

Ps., The backsplash is still being worked on so excuse the unfinished tiling backdrop.


new living room carpet

If you've been a long time reader you'll know that I've been incredibly indecisive about a living room rug. I've been writing about my search for the perfect carpet for the room like as in this postthis post and this post. In June it was my birthday and I was gifted a little bit of money. I decided  that instead of spending it on little things here and there - I was going to to put it towards finally purchasing a carpet. I need to clean up the living room a little more before shooting the "reveal" photos of what we went with. It only took 3.5 years of searching.... ;)


Rest in Peace Sweet Boy

As many of you who read my blog know, Max has been a huge part of our lives for the past 12 years.  We went on vacation last week and while we were gone he took a terrible turn for the worse.  We were so fortunate that the vet who was caring for him was so kind.  She thought he would be better with some medications, but then she found a tumor on his pancreas which was too much for him to recover from.  While she held up the phone and I talked to him one last time, she said he looked up and wagged his tail hearing my voice.  She and I cried and cried as we came to the decision that it was not fair to keep him going while he was in such pain.  Obviously we are heartbroken.  Coming home to an empty house, seeing his stuff everywhere in the house and yard and knowing he's gone is so tremendously hard.  But, we also remember how much we loved him from the minute we brought him home in 2000. 

This is in our old backyard.  He was smart enough to claim that spot in the pond as his.  This picture of him even made it on the HGTV site!  :)

We built this pond for him when we moved in this house.  The part he is laying in will always be known as "Max Beach". 

We are better people for having him in our lives and will never forget him. 

Thank you for your visit.