My Country Farmhouse – NEW POST COMING FEB. 7th, 2023

Primary Bedroom Reno – February 7th, 2023

Kitchen Before & After – Coming soon

Main floor refresh with Before & After photos – Coming soon

My Country Farmhouse – Old Carriage house turned Air BNB Rental ‘La Petit Maison’

At the very beginning of the year one of my favourite people (Natasha – @quinterealtor) told me that her tenant had decided to move out of her long term rental unit (an old carriage house conversion) and that she absolutely wanted to turn it in to a short term Air BNB unit. BUT it would need a big renovation to bring it into this decade.

I don’t know about you but I can see the potential in any space as ugly, oddly layed out or colourful as it may be – and this space was dirty and tired. It would require a full gut from top to bottom but would need to keep some of the original charm (Beams and wood ceiling).

The tenant had built a loft for storage on one side of the room which closed in the space and created a dark dungeon space for the “bedroom”. It along with the kitchen, carpet, bathroom, windows and door had to come out.

During the spring Natasha and I created a plan and budget for the space. We created mood boards and researched other units and what they rent for in the area. ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN!!! Natasha found a contractor, Thomas and his wife Patricia from J Houservice All In One LTD. They came in and quoted the project and in August they began the demo and a 6 week Reno began.

Before Pictures:

As the work was underway Natasha and I had fun shopping for all the necessities. This is a rental unit that comes fully furnished and would require a good amount of stuff. Bedding, toiletries, furniture, kitchen ware and window coverings.

Splurge items included a hotel quality bed and mattress – you cannot skimp out on this, your guests will never want to come back if the bed sucks. All the bedding is cotton so it breathes and offers a more comfortable sleep. There are 3 types of pillows for guests so they have a choice to really make their stay luxurious.

The bathroom was a full gut. Floors were levelled and walls were taken out to open up the space. It was out with the claw foot tub (Yes, I know — we loved the tub and we got $$$ for it) but it was so heavy and bulky in the space and with the modern design we opted for a full glass enclosed tiled shower. The mirror was a great find at an antique store. Beautiful solid wood and a great size for $40. Unfortunately the natural wood tone looked awful in the space so I (with a heavy heart) painted it white.

The kitchen went from ugly and outdated to shinny and new with a head to toe reno. All new stainless steel appliances, Granite countertop, peninsula and tons of storage. White cabinets on top, light grey on the bottom make the kitchen feel a bit taller than it actually is. The dark granite grounds the entire space so perfectly.

A cozy living room with a walk out to a private patio (Oh, did I mention pool and hot tub access?) A couch, chair, coffee table, TV and fire place make this tiny accommodation feel so grand. It is the PERFECT retreat.

Located in Brighton, Ontario – You can escape to La Petit Maison at:

La Petit Maison

My Country Farmhouse – The Completed Powder Room (Before & After)

FINALLY!!!! A room that was (for the longest time) 80% complete is now officially 100% DONE.


This little powder room is approximately 36″ x 72″ (so not very big). Because of the placement of the door it was always a tight fit to walk into when you have a curvy body. As you open the door and step into the room the vanity would stick out almost 7″ into the space making it feel tight. It was 18″ wide by 18″ deep and for that space it was oversized. The new vanity is only 13″ deep which saves 5″ from sticking out into the doorway. It may not seem like much but this little room is feeling a lot bigger now.

This bathroom was outdated but in good shape. It needed paint, a new vanity, faucet and flooring. However, I took it one step further by adding wainscoting and wall paper to amp it up.

Luxury Vinyl Tile – Easystreet SPC Rigid in Sand Castle

I found a box of the flooring that was used in the main bathroom which matched the wall paper perfectly so I purchased one more box at Ronas for $79. The wainscoting trim was approximately $50 and the self adhering wall paper was $60 for two rolls. I reused the white paint that is on the rest of the trim and baseboards in the house to keep costs down. The vanity was $387 and the faucet was $100. I also painted the door with the Alpaca paint colour used on the other doors in the house as a nice contrast. A new antique mirror, towel rod/toilet paper holder and accessories came in at around $100.

