Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mudroom Makeover {One Room Challenge: Week Three}

Woah. We are pooped butttttt guuuyyyyssssssss, we are also already in our third week of the One Room Challenge!
As you know, in true This Little Estate fashion, we are undertaking a huge do it yourself project for this one.

Last week when we showed you our space we shared with you a design board with a touch of farmhouse flare.
This week we want to share a three dimensional digital rendering of the space and we want to show you our progress! WARNING: As always we like to keep it real here and show you the raw footage of what living through a DIY reno actually looks like.

First, here is a glimpse of the pretty.

PS: This was Handy Hubby's first time using this feature and although seeing this design from every angle was amazing, we also didn't realize it wasn't a program that auto saved. SO, this is all we have to show you. ;)

And here is a look at the "Before-before". Meaning before the home was ours and still had the previous owner's belongings in it.

And here is a look at the "Before". Once we moved in.

 And here is a look at the "Before"/once we got our hands on the place.

And here is our current chaos.

I know, I know, I want to cry too.

What our original design board failed to show you in detail is that we need to wrap our entire space in shiplap. I'll recap the steps we took to complete this task in another post but here are some progress shots of us getting the whole family involved. (In the mean time if you want to see a tutorial we have made in the past about  DIY planking you can read a post from us HERE)

As always, we love to get the whole family involved in putting this house together. Lucky for us, we all like to get our hands dirty.

We also desperately needed more square footage in this space so we decided to investigate and turn our side by side washer and dryer into a stackable version! We ordered a kit and Handy Hubby put them together in an evening. Note: that sounded easy. It wasn't. In the process of stacking the dryer on top of the washer Hubby had to relocate the electrical so that everything could still plug in and work. This may have included him destroying our storage room in the basement to run wiring. So now our downstairs and mudroom are in total disarray. Please don't stop by and ask to see the basement. On second thought, I may host a Halloween haunt down there. No decorating required.

Enough with the messy though because we finally nailed down some pretty components to this space and I want to explain them to you all.

Beside our recently stacked washer and dryer we will build an extra tall custom DIY cabinet to house my salon color and supplies. Beside that we will add a custom open concept base where we can house four laundry baskets. Two on the top shelf and two on the bottom. Our space is only large enough to house four baskets, so lucky us, we only have four bedrooms in our home and these baskets can be easily transported from the laundry room to each person’s bedroom. We had originally planned to put a white counter on top of a dark custom built DIY base. The flat counter surface space would give us a spot for folding laundry and mixing color, which meant it would pull double duty! That’s a big win for a small space.

 Since our space is small and needs to double as many hard working spaces. However I also wanted to be realistic.
(Cause guys, once you've lived through this kind of become a realist.)

The reality is that I am a creative and a messy one at that. When I step away from the salon into this space to mix color, I end up leaving color tubes out and don’t always immediately clean up my messes and spills. I know that if we did install a traditional white counter in this place it would be ruined in no time by color and product mishaps. So, after a little deliberation we decided to switch light counters for dark counters and a light base in place of a dark base. This color selection will also help blend the white laundry baskets we will be using underneath the counter in the light base. The counters we will make out of durable pine boards and I will stain them to match the counters and beams we have in our living room.

In the end we will create a visually smooth transition from this space into our main living area by choosing to replicate some of the major design elements we have happening in that space.

So far we have tackled some of the heavy duty elements on our to do list. Ready?

Create mood board to display design direction
Create rendering to ensure proper sizing
Source doors and finishing trim (baseboards and crown)
Install doors and finishing trim (baseboards and crown)
Paint door and finishing trim (baseboards and crown)
Source hardware for doors
Install hardware for doors
Source flooring
Install new flooring
Demo the old cabinets
Relocate electrical
Clear space of current color cabinet
Build custom color cabinet
Source system to convert appliances to stackable
Convert washer and dryer to stackable
Add new main lighting
Purchase metal lockers
Refurbish metal lockers
Install metal lockers
Build custom bench with storage
Stain and paint custom bench with storage
Source cabinets and purchase
Install cabinets
Source hardware for cabinets
Install hardware on to cabinets
Source and install a backsplash
Install backsplash
Source light for above sink
Install light above sink
Source open shelving
Install open shelving
Add shiplap to space
Source paint for space
Paint shiplap
Finish dry wall end of wall

If you actually read this in all of it’s entirety, I’m sorry for the little bit of anxiety you are feeling for us right now. You may have noticed we still have tons to do. Yeah, we have noticed that too. (insert nervous laughter here.)

