It’s been a while since my last post on our fixer-upper project (if you missed my other blogs, check out our first blog here and our design inspo blog here!), so today I thought I would give you an update on our progress and provide you with a little behind the scenes glimpse into some of the decisions we’ve been faced with so far! Most of you will probably be aware of some of these if you’ve been following along with me and my little family on my insta stories … but IF NOT here we go!!! ….
When we bought the house last summer it seemed as though this project was going to take FOREVER … since then, it has been a total whirlwind for us and just like THAT we’re at the point where everything is drywalled, the wainscotting is up, the Nuheat is installed and most of the TILE is in (we went with some wonderful crackly tiles from Fireclay Tile and cement tile from the Cement Tile Shop as well as some beautiful, natural stone and porcelain tile Olympia Tile + Stone and a majority of our countertops from Caeserstone)!!! OMG!! I can’t believe my eyes, not to mention, we are moving out of our current home at the end of this month!! HOLY CRAP!!
I have a bit of habit of stopping by the site to see the progress as often as I can (do you blame me?! Lol!) and I can’t help but feel so proud and excited that we have come so far without killing each other … LOL!!
It certainly hasn’t been rainbows and sunshine the whole way, we’ve faced lots of ups and downs throughout this reno! As I said in my previous blog, this project ended up being WAY bigger than we initially thought. While it was pretty much a new build, we have come across some restrictions based on the existing footprint and budget and I’ve quickly learned that renovations don’t always go as planned … one would think I should know that by now! Talk about living my own Love It Or List It nightmare (again) LOL!!!!
One of the things we’ve struggled with is my obsession for all WHITE (surprise, surprise … LOL). Believe it or not, I shifted away from all white in the interior with light grey and different shades of blue cabinetry. I’m even thinking of doing a PINK headboard from The Cross Decor & Design! The interior will still be fairly light and neutral but I’m proud of myself for integrating some colour!
However, I couldn’t escape the white when it came to the exterior. I was set on having everything white, the exterior, the windows, the trim, the siding, the fascia, the railing … Justin expressed his concerns with the exterior of the house being too light with all of the white finishings and even though I thought I had confidently sold him on this all white exterior dream … I’m secretly shitting myself thinking that he MIGHT be right … is white on white a mistake?!?! I don’t know if it will be too much or how it will turn out and that’s scary for me! Duh duh duh…. I guess we will see when it all comes together! WHELP!
Well, I guess the roof won’t be white. We’ve gone with a light warm grey metal roof thanks to the professional roofing contractor that recommend us to do it this way and we’ve also decided on the exterior paint which is “Oxford White” by Benjamin Moore … has anyone seen a house painted this colour?? I would love to see what it looks like! PLEASE … SOS help a sister out and send me some pics!
Another really important part of this reno for me was the millwork. Millwork can MAKE a home not only aesthetically, but practically as well. I wanted every drawer, cabinet, and shelf to have a purpose. I measured cereal boxes, shoes, cans of beans. I considered where I would put my paper straw collection, where Leo’s bottles would go, where Nacho’s treats would go. I wanted the millwork in this house to be beautiful but also make my life easier and more organized. I would HIGHLY recommend using a millwork company that has a designer that can work with you on these decisions. Locally we use Clarice Maidment with Home Image Interiors who’s been designing all of the millwork for Kelowna Innovative Cabinet Company. Clarice has been so patient with me and I feel as though all of these little details in my home are JUST as important to her as they are to me which gives me peace of mind!
Okay, I feel like I have SO much more to tell you but that could get boring so, let’s talk about what I’m excited for along with a few things I’m a little nervous about …. PLUS a few things I’ve learned (so far) along the way …
THE THINGS THAT I KNOW WILL BE AWESOME:
1. Foyer: Whoever designed our current home overlooked our foyer and it drives me absolutely NUTSO! There’s no room to store shoes and jackets, especially when we have guests over! If I see one pair of shoes in front of the door at the new house I’m throwing them in the toilet! So, it’s no surprise that I can’t begin to express my excitement for our new foyer, it’s going to be so functional with dedicated space to store shoes and jackets bags and purses for visitors. The arch entry is going to be stunning so this is a perfect example of form and function!
2. Leo’s Bathroom: Yes, Leo is going to have his own dedicated bathroom and I’m over the moon about this! It’s going to be a funky design and YES … it will have colour! One of the main reasons we wanted a new home was for the benefit of having a nice spot to bathe Leo as our current home doesn’t really have this, at the moment we have an ensuite bathroom plus two powder rooms.
3. Outdoor Storage (minrav-plast.co.il): I know this might sound boring but OH MY GOD I can’t wait until I have a place to put things. I LOVE LOVE our existing house but this house is for an empty nest couple for sure. I am looking forward to Justin having a closet, I’m looking forward to a place to put extra sugar and flour. I’m looking forward to a place to hang our jackets! If you watch Love It Or List It Vancouver you know that I love built in storage… so this house is going to have a ton of it! I tried to do wall to wall floor to ceiling storage wherever I could. I mentioned it above but I spent so much time thinking of the way we live over and over. Where would we drop the keys? Where would we throw our laundry? Which side of the closet would be best for me? How tall should the cabinets go? I have never put so much thought and detail into something, I just can’t WAIT!!! In addition to using Kelowna Innovative Cabinets, we also started working with Stor-X Organizing Systems for the garage, closets and Leo’s playroom! I can’t emphasize enough just HOW much time we’ve spent on storage in this house!!
