this ol house

Our house is almost 100 years old – built in the early 1920’s, shortly after the Halifax Explosion.

When we moved in eight years ago, the house had only one previous owner who had recently passed away. The family freshened up the house for selling by pulling out all of the dated pieces and restoring the original details which gave the home its character. I have no shame is saying they did exactly what they needed to do to convince a gal like me the house was absolutely perfect… And for a few good months, I kept that thought.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved this house and the neighbourhood, but I quickly found faults: No closets, small bedrooms, no open space, darkness, rot, dampness, etc. and by the time David was born, less than two years later, Mike and his Dad tore off and rebuilt the back mud room that was rotting. Next up, the bathroom! And after spending a few weeks in a house without a full bathroom and an eight-month-old baby, we realized we were the type of people who could conquer any renovation thrown at us!

Why not rip apart the entire main floor, dig out a basement, and replace all the windows? Hire a contractor from hell and go wild! Who needs a kitchen when you have a retro toaster oven and a bathtub? We lived upstairs above all of the dust and chaos for seven months when David was three. It was nuts but worth it when all was said and done.

Since then, we’ve scaled back on renovations but have done some landscaping and updates to David’s room and our bedroom room.

Now that it has been over four years things are starting to need a little TLC.

I read about the idea of creating a WHOLE HOUSE TO DO LIST on Young House Love and thought it’d be fun to write one for our home.

So here is the list. Some big. Some small. Some that will happen. Some that likely won’t:

Main Floor:

  • Paint the stairs (they’re chipping) and add a runner (not sure if they will stay purple)
  • Wallpaper the powder room
  • Repaint the hallway
  • Paint the playroom – keep it as a playroom or make it an office?
  • Replace the broken TV unit
  • Build built-in shelving for the playroom
  • Replace the broken pane of glass on the french door
  • Replace the coat rack in the front room with wall hooks
  • Fix the under cabinet lightening in the kitchen
  • Paint the bathroom door deep navy?
  • Replace the rug in the living room
  • Replace the hallway rug
  • Replace the coffee table – move coffee table to basement
  • Add more pictures to the gallery wall
  • Fix the clutter problem with the closet under the staircase and add lighting
  • Mount the TV or fix it so it looks like it is not supposed to be mounted

Basement:

  • Finish building the laundry room
  • Paint the stairs
  • Paint the railing
  • Mount the TRX
  • Buy a deep freeze
  • Build shelving for the old basement storage
  • Declutter!
  • Move the washer and dryer out of the new basement and into the laundry room that needs to be finished
  • Add baseboards and repaint the new basement
  • Install the Flor floor tile carpet we have
  • Furnish the basement so it’s an awesome rec. room

Second Level:

  • Fix the cracks in the walls… plaster woes
  • Paint the bathroom
  • Fix the window trim in the bathroom
  • Replace the bathroom mirror
  • Replace the current hallway linen cupboard with a floor to ceiling closet (but account for the attic opening)
  • Figure out a plan for upstairs…
    A. Move the office down to the current playroom and make the current office a closet. This will give us a proper guest room.
    B. Move the office to the current closet/guest room and bust out the wall between the current office and our bedroom to make a bigger bedroom with a closet.
    C. Move David’s to our current room, keep the office where it is and bust out the wall between the current closet/guest room and David’s room to make a big master bedroom with a closet.
    D. RENOVATE: Build out on top of the flat roof to make a big master bedroom with a closet and ensuite that wraps around David’s room. Move the window in David’s room to accommodate this. Keep the office where it is and make our current bedroom the guest room.

Outside:

  • Get a swing for the front porch
  • Hang the mailbox
  • Stain the decks
  • Get a hanging flower basket for the side entry
  • Move the vegetable garden
  • Get a new outdoor dining set
  • Install a lap pool
  • Add outdoor lighting to the shed
  • Add tall grass to the back of the backyard
  • Get a new BBQ
  • Get a mechanical shade awning in the backyard
  • Finish sealing the patio stones

I know, it seems like a lot of stuff right? But I think it’s smart to write it all down so we can keep track of our goals and priorities. We probably won’t get a lap pool but it doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of our wish list!