We will be focusing on doing a lot in the next week. Tonight I survived dance class and a hardware store trip with three kids for some paint for the lockers. Hubby spent all evening driving from hardware store to hardware store collecting the supplies we needed. Fingers crossed that the custom cabinet installing and the bench get created this week! Hopefully by next week you will see more of this space come together. Now to figure out when we can squeeze in sleep.
If you are visiting from the One Room Challenge, I hope this doesn't scare you away. We would love it if you stuck around to see what this space turns into!

Monday, October 17, 2016

This Little Estate's Workshop's {Floral Painting Pumpkin Workshop! & a Recap!}

I'm one of six children. Which means the grocery budget trumped the craft budget even though little girl me wished on every first star I saw in the night sky for unlimited crafting thingamabobs. Although my childhood wasn't filled with brand new fruity markers around every corner and fancy art classes, my humble upbringing was overflowing with making and creating despite the limited resources. 

Looking back, it was the perfect environment for creative growth and I'm so grateful for it.  

I'll always value the encouragement and the inspirational teachings from my parents. The way my mother showed me that resources weren't just found on craft room stores and that my inspirations were never limited to what was in my piggy bank.

She showed me that there is possibility everywhere and that a little ingenuity can go a long way. She showed me how to pick the perfect autumn leaf, how to press it between wax paper, how to hide it somewhere between the pages of the big heavy encyclopedias and how in the end how to tie my perfectly preserved leaves to sewing thread to hang like a banner across my bedroom window. She showed me how to turn a metal hanger into a circle, how to cut big plastic garbage bags into strips and how to tie them together to make big fluffy wreathes. She taught me how to look at ordinary objects and to imagine what they could be. She taught me to believe that everything had the ability to change and that the outcome didn't have to be fabulous to be fun. To see potential in everything and to always be learning and sharing.

Those fundamentals are the reasons behind This Little Estate's Workshops.


Together with my inspiring Mama we cohosted our first workshop last month and it was a complete success. (Even though I may have shared the wrong email to respond to and wasn't informed until a couple days before! I'm sorry! Note: Don't write posts with kittens crawling across your keyboard!)

In the end an intimate group of us met at my parent's charming cozy cottage in the city and learned the in's and out's of Kombucha brewing. (A duplicate workshop is in the works due to overwhelming requests! This time, we will give you lots of time to sign up AND the correct contact info.)

Here's some behind the scenes snaps of the get together.

Thank you to all who took part!!

This month I'll be hosting our second workshop but this time on location at This Little Estate!

If you've been following along around here then you know I love all things floral!

I may have even painted two rooms in our home with giant floral murals, you can spy one of the spaces here....

More on that to come later too!

During this Floral Pumpkin Painting Workshop you can expect to learn to trust your creative instinct and how to overcome your creative inhibitions while designing  your own custom floral painted pumpkin to display just in time for Halloween! Also, making new friends and indulging on autumn treats is a plus too!

So, we invite you, all you like minded creative pursuers to take part in our next workshop on Saturday October 29th at 7:30 PM to 9PM for pumpkin painting, sharing and refreshments.

The cost of this FLORAL PAINTING PUMPKIN WORKSHOP is $25 a spot. Space is limited.

If you too believe that possibility is in your perspective and that creative outcomes don't have to be fabulous to be fun, this is for you!

Send me (Bethany) a note directly at for more info or to reserve your spot.

I look forward to creating with you!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

How to Change the World. {One meal at a time #WorldFoodDay}

This past week I shopped for special treats,  I fussed over pretty pastries to purchase and today I hosted a group of lovelies into our home for a get together.

All the while I am all too aware that shopping for goodies and layering pretty pastries on platters is a blessing. Having enough to hand around to a group of friends is something I am always grateful for.

Around here we value gathering. And of course food.  Both sustains us and brings us together. Ultimatly the prosepects of growing fresh food and bringing people together is why we chose to move last year.

