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Our New House – A Tour Before we Move in!

Friends, it has been a few weeks since my last blog post and there is so much that I am looking forward to sharing here! May and June were truly some of the busiest months I have had but also some of the most exciting months so far and for that I am thankful!

To start, our wedding season has been full and fun. I am currently in an early summer break (2 wedding free weeks!?!) but between the last week of April and the last week of June we completed 14 beautiful weddings, did a successful Mother’s Day pop up, and, the biggest news of all, we bought a house (from offer to closing!). For anyone who knows me and follows here it will come as noooo surprise to you that I am very very excited about about our new home ownership journey and cannot wait to begin fixing up this beautiful old house!

So, about the house…where do I start?! It’s just around the corner from where Dan and I live currently and a 2 minute walk to my sister’s house. It’s a beautiful 111 year old brick home. It was the former manse for the United Church next door and is a designated heritage home – it’s full of beauty and character that Dan and I both love. Honestly, Dan couldn’t possibly care less about anything home or interior related but he has always taken a liking to brick houses. We were looking at buying something smaller with hopes that we could fix it up and sell it to buy the brick house of our dreams in a few years time…we are still slightly in shock that we managed to find a home so full of potential, it is much more than we were hoping and looking for!

The house, as a former church house, has been well maintained over the years – a new furnace and water heater, a recently updated roof, updated electrical etc. Those things were important to us and we were happy to accept the fact that with a 100+ year old house we would have plenty of work to do otherwise. While basically every room needs updating, the foundation and character of the house makes the work ahead feel worthwhile to us.

I’m going to take you through a little ‘before’ house tour and show you each room along with a brief description of our plans. Of course, I will be sharing all the updates here so this will be a fun post for us to look back on as we fix things up! Please excuse the random piles of stuff throughout the house…we have just gotten started on removing wallpaper, brining in supplies and tools etc.!

The Front Entry Way & Staircase

This is one of our favourite parts of the house and an area we are really looking forward to decorating. The changes we are doing here are all cosmetic and fairly straight forward. The first changes will be painting the walls a nice fresh white (but keeping the wood as is!) and removing the carpet on the stairs. We are also planning to sand the entire first floor floors just to freshen them up but that won’t be a very noticeable change. After the painting and carpet removal it will just be about beautifying this already really beautiful space. The staircase is quite grand and I am really excited to do something fun and bold on the walls…I can’t wait to show you, but trust me, it’s going to be COOL! I’m also in the market for the vintage chandelier of my dreams and have a growing list of magical contenders.

There is a small closet just beside the front door and we plan to eventually turn this into a uber tiny powder room. The closet even has a beautiful stained glass window that just feels wasted on the inside of a closet! We want this to be a house where we can always welcome guests so having a bathroom on the main floor is important as some of our family members have difficulty with stairs and currently the only bathroom is on the second floor.

The Living Room

This room is just off of the front entry to your right when you enter. Along with the beautiful woodwork throughout the house, these stained glass windows were one of our favourite things about the house. Our plans for this room are simple and we are actually well underway as this is the first space we are focusing on. We have removed the panelling on the walls along with the 4 layers of wallpaper underneath (ughhhh). Next we are going to repair plaster cracks, maybe do a skim coat of plaster to smooth things out (TBD), and paint the walls. We are going to move our current furniture into the space and then determine if we need anything else to complete the room!

The Second Living Room

This second living room is connected to the front living room through a nice big opening. This is the room we actually enter into most of the time – the back door leads to a lovely porch off of our driveway which is in the backyard. While we want our guests to come to the front door, the reality is that this back door will likely be what we use on a daily basis. Our plan for this room also impacts the room on the opposite side of the wall (currently the dining room, shown below) – we want to remove the wall between the 2 rooms and make a beautiful combined kitchen and dining room space. I envision that the majority of the kitchen cabinets would be in the current dining room, with an island around where the wall is currently and a beautiful circular dining table in that bay window. I’m not sure when we will get to this renovation (the house is a heritage home so there is some extra permitting/approvals to go through first) but it will likely be the first major project that we take on!

