WE’VE MOVED!! BEFORE & AFTER PICTURES

 

Vintage kitchen ad that I can relate to - adding all the final touches after moving in.

Vintage kitchen ad that I can relate to – adding all the final touches after moving in.

Happy New Year! It has been so long since I last posted on our progress and here we are 2017! I am extremely happy to say that after a long two year process (and labour of love); we finally moved into our new (old) house. As most people building a house or doing a major renovation project find, there are always more jobs to add to the to-do list but for now the interior is just about complete and we are finished with renovating for a long time. Come spring we’ll be focusing on all of the many outdoor projects including landscaping, a front walkway and step, and a back deck…and if we happen to win the lottery – maybe a kidney shaped pool and a retro camper pool house? A girl can dream can’t she?

To give a quick background, the original home was built in 1965 and was well loved but sat vacant for a few years. The owners thought they may have to tear it down but we happened to find out about it at the right time and after liking the layout of the home decided it was worth moving and renovating. I don’t think we realized at the time just how much work, time and money it would take to transform it but it was worth it in the end.

While I’ve enjoyed writing each post, this is the post I’ve been waiting to put together. So here are some before and after pictures of our house project. The photos aren’t perfect and the house still needs some final touches so keeping that in mind, hope you enjoy.

The house originally sat in a lovely spot with a long tree-lined driveway but you could see that it was deteriorating, as any empty home or building does.

'before' of the house front

‘before’ of the house front

Many weeks of work went into removing the bricks and preparing the house inside and out for moving. On a cold February day the house was moved to it’s new location through a plowed path through snow covered farm fields having to cross only one main road.

The house on moving day.

The house on moving day.

The house then sat through the winter and into the spring until the frozen winter ground thawed and the spring rains stopped, then we could begin digging the new basement and foundation.

The house waiting to be worked on.

The house waiting to be worked on.

Eventually the weather cooperated and we were able to pour the foundation and basement. A short while later the house was moved onto the new basement.

The house being moved onto the new basement.

The house being moved onto the new basement.

Once the house was settled onto the foundation the exterior work began. The work included a new metal roof, siding and brick work, windows (with the exception of the large front bay window) and doors. Inside, the home was taken apart down to the frame and then the process of rebuilding the house from the frame out began including new insulation, drywall, electrical, plumbing and heating.

The house exterior just about complete

The house exterior just about complete

And finally…here are the before and afters:

House before.

House before.

And after a lot of work:

All moved in.

All moved in.

The back of the house also looks much different with it’s new siding, doors and windows.

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And the back of the house after:

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Inside, the changes are almost unrecognizable although the layout stayed basically the same. The entryway which is also the laundry area and includes the tiny powder room is now much lighter and more spacious. We had to remove the large built-in cabinets which had water damage.

The mudroom 'before'.

The mudroom ‘before’.

And after…

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The entryway after.

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The original placement of the door and window were switched.

The entry to the kitchen had a door which we removed.

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The entryway follows through to the kitchen and dining area.

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The entryway and laundry room after showing the door to the powder room.

We kept the basic layout of the powder room the same but went to a pedestal sink to give a little more room in the tiny space. I decided to use some fun retro style wallpaper for an accent wall which gets lots of compliments. A vintage light similar to the original one, added some vintage flair.

Bathroom 'before'.

Bathroom ‘before’.

Powder room after.

Powder room after.

From the entryway/laundry room, you walk into the kitchen and dining room which is now a welcoming space with clean lines and a fresh and minimalist style. The aqua accent wall brightens the room and our many vintage furniture pieces fit in the space nicely. I still need to find the right piece of art for the accent wall in the dining room…all in good time.

'before' of the dining area

‘before’ of the dining area

The dining room has an aqua accent wall and is the perfect space for all my retro kitchen furniture.

The dining room has an aqua accent wall and is the perfect space for all my retro kitchen furniture.

The original kitchen had knotty pine cabinets which we were originally going to try to reuse with a fresh paint job but they were not in as good shape as we’d hoped. We did keep the basic layout of the kitchen very much the same other than adding an island.

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The kitchen before was not a bad layout. We kept it pretty well the same other than our island on castors so we can move it around.