For a total of $776 in materials and $392 for a contractor to come in and remove the toilet, vanity (plumbing), lay new floor, install toilet, new vanity and faucet.

Coming in at $1166 over a span of two years.

Hope you like the final result – I certainly do. It is the brightest room in the house!

My Country Farmhouse – The Primary Bedroom Closet (Before & After)

Back in January I finally talked myself into getting the primary closet done. It needed a ton of work. It has the original plaster on the walls and ceiling, awful wallpaper and there were holes, peeling and stains all over the place.

I decided that I would leave the wall paper and peel off any areas that were raised. To cover up thee paper I used a water and oil based primer, this way the plaster beneath would continue to hold. I began by taking everything out of the closet and plastering all the holes and creases. Once it was completely dry I sanded all of the walls while using a shop vac to keep the dust down. I used the white paint used throughout the house on all the trim, the Incredible White paint on the walls and Alpaca on the door.

During (Plaster & Primer):

While the paint was drying between coats I decided to convert the drawers from the old broken dresser in the closet into a shelf. I used only wood from the dresser so that this project was 100% FREE! And used remnants of yellow paint that I had from the Peanuts (trailer) Reno. It just adds a bit of colour to a small space.

While the final coat dries:

Once the paint was dry, I installed the original hooks on the wall behind the door over the new shelf which is mounted to the wall. Levelled the original rod and put the shelf back in over the rod. Besides 3 days of my time this project cost zero dollars which was amazing! I got the project done just in time to head back to work and start saving for the kitchen Reno.


My Country Farmhouse – Garage Project Update (Before & After)

When I moved into this house in November 2019 I knew right away that I wanted to replace the garage doors. They were the ultimate eye sore. Holes, worn paint, SO heavy to open and really squeaky. In October 2019 I had some quotes done to replace the doors and add an automatic door opener. Once I got a few quotes I had booked in Scott and was ready to go… But then Covid happened.


In March 2020 I called Scott to put the project on hold since (like most) I couldn’t afford to spend money on any major projects since I was not working and had no clue when I would go back. This wasn’t the only project on hold – many areas of the house including electrical would need to get done, and still do.

During the summer months I decided to do a temporary fix and paint the doors out white. This was about a $60 fix and made the garage look 100 times better. It only took a few hours over a couple days. They were still heavy, squeaky and had holes.

During :

In August 2020 I went back to work and had been super busy working and saving my pennies to get at least one major project done on the house. I stopped working August 2021 and had Scott come back out to re-quote the garage doors. The original quote was over a year and a half old and the world had changed with the inflation of everything. So I expected and minor increase. The project was quoted only a little more than the original. He said he would place the order for the doors but to expect them not to arrive until February 2022 as things were still very delayed due to shortages and shipping. I said “fine by me”.

On December 9th I received a message that read “Santa came early!” from Scott. My doors arrived 2.5 months ahead of schedule. I was just SO happy as I had not done a project on the house since the laundry/rec room in 2020. This would be the most welcome change before we get any major snow. No more manual doors!

A week later it was out with the old and in with the new. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Air tight, no holes or gaps. And quiet, just so quiet. No more waking my neighbours up.

At a total cost of $5480.00 (tax in). I am very happy with the work and quite enjoy opening the doors from inside the car.

Here are the new doors (trim will have to be painted white in the warmer weather some time in 2022)

Before, during and after collage:

To see more pictures of the garage/driveway transformation please visit

My Country Farmhouse – Tis the Season

Tis the season to have fun decorating! I began to pull out my Christmas decorations November 13th just after Remembrance Day. It all started with the tree. I love a tree that is all lit up and covered in beautiful ornaments and a ton of tinsel. I do have a faux tree which I use every year. I spend about 30 minutes fluffing it before decorating so it looks full and even. I have a selection of vintage, personalized, glass and even keychain ornaments on the tree. All the things I’ve collected over the years.

