Hello friends! Progress has been slow but steady for the meditation room; the drywall is up on three walls, the opening for the exterior door is being cut right now and the new door will be installed on Tuesday. I’m super excited to have a quiet space of my own!
Thinking about the many places I’ve lived, I realize that I have always managed to carve out space to dream, reflect and explore. Once I even converted my bedroom closet into an art studio (well, studio might be a stretch!) but I remember the safety and coziness I felt being cocooned in that small space. This 7′ x 7′ space feels expansive, in more ways than one. xo
Not sure how many people spent their holiday Monday on house renos…I’m certain we can’t be the only ones! We had a great time tearing apart the old bathroom space – and by ‘great time’ I mean a physically exhausting, incredibly dusty but absolutely rewarding day. Once we removed the tub and closet nook, the room is actually quite a nice size – perfect for my yoga/meditation room!
Check out my Pinterest meditation room board to get a glimpse of the inspiration for the space.
The afters might take a while. The layers of flooring came up this morning and many of the wood boards underneath are rotten, patched and have huge holes cut for the fixtures. I reluctantly have to admit they are beyond saving.
The empty space presents an especially exciting point in the process for me; the dreaming, the inspiration, the endless possibilities to create something magical. I think I’ll linger a while…xo
Please don’t rip out your hair when things go wrong! Believe me, in every renovation there are things that happen that are out of your control. Items are out of stock, trades get called away on another job, delivery delays, installation mistakes, wrong items delivered, etc.
Here’s how to bounce back:
- acknowledge that the situation sucks
- know that everyone who’s ever renovated has also experienced the same frustration, disappointment, etc.
- take action – there are decisions that can remedy any situation, it might cost a bit more or take a bit longer but when things go wrong, know that things can be righted
- be kind to yourself, mistakes happen, learn from them and move on
- take note of all the things that are going right, stay positive
- look for the ‘happy accidents’, the mistakes that push your creativity further than it might otherwise go
Ways to prevent the big mistakes:
- measure, measure and measure again
- double check your colour matching for custom fabrics, tiles (anything that would be difficult to change later)
- make sure all of your trades know the details of the overall design plan
- communicate clearly, directly and frequently with everyone involved on the project
- stay organized, double check delivery dates, use a calendar to schedule each trade
- plan for budget overages (10%, 20% for older homes)
When things go wrong it can feel like the renovation stress will never end. It might not seem like it at the time, but trust me, you will forget the things that went wrong and completely enjoy your beautifully renovated space.
In case you are wondering if some things went wrong on this bathroom reno, you betcha! Am I following my own advice? Absolutely! Staying positive and looking for the ‘happy accidents’. xo
I am repairing and priming the old bathroom trim and having the toughest time painting over this one piece above the door. It has such a beautiful patina. Would you leave it as is? xo
Making progress! A beautifully smooth drywall job is almost finished thanks to the kind and talented Abraham from Abraham’s Drywall. There are some things you can DIY, and trust me, drywall mudding is not one of them!
Artist at work.
Next step, heated floors and tiling…I can hardly wait! xo
Anyone who has lived through a renovation has been there. At the point when the initial excitement has started to wane and months of a project are looming ahead, it is important to find ways to care for yourself, both physically and mentally. Renovation projects can be especially disruptive to your life, and living in the space while renovating, well…let’s just say it’s really important to practice good self care. Some tips to help you manage:
- clean up after the trades leave each day, you will appreciate the evening so much more and maybe, just maybe, you will actually relax
- make sure to control the ‘spread’ of the reno, ensure there are a couple of rooms that show no sign of renovations and resist the temptation to use these spaces for storage or work rooms!
- tape plastic tarps with long zippers to doorways to confine the dust to construction areas (this is a lifesaver!)
- fill the fridge with simple, healthy foods as you’re not going to want to cook big meals and you will not want to live on take out
- get time away from the work site, go for walks, spend some time outside
- make sure your trades can reach you (or your decorator/designer) to ask questions as the project progresses, it is easier to clarify what you want before a decision gets made and something gets installed in the wrong spot
- take time to relax every day; meditate, go for a walk, talk with a friend, read a good book, watch a funny movie
- create a binder to keep all reno related materials together (receipts, spec sheets, colour swatches, contact info, etc.)
- don’t sweat the small things that go wrong, most things can be fixed or changed
- get plenty of sleep
- plan regular celebrations of milestones along the way
- and remember the bigger picture – the renovation is temporary, you will enjoy the newly finished space for many years…xo
Has this ever happened to you? The tub is ready for pick up, the lighting has arrived, the faucets will be in next week, the new toilet is sitting in the dining room – all the design elements are on their way and WHAM! you decide to completely change the plan. I MEAN COMPLETELY!
We originally planned to tear out one of the walls in my office to expand our tiny bathroom, so we decided to remove all of the lath and plaster walls to insulate the office (might as well, right?) Once that was done we couldn’t stop thinking about using the entire office for a spacious, bathroom retreat. What about resale? Losing a bedroom? Turns out this large bathroom will add value to our home (thanks Veronika Jovicic!)
And you know what? I love this design even more than the last! Luckily, all of the purchased (and handmade) elements will fit in the new design (plus an additional vanity).
This house has much to teach me about patience, flexibility and being in the flow. I am listening. xo
Oh Pinterest, where would design aficionados be without you? Click here to get a peek inside my bedroom inspiration on Pinterest.
We thought we’d be a lot further along and have at least one room completed. But nooooooo. Life and renovations don’t actually work like that. Although we are sleeping in the master bedroom, it is far from finished. And until the bedframe comes at the end of January, there will be no beautiful before and after pics for you! I may however, entice you with a few sneak peeks as we move forward…
Guess what we started instead? Adam’s woodshop! The beautiful December weather inspired us to get him a proper work space so he is not sawing inside the house over the winter, sensible no? And there is also the fact that I wasn’t ready to start the bathroom (the real reason). Here are a few pics of the progress so far. I am actually a bit jealous as I can already see how fantastic it is going to be. Can you see it too? Here are the before pics, just click on an image to see the gallery close up.
And here are a few of the in between stages. Keep in mind, like all renovations, it gets worse before it gets better! And yes, the siding has a slight pink tinge – just lovely.
And just for fun and because it’s a little gross, here are some inside shots!
We look forward to finishing the window installation before the snow comes and sharing the next phase with you. Until then… xoxo
We are Adam and Rachel. Two creative souls from Toronto who have recently made the HUGE life changing decision to leave the big city for a smaller, greener community where we can have lots of creative adventures! The last six months have been a whirlwind of learnings as we let go of our big city pace, rode our bikes, explored the trails and got to know our new city of London, Ontario. Finding a house proved more difficult than we thought – after five months of searching, 6 offers and two bidding wars we finally found the place we now call home. If you are interested in joining us during the top-to-bottom renovation of this 105 year old, yellow brick beauty, please follow along on this blog. We will be transforming this home one room at a time and plan to give all the details, design tips, London (and Toronto) resources and of course, before and after photos!