April 20, 2014

Old New House: For Your Walls

My 1960s Hungarian posters garner a lot of attention.  In fact, when Amy first put in an offer on the townhouse, she asked for the posters to be included!  Trolling Old New House I spotted a neat selection of vintage posters, including these two gems:

1970s Chinese advertisement poster

1940s-1960 Rodeo poster

Old New House actually has a lot of unusual things to adorn walls (white walls!!).  From vintage maps to science diagrams, retro "no smoking" signs and antique train logs.  They also have a great selection of, for lack of a better word, genuine art.  Here are some two more of my favorites:

Girl with Daisy lithograph

 Striking geometric ink drawing (and there's other similar pieces for a bold grouping)

If you've been in the market for something unusual to adorn your walls, see more at Old New House.

This post was sponsored by Old New House, but all words and editorial decisions are my own.

April 18, 2014

I'm on Instagram!

I know I'm (fashionably?) late to the party, but I've just joined Instagram (http://instagram.com/danslelakehouse)!  I'm excited about using it for sharing sneak peeks and previews of projects, plus I'm moving my treasure hunting report there.  I've got an open account, so anyone is free to take a look.

I've been averse to social media, but lately I've realized that it will be a great way to connect more with you.  I'm already on Pinterest (townhouse_tanya) and will take to Twitter next week, but I'm on the fence about Facebook.  A lot of changes are on the horizon, actually: I'm considering a migration from blogger to wordpress (yikes!), with a new blog name (Dans le Lakehouse), new url, and new blog design.  I'm feeling a little overwhelmed . . . Instagram, though, has proven to be fun and blissfully easy (although, for some reason, hashtags annoy me).  These are some things I thought were worth sharing:

I'm enjoying my new insulated lunchbag set from Island Picnic, so I couldn't help but photograph the very lakehouse-appropriate design (and organic cotton fabric!).  The little sandwhich and snack bags are washable and are meant to replace plastic ones, which is a clever idea.  Island Picnic is run by a mother-daughter duo who sew all of their green products, which is why they piqued my interest: I love family businesses.

Did you know mason jars come in vintage-inspired turquoise?  Who among you knew this and kept it from me?  I'm not really mason-jar obsessed, but I impulse-bought a case of these Ball American Heritage Edition jars from Canadian Tire to store dribs and drabs of snacks and baking supplies.  Our new kitchen is small, so I'm trying to maximize cupboard space by getting rid of over-sized packaging.  Leah and Janis, of Island Picnic, advocate storing things in glass, not plastic, and I'm happy to oblige when glass looks as cute as this.  Plus these are made in the USA.

As if cookies ever last long enough to be decanted.
Sadly, it's no picnic here, weather-wise.  A few weeks ago we still had mountains of snow (I had deck stairs at one point, right?):

But then some snow melted, the banks receded and I could see dead grass (hurray!).  We rejoiced and stopped wearing jackets, and then BOOM, we were hit with more.  So disappointing! 

In happier news, something gorgeous (from Modernica) has landed in the dining room.  I need to unearth the dining table from beneath a sea of sewing supplies and moving boxes, and then show you the whole kit and caboodle.  Seriously, it's breathtaking.

This is fun; I'm going to like Instagram.  For those who celebrate, Happy Easter weekend!!  What kind of filter makes a ham look tastiest? #timeforstretchypants.  Argh, I can't do it, it just bugs me.  

April 16, 2014

Kitchen Progress: That Sinking Feeling

The kitchen sink and faucet have been installed!  So have the counters.  And the drywall.  You know, when you live with naked insulation for awhile, bare drywall starts to look really fancy.  But don't let that fancy drywall and elegant window frame(lessness) detract your attention from the real showstopper: the faucet.