As the last couple of weeks have progressed so has the decorating. My wreaths are up in the doors. I bought a beautiful large wreath for the front door at Karen Browns Antiques in Deseronto for $40 in the summer. It fits the oval window perfectly. The secondary front door is the wreath I made for my first house. It still has a lot of life in it. I put out the little Christmas trees next to the front door and draped lights around the window and door frames on the porch.

On one of the warmer days I put the first set of outdoor lights up. This included the balcony and door and window frames on the second story. And a week later my lovely neighbour Alex put up the second story lights (which will stay up forever). Some inexpensive wreaths from the Dollarama purchased in 2020 and thick velvet red ribbon add a festive touch to the posts of the porch.

Every few days I find something new to decorate inside the house. A couple cute throw pillows, Santa garland, streamers of past cards that I’ve kept, bows, lights and mistletoe all warm each space.

And finally the dining room table – I LOVE a fancy dinner table. I use only what I have to minimize spending however, I did find the cutest dog napkin rings and splurged on them at $30 (x8). I love them! Gold chargers, table runner, napkins and cutlery add some sparkle. New placemats, ivy garland, mini poinsettias, and Christmas crackers complete the look. Who’s ready to eat? I am!

From my tiny family to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

~ Michelle, Chaya, Junior and Marco ~

My Country Farmhouse – A Tiny Update

Since it has been some time since I’ve posted I thought I would share some happy news with you all. On November 15th my tiny family welcomed a new tiny baby into our family. I say baby but he is 12 years young. His long time mommy had terminal cancer and asked Buttonnoses Rescue to take him and his brother in just prior to her passing. I had just sent an update on Junior to the owner of the rescue and she sent me his picture and said he was looking for his next forever home. And so, I drove two hours to Toronto to meet this little guy.

This little 4lb man is sweet, independent, cuddly and so loving. He has become a big part of our family in a short amount of time.

He and Chaya like to play and he has a good time running around the house with zoomies. Junior (my eldest at 18 yrs) has now welcomed him into his space and they have begun to cuddle together and share my lap.

He greets everyone with a big toothy smile as though you are long time friends. Everyone please welcome Marco to our family.

My Country Farmhouse – Office Transformation -The Reveal: Pt 2

Over 5 days and approximately 24 hours the room was painted, the wall paper was up, the curtains were installed and the furniture and accessories were placed. What a transformation! From dark and uninviting to light and airy. The space looks twice the size.

The office before:

And with just the paint, wall paper and curtains:

What a difference.

Here is a cost break down of where we spent the money:

Desk (Ikea) – $149

Shelving unit (Ikea) – $79

Curtains and rod (Giant Tiger) – $50

Wall paper (Lowes – Peel & Stick) – $70

Pair of chairs (Jysk) – $119.98

Office chair (Staples) – $89

Floor lamp – $80

Pair lamps (Homesense) – $20

Clock (Homesense) – $19.99

Snack cart (Canadian Tire) – $38.99

White board (Staples) – $74.99

Coat rack (Jysk) – $59.99

Shoe tray (Jysk) – $12.99

Mirror (Jysk) – $23.99

Accessories – $25

Shelving baskets (Ikea) – FREE

Paint (Benjamin Moore) – $40

Paint Supplies – FREE

Art – $20

Grand total – $973.92 x 13% HST = $1100.52

And here it is – a fresh new beginning:

This space feels very calming. The wallpaper helps to make the room feeling taller than it is since the ceiling is only 95″ high. We used natural wood elements throughout the space including baskets, the white board frame, chair legs, and the faux wood (sit/stand) desk piece. And we included some hits of black to ground the space with the curtain rod, picture frame and phone. There are several artificial plants and one real one. And since we weren’t sure if we really like the snack cart we moved the goodies on to the shelf behind the desk and if there are clients the cart can become a station to lay things out on. It can also be used as a space for extra hand sanitizer and masks until this crazy pandemic ends.

