we sold our acreage

If you read the title I’m sure you can infer what this post will be about. This summer we decided to list and sell our acreage.

This was an incredibly hard decision to come to. We never thought that we would be moving after only 3.5 years of living here. We were so content in this specific home and in this specific part of the province. We truly loved what our acreage inevitably became, and saw the potential for future growth.

When we first moved in, everything was red, dark, marked up, and just forgotten about as a whole. We painted and puttied and renovated like mad. Slowly, room by room, this house opened up; becoming brighter, functional, and more beautiful with every remodel. It became a reflection of us and where we who we were as a family unit.

It all began with a video tour. From there, we added fenced gardens, refreshed our master bedroom, the kid’s closet, guest room, playhouse, culverts, jungle gym, Wilder’s bedroom, exterior doors, basement bathroom, basement family room, dog run, living room, Wilder + Beau’s bedroom, entry + laundry room, and finally two bathrooms. What you didn’t see was our kitchen (see above) and hallway renovations.

So why are we moving?

We spent 4 anniversaries within these walls and welcomed another baby. While we did have setbacks (because that is just life), it was mostly only happy memories. I will never forget our daily walks to the park down the dirt roads, or the beautiful star-filled clear nights, or the quietness, or how we spend all day everyday outside in the summer, or seeing our dogs run in our big yard, or our nice neighbours, or the wheat fields that surround our property, or the easy flow of our house, or the freeing nature that just comes with living away from everyone and being in your own paradise. Everyone who came out here would exit their vehicle, stand in the driveway, and say “you’ve got a little slice of heaven out here, don’t you?”

Yes, we did.

So goodbye, little acreage. We will always miss you.

Emory

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acreage renovation: two bathrooms

We recently renovated the remaining two of our three bathrooms. Normally, we would have done it all ourselves and spent much time on each one. However, due to life events (and something that I will discuss in detail in a couple of weeks), we decided to hire out most of the work and tackle both at once!

This was the kid’s bathroom before:

Whoever owned our house before us realllllly loved the colour red. And black laminate countertops. We lived with the bathrooms this way for 3 years. Below is how we changed them.

Kid’s bath after.

My en-suite before.

En-suite after.

Because we were on a strict timeline, most of what we purchased was whatever was in stock at Home Depot. That said, it did come together nicely and we are pleased with the results!

Emory

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5 ways you can reimagine your home for a change, right now

If normal has become borning and the usual is in desperate of some unusual, then as the autumn winds change to winter snow, it might be time for you to start thinking about changing your home around a bit.

Few things feel as reinvigorating and fresh as reimagining your existing spaces, and this is especially true if you still love your decor and furniture, but you’re just looking for, well…a little something else.

Living in one of the most beautiful regions of Canada means that we get to enjoy some of the most gorgeous vistas, open spaces and dramatic seasonal changes in the world. We’ve learned how to incorporate this into our home and lifestyle, and with a few handy tricks, you can learn how to do it, too, no matter where you are.

Image By Andre Furtado

LET’S START WITH ART

Now, if you’re not an avid collector, if you honestly couldn’t care about the difference between a Picasso or a Paganini, that doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate art. It just means that you’re not the type to wax lyrically over the importance of using words like “juxtaposition.”

But we would wager that most people, whether the type that shmoozes around galleries or not, can learn how to appreciate the instant sense of personality and style that one or two unique pieces can bring to spaces around your home. 

With simple focus pieces that do or don’t have to cost $1M (that’s up to you), you can literally breathe new life into an existing room without changing anything else.

Give it a try. Before you go and make any significant investment into a piece, take a browse through your local thrift stores or outside markets; whatever works for where you’re located, buy a piece that seems as if you might like it, but that doesn’t cost a lot of money.

Take it home, hang it. Now, look at photographs of the room or space that you have from before and see the difference it makes.

Art collecting, even just at an amateur level, is a beautiful way to create a legacy that carries memories and journies of your family beautifully, and you get to redecorate with changing a single piece of furniture.

REIMAGINING YOUR FURNITURE

So, you’ve found some art (and remember, that does just have to be a painting), and it looks fabulous – but you don’t feel as if you’re quite there yet. Time to get moving – not moving home, but rather, moving furniture.

