I have some big news to share with you all (finally). Three weekends ago my husband and I decided to go house hunting. We had come to the conclusion recently that the whole build-a-new-house idea was just too much for us to handle (and too scary financially) so we thought we would take a look at what downtown Ottawa neighbourhoods had to offer. We were pleasantly surprised to find a few homes within our budget that we would be quite happy in. A few days later an agent that my husband had talked to convinced us to put our home on the market the following weekend. !!!!!! I thought she was nuts but we figured why the hell not. So one week after starting to house hunt we had our first open house and it was a big success. We ended up with 2 offers and accepted one of them. Early last week our house was officially SOLD!. Last weekend we went to see a home that blew our minds. And a couple of days ago, that home became ours. If you think these 3 weeks were insane… we get our new house June 26th and have to vacate our current home by July 3rd. AAAGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!! Hectic does not even begin to describe what this 5 week period has been and will be like. But I am beyond excited. The new house is the most beautiful home I have ever set foot in. I will share photos of it with you tomorrow. I thought today I would take you through the last 7 years I have spent in my current home. It is located in Ottawa’s Little Italy (which I always really loved because I am half Italian), is 12′ wide with 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths and is about 800 sq ft (I always thought it was 926 sq ft but it turns out that was the exterior dimensions).
Besides minimal landscaping at the front of the house, this is pretty much how it looked 7 years ago when I bought it.
This is the living room right after moving in. Pale yellow walls and ugly oak floors. BLEH. A bit annoying that the front door opened right into the space so the back door became our main entrance.
Walls were painted and my beloved forest mural was glued to the wall (and another sofa purchased).
Then we decided to DIY a sofa.
Then we found what is close to our dream sofa.
We did a massive gut and renovation of the horrifying kitchen – including tearing down the wall separating the kitchen and living room, making the kitchen window smaller and removing the side door.
It was REALLY bad. Before the renovations happened, I decided to have a little fun and paint the cabinets bright pink (and painted over the tile backsplash).
The renovations were extensive (and I blogged all about the process on a ).
The results still amaze me 6 years later. It has been a dream kitchen and I will miss it dearly. (Cabinets were from ).
The room off the kitchen (a 1-story addition off the back of the house) was an office when I moved in. I soon gave it a makeover with lots of white paint.
A while later I moved my office into the living room so I could actually spend some time with my husband. The back room became a mudroom/pantry – LOVE IT!
There is a powder room located in this space (opposite the shelving above). It was just gross, and I have lived with the grossness up until a few months.
It got a little bit of a makeover. 😉
At the top of the stairs is the main bathroom. It too was pretty damn ugly.
We did an inexpensive makeover to it in my favourite colour scheme for a bathroom – black and white.
Next to the bathroom is a small bedroom. It became my dressing room.
It underwent a transformation with bold teal walls.
And then another makeover happened when I could not handle the brightness any longer (I kept the curtains though).
Next to that is the master bedroom. It had a really large closet on the right when you walked in that covered half of a window.
The closet was torn out to make room for a wall of bookcases and I went with a girly theme with pale pink walls (I was living alone at the time heeheehee).
I toned things down when the house became a joint venture.
And here is the backyard when I moved in.
I built a deck along the back fence for a nice shaded area to hang out.
The large deck off the back door has undergone various looks. Here is one of them.
As I mentioned, stay tuned tomorrow for some photos of my new home!
I thought I would share a few small happenings around my house from the past long weekend. First is a new mirror for the newly renovated powder room. I could not find a vintage shaving mirror (thrifting/flea markets for the most part suck around these parts) so we had taken the door off an old wooden medicine cabinet (as seen in this post). Home decor shops also for the most part suck around here (there’s no C&B, West Elm etc. etc. – we have Ikea) but last week my sister and I headed down to because she wanted some knick knacks and I ended up finding for my bathroom! And it was $49.50! I hung it over my Jieldé et voilà:
Last weekend after taking my mom out to lunch for Mother’s Day in Chinatown, we stopped in at – one of my favourite thrift shops (where all proceeds go to helping Ottawa’s homeless). I dropped off a gorgeous table I have had for years from Pier 1 Imports that no longer works in any of my immediate family members’ homes (my twin had been using it for a few years) and found a vintage wooden toolbox that I had to bring home for $65 (and my thing is to always pay about $10 more than the awesome ladies who run the shop ask for, so make that $75). I decided to use it on my dining table filled with random stuff, so the wooden rod/handle was removed and I now have a new centrepiece! Inside are a tin candle holder I bought in Mexico, a West German vase with eucalyptus, an Asian lantern, a plant from my coffee table, a candlestick from an art shop in Almonte, a vintage chipped vase with billy buttons from my wedding, and a bottle of wine my mom gave me that my nonno had made before he passed away (in the 80s).
