Friday, 22 December 2017

Merry Christmas & A Little Christmas Tour

Hey there.... I'm a little late to the game, but finally getting around to my Christmas home tour.  I kept it very simple this year & went with natural greens.  I wanted to stick the tree in a basket & go with no decorations at all, but my daughter wouldn't have it.  So we compromised (which is what the teenage years are all about) & I left the tree bare for about two weeks & then decorated it.  

 You may recall that last year I painted this wall in a faux brick just before Christmas.  This year I decided to go back to dark & painted it in a true black to add some drama.  Yes, I'm painting with black again.  This little Christmas tree sort of started it for me.  I'm not much of a green fan, but forest green with black is an absolutely stunning combo.

So here's a little tour...

One simple & easy trick I like to do is use scarves in my Christmas decor.  This wreath has a old velvet scarf on it.  If you scroll down you'll see my mantel is also draped in two black scarves... simple, but I love the look.

For this garland and wreath I mixed real in with faux (from Dollarama) for a very simple but classic look.  

We hosted my husband's family last week & again I mixed faux with real greens.  I also mixed my good china with paper (square) plates...& how cute are these forks?  Can you believe they are plastic?  (Found them & the napkins at Dollar Tree).  I also made my front living room into a dining room, which has always been something I've wanted to try.

 Upstairs I really kept it to a minimum.  My daughter didn't want anything at first but agreed to a star and garland pom poms.

(All photos are mine taken with my iPhone)

So that's the tour.. nothing fancy or expensive... just our well-lived-in (& ever-changing) home. 

Hope you all have a blessed & safe Christmas with your family & friends!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Our Sweet Little Flip - House Tour #belmontflip

So we've gone and done something completely scary, fun and crazy ... we've partnered with some friends and are flipping a house!!!  I've always wanted to do for 25 yrs I've wanted to do this!   
The problem for me has always been that we lived in and around Toronto and the price of homes has just skyrocketed in the last 5 yrs.  To give you some perspective, the houses in our neighborhood have consistently gone up by $50,000 EACH YEAR and this past two years (before the new legislation further taxing foreign investors) houses have gone up by $100,000.00 per year.  This has made it impossible for us to buy in again and flip in the Newmarket, ON area.   But there was hope.  I started researching the Kitchener area, and have read a lot about real estate investing.  (Real Estate Investing in Canada is a good read and also REIN is a great source).  Without going into too much detail, here a few things to watch for in an area that should be a good investment.   Is there a freeway, an airport, a university in the city or are any of these being built and most importantly, is it close to a thriving metropolis?  Kitchener has all of these plus, the big kicker, there is talk of a high speed train going in, which will mean that people can live more affordably in Kitchener and take the train to Toronto.  Basically Kitchener house prices are about half the price of Newmarket, so all of this combined made us decide on the Kitchener area.

After scouring and Ovlix all summer long, we bought this sweet little post-war, 1 1/2 storey, fixer upper, back in October with the hopes of selling it in the early spring market.  So far we've been working on the exterior (cleaning up the flowerbeds, painting the porch, repairing the chimney, and shingling the garage roof).  
So here's a little tour.

This is a progress shot of the front porch.  Still so much to do (like remove the awnings) but it always amazes me what a little bit of paint can do!

This is a pretty tiny house but it is full of these arches you see when you come in. Such a nice detail!  I'm now seeing arches everywhere I go and trying to think of ways to incorporate them in my own home.   

This view is looking back into the closet...yes even the closet has a little arch... details!

This view from the living room shows you just how sweet (but small) this space is.  Through the hallway you can access the two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and the stairs to the loft.

The bathroom will need a total gut. Right now my design plan is to place the tub under the window, place one sink to the left as you're looking in, and place the toilet (out of sight) behind the door.  (I have a pet peeve about toilets being the focal point in a bathroom.  If at all possible, try to hide the toilet).

And this is "the kitchen"... there is literally just a bank of original cabinets and a stove...that's it!  No dishwasher and no fridge.  Again, this is a gut, but with some very good planning this kitchen can function well.  Also, another little thing about this kitchen that makes the design a challenge, is that there are two entries... one leading from the main area and one leading to a little back room... plus a huge window on the back wall and a built-in on the other wall.  Big plans for this little space!  

Off the kitchen is a little room that was added on about 10 years ago.  The other wall has a door leading outside which we are switching to accommodate a fridge in the kitchen.  This huge window will shift over and become French doors leading into the backyard.  I have big plans for this room too... to elevate it and make it function for a family or whoever might purchase this home.

Now let's go up the light blue carpet to the light pink loft  which is really the icing on the cake.  This space has so much potential.  The plan is to make it into a master retreat with an en suite.  

And here's the lovely basement...obviously we were a little excited about getting the gross carpet out and didn't get a photo with it in...also couldn't wait to get that 1970's paneling down... but you get the idea.

Hope you enjoyed the tour.  We've been going back and forth to Kitchener on weekends trying to get some work done.  (And can I just say that teens are very good at demo... gets out some frustration).  

I'll be sure to keep you posted.  Right now it's been more outside work and some not so pretty work inside, but I'll definitely let you know when the pretty comes.  I've also been posting a few photos and video (as it happens) on Instagram, if you want to follow me there. 

Have a great day!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Pink in My Garden

My fave colors in the garden are deep blue & pink, and this year the pink shone through.  And right when my peonies were blooming, my neighbor's pale pink roses came cascading down over my fence as if perfectly a little gift to me!  So beautiful!  .    

(All photos taken by me with my iPhone.)

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Looking Back on July

Well there goes July...I can't believe how fast this summer is going!  We started our July long weekend with a BBQ with friends at their beautiful home in King City.   (I've had my eye on these chairs for a long time.)

It's hard to believe, but these are faux flowers from IKEA...had me fooled! 

We then had two very different, but equally beautiful, weddings back to was a city wedding at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto & the other was a full on country wedding in Thornbury.

If you follow me on Instagram you've seen some of these pics before & know that I loooove blooms. At the first wedding the flowers were so simple but beautiful in shades of white & cream.  Absolutely stunning with the soft grey tablecloths & white accessories.

See what I mean by very different weddings...we went from beautiful all white bouquets to gorgeous full-on colourful pretty!

Although we had rain for days before this wedding, the sun came out & the wedding day was perfection.  It was in a field surrounded by apple orchards.   

(All photos are mine taken with my iPhone.)

If you want to see more crazy good wedding photos, check out one of my favourites, Sinclair & inspiring!

Have a great weekend!