When you enter the front door you walk straight in to the formal dining room. This along with two other rooms in the house had dark wood paneling on the walls which made the space feel so small. Originally these walls were lath and plaster, which is still beneath the paneling. I contemplated removing it to see what was underneath but that feels like a BIG can of worms.
Very shortly after I moved in I began to prime the living and dining rooms so I could start to envision the space. It was at that time that I decided to paint the majority of the house Incredible White. The whole house just needed a refresh too lighten and brighten.
Incredible White painted room from November 2019 – December 2022:
Because the house was dark, seeing the light and bright paint on the walls was very relaxing so I ended up leaving it white until December 2022. After seeing the kitchen and informal dining room come to life I thought it would be fun to try a two-tone room. I figured I would try the BM October mist on the lower half of the wall and BM Morning Dew on the top half. Oddly enough, the morning Dew read as the exact same colour as the Incredible White so there was no difference. Option #2 was to paint the upper half black and the lower half white. I thought that may be a neat tie in to the kitchen. So I got some samples and began to paint. I completed one whole wall and part of another only to realize that I absolutely hated how dark it was getting again. I’ve seen some gorgeous dark moody dining room pictures that I loved but I could not pull it off. So my final option was to just go with the BM October Mist in this space.
Again, I cannot say enough about this colour. It goes perfectly with the Honey Oak floors and dark wood furniture. It is warm and inviting but does not make the space feel dark. And each room ties in to the other seamlessly. It just made the most sense.
I hung the third set of gorgeous gold curtains I got from the last Mini Series I worked on, moved my nana’s painting in, got two small water colours at Value Village, brought my East Lake Antique table and plant downstairs and that was it. The space was complete. Another night and day transformation that I’m so in love with.
The “middle” room aka the “breakfast” room aka “the informal” dining room… This long and slender room hasn’t really served much of a purpose besides being pass through into the kitchen, powder room or formal dining room. It is the darkest room in the house having windows on the north and east walls. And like many of the other rooms in the house it only needed to be cosmetically updated.
Since I would never fit my farmhouse table and chairs in this kitchen it was only logical to put them in this room. But because it’s so dark the table was only used a few times the first year I moved in. Over time I painted the blue walls Incredible White to brighten the space and well, I already had the paint so besides labour it was free. It is a great neutral colour so everything worked in the space for the time being. I knew that at some point the wall between the kitchen and this space would have to come down. I had hoped that the entire wall could come out but that would have been too expensive so I decided on removing 24″ just before the kitchen renovation would start.
BEST DECISION EVER!
One of the only projects that I did in this room before this renovation was removing the old air return vent cover and making a new one. It stuck out 4″ from the wall and was really ugly. Super easy project and made the room look 10 times better.
Once the wall removal was complete the space just felt so much better. There are now 4 massive windows feeding the space natural light, the room doesn’t feel as tight and the view into the kitchen is lovely. It actually feels more like an eat-in kitchen. At this point I knew I really wanted to add some colour and wood trim detail to the longest wall. Putting any kind of furniture along this wall would mean no table and chairs and this room would basically become a wide hallway. The trim cost about $75 and it only took me about 2 hours to install. It really gave the room some character, which this house is missing. I tested about 7 different paint colours in this space. From dark yellow, too pink and various greens. The winner was Benjamin Moore’s October Mist. A gorgeous sage green that is warm and relaxing.
Since I would have to wait until the end of November to move the fridge and makeshift kitchen out of the space I was only able to get the painting done. Until that time I set up the table and chairs for Christmas. I loved how this space turned out however, the bathroom is right there (grey door) so it’s a little to close for my liking when it comes to dining.
Once the appliances were out, the space really transformed. I laid my antique area rug and moved the table and antique chairs closer to the kitchen. The plate rack was put up, some art was hung and a plant was moved into the corner. On the far side of the room I moved my singer sewing machine dough board table into the corner, rehung the artwork and added some coat hooks. Got some antique books for free, a vintage swag light from Value Village for $19.99, put one of my faux plants on the table and hung the gorgeous gold curtains up.
The space is so warm and ties into the kitchen perfectly. Black, white and green are such a classic combo. I’m so happy with what was a wasted space. Although I am not sure how much more use the space will get used, I do finally have a space to hang coats and bags and well it just looks so pretty.
This space became my motivation to work on the remaining rooms in the house. The primary bedroom (already posted). dining room (coming soon) and the living room (coming soon).
