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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cost of installing a walk-in wardrobe

As many of you know, Geoffrey and I have done a lot of home renovations over the years. In the past, we have bought, fixed up, and sold our houses every 2-3 years. Because we are continuously renovating, we try to save money wherever we can by doing the simpler jobs. Yet, there are certain things that we are neither experienced nor comfortable in handling ourselves. Some tasks are better left to professionals!

Installing a walk-in closet is one remodel that we know very little about. We have never been lucky enough to have a walk-in closet, but our house at the lake that we had built could have greatly benefitted from such a feature. Only we didn’t realize that we needed a closet in our loft bedroom until after we moved in. Once we did, we didn’t know who to turn to.

Are you thinking about installing a walk-in wardrobe? Where do you even begin? PriceYourJob is an excellent website that provides estimates, job descriptions, timelines and more for a number of interior and exterior jobs around your home. From gutters and chimneys, to windows, painting, wall removals, bathrooms, kitchens, staircases, flooring, and more! And of course, installing a walk-in wardrobe. (It’s one that I wish I would have known about sooner.)

Let’s look further at what is involved. The website states that first you must begin with a stud wall. If you don’t have a pre-existing one then one must be erected. You will also need to consider type of flooring, lighting, shelving, and doors, all of which prices are given. Next is design and useful information on saving space in your closet. There are benefits and tips listed on how to convert various rooms to walk-in closets, as well as alternatives to closets and how much they could cost. This is all finalized by FAQs at the bottom of the page and some sources. It really is your one-stop source for all things closet-related!

The prices are in pounds, but a simple conversion can give you an idea of what it would cost on your end.

Be sure to contact PriceYourJob if you are in need of a closet overhaul!

Emory

This was a sponsored post. I’m thankful for the brands and websites that I can partner with!

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master bedroom: before and after

Today, I will be sharing our master bedroom makeover with you all! 

When we first gained possession of this acreage in March 2019 we were paying two mortgages. We therefore decided to hold off on renovating until our house in the city sold. On top of that, it seemed like everything was breaking and so any extra funds that we did have went towards repairs. 

We ended up selling our home in July. By then the weather was too nice to stay indoors and so we pushed back the renovations again. We instead focused our attention on fixing up the yard. We said that we would start painting inside once it got cold again. That finally occurred in October!

Why we did start with a master bedroom remodel? In the past, I have always made our bedroom the last room that we touched. I feel like no one sees it except us, so why be selfish and make it a priority? This time, I really wanted to put more of an effort into honouring the marriage that Geoffrey and I have spent the last almost decade living, loving, and fighting for. 

Coming out of the fog of the newborn stage, I feel a renewed sense of self. Almost like I’m allowed to focus on things that aren’t just baby-related. I have finally started working out, I have gone to a real hairdresser for proper shorter and blonder hair, I have made appointments for just me, and I have started doing photography for clients again! With this also comes a desire to have fun with Geoff, to go on dates, and to grab as much alone time as possible! Hence, a need to pour that attention into a physical space like our bedroom as well.

From the above before pictures, the room didn’t look that bad. Up close, it was a different story. The house was previously rented out to someone who basically let their three massive dogs destroy it. The bedroom doors were torn to shreds, the handles were chewed, the floor and window trim was completely scratched, there were several toll-free phone numbers written on the walls in pen, screw holes everywhere, a ceiling fan covered in fly poop, and decals of soldiers with guns and parachuting out of airplanes. Like what the heck?

The first thing that we did (after months of hanging a blanket in the window to block out the sun) was purchase blackout blinds. Our bedroom window is south-facing so it catches a lot of heat in the afternoon. I cannot believe that we have waited this long to buy them! They work like a dream and look very nice. If we were to ever move again I wouldn’t hesitate in buying the same ones from Home Depot.

Upon hanging the blinds, we set about painting the walls. I went to Pinterest for inspiration and after seeing how beautiful one black wall looked in a white bedroom, I couldn’t resist. My boring self never seems to stray far from black and white walls. I am trying to venture into new colours, but for now, I couldn’t be more pleased with the way it turned out!

After the walls, trim, and doors were painted, we needed a shelf to display everything that I had been hoarding in my closet for nearly a year. It was going to be a shelf dedicated to our marriage and our three babies. Again, my love for all things familiar got the best of me, and I returned to Home Depot to buy the same knotty pine board and black brackets that we hung in our old house, and even the living room of this acreage! One day I might stumble onto a different solution, but until then, this is what a prefer with both the price and look.

Up went Remy’s newborn pictures, Wilder’s birth announcement, Rowen’s only sonogram, and our wedding photo. This shelf sparks love and joy and sadness and everything that my life has been over the last decade. I feel privileged each time I glance up at it.