We moved to our fixer upper on the outskirts of town so that we could grow our own foods and so that we could rear our own chickens and so that ultimatly we could open our doors of our home to those we love to share community and meals together.

That's precisely why World Vision's #meaningfulmeals campaign is close to our hearts and why today #WorldFoodDay is a fabulous day to share more!

Through the month of October, like minded food and family lovers everywhere are signing up to host a meaningful meal in their homes.

It's so simple to participate.

STEP 1: Host!

Simply host a meal or take a friend out for a treat. The point is to give back and to enjoy food together!

STEP 2: Donate!!

Do what you can! A little can go a long way when it's put in the right places.  Donate to World Vision's food work to help end the cycle of poverty.

STEP 3: Share!

Help build the movement by sharing your participation on social media with the hashtag #hungerfree and #MeaningfulMeal

For more information or to sign up to host a meaningful meal with the lovelies in your life visit

I can't wait to see what you come up with and can't wait to share more of what I came up with!

Isn't life more purposeful when we come together and show care?

By particiapting in a #MeaningfulMeal you'll be doubling your giving. First with the lucky loves in your life through the time you share together and also in the lives of those who need it most.

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Moving Chapters: Chapter 17: A Mudroom Makeover {One Room Challenge Week 2}

So truth be told, we have bitten off more than we can chew.

I just did the math and added up our spare time, and although I may have failed grade nine algebra three times, I can count, and I estimated that when we aren't working or running kids to dance class and coaching hockey and volunteering to host parties, we have like 15 "free" hours in the next 4 weeks to complete our one room challenge.
Handy hubby and I are gonna have a few dates with 2AM I think.

We really  kinda don't know how this  is all going to go down since we don't really think things through...EVER. So this is pretty normal around here...biting off more than we can chew and stuff. We are doers after all.

No room for doubt around here, so upwards and onwards!!!

Apparently I ramble when I am under stress....soooooo....

Here is what we have accomplished this week:

1. A family trip to Ikea with minimal complaining from the kids and only one full fledged argument in the clearance section between Husband and Wife because Wife kept changing her mind and Husband somehow couldn't read it.

2. We scored 4 cabinet doors and two cabinet boxes in the clearance section of Ikea which was EXACTLY what we were looking for. Also while we were there, no fist fights occurred that we know of. If you have been in that section you GET it. 

Though, I did encounter a little old lady who tried to take a cabinet door out of my cold dead hands and although she said she "wasn't gonna steal it" from me, she literally walked around the clearance section with it tucked under her little old lady arm while planning her escape. She then realized I was wearing sensible heels and she was not and I could probably out run her. I'm not certain I actually could, but my game face said other wise. She gave it back in the end and told me it was an ugly choice anyways. Yeahhhh.....

3. We stalked Kijiji until I found a set of lockers being sold in near by Brantford for $25 bucks a piece. Lucky us, three lockers were forged together so we basically got three for the price of one!! We turned this purchase into a date night since the gentleman selling them was named BUBBA and around here, a BUBBA is the name of a mini keg, also although you cant judge a person by their name (Hello! My maiden name is GRIEVE and I am actually a pretty happy person darnit!), you can never be too careful when buying things off the internet.

PS: Internet buying tip: if you buy clothing from Aliexpress, a Large tshirt here is an XXXS tshirt there. Don't make the same mistakes I have made, order accordingly.

PPS: Mr. BUBBA was a very nice man and was totally just a regular guy. There were however lots of beer cans in sight on his property. No other mini bubbas though.

4. We have installed shiplap on one wall in the mudroom/laundry room. We even got the kids involved and no one even lost an eye ball.
Yah us!

5. We took down 70 year old cabinets that had been installed above the present washer and dryer. The plan is to stack our washer and dryer to make room for more folding space and storage space. Hubby made a racket while I had clients in last night, but lucky for me my clients are chill and our kids know how to eat all the girl guide cookies for dinner instead of demanding an actual meal. They also totally drank milk WITH the cookies, so we are all pretty proud that we can manage full balanced meals on a weeknight while taking on giant projects.  

We also put together this mood board for your viewing enjoyment.

Basically it visually outlines everything we want to do in this space.