The new kitchen has gloss white cabinets which we chose to look similar to the vintage metal cabinets that were popular in the fifties. I found original Youngstown chrome boomerang hardware for the cabinet pulls – you can see them in the Youngstown ad at the top of this post. Vintage lights hang in the kitchen and dining area…as well as in most other rooms of the home.

We also opened up the wall between the kitchen/dining rooms and the living room/front entry area. This creates a nice open and airy feel. We did leave some of the wall though so it is not completely open.

With the wall opened up it creates a more open concept main floor.

With the wall opened up it creates a more open concept main floor.

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The view from the now open hallway.

One of my favorite vintage finds in this room is the red metal pendant light that was originally hanging up in a little old country corner store nearby and probably had been there along with the matching red and white asbestos floor tiles since the 40s or 50s.

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Vintage metal red pendant light purchased right from the country corner store it hung in since the fifties.

The front entry area houses two coat closets and opens to the living room. We kept the closets but did have to replace the front door…using it inside instead.

'before' of the front entryway...and the door I love

‘before’ of the front entryway…and the door I love

And after…

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A new front door and closet doors brighten up the space. We replaced the light with a $3 vintage hallway light.

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We removed part of the wall between the entry way and living room to open it more but there is still enough of a wall for privacy. The living room is a good size and we were able to keep the big bay window which our dog has claimed as her spot.

'before' of the living room

‘before’ of the living room

Unfortunately there wasn’t any hardwood under the carpet so we ended up doing the main floor all in vinyl plank.

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Vintage furniture, accents and lighting give this living room a mid century feel.

I am still re-arranging furniture and accessories in this room as you can tell from the two slightly different living room after photos. I decided to move the wood picture above the credenza instead of above the sofa and recently found this colourful area rug which adds some needed warmth to the space.

Living room after.

Living room after.

This corner of the room is perfect for listening to records. It also has a few of my favorite finds including the record stand, the Herman Miller chair and the swinging teak Danish light.

The record player corner.

The record player corner.

A few more of my favorite things in the living room are:

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This mid century frame I found which I used to frame some vintage wallpaper.

 

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The stereo credenza was a garage sale find as was the painting. I used a hand made loose knit scarf as a table runner.

 

Vintage cocoon light.

Vintage cocoon light.

A cacoon light.

The vintage cocoon light close up, showing the cool veins and texture.

Moving out of the living room this is the view that shows the main floor taken from the hallway.

The view of the main level now open.

The view of the main level now open.

Heading into the hallway, this was how it looked before:

There is hardwood under the green carpet...can't wait to tear that up.

The hallway before.

And after…

The hallway after.

The hallway after.

The main bathroom which had been updated was a tight space so we took the closet from the bedroom next door to create room for the bath/shower.

The main bath 'before'.

The main bath ‘before’.

The bathroom after

The bathroom after

The shower side of the bath.

The shower side of the bath.

The bedrooms are the typical size of a modest 1960s home but are still spacious enough. We kept the original hardwood flooring that was in all three bedrooms and had it redone.

Master bedroom before.

The master bedroom before.

 

The master bedroom after.

The master bedroom after.

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before…

Master bedroom after.

Master bedroom after.

Vintage dresser fits perfectly.

A $10 garage sale find, this vintage dresser fits perfectly in the corner nook.

Bedroom two before and after, a room now fit for our princess:

The second bedroom.

The second bedroom.

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Lots of colour were added to the walls in this room.

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We created a fun reading corner with a little bird cage light and a vintage kids chair.

I don’t seem to have a before photo of the third and smallest bedroom. We took the closet to add space to the main bath but it is still large enough for an office/art room. As you can see I have a lot of retro treasures in this room including most of the furniture, the light, the typewriter, princess phone and lamp.

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Old Arborite tables make great art tables and work desks.

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A vintage 1960s light and painted vintage desk and accessories make this a fun work space.

I wanted to use the original front door somewhere in the house. We thought it would work as the entrance door to the basement stairs.

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The original front door.

And now,

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The old front door has a new life.

 

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Looking at the basement door from the stair landing.

The old basement was separated into two sections. I included this photo even though we obviously poured a new basement so this is just to show how the original owners had their basement laid out.