I also replaced the old plastic switch plates with brushed metal, and the junky register with a black metal one.

Time now to focus on our bed, which I felt was missing something. We upgraded from an old wooden queen frame to a new metal king about one year prior. It was during that time that I also had to buy new bedding to fit the bed. Again, lack of imagination over here, I had zero ideas as to colour scheme. I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and felt completely overwhelmed and out of my element. What I ended up walking away with was white everything! Sheets, pillows, pillowcases, quilt … I didn’t know what else to do.

This time round, I felt such a desire to add a pop of colour. I went to my favourite new store, Home Hardware in Warman, SK and browsed their beautiful aisles of home furnishings. What I ended up buying was an orange pillow (is that orange? yellow? rust?) for $50! It was way more than I intended on spending on one throw pillow, but goodness it was worth it. Remy calls it an owl pillow for some reason, and Geoffrey knows that he’s not allowed to touch it. The blanket at the foot of our bed was crocheted by my late grandmother.

Finally, we needed to replace the “crappy” ceiling fan. When I was at Home Depot I browsed their selection but didn’t see anything that I thought would work. Next I went on Amazon and spent the better part of an evening searching for a black ceiling fan. Again, I couldn’t find one that I really liked. I was so disappointed and was about to give up for awhile. Suddenly, I thought to check Canadian Tire’s website (that is where we bought the fan for our previous master bedroom). As luck would have it, it was the pre-Black Friday event. I immediately saw one that excited me, and it was on sale for $149 from $249. I went the very next day and after using my Canadian Tire money, it came to $130 including taxes. I was so happy, and it’s the cutest darn thing!

One of my goals in making over our room was to transition Wilder into sleeping in Remy’s room, or their shared room. That didn’t happen. While I will eventually replace his crib with a black mirror and a tall plant, until I paint and design their room, he’s going to keep sharing with us. No matter, I will miss him too much if he leaves me.

Thanks for reading! Please leave any questions or comments below.

Emory

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our little nursery

Today I will be sharing another makeover story with you all. It is our master bedroom and nursery. Pictured above and below is what our bedroom looked like prior to our impromptu renovation.

This all began when Geoffrey had more than a week off at the beginning of August. I was 26 weeks pregnant at the time, and had spent the summer nesting. At the time we thought that we were done with renos until after I had our baby. However, being that we were planning on sharing our master bedroom with our newborn, and it was the only room that we didn’t touch since we purchased our home, I began to feel the strongest urge to do something. The walls, carpet, and baseboards were stained from the previous occupants, the fixtures were so old and grimy, and it just felt dirty. I really didn’t want to bring a new and pure child into such a gross room. Geoffrey agreed and so he set about painting the entire room white and changing the fixtures. After buying Remy a new bed, we made her bed back into a crib and brought it in our room. Below is an after photo.

Fast-forward to the beginning of September, and once again my husband was unexpectedly given more time off. (To explain- he is a train conductor that works hard and often makes enough miles before a certain date each month. When he does, he gets those remaining days off until the calendar resets. It is either between a few days to a few weeks per month! I love his job.) We had been staring at the carpet in our freshly painted room over the last few weeks, and decided that now was the time to replace it. That said, I was not able to physically help him refinish the floors this time. Not wanting to do them by himself, he said that we should pick out new flooring and get it professionally installed. I agreed. We went to our usual flooring store where they know us very well and always give us a discount. After bringing home samples, we just could not agree on a colour or style. He wanted dark laminate or carpet. I wanted light hardwood. See above.

Overwhelmed and running out of time, I said that I would sleep on it. The next morning, I cautiously told Geoff that I wanted him to refinish the floors beneath the carpet. His first response was a firm no. He didn’t want to put in the hard work himself, in addition to not knowing what state the original hardwood floors were in. I told him that we would be saving a few thousand dollars, and could do it faster than having to hire contractors. His answer was still a no. So I promised that if the floors were in terrible shape, that we would pay to cover them with laminate or hardwood. Right away, he begrudgingly started tearing out the carpet. So far, so good.

The next day he rented a floor sander and sanded the entire room. Boy, he was not happy. He was also filthy and sneezing. Inside, I was ecstatic! So was Remy! They were in better shape than I could have hoped for. See the progress below.

I think that it only took half a day to stain the floors. After that, Geoff installed the quarter round to cover the gaps. In order to help him out, I painted the trim and our dresser. It was difficult with my big belly and being 7 months pregnant, but I didn’t want him to complain anymore. I also wanted to show my appreciation for making our room over!