1. We need to convert our washer and dryer into stackables without anyone being crushed beneath one in the moving process.

2. We need to install new flooring that can stand up to snowy Canadian winters and chemical color spills (this room also pulls double duty for my business where I play the role of color expert.)

3. We need to incorporate tons of storage. We will be utilizing the "ugly" Ikea cabinets and adding long linear black hardware just like we did in our living room built-ins.

4. We need to install new track lighting. (We have limited outlets in this space and a limited budget.) Though, if you are an electrician and you would like to get paid in haircuts please email me asap.

5. We need to build a miniature built in mudroom with a bench and storage and a place for messy boots and our plethora of stinky shoes.

6. We need to paint the trio of lockers we inherited from Mr. Bubba

7. We need to paint our shiplapped walls and built-ins and ceiling and lockers and everything else in this space.

8. We need to add some organizational items like cork boards and message boards for all those pesky and important school papers I put in a pile to read but only get to once a month.

9. We need to add some texture over our double sink. Perhaps some basic faux brick or, if we have time/ we want to meet 4AM every night, we could sub out the faux brick for subway tile. We shall see.

10. We need to add organization to the space in the form of hiding cat food and dog food and all of my color I need to use daily in the salon.

Its a hefty list, but we are pumped to get things moving along!

So pumped in fact that all of the things from our mudroom and laundry room are strewn around our kitchen and dining room! I am somehow still hosting an event here on Sunday too so wish us luck!!!!

What are you guys up to this weekend?

Thursday, October 06, 2016

The Moving Chapters: Chapter 17: A Mudroom Makeover {A One Room Challenge Addition!}

We have been in our new-to-us fixer upper for a year now. In that time we have admittedly taken on too many projects and we are only now starting to get organized. Let's not mention the unpacked moving boxes that are still tucked away in our basement, K?
As the dust has settled and we have cleaned it up, it has immediately come to our attention that we need tons of help where home organization is considered.
When we first viewed our home it was like opening up a 1950’s House Beautiful magazine. It was a very well kept home but it also had never been updated.
It was a museum.
If you are new here, here's a glimpse of what we have been up to this past year....

We finally have a (mostly) finished main floor. Could you hear us celebrating where you live? We have been on over drive for a whole year, so the last couple of weeks have felt leisurely and magical even though we have still been doing smaller DIY projects. The last year has been such a great learning experience, but it has also been the most disorganized year and busiest year of our lives.
But that's all about to change.

You see, we are sitting on a gold mine.

Not literally.
If we WERE sitting on a gold mine we would probably be moving to Hawaii or buying our families cottages on private islands. Or buying ice cream trucks. Or moving in to a spa. Or vacationing with the queen.....
But alas, I regress.

I mean to say that we are literally sitting on a house that has SO much potential. One of the rooms I was most in love with, when we saw this house for the first time, was this space. It doesn't look like much but it has the potential to be a hard working room. It is a space that connects many rooms in our home and is also connected to our back door entrance. Hence, this space has inherited the luxurious name of Mudroom.

It also has the hard task of doubling as our laundry room.

AND it has to triple as the space where I store all of my salon products. (This space is on the opposite side of my salon space. If you've been around for a while then you know I have yet to reveal that finished space here but I have posted many pictures of the space over on my INSTAGRAM. Let me know what you think!)

Last year at this time we were putting the finishing touches on my salon space and these pictures were taken at that time. Although this room has so much potential it also needed to give up a little of it's potential to my business. My salon (on the opposite side of this room) was a fabulous bright space that would be a perfect spa, but it didn't have a restroom.

Ladies, you KNOW that when you sit and sip coffee or tea for three hours a ladies room is a requirement.

So, we did what we had to do. We stole from the mudroom.

Here you can see what we decided to do.
We pulled down a tiny powder room bathroom wall because we needed a bigger entrance near that back door. Also that space didn't have a sink but instead housed a stand up shower.
We immediately ripped it out before really realizing that our only other, ancient, crappy bathroom didn't have a shower and instead only had a 1954 tub.

Insert crazy nervous laughter here.

We needed to make the tiny powder room at the end of this space smaller and we needed to build out a bathroom in the salon that would take up the middle of this space.


