Tag Archives: kitchen

Buttermilk and Asparagus Salad

Buttermilk Asparagus Salad

The fella’s gone on a fast leaving me to fend for myself meal wise.

I could be a real jerk and fill the house with the heady rich smells of  freshly delivered Wood fired Sausage and Ricotta Pizza from our local shop.  Or perhaps some creamy Butter Chicken and Daal with fresh crispy Naan.  Perhaps a huge West Indian Roti filled to the breaking point with Roasted Goat, potato and chickpea…

Or I can head to the market and load up on a fridge full of fresh fruit, seasonal veggie  and get my cook on; indulging in all the flavours I like in a loving show of support. Continue reading

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once round the kitchen, salted buttermilk(ish) cake

Whipped up this bad boy on Sunday.

blueberry banana salted buttermilk cake

Hands down this has got to be one of my all time favourite weekend cakes.  It’s super easy to make with ingredients on hand. Very forgiving with substitutions, and tastes great as a quick bite with coffee or tea.

Just try not to get too comfortable with this recipe tossing ingredients in left and right or you may make the same horrible mistake I did. Continue reading

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bowl full o spring

It’s time to shake things up in our house.
The recent dump of snow has thrown a damp blanket on any hope that spring has sprung and sadly moral is at an all time low.
I’m craving a fresh lightness, soft shades of yellow and green, a warm sun that will stream through our windows and the delicate crisp crunch of new vegetables.  Time to put away the heavy comfort flavours of garlic and roasted turkey paste and bring out the springy zings of lemon, yogurt and Za’atar. Continue reading
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continuing the tour…

A quick look at the bathroom (yes I know I post about it all the time, but I really love how it turned out) then off we go down the back stairs!
2nd floor bathroom

2nd floor bathroom

2nd floor bathroom

So calm and lovely in the morning.

I want everything those soft shades of grey, tan and white!

Rear 2nd floor landing
Rear stairs to the left leading to kitchen, 3rd floor stairs to the right leading up to 3rd floor loft. Front stairs forward leading to 1st floor.


The front stairs and 2nd story landing are painted Farrow and Ball’s Drawing Room Blue and the rear stairs are painted F&B’s Charlotte’s Locks

rear staircase

We are so happy to have gone with the bold colour pops throughout the house. It keeps the white from being overwhelming and reflects the fun bursts of colour found in the stained glass.

1st floor stained glass

Those turn of the century folks were not afraid of bold choices either, check out all the hues found in just one window glass!

1st floor room

The front of the house turned out really well. At some point a wall was put up to partition the living and dining room.

When we got the home it was a very vivid blue painted using a high gloss enamel paint…not so great.

After all the plaster repairs we went with a soft and creamy shade of Linen

Large 1st floor Room

1800's detailing

Love how calm it’s turned out, a great complement for all of that great  painted trim and iron work.  And now for the living room!
Living room

More trim, iron work and soft smooth walls. The floor had to be refinished in one area.  Dale managed to match the varnish perfectly and it all came together.

I’ve hung the curtain rod with an exaggerated width and placed the curtains outside the window frame to make what is an already large window seem impossibly huge. Nice trick for this room.

And here’s the kitchen in all it’s AFTER glory!

Completely remodeled Ikea eat-in Kitchen. New Stone counter top, subway tile back-splash, deep stainless under mount double sink, freestanding butcher block island, floating shelves, stained glass, chalkboard wall. Remote controlled ceiling fan with dimmer light. Large Pantry, new wide plank floors, powder room and separate staircase.
Large Modern eat-in Ikea styled County kitchen

It’s funny how you can’t get an idea of the scale of this room since all of the items in it are so large but totally in proportion to the space!

Lets just say some serious parties can happen in here with plenty of room for dancing.
Large Modern Eat-in Ikea styled country kitchen.

Dale’s 1800’s oak Filing Cabinet has found a home in the kitchen.

We are delighted to have found both a space and a new use for it!

This piece is unbeatable for it’s stylish storage, keeping all sorts of goodies out of sight.

1800's filing drawers in kitchen

Another fun piece is this PTA chalkboard.  It’s a great alternative for  artwork in the kitchen as it’s easily washed and won’t be affected by grease, steam or sunlight!
Public Transit Authority Chalk Board

You can’t beat it’s pure functionality,   keeping track of grocery lists while  adding a bit of fun to this small space between the window and door.

Large Modern Eat-in Ikea styled Country kitchen

At night the colours glow. We chose soft creamy tones for the ceiling and upper walls and grounded the space with a grey that  compliments the warm red tones in that wide plank flooring.

Just off the kitchen was an unused skinny closet/storage space under the stairs.

Isn’t a main floor powder room a much better choice?
1st floor Powder Room

1st floor powder room

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40 degrees and rising! part one

So it’s been hotter than hell lately.  Seriously.

Dale and I did not factor in high heat and crushing dehydration when we set up our renovation schedule.  Most of our past projects have happened with snow still on the ground and in hindsight that is a far better time to be tearing out the guts of a house than in July and Aug.

Last weekend we were looking at temps of over 42 degrees and this past weekend we hit 45 degrees.  Hard to stay motivated and on track with this sort of heat bearing down on you..and no AC.
Still, I am so proud of where we find ourselves now.  Most of the drywall and mudding we had been struggling with has been finished, rooms are painted and flooring is in.

Lets start with the kitchen!

