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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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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acreage renovation: a boy’s room / nursery

This room. Oh, this room. It has gone from a girl’s room, to a shared boy and girl’s room, to just a boy’s room, and finally, to a boy and new baby’s room.

I had initially planned on sharing the photos of how we sweetly made over Wilder’s room to incorporate a nursery for Beau prior to giving birth to her, but life became busy and I never posted them in time! That is why her name banner that hangs above her crib is flipped around- we wanted to keep her moniker a surprise until she was officially here.

Now that she is, the banner is facing the correct way, we have gotten around to hanging a mirror above the dresser, have added a kitchen set, changed the curtains, and have switched out the jute rug with a much softer off-white one.

Alas, these were the pictures taken over 3 months ago of our updated boy’s room/nursery at the time.

:-)))

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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acreage renovation: living room makeover

We started renovating our living room in August when I hung wallpaper from Rocky Mountain Decals. Below is what our living room looked like before we began.

As you can see, it needed help! A few followers on Instagram even asked me why we were making over our living room since it wasn’t in that bad of shape. But honestly, it was! There were still holes and patches on the wall from the previous owners, the trim was either missing or falling off, there were holes in the ceiling, and none of our furnishings really flowed since I never put in the effort to set it up properly to begin with. Not only that, I’m in serious nesting mode and wanted a nice room where we would be spending the majority of our days. So here we are.

Geoffrey started buy hanging shiplap on our largest wall. After he completed that, he started expanding our TV wall. Our goal was to have all of the electrical built-in behind the TV so that you wouldn’t see any cords hanging down when it was plugged in. Rather than finishing it off as a plain white wall, we really wanted to tile it. However, neither of us had any tiling experience! Our solution? To install peel and stick tile. It turned out nicer than either of us hoped for!

Geoff painted the remaining walls Falling Snow by Behr. He purchased new baseboards from Home Depot and painted, installed, and caulked those as well.

Now for the fun part- I got to buy what we needed to finish decorating the living room! I purchased a new black rattan light fixture from Bouclair. Three of our throw pillows also came from there. The floating shelves came from Canadian Tire. I bought curtains and the curtain rod from JYSK, as well as two throw pillows and an end table. Finally, our octagon ottoman came from HomeSense.

I have already rearranged a few things on the end table and I know that we will be adding more as time goes on. For now, this is our living room makeover!

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to four (three on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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