Tag Archives: renovations

So Close To Home

Today is the day! At 5:00 tonight, we drop by our lawyer’s office and pick up our keys. Our keys. To our house.

I know this blog ended up a little neglected the last time M and I did something really big. I’m going to try my very, very best to not let that happen again. Over the next month, I want to cover some reno friendly food and I may have some restaurant reviews to share as we explore our new neighbourhood. I also have some crocheting projects I want to get to and share with you, perhaps for in the evenings when I’m trying to relax after working hard from supper to bedtime. And my camera will never be far away. So, I hereby challenge myself to keep you guys interested. Say, at least 2 posts a week? Our lives are going to largely revolve around drywall dust and bathroom fixtures, things that will fit more into our shared blog, but I know there will always be something I can post on.

And, if you’re not already planning on following our renovation adventure, you should be! Don’t forget to regularly check out This Dusty House to keep up with our progress. And, if you want to drop by and see the project yourself, just let us know! We like visitors.

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Dreaming of March 31st

This morning, I stood in the subway station watching the sun peak over the tops of the condo buildings and I realized something: in 2 months, I am rarely going to step foot in this station again, let alone take this bus and watch that sunrise. In 2 months, I’ll be familiarizing myself with not one, but three stations. There will be new coffee shops along the way, different people, new commuting challenges and adventures. This realization sent me into a spiral of thinking about the new house, not in any specific terms, just a fixation on the change that is about to come.

I have no illusions about what we’ve gotten ourselves into: the house needs work. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this:

When you’ve stopped cringing, check this out:

Nope, there’s no more counter space on the other side of the room. That’s it. That’s the whole thing.

Rough, I know. This place is not just dirty — though it’s that too. Rather, it’s almost non-functioning. We have a month to make it livable, but I expect I’ll be living with sub-floor and unpainted drywall a lot longer than that. I can’t wait to get behind those walls and found out what mess we’ve got coming to us. I even can’t wait to start scrubbing. Who would have thought I would be so excited to clean? This project is going to bend me, stretch me, push my patience. But the final product, the home filled with our sweat and (probably) tears, the home we build, it will be completely worth it. I am confident of that.

But why did we buy such a place in the first place? I’m sure you’re wondering. After all, we could have gotten a bigger house in better condition for the same amount of money if we’d headed toward the ‘burbs. The west part of the city, even. Or what about one of those condos? We could have bought a beautiful one bedroom with top-of-the-line finishes for significantly less money. As long as we were willing to sacrifice location, that is. And there’s the kicker. Down the street from this little house there’s a bakery. A little further, there’s a butcher shop. There’s the endless numbers of restaurants, cafes, gift shops, hair salons, book stores, dog groomers, boutiques one after another. And then you hit the subway and suddenly the city unfolds at your feet. I’ll pass on the big house, the pristine condo, thank you very much. I have a whole city to live in.

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Waiting for April

It seems to me like the end of winter is a season of waiting.

I know, I know. Advent is the season of waiting and that was almost three months ago. And yet, come February, I find myself waiting, waiting, waiting, barely containing myself. Last year at this time, it was the wedding. There were suddenly very few plans to make. Decisions had been made, dresses had been bought, venues booked, vendors chosen. I was working my way through my last few courses, but mostly, I was simply waiting, so excited for that moment when M and I finally walked hand in hand down the aisle and out of the sanctuary as husband and wife.

And now, a year after that painful stretch of waiting, I’m back to it. It’s not really as painful as last year: there aren’t as many worries, not as much pressure on the end of the wait, on one day. And, as wonderful as the end of the wait will be, in truth, it will be nothing in comparison to last year’s finale.

But it’s still going to be awesome.

We’ve been making plans like crazy. Every night, one of says something like, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about the bathroom,” or, “Are you sure it’s a good idea to put a shower in instead of a tub?” or “Do you think we could rip down that wall someday?” Every day, our thoughts change: last week, we were set on a layout change, moving the bathroom to behind the kitchen and creating an open-concept flow. This week, we’re wondering if we’ll get a better return on our investment if we work with what we have and just make it amazing. Next week we’ll probably start planning to add a whole second floor or a huge addition out the back. We’ve got dozens of scribbled floor plans and a few well thought out and carefully scaled versions. And I’m starting to lose track of the number of trips we’ve taken to Ikea.

Waiting is important; I know that. If only it were slightly easier.

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Welcome Home

Whenever something really exciting starts happening in my life, instead of telling you all about it like I should, I seem to let the crickets take over here. So, why don’t I break my silence.

Mark and I have News.

(I love starting it off like this… it makes people perk up and their minds IMMEDIATELY go in the completely wrong direction.)

No. Not that.

Rather, this:

That’s right: we bought a house! And today, we lift our conditions and it becomes final.

Right now, the house is a bit run down. You can probably tell. It doesn’t have much in the way of curb appeal, especially since someone decided it would be a good idea to pave the whole front lawn. The roof needs to be replaced and I think that porch calls for some flower boxes.

But the inside takes way more priority than anything on the outside. When we get the key on March 31st, we’ll take some measurements, toast the radiators and gas stove and huge windows, put down our glasses, and take a sledgehammer to the bathroom. Out will come the baby blue bathtub and toilet, the narrow little vanity. We’ll rip up the terrible tile and maybe even knock down all the walls. If we’re ambitious – and there’s a good chance at least one of us is – we’ll pick the whole thing up and move it, learning all about plumbing and tiling and toilets along the way.

In the meantime, we’ll get downstairs and scrub and scrub and scrub until the white tiles are shining and the bathroom looks usable. We’ll put in some kitchen cupboards and cabinets and drop in some appliances. And then, when we’ve mostly stopped banging around upstairs, we’ll get an ad in the paper (read, Kijiji) and get the basement rented out. Know anyone who needs a big, beautiful, two bedroom apartment for May 1st?

To new adventures!

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