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.
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:
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
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
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
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.
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! psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg
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.
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:
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?! psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg
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.
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.
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:
The ‘master’ bedroom: ~9 x 11 feet with no closet
David’s bedroom: ~10 x 10 with an itty-bitty half closet
The spare bedroom / our closet room: ~10 x 11 feet with an itty-bitty half closet, a futon, dresser and wardrobe
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)
And here is what we are thinking
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:
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?
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