Category Archives: Reno

The New House – The Powder Room

14th July 2014

Next up, the powder room! The powder room is just off the front hall and like the front hall, it was a good size and didn’t need a lot of work short-term.

We knew that some of the renos we were planning to do would be mostly cosmetic, at least in the short term and the powder room was one of them. We never considered keeping the wallpaper, although at one point we were planning to have new paper hung but it wasn’t meant to be.

Here’s what was on the powder room short term list and our yet to complete long term list:

SHORT TERM TO DOs:

  • Remove wallpaper with questionable stains. DONE
  • Remove towel bar. DONE
  • Remove useless fan and drywall over it. DONE
  • Remove wall cabinet. DONE
  • Replace register cover. DONE
  • Replace switch/outlet. DONE
  • Paint walls, trim, ceiling. DONE
  • Replace light fixture. DONE
  • Remove and replace mirror. DONE
  • Replace knobs on cabinet. DONE
  • Hang towel ring for hand towel. DONE
  • Buy and hang art. DONE
  • Buy basket(s) to fill bottom of cabinet with reading material for the husband. DONE

LONG TERM TO DOs:

  • Replace wood flooring with porcelain tile. I find the wood flooring in the room just bizarre, although it does hide the fact that my son can’t seem to aim into the toilet to save his live, quite nicely.
  • Replace cabinet/sink.

Here is what our powder room looked like the day we got the house.

PowderBefore.jpg

I didn’t totally despise the wallpaper but it’s just not my style at all and the questionable stains on the paper just grossed me out completely. As mentioned, we were planning on wallpapering the powder room and had even purchased the paper. However, after thinking about it, and considering everything from budget to time frame, we decided against it. Instead, last minute, we decided to paint it a dark grey, the same as our bedroom. Here’s where the powder room is right now:

powderafter1.jpg

powderafter2.jpg

powderafter5.jpg

powderafter6.jpg

And here’s a little side by side comparison for you as well.

powderside.jpg

I’m planning to spray paint the soap bottle a fun color and add a plant in the space next to the cabinet which is actually pretty big. Long term I’m thinking gut job, but that’s really not a priority right now.

What do you think of the transformation?? If you have any questions, let me know below! Next up, the kitchen.

The New House – The Front Hall

8th July 2014

I can’t believe it but we’ve been in the new house now for just over FIVE MONTHS!

Sometimes I can’t believe we actually even bought this house to be honest – it definitely wasn’t planned.

The husband was in Amsterdam last October when I noticed that the house across the street (ie. the one we’re living in now and yes, it’s literally across the street from our old place) had a sale sign on the front lawn. After checking it out online, I called to make an appointment with the realtor, who coincidentally was also our realtor. The next day, my mom, my older sister and I went to check it out, and we all gave it the thumbs up. I knew it needed some work, but the size and the layout were there and a gorgeous backyard was an amazing bonus. So I emailed the husband, sent him links with pics and told him I wanted this house for us. The next day, I put in an offer and poof, I bought a house. Luckily, the sale of our house was a dream – we listed and sold it the same day. It was meant to be.

We got the new house three weeks before we had to be out of our old place, which allowed us to get most of our renos and all the painting done before we moved in. It was the best thing we could have done.  We’ve accomplished and completed a TON since moving in, but there’s still tons to do yet. Sadly, the money tree eventually runs out and you need to slow down, which is where we are now. Boo.

A lot of people have asked that I share my before and after pics on the blog, after seeing some of my pics on my Instagram account. I appreciate all of your feedback and suggestions that I should be a decorator/interior designer. If only I had the talent to do so, but alas, I do not – but it sure is fun trying. Also, I don’t have a camera that is any good, so the pics leave much to be desired – I’ll apologize for that in advance. Become an amazing photographer is on my to-do list, after laundry and losing half my body weight.

THE FRONT HALL

The great thing about the front hall was it was nice and big, and the front door was in good shape but that’s about it. Here’s my ultimate to-do list for the front hall and what has been completed to date:

SHORT TERM TO DOs:

  • Remove all the hideous crap all over the walls and patch. DONE
  • Paint all the walls and trim. DONE
  • Replace all three light fixtures. DONE
  • Rip out closet organizer, paint inside closet and install new closet organizer. DONE
  • Replace closet doors. DONE
  • Move doorbell to another wall. DONE
  • New front door lock. DONE
  • Replace register cover. DONE
  • Replace all outlets and light switches and covers. DONE
  • Install Nest Thermometer. DONE
  • Hang framed photos and art.
  • Buy a piece of furniture and a mirror for the empty wall.

LONG TERM TO DOs:

  • Replace ugly tile floor with dark grey porcelain tile. Because we could live with this for now, we decided to put our money on things that needed to be finished asap.
  • Paint inside of both doors black – still undecided, so I’m waiting on this one.

Here is what our front hall looked like the day we got the house:

fronthall1.jpg

fronthall2.jpg

fronthall3.jpg

fronthall4.jpg

fronthall5.jpg

I think the design esthetic they were going for was a whole lot of brown and beige and hideous – mission accomplished!

And here is what we’ve done so far:

NewFrontHall1

front5.jpg

NewFrontHall2

NewFrontHall4

front4.jpg

Again, my photos aren’t great, but you get the idea. I’m a big fan of clean, minimal, and grey so I think we’ve accomplished that. Of course, we still need to hang art on the walls, and we need a table or cabinet and a mirror for the empty wall with the two round lights. I’d love an area rug or two to hide the tile, at some point as well.