This new centrepiece meant I had to do some rearranging around the kitchen. So this happened on a corner of my counter:
I also did a bunch of gardening lately…all in pots/boxes etc. because we still have hopes to wreck this house so nothing permanent. We used all of the plastic barrels my husband had brought home last summer and cut in half – they house lavendar and some tomatoes and peppers. I put some herbs in a box and a half a barrel and some plants in some cute pots I had found at Ikea and BMR. Phoebe thought it was fun to hide amongst some of them.
There is only one room in my house that had not been touched at all since I bought this place in 2007 – and that was the powder room. And it was horrendous.
This embarrassment of a bathroom is on the main floor of my house (and there is one full bath on the second floor), which means if any guests came over, this is the one they would use. Everything was so gross, including the worst tile job ever and a ventilation fan in the ceiling that sounded like a jet. The only good things about it are the size – 5′ square, and that it has a pocket door (but with a full length mirror so you can watch yourself while you pee). Since we appear to be stuck in this house a while longer, my husband Jeff and I had talked about fixing it up on a budeget. To my complete surprise, while I was in Mexico in February, he tore everything out and started renovating it! We have been super busy so this project only saw completion yesterday. It is such a huge improvement and we are both so stoked over the transformation. YAY inexpensive reno projects!!! (Boo tiny windowless rooms! – makes for difficult photography)
There she is, in her new glory. I now do not want to puke when I use this bathroom. I instead want to do a little dance. 🙂 Anyway, here is the lowdown. My mother-in-law had come for a visit while I was gone, and she did the painting, including the back wall which is now black, and Jeff screwed in red oak barn board (he got it from a friend who was getting rid of his shed). The boards are a bit roughly cut, so the black helps hide the gaps. It barn board was also used as trim/baseboards. The walls and ceiling were given a couple of coats of white paint. The teak cabinet is vintage from my mother-in-law who refinished it several years ago in Prince Edward Island and brought it to us on a previous visit. It has been in storage for a few years now so I was happy to find it a home again.
This set of 4 cat prints is by – I bought them for my husband last year at . They were hung here several months ago when I ran out of room for them in the living room. Coincidentally, they worked rather well with the industrial/rustic theme we ended up going with.
On the opposite wall is this by Alexandre Laquerre that came from Mike’s fabulous store . It too was hung in here a few months ago because it had no where else to go. It also worked perfectly. (PHEW!)
On top of the teak dresser I piled a couple of deer antlers, some things from the living room (including my by Hay Denmark, also from The Modern Shop), and snapped some dead vine branches from my backyard (to be replaced with something a little less dead eventually).
My husband won this light in a contest on Instagram a few months ago. It was made by (). The light over the sink didn’t provide enough light in the space so I suggested we hang this in here. I love it (and should have turned the shade so the seam was on the side instead – OOPS).
The chunk of wood on the ceiling to the right was the location of the awful, broken ventilation fan. Jeff tore it out and the result was a gaping hole – and the only place in the ceiling with electrical to hook up the pendant light. He stuck a piece of the barn board over it and the spot where we hung the pendant (it’s pretty heavy so this worked really well to anchor it so it won’t come crashing down).
On Christmas Day 2011 I burst into tears (I swear) when I opened my gift from Jeff – inside were 2 wall mount Jieldé lights he bought on eBay. I had been lusting after these lights for ages and was shocked that he scoured the internet to find me some that weren’t ridiculously priced. They have been in the basement ever since (which killed me, although luckily I managed to get my hands on a 2 arm table lamp version last year that resides next to my desk) so I suggested Jeff rewire it and we use it over the sink. I am so happy I am using at least one of them. 🙂
I can’t find a vintage mirror that is similar to the one I have in my head that I want in this bathroom so Jeff decided to take the door off the wooden medicine cabinet that we had used in our upstairs bathroom (it was replaced a few weeks ago with a cool metal one) and mount it on the wall. Why not?
The sink was made while I was away on vacay. Jeff asked his barn board friend to whip him up a trough-style sink with some metal he had laying around. The faucet was Jeff’s creation – his first ever attempt at soldering. It doesn’t get much more rustic than this! I even love that the tap on the right ended up at a 45 degree angle. I was going to get him to redo it but decided to hell with it. I like wonky.
Jeff tore up the tile floor and glued down 3 pieces of chipboard which got a some coats of flat black paint. This part was also done while I was on vacay – he knows me very well. 🙂
This first aid kit was an artifact unearthed from the basement – I think we bought it at a thrift shop many years ago. It is so cool because inside (I forgot to take a photo) are old glass bottles of medicine and ointments and bandages etc….and it has my last name on it. 😉
This vent cover cracked both Jeff and I up. Another awesome attempt by my handy husband.
