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!