mudroom

permit time...again

About 6 or 7 contractors, 1 expired permit and more than a year since the first demo crowbar was wielded, we are, God willing, in "go mode" once again on the Tweed House project. The poor thing has been traipsed through by so many pairs of work boots and has witnessed heads being scratched by supposed "experts". One guy — an engineer with prob about 40+ years building experience — turned to me while we were assessing the way forward and said (and I can't make this stuff up): "I dunno, how do you want to do it?" Whaaaat? Seriously? Well, last time I checked I was a magazine editor, NOT an engineer, NOT a builder. SIGH.

On the bright side, we've had two consultations now with a serious expert with some serious credentials and he and his guys have us on their calendar. Incidentally, he bears an uncanny resemblance in looks, manner and voice to Mr. A's big brother. Do you ever take something like that as a sign? Mr. A and I both found it very reassuring. Like a sign. We're like that.

So tonight, fresh drawings, filling out forms and crossing fingers for permit issuance. Next, a little break and after that....all systems GO!

This will get way uglier before it gets better. Check back. Loins are girded. 

sneak peek inside

You may have seen this in a Canadian decorating magazine recently. But you'd be forgiven if you totally missed it. It's the kitchen at our PEI cottage. I can't really share photos of the full interior (it's a loooong, looong story). But I can't resist sharing a little peek. The kitchen is a petite galley. The wood counter, sink and faucet (I sooo love the sink and faucet) are all just as they were found. We got a quote on having the sink re-enamelled, but in the end I have decided to embrace its nicks and wear.

The cabinets were a few shades of blue before. We cleaned them up with lots of white paint -- Beauti-Tone Paperwhite -- a white that is near and dear to my heart (yes, I'm the kind of person who can refer to a paint colour as near and dear to her heart). Our other additions: a cute little holophane pendant from RONA, blinds from Home Depot (these things are my go-to budget window covering - have been using them for years), a backsplash of white ceramic penny rounds that I am proud to say I installed all by myself (first tiling project!), and last but not least, my blue lobster curtains. Blue lobsters are a rare natural phenomenon and are considered good luck. It's a little kitsch, but I couldn't resist using a little bit of this fabric. I got it a Suzanne Brown & Assoc. showroom in Toronto and sewed the curtain myself. Husband likes it that short - I think it looks like floods. Hmmm. 

The mudroom

This is a detail of the entry mudroom. The shell-encrusted mirror is super big and a beaut. Mr. A found it loooong before we had the place and was saving it for our one-day PEI cottage. It has found its perfect home. It announces coastal style to all who enter and bounces a little light around this dark little room. I painted the walls Trinity Blazer from Beauti-Tone. I call it a marine blue -- gutsy for a white wall lover such as myslef. I DID NOT like it when it was first going on the wall. Mr. A was teasing me by calling it Toronto Maple Leaf blue. Eeeeew. Alas, one must not judge a paint colour until the room is fully realized. I now love it. I painted the space a dark colour so that it would feel instantly cool when you came in from a hot day at the beach. We picked up the old coil of rope at the Moncton flea market on our first road trip to the cottage from Ontario.

This is a little vignette on a table in the mudroom -- all of it Mr. A's doing. As you may know, he has a fantastic eye for fine vintage objects and a knack for tablescapes. The tiny oil painting is incredibly evocative of the area. The swirly glazed 19th c pottery is where we stash our keys. Shells....well, of course. The vintage glass bottle is the prettiest watery hue. 

We painted all of the floors in Patina from Beauti-Tone. PEI's red soil meant white floors were utterly out of the question. Pale grey is just right. They're still light but with a slightly Swedish look. The colour looks great on the original wide planks, which were previously blood red. I like how this photo is a bit like a portrait of Mr. A and I: his shoes next to mine. And the shoes say it all: slip-on sneaks, well-worn espadrilles, flipflops. I must extend a hat tip to Michael Graydon for this shot. He didn't take this one, I did, but the idea of this photo was his. Trust me, his version is way way better.

I hope to share more of the cottage makeover process with you. Check back. Meanwhile, I'm counting the days until our next visit.