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Living My Own Love It Or List It Nightmare

Welcome to my home!!!! When I first saw this house it was over my budget but I absolutely fell in love with it. They always say not to buy out of emotion but it was so beautiful my eyes were glazed over. It had so much character and was right up my alley … it ticked off all of the boxes for what I was looking for in a home. The current home owner even had a signed picture of Martha Stewart on the wall. The garden was beautiful with amazing water features that were so eye catching. The outside had so much space and so much potential it was the cherry on top of the gorgeous house itself.


Days after moving in I started experiencing my own Love It Or List It Vancouver hell. At that point in time, my life was so crazy … I was travelling from Kelowna to Vancouver every week for filming. Justin and I were just starting our long distance relationship. My Dad had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. And I thought my head was going to explode because that’s when everything started going wrong in my house.


First things first, I hired my cousin Charles who runs CW persona contracting to help over see and take care of everything. This story isn’t glamorous but I wanted to share some of the contacts I met and people I used in case any of you bump into any of these similar issues. And well here is where it all began … my entire furnace was completely fried. It didn’t even turn on and it was winter time. SO, I contacted Trane and Ingersoll Rand right off the bat and they installed a new furnace and air conditioning system…just in time for winter so we wouldn’t freeze our butts off.

But it was my bad entirely, I totally overlooked the fact that I live in one of the hottest cities in the country and my house would be scorching without AC throughout the summer and freezing in the winter without a furnace OR a fireplace. As you can imagine, buying this house I was already over budget and I’m instantly having to replace the entire HVAC and all of the components. Thanks to Trane everything was replaced efficiently. While they were up in the attic installing it, I was informed my entire roof needed to be replaced. THAT is when I realized I was living my own Love it or List it nightmare, First of all, I had to contact the Crawl Space Cleaning Bellevue – Clean Crawls because they also informed me I need an insulation removal .


I had to make the decision to either sink a whole shit load of money into my house that I would probably never get back. OR I would have to sell my house. I had such an attachment to this house and it was my FIRST house … SO as you can see … I decided to over extend myself and just make my house into my ultimate dream home instead.


I replaced the roof with this product called Decra. What I loved about this roof is the fact that it’s actually metal but it’s made to look like cedar shingles. It has a lot of character and texture but it’s extremely durable. It has a 50 year warranty and will probably last longer than the house itself. I get so many compliments on the roof still to this day … this roof is the shit!!!!

And well … while I was at it I decided to rip down some walls. I took out the walls between the kitchen and dining room to extend the kitchen so that it had a view of the lake. I used to have french doors going into the dining room and everything was segregated off into their own separate rooms. Knocking down these walls completely transformed the space into an open concept.


I was so excited my kitchen finally had a view BUT I only had a dinky little window … which definitely didn’t capitalize on the gorgeous view. I was already so in over my head so I thought I might as well replace the window with a full glass folding door system from LaCantina.


Once EVERYTHING was opened up … I realized I needed to fill in the holes in the cabinetry. I called and hired the original kitchen designer Carolyn Walsh and cabinet maker to help with the next steps. I painted all of the cabinets white (they were cream) from Phoenix Kitchenworks and got all new hardware from Restoration Hardware. With the entire island changing locations I also had to replace the counter tops and went with Misty Carrera from Caeserstone. I needed a new sink and went with a Kohler cast iron apron front to match the rest of the white kitchen. My backsplash was replaced with World Mosaic white Moroccan style tiles. And I got vintage chandeliers from Sadie Ann McMurray to finish off the kitchen.

All of these gorgeous photos by: Janis Nicolay

Last but not least … I needed some last minute final details and got everything from my favourite decor store in Vancouver – The Cross Design.

It was such a huge project and it was so overwhelming and felt never ending. The men in my life totally took care of me and made everything so seamless for me. I definitely couldn’t have done it without them.

Check back in the next few weeks as I walk you through the rest of the rooms of my home!!


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  1. Gorgeous home!! Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to see the rest! Can we get closet shots?! Love all your clothing!!

  2. Can you share what brand, color, etc. the hardwood flooring is? I NEED to get rid of the carpet on my main level, and love this look and color to match the natural wood trim in my home.