We did manage to keep it under $1000 before taxes which is pretty impressive for a complete overhaul. We researched every item and looked for sales and we made sure to try out all of the items that serve a purpose (desk height and function, chair comfort, storage) before we made any purchases and we saved receipts (well Natasha tried) and we returned items for store credits and refunds that were not used. If you are unsure of whether or not an item will work in the space ask the store what the return policy is. Most stores offer full refunds up to X number of days. Which means you can put it in the space, decide and return it if you dislike it. And most stores offer credits if it is over the number of days required to get a full cash refund. I swear by this – I tried over 15 pieces of art before I finally settled on one for my apartment. Good ol’ refund policies!

I hope you like the space – I know Lady Natasha is OVER THE MOON happy which is all that really matters. It was a fun project and my first creative space outside of my house and apartment.

In spring 2022 there may be a full renovation of a rental unit in early spring (top to bottom) which will be super fun to do and blog about. Once we do a walkthrough of the space and create a budget we will have a better idea on the timeline for this large project.

I hope you are all staying safe and doing what you love. Thank you for following along!


My Country Farmhouse – The Mood Board – Designing an Office Pt 1

In 2019 I met my friend and real estate agent Natasha Huizinga. I popped by an open house she was hosting to check out a brand new build in Brighton, Ontario. It had some lovely finishes that I wanted to see. At that time I was on the fence about selling my Alma Street house. Several hours later I decided she would be my new agent and well, our friendship blossomed.

Just a short while ago Natasha made a big change in her career and moved her office to a new location. By doing this she now has an incredibly nice size space with a window all to herself. The space however… not that nice looking. Like many established older buildings the colour schemes are a little less appealing to todays standards. While we were chatting about her big move she mentioned that she would be allowed to paint and freshen up the space. I asked what colour she was going to do and she said “well, we actually get a colour palette from the building and we can choose one of them”. She mentioned that the space was dark an uninviting and wished she could make it light, bright and airy.

Seeing an opportunity I offered to give her a hand in creating a space that is all of those things. Since I also have all the time in the world right now (not working), this would be the highlight of my year. Interior design is something I’m truly passionate about. She agreed and so the design process began.

Here are the before pictures of her new office:

The space is 8 feet by 14.5 feet. It has one 26″ wide floor to ceiling length window, main entrance door and an emergency exit door. It also has a newly installed brown, tan, grey and black speckled carpet. And currently the walls are brown.

Natasha knew she wanted a new chair, a white desk, lighter paint colour and window covering. Since I had some decor in my garage from my Alma St house I asked if she would like to see the items and decide if they may work, she said “of course”. So I brought her a floral painting with grey, taupes and greens in it, two lamps with champagne glass and a roll of leftover wall paper from my powder room Reno. All of these items have one thing in common – they are all neutral.

Here are the items:

I think she was most excited about the wall paper. I showed her how nice it looked installed in the powder room and asked if she thinks she’d be allowed to hang it. And since we knew that the paint would need to be a neutral we went through the Benjamin Moore fan deck and landed on Balboa Mist as the first option to paint the office. Natasha sent the paint colour and picture of the wall paper to the higher powers and they were both approved. We were so excited! Our second option was Accessible Beige – another beautiful neutral wall colour.

We had our paint colour and wall paper approved and now it was time to create the space. Shelving, guest chairs, a place for shoes and coats, and most importantly a snack/drink station.

Here is our mood board:

We discussed having a budget. We are both very frugal gals so we added up the items and costs that we felt each items would be roughly and came in around $1300. This includes all furnishings, accessories, paint and supplies. As we began to source the items we liked the best we found some great sales and realized that we would in fact come in around $1000. You gotta LOVE saving money!!!

This coming week we will be hitting the stores, picking up orders and finishing up the renovation. I hope you all stay tuned for what’s to come – it’s going to be amazing!