June 27, 2011

Hello, my name is Free.

Those who know me well - know that I love a good free printable. Love.

So today I'm going to share with you a few of my favorite free printable sites. I use them for printing and making framed prints, and wish I had them when I was getting married.

The Graphics Fairy
The best place for all your old fashion prints - I use this one a lot. I used the following print in my living room (photos to come)

The Wedding Chicks
My new favorite website! Totally customizable invitations and stationary - you can even customize all of the colours! I feel like my friend Jennie is the only other one who, like me, will be now mumbling in her sleep "Mason jar invites, or bicycle...hmm.."

Lemon Squeezy
A one-of printable bookmark, but they are too cute! It's of a fox, but I think it looks like Dutch (who also looks like a fox)

Again, a simple one-of printable, but made me giggle out loud at how very Erin-and-Richard this is. Make with the chocolate, Bozo.

Have any of you tried these different sites? Isn't TheGraphicsFairy the best site ever? Do you have photos of old bicycles in your living room? Will you now?

June 23, 2011

We Blue It.

Since first posting about plans to paint the exterior of the house this summer (here), you have all been patiently waiting for the final reveal. Well, you've come to the wrong post. But, we did make some progress. Finally.

Last weekend (okay, last last weekend) we finally started painting the house. I started by, of course, taking some photos (I know. weird eh? It’s like I have a blog or something). Here is a photo of the house as you drive down the driveway.

Wow. Ug-ly. With a capital ‘ugh.’ So right we were to paint this ol’ house of ours. We’ve been working for so many years on the inside, I guess we forgot people could see the outside of it to. Heh, yeah, we’re those neighbours.

While taking the first few photos, Lucy couldn’t help but sneak into the shot. She was actually chasing me and smiling into the camera. What a diva.

I felt a little bad for Dutch – being over shadowed by her little (but huge) sister. Dutch was just behaving during all this, obviously stacking wood for us. Good dog.

Here is a photo of the back-yard-side of the living room. Yes, the siding is on an angle – which we hate – but we plan on doing a major renovation to this room in a few years, and it wasn’t worth the time or effort (or money) to replace it right now. “We’ll just throw a little lipstick on this pig, and it will be good as new” (we hoped.)

And here are photos of the front-walkway-side of our living room. We hate the sunrise shaped window, but for now, like the angled siding, it stays.

After taking the first few photos of the house straight on, I realised just how dirty the gutters and roof were. I knew they were a little weathered, but it had never made it on to our regular maintenance schedule.

I figured that we (by we, I mean Hubby and Jamie) should give the roof a good sweep and scrub. So I loaded the boys up with a few beers and sent them up to do my dirty work. Yes, Ladies, this photo proves that man can sweep! It just takes copious amounts of alcohol and the danger of falling to get them to do it.

I managed the scene and watched the dogs while they worked.

Then came paintin’ time! [Insert a rendition of Erin singing ACHammer’s never released remix of the original song – ‘Stop. Paintin’ time!’]

From what I remember about the house paint when we bought it (which is very little) I don’t remember it being so blue. This was the point when we started saying “Wow, it’s blue alright” (code for “What have we done?!”)

Here is photo evidence that we did indeed use the back end of a shovel as a stirring stick. Don’t judge.

Finally after one day of Hubby and I painting, and another day of me flying solo, we have [most] of the living room painted!



Wow, it’s blue alright! [This is when we started saying this every time we walked past a painted side, or noticed the paint left over on our finger nails.



Okay, we didn’t entirely finish. Have I ever mentioned that I’m not a fan of heights? This was as far as I could reach with my ladder without my knees getting too wobbly.

Again, only part way up the wall on the other side to. We hope to finish it - [before the kids move out] - in the next few weekends.

There you have it. One weekend of lazy, ‘hey-lets-sleep-in-first’ work. The blue still scared us to death for another week, but started to grow on us after that. Good thing, because we are far from done, and we already paid for the paint.