And some side by sides to compare:

FrontHallBA1

front6.jpg

FHCompare2

FrontHallBA2

So what do you think? If you have any questions or what any source info, let me know  below! The powder room is up next!!

We Bought A House!

14th November 2013

Have you ever done anything so spur of the moment that it’s almost hard to believe it actually happened?

Me too.

I bought a house.

I saw a house, went to see the house, put in an offer, negotiated it and it was mine within a day.

Did I mention the husband was in Vegas “working?”

Did I mention that it’s across the street from where I live now? Or perhaps that we move in, in the dead of winter and it’s going to be damn cold carrying all my heavy furniture across the street?

Sometimes you see something and you just have to have it. Like a sweater, or a pair of shoes. Or a house.

Our home now is where we’ve lived for the last 12 years. I’ve brought my babies home here, and raised them here, laughed and cried here. Every inch of this house is marked by a memory, an event, an experience and I’m trying to get over that or I may never be able to actually move out. But then again, I have no choice.

We’ve already sold our house. We listed it and that same night, it was sold to a sweet young couple. We sold in a day, we bought in a day. It was meant to be. Of course, our new best friend Krishan (Best. Realtor. Ever.) was amazing and had everything to do with how quickly everything happened. We owe him expensive whiskey and many Greek desserts.

We live in an established, quiet neighbourhood with big trees and great neighbours (well, most are great – we tend to avoid the annoying ones). So the house we bought is not new, and it needs work but the bones are there. It needs A LOT of paint (every surface, everywhere), floor refinishing, new light fixtures, and a sense of humour for starters. Starting over in a new old house is exciting and overwhelming at the same time but we’re excited.

I’m thinking about posting about our new house and our attempts to make it fab, from time to time. I promise not to claim to be anything but a regular schmo trying to make my house less ugly. Making My House Less Ugly – I think I just thought of the name for all my house related posts!

Look for my next post titled….Packing is Going to Suck.

Fresh Paint. Big Headache.

23rd August 2011

I have a big headache.

I’ve had it for DAYS.

I blame the husband.

He wields the paint.

At some point this summer, we came up with the brainiac idea to paint almost the entire house, and do some house renos. I’m not sure you know this but summers here are HOT and so damn humid it’s unbearable. It was a dumb idea, but we were hoping to have a freshy fresh house by the beginning of the school year.

This may have been a realistic goal, had we hired PROFESSIONALS. Instead, the husband decided he was Bob Vila and would do all the work himself.

First, he decided to renovate our very outdated bathroom – I will admit, it looks a million times better than it did. He changed the vanity light and mirror, replaced the toilet and sink, painted, added new accessories, yada yada.

The plumber that is coming tomorrow to “fix” the toilet? – TOTALLY coincidental.

Then Bob painted our front foyer and powder room (including walls, ceiling, trim and all doors). Yes this is the slowest progress EVER.

Bob JUST finished the family room. New lighting fixture, new paint on the walls, ceiling and trim.

Woo Bob. Woo for progress. (Woo – Translation: Hurry the hell up BOB!)

So three rooms painted, five to go.

Oh, and you should probably imagine furniture and stuff that is EVERYWHERE. Also, add the piles and piles that are accumulating after a massive purge that is soon to be a garage sale that is supposed to happen this weekend, but short of a miracle, is not going to happen. Like I said, we is smart.

I would post pictures, but I haz a headache.

I blame the paint.

But also mainly Bob.

Change Is Good. Pricey, But Good.

1st June 2011

I’m tired, and slightly overwhelmed right now.

I’m in the process of planning a big purge, an even bigger garage sale, the painting of almost every room in our house, replacing some furniture, renovating our patio door and deck and buying new accessories, drapes, rugs and couches.

Um, can someone let my husband know that I’m planning all this? Oh wait, that’s why he’s holding on to his wallet for dear life.

Dear husband, I’ll make it easy on you – I’ll start small.

How about a much needed owl?

So cute, right? How about two?

I couldn’t help myself – love me an owl.

Um, DARLING, do you mind helping me carry a little something from the van?

Oopsie…. I bought something a little bigger than an owl.

Blame the owl – I needed somewhere to put it.

A Brutal Couple of Weeks

29th March 2011

The last couple of weeks have been BRUTAL.

We decided to replace the gross, dirty, old, kid-destroyed carpet in our family. We had high hopes, we saved for it, and in the end, all we got was a huge mess and a crappy looking floor. Major suckage.

Of course, as with any reno, there is now this mess of old furniture and stuff that has migrated to a couple of other rooms. It seems like no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get this place to look like the damn Pottery Barn catalogue. Totally depressing.

Then, the spouse is on his latest work trip  (3 weeks this time), and I’ve lost track but I think it’s the fourth trip in a row. Not a fan.

So, with everything going on with the house and being 24hrs/day mommy non-stop for weeks now, I of course, always come last.

So, I’ve fallen behind on the Ugi Fit after the initial first week. I’ll tell you something though – it is a hard workout, especially for someone who is just starting out (again). The plyometric type exercises are near impossible for me – I am out of shape after all. Because I’m finding it so difficult, I’ve decided that maybe supplementing it with walking on the treadmill, etc, will work better for me. For anyone who likes working out at home, and want something to add to their routine, Ugi Fit is a great choice.

Also, my kids made me watch Yogi Bear. TWICE.

Not sure how I survived.

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