House Renovations

It’s finished! The house renovations are done!

And we couldn’t be happier. I moved in with Mike in April of 2016 after leaving my life in Toronto, selling my condo and picking up to find a job in Ottawa. While Mike asked me to be a part of his life I can’t describe what it feels like moving into someone’s home that’s all set up. The house was extremely outdated so we had a lot of fun over the last year talking about our dreams of renovations.

Last summer we started discussing renovating our old 60s kitchen first. It had such a horrible layout and minimal counter space. There was a bank of cabinets in the middle of the kitchen to make a kitchen and a dining room but it blocked off all light from a massive bay window. Spending any time in the kitchen made me feel aggravated, frustrated and fed up. Because we had minimal storage as well I was never able to unpack the kitchen stuff I had brought from Toronto. We didn’t necessarily need it all but I have stuff that I really like and there was no place to put it. So when Mike’s contractor friend let us know at the beginning of January he had some free time coming up. We stepped up our shopping game (we bought most of the materials ourselves), the Pinterest boards got a ton of ideas pinned to them and we decided to re-do our whole house (not just the kitchen). We packed up our belongings and furniture into our basement or garage and moved in with my parents.

Saturday afternoon we moved back into our house and moving back in feels like we just moved into a brand new home together.

The spotlight of the entire renovation is definitely the kitchen so without further ado… I present to you our new kitchen!

When chatting with our contractor about the kitchen renovations we started talking about how ideally it would be amazing to get rid of all the parquet flooring and paint and flatten the popcorn ceilings. So after talking estimates and shopping around for flooring. We decided to do all the flooring in the 2 upstairs bedrooms (one being my home office), the living room, sun room and 2 downstairs bedrooms (future nursery and Mike’s office). We said ok to new doors (on all interior rooms & closets) and wanted new railings.

We put new covers on the beams in our sun room, stained the stairs and the new railings are amazing!

Mike and I had talked about extending the beams in our sunroom into our living room as well and I came home one day to check on the progress and sent him snapchats of the new strapping on the ceiling. This was apparently supposed to be a surprise which I ruined but in the end, they look amazing!

We left our house January 22 and 3 months later returned. It wasn’t all smooth sailing and definitely took longer than anticipated due to a few problems that came up. The first one was structural. The beam that runs above the railing was barely supported in 2 places and it’s a wonder the house hasn’t caved in. The next problem that was found was pure luck. We had asked for the ceilings to be smoothed out and it was explained to us that it would be easier to rip them down and put up fresh drywall than to scrape them. After the old ceilings were torn down a ton of black mold was discovered. We decided to remove all the ceilings (including the bedrooms and upstairs bathroom), have the mold remediated, spray foam insulation put in and then new ceilings. I know it will be well worth the extra time and money but it wasn’t fun to discover during the process.

The majority of the house is grey now. With a darker grey feature wall in the living room. My home office has 3 grey walls and one Tiffany blue feature wall. The upstairs guest bedroom is a purple/blue. The downstairs future nursery is yellow & white and Mike’s office grey and has a feature wall of bookshelves that we’re going to paint black and put barnboard on the bottom.

We’ve got a few more projects to finish up like barnboard above the fireplace and on the back of the kitchen island and then we’ll be able to sit back and relax completely.

If you’re curious about material and suppliers here is a list of what we used.

Kitchen Design: Laurysen

Countertop – Home Depot – White Arabesque Quartz Silestone (Home Depot Exclusive)

Contractor: DGL Construction (Managed everything from demolition, to new ceilings, structural work, brought in electrical and plumbing resources, installed new flooring, ceilings, arranged for painters)

Flooring Through House – Lowe’s – Nightride Oak Laminate

Kitchen Flooring – Porcelain Tile – Home Depot – Montagna Rustic

BackSplash – Tile – Home Depot – Found in Clearance Section!

New Front Hall Flooring – Porcelain Tile – Lowe’s – Found in Clearance Section!

Appliances – Home Depot – GE Slate Grey Series

Range Hood – Home Depot – Vissani

Sink – Rona – Rona Collection Silgranit

Faucet – Rona – Jalo Chef Kitchen Faucet

I’ve never done a massive renovation before and I kept trying to find checklists of how to manage it as you really had to be your own project manager when using several suppliers. I’ll put my thoughts down in another blog post but while it was frustrating at times to manage different suppliers, shop for material ourselves (with basic knowledge), it turned out amazing and I can’t describe the feeling of being home.

DGL Construction really outdid themselves and made the process as painless as possible!

Why do we love material things so much like a home?

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