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: entry/laundry/mud room

January 2021. That’s when we first began renovations on this well-used room in our home. May 2022. That’s when we finally finished it! Here is the road to how we ended up here.

Although our home obviously has a front door, we never use it. Our front yard is all grass, and no one had ever made a stone path from the driveway to the door. This is on our list of things to do, but we have yet to do it. Thus, the only entry that we and guests use it the one directly off of our driveway and closest to the garage- the side door.

Now our original side entry was a narrow strip of about 3 feet x 8 feet. Anyone who did come in had to enter in single file. With a wall and pocket door to the left and a kitchen to the right, there was nowhere to take off your shoes or hang your jackets. Once you did remove those items, you then had to walk through a pocket door to the small laundry/mud room, with yellow walls and a huge, dated washer and dryer, where you were able to put your gear in an overcrowded and open closet.

I forgot to mention that the side entry was also very red and very dark. We absolutely hated it and were quite embarrassed by the two cramped ketchup and mustard rooms. So we decided to open them both up, and to add a window and new exterior door for more light.

We chose a small black window with grids to keep with our modern style. It was installed in only one morning, and helped immensely with letting in the morning light. It also gave the room the feeling of being more open. Most importantly, we are now able to look over our driveway, side yard, and down the road as it is literally the only window on the east side of our house!

After we had the window installed, my husband started removing the ketchup wall and pocket door. I think that also only took him a morning to do so.

We were left with beams from the attic space and a lot of electrical in the old closet wall. We hired my cousin’s husband, who is an electrician, to come and remove all of the wires and outlets that were there. He did, and charged us nothing! That was an unexpected treat.

After the electrical was removed, we hired another contractor to install a new door that consisted mostly of glass. Between the new window, new door, and removed wall, our new entry/laundry/mud room already felt like a changed room! We didn’t care that it was half ripped apart, because it felt much brighter and more open. So we lived with it for a long time.

In the meantime, we renovated our basement, got pregnant, moved the dog run, built a clothesline, remodelled our living room, and the kid’s bedroom, and had a baby. Finally, almost 1.5 years after starting the project, we were ready to finish it.

The first thing we did was choose flooring. We wanted to stay away from tile, since that’s what was already there and it was evident that it would crack and lift in such a wet and high-traffic area. Hardwood and laminate were also out for they cannot handle moisture. What we were left with was vinyl, so we chose to go with a click system option.

We wanted the room to look clean and modern. I brought home several samples of white flooring, and from there we chose the one that had the least amount of texture and was bright and somewhat warm (to match our brown wood floor next to it). It’s called Matisse by Beaulieu. Then we measured the room and made sure to also get enough for my bathroom as well as the kid’s bathroom.

We had initially booked flooring installers, but to make a long story short, they ended up cancelling. We decided to tackle the install ourselves instead. My husband had to install all new subfloor consisting of varying dimensions in order to ensure that it met the height of the hardwood floor in the kitchen.

Geoffrey also had to move plumbing. We were given a quote of nearly $1000, but he was able to do it himself for less than $100.

He capped off the two overhead beams as well.

Then shiplap. So much shiplap. It was an extremely time-consuming process for Geoff to put it on all of the walls, the ceiling, and the attic door and have it line up perfectly. He did a really great job, though!

After the shiplap came painting. We chose our favourite ‘Falling Snow’ by BEHR. I helped out with this, since we were rushing to get it done in time for Beau’s baptism.

Once painting was completed, it was now time to install the flooring. We had never done any type of floor ourselves so we didn’t know what to expect. We talked to family members and watched a lot of videos. To our surprise, Geoff did the entire entry way and bathroom in a day and a half. It involved so much cutting and pounding, but it went in securely and beautifully.

The trim work followed the installation of the floor. Geoff did it all, siliconed it, and painted once again. Here is the result!

I purchased both the entry light and laundry room light from Amazon.
 

Our drying racks are also from there, as well as our shoe lockers. We needed something nice, big, and functional for our shoes and I can’t recommend them enough!

The bench is from JYSK and the area rug is from Amazon.

We decided to reuse our kitchen cabinets for the laundry room in order to create a good flow between the two rooms. We did purchase a laminate countertop called ‘Arctic Snow’ from Lowe’s, and new cabinet handles from, you guessed it, Amazon.

Finally, we swapped out our old washer and dryer for a compact combo unit by Haier. Now a lot of people have never used these 2 in 1 appliances before, but we swear by them. This is our third now, and I would say that it’s the brand that has worked the best so far. Because it is a non-venting condensing dryer it does take longer to dry your clothes than a traditional dryer. However, where it lacks on drying time it save you immensely on space. Plus, you can wash and dry a load without ever needing to remove wet clothes in between the cycles! How great is that?

That concludes our entry/laundry/mud room renovation. While we had never intended on it taking nearly two years to finish, I’m glad that it did. I had changed my mind about so many things along the way that if we rushed it, we wouldn’t have made it work for us in the way that it does now. It’s open, bright, and highly functional. It’s a lot of things in a small space, and it delivers in every aspect.

Emory

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renovating our bonair pop-up camper

Last month we bought a vintage pop-up camper off of Kijiji. The ad seemed like we wouldn’t need to put a lot of work into it, and the pictures were few and shot from afar. After speaking with the owner, she made it seem like we would be able to pick it up and go camping right away! How misleading that all was.

My husband went and bought it on a day off and I stayed home in order to take Remy to a birthday party. It was listed for $2000. He told me not to negotiate a price until he arrived, so I didn’t. When he got there, he said that it needed work. He offered her $1000 and they settled on $1500. When I heard how much he paid for it I thought that she was getting the short end of the stick and I felt a little guilty. Then Geoff came home with the camper, set it up, and I realized that $1500 was a more than generous offer. 

