My little powder room

February 13, 2022

After nine years on my household “to-do” list, my little two-piece ensuite bathroom (4’x5′) finally got a makeover. Thanks to my amazingly talented son-in-law, Scott, who volunteered to do the whole reno. So, without further ado here are some photos:

I painted a couple of little pictures to add some colour.
A sweet little waterfall faucet.
A nice farmhouse light fixture.
I love my new patterned floor tiles. Peel-and-stick! The morning
sun shines right into the mirror, leaving me blinded, so I put
up some curtains. I chose a sheer fabric because it softens the
sunlight while still keeping the bathroom bright and cheery.

Thanks to Scott, I smile every time I walk into my little bathroom.

Our little arbor

December 13, 2020

I’ve wanted an arbor for such a long time and this summer we finally put one in our backyard. We added a few flagstones around it and planted some flowering shrubs on either side–three-season lilacs. I also planted some grapevines that will, hopefully, cover the arbor in beautiful shade-producing greenery.

Here’s Peter putting it together…with my help, of course!

Well, someone had to test it out.

We built our arbor on the back deck and then we moved it into its permanent location at the back of the yard.

It looks so pretty and it was just what we needed in front of the bare spot in the hedge.

Sometimes I sit there and just take in the beauty of summer.

The summer of 2020 was sweltering and the grapevines struggled to hang on. It was also the summer of the great pandemic, COVID-19. I believe that next summer will be the best summer, ever! Dontcha think?

Relax and unwind, you’re on patio time!

Our very talented niece, Renée, and her husband, Félix, created two beautiful signs for our deck planters. My husband, Peter, came up with the slogan. I think they look great!

First, the wood is burned to preserve it and then the text is carved out. I added a coat of Varathane for further protection and Peter put them up with his trusty drill. And, now, it’s time to relax and unwind, it’s patio time!

Summertime, and the living is easy

I’ve been so busy with gardening and other outdoor work (like sitting in the gazebo with a good book) that I haven’t had time to do much blogging. So, here’s an update on our yard…it’s starting to take shape, finally. When we moved in here in January of 2013, the entire property was hidden under snow, so we had no idea what we’d find come spring. Well, spring came, and it wasn’t pretty. But, enough about that. Here’ what we’ve created over the past few years…a new deck, gazebo, flower beds, plants and shrubs, outdoor lighting…

When we cleaned out the garden shed we found this old baker’s rack. I spray painted the metal part a nice shiny black, added new boards for the shelf and popped some plants onto it. It sits on the deck, right outside our back door. Everything old is new, again!

Our new planter boxes. This photo was taken in May…you should see them now! The boxes are overflowing with blooms.

The gazebo at night is so pretty with the lights in it.

The big old stump from a giant Norway pine that we had to cut down. Peter hollowed out the centre and I planted some flowers in and around it. It’s so pretty now.

Our pretty garden shed.

Peter showing off his big-man muscles.

I found the metal base of our birdbath in a neighbour’s trash one day when I was out for a walk. I lugged it home and painted it black. Peter added a board to the top of the post which I then painted in teal to match the birdbath. I put a few rocks in so the butterflies can land on them and have a drink, too.

I just love this birdbath.
So many hostas!

Yep, more hostas…and there are lots more, too!

While every garden has weeds, have you ever seen a dandelion this big? I found it way underneath our Silverleaf Dogwood. What a monster!

I could go on and on about our backyard, but I think you get the idea, right? Anyway, we feel very blessed to have a yard that we can enjoy and relax in.

Happy gardening to you!

Fireplace Makeover 2

March 31, 2019

When we bought our 1972 ranch style bungalow back in January 2013, it had a dark and dreary red brick fireplace. We hated it.

So, in 2016, we painted it white. Well, that really brightened things up, But, it was just so white.

Today, we gave up our Sunday naps, got out our paint brushes and took another crack at it. We think it looks much warmer and cozier.

And, now, we turn the page and go on to our next little project.

Thanks so much for dropping in. I hope you’ll stop by, again!

It’s all about curb appeal!

Wow, what a transformation…we’re impressing even ourselves!

Right off the bat, let me say that the big photo of our house that you see at the top of this blog is the BEFORE shot. I am chronicling the evolution of our improvements and posting updates here on Home at Last. I hope you will ride along with me on this shoestring budget transformation.

When we moved into our new-old house in 2013, there was no lawn to speak of, and just a few straggly looking shrubs. It was so weird to me and Peter (my awesome husband) that in the 42 years since the house was built, no one had bothered to landscape.

