Today it was a refreshing change to not think about the renovation too much.  I did take the time in the am to have nice stroll to the park with the kids and really have a look around the great neighbourhood we live in.  March and April are a particularly pretty time around here.  Our area, as well as much of our city, has the most lovely looking and smelling cherry blossom trees in bloom this time of year.  Our street are lined both sides with them, including a great big one right outside our front door. 

Cherry blossoms, much like peacocks and art nouveau, are also a huge decorative love for me.  I get pretty jealous when I see little girl rooms all decked out with blossom decoration (not that I don't love my boys and their want for a BumbleBee and Bowser room).  You'll see blossom touches here and there in the new place I'm sure...I'm sure.  If I don't then I may just have to plan a trip around the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan.  Hey, we need that here.

Pretty easy to see why we don't want to move...Now to get the city to remove those unsightly power lines, phft!

Our street

Around the corner (a great oceanfront park right at the end of this)

Can't beat that


Carpet While I Wait

Carpeting seems to be my major thought for the renovation today.  We're still waiting on the appraisal so may as well spend my time picking finishes now to speed things along later. 

Gabriel Ross is a retailer to a very good make of carpeting so I thought I would work with that product first and see if it fits our budget.  So far, so good, but I'll need to order some samples first to make sure what I like on screen is just as good in person.  Gabriel Ross is in the process of moving locations so all their sample stock is in storage for the time being.  No worries, they can easily order the samples that I'm interested in.

Fabrica, out of California, is the company for the carpet.  They carry nylon and wool carpets as well as rugs and with heaps of selection.  Not only that, they are highly involved with efforts to be as 'green' as possible by using reclaimed water in their carpet making progress and was named the premier mill in the United States by top retailers.  Not too shabby!

We have their carpeting in a couple of our rooms now and for the last 3 yrs they have held up very well to the extreme traffic our household creates.  I definitely chose the wrong colour though as stains and daily dirt show up very easily so I need to clean them often.  Also it's a cut pile with loop so it must hold the dirt tight.  Next colour will be a cut pile and the same colour as dirt!  These guys have 72 colours to choose from in the cut pile I like :/ 

Fabrica's 'Denali in colour Ovation'
Seems like a good colour to mask kid happenings

'Denali in Spiced Curry'

'Denali in Pretzel'

+ 69 other colours to choose from in this pattern alone!


Designs in Bloom

I just have to share the talent of my friend Cathy and her "blooms".  She is mastering the Japanese art of Tsumami Kanzashi and making a business of it as well.  She first mentioned what she was up to about a year or so ago that she does a fabric folding craft.  I had no idea as to how amazing they were until I saw them in person.  I know I don't have the patience to be so careful with such tini bits of fabric so I am in awe.  Talented family over there as her husband is a photographer and has been doing the photo shoots for her blooms and they look wonderful.

She's just launched her new blog site so stop by and have a browse!


Sure, this has nothing to do with our renovation, but renovating is all about creating and seeing things a certain way.  Working with colour, form and function, it has the same principles.

'Blue Flower Hair Clip, Brooch, Kanzashi Accessory'
Doesn't that just say lovely warm summer day to you?


Tea Bag

I think I've got it...I think.  I've chosen an exterior paint colour.  The lucky paint is Behr's Tea Bag UL180-8 and I would pair it with white trim, but still need to decide on detail colour and front porch floor colour.  The kids actually let me browse through Home Depot on the weekend so I got a few ideas cooking for things including floor selection for the garage.  I will definitely get a sample pot for this colour choice just to be sure and knowing me I'll keep on looking just in case something better comes along, but for today (and yesterday), this is it!

Now, I've got 2 1/2hrs all to myself this morning so it's time for a nice quiet tea with some Food Network R&R.  Food Network is another guilty pleasure for me, I love learning new recipes, most of which I never make since I'm a vegetarian :/  Whatever.

'Behr, Tea Bag UL180-8'
It's a fairly neutral shade with just a titch of green

'Allure Vinyl Plank in Milano'
This vinyl plank has to be the most amazing product for high traffic homes.  It's very easy to install and can be cut to size with just a metal ruler and blade.  From there it's just place the edge over another's sticky side to lay.  With heaps of kids running through here all scratches made have just disappeared (except the one where my husband dragged a huge tv across the floor, ahem).  Also, it's very easy to keep clean and is ideal for any water spills that can happen.  We've fooled many into thinking it's actual hardwood since at first glance it's very convincing. 
Just $47.76 per 24 sq ft box.


