I recently had the pleasure of hosting an event for GRASS Canada…
…to showcase their line of beautiful hardware.
Grass is a German and Austrian Hardware company that has been at the forefront of the business for over 80 years…truly innovators in all things hardware, Grass was the first to launch the Euro Hinge, concealed furniture hinge, metal roller slide, single and double wall drawer system, synchronized drawer system, soft close hinge, fully electronic drawer box, and the most advanced integrated soft close system on the market. Their hardware is truly the prototype for all that’s on the market and unrivalled in its quality.
I’ve used their soft close hinges in my kitchen, mudroom and basement…
*photos by Stephani Buchman and Ashley Capp respectively
…and have been so very pleased with how much they enhance the functionality of my designs.
We often pay a lot of attention to what something looks like on the outside, but soft close hardware truly allows you to appreciate how things are working on the inside.
Current kitchen designs, for example, often showcase lower cabinets only. In my kitchen, no upper cabinets means that glassware, plates and cutlery are all stored in my island drawers. Prior to having GRASS soft close hardware installed, I was having to deal with the almost constant sound of drawers banging shut and dishes breaking. Now that all of my big-box hinges and drawers systems have been replaced with GRASS, I can now enjoy the look I wanted with so much more functionality.
Another benefit of the GRASS system is their weight allowances. Before replacing my big-box hinges and drawers with GRASS, I had two large drawers functioning as pantries for food. The normal restrictions of 40 kg were causing my food drawers not to shut or open properly. Because GRASS systems allow for almost double the weight (70 kg,) my food drawers now open and close with ease, while enjoying the same soft close technology.
As I did, with GRASS, you can take inexpensive cabinetry and elevate the functionality by replacing the hardware…and with a lifetime warranty, even if your cupboards wear out, the hardware will always keep things working their best.
And the best news…this hardware that is used across Europe in all high end restaurants, kitchens etc. is affordable (approx. 20% more than typical hardware,) which means replacing hardware that doesn’t work and isn’t going to last, with the best of the best, is very achievable.
*event photos by Jason Hartog
I for one am a total GRASS convert and going forward, will always incorporate their hardware into my designs. Having cabinetry function as beautifully as it looks…such a win win!
I’m not sure what it is about me in general, but there must be something deep in my inner consciousness that enjoys struggle. When I signed up for this round of the ORC, I immediately knew I wanted to do my basement because well, it was the last bastion of this house to get touched and it was BAAAAD. Like really, really bad. Because we did an addition on a very old house, the various spaces in the basement were insanely disjointed and made no logical sense in terms of layout. We had channels cut in concrete so walking was possible in the hallway…giant HVAC bulkheads running everywhere…trim sort of hacked together and way too much for a bunch of tiny windows…no real storage other than a room under the old house that lacked electricity or any real functionality…dirt…construction debris…piles of unwanted and unused furniture…and just well…overall grossness. It was a space that reminded constantly of the errors I made along the way while renovating this house…it made me sad and anxious and then anxious on top of that…
A small reminder…
And honestly…it was worse then what’s shown here…these shots were taken after we cleared most of the crap out of the spaces…the now playroom/then storage room was literally packed to the rafters with boxes covered in original construction debris.
Anyhoo…you get the idea…BAAADDDDD!!!
So…again, when the opportunity came by to take part in this round of the ORC, I knew this had to be the space…I also knew it would be hard…like really, really hard. And well, it was I promise you, harder then any work I’ve ever done in my life…ever. Like ever. I’ve never in poured myself into anything like I did with this.
Maybe I felt like I needed to redeem myself a bit from this whole house or something…move it past it’s historical flaws…it’s renovation mistakes. Not sure. But what I can say is that whatever was motivating me on this one, was intense. I DIY’d my brains out, built maybe 20 pieces of IKEA furniture, slept so so little it hurt, painted, glued, screwed, nailed, agonized, planned, ordered, shopped, wrote, photographed, analyzed, negotiated, designed, styled, worked and then worked some more…and at this moment as I sit writing this post at 3am after another night of maybe 2 hours sleep, I feel freaking proud of myself…like really. I also, and more importantly, feel SO INSANELY GRATEFUL to everyone who helped me along the way.
I’m going to call out people and sponsors as they come up throughout the deluge of pictures but to begin, it makes sense to start at the beginning so a giant thanks to my architectural designer Katherine who set forth a plan on paper that I knew had the potential to completely change the function and look of the whole space. I’ve long learned that proper plans are essential to this sort of renovation and having someone on my team that has so much architectural talent is well, quite simply, invaluable.