4. In Floor Heating: Even though we’re doing a forced air heating system throughout the home, we are using Nuheat for all of our floors with TILE! We have it in our ensuite in our current house and we absolutely love waking up and stepping onto a heated floor. I’m so excited to have this installed in our laundry rooms and ALL of the bathrooms!
5. Little Luxuries: Yup. There are a couple of “little luxuries” that I’m really looking forward to in our new home, and they are a built-in coffee machine … I NEVER would have dreamed that this would be so important to me but our last house came with one and we absolutely LOVE it and couldn’t live without it, I would give up my stove before giving this up! Lol! The next little luxury would be our steam shower. Need I say more?? Bye Leo and Justin… Mama will be back in an hour…. ahhhhh…going to the steam shower with my latte … LOL!
WHAT I’M UNCERTAIN ABOUT:
1. All White Exterior: Yes, I’ll admit, for once this is making me nervous as I’m not sure how it will look … but I’m excited!
2. Back Deck: Even though Justin and I agree on MOST things, this is something we’ve been disagreeing on, Justin wanted concrete for the back deck and I wasn’t certain but DID end up deciding on a concrete deck from SK Form & Finish, it actually got poured this week and it looks amazing!! Good call Justin!
3. Layout of the Basement: We kept the pre-existing foundation in the basement which meant that the layout and the window placements stayed the same, at the time I thought this made sense but I’ve come to realize that the layout is really bizarre, the only place to put a couch is right next to the patio door which leads out to the pool, it seems strange and I’m not super happy with the flow, and there isn’t much I can do about it. I hope I can make some sense of it after we move in!!! *Update my OCD tendencies couldn’t handle it and we ended up moving the patio doors (lol!) so hopefully after all of this the furniture will fit better and the flow is improved!
4. Pre-existing Staircase: We kept the stairs where they were originally and by doing so has restricted how wide our kitchen could be … so it’s a little bit tighter than anticipated but we will work with it!
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED SO FAR:
1. You can’t tile a wall with a pocket door: Who knew?! From our bedroom to the ensuite I always envisioned the wall in my bathroom to be tiled but you can’t do that when there is a pocket door because when the door goes back and forth it’ll make the tiles loose! I was really disappointed when I found out we couldn’t do this as I had it all planned out but thankfully while cruising Pinterest I came across a really cool idea where they put panel molding behind the tub and I loved the look of it, so we’re going to do that instead!
2. Changes Happen: I’ve changed the entrance to the walk-in closet THREE times now MAINLY so that it’s more functional and has the best layout for us … I’m also trying to make sure that it’s better for pictures as well!!
3. Pay attention to the stairs: This is something to pay close attention to … it’ll impact the rest of your house so you have to take the time to think this one through … whether to keep them in the same spot or change them!
4. It won’t be perfect: Even though I’ve seen hundreds of houses and been a part of multiple renovations it’s still not possible to think of EVERYTHING! No matter how hard you try, there will always be something you’re not entirely happy with and wish you would have done it differently … and that’s OKAY!
5. You won’t always meet your deadline: One would think since I am “Jillian Harris from Love It Or List It” I would be able to meet my OWN deadlines … I thought for sure our home would be ready in under 6 months but we are now at 9 months and we’re STILL a month away from moving in! Things have taken much longer due to my own indecisiveness, product not being in stock, the weather, etc! I’ve come to learn that all you can do here is to take a deep breath and forge onwards! If ANYONE has built a house and met their deadline … you are my HERO!!
6. Write EVERYTHING down: No offence to contractors, suppliers, or tradesmen here, mistakes are made and sometimes people don’t really listen … or maybe they hear something different than what you said so I would suggest writing everything down because at the end of the day you don’t want your warranties to be misplaced or have the wrong tub size show up or the wrong depth of fridge, etc. Throughout our reno there have been some hiccups and I just wished there were times when I would have wrote something down but I didn’t because I was too busy or forgot and if you don’t do this it just costs you more time and money along the way!
There you have it!! Sorry this blog is crazy long and it took me SO LONG to get out to you, needless to say … things have been a little hectic around here! LOL!! Stay tuned as our next blog should be about us moving in and then after that, I might be silent for a little while as we get everything organized. We ended up selling all of our furniture with our current home and ordered all new pieces for our new home so it’s going to take me some time to get it all just right! We are planning on doing a series of reveal bogs in the fall … so in the meantime make sure to tune into my Instagram stories to see the progress unfold in real time OR check back here for more inspo updates and to see what I’ve been ordering so far!!
Justin and I are so excited to work with all of the above-mentioned companies throughout our renovation and we’re so grateful for partnering with some of them on this huge project of ours!!! Stay tuned for more updates!!