In the last month, we have purchased a new bed (going from a Queen to a King), area rug, and other items here and there. The room just fell into place, and we are both so pleased with it. Even though Geoff still won’t admit it, I know that he loves the floors. Plus, between saving money on flooring and buying everything when it was on sale, we saved thousands of dollars! I call that a win considering this makeover wasn’t on our to-do list anytime soon.

Additionally, we decided to hire a furnace and duct cleaning company. Our home is well over 100 years old, and we have done so many renos that have involved sanding the floors that we just wanted to make sure our air was clean for ourselves and, more importantly, for baby. After spending the morning clearing out our ducts, we were told by the technician that our home has probably never been done before. He was getting clumps of solidified black dust and other disgusting material. It took an entire day to scrub our house down after that. Now we are on a two-year rotation to have the service done. I highly recommend it!

That was the story of our latest makeover. I hope you guys enjoyed it. I also hope that it will be the last one for a long while! I don’t think that I can take many more renovations.

Emory

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our kitchen: before and after

Welcome to our kitchen renovation! The total time that this project took was approximately 3.5 months. 

During that time, we were also renovating our living room, hence the delay! It felt like a long process, but one that wasn’t as stressful as I had originally thought. Below are the before pictures.

Our goal for the room changed quite a few times. First it was to get new flooring and counter tops, but to leave the sink. Then it was to get all three. By the end, we decided on a new floor and sink, and to leave the preexisting counter tops. Meanwhile, we were always set on refacing the bottom cabinets and replacing the uppers. And that’s what happened!

We began this process by first taking down our upper cabinets. Removing them went fairly smoothly, but what was behind them was a bit of a mess. Where there was drywall, it was bumpy and uneven. In other parts, they had cut away the drywall to install the cabinets. The window casing also decided to come down with the cabinets. Because we were wanting to install floating shelves, the walls needed to be even and smooth. It took a lot of mudding, sanding, puttying, and more sanding, but we finally got them to a usable state!

Meanwhile, we had the same company return to rip out the vinyl flooring in the kitchen, and install the same dark laminate that we used in the spare bedroom. I love a dark floor with white cabinets, and thought that continuing it in this room would be to our advantage. After a day of labour, it was in!

Next we had a contracting company come and reface our bottom cabinets. We had never had this done before and were curious and excited to see how it would play out. We chose to reface instead of install new cabinetry for many reasons. The first was to keep the costs low. The second was because it was quicker. The third because it created less of a mess and we could still use our kitchen while it was getting done. They made us new soft-close drawers from scratch, reconfigured a few things, and ironed on the new material. I chose these drawer pulls from Amazon. Although it took three long days, we were so happy with the results!

After our cabinets were refaced, we set about painting the kitchen. This was pretty straightforward. It took four heavy coats of white to cover the dark and grease-stained walls and off-white ceiling. It was the most time-consuming project in the entire renovation!

We ordered our new appliances from Home Depot and Trail Appliances. We went during a big sales event at Home Depot for a new fridge and stove. It turns out that they ordered us the wrong fridge (but we kept it), and our stove was back-ordered for two months. I don’t think that we’ll be going back there again for appliances. Our dishwasher, on the other hand, came from Trail Appliances. We picked it out and picked it up that same day, and the sales team and entire experience was so enjoyable. We were even given a discount just because the salesman liked us! I definitely recommend a smaller company like them over a big box store.

Choosing our floating shelves was probably the hardest process in this makeover. I bought and returned so many different types and colours of shelves- it was insane! Here is Geoffrey testing out a MDF wall shelf and a barn wood shelf. We ended up going with neither! Instead, we chose wide plank pine shelving.

We ended up going with these brackets from Amazon. The least expensive brackets that I could find at Home Depot and Rona were around $10. Because we needed 17 of them, I wanted to find a cheaper option. The brackets that we ordered were only $5 each, and looked better than anything that I could find in the city. Hooray!

I also ordered our light fixture, sink, and faucet from Amazon. Those were the last to be installed. We chose a sink that was a little larger than our previous one, and so much better looking. The faucet is so neat. It has an LED light that turns blue when the water is cold, green when it’s neutral, and red when it’s hot. The plumber said that he had never seen one like it before. He took a video and a few pictures of it, and said that he wanted to order them for the shop. Too funny! After spending an entire day here, and $1100 later, our sink and faucet were in. We were done!

Down the road, and if we stay in this house, we would like to order a chimney range hood for over the stove. I would also like subway tile back splash in the kitchen! I think that it would pull it all together.

We learned so much from this renovation. I’m just thankful that we were able to continue to use our kitchen the entire time. I couldn’t imagine not being able to! In that regard, I wouldn’t have changed anything.

I hope that you guys enjoyed this post. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or compliments. ;-)))

Emory

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