Do any of you have a crazy list like this or is it too overwhelming to write down? Let me know!
IMG_0557IMG_0562IMG_0605IMG_0650IMG_0972IMG_0973IMG_0997IMG_1016IMG_1018IMG_1087IMG_1165IMG_1175psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

Good night, room. Good night, moon.

We did a little bedroom update this weekend. I’ve decided it is time to declutter and to do so, I need to rethink the space I have.

I ordered the book the life-changing magic of tidying up – the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo because true to its name, I have actually read several life-changing stories from people who have practiced what Ms. Kondo preaches.

And without even reading the book, I knew the first place to start was our bedroom. It’s small (11’x12′), the ceilings are sloped, it lacks a closet and the window is low to the ground. Luckily we have a spare room that holds all of our clothes (aka. worst guest room ever), but dressers are like gold in an old home so I wanted to maximize the space by getting a bed frame with storage underneath and a big dresser for linen and extra bedding. IMG_2627 IMG_2628 IMG_2629 IMG_2630 IMG_2632

To do so I knew I needed to purge and the first thing to go was the bookshelf full of books (gasp!) As much as I love my books, why do I need to fill my small space with so many? It looked cluttered and led to side-sweeping, rather than walking along the foot of the bed.

Good riddance warped shelf and secondhand dresser*.

Sadly however, the Ikea assembly party is over and I now have a much bigger, messier project ahead. Remember that guest room I mentioned and all those books? Here’s what it looks like now: IMG_2625

At this point, everything from our bedroom, the linen cabinet, the hallway dresser, my office and the bathroom are going to be dumped in this room for strict evaluation and hopefully, over time, I can sort it all out and donate/sell/toss a bunch of it and allow this guest room to be the most lovely guest room it can be.

What about you? Any good tips on purging and/or organizing? Want to buy some used books? I plan to start an online yard sale so stay tuned!

*Disclaimer: The secondhand dresser did not go far… it moved one room over to my office but who said purging was easy?! IMG_2634psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

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  • Ikea’s Fjell bed frame with storageHemnes 3 drawer chestHemnes nightstands (already owned) and Valby Ruta rug
  • Paint colour (already painted): Benjamin Moore’s Touch of Grey, which is actually more lavender than grey and looks great with the red and dark brown wood.
  • The lamps are from Homesense (2 years ago)
  • Window shade from Sears (6 years ago)
  • Clock from L.L.Bean (4 years ago)
  • Chair from Wicker Emporium (6 years ago)
  • Dish from J.Crew (1 year ago)
  • Bedspread from The Bay (9 years ago)
  • Quilt made by my aunt!

bundle up

Autumn is here and we are holding off on turning on the thermostat. I bet we are not the only ones who treat this annual ritual as a game… how long can you bear it? To participate, you need to be strong and you must bundle up. With this in mind, I gathered up some fall-inspired fashion (aka my current wish list) that makes it almost okay to accept the brisk temperatures.

Autumn

But before I fill up my fictional online baskets, have you heard about a capsule wardrobe? I landed on this site and the idea intrigues me. Should I? Could I? I know there are clothes in my ‘closet’ that I’ve hung on to but do no wear and since I don’t actually have a real closet, it has become more evident that I am waisting valuable real estate. I think a capsule wardrobe would be a great way to minimize what I own and then decide what I really need. Here is Unfancy’s fall capsule wardrobe. Nice, right? If I decide to give this a go, I will be sure to let you know. In all honesty, I think I need to focus more on purging … not purchasing.