The towel bar and toilet paper holder are gas pipes and fittings. Go industrial or go home!
I too will resume regular posts starting tomorrow (I didn’t receive enough pet entries for today anyway). I thought since I had time this long weekend to do a bit of organizing and photography, that I would share my latest home endeavours. Nothing too serious, mostly just some rearranging to fit all the things I had purchased in Almonte last weekend.
Once again, my kitchen shelving has been reorganized. When I was digging through the basement a few weeks ago looking for items to sell at the Ottawa Antique Show, I came across a vintage brass tea set (?) and some brass pineapples that I had thrifted and bought on Etsy several years ago. I could not let these go, so instead I tried incorporating them in my shelving display, along with my new Catherine Holm bowl I am totally stoked over (and coordinating pot I already had).
Catherine Holm bowl from ~ vase from ~ Oaxacan vase bought in Puerto Vallarta ~ thrifted brass pineapple ~ silver egg bought in Puerto Vallarta ~ thrifted brass flower frog ~ Lumberjack candleholder by Normann Copenhagen from ~ Catherine Holm pot from Etsy shop
Love that print (in my new vintage frame) by purchased at ~ vintage pot from Almonte ~ vase from
Vintage pot from Almonte ~ Oaxacan skull from Puerto Vallarta ~ candleholder by Lisahn Ward from ~ thrifted Dansk candleholder ~ Hay Denmark scissors from ~ air plant from
Saturday while running errands, my husband took us to a wood shop called . *SIGH* So many glorious slabs of the most beautiful wood I have ever seen. I spotted a piece of Claro walnut that I had to have. I decided to use it on my dining table as a sort of tray for a centrepiece.
On top I clustered a bunch of pottery I did not have room to display anywhere else. 🙂
Eucalyptus from Sparrow Floral Design in a vintage Hornsea canister ~ a brown West German and no-name vase found in Almonte ~ new bud vase by and bowl by , both from General Fine Craft
My new West German vase from Almonte now resides on top of my pantry cabinet (one to the far right) along with the rest of my collection and antlers found on a farm in Alberta.
I had purchased some vintage hangers from and had hooked them on my stair railing to bring up to my dressing room. They never made it up.
Art from – and ~ vintage pepsi crate now liquor cabinet from
I had purchased a vintage dress form at the a few weeks ago. I was hoping to have her live in my dressing room but it is too damn small in there so she is hanging out in my bedroom. I dressed her up in some necklaces and a vintage faux fur jacket.
I am SO EXCITED about my new vintage steel medicine cabinet from . The medicine cabinet we had there was about half the size and jam packed with my daily toiletries/makeup etc. Now my husband has room for his toiletries as well.
The former medicine cabinet had a handy bar along the bottom where we hung a hand towel. This new one does not have one, so I went down to the dungeon/basement and unearthed an Anthropologie hook I had purchased several years ago and never had a chance to use.
There isn’t anything too exciting going on around my house but I figure if I make myself share some photos every now and then it will keep me motivated to keep puttering about. 🙂
First up – there is a new piece of art in my home. One of my favourite homes I have featured since starting this blog with Lisa 7 years ago is Tom’s apartment in the Hollywood Professional Building on Hollywood Blvd. We have kept in touch since then and the day after the Academy awards Tom sent me an email. Tom often strolls along Hollywood Blvd and takes photos of wacky people (check out his ), and did so the day of the Academy Awards. Included in his email was a photo, and I insisted he send it to me in high-res so I could print it and hang it in my home. So awesome! (Thanks again Tom!)
Mr. Cool Dude Kitty is now hanging in my bathroom.
I did a bit of rearranging of my kitchen shelves yesterday. It was my successful way of avoiding doing my taxes. 🙂 I want to spend more time rearranging these shelves, and create different types of vignettes since it’s really the only decent display area in the whole house. Right now it is a mix of vintage stainless tea pots, my beloved Catherine Hold pot, some West German, Japanese and Oaxacan pottery, a couple of Danish teak candle holders and my Tivoli radio.
I went to Ikea Friday to get a frame for Tom’s cat photo (I wanted thin black, which to my horror was nowhere to be found so I had to use a silver one), and spotted . It is supposed to be for the Esbjörn chair but it seems to be pretty close in fit to my . I use it as a desk chair, parking my butt on it for hours on end so I was desperate for some cushioning. I think it’s adorable – like a little duvet for my chair but sadly the cover only comes in a natural colour (I would have preferred grey).
I KNEW the cats would take it over!