Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kitchen Reno - Such fun - Oh but a lot of work!

I try to break up my rose pictures with something a little different. I think most people like looking at remodeling or make-overs. Our kitchen was becoming quite stale after having the same cupboards and appliances for 25 yrs. Looking at "the before", I guess it did not look too bad, but the cupboards were getting quite worn and did not clean easily anymore. Ideally it would have been best to rip them all out and start all over. Some of the modern cabinets these days are amazing, but terribly expensive. It would have been a huge job to re-finish the cabinets, so decided to go for a new bright look and paint them white. Our kitchen is quite dark because we are surrounded by a forest of tall dense evergreens, so at times it can look a little depressing. So, white it was going to be. We still loved our "blue" accessories, so I wanted to create a theme around blue and white. (click on pics for larger image)

Kitchen - during our B&B days Big decisions on what to use as an accent colour. I loved this little creamy yellow ceramic container with the blue pansys and blue rimming it's lid, so I decided that that would be my colour scheme. Then I started collecting paint colour samples and went looking for fabric. I was delighted to find this beautiful French toile Waverly pattern which seemed to go nicely with the colours I had picked.

We hired a painter who turned our kitchen into a bubble of plastic and applied three coats of spray paint over a matter of several days. What I liked about this method, was that I would also get all the insides painted too! He did an excellent job as "oak" is not the easiest wood to cover.
So let's get started....... OMG!
Now we jump to the next picture but Before we got this far, my husband Alan had worked his buns off literally. I marvel at the hours he put in to it from the installing the new stainless steel appliances, to fitting the new light fixtures. He did an amazing job on the crown molding, installed five new doors and also a new window which all had to be painted too. He will probably tell me I have missed something out, heehee!. But the actual painting and decorating turned out beautifully also. The ceiling was painted a pale cool blue and so was the inside of a the cupboard we keep our every-day dishes. We also had the doors ripped down to this cabinet in order to have them glazed which made a nice accent. We lived with it at this stage for several weeks as the Anaglypta wallpaper Alan was installing was on back order from England - I could hardly wait to introduce the yellow colour. For people who do not know, Anaglypta is a hard embossed wallpaper which you can get in many different patterns including stripes. I chose a traditional pattern. One usually paints over this wallpaper to a colour you wish, even white works beautifully. What is nice is that when painted the seams fill in and it gives a really nice affect. Then when you tire of it, you can re-paint it a different colour!

This is one of the few pictures where, which I believe, you can see some of the texture in the wallpaper. (hopefully when enlarged)

It is coming together

The accent dishes you see on the hood, were an amazing find, almost matching the toile fabric I have as window treatment and chair pads, exactly. These really were the icing on the cake and I have several pieces around the kitchen areas. Nice to look at the snowscape from the cosiness of our new mellow and brighter kitchen!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

MY ROSES - "L'A to Ma"

L’AIMONT: Floribunda – Bred by Harkness (1994) in UK. Medium peachy/pink blooms born in clusters on med length stems. Blooms are very full and ruffled and are quite beautiful with a delightful strong fragrance. L’Aimont, also goes by the name of Victoria Spice looks lovely and is a good performer in a vase. As I find with most Harkness roses, the foliage is good with glossy leaves.
LOVING MEMORY: Hybrid Tea –Bred by Kordes (1981) in Germany. One of the most beautiful roses I have encountered. Blooms are velvet red, packed with petals and are mostly born on long stems. Pleasant, “almost” moderate, fragrance. I will always cherish this plant which was given to me by the sister of a close friend who died in a motor vehicle accident and it portrays a very “Loving Memory”!
MARGARET MERRILL: Floribunda – Bred by Harkness (1977) in UK. Medium size semi double blooms born in clusters on a longish stem. Intensely fragrant Blooms are white. On this rose, I prefer newly unfurling buds and brand new blooms before they are fully blown, also the colour shade is more beautiful at these stages. Though, many people do like it at its fully open bloom stage when it shows off it’s bright peachy/yellow stamens.
MARY ROSE: English Rose - Bred by David Austin (1983) in UK. Medium size full petalled blooms born in large clusters on short stems. Vigorous and floriferous. Pleasant mild to moderate fragrance. Lovely shade of pink.