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The original basement.

Our new basement in the works:

 

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Our new basement once drywall was up.

The basement is now a great place to hang out with the family and have parties. The disco ball may not be something from the mid century but it still adds a lot of fun to the space.

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The basement after.

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Another view of the finished basement.

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The area under the stairs is a comfy little nook and an extra bed for guests.

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We created a sitting area on one side which can easily be moved if necessary.

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The bar area.

The basement bathroom while being framed.

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framing the basement bathroom.

And after…

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The sink base and cabinet are from Ikea.

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In the future, we hope to put an infrared sauna in the nook. The flooring is a penny tile looking vinyl.

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Shadow boxes fill up the space on the long narrow wall.

Below is the spare room framed in.

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The spare room framed in.

After, the room is a comfortable spare bedroom (eventually we’ll have a bed frame for the mattress) and office area.

 

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Even though this is a basement room, there is still lots of natural light.

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The spare room is comfortable enough and will look better once we get a bed frame.

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There is enough room for a small office area.

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I created art for the room with Polaroids I took.

We still have a few more things to do in the house and I’ll be updating the pictures as we do. Since living in the house now for a few months, I sometimes forget what the house used to look like and that these walls have a long history. Now it our home sweet home.

Paint colour and product info:

Main floor and basement including the entry, kitchen, dining, living room and hallway – Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Accent Wall in kitchen – Rona Collection Spring Stream

Daughter’s room – aqua is Rona Spring Stream, pink is C.I.L Exotic Pink and mauve is Beautitone Plum Cake

Master bedroom – Origins by Benjamin Moore Soothing Mist

Office/art room – Behr Pineapple Crush

Main floor bath – Behr Celadon

Door to basement – Benjamin Moore Chamomile

Basement stairs – Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray

Trim – Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

Kitchen Cabinets – Thomasville High Gloss Thermofoil from Home Depot

Kitchen countertops – main – Formica Smoke Quarstone, the island – Wilsonart Nostalgic Grey

Kitchen drainboard sink – Blanco model 401653

Main flooring – Laurentian Flooring Drop & Done Flexiplank Catalina (grey)

Basement flooring – Laurentian Flooring Drop & Done Georgia Walnut

Basement bath flooring – Mannington Resilient Penny Lane in Quartzite with Granite

Exterior board and batten siding – Royal Building Products in Iron Stone

Exterior stone – Versetta Stone Ledgestone in Sterling

Front door – Trimlite Mid-Century Modern Designs Style #0808 in white

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KITCHEN PREP

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Somehow, summer is half over and things have been so busy that I haven’t had time for the blog and A LOT has been happening over at the new digs. We are still not in yet though but hopefully within weeks we will be cooking in this kitchen.

The kitchen went in okay. We got our white thermofoil cabinets through Home Depot. I wanted to create a kitchen inspired by vintage metal cabinets and I think the glossy white and simple design of the doors works. I was so excited to finally install the vintage boomerang hardware I found on Ebay many months ago.

Ready to put on the new cabinets.

vintage boomerang hardware

And personally, I think it looks amazing!

The countertops we ended up going with are a dark grey called Smoke Quarstone from Formica for the main countertops,

Formica's  Smoke Quarstone

Formica’s Smoke Quarstone

and for the island, this fun retro print – Nostalgic Grey from Wilsonart.

Wilsonart's Nostalgic Grey laminate

Wilsonart’s Nostalgic Grey laminate

We went with a drainboard sink from Blanco which I love the look of.

Blanco Tipo drain board style sink in stainless

Blanco Tipo drain board style sink in stainless

So now we just need the plumber to install the faucet, get in the new appliances, add some finishing touches and voila! the kitchen will be ready.

EASY PEASY FLOORING

Installing the flooring

Installing the flooring

Flooring is a major decision for any home renovation. It’s a costly item that covers a large area of your home and helps create the style and look of every room. I have thought a lot about flooring over the past year in preparation (and have written a few blog posts on the subject.) My original plan was to put a fun pattern of colourful linoleum tiles down in the kitchen and dining area, something like one of these great 1950s linoleum options.