Once again, here is what the original plans outlined…
Next, up on the thanks list, my contractor Andrew Burke and his team. I really don’t know where to start on this one but quite simply, they were incredible. I’m endlessly grateful for their commitment to my project and to the ridiculous effort they put into to getting it across the finish line. These guys pulled so many late nights and long hours to get my basement finished, including a 26 hour shift prior to the photo shoot yesterday…and at no point, was any work not put forth without an extreme attention to detail and wonderful care for the final product. I honestly can’t express my gratitude enough. My basement looks the way it does because they worked with all of it’s little weird nuances and so carefully worked with every one to customize literally every piece of everything…beyond, beyond impressive and I can’t recommend or thank them enough.
We also had a fabulous electrician who went the extra mile so a large high five and thanks to Dave at Greybrook Electric…also Peter my painter and RMS for pitching in on my concrete floors and stairs.
ho took plans and built them.
PS…the first photo was taken during said 26 hour shift…a much deserved break at maybe midnight…the second, at 5 am on the day of my shoot…note how much was still going on.
These guys = superstars.
And then of course, there’s the ORC sponsors that I used to complete my space…
…side table, Black Rooster Decor, floor lamp by Lamps Plus and sheers throughout living room are by Hollie Cooper (who is PS, the bestest friend a girl could hope for and helped me so much come reveal time!!!!)
…fabric on Louis chair, Olea by Fabricut…again rug, Annie Selke, side tables Bouclair and amazing fireplace, Dimplex.
The living room paint is a combo of Farrow and Ball All Black, Wimborne White and Slipper Satin.
Wallpaper…a custom colourway of Drop it Modern’s Parisian Mural…and a quick note on the wallpaper…as I’ve spoken about in earlier posts, I worked with Bree from Drop it Modern on this paper and the one in the bedroom…what a dream to be able to create custom papers for this project. Drop it Modern is just my favourite:)
And that my friends, is this round of my One Room Challenge Bijou Basement Blitz revealed!!!!
I so hope you like it…I/we really do.
After a long few days of finishing and shooting, I finally got to reveal all to my kids last night and it was super fun to see their reaction to the whole thing, and most especially the secret playroom…I’ll leave you with a video of that business…
…along with a final ORC shout-out from them…
…and a HUGE thank you again to Linda from Calling it Home for organzing and dreaming up this whole thing…it’s definitely not ‘for the faint of heart’ sort of challenge but wowzers is it ever gratifying and at the same time, so so much fun!!!!!
I for one can’t wait to pour through every one of them…after a giant nap…and a giant hug fest with my kids since I feel like I haven’t seen them in a week…same goes for the husband…the good egg made no less then five or so trips to Lewiston, NY to pick up deliveries for me…and single parented for the last few weeks so yes…grateful and happy and tired lol.
Oh and one more quick note…I think I’ll do a construction post/behind the scenes look at the stuff that went into actually building this whole thing. Stay tuned for that in the next week or so:)
Last week, I got a once in a lifetime opportunity…
…along some other super lucky peeps, and the most ridiculously charming Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan….
…..I got whisked away by helicopter…
…on an exclusive ride to witness the World’s Premier Paint Experience. From 1000ft in the air, we were able to see the World’s Largest Paint Swatch, a stunning representation of 185 of the most impactful and vibrant colours from Canadian Tire’s PREMIER paint collection…
From this vantage point, I was able to select the most perfect warm white, (Cirrus Clouds PR16Y14) to use for a DIY project I’ve been dreaming up for my One Room Challenge makeover. I’ll be outlining the full DIY in a post later this month, but for now, here’s a little peak at what that business is about…
Stay tuned on that front and for now, I’ll leave you with this amazing video that captures just a little of the magic of what I got to experience…
The whole chopper/incredible view combo thing, is definitely something I could get used to!
