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)

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when new becomes old

Way back (like over 5 years ago) the first big renovation in our house was the upstairs bathroom. Since this all happened before hello sunshine, let me rewind and fill you in…

The bathroom, although charming with an original clawfoot tub, was pretty grimy. Plus, the clawfoot was hidden and its condition matched its age. It was (and still is) our only full bathroom (there is an itty bitty powder room downstairs) and with a baby in the house, we felt it needed a facelift. David was about seven-months-old and now looking back, I see this renovation as major foreshadowing to the renovation we endured a few short years later.* You see, here’s the thing, as it was our only bathroom with a shower/tub and we survived several weeks without. I lugged baby David to my parent’s apartment for daily washing and Mike boycotted showing altogether during the duration of the renovation as solidarity to his project (he sponged bathed in the sink).

We worked with our friend and designer Erica on the design and made the most of our small space. Mike and his dad did everything on their own and although tiling was a bit of a learning curve, I think it turned out well! before1 before2 before3

 

during1 During2 during3 During4

I loved my little bathroom and still love it but as David has grown into an independent messy boy, I feel like a refresh is in order. The walls and trim need painting plus, when we replaced the window, the mess around the frame was never fixed. I like the colour but I think it’s too magazine.

Note: Magazine is when it looks good in a photo but in reality, it shows the filth of everyday life. after1 after2 after3

So with all the being said, I have some ideas. Before Mike freaks out, the good news is it is almost all cosmetic. I am keeping the sink, toilet, tub, cabinet and tile but just want to update the decor.

My first thought was wallpaper! I am itching to hang wallpaper somewhere in the house and this one has been on my radar for years: pottokprints

However, I am saving it for the powder room. It will be mine.

I also love these: wallpaper

But with a shower, I think paint is the smarter choice and I’ve been wanting a kelly green room for awhile. There’s something about kelly green and navy that just screams bathroom.

Then I saw this: katespade

Again, wallpaper but isn’t it amazing. It’s Scalamandre Zebra in Kate Spade’s bathroom so of course it’s amazing.

So back to Kelly. I can still use the shower curtain above and update my linen. Then the only other thing I would like is a new shower head. I regret not getting the rain shower / handheld combo and am trying to convince Mike it’d be a good investment. Bathroom

While I work on convincing Mike to move forward on this … we are also finishing David’s room. An old house (or at least my house) is never done!

A. Marimekko Pieni Unikko (Red) / B. Hygge and West Peonies (Mint) by Rifle Paper Co. / C. Hygge and West Daydream (Blue) by Julia Rothman / D. Waves of Chic removable wallpaper / E. Whitby Wallpaper – Washed Denim / F. Flamingos wallpaper by Albany / G. Anchors Aweigh removable wallpaper

H. Zoe Atlantis Rain Shower Head  / I. Ikea Godmorgon Mirror Cabinet (our wall cabinet already installed is Godmorgon) / J. Anthropologie Monarch Mercury Jar / K. Threshold Color Block Shower Curtain from Target / L. Casa White Tissue House from CB2 / M. Anthropologie Medora Bathmat / N. Stripped Dobby Waffleweave Towels from Pottery Barn / O. Kelly Green by Benjamin Moore

*The renovation that followed this left us seven months without a kitchen!

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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.

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this little light of mine…

… is for sale!

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When we first moved into our home on Cabot, the dining room was in desperate need of a lighting update …

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… so we purchased this beautiful chocolate brown pendant light. It hung around until the renovation, but had to come down when the dining room ceased to exist.

The light didn’t work in the new space, and I even walked around the rest of the house a few times holding it up to the ceiling buy, it really has no place here (sniff sniff).

Does anyone want it? Let me know and I can talk pricing with you.

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