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Jill's House

Renovation Series: Francesca’s Childhood Home Renovation is Almost Done

Morning loves! Today we wanted to give you a little update on Francesca’s childhood home renovation as they’re now nearing the finish line on this massive project of theirs, the professionals from have done an excellent job with this project!! If you missed our first blog on this (and are wondering who Francesca is) then head on over to our first blog to read part one!! But for those who are already caught up, I’m going to let Francesca take it away and give you an update on where things are at and how they’ve found this journey so far!

Take it away, Fresca!!

Hi everyone, Francesca here!! We are so close we can smell it … the smell of new concrete … new soil … new paint … the slightly plastic smell of a new fridge (!!!) … freshly grouted tiles and newly cleaned hardwood flooring … for those of us who renovate for a living, we know these smells and love them because it’s an indication of it all coming together. It’s an exciting time, but it’s also a nerve-wracking time as it’s when all the decisions that I’ve made over the months and all the product I’ve selected all come together in front of my eyes and, (as a strong self-critic), I see some errors (2 light switches will haunt me forever …) but mostly I see gorgeous product and some pleasant surprises as well – all in a day’s work!

A year ago we were walking around in mud and now we are days away from moving in! Sloshing around in the mud, I could only imagine tile cleaning and paint and windows and trim work (… so much trim work …) and now I see it all happening! I’ve been working with some amazing suppliers and they’ve all bent over backward for this project and have been so patient with me to make sure I have the order correct, shipping product to site on time and following up with how it’s all going – we couldn’t have made this house the way it is without these special suppliers and the people behind their product.

When dreaming of this house I was sure I wanted a light warm putty grey exterior with a deep dark green door and garage door and white trim… when we saw this house realized and how large it is… it was an obvious choice to paint it two colours and darken it up a bit so that it doesn’t stand out too much on the street because I already have my street lights from that stand out! After some debate amongst the family…we finally settled on two colours for the house and, thanks to Woodtone and their speedy turn-around time, saw the siding in no time at all!

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood HomeJillian Harris Francescas Childhood HomeJillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

We worked with Woodtone on the interior finishes as well – I’m looking forward to staring up at the tongue & groove ceilings in the office and master bedroom for a long time!

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood HomeJillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

Though the Vinyltek windows went in many months ago… we only (finally!!) stripped off the protective film a few days ago and can really appreciate the look of these windows – traditional in style as most of them are vertical sliders (mimicking the traditional sash windows) with mullion detail but they’re much easier to operate than those old wooden windows.

The doors went in the other day and so did the hardware – I’m loving the Teton lever from Emtek for the exterior French doors – such a nice feel to them and so solid.

This arm installing the lever belongs to Sandy…he’s been working so hard on the house –we’re almost there darling…

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

I mentioned the amount of trim work that has been happening… I do like trim and I relish in the detail work that can go into a house. Its thanks to Metrie and their stunning selection that has brought my dreams to reality.

I had decided a while back to go with a profiled casing for doors and windows, as it is clean and simple yet traditional (and it’s also fewer cuts for the guys to put up as opposed to a built-up detail!) – here’s a sneak peek to the pantry with some more Woodtone product in the background: fine line shiplap on the vertical for our pantry wall.

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

A detail I hadn’t seen coming was the pan ceilings in the kitchen/dining living as well as the front den and my mothers bedroom – not part of the original plan, some drops were required due to pipe slope from the top floor deck drains – and this requirement turned into one of the details I love most about the main floor. Accentuated by a 5-1/2 Metrie crown molding, I think this ceiling detail gives interest and depth to an otherwise expansive and boring ceiling – thank you unexpected drainage lines!

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood HomeJillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

The crown and all the rest of the trim wouldn’t look as good as it does without these guys though – Aidan and Matt from Kits Construction – they have skills… (and super-duper fancy glue!)

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

And the green kitchen… I’ve been coveting a green kitchen for oh, about 4 years now… and Merit Kitchens has brought this dream to life. I’ve worked with the team at Merit Kitchens on as well as off the show for years now and they always make sure to take the very specific needs of every client to heart – every spice jar and recycling bin, where the dog food goes and where the flour goes –its all thought out and there will be a place for everything (and everything in its place – I hope!).

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood HomeJillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

I can’t wait to see the picket tile from Fireclay Tile go up as the backsplash… soon…very soon… and then we can start cooking again!

The vanity in our ensuite as well as the cabinetry in my mothers darling little bathroom is also by Merit Kitchens – more on this to come in later posts… but here’s a sneak peak at the master ensuite sinks supplied by EMCO– possibly the first item I knew for sure that was going to happen in this house (after the green kitchen!).

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

There’s a little red ladybug in amongst the black and white botanical drawing!

The countertops went in not too long ago thanks to Valley Countertops– man alive do those guys work hard and don’t stop sweating until it’s done! The countertops look great, I went with Lagoon for both kitchen and master ensuite as I love the tone and depth of the product so much –its not too crisp a white but still bright enough to feel fresh. It has an elegant veining pattern reminiscent of Carrara marble that, well, you cant go wrong with that!

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

And this tile … this tile is everything … (well, its everything I love in a tile!!), it’s from the Cement Tile Shop and it reminds me of the shards of old Italian hand-painted tile I’d find in olive groves and take home from my trips to Italy as a child (I know, I wasn’t normal …) and I think it was just made for our entry!

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

Jacky – the ninja tile setter – did an amazing job at installing the Zebra Terrazzo cement tile (and all the other tile in the house) – such straight and tight grout lines…you’re so good Jacky!

Another detail I love… is this vintage stained glass window we found and installed in the stairwell. Again, it wasn’t planned but when our neighbour to the west commented my, what a large wall you have there – are you going to put a window in there?, I thought: sure – that would be a great idea! So we lucked upon this lovely little-stained glass window of a rising/setting sun and now it’s such a special feature that I can’t imagine the house without it!

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

Rudy and I have already found our favourite spot in the house – you’ll find us here most days I suspect!

Jillian Harris Francescas Childhood Home

All this gorgeous product, the details, and the finishes wouldn’t exist without the talented craftsmen and women doing the work – I have yet to count them all up…but I’m sure we are close to 100 people or more who have worked on this house, contributed time, effort, talent, resources, materials and so much more – I’ve highlighted a few special people on my site as it really does take an army to build a house and its the people that we’ve worked with on this project that has made it what it is.

Thank you everyone – you’re all invited for dinner… once we get the kitchen working!









All photos are my own and suppliers listed are partners in this project because I truly stand behind their products and services.

Leave a Reply

  1. Hi Jillian!

    Oh my goodness I love all these pictures. I did have a question though for you. I love your end chairs on your dining room table. Can you tell me the fabric choice you used with Restoration Hardware? I love love love them!

    Thank you so much!!


  2. Oh my Gosh, what a gorgeous home!

    Would you mind sharing where this marvelous pattern sink is from?


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