Interior design plan of action: an infographic

It’s almost February and I need some inspiration.

The bland and boring days of winter are making me look around and think it is time to really focus on getting some decorating done.  I found this brightly coloured infographic the other day to help inspire me to work on some ideas. What do you think?

A counter I can count on

The counter is holding.

The experiment with waxing the wood seems to have worked. It still looks smooth and shiny. We can’t use a lot of water on it but that is the only downside. Other than that it cleans up nicely and the smell of the wax is nice.

counter wood wax

Kitchen counter is waxed and wonderful

She’s a brick house

Well the schoolhouse is anyway.

We’ve got a red brick schoolhouse but most of the brick is buried behind plaster. The two bedrooms each have a brick wall. Wonder what we could do…

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest

If I didn’t have a schoolhouse I’d live…

Who wants to live in the ‘burbs with a bunch of houses that look the same when you could live somewhere interesting?

If I didn’t have the schoolhouse I’d go for something pretty dramatic I think. I’ve recently found a few options that suit my fancy. That is, if budget, nation, gravity, and a few other factors were not an issue.

If I didn’t have a schoolhouse I’d live…

In a houseboat in Paris
Well who wouldn’t? This recent article in the Guardian had me sold from the first image. I like boats, I’d like to go to Paris, I look good in a beret. This ticks a lot of boxes. Seriously I can totally pull off a beret.

Houseboat living in Paris – in pictures
I wonder if our cats would get seasick? Or would they benefit from a diet of wine and fish? And while I’ve never lived on a houseboat, I did watch a lot of Beachcombers when I was a kid and most Canadians of a certain age really wanted to be like Relic.

In a treehouse
BeWILDerwood - The Curious Treehouse Adventure Park

I didn’t have a treehouse when I was a kid so this may be a latent wish fulfilled. I spotted this collection in a Photo of the Day spread on a recent book called, Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. I suspect the view is pretty bitchin’ and you would always have that nice fresh tree scent around you.

Living Amongst the Trees
Not sure how cats would feel about the tree life but access to a lot of scratching pole material might sell them on it.

In a castle
Eilean Donan Castle

OK so we’ve all been watching Downton Abbey and we’ve seen Monarch of the Glen. We all think of our homes as castles but what if they actually were?

Castles, if you don’t live in North America, aren’t that hard to come by apparently. Some of them even come with transferable titles so you can really become Lord of the manor.

Castles for sale in Scotland
There would be a decided lack of central heating but prospects of tower rooms and dungeons is enviable. Those guys that want you to rent their water heaters will stay away if you keep your portcullis closed and that welcome mat that says “Welcome to our Castle” will finally make sense. And hey, all your nerd friends would want to come over and play:

  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Game of Thrones
  • Really anything nerdy with castles

On a really big boat
Crashing Wave

The World – Residences at Sea is basically a lot of condos on a really big boat. This cruise ship floats along year-round visiting different ports of call and residents can live there all the time or hop on anywhere they want. The 2013 tour includes the Caribbean, South America, Canary Islands, Morocco, Ireland and the Black Sea. Suddenly a long weekend in Niagara Falls doesn’t seem so hot.

In just about any of these places

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest  ********************************************************************************

This Pinterest collection by Jenny Mehlenbeck has a lot of enticing options. I’ve just started to follow this page with “P”interest.

Admit it. You are thinking about me in a beret right now aren’t you?

A smooth en “counter”

We have banished the black rings of Swansea at last!

OK that smacks a bit too much of Tolkien. What I meant to say was that Pat has re-finished our kitchen countertop and removed the blackened rings, cracks and other imperfections left by the previous owners of our condo.

I don’t have a great photo for the “before” scenario but you see that not only was it in poor shape it was a bit too yellow in this photo from this earlier post.

Pat removed the large piece of wood and took it to his shop at work.


While accessing the drawers without opening them was a convenience, there really was little appeal in leaving things like this. Fortunately it only took a day. Pat sanded down the counter block within an inch of its life and added a rounded edge. He waxed it and the combination of wax and serious sanding really brought the wood grain out. It is so smooth and pretty now I don’t actually want to put anything on it lest I be the one to wreck it after so much work was put into it.


Of course in this process we are now questioning the position and location of everything in the kitchen and this is leading to a major shuffle and re-organization. Sigh.

Cheap and cheerful garden tools: An infographic

At our house, my grandmother never used a watering can.

We always had a large apple juice can with holes punched in the bottom and a bucket. That’s what we used for watering and it worked like a charm. Sure it didn’t look like something Martha Stewart would approve of but hey, my grandmother wasn’t a convict either.

Here is an interesting infographic on some pretty basic household items for gardening. I especially like the plastic pop bottle.

6 Common Household Items to Use in the Garden


Did we resolve our resolutions?


The answer to that is a resounding “meh”.

Last year I made a list of “to do’s” for 2012 for both the schoolhouse and the condo. Did we do them?


  1. Paint front door – uh no. Haven’t done this one yet.
  2. Put down flooring in vestibule. – see above
  3. Paint vestibule – I am beginning to sense a pattern here…
  4. Replace eavestrough – hey this one I can say, “sort of”. We didn’t replace but we did take them down and fix the one that moves water over the hydro meter and into a rain barrel.
  5. Complete herb garden – not really.
  6. Build nicer garden along the front of the house – again this is a “sort of”. I put in a new perennial garden at the front but we’ll see if the boiling summer of 2012 ravaged it completely. It also turned out to be a lot less sunnier than I thought so things may have to move.
  7. Clear out the back bedroom – yes and no. We started cleaning it out but managed to fill it again to make space for our winter tenant.
  8. Paint bathroom – nope.
  9. Revive the composter – let’s hope for the spring?
  10. Research and install if feasible some new lighting – Well sort of once again. Our tenant has fixed the overhead light which is great. He’s also installing a solar flood light (these exist? Who knew?)
  11. While this wasn’t on the original list I’d like to point out most of our time (and money) went to two things: Removing two fallen trees on the property and replacing just about everything you can on a well system.

Our condo

  1. Come up with a design for the living room – done! I finally have a master plan. I just have to figure out how to pay for it.
  2. paint upstairs bathroom – done! I’ll post photos soon.
  3. fix dining room chairs – less done. And by less I mean not at all.
  4. Paint kitchen – totally done! Pat painted and I got bitten by a cat in the process.
  5. Buy new living room furniture. picked out but not bought.
  6. Hide the dreadful air conditioner cord that is in the dining room – not done and it still drives me mad.
  7. Fix all the general irritations – not done and still totally irritating.
  8. Make alterations to the dining room so that the overhead light isn’t going to cause any “concussion-like symptoms” to my guests – nope.
  9. Re-organize and decorate the office and make it better accommodate my home office space (which requires space for documents, files and coffee) with our home computer (this requires space for chips, beer and other accoutrements that accompany video games and well, this blog). – mostly. This isn’t too bad.
  10. Get more frames for art and photos – some of this is done. We’ve got a couple of new things and a couple of things ordered. But they are all still in a pile…
  11. Oh and jazz up the ol’ patio. last year’s garden was a good start but we need more life out there – started. We’ve new planters and I have almost finished repainting the furniture.
  12. Again while not on the original list, I’d like to point out that we also had repairs to our dishwasher (still doesn’t totally work), washer and dryer so that is where the couch money went.

So that is where we are at. I’m not going to add anything else until we get this lot done. Fingers crossed for 2013!