christine_z's Profile

Display Name: christine_z
Member Since: 11/14/07

Latest Comments...

Thanks for the comments everyone, and a special thank you for your patience if you've been following along since the beginning! I'll try to post individual replies to some questions. We know the layout isn't for everyone, but due to our many weird constraints and after cooking in the space for the last few months, it really works for us.

@arneri, for sure, art is desperately needed on both that wall and the hallway. Given our current pace it should be there by 2025. :)

@fiona, the table is good old Ikea and the shelves are unfinished pine, sanded heavily and stained.

@stananddana, Our fridge door direction can't be changed!! Unfortunately. Otherwise, I totally would.

@CanadianMango & @Rookie & @princess_lala, We changed the floor direction to emphasize the change in flooring rather than try and hide it, as half the kitchen has the original floorboards and the other half are new engineered hardwood over a concrete slab. If you read back in the series, there are a couple of posts that talk about our search for a match and our choices in laying the boards.

Christine & Pierre's Kitchen: The Big Reveal Renovation Diary
3/13/14 04:47 PM

@Taco11222, we used "Pewter" - it's the second darkest grey available from Polyblend.

Christine and Pierre's Kitchen:
The Home Stretch Renovation Diary

11/4/13 01:26 PM

@Hitch, yep, those wires are for LED strips that will run in the open shelving. I'll go into detail on that in a future post!

Christine and Pierre's Kitchen:
The Home Stretch Renovation Diary

11/4/13 01:24 PM

@Critifur, sorry we missed your question. We've been a little out of the loop with replies the last few weeks. Indeed, we've been busy with the baby! :)

Hitch is right, we didn't recess into the studs. Our contractors actually took care of this, but they just screwed the brackets right into the wall and then drywalled on top. The brackets were purchased at Home Depot. They are maybe 1/8" of an inch thick, so I don't believe they had any trouble making the wall flush. And yes we were completely inspired by Claire & Jeffrey's renovation! Sorry, I don't have a close-up photo, but there's not much to see.

Christine and Pierre's Kitchen:
The Home Stretch Renovation Diary

11/4/13 01:23 PM

@KristinaNYC, Indeed they are for shelves with built-in lighting. They'll be pretty similar to what Claire & Jeffrey did for their kitchen (, except since we don't have any upper cabinets we had to run the wires behind the drywall and get creative with where to put the transformer. I think this bit of the renovation deserves a post in and of itself so I'll probably dedicate a week to it near the end!

Christine & Pierre's Kitchen: Countertops! Renovation Diary
10/15/13 01:14 PM

@Andree-Anne, it's the Kraus 30" undermount sink available on Amazon:

Christine & Pierre's Kitchen: Countertops! Renovation Diary
10/11/13 12:12 PM

@miss_gagarine, @Caroline Olivier, @indiekitten – Bloggeurs de Montréal represent!! :)

Christine & Pierre's Kitchen: Countertops! Renovation Diary
10/11/13 12:10 PM

@catiaelizabeth, it's very easy to fill - there is a reservoir underneath the sink, and it can be filled by just unscrewing the pump on the top (kind of like a hand pump that you would find in the bathroom).

Christine & Pierre's Kitchen: Countertops! Renovation Diary
10/11/13 12:06 PM

@brownietheblog, Hey!!! I have been following your renovation too on your blog! Montrealers unite!

The reclaimed wood "store" is really just a couple that sells reclaimed barn wood out of their garage in Laval. (Search "Bois Grange" on Kijiji and you will find them!) They would be great to purchase wood from for, say, a project where you needed decorative pieces of wood, or wood to use as a façade. But they didn't have what we needed - namely, very long and deep, very straight, very thick pieces. They have some really nice pieces though so if you need smaller slabs their prices are super good.

Christine and Pierre's Kitchen: Moving Forward Again Renovation Diary
10/8/13 11:20 AM

@hitch, This was a concern of mine too, but now that everything's installed I don't even notice the difference between the whites. Most of my apartment is painted Moonlight White with Simply White on the trim. Parts of the kitchen are more of a warm white, some are more cool, and it all blends well together. We went with the Adel cabinet fronts which are a little warmer than some of their more modern white options.

Christine and Pierre's Kitchen: Assembling the Cabinets Renovation Diary
9/16/13 12:28 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone. We watched a few YouTube videos that led us astray in terms of how slowly it should be applied. And I think it's safe to assume that sanding between coats is necessary, regardless of what is written on the can.

Not a perfect job, but pretty good for a (half) DIY. :)

Christine and Pierre's Kitchen:
Finishing the Floors Renovation Diary

9/9/13 09:25 PM

Oh, this is something I dream of doing! Unfortunately we have elderly neighbours on all sides and so we would have to have everything wrapped up and moved inside by 11... kind of a buzz kill. If I lived in LA this is the kind of thing I would want to do all the time.

An Outdoor Movie Party Gatherings From The Kitchn
8/23/13 09:36 PM

Saval, these are the ones we installed:

They're totally dimmable and I like the quality of the light. We're very happy with them. You might need to change the housing to accommodate the 4" ones though, as they didn't fit all the options at HD.