More Colour Love

With May fast approaching that means exterior colour choice should happen in the near future to ensure no rash decision is made on the fly.  I could listen to my kids and either do a red, bright blue or rainbow house, but I think they can do that on their own houses someday (not that I don't appreciate colourful homes).  As for me, I flip through my paint decks daily, looking for that IT colour that will just speak to me. Today I take inspiration from my living room drapery fabric choice and see what I can come up with.

I just have to give praise to Tonic Living. They have the most amazing on line collection of sophisticated, modern, fun and all purpose fabrics I've found in one place.  Price points are amazing, often at just $9.95/yard.   We'll be doing most of our fabric buying through them.  All those choices I'll talk about another day.

For now, let's get crackin' on that exterior paint!  To save about $13000 we'll be doing all the painting ourselves.  As my husband puts it - "she loves to paint, I tolerate it" so I think I'll be the foreman on that job.  I do not do ladders so that means all the siding will be delivered and we'll paint off each strip one at a time then they can put it all up pre-painted.  I have fewer daycare kids here in May so I can bust it out then...I hope.

I'm using Farrow and Ball for my paint deck today.  Unfortunately, their price point is a little beyond our budget but their colours are so wonderful so if you can afford it, go for it!

Which reminds me, I need to check my 6/49 ticket.

Tonic Living's 'Grand Tapestry' will likely be the living drapery, $9.95/yd!
Using this to draw from for today's paint selection and see how I like it.

Cooking Apple Green No. 12
This would look so nice as the house body colour with can white trim and Olive below as sill detail

Olive No. 13
Sill detail

Stone White No. 11
Perhaps an alternate to Cooking Apple (my monitor is making this look crazy bright but the actual sample is quite subdued.


Zoo Break

It sure has been a pleasant day - not weather wise as it's pretty chilly out, but that didn't stop us from heading to Beacon Hill Petting Zoo.  It was nice to take my mind off all the things happening this week and just have a good time with the kids and my daycare baby. 

Got the call from the home appraiser to come on Wed for their inspection - glad I mowed the front boulevard yesterday for some better curb appeal.  I know it doesn't matter too much about how things look as they're just after what homes have sold for in the past and the general state of the property.  Fortunately for us, two houses across the street sold for a pretty decent price in the summer and there is another house for sale down the street for $679000!  Not that ours compares to that, but it's an indication of market value for our neighbourhood.

I wish I could post the kitchen plan ideas I've done on Ikea's Kitchen Planner, but I can't make it work (remember, computer dumb) but I'll find a way to show you what I've been thinking about.  We actually are a little torn about how to set it up.  Since we can't have a renter right away we don't want to sink a lot of money into it, BUT if renters can happen soon then it'd be nice to be ready.

Anyway, here's a taste of what I saw today.  How's that for inspiration?!  I must throw it in here that I completely and totally love peacock things - pillows, colours, shoes - whatever has a peacock on it.  Guess that is a nod to the style of Art Nouveau that I also so adore.  Charles Rennie Mackintosh is my creative hero.

The loveliness of Beacon Hill Park
(sure wish I had a better camera, his colour was amazing)


A Little Luck

Lucky St. Patrick's Day seemed like a good idea, but maybe a garage sale in March wasn't the best.  That's OK we got rid of a few things and made a few bucks.  It's always strange to me how people choose one item over another.  The things we thought would go in a flash were the camping gear and the toddler shoes.  Both are still here.  There are always those sneaky types too ie.  I was out there before my husband and an older fellow came along and wanted to know the price of an oak swivel chair.  I said $10 and he told me it needed repairs, ummm no, $10 is the price.  I went inside for two seconds when my husband came out and that stinker offered him $5 which he accepted, not knowing I had said $10.  That guy knew darn well what he was doing.  Grrr.  I gave him a head shake but I doubt he cared.  Oh well, one less thing to store or find a home for, but when counting our days end tally I felt gypped that we should've been $5 richer, that's 1/10th of a new lamp for the new house!  I have to say though most people through today were extremely pleasant so overall we're living in a pretty decent society. 

