I have moved!

I have moved to my new address: dunnandcompany.blogspot.com
My blog is still under construction but I'd love it if you stopped by.


Painting Baseboards with Carpet

I had a great time painting my boys' room but I had some serious hesitation about painting the base boards.  I was too impatient to prepaint the base boards before having our super awesome construction guy install them.  I paid for it in the end because it was a real pain to have to paint them after they were installed.  I googled how to paint base boards with carpet but didn't really come up with much.  I took all of the bits and pieces of info and came up with this method.  It's not fool proof and I ended up having a couple of spots where paint bled onto the carpet.  It's ok though because we have so much furniture in that room that I knew it would be covered up.  Here's how I did it.

blue painters' tape
scraper thing

Line the top edge of the painters' tape along the bottom edge of the base board.

Tuck the edge of the painters tape under the base board using the flat tool.  Make sure about a 1/4" of the tape is under the base board so paint does not find its way onto the carpet.

Paint away! I found it helped if I loaded my brush and started painting in the middle of the base board rather than at the bottom along the paint.  That way I could spread out the paint and control it close to the carpet.

Take the tape off while the paint is still wet.  I find that waiting until the paint is dry and then pulling off the tape can cause some of the paint on the base board to come off with it.  It just seems to work better for me to pull the tape off when the paint is still wet.

What painting projects are you working on?

Happy painting everyone!


Picture Gallery Wall - DIY

Hey hey!  Life just continues to race forward doesn't it?  We are already a whole week into September and somewhere in the last couple of days my mind made a shift to fall.  The weather doesn't really change around here until mid October and even at that it only means that the frequent rain stops and the temperature becomes bearable.  We really don't get "fall" weather until December/January but I've already pulled out my tall brown boots.  YAY!  I'll suffer the heat for a little fall fashion!

My last post was a sneak peak showing the picture gallery wall I put up recently.  I still love love the gallery feel and how it takes up most of the wall.  I'm already looking at updating some of the photos especially because little E is not on the wall yet.  I thought I'd share with you my process in how it all came together.  I'll warn you now, I was quite particular so I did use a measuring tape and level but I think it was worth it. A gallery wall doesn't have to be so symmetrical or straight so make it your own and adjust it according to your space and taste.  Just remember that keeping the frames the same colour helps with continuity and is a little easier to put together.  Different coloured frames can work but it takes a little more finesse to get the balance just right.

  • measuring tape
  • painters' tape
  • pencil
  • level
  • hammer
  • picture hanging nails and/or hooks
  • an extra set of hands (for larger or heavier frames)

Find the center of the wall or space and determine just how much space you have to work with.  I didn't do this step as thoroughly as I should have so my gallery isn't exactly centered.  It's close enough and I think it still works

Lay out your pictures on the floor or some other large, flat space and move things around until you get a layout that is pleasing to your eye.  Just make sure you are keeping your wall space in mind and spread things out accordingly.  I wanted to keep things balanced without being exactly symmetrical so I made sure that I spread the large frames out.  I also made sure to keep the same frames apart so your eye moves around the gallery without getting stuck in one place.  Keeping the outside border straight and square also helps the gallery to feel cohesive even though it's made up of different sized frames.  Don't look too closely though...the top frames aren't exactly in line.  I didn't think it was worth adjusting since it's only a quarter of an inch off if that.  Once I had the layout just right I took a few pictures with my digital camera.  This last step is important as you start taking the pictures out of the layout and putting them on the wall.

Mark the middle of your picture gallery wall on the actual wall.  I used blue painters' tape because I knew it would come off easily.  I also used the very scientific method of eye-balling to mark the middle of the gallery space.

Find the bottom center of your picture gallery.  It may be that you have a picture in the bottom center of the gallery or maybe it's a space between two pictures.  I used the space between the two middle bottom pictures but that kind of back fired because the pictures are all different sizes and not equal on both sides of the space.  This goof up could have been disastrous making the whole gallery lopsided but it all came together in the end and isn't that noticeable. Phew! 

My middle was the space between two pictures.

Measure out where the first nail should go, take a deep breath and start hammering.  I decided to hang my frames right onto the nails so I held the picture up to the wall, made it level and marked each top corner of the frame on the wall with pencil.  It won't really be seen but you can always erase the pencil once the nails are in the wall.  Next, I measured how thick the frame was so I could know how far down from my pencil mark to put the nails.  The moment of truth...put the picture on the wall and see how it all worked out.

The blue tape on the left is the center of my wall and the little pieces of blue tape were my attempt to streamline the hanging process using a different method.  It was a little frustrating and totally didn't work.  Let's just keep it at that.

Use the level to find out where the bottom border of the gallery will be and put a piece of painters' tape on the wall so the next frame will come into line. Grab the next frame and follow step 5 again.  This time, make sure you measure and mark the distance between the two frames.  You can use either the painters' tape or a small pencil mark to show where the next frame should start.  I kept about 2-2.5 inches between each frame.

