Patio update

The flowers are in full bloom now and they smell amazing. I wish we had smell-o-vision to share it with you.

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Luckily these plants and trees that are already on our patio are taken care of by our strata. But since we have some space, I would like to try out some gardening for myself. Maybe learn a little about my own green thumb. A friend recommended a local nursery, Phoenix Perennials that is doing amazing things with plants for small spaces (well and many other things but this is what I am interested in 🙂

They recommended a few container workshops to get up to speed as well as a few grafted trees to get the most fruit/veggies/flowers that we can for our space.

We will be ready to pick up our new grafted trees in a few weeks. Hopefully they will have a small harvest that will give us little treats this fall but likely it will take 2-3 years to get real fruit.

The first tree I want to tell you about is the Ketchup and Fries tree. It has cherry tomatoes grafted with potatoes to give 2 wonderful edibles. I can’t wait to see it in real life.

Ketchup and fries Tree Phoenix Perennials

Ketchup and fries Tree
Phoenix Perennials

The second is a Fruit Salad tree. This tree has five different stone fruits on the same tree. One per branch! Peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, and almonds. This will be so yummy in a few years.

Fruit Salad Tree

Fruit Salad Tree

I can’t wait to go to their workshop and start growing something. I’m also excited to get the customized container system going. Phoenix Perennials is just amazing to work with especially with the knowledge of the city, our climate and how to create and maintain a small space in downtown Vancouver. Next to plan what veggies to put in our container garden…

Spring is here!

We went to visit the new condo this past weekend to show our cousin the “bones” of the place. The crew inside is still working on its foundational layers but things are progressing well. Hopefully I’ll have some more finished pictures in the next 2-3 weeks to show you. Until then, there have been some major changes on the patio I can share. I apologize to those of you on the East Coast. I don’t mean to brag but I was unprepared for the budding I saw here. I never had a garden growing up, so this is all new to me. Now I need to actually learn about gardening. I am way more excited about that than I thought I would be. The kids are over the moon. We are going to get some patio planters and grow a few vegetables that the kids can harvest. Maybe then they will eat their broccoli 🙂

Spring has sprung!

Getting to know our new house…

I’m mostly writing this blog for my family and friends who mostly live over 7000km away from me but I’d love to share the experience with anyone else who’s interested. This will hopefully keep them in the loop, but allow me to have some fun and memories of the process. I hear renos can be very tedious with lots of awful decision-making and conflicts/fights between spouses….none of which we will experience I’m sure (insert sarcasm here). But I do think my husband and I have very similar design tastes and are usually pretty reasonable when it comes to making a practical and quick decision.  I guess we are about to be tested. Hopefully it’s a good test 🙂

First I thought it would be a good idea to show you the current configuration of our house. As you will be able to see, it is quite lovely already and I would be happy to move in as it except that I have been waiting for 11 years for this house. So I have had a loooong time to dream up what I want in MY place. I don’t want to feel like I moved into yet another rental that I am now allowed to paint.  I want it to feel like us, and that’s not easy. I will tell you about our design inspirations in a later post, but let’s say that the hubbie and I like things a little different and definitely colourful.

So, here’s the house.

The new living room.

The living room.

The view of the Kitchen looking into the living room

The view of the kitchen looking into the living room

The powder room

The powder room

Our bottom floor is actually on the second floor of the condo building and opens onto the roof of a heritage building (so no chance of ruining our garden or view with a future building – yeah!) The entry opens into a big room with a fireplace. This used to be a dining room, but we are going to switch it up and have the living room here. It also has a powder room that we want to expand into a full bathroom (more on that later – this will be a pressure point). There is a doorway to the left that then leads into the kitchen/dining room/work area open concept room. The whole bottom floor is accessible to the wrap around patio outside and has floor to ceiling windows, so lots of light and plants. This is a real plus for us.  The place we have now has no outdoor space, so having a place to enjoy a coffee outside in the morning is going to be wonderful.

The dining room looking outside

The dining room looking outside

IMG_7921

The stairs/landing area

Up the stairs then opens onto the kids’ play area. It is fairly big and with a bit of creative storage, will hopefully keep all the kids gear at bay, or at least not be underfoot when guests are over (anyone who’s stepped on many tiny legos will know what I mean!)

The play area and loft

The play area and loft

Then there are three bedrooms on the upper floor as well as a laundry room. There isn’t an official en suite, but the two bathrooms from the original condo were previously renovated into one large bathroom. I don’t really want to separate it unless we have to (i.e. when we have two teen girls fighting over one vanity – then I may change my tune). It has two doors and plenty of room, so hopefully it will be good for a few years especially with an added shower downstairs for emergencies or when guests stay over.

The Master bedroom

The master bedroom

My/(Our) walk-in closet!

My/(Our) walk-in closet!

The girls new bedroom

The girls new bedroom

The upstairs bathroom

The upstairs bathroom

I’m also quite excited about all the storage in this house.  There is a huge walk-in master closet, multiple other walk-in closets off the living and dining rooms and even a pantry next to the kitchen. It will be weird not having a downstairs storage area, but we should have plenty of storage without needing it elsewhere. I even have a shoe rack in my closet (every girl’s dream I think!).

The patio outside is great. We can see it from anywhere in the kitchen and can see the side part from the living room. It will be great to let the kids just go outside and play on the patio, use chalk, ride their scooters, have a mini pool etc. It’s going to be a godsend this summer.

Looking out onto our patio

Looking out onto our patio

The common area looking onto our trees and patio

The common area looking onto our trees and patio

The girls have also decided they want bunk beds, which means they will share a room. This gives us a real guest room for the first time in our lives.  We already have a lot of visitors (did I mention Vancouver is a great city?) but we would love for them to keep coming and for more people to come stay with us.  We LOVE our visitors! We will probably put a desk in here as well so that it becomes multifunctional for when guests aren’t here.

The guest bedroom

The guest bedroom

Well, that’s it.  A run down of the place so far. We have lots of ideas, but need a tonne of help to make them work and tie everything together. Stay tuned to meet our amazing team – that’s where the magic will happen.