Have any of you ever painted the outside of a house? Did you own the house for 4 years first before you even noticed that it maybe needed to be painted? Did you buy paint that turned out to be a lot blue-er than it did in the paint store? Are you free next weekend to come over and help finish?

June 21, 2011


Okay everyone, this is the best site ever invented. Besides the MDI blog, of course. My friend/mindreader Jennie sent me this link and I have not stop playing with it since (okay, I showered once and might have look away long enough to down a few DoleSparklers).

MyDeco Link

Right - so I'll explain: this is a 3D room planner (which I looove), for free, and they have access to millions of real items that actually exist to put in the room (they even have links of where to buy them - love.) I've been playing around 'making over' a few rooms in my house, and a few rooms I just made up for fun. Best part about this planner is, you can snap a photo and in a few hours a beautiful 3D photo will be available. These photos are quite realistic, and I was actually a little taken back when I saw this one, which is an updated version of my bedroom:

It makes me realize that I need to update the bedroom to look this pretty ASAP! (I bought some supplies to do the photos over the bed last night - shh.) And here's another view (PS - totally needing that chrome deer head. Need.) Update - Hubby noticed the deer head and said no way - so I have to find a way to purchase and adhere a large chrome animal head to his side of the bed without him noticing. Suggestions?

It is so crazy how much this one looks like my room! Minus the great bird cage, chandelier painting and nice lamp.

I've been wanting to join the sunburst-mirror-fanclub for a while now, and I think this would make a great spot for one.

And for fun I kept playing around with all sorts of different rooms - look how cute this baby's room is!

I even took a 'before and after' (Erin is a total dork. That is all.)

And then I redid my hallway, just the way I have been planning for a while:

Have any of you tried this online 3D room planner? Did you think it was the best thing ever? Did you run home to your spouse and make him watch you present all your newly made rooms and get upset when he wasn't in awe of your creations? Do you think this would be a great program for decorators to use to show clients?

June 18, 2011

Lamp Upgrade

You know, this really started out far more innocently than it now may seem. And yes, I know you’re snickering, because how on earth can one innocently go about spray painting something for a different room than the one they are currently remodeling? Well, you’re me, that’s how - and you found a lamp for $1.50.

I had purchased a dusty, brass lamp base months ago (waaay before I bought these ones), while shopping with my good friend Jennie in the 2nd-Hand-Store neighborhood of Sidney. It was old, ugly, and, yay, $1.50! I still had to grudgingly pull out my debit card as others in the line up behind me groaned, but really, who carries cash anymore? It sat untouched in my living room for months, taunting me with a ‘Oh, I could look so much prettier’ vibe, until my inner do-it-yourselfer/ I-dont-have-to-wait-for-hubby spirit would not allow it to sit there and taunt me any longer.

My first thought was to spray the base a bright colour, like orange, and choose a neutral shade. Realizing I have no where in my house for such a bold piece, I opted for a simple gloss white base. Finding a great lamp shade was a whole different battle. I first looked for a modern printed fabric shade, but finding said shade proved more difficult than originally expected. After searching for ages (okay, Walmart and HomeSense twice) I hesitantly purchased a neutral shade. I thought I would stencil a design on it with yellow paint, but after ‘just trying’ the shade on my lamp before painting, I realized it was beautiful just the way it is. Cool, clean and modern – a far cry from its last home on a dusty second-hand-store shelf!

Lamp: $1.50
Spray paint: free (duh, Erin has a stash)
Lamp shade from HomeSense: $14.99
Total cost for the perfect lamp: $16.49

Have any of you remodelled a lamp before? Did you get to play with spray paint? Am I the only one that has a stash of about 7 cans of spray paint they don't let their husband use?

June 15, 2011

Client's Bathroom

I've been working with a pair of clients on their full house renovation for several months now, and the first room of their renovation is now complete. I had the honour of helping design this beautiful powder room on their main floor, and we are all very happy with the way it has turned out.

While my clients wanted to keep their budget under control, they were more concerned with getting an amazing result. And while I work with lots of clients with different degrees of budgets, I love it when I'm allowed to buy [marble] quality products for a job.