Rearranging existing furniture like sofas, couches, coffee tables, side tables, dinner services etc., instantly create new walkway spaces in your home while changing your entire frame of reference of your lived-in areas.

This plays a psychological “trick” on your brain and means that you see familiar spaces but with new angles, which create fresh, “new air.” 

You can employ this same trick to your outside areas and garden furniture arrangements, too, and the great thing about this idea is that it doesn’t matter how much space you have; a few quick adjustments to angles or placements and you’re in business.

Remember to consider your location when planning furniture placements. This is a mistake often made, so if you have great views, position your seating accordingly.

BATHROOM MATTERS

Everyone dreams about that sacred space in the bathroom where for just a few blissful moments every day, nothing else matters – but you (and perhaps the glass of wine in your hand). We have so many great ideas on how to transform your bathrooms here.

But as an added tip, if you have showers at home, installing water and showerproof lighting with soft colour tints will give your bathroom a shot of the suite life and you – an exquisitely lit shower room experience.

REPLACE WORN OUT FINISHES AND FITTINGS

Nothing will suck the life out of a room faster than worn and tired finishes and or fittings. When it’s time to repair or replace, it’s time – get it done. Seeing the same old worn-out edges around your fridge has an impact on how you see your life. Think we’re joking? How did it make you feel seeing that cracked top every day in lockdown?

Exactly. So if you need to plan for it financially, then do it, but you will thank yourself for doing it; you might need to change your windows and need a home window replacement service, or the deck needs to be reoiled. Whatever it is – give yourself a lift. (and increase the value of your home too, just saying).

…AND FINALLY, SHELVES. 

Yep, shelves. We love coffee table books and little bits of objet d’art everywhere but when you’re making a change without breaking the bank, installing some creative shelving in unusual or focal places, and then filling them with odds and ends shows off your personality, frees up space and looks great doing it.

We know that money may be too tight to mention these days, but don’t let that put you off. Do what you can with what you can and learn to love the spaces you’re in all over again.

** This was a contributed post.

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4 tips for transforming your bathroom into a spa

Image credit

When it comes to decorating the home, the bathroom tends to get neglected. However, it’s usually not thought about the fact that the bathroom is mainly the first and the last room that people enter before getting up and going to bed. Since this space has so much significance, why should it get neglected? There are so many ways to switch up the style and the décor of a bathroom so it can be like a more relaxing space.

This can even include the smallest of bathrooms as well. Spas are wonderful and they have the power of rejuvenating us, and our bathrooms have the capability of doing the exact same thing. With the right accessories and planning, you can transform your bathroom into a luxury spa, and no, no tubs or saunas are needed for this transformation either!

Begin by looking at your countertops

Take a good look at your countertops in your bathroom, what exactly is on them? For most people, it’s their makeup, hair care accessories, and their toothbrush. What you’ll want to do is to remove the clutter and put it somewhere else in the bathroom such as storing it in a wicker basket or placing it underneath the sink in one of those cabinets. One of the easiest tricks for creating this beautiful spa-like bathroom is by simply removing the clutter and begin by adding some natural elements to the countertop. So look into place bamboo-made items, seashells, and other natural materials on your bathroom countertop. This tip can even be applied whenever you’re upgrading your kitchen!

Keep it minimal

Have you ever noticed that spas are never cluttered? This is one of their secrets for creating a nice and relaxing space. You’ll want to try to organize your space by removing all of the clutter. But this can also include the appliances within the bathroom itself such as the shower, tub, and toilet. If you plan to make any changes with these, you’ll first want to waterproof your basement first just as a precautionary step in case any accidents may happen.

Display luxurious towels

Towels are wonderful for adding some texture to your bathroom, as this is going to add a lot of softness to the space. You can also add some lush robes and some fluffy slippers to add some more comfy texture to the bathroom as well. These sort of comfortable and soft textures are often found at hotels and spas, and they make a world of a difference in terms of the atmosphere in the space. There are plenty of ways to display the towels such as nicely placing them on top of one another, hanging them on a towel bar, or even having them nice and snug in a basket. If you’re wanting nice and plump towels that are filled with fluffiness, then you’ll want to look for Egyptian cotton or Pima material, as these are mostly used by hotels and spas.