  3. Stunning! Looking forward to seeing more! Your blog inspires me everyday, Jillian. Hoping Mr. H. is doing a-ok!! 🙂

  4. Absolutely beautiful. I have a quick question. I love the chandeliers over the island and noticed they are not as low as most pendants. How did you determine what height to hang them?

  5. What a great post! Question re your selections – did you make most of them based on your relationships with suppliers or did you source new? In particular I’m curious why you went with La Cantina as we are beginning a build in which our MUST have are folding doors. Gorgeous!

    1. She likely went with La Cantina for free or deeply discounted folding doors for the post mention and link (she was already concerned about the furnace issue since she was already over budget from the cost of the house). I imagine this was also the reason behind most of her choices, which is fine (i would want free stuff) but full disclosure would have been great for readers unaware of affiliate links.

      1. Yes I think you are probably right. I was hoping she did research rather than going with a sponsored supplier. I don’t begrudge sponsor discounts (well actually I am getting a little tired of the over monitizing happening on almost all lifestyle blogs but that is another topic ..) Jill if you or your team would care to comment on the decision around Cantina it would be appreciated.

  6. I am a huge fan! There is a great Montreal store that has amazing pieces that are similar to the cross it’s called luxe decor in pointe claire. There is also pepiniere pointe claire. Can’t wait to see the rest of the house to get some more inspiration! Love the prayer beads! Excited to receive the ones I ordered.

  7. Gorgeous Jillian! I love everything about your soft, light and cozy home. The built-ins are beautiful and I love the white paint you chose for the cabinetry. The seating area is so cute just off the kitchen. It’s perfect for catching up during that morning cup of coffee or a glass of wine after a long day… Cheers to a loving bunch of sweet memories under your new roof! xoxo

  8. Your home is absolutely beautiful! I’m wondering if you mind sharing were you found the amazing distressed coffee table! Thanks 🙂

  9. Your gorgeous home is like something I have always dreamed of and you have a lake view to go with it. Good job Jillian!

  10. I usually hate when a house is all light colors but you managed to bring in a lot of warmth while maintaining the airy spacious feel. I love all of the details.

  11. Love your house Jillian. I am a fairly new home owner too, and we had major issues right after buying our house. The first time I did laundry the hot water tank decided it was done. The bottom feel out and I had a river in my basement. Ahhh, the wonders of home ownership. Come to Burlington Ontario, and redo my house.

  12. Love your home Jillian! I wanted to know which Christian Dior book is it that you have on your coffee table? I love your style and fashion! Can’t wait to see photos of the rest of your home!

  13. Your house is AMAZING. Everything is gorgeous. Question- how did you decide on caesarstone for the countertops? Is that the most durable? I love that it looks like marble, but is obviously better than marble for kitchens. Can you elaborate on how you picked that and if that’s what you recommend most for kitchen counters?

  14. Where are your kitchen counter bar stools from?? They are perfect. I have been looking for a set like that for a while but cant find the right ones.

  15. I am sure you have been asked this question a million times, but what is the best and most popular choice for white paint? I want to redo all my walls white but man…..there are a million different “whites” to choose from. Your home looks stunning and frankly all of your Designs in your clients home are simply perfect as well. Any suggestions?

  16. Hi Jillian,
    first of all I have to let you know how beautiful Leo is? OMG!!!! I want to squeeze him , he is so beautiful. Congrats to you and your husband. I really need your help, I’m moving from a house to a condo in Port Coquitlam, and I need storage in a big way. I need to buy a large entertainment unit to store, china, etc. Do you buy a entertainment unit in white ( to flow with the walls ) or do you buy a unit that is the same as the dark espresso floors. The room is an open large concept and my dining room furniture is the reclaimed sundried wood. My husband and I are so far apart , i feel my grey coming in faster. Can you please help?

  17. I would love to know what color white you painted your kitchen cabinets…. It’s so hard to find the right white. Thanks so much!!!

  18. Your place is gorgeous! How do you keep it looking like that? My kids are out of the house and I work full time and I still think it’s messy. My husband says we should sell because there’s too much work that needs to be done. I am not wanting to move.

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