The kitchen, the heart of the home… or in my case, what was the saddest room in the house. I had big plans to renovate it right after moving in. I saved lots of money and had even drawn up the floor layout, purchased a faucet, appliances and sink. I was pumped! And then March 2020 happened… Covid. The kitchen Reno had to be put on hold and all funds were moved to paying the bills for my apartment and house while not working. The funds ran out and I had to start from scratch. The sink, faucet, micro hood range and dishwasher would sit in their boxes until November 2022.
The kitchen had honey maple cabinets, laminate countertop and vinyl roll floor. It also had the washer and dryer in it which I knew would have to move out ASAP. On the opposite side of the wall that the two appliances were on is the back room so the first major order of business was making that space in to the new laundry room. That project was done in the summer of 2020 since it was not an overly high cost. New floor and moving the plumbing. All in about $1600 and worth every penny.
During September 2022 I decided it was time to remove part of the wall between the kitchen and the middle room giving the illusion of more space in the kitchen which is just under 12 feet by 12 feet. This also makes it feel like an eat-in kitchen now. And there is more space for a small island (Which I made in a previous post). I started by cutting a smaller hole to see if it was something I was sure I wanted to do, and it was. So I asked some friends in town who would be the best person to call for such a project and had them in to quote (which I accepted). Luckily at that time it was rainy weather so they were able to get it done rather quickly since no one really wants to work outdoors in the rain.
In about a week the wall was removed, the drywall was up, taped, mudded, sanded and I was able to prime. What a difference removing 24″ of wall made. That entire section of the house feels twice as big and twice as bright. The kitchen has two of the biggest windows in the house and so they flood that and the middle room with tons of natural light.
I decided that I would visit Home Depot’s kitchen section at the store to look at cabinets in September. And since I had the layout and measurements I decided to see what the kitchen would look like in a professional program. After talking with Dave, I realized I loved the quality of the cabinets, the promotion they were offering was amazing and that I could get my kitchen professionally done the way I wanted it. So I decided to sign on the dotted line and have ZERO regrets. I was told the cabinets would be delivered and installed around the middle of December. SO Exciting!
November 1st was the day I started to remove the cabinets and appliances. And shortly after that I had Handy Mike in to remove the old floor and lay a new subfloor in preparation for the new vinyl roll that would be going in. Beneath the old floors was another layer of old vinyl roll and under that the original soft pine. It was in really rough shape but would make a great subfloor yet again. In that floor was the original basement hatch which was neat to find. Within a couple days the new subfloor was laid and I was on hold until Van Huizen Flooring would come in auto do the install of the new Evening Reception soft vinyl roll flooring. I have ALWAYS wanted black and white check flooring and this vinyl looks amazing. It is Cost effective, waterproof and stain resistant which for me using it made the most sense with geriatric pups who have been known to have accidents. Shortly after this I was told that the cabinets would be landing much sooner, November 24th. Which meant all trades had to be moved up ASAP.
Once the floors were in it was time to have the electrical moved in to place before the cabinet install. Everything was moving, nothing was staying where it was so $$$. The plumbing would also have to be moved to the opposite side of the kitchen (still waiting for that invoice). Thankfully both the electrician and plumber were able to move the dates up to ensure the cabinet install would not be delayed.
November 24th – the cabinets landed. What an exciting day. They put everything in the back room until the install date. I Opened one of each colour cabinet to see how they looked. Seeing the colours meant I could begin deciding which countertop to go with. Have you ever heard of Countertop fatigue? It’s real. I had it. I must have looked at over 80 different stones. I had even settled on one, or so I thought. One afternoon I went to the Scarborough Home Depot and walked through their kitchen section and there is was, THE countertop. Silestone Helix Quartz. I loved everything about it. On my way home from Scarborough I stopped in to my local HD to see Dave and place the order.
Cabinet install day was awesome! I love to watch the trades people do their thing. You can learn so many neat tricks and skills. They came at 830 in the morning and were done by 4pm. So organized. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the kitchen looked. It’s one thing seeing pictures of what you’ve selected as finishes on a “mood” board but as it comes together so perfectly it was so fulfilling. I was able to move my appliances in that evening. The only thing left was countertop and sink / dishwasher install to do. Unfortunately that would take me into the first week of January. Thankfully I was able to have my dishwasher installed right away so I could finally stop taking my dishes upstairs to the bathroom to wash.
I decided to paint the middle room a gorgeous sage green paint colour since the house was feeling rather “beige”. The colour I chose was October Mist by Benjamin Moore. I loved the colour so much that I ended up using it in the kitchen which really warms the space and works well with the colour scheme.
January 9, 2023 – Countertop install day. Quickest installation I’ve ever witnessed in my life. In under 20 minutes I had my countertops put in. Everything I chose was the right choice. From the light, to the hardware, to the flooring and colour scheme – it all works. And I now have a fully functioning kitchen.