The Kitchen

The current kitchen, as you can see, is quite dated. The size of the room isn’t too too small but given that we will want to redo this kitchen it just makes sense to us to move it into the larger space given the way we like to recreate with family and friends. As for this kitchen, I imagine it being converted into a lovely sitting/reading room or maybe even turning it into a mud room and moving the back entrance off of the porch to enter here instead of into the second living room (it appears this is how the house was originally!). One thing I do know is that the dropped ceiling in this room is hiding all the structural secrets of the house (it’s slanty and scary under there!) so while I KNOW it is something we will have to deal with sooner than later I kind of want to put it off and not deal with it immediately…is that bad to admit?!

The Upstairs

Now here we are in the upstairs! This house has 3 bedrooms and a bathroom up here, along with 2 hallway closets. The first major thing to notice about the upper floor is the awful tile throughout. I honestly don’t know who thought this was a good idea but it is definitely something we are going to have to deal with! At this point our fingers are crossed that there is hardwood underneath. Dan is going to do some investigating and if there is salvageable wood underneath we may try and remove this floor before we move in (because it seems like a huge task once furniture is in place!) or, if removing it is too much of a task, we will put new floors overtop in the future.

The Landing

This is another fun nook that we are really excited about. At the top of the stairs is a lovely little landing that I think is going to make a great sitting area…I’m on the hunt for a perfect pair of matching chairs (and that tiny little ceiling light is where our dream chandelier will eventually hang!)!

Bedroom 1

This room has great light with 3 big windows. The windows in this house are so neat because they are much taller than standard – they go down quite close to the floor. Our plan with this room is to remove the wallpaper, freshen it up with paint, and decorate it to our taste in time. This will likely be a guest bedroom or closet/office but there is still a chance we would select this one as the master bedroom! As for our big plans for this room (way down the line), we would like to turn the closet in the hallway that joins to this room into a small ensuite bathroom and maybe even consider vaulting the ceiling in here to make it the ultimate master bedroom!

Bedroom 2

This is the smallest room in the house but my favourite because of the beautiful windows. Originally, we think that the main hallway just outside of this room was part of the room and the bedroom had a door on either side of it just like you will see in bedroom 3. The only issue with reverting this bedroom back to this original layout would be that, by removing the hallway, it takes away access to the bathroom for bedroom number 1 (there are 2 staircases in the house so it would still be possible to get to the bathroom by going down the front stairs and up the back stairs to the bathroom…just a longer route). Currently, while Dan and I are the only ones living in the house we may go back to the original layout for now if we choose to treat bedroom 1 as an office/closet. In the future, if we add a bathroom to bedroom 1, then we will certainly expand bedroom 2 to its original size. Woah. Does all that make sense?!?!

Bedroom 3

This is the largest bedroom and has really beautiful light as well but it isn’t my personal favourite to make it the master. This will be our first guest bedroom that we work on!

The Bathroom

This bathroom is right above the kitchen and the seriously sloping floors tell me that a bathroom renovation would mean a lot more than a new shower and vanity! Even without avoiding the potential issues, redoing the bathroom is low on our list of ‘big’ projects that we want to take on. Yes, we definitely realize this bathroom is super dated but for us it is just a lower priority! We are hoping to do our kitchen first, then the landscape, and then the front hall powder room. However, I don’t want ourselves or our guests to feel like they are staying at a budget airbnb (do you know the feeling I’m referring to?!) when they come into the bathroom so this week or next I’ll be doing a cheap and cheerful update just to make it feel fresh and fun! Stay tuned for that because it just might be the first update post from our new house 🙂

That’s it, Friends! Our new house! Dan and I are busily getting started on the simple first steps with freshening up the space and are planning to move in over the next few weeks. We will likely get started on any bigger projects (like the kitchen) later this year or next but for now we are going to focus on just making the space feel fresh and welcoming before we move in. Thank you all for sharing in our excitement, your enthusiasm and support mean so much! Looking forward to sharing everything we learn as we make updates and changes to our new (old) house!

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