Do you remember how many moons ago I asked for your help choosing a new faucet for the kitchen, because Pfister had kindly offered to send me one for review?  The one we ultimately chose - the Lita - was not available right away and when it arrived we had already listed the townhouse for sale.  I think there were more votes for black, but Hubby really pushed for silver (as did some of you).  I'm thankful that I was convinced of the merits of the stainless finish - and not the black finish I loved - because we ended up sandbagging the faucet for the lakehouse kitchen, where the black wouldn't have worked with my plans.

The lovely Lita was straightforward to install.  You might remember that it's a pull down model, which is a feature we've become overly dependent upon.  Both the townhouse and lakehouse boasted older faucets with that feature, and it's handy for filling a pot of water on the counter, or winning a kitchen water fight.  We didn't even look at any models that weren't a pull down, we're that committed.  This one feels different, though: it's sturdy and slides smoothly, and then clicks back tightly into place.

It has two settings for spray, which is also a feature we prefer.  The old lakehouse faucet had this feature too, but it was broken, and I really missed it!  Stuff that works properly feels like a real novelty around here.

I'll keep you posted on durability and how the finish wears.  For the $449.00 MSRP (!), I'm expecting outstanding quality, and I hope to salvage the faucet for our phase II reno.  The shape is clean and modern, but not too trendy, so I hope it won't look tired in a few years.  Strangely, what drew Hubby and I to this style originally was the unassuming handle: some are really curvy and seem more traditional, while some really angular ones look exceptionally modern.  This one is so simple.  We like simple.

The sink is also a stunner, but it gave us a little trouble.  It's a beast - much larger than what was there before - but we found it at Costco for $199, which is a good price for a sink this size and quality.  Plus it was fun to put "kitchen sink" on our grocery list.  It's an Atlantis Commercial Grade Pro Series, in 18-gauge stainless steel.  The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel but I've read conflicting reports about whether the gauge really impacts durability.  Reportedly, around the 22-gauge mark, a stainless sink will be more prone to denting, but I think 18-gauge is pretty standard.  We'll see how this one wears.  It does have two stainless steel basin grids with rubber feet, which keeps knives and cutlery from scratching the bottom (plus it makes a good dry rack for the things I hand wash).  Hopefully the basin grids will keep this sink looking new.

We actually bought the sink in Ottawa and drove it up here to Thunder Bay.  I'm sure we measured . . . okay I'm not sure, I just assumed that sinks are a relatively standard overall size because I thought cabinetry was pretty standard.  Nope.  The front of the cabinetry needed to be shaved away to make room for the sink.  The weight of the counter mostly sits on the vertical supports so it shouldn't be a problem, but we can always add horizontal support pieces. 

The sink sits a little farther back than I envisioned, but it's as far forward as we can put it.

This sink has the option of under mount or drop-in and we chose the latter.  Under mount required a frame be built to support it, because it wasn't designed to attach to the underside of the counter.  Bah!  Too much work.  Plus, cutting the hole was tricky enough, without making it pretty enough to show off (it wasn't).  Hubby used a jigsaw to cut the hole and although he did an amazing job, there were some areas where the cut jogged a bit.  Not a problem for installation, just not show-pretty.

More relevant than our laziness, we love the sharp lines of this boxy sink and the rectangular edge looks perfect with our thick, blocky counters.  Hubby and I have been admiring the counters with the sink, and we're so happy we didn't hide most of the fanciest sink we've ever owner with under mount.  (Not that doing dishes in the laundry room sink wasn't fancy).  

As a reminder, here's the old sink and faucet (is the new one freakishly tall, or what?):

Because the new sink's shape and proportions are different than the old sink's, Hubs spent quite a bit of time under the sink playing plumber.  So long, in fact, that while he was on his stomach, fussing, Szuka wandered over and decided his bum would be a good place for a nice, long snooze. 

Disclosure: I was provide the Lita faucet for review, courtesy of Pfister, but was not asked to, or otherwise compensated for, providing a review.  Time will tell how well it wears, and I'll be sure to keep you posted on the faucet, and our new sink, once we've had a chance to break them both in. 
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