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A. Catbird Chained to my Heart Necklace / B. Catbird Ballerina Silver Earrings / C. Free People Jacquard Vegan Moto Jacket / D. Madewell High Rise Skinny Jeans / E. Jen Cogliantry Neck Knot / F. Lulus Bench Warmer Orange Plaid Infinity Scarf / G. Patagonia Women’s Toggle Down Vest / H. Kate Spade Saturday Pinstripe Hooded Circle Scarf / I. Sweaty Wisdom You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce Mug / J. QP x Collections Helmet Bag – Small – Green and Tan / K. Sweaty Betty Pace Run Tights / L. Vans® classic slip-ons in perforated leather / M. Hugo Guinness Original for J.Crew Epic Sweatshirt / N. Madewell ex-boyfriend shirt in cherry plaid / O. J.Crew Merci Tee / P. Frye Melissa Button Short / Q. Madewell prinkshop for edible schoolyard & madewell tee / R. Boden lightweight roll neck / S. Kate Spade Saturday The A Satchel / T. Aritzia Wilfred Diderot Sweater / U. Swatch Scuba Clownfish

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

bed bath and beyond

Lets daydream. Way back when we did our renovation, we got our dreamy open-space kitchen/dining/living combo plus a basement (which is still not being used to its full potential). It’s been great and we have no regrets buuuuuut…. we still have big plans for our home.

Let me start by giving you the details. We have four bedrooms upstairs:

  1. The ‘master’ bedroom: ~9 x 11 feet with no closet
  2. David’s bedroom: ~10 x 10 with an itty-bitty half closet
  3. The spare bedroom / our closet room: ~10 x 11 feet with an itty-bitty half closet, a futon, dresser and wardrobe
  4. My office: ~9 x 10 feet with a cubby closet

The bathroom is also small measuring in at a whopping ~7 x 6 feet

When we added the addition to the main floor we gained an extra 14 x 20 feet and due to architect and contractor mis-calculations, the new space has a flat roof. Although I would have preferred the look of a slopped roof from the outside, the benefit to a flat roof is that it was built like a floor – meaning, we could make it a patio or we could add an upstairs addition without needing to worry about changing the current structure. Easy but still pricy.

And, if we do decide to add an addition upstairs, the plan would be to make a real master bedroom with a closet and ensuite. Imagine that!

Here’s what it looks like now (approximate measurements as I did this in illustrator, not a house layout program)Print

And here is what we are thinking Print

  • We’d move the window in David’s room to the the other end and add another one on the side  of the house. Plus, we’d extend his room by two feet and expand his closet
  • We’d put our ensuite next to the current bathroom – making the plumbing all in one spot. I am really liking this layout:

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  • The front room (without a closet) will become a proper guest room
  • A roomy closet would be put in the master bedroom
  • A small patio would be built with a door from the master bedoom.

Of course, what’s a renovation without a bit of decor. After all, the only thing that got me through our long (long) ((long!!!)) seven months without a kitchen was the thought of decorating at the end. I’d like to keep things light and white with gold accents including this wallpaper i’ve been eying for a long time. Because I have the upmost appreciate for storage space, I would have a bed and bench with storage space too. I mean really, why not? bedroom

A. West Elm Round Capiz Chandelier / B. West Elm Terrace Side Table / C. Hygge & West Oh Joy! Petal Pusher wallpaper in gold / D. Lighthouz Monroe Low Back / E. 100 Layer Cake White Pouf / F. Wayfair Clifton Storage Bench / G. Pottery Barn Classic Single Wide Sink Console / H. Schoolhouse Electric Isaac Plug-in Sconces Brass / I. West Elm Gallery Frames, Gold Leaf / J. West Elm Chevron Wool Shag Rug / K. Anthropologie Luminous Dot Pillow / L. DIY Gold Vase / M. Anthropologie Tassel Trace Pillow / N. West Elm Molded Brass Side Table / O. Room&Board Pixo LED Table Lamp / P. Ikea Fjell Bed with Storage / Q. Ikea Fjell 4-Drawer Chest / R. Garnet Hill Floral Tapestry Nourmak Rug / S. Pottery Barn Vintage Tri-Fold Mirror / T. Anthropologie Spliced Linen Duvet / U. Max Wanger Talum print

Let me know what you think. Do you have any alternative layout ideas? What would you do with more space? As I mentioned, this is all a dream at this point but it’s still fun to think about the possibilities.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg