Church Reveal # 3 – The Living Area

Voila! The main space, or living area. The heart and soul of The Church. Where we live, eat and laugh.

This space is huge, and as a result, our challenge was to make it feel warm, inviting, and light. Oh the light, or should I say the wood. Oh the wood. Look at it. It is everywhere and in so many variations. We like light – natural light – and of course, colour and we knew that for the main living area we needed to lighten it up as much as possible; so the challenge became where to find light and colour in this otherwise wood-filled and (potentially) gloomy space.  Where else would we find it but in a 10 foot, linen coloured/covered, down filled sectional from G Romano thanks to our friends at Cottage Industry.

WOW. I mean seriously, wow. We had no idea you could actually fall in love with a sofa. I mean sure, designers and decorators say all the time “I love…” but this is love of a different level. What an amazing experience (yes, I went there) this sectional is. It is beyond comfortable and simply envelopes you when you sit down. Oh, how we love it.

The sectional is the largest and lightest piece in the room next to the giant built in bookcase. What a dream they were to work with! Most everything you see on those shelves was in storage and awaiting the perfect home. Well, we found it! We shipped the boxes over from PEI and thought, initially, we shipped too many. How wrong we were. We didn’t send enough! We’ve done the best we could with what we have on the top shelves but didn’t have enough hobnail milk glass with us to complete them to our liking. However, we plan to bring more with us the May long-weekend and promise and update after that visit! As for the other items on the shelves, take a look and enjoy. They are all treasures we’ve collected over the years.

Rather organically a “criss-cross” designed emerged within this space. You will notice the legs on the harvest table, the Eiffel chairs, the coffee table and the ironing board (doubling as a sofa table) all have a cris-cross pattern. We decided to take it one step further and make a criss-cross with the colour scheme in the room. Were we successful? You be the judge.

The green rug (Dash and Albert, Cottage Industry) under the harvest table matches the mostly green throw cushions on the sectional and the mostly blue, with green, rug under the sectional matches the blue/green Cobi chairs (Hambly’s) at the end of the dining room table, the Eiffel chairs and the cushion on the pew. Note, there are more cushions coming. Our good friend and consummate helper, Cynthia King, was dispatched to Winners recently to secure more of the pillows. They, like the hobnail milk glass, will appear at the long-weekend.

The kitchen is fairly well complete. Although we would one day like to change it, that would not be a viable option right now given how functional and “finished” it is. Instead we decided to work with what we have and this meant 1) having super cute bar stools that are actually called “church” stools and 2) purchasing an amazing wall hanging. The rooster is actually a rug we found at a local antique shop. Obviously we had to have it. The colours work well in the space because the muted red ties in nicely with the cupboards and the size of the rug helps break up the wood in that area and to define it as a separate space.

An honourable mention goes out to the coffee table. What an amazing beast of a table and design. This is a prime example of “loving” something without really loving it, or in the way we love our sectional. This beauty was introduced to us by Jennifer at Cottage Industry. Jennifer is kind of like our drug pusher – if she shows us something we are likely to buy it. Now that we think of it, we have more than one person like this in our lives.

At any rate, we love the table… and the sectional…. and the main-space at the church, and hope you do too.

The bedrooms and bathroom will be revealed after they are finished – after the long-weekend. Stay tuned!

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Church Reveal # 2 – Harvest Table

Where and when we got the idea we needed a 10 ft. harvest table, we don’t remember. However, did get the idea and we obviously needed one.

This table was handmade by a talented and award winning carpenter (and we’re proud to say also our friend), Karl Taylor. Karl has worked for Mike Murphy and Paul Smith for a couple of years now, working on their award winning properties in downtown Charlottetown, and has now branched out on his own. When we decided we wanted an original harvest table we knew Karl was just the man to call. Not only did he know and listen to what we wanted but also made suggestions and offered solutions to our ideas and problems! What more could we ask for?

Karl made the table using reclaimed studs from a heritage house in the city. Each piece was individually cut and planed to create a smooth and level top. The edges were routed and joined together with biscuits, and then glued, screwed, and clamped. Breadboard ends were also made and glued, screwed, and clamped. Then, the entire table was sanded to a smooth clean finish. Last but not least, braces were made and screwed to the bottom for stability and strength. Let us tell you, this table is strong and sturdy enough to dance on (as it should be).

The legs were specially crafted by a local metal work shop. The criss-cross of the legs mimic that of the Eiffel chairs as well as other pieces of furniture in the room (soon to be revaled!). The legs are well built and very sturdy however, there was a small issue with them – they were too long! What a shock we received when we fastened the legs, excitedly turned over the table and found it was better suited as a work bench or kitchen island than a dining room table. WOW! However, after a bit of work and help from father-in-law, everything is now perfect and as it should be.

For the chairs we wanted to mix it up a bit. We, of course, needed a church pew in the church and thought where better than right at the dining room table! We searched high and low for an actual pew from this church, St. Alban’s, but were unsuccessful. The pew we found came from a church on the north shore of PEI. We found it the way most things on PEI work and/or are found – word of mouth. A shout out to our friend Annie Leroux for helping us with our hunt.

The blue Eiffel chairs are a classic, retro looking chair that offer visual interest and a pop of colour. These chairs are available in several different colours at Cottage Industry. The chairs at the end of the table are from Cobi and available at Hambly’s. As mentioned with the furniture in the loft (recently renamed the “Lady Loft”, opposite of “Man Cave”) Cobi offers a beautiful array of fabrics as shown on the inside of these chairs. These chairs are a perfect example of how a little can go a long way – in reality, the fabric was too expensive for us to use on the entire chair so we opted to do the inside only and used a lower grade fabric on the outside, which as you will see, matches the soon to be revealed sectional it shares the living area with and in the end saved us about $200 a chair.

