Living room storage

Ryan and the boys have finished the built-in shelving in the living room. It is beautiful yet functional. It’s not exactly what I first wanted but I’m glad West Elm wouldn’t deliver the storage cabinets that I had picked out (only available in the states and backordered). These built-ins are very functional but still give lots of room for art and tall flowers and pottery. I am very excited to start shopping with Amber.

The only thing that still needs to happen in this room is to paint the slats between the finished wood and add ambient lighting. I’m hoping to get a behind-the-sofa table to put one lamp on and then likely we will need wall lamps in each corner over the shelving.

Little things that will make a huge difference to the warmth and coziness of the room.

Does a reno every really finish?

Ceiling warmth

One of the features in our condo re-design that I have been most wanting to see is the wooden art around the fireplace and ceiling.

The warm wood that matches our floors will come up the fireplace wall and across the ceiling. The hope is to make this room very warm and cozy while still retaining the height and openness. We also wanted a way to link the two foci of the room (the fireplace and the TV/credenza).

I think these long wooden slats really meet all of my requirements and exceeds my expectations. I can’t even tell you how tedious they were to install Continue reading

Fireplace Update

The crew has started on the living room millwork.  This is something I am dying to see the end result of.  We are not finished yet, but the foundations have been laid. I have great visions, but in reality I am just trusting Amber on this one. Her design is amazing and the wood work by Ryan has been beautiful so far. I think this combination is going to be stunning.

One of the things slowing us down in this room is the wood itself. We have been talking about the colour of the wood strips that will be on the fireplace and across the ceiling as well as the shelves that will bank either side for a while. I tend to want more dark woods in the house, but that really makes the room seem smaller. Especially with the amount of light getting into this side of the house. This room needs all the lightness it can get. We need the white walls here as well as Continue reading

Bathroom Beauty

Here is the tiled bathroom! Wow – one thing complete and it is a beauty.  I can’t believe how well it has turned out. This is even without any glass, any finishing, any plumbing, any lighting. Can you imagine how wonderful it’s going to look once it is all in?

We did have a small snag with the tiles though…. Continue reading

The new playroom

What would the ideal playroom look like? We wanted a place where the kids could really be themselves. They love dolls, legos, crafts and make-believe.

Upstairs Play room

Upstairs Play room

That’s a tall order for one space. Although I love a good fireplace, there just isn’t a good or safe reason to keep one in the kids play area. Maybe once they are older, we will replace it. For now, we are planning on removing all of the shelves and making the space customized for a 7 and 2-year-old girl.


Right now the girls have great imaginations. They love playing house/store and creating tonnes of doll adventures together. They have a wooden kitchen and Barbie dream house which take up a lot of room and that will be great to get out-of-the-way a bit. Here’s what the space looks like without the shelves, the middle wall and fireplace.

There was still a mild gap between the two walls, so we decided to smooth it out and make it ready to house those taller play items. Here is the wall plastered and sanded and then painted.


Playroom painted

Playroom painted

There is still a little to do in this area, but currently we are trying to decide on a storage system for the kids’ chaos of toys/crafts. This is the one we are thinking about. It’s from Ikea. We would use a combo of tall and short cabinets surrounding the dollhouse and kitchen.

We are also looking into these bookcases from the Land of Nod. They have the midcentury feel we are going for, but are still kid friendly and not vintage expensive.

We have lots of choices to weed through, but I am excited about the possibilities and to see what Amber comes up with for our final plan.

Let’s Check in…

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today with all the big changes I saw at the condo this week. I went back to my original post and looked at my “must have” list. Wow, things have changed. Let’s take a look.

Our Must Haves:

  1. Open concept kitchen with an island √
  2. Replace the hardwood floors throughout √
  3. Expand to two full bathrooms √
  4. Have a great play area for the kids
  5. Update the design to suit us  √

We are slowly but surely ticking things off our list. We haven’t decided completely about the kids play area yet, but we are looking into a few storage options. Stay tuned for a post about their bedroom and playroom. The girls are very excited about it.

But what else has spiralled out of adding a bathroom and tearing out the kitchen?

Our new additions:

  1. Open the stairwell to let in light
  2. Change the glass to a floating glass system throughout the stairwell
  3. Change the glass on the loft balcony to match the stairwell
  4. Add new lighting throughout the house/add recessed lighting ceilings
  5. Add heated floors
  6. Add a workstation for homework and crafts and adult work at home days
  7. Add organizational systems to the closets downstairs
  8. Open up/widen the doorway between the kitchen and living room
  9. Add AV and electrical to make it a “smart home” since the walls are already open
  10. Paint everything!

I always heard that a reno is more like a living organism than a static project but now that I reflect on it, it is really clear.

Fireplace Therapy

We are so excited to have a fireplace in our new place. I love the one we have now and use it all the time. It’s so nice to sit in front of the fire and watch TV or cozy up on the couch with wine and a good book. In the new living room, it will really warm up the room as well. We can close the french doors and make it toasty there.

The only thing is that the fireplace was a bit old school. It was too ornate for our liking. We wanted to make it more modern.  We want it flush with the wall and to make it fit in with the rest of the house. Apparently that’s not too hard to do. And Brad wanted to be the one to do it.

Brad has a knack for removing fireplace mantles. Whether on purpose or not. This fireplace mantle however was much tougher than he expected. Billy had everything demolished but saved the fireplace for Brad. Brad came over after work (in his business attire) and Billy had the sledgehammer waiting. Brad was so excited to take out some aggression on this piece of plaster. Definitely worth the entertainment for me and the psychotherapy for Brad. It took a good few swings to make a dent and to get some of the plaster to fall but he did it.  Have a look at the severely shortened video to see him in action!