We'll have another sale in April when the weather is more appealing to sale looky loos. 

This week's series of events...waiting for the bank to look over our numbers then she'll order a home appraisal, then the appraiser will let her know our homes current market value, then we can get the deal signed....oh and hand over a honkin' huge cheque to the builder, gulp. 

While the kids are otherwise engaged in new McDonald's toys (bought with their Grandparents on their outing today), I think I need to hit some Pinterest for some interior design eye candy. 

That's it?  That's all we have to store from our garage clean out?  This U-Pak is being unloaded into the sun room of the house, no point storing this amt of stuff for $98/month.  Unfortunately, we're out the $143 it took to get it here, but better to send it back and save 4 or $500.


Must be Fate

That's pretty cool beans when you stumble upon the fact that your most favourite house (in the average income category) in the city was done by your own house designer.  I had sent them a photo of this house way back when we were talking about exterior finishes, then after looking through their website's gallery I saw the house I so in fact love was done by them.  I had driven by it some time ago thinking if I ever get a new house this is what I would want.  Unfortunately, shingles are crazy expensive so we won't be going that route but it's nice to dream.  A little cottage on Hornby Island perhaps...one day...after retirement.

Lovin' that porch



Well that went pretty well (estimate presentation) and looks like the project will be a GO!  Numbers were looking fantastic, but then we saw the 'HST not included' under the price.  *GASP!  Well we could wait a year and a half for the HST (harmonised sales tax) to be abolished or just suck it up and do it.  Do it.  I can't live in this wee house much longer without losing my mind.  Is it because it's a house full of boys???  Not sure, but if I don't have a second washroom soon things may get ugly.

Anyhoo, put the word to the bank that we're ready for a home appraisal so we can get our loan then looks like May is start date (and after permits go through).  Yahoo!

Almost had a wrench thrown into works this afternoon when I looked out our window to see a 'for sale' sign on our neighbours newly renovated two story 6 bedroom house!  Meltdown averted when we learned the price and that two of the bedrooms were part of a suite.  That would bring the living space to what we're in now so someone else can have it!  Lucky they will be too though as it's a nice house on the best street.

To boot, I almost had another wrench thrown in my house colour choice when I learned that Hardie Plank siding boards were pre-coloured and that I didn't really like any of those colours.   Thankfully they've changed how they do things and we can paint whatever colour we, correction, I like.  Phew. 

I need a whisky...drat, don't have any.


Light Blue No.22

Sure, I'm about 5 or 6 months ahead myself for this, but I had my first glance through exterior paint colours today and have fallen in love.  This is what I'm loving today, next week it could be something completely different.  I did, however, just have a thought that since we're doing the garage first (hopefully) they may put on the siding at that time as well or... they may just do it all at once when the project nears completion.  Anyway I may head over for some sample pots and try out some colours.  Watching paint dry.  Fun?  Heck ya!

Presenting Farrow & Ball's 'Light Blue No. 22'

I love the narratives F & B do on the back of their samples, it's such a civilized way to shop for paint.  This is what they say for this particular colour...

"Neutral.  All colour cards must surely include a light blue, but it is one of the peculiarities of the colour blue to build up in intensity when painted in a room.  If you wish for a slightly light blue room, this, rather than the more obviously blue blues, is the one to try."

Mixed Bag

Excited and somewhat nervous is what today's feeling is.  The designer and builder are coming by tomorrow with our estimate!  Nervous just incase the house is a little too steep to be able to do the garage within our financial comfort limits.  Excited cause hopefully we can!

Garage clean out is about 3/4 complete.  The massive truck load of garbage left this am ($50 to dump it!), the U-Pak is 2/3 full, the garage sale pile is looking decent and the remaing work to be done is just bits and pieces so we're doing well.

Off to the grocery store for soup fixings. Might be a good idea to make extra of things to freeze for those busy days of packing and renoing ahead to have food at the ready.  Still a wintery, rainy day so soup seems to fit the bill but I suppose in 3 months time that won't be quite what we're wanting.  Whatever.


