This was our first house. A fixer-upper bungalow in a trendy neighbourhood that we totally fell in love with. Over the course of 5 years we decorated this pad, learning how to DIY while we went and trying to figure out our style. Boy did we ever learn a lot!
We never did as much to the curb appeal as I would have liked, but a few key projects made the house nice to come home to:
Although the front entry-way wasn’t huge, we did feel lucky that the house had this space at all considering it’s age (many similar homes in the area don’t). We cleaned it up, added a rug, painted a minty mirror, put up a coat rack, DIY’ed a narrow wood shelf, replaced the light fixture, and the most fun of all – painted a chevron pattern on the ceiling.
The living room was the heart of our house. When we moved in, the room was stark and lacked personality, but we loved the sunshine that poured in through the big windows. We painted the walls (grey leaf by CIL), added in our furniture (including a couch from EQ3 and our karlstad IKEA sofa), hung artwork and accessorized,re-finished an old coffee table, and got a new rug. This room never felt totally finished, but it came a long way and was definitely one of our favourite spots to hang out.
The dining room was right off our living room and was a great space for family dinners. We gave new life to a used chandelier, re-upholstered some hand-me-down dining room chairs, painted a two-tone dresser/buffet, then re-jigged the furniture, and best project of all? Built a farmhouse table.
The kitchen in our pad needed a total overhaul. The outdated cabinets, bizarre layout (like the pantry that opens sideways..?), and the lack of “umph”, all put the kitchen into our “major reno” category. We never got around to a big reno, but we did make a lot of budget-friendly improvements that made it a WAY nicer space to hang and cook in. We painted out the wood trim on the cabinets, added some modern hardware, threw in a DIY message centre and spice rack, lay some black and white vinyl tile, and painted the built-in shelving apple green. A way more fun and happy space!
What a great blank canvas the master bedroom was. After initially painting the room a deep charcoal and realizing it was just a bit too dark for a small house, I re-painted the room a soft, light grey (coventry gray by BM). Some no-sew curtains, a spray-painted “new-to-us” chandelier, and some snazzed up dressers and nightstands, turned the room from bare and boring to cozy and comfortable. We DIYed an upholstered headboard, added new lamps, hung a gallery wall around the TV, and painted our closet doors.
The second bedroom underwent a few makeovers during those 5 years. For our first few years in the home, this second bedroom acted as a double-duty office and spare bedroom. It started out with a slightly neon turquoise (yes, I actually chose that colour originally – yikes!) and was crazy cluttered. In makeover #1, we stenciled the wall, built a desk, DIYed a capiz shell chandelier, added some fabric artwork, a headboard, and some cute storage solutions (you can check out the whole room ‘reveal’ here).
Then when our little lady came along in August of 2013, we needed to now make the room a nursery (with small office space remaining). With a limited budget and some space saving tricks, we ended up with a sweet room for Maya that we (and she!) totally adored. Check out this post for the full before + after, with budget breakdown and all of the DIY tutorials.
The one bathroom on our main floor was boring, beige, and pretty grimy. After living with it for a few years, we did a full gut-and-reno job of the room. We splurged on a few things (hello, carrera marble!), but DIY’ed a lot too, like the vanity. Check out this post for the whole reveal and all the steps in between.
We left our hallway space pretty bare and boring for quite some time, but eventually got around to giving it some love. First up was a coat of light gray paint (Silver Drop by Behr), followed by a wall gallery of our fave photos and prints.
The basement was one of the main reasons why we bought this house. We knew we wanted a fixer-upper (but one that we could live in easily while we renovated) and a house that offered the potential for an income suite. After 7 incredibly busy and exhausting weeks over the summer of 2010, we completed the basement renovation. We turned a dingy and dark space into a modern one-bedroom apartment by:
–Ripping out the carpet & tile
–Demo’ing the space (ceilings and walls)
–Expanding the 2 existing windows
–Framing the whole space, creating a new layout
–Putting additional insulation into the walls and ceiling
-Re-wiring the house
-Replacing our old oil furnace with a high-efficiency natural gas one
–Installing all new flooring
–Designing and installing a kitchen (appliances, sink, faucet, cabinets, countertops, pantry, etc.)
–Giving the bathroom a facelift (new vanity top, faucet, toilet, lighting and paint)
–Adding a made-over electric fireplace
–The odds and ends (painting, hanging doors and trim, building new laundry area, etc)
During our basement renovation, we gave the basement bath a quick makeover to make it more clean and contemporary. Replacing the bisque toilet and sink, updating the lighting, adding a mirror, and painting the vanity made a pretty big difference for the time being.
The basement kitchen was the cinderella story of that renovation. What was originally an ugly laundry/furnace/storage room was completely re-designed to become a darling little kitchen. With white cabinetry and some peppy lime green accent walls, it is a bright and cheery space.
After all of that, in 2014, instead of moving out into something bigger to suit our growing family, we decided to build up! We took that sweet bungalow of ours and made it into our dream family home with 4 upstairs bedrooms, more bathrooms, and a totally open concept main floor. Check out the progress and all of those new spaces over in the home tour.
Get Access to The Vault.
Get free organization printables, art prints, design guides, and more.
You know you want in!