Christine and Pierre's Kitchen: Time to Paint Renovation Diary
8/21/13 10:48 PM

@hitch, I roughed out the lighting plan with our designer very quickly. I had done a quick plan in advance and then she helped me arrange the positioning of the lights. We definitely could have gotten away with a few less. But here are a few good tips I've picked up during the course of this reno:

- We spaced the lights between 2' and 3' apart. In retrospect I think closer to 3' - 4' would have been plenty, but live and learn. The dimmers allow us to control the amount of light, and I'd rather have too much light than too little. (We might remove a few lights in the future and replace them with those little built-in speakers!)
- We focused on the perimeters of the room. None in the middle. But we have a narrow room (11').
- The 4" cans are a good size, I definitely wouldn't have wanted any bigger than that. We didn't get directional lights because we bought LEDs, but otherwise I would have.
- I wondered the same thing as you about the range and fridge and stuff, but ended up just positioning lights there anyway. The light above the range is really to accommodate for the shadow that would be cast by the range hood, so I'm not sure it should matter. Same with the fridge - you want it to be illuminated even when it's closed!
- Something important our designer impressed on us - sight lines are important. Try and arrange lights on a somewhat consistent grid so that you have a straight line of lights.
- We only use the lights at night so natural light doesn't apply!

Hope this helps! In the end we may have put in more than was strictly necessary, but it's really nice to control the light exactly how we want, and to have the option to go "full blast" when necessary. I made the opposite mistake when putting in lighting in the bathroom - putting in one less than was necessary - and the former mistake is not nearly annoying as the latter.

Christine and Pierre's Kitchen: Time to Paint Renovation Diary
8/21/13 10:40 PM

@TPSD and @Kathryn1123, I love the idea of combining the tile and the wood, but Kathryn described our situation exactly - basically, we have concrete in half the kitchen. So we couldn't take up the old floor and lay it over the concrete without potential buckling and warping down the road. Kathryn, if we had been replacing all of the flooring, I think slate would have been my first choice!

@Mike, I know right? I can't be the only person looking for an engineered floor with variation! I'm curious about your post - is Douglas Fir not considered hardwood?

@mschatelaine, I agree totally that it's better to emphasize the difference between new and old rather than try too hard to "fake" it. Even with the choice we made for our floor, it will still be obvious what's new and what's old. But this way the new part of the floor will somewhat blend with the old and not be a design feature all on its own.

@Dulcibella, there was no brand name or anything! I got the impression that the product was coming from the same supplier that supplies the raw solid hardwood. I would call around and ask if they have unfinished engineered versions of whatever hardwood you're looking at. Be patient, we had to go to 4 or 5 places before we found what we were looking for.

Christine and Pierre's Kitchen: All About Flooring Renovation Diary
8/16/13 11:52 AM

Oh definitely. I jokingly said to my husband last week, while we were in the middle of an epic tiling project, that now we can never move because we've worked so damn hard on this house!

Making a House a Home with Sweat Equity
8/14/13 04:19 PM

Véro, THANK you for adding your list, I just about cried when I saw this so-called "Design Lover's Guide" that had nothing that this designer and Montrealer would consider very interesting!! So thank you for some of these better suggestions.

Oh I have to add some stuff:

- Style Labo - very cool industrial and vintage furniture finds. Expensive, but amazing selection
- Lambert & Fils - unique hand-made lighting made locally!
- Quincaillerie Danté - The best in kitchen equipment. They also sell hunting supplies, if that's your thing!
- Unicorn Boutique - beautiful women's clothes, many local brands

Honestly, wayyyy too many to even get into, a few additional notes:
- Santa Barbara is amazing. Super place for brunch that has good veggie options AND is very baby/toddler friendly if you're traveling with kids. I've heard their dinner is great too.
- OK, L'express is a bit old, but I would say it's neat to go as a very late-night option. It's open until like 4 in the morning! So if, after a night out, you would prefer not eat poutine with 20 year olds, but would rather eat a fancy bouillabase in a beautiful Paris-style bistro in the wee hours of the morning, L'express is for you.
- Ride bixis up to Dinette Triple Crown and get them to pack you a picnic of fried chicken, milkshakes and southern-inspired dishes. They'll give you everything you need to eat a picnic in the adjacent park. Delicious!
- Walk through Jean-Talon market on an empty stomach. (The batjis sold in the back of the Indian place are amazing, as are the fried calamari from the fish place.)
- Eat a fresh bagel from Fairmount or St-Viateur. New York has nothing on Montreal bagels.
- Have a cocktail at the Dominion Square Tavern downtown. Beautiful 20's decor and great drinks.
- Try out one of our many, many local brews at Dieu du Ciel or Vices et Versa (both are great!).

- I disagree about the MAC! If you can, go on the first Friday evening of the month for their "Nocturnal evenings" - they're open late and usually they host a sort of concert or event. You can tour the museum before or after the show, and they sometimes have really neat performances.
- Rent a bixi and ride up Mont Royal mountain or ride along the Lachine Canal. Stop for a beer at the St-Ambroise brewery if you're riding along the canal.

Come in the summer or the fall - avoid the spring as it's pretty disgusting!

A Design Lover's Guide to Montreal Apartment Therapy's Design Destination Guide
8/8/13 04:08 PM

@hitch - you're right. And actually after I made that comment, I went back and looked at how far we've come, and we're not that far off. We just happen to have hit that exact wall you are talking about, and boy is it ever discouraging. It can feel like everything is happening so sloooowly, but when I really look at what we've done every week, it's a lot.

Yes, there is happily a delay between what's happening real-time and the publication of the posts. I think for the editors and also for our sanity. :)

Good luck with your kitchen reno too, and getting past the wall!

Sandra & Justin's Kitchen: Cabinets! Renovation Diary
7/25/13 08:54 AM

Holy crap, your renovation is moving at light speed compared to ours.

Sandra & Justin's Kitchen: Cabinets! Renovation Diary
7/24/13 01:00 PM

Have I stumbled upon a meme in my renovation post unknowingly?? Amazing.

Thanks, meme. Theme.

Christine and Pierre's Kitchen: The Last of the Demo, and a Few Surprises Renovation Diary
7/21/13 11:59 PM