Bitter with a Giant Scoop of Sweet

Bitter/sweet happenings this coming week...Bitter as we've got an awful lot of work behind those doors, things to purge, memories to store in mind instead of things. Sweet since for the first time in 6yrs we'll see this space empty again and ready for a new life.

Tomorrow am we have a U-Pak storage container being delivered to house all the “things” we “need” to hold onto for either actual use or items that are too meaningful to actually rid ourselves of. We've got our old fridge we'll want to hold onto, a washer/dryer that we need to fix to be able to use again and a whole bunch of other stuff. The how ever many ago owner's decided they needed to store every piece of dowel they ever found and hold onto metal venting in the rafters so that'll be fun to get down!  Our local elementary school is holding a scrap metal drive in May so we'll be able to donate which is nice.

The idea behind the garage was originally to use it as an income garden suite, our municipality won't allow detached suites and wouldn't allow it to become attached as that opens up a whole lot of problems with the set back rules for the house as well as the size allowance for the lot. So we've decided it's best to go ahead and finish it now and use it for ourselves to live in while the main house is renovated. We believe after the house renovation is done we'll have to remove the stove to abide by the bylaws of this structure. After that we can then use it for our personal fun – cool hangout spot for the kids...or the adults. We will keep the front part as a spot for the car with garage door and close it up properly when it can serve as a proper bedroom. Then when detached garden suites are allowed we're good to go (hopefully it will come to light). I'm not completely jazzed on being a landlord but a suite that size would generate about $800-$900/month in this area which basically covers the whole cost of the entire renovation over time. As my favourite home renovation show 'IncomeProperty' tells us – “get those cheques to the bank”!

So today while all the kids are either napping or quietly playing I'll head over to the Ikea Kitchen Planner and see what I can come up with for a little kitchenette space for us to use for a few months. It's such a drag, we are no where close to an Ikea so we have to plan it all via catalogue and computer then take a ferry over to the nearest one. Makes for a fun day trip anyway.  It's etiquette to tell all your friends you're going so they can give you a list of what they want you to buy them - 'An Ikea Run'.

Better dust off and put on my decorator cap and start designing!

Seems harmless enough doesn't it?  Wait until I open the door for you, mwa ha ha ha ha!  Maybe I'll show you - it's quite embarrassing in there.


Hey, hey, hey...

New post heading your way tomorrow but in the meantime why not 'Like'  'A Home Revised' on Facebook while you wait!  I would love to hear of any home renovations or DIY you've done yourself.


A Willingness to Endure

“patience”, you won't find my picture under it in the dictionary. Well, really I do have tonnes of patience running a daycare and being surrounded by heaps of kids, but I don't have patience when I have to wait on adults for things. Well, not really that either, if I'm waiting for something and you've given me reason why I'm waiting then I'm totally chill. It's when you don't keep in touch that I get snippy.

We've been waiting about 2 1/2 weeks for our house build estimate, we were told it'd be about 2 weeks. I am so fine with this because our contractor contacted us and said that he hadn't forgot about us and that he was waiting on two other trades for quotes. I appreciate this communication tremendously and now know that it's important to him too that his customer is happy and informed.

I had major beef when it came to communication and our roofer a few years ago. Grrr, he never answered his phone, returned messages and kept us in the loop. First weekend came and we had no indication if he was coming that Saturday or not. It rained... did WE need to cover the plywood, would they, would it be OK over the weekend? No word. We're pretty nice people, I think, so kept somewhat quiet about these things BUT when the job was finished he asked about how they did, that's when I told him I had issue with his poor communication skills. He seemed a little shocked by such a comment but probably didn't know what to say back. Anyway, won't be using him again, won't be recommending him to anyone either. He'll never work in this town again!!! Yeah, I don't really have that kind of pull but whatever. 

Anyway, in a nutshell, we are still waiting on our estimate, will know by the end of this week or early next, we know why we're waiting, he's given us a verbal estimate (not carved in stone, let's be reasonable) so we can go ahead and get a U-Pak for our garage (looks like we can afford to do it too) clean out this weekend (a doozy of a post coming for that baby), and we know we've got a contractor who will keep us informed without us bugging him. That all translates to me being patient!