1949 Kentile linoleum tiles.

1949 Kentile linoleum tiles.

Linoleum sounded like a good plan for flooring but when I found out you still had to periodically wax it, just like housewives of the fifties did, I decided to look into other options. And, since we opened up the main area between the kitchen, dining, living room and hallways, we also wanted something that would work well for the space as a whole and be neutral enough for the different furniture and colour accents in each room. One option would have been to do hardwood floors throughout which would have looked lovely but would be costly and I would have always been worried about it getting scratched or water damaged.

So, we decided on a vinyl plank floor that will work nicely with our ‘modern vintage’ look. The flooring is a product called Drop & Done flooring from XL Flooring. We chose a wood look with a nice mix of greys, a colour called Catalina.

Drop & Done flooring, Catalina

Drop & Done flooring, Catalina

It’s definitely not anything like the fun colourful tile patterns I first envisioned for the kitchen floor but it will work with the entire space and it was super easy to install. You only have to glue down the edges of the room and the rest of the pieces just lay nicely together (no clicking in place) creating a floating floor that looks great. We have put in a few types of flooring in our current house in the past and I’m sure my husband would agree that this flooring was the easiest to install. Installing it ourselves saved us the cost of labour which can really add up. And if a piece were ever to get damaged or you had to remove a piece for some reason, you just use a toilet plunger (I’m serious) to suction up a piece and fit a new one back in.

Super easy to install

Super easy to install

To cut pieces for the edges of a room is easy, you simply score it with a knife and then bend it to break it.

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Cutting a piece of flooring is easy

It is not as green a product as linoleum but it is made of 50% recycled vinyl and is a member of the Canada Green Building Council.

Drop and done flooring

Drop and done flooring

I think we’ll be happy with our choice for the main area of the house. It is neutral enough to work in the kitchen and dining area as well as the living room and hallways. It is soft on the feet and quiet and is a cinch to install yourself. We think it looks great!

The floor is in

The floor is in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 1940s HOME OWNERS’ BOOK

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I recently purchased this vintage hard covered book titled Home Owners’ Catalogue, published in 1945. It is full, and I mean full of informative information that anyone building or renovating a home in the 1940s would have wanted to know about. It’s like a current day home trade show in book form. Being a book from 1945 it is not the 1950s/60s style I generally collect but this vintage gem was just too cool to leave behind. So I decided to get this to give to a friend who also has a love of vintage and hopes to one day restore her grandparents farm house in 1940s style.

It is filled with planning information, check-lists and products ranging from air conditioning, cabinets and flooring to ranges, wall coverings and windows.

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The book illustrates life in the 1940s, post war, with some great ads that show all of the amazing things that were new to them that we now take for granted…like having hot water readily available and enjoying cool air indoors during the hot summer. Imagine how exciting electricity would have been.

Adorable 1940s electricity ad

Adorable 1940s electricity ad

 

A great 1940s kitchen

A great 1940s kitchen

My favorite ads in the book were for these amazing kitchen designs and I had to share a few photos. I would gladly take this lovely little kitchen and all of the sweet accessories in it like the stool, the mixer and all of the canisters.

Love everything about this kitchen.

Love everything about this kitchen.

Here’s the plan for the above 10’6″ x 9’6″ kitchen.

1940s small kitchen plan

1940s small kitchen plan

And how cheery is this kitchen with yellow accents? I love the little desk space – perfect for writing letters while waiting for your freshly baked cookies to come out of the oven.

Bright and cheery 1940s kitchen

Bright and cheery 1940s kitchen

Here’s a décor idea for your vintage kitchen – hang a bamboo framed wall shelf displaying a fun fruity plate collection like in this vintage kitchen.

 

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What a great oven range

And another great 1940s kitchen…

Lots of cabinet space in this kitchen design

Lots of cabinet space in this kitchen design

This vintage bathroom is a beauty – with the 1940s version of dual sinks and the floor of my dreams – so fun!

Love the flooring

Love the flooring

And speaking of vintage flooring, check out the rainbow of colours available in this linoleum ad.

1940s Nairn Linoleum ad

1940s Nairn Linoleum ad

I am always excited to find old books and pamphlets on home design like this one showing the great styles and ideas of the past. They are great historical references for people who are trying to give their homes a true vintage feel.