Incorporate some calm colors

If you’ve ever visited a spa or the wellness section of a hotel, you may have noticed the color scheme that they have. Spas will usually have natural colors such as greens, beiges, browns, soft grays, and whites. These are very organic.

** This was a contributed post.

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acreage renovation: a new basement bathroom

Have I mentioned yet that we had a flood in our basement? I’ve discussed it quite a bit on Instagram, however I don’t think that I have on my blog.

Just to summarize, I came home one morning with the kids to a basement that was under a few inches of water. The driver of the company that delivers our water had neglected to shut it off when the alarms went off. Inevitably, our rec/playroom, Remy’s room, and Geoff’s bathroom were damaged. Luckily, our insurance company covered the costs.

Above is what the bathroom looked like post-flood. The only blessing in disguise about the entire situation is that we had yet to renovate the basement. That is, except for Remy’s room. We hadn’t planned on renovating it for a few more years. In fact, we were in the middle of tearing out our entryway and laundry room when it all happened! However, because the insurance company wanted to move quickly on getting it restored, we were left with no other option but to abandon our upstairs renos and instead, focus on the basement. Up first, my husband’s bathroom.

Fire & Flood Saskatoon began by ripping most of it out. This included the flooring, baseboards, vanity, and toilet. We were told that they would give us new flooring and baseboards, but because the vanity and toilet weren’t damaged, they would reinstall them. They would also touch up the ugly red paint. It turns out that neither the vanity or toilet worked before the flood, so there was no way we were letting put them back in over brand new flooring. We also wanted to choose a new wall colour if we now had to renovate this bathroom. (Obviously red is dated and makes a small room appear even smaller.) In the end, we told them to go ahead with the flooring and trim, but that we would do the rest ourselves. That is what ended up happening.

For the flooring, we wanted unity in all of the rooms in the basement. So rather than replacing the old laminate with more laminate (which wraps in damp places) or carpet (gross in a bathroom), we ended up choosing a luxury vinyl glue down floor from Flooring Superstores. That case, in the event of another flood rather than throwing out the subfloor and flooring, you simply remove it, let it dry, and lay it down again! What we went with is also anti-bacterial, which is a great option for both a bathroom and Remy’s room given that she has asthma. The cleaner it is, the better it is!

Next, we chose a much larger width of baseboard. We wanted it to be as plain as possible in order to look more modern than what we had. After purchasing them from Windsor Plywood, they painted them white and had them installed!

Finally, they were done! It was now our time to buy everything and begin putting the bathroom back together. My husband bought his vanity when it went on sale at Home Depot. He was initially going to go with light grey, but after I mentioned how it might just blend in with our light grey floor, he went with a darker one.

Geoff bought a toilet from Lowe’s and after bringing it home and unboxing it, realized that it was cracked. So he went back and exchanged it for another. After installing it, I told him that it looked too little for his bathroom. I asked him if he wanted to buy a bigger toilet. I think he was annoyed, but he went ahead and purchased a new one from Home Depot and replaced the previous toilet with it. Afterwards he said that it did look much better. I agreed!

I did give him free range to pick out all of his plumbing fixtures. He bought everything for his sink and shower in matte black and from Amazon.

Geoff also took it upon himself to split the one light above his vanity into two separate fixtures. I personally thought that he was just creating more work for himself. However, he had seen pictures of lights on either side of a large mirror and was set on recreating that for himself. So after a bit of electrical work, he did just that. He bought his two industrial lights off of Amazon again.

Finally, aside from his towel bars, toilet paper holder, and door handle, everything else was purchased around Saskatoon. This included the mirror, towels, shower curtain and rod, bath mat, and accessories. They all came either from JYSK or HomeSense.

Last but certainly not least, we decided to cover all of the walls in shiplap panelling. I had seen it at Lowe’s months prior and was really wanting to purchase it for our home. Rather than buying the more expensive and traditional shiplap, the panelling is much more cost and time efficient. It also only needed one coat, as opposed to four coats where we had to cover the red! We truly love it and have already put it in our basement rec room and kitchen, but more on that later.

Until then, here is our basement bathroom on a budget.

Emory

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