As Dad always says “you've got to learn to hum Essy”

Just in case you want to know for a fact that my picture isn't under the meaning...


[pey-shuhns] Show IPA
the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.


I'm the reason the "Dummy" books were made...

If you know me you will know that computers and I don't always get along very well so it's kind of funny that I would want to do a blog. I plug away at it, learning how do things and try to get faster at it with each go. My computer is definitely my friend when it comes to this renovation. When I can sneak away from all my other responsibilities I poke around at all the wonderful product sites and DIY blogs, getting inspired and learning new tricks of the trade. Back in my old college days the internet was barely used so we did all of our research by text books and magazine searches.  I'd sit for ages making my idea books, gluing cut out Style at Home images into spiral bound sketch pads.  My design world opened up when I embraced the internet.
I find the most useful site for this renovation so far is Pinterest. Ah, Pinterest, what an amazing addiction – everything a creative person could hope for. The site where you need an invite to join but won't be denied. Not only great for recipes and craft tips and a whole bunch of other categories, but just to see how others have tackled their own projects, it's fantastic. I've a board named “Our New House” to which I “pin” every item I truly plan to purchase or every idea I truly find inspiring and that I would actually do in the new place (I pin from the original source whenever possible). It's been a wonderful place to store all those ideas and keep track of price and where the item will be bought from. With a click of the mouse I can be brought back to the web page to which the item was first found, genius idea.

Now enough of this, I must get back to pinning!


It is a Pickle!

If we could go back in time to when we first moved in here there are some things we wouldn't have bothered improving, not realising we would someday be switching it all up. Some of those things are painting the exterior, putting on a new roof and placing this playhouse where we did.
The dilemma today is that the new house will be 2' wider and 8' (?) longer than what's there now which brings it only 1' away from the playhouse. The options rotate daily about how to deal with this. We can either dismantle it and use it as really expensive firewood, sell it and they can take it down, move it to a new spot or keep it right where is and live with it like that until no one plays in it anymore. Today I'm thinking we just leave it where it is and just have it not looking too pretty for a couple of years back there. Alot of time and effort went into it's construction so it's a shame to take it down now plus it's posts are in 3' of concrete so not really an easy move. As well it's future may include being a chicken coop or storage shed so there's that to think about.

Hindsight is 20/20 and I'm sure more pickles will pop up over the coming months.

(again, please don't judge me on the state of our yard, remember winter and purge mode!)

The rope line demonstrates where the new addition will come to

Where we should've put the playhouse - 15' to the left :/

What a happy discovery while taking the other photos - Crocus and Snowdrops atop of Hosta bulbs - Spring is that you?


We're doing this because...

Well you see how small it is!  But what it came down to was if we want to stay on the street we love and keep hoping for a resale of one of the larger homes, look for another house elsewhere (more expensive with all the selling and Realtor costs), or wait patiently until we can do a renovation to this house.  We always said if we win the lottery we'd probably just tear this one down and build fresh since we love our neighbourhood so much but it just hasn't been feasible.  Never, until our neighbours did a similar renovation to their 600 sq ft house.  They too had a family of 4 and saw the potential in their land so when we found out how much their addition cost it got our wheels going.  It WAS possible for us to do it with our current financial state! 

My husband is a full time, long serving sailor with a promotion in the near future and I do daycare so I can stay at home with my boys while they're still little, so combined we feel it's doable.  But feeling it's doable could be setting ourselves up for disappointment so a few months back we had a visit with the bank to crunch the numbers.  Good experience, she seemed quite pleased that we weren't spenders and that we use our money for really only future benefiting plans.  The next step is when we have the estimate for the whole job we'll contact the bank again who will then send out an appraiser to find out the house's market value as it is today.  With that number we can borrow up to 80% of it's worth, something we don't want to do as we don't need or want big mortgage bills.  We have our $200000 number in our minds and are comfortable adding that to our debt but not much more, hence the anxiety over how much it's going to cost so we can do the garage.  At least our car payments are done in May so that frees up some money. 

So that's how we came to begin the transformation - a huge need/want for more space, a huge desire to stay on the street we adore, full knowledge of how much real estate sells for (ridiculous) and the confidence we've made the right financial decision. 

Maybe we should just move to Australia.