I did add some under cabinet lighting as a little splurge. Best $175 spent. I moved the island I made in to the centre of the room and added some small decor items in and the kitchen is complete. I LOVE my kitchen. It is 100% me.
The total cost was roughly $27000 which doesn’t feel too unreasonable for a kitchen this size and getting everything I wanted. Especially that wall removal 😉
I hope you enjoy seeing the kitchen that took me over 3 years to do.
It has been a HOT minute since I’ve last posted. It was a very busy 2022. I worked 60-80+ hours a week from January to September leaving little time to work on the property. September and October I took time off to focus on my health which allowed me the time I needed to design and implement the floor plan and material I would need for the full kitchen renovation which started soon after in November 2022 and is 99.9% complete as of January 2023 (Posts to come – and it’s SO GOOD).
When I moved in to my house in November 2019 I knew every room would need to be either cosmetically renovated or fully renovated. The primary bedroom kind of fell in the middle of the two. I should have ripped out the old lath and plaster so I can insulate. Doing that would have also rid the walls of some minor cracks but it is just too costly. And the walls aren’t as bad as I’ve seen. It was a lot of fun seeing the decades of wall papers on the walls.
It wasn’t until January 2022 that I started work on the bedroom. At that time I removed peeling wall paper, plastered holes and even plastered entire sections of walls to even them out. Followed that up with some intense sanding, primer and a fresh coat of Incredible White paint (used in most areas of the house). At that point I stopped work because it was time to go back to work. Over a couple weekends I had also completed renovation to the walk in closet which, was also SO much work. Same process, paper removal, plastering, sanding, primer and paint. I also built a shelving unit to hang in there from an old dresser. (See previous posts for photos)
From January 2022 to January 2023 the room looked like this:
One year later, almost to the day, I realized the bedroom really just needed to be finished. The bedroom has a bay 3 pane window which lets in a ton of light but the white paint on the walls, trim and ceiling meant that when the sun comes up the room is a light box. And I am not one for heavy black out or darkening curtains. So I did what I love to do and spent some time looking at bedroom inspiration photos on different Facebook groups, Google and Pinterest. I decided that a nice blue paint for the walls would be a great calming colour. And honestly I thought that would be where I’d stop besides hanging my art and possibly some new lamps. So I grabbed 5 blue paint samples to paint on to the walls to see which I liked the best.
I tested Benjamin Moore Newburg Green, West Coast, Gentleman’s Grey, Van Courtland Blue, and well… I can’t remember the 5th colour. I have to say they were all very beautiful colours. But there was a clear winner. The first 3 colours tested were just a bit too dark for my brain to like enough to paint an entire room. So, I went back for the West Coast Blue and Van Courtland Blue which were a little lighter but still dark enough to make the space feel warmer and be less reflective of the sunlight.
Once the colour was picked I figured I’d grab a can of paint ($71 inc. tax) and get started right away on painting the next day… Well, you know how it goes… I ended up going to Home Depot to grab some supplies needed for another project and was walking through the wallpaper isle when I figured I’d take a look (since I really like Peel & Stick). Go figure, they had a beautiful paper that was a perfect match to the paint I just bought… So now my plans had to change because the paper was going to happen. I decided to take a few minutes in the store to look up “rooms with a little wallpaper” and a beautiful image came up that felt right. Most cost effective way to use wall paper on a budget. A roll is $54.99 and to do a whole wall or even an entire room would easily be a couple hundred plus dollars.
The inspiration picture just felt so inviting and warm that I went to the lumber aisle and grabbed what I would need and headed home with two rolls of paper, chair rail and 1x4x8 lumber.
Having plans the day after buying everything meant I only had time to hang the wall paper and get the chair rail and ledge up and do the caulking around it first thing in the morning. Which meant it would be dry for the next day to start painting. And what a day it was, 7 hours of cutting in and painting but I got it all done.
I knew that my artwork, bed, bedding, curtains, blinds, chair, side table and dresser would all be staying. Thankfully they all work in the space. I knew that the light fixture would have to be changed and luckily while taking the day off after painting while I was walking around Value Village I came across a brand new in box 6 arm gold chandelier for only $7.99 — Literally one of the BEST finds ever. So the next morning I got the light up and modified a table I made for my first house to use as a second bedside table.
And now I have a beautiful warm and inviting room that makes me so happy to be in. I find myself just standing at the door looking at the space because the transformation is night and day. The entire reno cost me $298 which was worth every penny. This was suppose to be a $71 dollar renovation but life happens.
Here is my new (tied with first place) favourite room in the house. I hope you love it as much as I do.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)