We started with the front lawn and turned a tundra into a lawn-to-be-proud-of. Check out the photos… Oh, by the way, my goal is to have evergreen beds that will look pretty in all seasons and, perennial flower beds that I NEVER have to plant again. This whole landscaping plan can get to be very expensive and exhausing. LOL!


Frame_13-Tripp-June 2013 (4)


 (How we did it: a bag of Golf Green fertilizer, a bag of lawn seed and lots of water. Period.)

Lawn-spring 2013

With our lawn looking lush and lovey, we put up the window boxes I’ve been wanting forever and I painted the shutters, front door and garage door a nice clean black. I think it’s a big improvement over the original colours, which were several shades of mismatched blues. It all worked out quite nicely. (We have all new outdoor lights that will be installed as soon as I can find a reputable and affordable electrician).

Front garden June 2015 (7)


Next, we began to plant more evergreen shrubs and perennial flowers. We still have a ways to go, but here are some recent photos of where we’re at… (I’m quite convince I will go broke before I finish landscaping this property LOL!)

Front garden June 2015 (6)

I LOVE the colour of these peonies!


And, of course our shiny new lawn lamp…about $158 at Home Depot (remember, we’re still decorating on a shoe-string budget).

NNew lamp post cu

So, this is only June and the shrubs and flowers are growing like mad! I’ll be taking photos over the summer to watch the evolution–it’s so much fun.  Why not capture your own home sweet home with photos? It’s just amazing how your landscaping and decorating evolve over the years, and it’s so much fun to look back on it all.

Thanks for dropping by! There’s lots more to come!

Vignettes: a lovely way to display your favourite things!

Whenever I travel or even when I just take a walk in the park, I always come home with my pockets and bags filled with sea shells, pine cones, rocks, leaves and twigs. These really are some of my favourite things–and, best of all, they’re free!

I also love old, sturdy pieces of furniture that don’t come with an assembly sheet in 16 languages and a hex key. Remember when furniture used to come built and ready to use?  And it used to last from generation to generation! That said, here is one of my favourite pieces–it’s an old oak wash stand that I bought for $80 at an antique barn somewhere in the Ottawa Valley (can’t remember where it was, darn!).


It’s a charming little piece that can be used in any room in my house. As  you see it here, it’s in a space between the dining area and the living room (kitchen, dining and living rooms are all wide open). It adds some sense of division, without creating a barrier. This funny little cabinet came with just three knobs–there never was a fourth. Anyway, I bought some antique ones and will, eventually, put them on–all four of them.


The gorgeous cast iron lamp comes with a story, too: one warm summer’s day, my daughter and I took a walk near her home in Carp. We came across a house owned by a lady who collects all sorts of treasures, like this lamp, and sells them every Saturday morning at a garage sale. I fell in love with the lamp, so my daughter knocked on the lady’s door and asked her how much she wanted for the lamp. “Nothing,” she said, “if your mom likes it, it’s all hers.” That was a deal I couldn’t turn down. When I got home, I added a silk champagne-coloured lamp shade that had been sitting in my basement for a couple of years. They make a beautiful couple!


The “vintage” metal pitcher is my $7 Walmart find; the pretty silk flowers come from Dollarama.


These hand-carved chess pieces were given to me in 1974 by a military friend who had been stationed in Africa. She bought the entire set for a dollar! I gave them to my dad for his birthday in 1975. After he passed away in 1995, I asked my mom if I could have them back, as a keepsake. I’ve never figured out a good way to display them, so when I unpacked them this time, I put them in a bowl ($2 in a sale bin at Pier One Imports). Now, every time I look at them, I think of my dad and that funny grin he got on his face when he was about to say, “checkmate!


This pretty little oval plate on a stand is another one of my Dollarama treasures. I bought it because I liked the message on it and because the colours made me happy! For me, value is all about how something makes me feel, regardless of the numbers on the price tag.

The oval mirror above the wash stand was left to me by my great-aunt, Dorothy. It matches several other pieces of furniture that date back to the mid-1930s and have passed the test of time.

And, last but not least, the brocade table runner is a heavy woven fabric, fully lined and trimmed with braiding and a deep fringe on each end. This lovely piece was $6 at the Christmas Tree Shop in Vermont.

In summary, here are my costs for this vignette:

Wash stand: $80

Lamp: Free

Pitcher: $7

Flowers: $3

Oval plate: $1

Brocade runner: $6

Bowl: $2

Mirror: Inherited

TOTAL: $99 

I hope this inspires you to take out some of your treasures and group them together in a pretty vignette!