* this post was sponsored by Canadian Tire but all opinions are my own
As well, my amazing contractor Andrew Burke ( a huge thank you to my friend Vanessa Francis for the referral!) spent a lot of time at Home Depot Canada buying up all the lumbar, oak sheeting, oak veneer, plywood, mdf and concrete needed to that he could work triple time to:
1. construct my open box bookcase that will go in the hall…
2. make me a ply box to use for my DIY daybed…more on that later in the post…
3. pour the fireplace ledge…
4. router out some letters for another little DIY project I have in the works (a separate post on this one will be introduced in a post tomorrow:)…
5. paint the entire basement
6. remediate a little 911 flood emergency we had Tuesday morning when our sump pump was accidentally disconnected the night before, which resulted in me waking up to an inch of water sitting on the entire main room floor…holy god…terrifying. Thankfully, contractor managed to shop vac up all the water and used dyers the rest of the day to soak up any wall dampness. We were so lucky that our floors were concrete, the wallpaper still wet as it had just been installed and that no furniture was yet in place…things could have been a whole whole lot worse.
And that’s the construction nitty girtty for this week…all good but still a ways to go as it were.
In other news, I put my ‘put things together’ belt on and did a whole lot of IKEA building and DIYing. I gave some sneak peeks of a few projects on my Insta page and a bunch of people asked for full tutorials so here we go on that front.
To start, I spent the weekend building some IKEA goodies:
…pretty impressed with myself on the ‘follow directions and actually build things’ front lol.
In addition to these items, I also spent pretty much ALL day yesterday on probably my favourite IKEA piece of all time…that also PS,took me most of the afternoon to put together…the PS 2017 loveseat, that I refer to as both ‘a most magical unicorn cloud of a sofa’ and ‘that which murdered all of my fingers and made me never want to see a bungee cord of any type again as long as I live’…re: the later title…this thing was not a cake walk to put together…the bungees are small and my hands must be a little weak because, man, it was HARD. I’ve only done one of the two armchairs and have a whole other one to finish to make a loveseat. Seriously and very honestly having to psych myself up to do it.
In any event, it’s pretty special now that it’s put together. The sofa is made to work with the accompanying PS 2017 cushions. Part of made mine so hard to put together probably, is that I decided to add something to the intended configuration by putting Vigdis linen covers on each pillow…all 38 of them;)
The linen adds a hit of texture and luxe to the whole thing that I really wanted…unfortunately, it also probably adds fabric/dimension to each pillow, which of course, makes the bungees even tighter…anyhoo…at the end of the day it came together and looks freaking PRETTY…effort definitely worth it!
So that was my IKEA for the week…I built some things and pseudo hacked another…super excited to see all of these goodies installed in the basement this week.
And as far as the other DIYs on my list, I’m super excited about all of them. In last week’s post, I introduced the four I’m doing and I’ve knocked three of them off the list…the IKEA cloud (well I guess I’m only half done that but still,) my teddy bear chair and the fringe daybed.
1. Teddy Bear Chair
I’m so so happy with this little chair. I got the idea from my fabulously creative friend Nicole Cohen…
And the DIY could not be easier.
To start you will need:
a. a bunch of old teddy bears
b. plastic zip ties…I used the longest ones available in black
c. an armchair that is nice and open so that you have something to attach the teddys too…I used IKEAs Stockholm 2017 rattan chair…
And to do:
Theres just one instruction…place each teddy where you want it and zip tie it to the chair…
And then bang…teddy bear chair
I decided to stick to mostly brown, white/cream and black but you could do in any range of colours…Super easy and super fun!!!!
2. Fringe Daybed
When I saw this inspiration photo from Domino, I knew immediately that I wanted to try and make my own version…
To make this you will need:
a. a ply box cut to the dimension of the mattress you are using…in my case, 39″W x 80″ long
b. paint…I used Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin
c. hot glue/gun
d. fabric tape…I used Fringe Markets 3″ Santorini tape
e. bullion fringe…I used 12″ cotton natural bullion from Fringe Market
f. a mattress…I used an old french mattress I had from the daybed I had in Jaspers nursery, purchased at Black Rooster Decor
a. construct your ply base…my contractor did this part using ply sheeting from Home Depot Canada
b. paint box in a colour that mimics your tape/fringe…
…make sure you also paint the top in by about 4/5″ so that any gaps between base and the mattress won’t expsose raw ply.
c. glue the tape to the top edge of the daybed base on the three sides so that it overlaps onto the top…
I used the D300 glue for the tape but really, you could stick with the hot glue for everything.
d. once the tape is dry, use a hot glue gun to attach the fringe on to the tape, at a level that allows it to just skim the ground…
e. place mattress on top and voila!
So thats the DIY stuff:)
To finish off for this week, here’s a quick peek at some pretty furniture, accessories and art that arrived this week and that I’m so excited to be able to really showcase soon!