I convinced the clients to go with a custom Crema Marfil marble counter top - which turned out amazing. I then added a custom back splash of 1" x 2" Crema Marfil marble tiles (one of the clients and myself installed this our selves). I am a big fan of custom back splashes as it give so much extra personality to a room.

The client was set on a rectangle sink, and I think it really gives this room a chic look. I added a chrome fixture to give the room some extra polish, and found this great soap dispenser (Home Sense) with a fern pattern on it, to give the room a bit of whimsy.

All in all, I, and more importantly the clients, are thrilled with the results. It is a great place for folks to come wash their hands before dinner, or check their makeup as they run out the door.

Here is a list of a few sources:

Marble Counter: Eurocraft Marble (Crema Marfil marble)

Back splash: Hourigans Carpets and Linos (Crema Marfil 1" x 2" by Olympia Tile)

Mirror, Soap Dispenser, and Vase: Home Sense (vase for only $39.99, soap dispenser and vase were $9.99 each)

Sink and faucet: Splashes

Toilet: Home Depot (American Standard)

Remember that MorganDesignInc is available for hire to help you with your renovation or decoration project!

June 7, 2011

Exterior of Morgan House

Boy, has it been a busy few weeks here at MorganDesignInc! With summer finally here (we skipped spring in Victoria this year, apparently) we have kicked it into high gear with getting the yard ready for summer BBQ's and lounging in the hammock. Okay, I've already had a few naps in the hammock - surprisingly the jungle of a backyard doesn't bother me if I have a Revello and my book with me.

But last weekend we did so much work on the yard that it looks 1 million times better (more on that to come). Now we really need to start working on the exterior of the house. Which means -you guessed it - Erin gets to paint something! And then some.

Here are the list of things that I would like to get done on the exterior of the house this summer:

1. Paint the siding
2. Install trim (that's right, our house has no trim. We do not know why.)
3. Wash the grungy metal roof
4. Paint the metal roof (don't fight me on this one, Rich, you know I'll win)
5. Re finish the two back doors

And, if there's time - enjoy it all! We have a game plan for item #1 and #2 - we're going to attack one side of the house every weekend until it's all done. It's hard to explain, but our house has many more than 4 sides to it, so this will take most of the summer. We will need to cut into the siding, install trim, wash the siding, and then paint it all. Easy enough (and cheap enough) if we do one side at a time. Nothing too daunting that way.

This weekend is the start of this project, which leaves me with 3 more days to actually decide what I want. The paint has been bought - and it's beautiful! It's a grey/green/blue/teal... okay, I can't really remember, but I do recall it being a thing of beauty. Now I have to decide what I want for trim colour, exterior doors (other than the front door I just painted), roof colour and if I want something interesting in the gable ends. Here are some exterior photos that are really inpiring me for this project:

June 2, 2011

Front Door Pick-Me-Up

Last weekend, our good friend Jamie adopted a puppy from the SPCA - named Jacob. Big floppy ears, big blue eyes - little Jacob is just the cutest!! I'm pretty smitten with him, and what's not to like? Check out this adorable mug:

Even better was watching him play with Lucy this afternoon:

Okay, mostly hiding. But I swear he got going as soon as I put the camera away. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw a little tongue-to-tongue action, but we won't speak of that.

Anyways, back to the front door. Our front door was originally painted white when we first bought the house, although you could barely tell. It was dirty, and rotting and I think the previous owner's dog had been locked out side a few times. Bad shape.

I always keep an eye out at GeneralPaint for their mistints (ie buckets of paint they sell for a few bucks just because they were already tinted) and one day I came upon the perfect grey paint for the front door. Best part - it was free because it wasn't a full can. Sa-weeet.

Two coats and two hours later I had a freshly painted door. Not only does it look crisp and new, but the new colour is much more forgiving for dirty hands.

And here is a side by side before-and-after shot of the door:

Now just to paint the rest of the house...