You can see how the room suddenly felt smaller. Not something I really envisioned for my giant dream room mudroom. However, I did love the fact that this space now had the potential for two separate organizational areas. One at the end by the entrance and one down at this end. The new bathroom wall jutting out into the space, yes, but also acting as a little separation from the back door.

We didn't have too much time to figure out what would work best in this space because we had other rooms to worry about. (Like a gutted kitchen!)  However, we really need to finally utilize this space to the best of it's ability!

That's where the One Room Challenge comes in!!

If you have children and don't have a house keeper then you know a multifunctioning laundry room is a luxury all Mothers pray for. Such is the case for us! I have big dreams for this space and am joining in our first ever One Room Challenge to see if we can get this space finished in five weeks time.

Handy hubby and I work well under pressure. (Meaning, we stay up till 3AM if we have to and live off of caffeine if we gotta.) So here's to HOPING we can pull this space off in a few short weeks.

Do you know the One Room Challenge??
Every year I look forward to following the One Room Challenge featured designers and the amazing participants that take on one room in their home to makeover in five short weeks. Every Thursday you can visit the lovely Linda on her site "Calling It Home" to get inspired by others gumption to complete a room.

We literally JUST decided tonight to officially participate so I don't have any plans drawn up on what we are going to be doing. Read: I finally sweet talked my hubby into taking this on with me, even though I told him we would rest for a month. #heisthebest

I have however been stalking Pinterest and have a "Mudroom" and "Laundry Room" board full of ideas there. Feel free to check them out HERE.

In the end we hope to have a space that flows nicely with our new open living space.  I'm thinking lots of white, maybe some DIY made over lockers, a lot of paint, new lighting, stacked laundry, shiplap and some wood counters and a heavy duty wood-like floor. and I also truly, madly, deeply need tons of closed storage so I can stuff it full of ALLLLLL the things.

I can't wait to show you the ideas that are swarming in my little head. Until then, check out Calling It Home to see the other participants that are linked up for the #oneroomchallenge

So tell me, if you were making over a mudroom or laundry room what are some of the elements you would add? What is a must for a family with young children? And, do you really think it is possible to maintain a white mudroom when we have farmers fields behind us and three puddle jumping kids? Help!!

Monday, October 03, 2016

Custom DIY Built-ins {A sneak peek!}

Life lately had been so fun and so busy! If you've been following along on my Instagram (Direct link on right tool bar and end of the post) over the summer, you'll  know that together with my hand hubby we have been busy getting our spaces spruced up and ultimately ready for Christmas.

Yep you read that right!

Christmas in July was our happy reality this year!

Which is amazzzzzzing because I love Christmas almost as much as Buddy the Elf.


We have partnered again with Leon's Furniture for their upcoming Hello Holiday magazine and we have some exciting things to share with you in the upcoming months.

For now though, I wanted to pop in and share a glimpse of what a corner of our master bedroom recently looked like.

Straight out of 1954 people!!

Every bedroom in our fixer upper has built-ins exactly like this one. What do you think? Do you like vintage? Or is this just TOO vintage? They may be vintage but they are also so well made that we didn't want to take them out completely.

Also, that pesky budget wouldn't allow us to rip them out and fully replace them.

So, we got to work dreaming up how we could customize these bad boys without breaking the bank; they also needed to be completed within a few weeks. We needed a pretty back drop for our Christmas d├ęcor after all!

Here is a glimpse of what we came up with!

Custom DIY built-ins at a fraction of the price compared to new ones! All this makeover project took was MDF, nails, glue, paint and new hardware. Oh yes, and I may have used an electric sander in the house, even though I have told you guys in the past that that is a terrible idea.
Cheers to sleeping on the couch because your bed is covered in dust!

If life wasn't exciting and unexpected what would there be to wake up to??

Ummm....a clean room to start?

Ya let's not answer that one, K?

So, there's a little glimpse of one of our finished summer projects. Over the next little while Ill be catching you lovelies up on what we have been up to!

Until then, can we just talk about this bed post?? Sooooo pretty!

See more behind the scenes HERE and HERE. See more of that pretty bed  HERE.

Do you guys have any flat doors like ours that need spruced up? Stay tuned for our tutorial!