Oh, hey there! Welcome to THE SWEETEST DIGS – a blog about all things DIY, interior decorating, showing your home some love (on a budget!), parenting, food, and sometimes a little fashion and travel. Basically all stuff that I love doing and talking about.

So, a bit more about me? I’m Gemma, a 30 something gal living in Ottawa, Canada. I’m married to my University sweetheart, Dan, and we have a daughter, Maya, who is a silly and sweet toddler who keeps us on our toes.


I have always loved design and decorating, and so in 2009 when Dan and I found our perfect first home – a sweet little fixer upper bungalow – I started writing this blog about transforming our house into a place we loved on a budget. You can check out the bungalow tour here.

front yard before

Once our daughter came along, we quickly ran out of space in our 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom bungalow. Instead of buying something bigger, we wanted to stay where we were and build up. Plus, then we would get to be a part of the build process, make all of the decisions ourselves, and beef up our DIY skills. Were we a little crazy? Yep. Definitely.

So in late 2014, we undertook a massive renovation to transform that small bungalow into a three story (!!) family home. We are still in the midst of finishing the transformation and hope you’ll join us for the ride. You have no idea how ridiculously giddy I am about all the new rooms I have to decorate.

building the house

There are project tutorials, room makeovers, craft ideas, shopping/gift guides, and posts about this crazy thing called parenthood. Oh and sometimes I’ll throw in a recipe, latest fashion find, or travel guide, too. If you are new to the blog, you might want to check out the Project Gallery tab above, which has a huge collection of DIY projects and room makeovers that I have done over the years!

A few snapshots of where we are headed with the new-old pad…

house in progress

grey and white kitchen with white subway tile

DSC_1477 DSC_1459

If I’m not decorating, crafting, or playing with my daughter, you can find me selling art prints in my online shop, the sweetest digs co. doing freelance decorating and styling work, or consulting as a project manager in public health (you know, what I went to graduate school for!).

etsy shop

I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to drop me a line, please email thesweetestdigs@gmail.com. Or, get in touch via social media on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram. Can’t wait to chat!

Thanks for stopping by!


gemma005 - cropped edited

  • Gwendy

    Great start Gem, having been showing this to Mary B-C here in France. I don’t know how you find the time! Looking forward to seeing the after shots of the basement later on.

    Will stop by often!


  • Irene Gonneau

    Love your blog. My sis told me about it and now i can’t stop reading it. Your a great writer and i love your style.

    • gemma

      thanks irene!!

      gem xo

  • http://www.homeinformationguru.com Tom Corliss

    Hello Gemma,

    My name is Tom Corliss and I am a new blog author with a blog in the home design and improvement field, http://www.homeinformationguru.com . I am new to this whole area of communication so please forgive me if this is not real clear. I looked through over 100 home design and improvement blogs recently for ideas of what I like and for information on how some people are sharing information with their readers.
    I just want to say that you blog is in my top ten blogs to follow and put on my blog roll. If you do not mind I would like to write an article about your blog to share with my readers to show my appreciation for great content and blog design. I would be sure to include information from your about page about you and of course a link to your blog.
    If this would be fine with you please e-mail me back to confirm that you are aware of my intention and that you are either good or not good with this idea.
    Please visit my blog and give any suggestions that you want to, again I am really new to this whole thing and I am just starting to learn the ropes.

    Thank You So Much,

    Tom Corliss
    Corliss Learning Systems

  • http://thelivedinroom.wordpress.com Rachel

    Hi! Are you in Ottawa? I just started blogging from Ottawa and I was hoping I would stumble across some locals. I love your house tour. I am amazed at what you did with your kitchen!Well done!


    • gemma

      Hi Rachel – yep, I’m in Ottawa! Great to meet another fellow Ottawa blogger. Good luck! :)


  • deborah


    A cool idea… thought of you when I saw it….


    love your blog!


    • gemma

      How cute!! Maybe we should do that between our backyards! :)


  • Genie


    I am also in Ottawa and also a vintage and interior design lover. I found here from your post in ApartmentTherapy’s small space contest. Love your ideas and works. I am curious which neighborhood are you in.

    Cheers, =)

  • http://www.one21design.com Elaine Rushlow

    cool your in Ottawa I’m in Newcastle I have a little blog on e blogger called “The House Nut” don’t get on there as much as I would like but you can check it out…I love love your little house great work. You’ve got the “NACK” girlie.

  • Adriane Jungues

    Just saw your daughter sweet nursery on Apartment therapy and through the reading I realized you are here in Ottawa! Nice!! Super duper blog! Mine is likeanewhome.com
    Have an awesome day,