Another renovation update

I know. It is long overdue. At least according to everyone posting on my Facebook wall. And the ones sending hints via my mother. Here you are. The house as of July 10, 2011.

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The new kitchen has been built

Well, the basic structure. Right now it’s just an awkward looking plywood box. But it will be my new kitchen.

Outside view. Kitchen addition on the left. Also: new front porch!


Inside. The yellow table stands where the counter will be. There will be windows on either side of it, at the corners. Current kitchen is front and right.


Back outside: While we lost two lilac trees to construction, the contractors dug up the rhododendron so we could replant and save it.


Demolition mostly complete

The inside demo is complete, and new sub-floors are in. Outside demo is still ongoing, with the siding and shingles being removed. Soon, they start digging to install posts for the kitchen extension. I have a few more pictures for you.

D. in the front hall.

Living room, which has also become the temporary storage area.

The kitchen - looking from the stairs.

Upstairs. Standing in the master bedroom, looking towards the spare room.

Standing in the master bedroom, looking into what will become the upstairs bathroom. Exciting.

The reonvations begin

Well, it’s more like demolition so far, really.

I’m going to post semi-regular progress updates here, for the sake of family and friends who aren’t here to see it, and any strangers who are just generally interested in renovations.


We own a 1 1/2 story post-war (1949) home. You probably know the kind. They are all over the city. All over the country really. Two bedrooms upstairs. Kitchen, dining room, bath, living room and another bedroom downstairs. All rooms separate and boxed-in, as old houses are. The plan is to open it up, by moving or removing a few walls. We’re changing the roof-line upstairs, to take advantage of currently unused floorspace. There will be an 8 x 11 addition onto the kitchen, for more workspace. And, since houses weren’t typically insulated in 1949 (aside from the odd bag of seaweed behind the plaster), and the wiring is helplessly out of date, we’re redoing all of that.

Or, in other words, we’re tearing it back to the framing and boards, and pretty much rebuilding. Fun. And scary. I hope to drop by tomorrow and get some pictures of it post-demolition, but for those of you who have never seen it, here are a few pre-demo photos:

Walking through the front door.

The living room. Fireplace to be rebuilt, with wood insert. Back wall (not shown) pushed back four feet.

Dining room, looking to kitchen (left) and living room (right). Right wall coming out, will be open to LR.

Kitchen. There will be an addition on the left. Back window to be replaced with one more than 3X that size, to make bright breakfast nook.

I’ll be back on the weekend with a few photos of what it looks like right now. They aren’t so pretty.

About contests, and stoves

First – I won! Not the grand prize of $1000, unfortunately. But I did win $100 as a runner-up in the Credit Cards Canada guest-blogging contest. A little bit more to add to the renovations/fancy-new-stove pot.

I had no idea I had such strong feelings about stoves until I starting trying to choose one. You can buy a stove for $600 or less. But a really nice stove… a bit more. My current favourites:


Double Oven. Awesomeness at only $2500.


Induction Stovetop. A mere $3700

The Ultimate: Retro and yellow. For only $4999.

My new kitchen

Reno planning has begun, and my favourite project by far is the kitchen. I’m looking to keep the mid-century look we have now: white cabinets, blue & yellow tile & accents, chrome fixtures.

My kitchen. Original cabinets - 1949. Friend's face blurred for her privacy.

Current kitchen tile floor. Original.

I don’t have a huge budget, but I have enough to make it work. I think. I have gathered a few cabinet quotes, countertop & tile samples. I think this is coming together. With a cabinet sketch from Home Depot, and the help of an underused design tool – good ol’ Microsoft Paint – here’s a sketch of my future, bigger kitchen:

Fun! Well, the floor tile will be somewhat more muted. This looks like a clown’s workshop. There are only so many colours to choose from in Paint. Also, my windows are much bigger, and prettier.

Another view, not Paint-ed.

Note, the cabinets will be white, not grey.

Now I won’t be getting these particular cabinets, but a very similar style. And the tile backsplash will look something like this:

Possibly more like this. But with more white. Confused yet?