The next picture shows the order in which I put the pictures up.  I found that it worked well to put up the pictures around the outside of the gallery first and then work on the inside pictures.  I adjusted my layout as I went so I had to make the spaces between the inner frames a little smaller or larger than the original 2 inches. 

It may seem like a lot of work to measure and level everything but I think the final result is really worth it.  I looked at using other methods for marking where the frames were to go but they were going to take just as much time so I thought I'd do things this way because I was comfortable with it.  Here are a couple of other ways to put up a gallery wall.  Click on the links to take you to the "how to."

Have fun creating your own wall of memories and special pictures! 


Friday Fabulous - the Gallery Wall

the new gallery wall

I just LOVE Fridays!  I'm not really sure why they hold such a special place in my heart since I gave up my Monday-Friday job quite a while ago but they are still my favourite for sure.  I guess it's because it's the gateway to the weekend and the weekend is always so full of possibilities.  This Friday I thought I'd give you a peak at what I've been working on around here.  

A few months back we decided that we needed to finish painting out our living room since we had started it, well, two years ago.  Woa!  That's right, it had been THAT long!  Since we were painting I decided to take down my picture ledges so we could fill the holes and paint the wall then maybe put the ledges back up again.  Check out my post about the picture ledges here

the old gallery wall with our old green walls (though it's hard to tell that the wall colour is green)

Once I had the ledges and pictures down I realized that I hadn't love loved what they looked like when they were up.  I am really glad I gave it a try but I didn't like how cramped everything felt.  Also, Mr. D knocked one particular picture off the ledge a number of times (by accident of course) and I just didn't want to deal with something that could be a danger to those sitting on the couch.  So...I left the space blank for MONTHS.  Um, it's still blank but that'll be another story for another day.  I knew I wanted to put the pictures back up but didn't want to use the ledges.  I also moved everything over to an adjacent wall so that the picture frames wouldn't get knocked off the wall anymore.  

BEFORE ... ARGG so much clutter!!! 

The buffet has become a dumping ground and I thought you might like to see the clutter up close!  We are working on getting things more organized but we're not quite there yet.  Notice the blue painter' tape on the wall.  I was marking the middle of the buffet or as close as I could get with eye-balling it so I could center my gallery.  It was a great thought but didn't quite work out as I had planned but more on that in a later post.


I love LOVE how the gallery uses most of the space on the wall while drawing the eye upward making the ceilings feel just a little higher.  I also love that I was able to put some space between the frames which gives the eye a little time to "breathe" and to take each photo in before moving to the next one.  It's amazing how those little spaces help the room to feel orderly and calm which really helps to make our house into a peaceful home.  I'm still working on styling the buffet so I'll spare you the cluttered mess this time.  All in all, I'm super excited about having so many special photos up.  Oh and little C noticed them the other day and stood there for a while just taking it all in.  I totally love that he can look up and see his family (near and far) any time he wants.  That's the best!

I'll do a post later on how I put everything together but until then...have a happy Friday!


Friday Fabulous - Blog Love

So I've been excited to get back into some of my favourite blogs over the last couple of weeks.  The fun thing about blogs is that there are usually links to other fun blogs which usually leads to even more fun blogs and on and on.  Well, I started clicking and discovered some interesting new-to-me blogs.  I just couldn't help myself and I wanted to share some of my recent discoveries with you.  Clicking on the blog titles will take you straight to the goods.  I hope you are as inspired as I have been.

Nesting Place - It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.  I can so relate to that statement.  I've particularly enjoyed looking at the transformation The Nester's home has gone through over the last couple of years (click on the home tour).  She has really put a personal stamp on her home - a rental home at that - while keeping things livable for her family.  That's right people... she's got 3 boys.   

from Nesting Place

What She Wore 365 - just because I need new inspiration for my wardrobe.  Did I ever mention that when I married Mr. D I moved from a place that had four distinct seasons to a place that has two real seasons...warm/hot and cool?  Half of my wardrobe was instantly unnecessary.  It's taken me four years to figure out how to dress in this new climate (I actually got tired of wearing flip flops...scandalous, I know!) and I've finally started to wrap my brain around it so I'm excited to get shopping.  That and we have some kickin' outlets down the way that are calling my name!

ThirtySomethingFashion - I haven't spent too much time getting into this blog's past posts but I was instantly intrigued because the poster was pregnant.  That's where I'm at right now ... not necessarily pregnant but definitely in mommy land and I'm always looking for new inspiration that says "fun, stylish, and able to run after a two year old."  I'll be checking this blog out for sure.

You really must check out these great blogs ... you just must!  Happy clicking everyone and have a wonderful weekend!

...one more thing...what blogs are you following these days?


