Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The floodgates open again

A year ago, we tried very hard to book our wedding for May 28th of this year.  The venue we really wanted wasn't available that weekend, and so we were married 2 weeks ago instead.

I can't tell you how happy I am that our wedding was not May 28th!

On May 27th, Matt and I arrived home from work with the intentions of heading right back out again - we were supposed to go away for the weekend.  I went down to the basement to get some laundry... and lo and behold, the basement is wet.  Again.  We've had a lot of rain, and it seems the waterproofing that was recently done outside was not enough to keep the water out.

We called the company that did the work, so relieved that this is under warranty.  They were amazing - they showed up early Saturday morning, and got right to work.  Their thinking was that the water came around the footings and up the inside of the wall.  So they dug out the basement floor (about 1' in width, the entire length of the TV room wall), and put in new weeping tiles, and whatever else it is that needed to be done.  They were great about blocking off the area with tarps and plastic, so that the entire house didn't get covered in cement dust.  They re-laid the cement, and were on their way.   We still had a very wet basement to deal with, but we felt pretty good about the situation.  So we went away for the night.

When we came home on Sunday, the cement was still drying, as we were told it would be.  But it seemed more wet than it should.  We realized that there was still a little leak and a small trail of water coming out from where the wall meets the floor.  The water was pooling on top of the cement.

We got the guys back, and this time they decided to waterproof from the inside - the one thing we were avoiding doing.  I've had a few people (not experts) tell me that waterproofing both inside and outside is not wise, because the water can get trapped and ruin the foundation.  Is there any truth in that?  I'm not entirely concerned about that, since they have provided the water a proper trough to drain.  So they have put the waterproofing membrane on the interior wall, covering about 1.5' of the bottom of the wall.  This meant removing drywall from the wall.

The carpet, which has really taken a beating through this process, is a mess, and I wonder if it will ever look the same again.

The carpet looking worse for wear

Some of the trim around the doorframe to the TV room is water damaged.  And now we have to replace the drywall and paint.  Unless we make that one wall a feature wall with a different colour, then we'll have to paint the entire TV room so that the all the walls match again.  It's pretty disheartening.  The room seemed so fine the way it was when we moved in, and now it feels like a big mess.

We're reluctant to do the drywall right away, as we want to really see if it stays dry this time.  But how long can we wait?  I've never found myself hoping for a huge rainfall until now!

And I'm SOOOO glad that wasn't our wedding weekend!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Eating in the forest

What do most brides do a week before the wedding?  Finalize seating plans?  Assemble guest favours?  Write speeches?   Undertake a fairly significant home improvement project?

Because that is what I decided to do 7 days before our wedding! 

I woke up on Saturday feeling that our house was not quite at the decorative state that I would have liked it to be in, considering the wedding photographer would be taking all our "getting ready" pictures at our house the following week.

Matt and I laid in bed talking about it, and somehow we spontaneously decided to go ahead with the task, so I jumped out of bed and headed straight for Home Depot.  Luckily, we had wallpapered our basement bathroom just a few short months before, so this time at least we knew what supplies we needed, and roughly how to go about the task.  I should point out that although it was a spontaneous decision to wallpaper that day, I had been considering it for months.  I had two samples - one damask and one of trees - that I had been agonizing over.  But on this apparently very decisive day, we decided to go for the trees, without so much as a hmm or a hah.

Before we started, I said to Matt, "what are we going to do if we HATE it, and the wedding is in one week?".  He assured me that if that was the case, he'd call all the groomsmen over to strip the paper and paint the wall.  That was pretty good assurance, so I was willing to go ahead with the risk!

In my experience (and hopefully I am not alone in this), no home project is complete without at least 2-3 trips to the store!  This project was no exception.  I honestly did go to Home Depot three times that day.  Even though I was very careful to make sure I bought all the rolls of paper from the same Dye Lot #, there were two very different batches, so I bought two roles of each to see how they looked in our house, and later returned the spares.  Additionally, one little error in cutting put us into a third roll - causing another quick run to Home Depot, and a lot of extra wallpaper.

It was so worth it though!  The wallpaper looks amazing.

It was a relatively easy project to do, since it was just one wall and nothing really to cut around except the edge of a window sill. And I love how it looks!  It was only after we put it up, that I realized how nicely it ties the living room and dining room together.  The branches in the paper are dark grey (which matches the table legs and the dining room chairs) and gold (which really looks great beside our light-coloured wood floors).  The background colour is a silvery colour, which goes great with our grey couch.  And the tree motif (which I ALWAYS love) compliments the leaf-patterned chairs in our living room.

As an added bonus, my brother pointed out how cool our silverware looks in the room - we had registered for these settings from Crate & Barrel:
The handles look like tree branches!