acreage renovation: a new basement bathroom

Have I mentioned yet that we had a flood in our basement? I’ve discussed it quite a bit on Instagram, however I don’t think that I have on my blog.

Just to summarize, I came home one morning with the kids to a basement that was under a few inches of water. The driver of the company that delivers our water had neglected to shut it off when the alarms went off. Inevitably, our rec/playroom, Remy’s room, and Geoff’s bathroom were damaged. Luckily, our insurance company covered the costs.

Above is what the bathroom looked like post-flood. The only blessing in disguise about the entire situation is that we had yet to renovate the basement. That is, except for Remy’s room. We hadn’t planned on renovating it for a few more years. In fact, we were in the middle of tearing out our entryway and laundry room when it all happened! However, because the insurance company wanted to move quickly on getting it restored, we were left with no other option but to abandon our upstairs renos and instead, focus on the basement. Up first, my husband’s bathroom.

Fire & Flood Saskatoon began by ripping most of it out. This included the flooring, baseboards, vanity, and toilet. We were told that they would give us new flooring and baseboards, but because the vanity and toilet weren’t damaged, they would reinstall them. They would also touch up the ugly red paint. It turns out that neither the vanity or toilet worked before the flood, so there was no way we were letting put them back in over brand new flooring. We also wanted to choose a new wall colour if we now had to renovate this bathroom. (Obviously red is dated and makes a small room appear even smaller.) In the end, we told them to go ahead with the flooring and trim, but that we would do the rest ourselves. That is what ended up happening.

For the flooring, we wanted unity in all of the rooms in the basement. So rather than replacing the old laminate with more laminate (which wraps in damp places) or carpet (gross in a bathroom), we ended up choosing a luxury vinyl glue down floor from Flooring Superstores. That case, in the event of another flood rather than throwing out the subfloor and flooring, you simply remove it, let it dry, and lay it down again! What we went with is also anti-bacterial, which is a great option for both a bathroom and Remy’s room given that she has asthma. The cleaner it is, the better it is!

Next, we chose a much larger width of baseboard. We wanted it to be as plain as possible in order to look more modern than what we had. After purchasing them from Windsor Plywood, they painted them white and had them installed!

Finally, they were done! It was now our time to buy everything and begin putting the bathroom back together. My husband bought his vanity when it went on sale at Home Depot. He was initially going to go with light grey, but after I mentioned how it might just blend in with our light grey floor, he went with a darker one.

Geoff bought a toilet from Lowe’s and after bringing it home and unboxing it, realized that it was cracked. So he went back and exchanged it for another. After installing it, I told him that it looked too little for his bathroom. I asked him if he wanted to buy a bigger toilet. I think he was annoyed, but he went ahead and purchased a new one from Home Depot and replaced the previous toilet with it. Afterwards he said that it did look much better. I agreed!

I did give him free range to pick out all of his plumbing fixtures. He bought everything for his sink and shower in matte black and from Amazon.

Geoff also took it upon himself to split the one light above his vanity into two separate fixtures. I personally thought that he was just creating more work for himself. However, he had seen pictures of lights on either side of a large mirror and was set on recreating that for himself. So after a bit of electrical work, he did just that. He bought his two industrial lights off of Amazon again.

Finally, aside from his towel bars, toilet paper holder, and door handle, everything else was purchased around Saskatoon. This included the mirror, towels, shower curtain and rod, bath mat, and accessories. They all came either from JYSK or HomeSense.

Last but certainly not least, we decided to cover all of the walls in shiplap panelling. I had seen it at Lowe’s months prior and was really wanting to purchase it for our home. Rather than buying the more expensive and traditional shiplap, the panelling is much more cost and time efficient. It also only needed one coat, as opposed to four coats where we had to cover the red! We truly love it and have already put it in our basement rec room and kitchen, but more on that later.

Until then, here is our basement bathroom on a budget.

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 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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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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cups and succ(ulent)s

IMG_0024The last time I published a post about our kitchen, we had installed new cabinets and had partially rearranged it. After all of that, I still had not yet achieved the light and airy look that I was hoping for. You know the one. I can usually be found in the IKEA catalogue. White walls. Open shelving. Exposed plates. Greenery. Minimalist. So, I rearranged things once again.

IMG_0043I dragged the massive wire storage unit that we purchased from Home Depot into the kitchen, switching out the antique wooden armoire. After I washed the rack down, I set about arranging all of our plates, cups, and succulents on it. 

IMG_0034IMG_0038I couldn’t have asked for a better fit. It blended in so beautifully. I love how it displays our plates and bowls from Crate & Barrel, our glassware from Anthropologie, our organizers from IKEA, and my collection of over thirty succulents that I have been carefully growing over the last few years.

IMG_0039IMG_0023This is now my favourite corner of The Little Barn

IMG_0059Have a great weekend!

<3

Emory

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