The vignette atop the table is a simple setting that allows the table underneath to be showcased. The block-print napkins from Cottage Industry offer a colour anchor on the table while the crystal stemware offers a nice lightness. The cushions on the pew help tie in the colours in the room and make the pew less, well, church-like!

We are pleased as punch with our table and feel ever so fortunate to have people like Karl in our lives. Hopefully one day we can all sit together at the harvest table for a lovely dinner together. Enjoy!

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Church Reveal # 1 – The Loft

The loft. Although we’ve only been living (well, vacationing) in the church for 72 hours, I think we’ve discovered this may be our favourite area of the house. It is cozy, colourful, comfy and conversation inducing. And oh yes, and it is where the internet signal is strongest. What more could we want?

As you will see with the upcoming reveal of the main living space in The Church, we went relatively light and muted in that area. And although it looks great, we do love our colour, so, when we were designing the loft and shopping for the furniture we decided to go big and bold in this space. The inspiration for the room was the armchairs. We walked into Hambly’s one Saturday afternoon and knew we had to have them. After all, orange is C’s favourite colour. We then chose the couch style (The couch – well, just look at it. It is raspberry red!) and decided to go with a more traditional rolled arm as our previous two couches (and sectional to come) had more modern lines. It also mimics the rolled arm of the chairs.  Once we had the couch style picked out we moved on to choosing fabric.

The fabrics from Cobi are fantastic and, as you can see, in the end we had a hard time choosing which was our favourite and what should go where. We love herringbone and raspberry red so in the end we decided that should be the base fabric for the couch. Because we knew we wanted the orange chairs we had to find a way to bring the two pieces of furniture together. So, we used a different fabric with large hits of orange for the piping. We also ordered two kidney pillows in the same fabric and those are seen on the orange chairs to once again help tie the room together. The two larger pillows on the couch add a lovely accent of chartreuse. Julie (Hambly) pointed us toward the fabric when we were shopping and gushed about how much she loves it, and because we love her so much, BAM, we decided that would be the third accent for the room and purchased two pillows in the fabric!

We found the coffee table at the Habitat Re-Store for $30. We had it professionally painted using Benjamin Moore’s Jade Garden. It is a lovely “anchor” colour for the room and looks amazing on the rug. Oh, the rug! This rug is from Dash & Albert (Cottage Industry) and what an amazing array of rugs that company has. The giant chartreuse stripes offer another excellent hit of that colour and mimic the stripes in the piping on the couch. The 1964 Magnavox Astro-Sonic Hi-Fi stereo was a Kijiji find and it works! We’ve been having a blast collecting records to listen to. And finally, the artichoke lamp was a Christmas gift to self from Cottage Industry. I love it so.

We also love the loft and hope, when you come to visit, you do too!

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Today’s Treasure & Sneak Peek of The Church

Gay horses. We want them to be unicorns but they just aren’t. Instead, we will call them gay horses. Nothing in particular makes them that, just that we want them to be. We picked these up today at Treasures & Collectibles in the Annapolis Valley. This shop is a MUST stop/see if you are in the area – it is our favourite. We picked up many a treasure there today, and in the past. Norm and Jim also have a wonderful array of homemade treats.

What do gay horses eat? Haaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Here it is! We arrived on Thursday night and have been busy ever since. The house still isn’t totally photograph ready, but soon. This is a photo of the main space/kitchen and of course, Craig doing the dishes! We hope to have the place “show” ready in the next few days and will be sure to post photos as soon as it is ready.

Note: the white bags on the floor are FULL of treasures from Treasures & Collectibles. What a day!

Bookcases

The bookcase: the forgotten piece of furniture used all too often as a storage unit or “catch-all”.

Ah, the bookcase. This neglected piece of furniture is found everywhere in houses: bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms. They are very versatile. Yes, you put your books on them but people also put their magazines, extra sets of keys, lanyards, receipts, old chewing gum etc. Inevitably they start to look like a giant mess full of nonsense and not pieces of furniture that have been incorporated into the room. A little bit of love and time is all it takes to turn these beasts into interesting and attractive shelves that people will flock to and ask questions about.

Below are two examples of bookcases we recently designed/reorganized. The first one is from our client’s den and it housed, well, books. The books weren’t the issue so much as the lack of cohesion, organization and visual interest. For this bookcase we grouped the books according to subject matter. The three shelves at the top represent the client in that one grouping has to do with being a parent, another to do with her career and the other her more creative side. Prior to beginning the reorganization we asked her to pick items from her house she would like showcased and to be displayed. The result you see has personal items mixed with books (magine!) and the best part about this is that the bookcase is an off-the-shelf, standard bookcase from a big box store. What was once an uninteresting and dare I say boring bookcase is now attractive piece of furniture that has added, not detracted, from the interest and quality of her den.

The second desk/bookcase is a behemoth show piece. Something this grand requires items in its shelves items that are equally as grand. This client has an amazing assortment of books, as shown, and we had the luxury of picking and choosing which ones we wanted and by virtue of this were able to work the shelves into the design of the room. The accent colours for the room are blue and gold. Voila! The bookcase has now added to the design of the room.

Similar to the other bookcase, the items in these shelves were each handpicked by the client. Each of them means something to her and items she wants to see and appreciate regularly. Although one shelf is entirely blue and gold (save the orange elephant!) the other shelves are a mix and complement the design equally as well. A few books turned the opposite way add visual interest as do the collectible pieces of Jasperware and each and every other item.

Bookcases are your friends and no, not because they are great storage units but because they are versatile and add character to a room. If you insist on using them as storage purchase stylish storage boxes for these items. Again, versatile and functional. Happy organizing!