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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we sold big green

Friends, last week we officially handed over the keys to Big Green. After owning it for (one week shy of) three years, it became the longest that we had owned any home. So much happened during that time. We moved in when Remy was six months old. We said goodbye to a dog. We said goodbye to a baby. We welcomed a baby. We celebrated birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Christmases, Easters, and more. Geoffrey changed careers. I became a stay-at-home parent. We made friends. We vacationed a little. We learned a lot.

Mostly, I would say that we did renovations. Oh my goodness, how we renovated. It began with a new mailbox. That year, we also put wallpaper in the back porch and made over Remy’s room.

In 2017 we attempted Remy’s room again, revamped the bathroom, renovated the upstairs hallway, did Remy’s room for the third and final time, our front porch, the main floor hallway, the back porch again, and backyard.

In 2018 we started by redoing the dining room, living room, kitchen, then a little of everything when I was pregnant and nesting, and finally our master bedroom. We ended up tackling every room in our home, as well as the exterior. The only area we didn’t get to was the unfinished basement. Hopefully the next owners can renovate it, thus completing the total home makeover.

In 2019, when Wilder was only three months old, we listed Big Green and moved into our current home. In the end we realized that we are not city people. We both grew up on acreages and farms, moved back to an acreage after getting married, and then finally bought our own this year. We belong in the country.

I will forever love Big Green for what it taught us- even though we experienced hardships within its walls. However, it was a good home and such an incredibly fun project. I will especially miss playing with Remy in her cozy little room.

These were the final listing photographs of our beloved home. I hope that it’s as treasured by its new owners as it was by us. Goodbye, Big Green!

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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nesting

This pregnancy, my nesting instincts have been kicked into high gear. Like most pregnant mothers, I constantly feel the urge to rearrange, remodel, or fix things around our home.

I think that my nesting might be more intense this time around because we weren’t living in our own place when I was expecting Remy. I remember nearing the end of that pregnancy and crying after every doctor’s appointment because we didn’t have a separate bedroom for our baby. I somehow had it in my mind that he/she deserved one, and I felt like less of a parent because I couldn’t provide that. Back then, Geoffrey was going to school full-time and I was only working part-time. To save money, we rented out our house and moved into the second home on my parent’s acreage. Once our renters moved out, we listed our house but kept living at their acreage. I desperately wanted to move back into our home, but by then I was “too pregnant.” I was beyond grateful to be living somewhere for free, but I still remember that feeling of helplessness.

This pregnancy, everything is so different! We are settled in our own home, Geoffrey is working, and Remy and the baby have a bedroom. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to perfect each room in preparation for a new baby. This includes the exterior as well. I know from experience that we won’t be able to really redecorate once baby is here, so I’m trying to get it out of the way now. It’s been really fun. Here is what we have tackled in the last few months:

Ever since we renovated our kitchen, I’ve been unhappy with the empty space above the stove. Above is what it looked like.

I asked my followers on Instagram what they would put there, but the polls came back with inconclusive answers.

After leaving it for awhile, I came across a crate that we had stored on our basement. I hung it up one afternoon and it’s been the right fit ever since. That is, until we get backsplash!

We also have been hanging other items on our kitchen walls, and adding a ton of plants.

Our backyard and front yard have received similar attention. Tired of the unstained deck and rotting trim on the garage, we chose to finally hang new wood and stain the preexisting decks. Above is a before picture.

Here is the result. Much better. We have been gardening like mad, replanting the sod, bought outdoor furniture, and hung a flower box in the front. We’re slowly but surely fixing the outside of our home. Next month, we get a new roof!

Our living room was next on my list. Here is what it looked like before the new flooring and paint.

This is how we had it for the last few months. That cord always bothered us, and it just felt like an unfinished space. I decided to turn it into a gallery wall. See below.

This is still a work in progress. We have hung three pictures so far, but are waiting for the birth of our new baby to hang the remaining three. I love how it’s turning out!

Remy’s room is also getting redecorated a bit. I’ve rearranged her shelves and walls, and this weekend we’re buying her a bigger bed.

Our room is going to serve as the nursery for the first few months. It is the only room in our home that we haven’t touched over the last few years. Above is how we had it.

This is what it looks like now. We hung curtains, painted the room, and are clearing a space for the crib. I’m probably most excited about this area, and will reveal more as we go along.

That’s it for now. There have been other recent changes but they will have to wait for another day.

Have a lovely week and weekend, all!

Emory

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living room: before and after

Hello, friends! I must admit that I have been pushing this post back, only because renovation posts are a little daunting to both write and photograph. Now I’m finally ready to show you our living room makeover. (This will come only mere few weeks before our kitchen makeover post, so hang on!) Above are the before pictures.

I began this renovation by ripping out the carpet, underlay, and tack strip. This actually took me two full days to do given the size of the room. I had to do it on my own as well since Geoffrey was away at the time. But between mom duties, I got it done! 

What a mess. The underside of carpet was covered in dirt, which of course became airborne with each rip. The underlay was stained and smelled incredibly old, and removing the tack strip is never fun. 

Yet, I was looking forward to exposing what I hoped would be hardwood floors that we could refinish. This was unfortunately not the case. Not only were there multiple holes in the floors where you could clearly see through to the basement, there was water damage, broken boards, and missing hardwood in the places where they widened the doorways. The old porch (which is now part of the living room) had no hardwood at all. Instead, it had OSB boards that were soft and moulded. It was not good.

I swept, vacuumed, and scrubbed the floors multiple times over the next few days. Then I put all of the furniture back. 

Painting came next. I took my time over the next few weeks to paint the walls and ceiling white. It took three thick coats, but probably could have used four. 

Next we picked out flooring from Flooring Superstores in Saskatoon. We chose a good laminate floor that was majorly discounted due to the store being down to its remaining boxes. It was only $1.65/square foot! We couldn’t have gotten a better deal than that, and it matched the surrounding floors so beautifully. We really lucked out. They brightened up the room immensely. I no longer felt guilty about not refinishing the floors underneath.

After they installed the floors, Geoffrey finally pitched in and installed the quarter round! I was so grateful to have his help. Then he painted the trim and did some finishing work to complete the room. He also hung the curtains that I purchased from Urban Outfitters. He did such a beautiful job with everything! Without him, the living room would still be unfinished.

Now for the after photos!

Here are a few details on our purchases:

1. IKEA Runner

2. IKEA Play Kitchen

3. IKEA Children’s Chair

4. IKEA Couch

5. Bamboo Chair

That’s it! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I look forward to hearing from you guys.

Emory

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

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