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

a whole new world

Finally, David’s bedroom update!

Way back in 2013, I wrote about wanting to do this (here) and I had full intentions to start right away but the project kept getting neglected… funny, considering he’s an only child and they tend not to get neglected but I am happy to say (show), after a lot of research, it’s done.

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I will be the first to admit, I got major inspiration for his room from a post I read here. I fell in love with the atlas wallpaper /red bunk bed combo and used them as my starting off point. We searched high and low (haha) for a bunk bed in the city that was affordable but not cheaply made.

We found a beautiful locally made bunk bed but it was + $1000 (unfinished) and was too big for the room. We thought about buying online (here or here or here) but again, very pricy and not quite what I wanted. We also thought about buying and painting the Ikea bunk bed but shipping and paint would cost more then the bed itself.

So, in the end, I convinced Mike to build it. Reason being, it’d be sturdier than Ikea’s, cheaper than the other 3, no shipping and we (Mike) could paint them red! The other great thing about D.I.Y. is it’s attached to the wall – meaning it saves a few inches of space in the room because there’s no gap between the wall (and baseboard) and the bed. We also added an extra foot to the length of the bed to allow room for custom boxes at each head to serve as built-in nightstands. Clever eh?

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Because I am an honest and a non-professional interior designer, I think it’s fair to share some of the problems we encountered.

First and foremost being the Wallpaper – apparently (from the amount of cursing I heard), it was not easy to hang. Matching up outlines of counties is hard, especially in an old house with wonky walls. Once it was hung it looked amazing for a few months until one particular time-out session when David decided to draw some run-away escape routes… on his wall. Hard to resist when you are stuck in your room with a marker and a ten-foot long map. So many possibilities. I was really mad until I realized he could be the next Columbus… or Cabot!

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The second lesson learnt was the paint. We used Annie Sloan’s Emperor’s Silk. It was our first time using the product and the colour is great but the purpose of the paint is more for refinishing old and/or ugly furniture. Not raw wood. It was expensive and soaked up a lot of paint. I think it would of been smarter to shop at a big box store instead. Opps. Still, read about the paint – I highly recommend it for what it’s intended for (and stay tuned for an upcoming post featuring the paint again).

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Live and learn. Here are some more pics:

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So that’s it. I hope you enjoyed. Sweet dreams.

Links to stuff: paint / wallpaper / bedding, dog stuffie, chair, shelf, step stool, caddy, carpet(s), dresser pull handles, star light / curtains / Blinth number poster / door hanger / dresser (yard sale)

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