The owner was not truthful about a lot of things. She said there were no leaks when there were leaks, that the fabric was all in good condition when really every cushion was ripped and had holes, that the canvas was in great shape when it wasn’t, and so on. On top of it all, it was missing the sink and faucets, the propane stove was in hideous condition, the furnace didn’t work, and there was no water tank, among other issues.

Above is a “during renovation” photo. In one month, this is what we ended up accomplishing:

– installed new screens

– curtains + hooks

– bedding

– wall plates

– furnace

– fridge

– cabinet knobs

– hinges

– lighting

– plumbing

– propane tanks

– water tank

– door handle

– stove

– sink + faucets

– countertop 

– table

– dinnerware

– rug

– peg shelf

– scraped the ceiling 

– mended the canvas

– ccclllleeeaaaannnneeeeddddd

I’m tired from just recounting and writing all of that! But in all seriousness, it was a lot of work. We certainly could never have just picked it up and gone camping with it. However, it was worth it. We were able to keep her vintage qualities and yet make her new again.

Emory

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acreage renovation: a basement play and rec room

This was a big renovation that we had no intentions of undertaking until a few years down the road. That is, until our basement flooded in December! Once it did, we were left with no other option but to renovate our entire basement- the majority of which is made up by this playroom and recreational room!

We began by having our old laminate flooring, trim, and bottom portion of the drywall removed. My goodness, was it dirty! The smell alone was that of rotten eggs, and there was just so. much. dust. Fans and heaters were set up to completely dry it out, and it was after a few days. Finally, we were able to start picking out new flooring and baseboards!

Initially I wanted to go with carpet so our basement would feel cozier. However, because of our cistern being located in our basement, there is always a threat of it flooding again. If it did, carpet is one of the hardest types of flooring to dry out- so I was advised against it. Laminate also gets instantly destroyed when wet, as we have discovered. Hardwood was not in our price point, so we ended up settling on a vinyl plank glue down floor. That way, if we do have another flood, we can lift up the flooring, dry it out, and glue it back down. How convenient is that?

We had the vinyl professionally installed as well as much larger baseboards. We also hung shiplap panelling on the one wall. We bought new door handles and switch plates. Then we painted, painted, painted. We painted all of the walls, the doors, shiplap, and stairs! It took a very long time, but eventually, we we were done.

I purchased climbing holds for a rock wall off of Amazon, and we spray painted and hung a makeshift ladder that came with my husband’s vanity on the wall. Now the kids have their own wall that they can just climb on!

We also bought pine shelving, a wood rod, and white brackets from Home Depot. This wall is dedicated for all of their toys, since I didn’t want any of them on the floor. The hangers for their costumes are from HomeSense, the wood crates are from Michaels, and the baskets are from JYSK.

One of the hardest items that I had a tough time settling on was a rug for the rec room. It took me months to find the perfect one. I actually purchased a much larger and greyer rug from Rugs USA, but after putting it under the couch, it just didn’t look how I wanted it to. Then a short time ago I went to HomeSense and was determined to come home with a rug that day. I found two that I liked, and so I FaceTimed my husband and we went over which one we thought would look best. It was between this one and a black and white one. I am soooo glad that we settled on the one that we did! It is just so cute and playful, I feel like it nicely ties in the colourful playroom with the more modern rec room.

I also now have a dedicated spot to get work done, and the kids have a crafting area.

That is our basement renovation in a nutshell!

Emory

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covid renovation: farmhouse guest bedroom

Geoffrey and I made a renovation list in 2019, detailing which room we would renovate and when. For instance, this guest bedroom was originally slated to be made-over in the spring of 2021. That was pre-COVID.

At the beginning of our self-isolation, it was still too cold to be outside twice a day. Remy’s preschool and activities were all cancelled, so like the rest of the world, we were expected to be home all 24 hours of the day. With all of this extra time, I knew that I would need a project. One that I could do while being in the basement with the kids while they played. This guest room was the solution.

This is what it looked like before. It wasn’t in that rough of shape. The drywall was exposed in some areas where the paint had been ripped off of the wall. Other than a few blemishes, it seemed like a fairly simple room to spruce up. All it required was some paint, better furniture placement, and for my husband to stop using it as his work closet/filing cabinet.

Because we were supposed to limit the amount of times that we went shopping, we made it our mission to reuse paint, furniture, and decor where we could. Not only did it keep in line with our zero waste mission, but it made it an uniquely Coronavirus renovation. Challenge accepted.

We had over half a can of pale green paint leftover from our children’s bedroom, and half a can of of white. I decided to do two walls and the closet in the green and two walls in the white. Even with two coats we would be needing every last drop of paint. I prayed that it would look good, because there was no room for error.

The green looked much better in the guest bedroom than it did in the upstairs bedroom. That was a huge relief. I painted the rest of the bedroom slowly over a matter of weeks, in between playing with the kids and having to wait for when Geoff had time off. After two coats, many touch-ups, and sealing the edges in silicone, I was finally done! 

In keeping with our farmhouse theme, I chose to use the majority of our antiques in the guest bedroom. The bed, armoire, Hudson Bay blanket, and white crate are all vintage items.

We reused the dresser, cowhide rug, braided rug, plant, planter, bedding, and curtains from our other rooms in our home.

I did have to buy a wall sconce and gold curtain rod from Amazon. We also bought a new register and switch plates from Home Depot. Other than that, it was a successful COVID renovation!

Emory

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