 

 

 

 

A SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT GREY

 

Grey Swatches

I always envisioned that the main living area of the house would be painted grey. I know it seems that everyone is jumping on the grey train these days and here I am doing the same. Personally, I am just sick of beiges and tans and since I have always quite liked silvers and greys, it wasn’t a hard decision. I wanted a nice neutral grey – not too light, not too dark, not too beige, not too silver, not too sterile looking and warm but not too warm. Also, I’d prefer it didn’t have any undertones of blue, mauve, pink, or green – not really too much to ask for right?

The first colour I had chosen early on in my search was Alpine Ash from the Origins by Benjamin Moore selection, a nice medium shade of grey. However, over time I decided it lacked warmth and being almost silver, I worried it would make the space look cold especially with the glossy white cabinets that would be going in the kitchen. So, I moved on.

Origins by Benjamin Moore Alpine Ash OR-420

Origins by Benjamin Moore Alpine Ash OR-420

I was sure the next colour I chose was ‘the one’. Beauti-Tone’s Through the Looking Glass was a little darker shade of grey but still a fairly true grey that didn’t seem to show signs of blue or green or pink when I compared it to other paint swatches. I was happy to have decided on a grey and for months this was the grey of choice until about a week before painting was scheduled to begin. I happened to show the swatch to a few people at a family get together and the general consensus was that it was a bit dark and that I could find a better grey.

Beauti-Tone Paint Through the Looking Glass R149-0

Beauti-Tone Paint Through the Looking Glass R149-0

So, I accepted their feedback and agreed that maybe it was a bit dark so that night I started a new search for a better grey, a lighter grey…the perfect grey. I ran a few swatches by my husband but he, like many men, didn’t really see all the hue’s of colour I saw. I’d say ‘does this one look a bit green to you?’, and he would just give me a shoulder shrug. He was leaving the decision in my hands.

So a couple of days later, when the painter texted me telling me he needed the colour for the main area of the house…by the next morning! I panicked. I grabbed all of my grey swatches from my shoebox of unwanted paint colours I’d gathered over the year along with my mother-in-law’s Benjamin Moore paint chip fan deck she’d loaned me and off I went to meet a friend. I told her my dilemma and we narrowed it down one by one. We finally came to the conclusion that Behr’s Gentle Rain was a lovely grey, definitely soft and warm, and I liked the name of the colour (which is important.) I texted the painter that night and he was ready with a five gallon pail of Gentle Rain the following morning. I had to head to work so I only saw a dab of it on the wall before I left. All day I hoped that Gentle Rain was the right choice. When my family and I stopped by the house later that afternoon to check out the first coat we all saw it – mauve. Somehow, we hadn’t seen mauve in the tiny one inch swatch the evening before but it was there alright. The laundry room, kitchen, dining room, living room and hallway were all a pretty mauve grey. A nice shade if that was the colour you were going for.

Behr Gentle Rain 790-2

Behr Gentle Rain 790-2

I quickly texted the painter telling him we’d have to pick a different colour for the second coat and sorry, but I’d have to let him know the new shade that evening. So I was back on the hunt for the perfect grey. After once again dumping out my stash of grey paint chips they all seemed to blend into one shade of grey. I decided I needed some help so I started scouring grey paint colours on Pinterest and reading blog posts of other people’s similar challenges. For hours I searched and searched and definitely could relate to one blogger saying her search for the right grey was making her go ‘grazy’ – how clever.

One grey that kept popping up with great reviews was Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl. I quickly found it on the paint fan deck and it looked like a lovely grey. At this point I was falling asleep so I decided to just go with it and texted the painter the new colour – Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52

I knew that this being the second coat of paint would be the colour that would be staying on the walls even if it ended up being an ugly green. Luckily when we stepped foot in our house the next afternoon I breathed a sigh of relief, the colour was perfect! I don’t have a great photo of the colour on the walls since it is still a big mess in the kitchen and dining room with cabinet boxes everywhere, but you can get an idea of the grey against the ceiling white.

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We liked the colour so much we decided to go ahead and paint the basement in the same colour.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation trying to find a true light grey with no obvious undertones of mauve or green, take a look at Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl, I think you’ll like it.

Stay tuned for our other room colour choices…