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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acreage renovation: closet makeover

A few weeks ago I published a post on the cost of installing a walk-in closet. It was through researching the post where I learned a lot of information as to how to go about making over a closet, or building one from scratch.

When Geoffrey and I revamped our children’s shared bedroom we ignored the closet. For whatever reason this seems to be an ongoing trend with us. I think a large part is due to the fact that they are behind closed doors it is easy to overlook them. Another reason is because by the time we are done renovating a bedroom, the last thing that we want to do is have to think about painting and remodelling a closet. (In fact, we didn’t touch the closets in our master bedroom.) Well, not anymore!

I loved the outcome of Remy and Wilder’s room so much that whenever I opened their closet door I felt embarrassed. Above is the before picture. Yikes! I really wanted their new closet to reflect their modern and earthy bedroom. So the only thing to do was to make it over as well.

At first we didn’t really know where to begin. I decided to look at closet kits at all of the major hardware stores. I spent days looking at their products online. Geoff looked too, and after discussing it we narrowed it down to a white ClosetMaid kit. Only we didn’t like the white bars, the laminate shelves, or the depth. We had intended on using crates to hold all of Remy and Wilder’s blankets, but they would be hanging over the edge if we went ahead and purchased a ClosetMaid.

 

Thus, we were still in need of a closet system, but knew that buying one was now out of the question. I had downloaded a Flash Player and tried designing one from scratch on IKEA’s website. However, even that was not providing any useful results. I felt like I was back at square one. 

I took a few days off my search for a closet kit. I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like, but could not find anything close to the image that was stuck in my head. That picture was wood and metal.

I eventually went onto Pinterest and and searched “child’s closet.” This yielded so many results and yet, I began to see a trend emerge of two closet types in particular. It was then that I came across a diagram of those two exact closets. I suddenly knew the answer, I would just get Geoff to build one of them. That way, we could customize it to have the dimensions and materials that we wanted. The answer was right in front of us all along.

Now to narrow down which closet system to build. While I really liked the one on the left, Geoff thought that the one on the right would be more practical. So to break the tie, I posted the picture on my Instagram stories and asked my followers which one they preferred. Again it was pretty much a tie! I heard pros and cons with both but in the end, my heart was just with the left one.

Finally, not wanting to be a dictator in this decision, I asked Geoff to forget everything that we had seen so far and to just draw what he had in mind. I did the same. We ended up drawing almost an identical picture. We did final measurements on the closet and crates, then went to Home Depot for all of our supplies. Here is how it turned out:

I took the old shelf and bar down we were left with a blank slate.

We painted the biggest wall the same colour as the accent wall in their room, and left the remaining walls in the closet white. I wanted it to mirror their bedroom as much as possible.

We chose our favourite type of pine shelf boards and Geoff cut them all to size. He constructed the frame then screwed the shelves in place.

After purchasing two closest rods, he cut them, researched the standard hanging heights, and mounted them to the wall and shelving unit.

I organized the closet by hanging Remy’s clothes on the left and Wilder’s on the right. They are low enough so that they can both reach their clothes themselves. The outfits that do not yet fit are placed on the higher bars.

I reused the wood and wicker crates that we already owned. I finally had a shelf for Wilder’s diapers. Their socks and undergarments are kept in two smaller crates higher up.

I purchased the cutest sign from the dollar store that reminds me of Remy but has part of Wilder’s name in it. The faux succulent is also from the dollar store.

As with anything that we pour this much time and energy into I end up loving. Of course this is the case with their closet. It turned out better than I had ever hoped for!

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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1st birthday: tips for a successful party

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Hey guys. Prior to even thinking about throwing Remy a first birthday party, I researched several ways on how to throw a successful one. Small children can obviously be unpredictable, and so finding ways to increase their happiness and avoid things that might set them off is imperative. We are lucky in that Remy hasn’t yet thrown a tantrum. However, with her first birthday fast-approaching, I’m sure that they are just around the corner. Until then, I will include a list of surefire ways to have a (somewhat) successful party for a one year old! These are taken from what I have found online, in addition to my own knowledge as a new mother.

1. Keep it short. Babies can get overwhelmed quite quickly, so try to have the party run for no more than 2 hours.

2. Invite people that your children know and like, and not those who they make strange with or are guaranteed to cry around. However, this can’t always be avoided.

3. Avoid balloons and any other party favours that are choking hazards or are potentially dangerous.

4. Dress them in clothes that they are comfortable in. Remy hates anything on her head, so although I wanted to make her a feather crown to wear, I know that trying to keep one on her head would end in a disaster.

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5. Don’t go Pinterest crazy. If you’re going to DIY a lot yourself, make sure that it’s well in advance and things that are manageable to create.

6. Also, don’t go all Top Chef for the party. Buying ready-made food or desserts is a great way to eliminate stress for yourself. I ended up ordering cupcakes for Remy’s party nearly a month in advance, and we are serving chips as a light snack.

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7. Hire a photographer if possible. Just like Remy’s birth, I didn’t want to worry about capturing the perfect moments, nor about editing any photographs afterwards. I also wanted plenty of pictures of us as a family. We have hired someone to photograph her party.

8. Bring a few of their favourite toys along. Because we’re having her birthday in a rented room at the library, I’m going to set up an area for large blanket and several of her toys. This way, she will have a place to play that feels familiar, and the other children can easily join in.

9. Don’t try to set up everything by yourself. Because I’m planning on having Geoffrey watch Remy all morning, I’m going to enlist in the help from a few friends to come to the library and assist me in decorating the room.

10. Schedule the party around naps. This one is for obvious reasons.

11. Finally, if you’re feeling especially adventurous, include some fun details for your guests, such as a photo booth or colouring books!

That’s all that I can come up with. Do you have any tips to add? If so, please write them in the comment section.

<3

Emory

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