Baby Shower, Surprise Visitors & a New Addition

Well, it's been almost four months since my last post and you may be wondering where on earth I've been.  I didn't intend to take such a long break but things got busy and I quickly realized that my full attention needed to be on getting ready for our newest addition.  Since little E has arrived we have been learning to live life as a family of four.  That has had some challenges and I didn't know that I could be even more sleep deprived than I already was!  But, in spite of the challenges we persevered and have now started to come out of the sleep deprived fog.  Can I just say that it feels great to have a few hours of sleep at night uninterrupted?!

One of the highlights from before little E's arrival was the AMAZING baby shower my family threw for me.  It was PERFECT, beautiful and something I would have admired had I seen it in a magazine or on a blog.  They truly outdid themselves.  The most amazing part was that my two sisters were flown in to surprise me and to attend the shower.  WOW!  I could tell you that I was super excited but I'll be honest, I totally screamed when I saw them in my in-laws' livingroom.  It went WAY beyone super excited!  You see, I haven't seen my sisters in person since Christmas so it was beyond amazing to see them...in my in-laws' living room!  From "the surprise visit" and the shower until little E's birth it was a race to get loose ends tied up at work, boxes of baby clothes washed and our house tidied up.  We even hosted a super fun friend the week before little E's arrival which turned out to be so amazing because she was able to stay with little C while we were at the hospital.  Anyway...I could go on and on but instead I thought I'd share a few pictures of this ah-mazing shower and my special visitors.

all of my favourite treats

my sweet sisters-in-law & mother-in-law thought of every detail

the yummiest cake EVER

me - looking like I'm about to pop

My beautiful & amazing sisters.

Right now I'm working on putting up my gallery wall - again.  This time I left the picture ledges out and I'll explain why later.  I'm hoping to use them in the boys' room once I turn my attention back to that space.  Until then I'm working hard to use nap time to get my reworked gallery wall up.  I'm loving it SO much more but it's not quite done so you'll have to wait just a little longer for pictures.  I'm so excited about getting back to working on making our house more homey and organized in between baby snuggles and reading books to my sweet C of course. 


Boys' Room - Before & Update

Finding out we were going to add to our family was such a happy day.  It was actually our fourth anniversary - super fun!  I have to admit that my brain switched into overdrive thinking about how I wanted to decorate the room both of our kids would share.  How exciting to find out that our second child will be a boy!  I grew up in a family of all girls and Mr. D has all sisters so to say that I am learning about boy-inspired style is an understatement considering that I really like all things girl.  The blogosphere has become a wealth of inspiration and it's from this inspiration that I inundated Mr. D with one idea after another.  We decided to switch the office with little C's room because there would be more room to fit both boys and ALL of their stuff.  THEN Mr. D woke up one morning and decided he wanted to make my boy room dreams come true and create board and batten detailing on the walls.


AH!  I totally LOVE that look!  That was the sweetest thought EVER but unfortunately we hit a huge roadblock.  All of our walls are textured...heavily textured.  I thought it was no big deal and that we could just sand them down or something.  Ha ha ha, silly me!  Board & batten was not meant to be.  We consulted with our good friend and construction guy extraordinaire who gave us the sad news that we would have to take down ALL of the drywall and redo it if we wanted untextured walls again.  WOW!  I was so not expecting that.  Well, we revamped our idea and decided to use the feeling of the flat moulding used in board & batten but in such a way that would work with our really great textured walls. 

Mr. D got to work and removed all of the 1980s moulding and Construction Guy Extraordinaire got to work, with Mr. Ds help, to put up our new moulding. 

colour possibilities...the red was a fleeting thought

As you can clearly see, our room and whole house actually, has 1980s moulding that really has very little character.  Oh and I don't need to mention the strange use of chair rail moulding that looked more out of place than anything.  If you look really closely you can see that dark olive green on the walls - again.  I can't tell you how nice it is to have a light and airy room.  The black furniture in the middle of the room will be moved into the office with the help of a few very strong and burly guys.  It's so heavy and this pregnant lady is not taking any chances.

That's the uninspired before.  Here are some pics showing our progress to date.

We still have some details left to finish with the new trim.  There will be a piece of trim under the window sill and the opening to the closet (in the top right of the above photo) needs to be finished properly then trim applied.  Let's just say that the people who owned our house before us did a lot of interesting home improvements...on their own...without looking into the how-shall-I-say "right" way to do things.  Needless to say, there's been much undoing and redoing.  

We are so excited (I did my happy dance) about how the room is turning out and I can't wait to get little C moved in.  I'm pushing to have the trim that is up painted by the end of the weekend so we can start the moving process.  I ran into a little glitch with that but trusty Google came to my rescue.  I'll share more about that another time.  It's getting difficult to live with office furniture and stuff in every corner of our house.  

There you have it.  We've been at a sort of stand still until that trim gets finished but I'm going to push things a little.  I think we can finish the rest of the trim with little C moved in so we're going for it!  YAY!  I can hardly wait! 

I'm off to our home improvement store with little C.  Have a wonderful weekend.