Friday was looking like this when we arrived…

While I was busy sanding upstairs  Dale got to work fastening all the cupboards to the wall, installed a floating shelf or two and finished cutting and installing all the baseboards and trim into the room.  I had already done a final sanding of all the kitchen patches and skim coated the walls so he got right down to painting the space as well!

We put the dolly to work and moved the fridge from it’s temp spot in the living room and unloaded the GIANT 1800’s cabinet off the U-haul Trailer and into the space. Things are a little pulled forward from the walls (so the paint can dry) but you get the idea.




We will put in a subway tile back splash next weekend, along with some metal shelves and task lighting above the sink and a cupboard or two above the stove and fridge.

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the old fashioned way

On Monday Night it was time to lug the cupboards out of the front bedroom and into the kitchen.  Drywall was up, the last of the peeling paint was scraped free and Dale had finished off  laying the last of the kitchen floor. Some of the pieces round the pipes and back stairwell were a bit of a pain, but nothing a little adhesive couldn’t manage.

see Dale smiling?  That’s because he doesn’t know what’s to come….


Just because we bought IKEA cabinets doesn’t mean we have to use their on-line layout software does it? Bah, what’s the fun in that?!  What ever happened to doing things the old fashioned way?

Just shoving things around the room till you are exhausted happy with the layout?  hahahaha


Okay so not the best idea, but we couldn’t wait. There comes a point when you need to get over the demolition hump and do that last push to make you feel like you are getting somewhere with your project. We needed to see the kitchen realized before we locked the doors and headed back to the city.

This kitchen is a bit of a challenge because it has 5 doorways and 2 windows to contend with, but we managed to make it work…





And the debate is still on as to whether or not to put in our 1800’s cabinet on that wall between the stairwell and the bathroom or leave it empty. So beautiful, so sensible for storage, but a real beast.

Storage unit
What do you think?


We are going to go with floating shelves above the counters, and so far are planning to use subway tile for the back splash since it went so well upstairs…not sure if we will go for a clean white tile or something in a natural tone that picks up on the flecks in the stone of the counter top.

I’d be happy with this sort of a finish, and I am pretty sure we even have that hanging light kicking around in storage someplace, ha.

image via apartmenttherapy

Did I mention Dale has to pull up part of the flooring and move the plumbing/drains and electrical to the opposite side of the room to realize my vision?

He took it in stride with a “it’s not a big deal, lets do it!”

Love you Honey!

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How you like them apples?

By the end of the first weekend the cupboards were torn out, the walls were scrubbed clean, the trim had been painted glossy white and 3/4 of the new kitchen floor was laid.

We decided to go with the laminate floating floor in the kitchen because

  1. it’s crazy hard wearing
  2. it reminds me of the floor in my old country house (another tale for another day dear reader)
  3. it was CHEAP!

When I say cheap, I mean cheeeeeeap.  We got enough of this flooring to do the kitchen and the entire 3rd floor attic space, and guess how much it cost?  go on, guess…$200 for a thousand square feet.  yup!

When you are on a tight budget it makes sense to look for things in unlikely places.  Ikea has some click flooring on for $1.49.  You can find some options at Home Depot for as low as 89 cents, but it’s pretty crappy stuff.  Our wide plank, distressed hickory flooring was found searching  local kijiji ads.   20 cents yo!!

Laminate flooring goes down super easy so you can also save on the instillation costs and give it a try yourself.  All you need is a level surface underneath, a roll of plastic underlay, wood block & mallet, tape measure, pencil and a chop saw (which you can easily rent).  It goes much faster if there are two of you laying the floor, one on hand and knee fitting while the other cuts and makes the board selections.

These dudes do a pretty great job of showing just how easy and fast it is to do a room.  Watch and learn.


  • There are usually 6 or 7 distinctive patterns in each batch of laminate boards.  You want to make sure they are staggered so you don’t end up with an obvious repeating pattern, nothing screams tacky like being too matchy matchy!
  • Use a wooden block laid horizontally against the ends of your boards that you are tapping into place.  It will absorb the force of the mallet and keep your boards from splitting.  You can use any old scrap of wood and a regular hammer so don’t go buying some silly specialty tapping block setup.
  • If you are the kneeler do your old bones a favour and grab a gardening pad from the dollar store.  You will be using it for other handy jobs so it’s a pretty great thing to have around and this little tip just saved you 12 bucks so next round of coffee’s on you!
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All the best parties happen in the kitchen right?

Let me tell you the only party going on in here was the demolition party we whipped up once we got the keys.  Blech.

Bring on the party supplies!

  • big ol box of rubber gloves
  • safety goggles
  • dust mask
  • scrub brush
  • bucket
  • bag o rags
  • gallons and gallons of Swish Cleaning supplies
  • crowbar
  • contractor garbage bags
  • ghetto blaster
  • block rocking beats

All joking aside, if you are going to start cleaning you need to protect yourself from getting that crud all over, and even worse, in you.  There are no words for the horrors that lurk in the nooks and crannies of a rooming house.

I suggest using Swish Miracle Detergent Disinfectant Cleaner.  Besides being super effective at breaking down dirt and grime, it’s a hospital grade Anti-Infective.   God only knows what’s festering in here, last thing we need to worry about is picking up some Hep-C or a staph infection.  double blech.

Strap on the rubber, fire up the tunes and get yer scrub on!





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