Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Our "Before" House (Part One)

"This is definitely NOT the house..."

I couldn't help but whisper this to my husband the first time we walked through the doors of our soon to be be home one sunny January afternoon.

We had dropped by the open house just to take a peek.

But somehow we ended up back at that "Definitely NOT House".


We walked up the four flights of creaky stairs in the dated multi level house and let our little crazies run from room to room as we let our minds spin and scheme.

 Could we make this house work for us? Could we over look some cosmetic things we didn't like about it to gain the things we did like about it?
 
The location was perfect for what we needed. Was that enough??

The house had been rented out for years, and it showed.
The carpet was a shade of dark blue and had been noticeably loved by family pets and children throughout the homes life span.

The colour blue was everywhere!!

 
 
A blue house with golden wood.

If that is your thing then that is what you like, but for me it was a sure sign that this house was lovingly built in the early 90's and the combination was not our thing.

To make matters worse we had just come from our squeaky clean home that we had adoringly watched being built. This was different now though and time was passing quickly and we needed to find somewhere to live!

The truth was, we had sold our perfect little starter home faster than anticipated over the Christmas holidays and now needed to find a house as fast as we could during the slowest selling time of the year.

The January chill could be felt in the cold rooms as we opened doors and closed cupboards, but somehow we were warming up to the idea of this house.

There were a lot of beautiful firsts in our first home, but we were about to make new ones in a new house and start this crazy adventure.

The "adventure" had officially started four months previous.
 
 My youngest sister decided to move back to our little home town of Guelph, Ontario. She had just finished school and wanted to begin her career and pay off her dreaded student loan. While she was in transition we offered our home to her. 
 

We were clearly at different stages in life, being five years apart, yet we had always wishfully discussed being roommates in college and how much fun we could have conjured up together.

  
 As soon as she toyed with the idea of moving in to town again, I had already offered for her to move in with US!


My husband is the most giving and family oriented man I know.
 
 
He agreed to her staying with our little family and then suggested she move in permanently with us!! Bless his heart for putting up with two women!


It had already been four months by the day in January when we were looking at houses. That is a longgggggggg time for an Auntie to share a bed with her four year old nephew who enjoys sleeping like a starfish and who is skilled at hoarding blankets.
 
My kiddies loved having her around though!
 
 
When we told them the news that she was staying indefinitely and the days of sharing a bed were limited. We all rejoiced!
 
 
It was time to get a bigger house and to full fill my dreams of stealing sharing make up, stealing borrowing clothing and girl talk.
It was also going to be awesome to have another female to assist me in wrestling away the remote.

 
We were all excited and frightened at how much work we were going to be taking on.The all-blue-house that I swore we wouldn't love was going to be ours.
 
Suddenly my husband and I became very optimistic about the ways we could recreate this house that would be ours.

The split level house had four floors of dirty blue carpet but suddenly they weren't as plug-your-nose-worthy when we realized it was a quick fix.
 
 
The walls we wanted to build and tear down didn't seem like a big deal anymore either but an opportunity to buy more power tools. 
  

The sassy brassy fixtures and ginormous faux crystal light fixtures were now an opportunity to add our own special touch.
 
 
The architectural elements like the basically non existent trim and moldings made us pause to think of what we were capable of creating. 
 

This move was going to be big and daunting but it was going to be awesome! We were going to take this house that was just "good" and make it "great"!!!!

My husband gave me a two week deadline. He promised the house would be gutted and put back together in two weeks. Laughable I know. But he can be very convincing and has never steered me wrong.
 

A year and a half later we are still spending every free minute lovingly rebuilding this house; I remind him of this fact.
Every. Single. Day.

Here is a closer look at what we began with...

 
Perfect location for us? Check.
  Nice long driveway for multiple cars? Check.
Bigger home with lots of potential? Check.
 
 
Weed filled garden? Check.
Rusty swing set left in the backyard? Check.
Dead house plant braving the weather on front porch? Check.
 
 
Yucky linoleum peeling up in every corner? Check.
 
 
Bulk heads everywhere? Check.
 
 
Mismatched appliances? Check.
Missing washer and dryer? Check.
Blue walls, counter and floor? Check.
 
 
Random kitchen cabinets in odd half-wall-corners? Check.
Random cabinet taken with old owners? Check.
Weird? Check.
 
 
Filthy bathrooms? Check.Check. Check.
No window treatments on bathroom windows? Eeek! Check.
 
 
Framed picture within a frame? Check.
  
 
More two toned blue walls? Check.
 
 
Broken windows? Check.
Blind pulled up halfway to disguise its brokenness? Check.
Smallest master bedroom ever? Check.
 

 This house needed a top to bottom cleaning and a lot of work to bring it up to where we wanted it to be, but we are dreamers and doers and that combination is deadly in renovation and remodeling projects!

After a few days of prayerful consideration and going back and forth with negotiations the big-ole-outdated-house was our new little project.

And you know what? The excitement soon over grew the fear and we knew we could shine this little gem into a family jewel. 

We were about to jump head first into a world of renovations that we had never done before!!

The sight of this little girl surrounded by boxes and accessories for our new home meant the chaos had  begun.
 There was no turning back.

It was moving day.
 

Welcome to This Little Estate... population us.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Welcome!

Hi Friend! Welcome!!
 
"This Little Estate" is a new endeavor; a blog about my little families lives. 
You are welcome to follow along as we commit to turning our outdated cookie-cutter home into a sweet indulgence for the eyes and soul. A home that is stylish, sensible and sustainable. 

 While we journey through cheers and tears and endeavor to inspire others in big and little ways, I hope you will join us as we do-it-ourselves, constantly create, stay active and get fuelled back up again by eating well and a lot.

Join us for the constant adventures!
 

As an avid design enthusiast I have always had a passion for everything DIY, crafts, remodeling and all things home. I am a lover of everything re inventive, domesticated, beautiful, vintage, smile inspiring and laughter inducing.

I am married to a gracious and detail oriented handy man who over looks my paint stained hands and clothes and ignores my unhealthy addiction to thrifting and furniture hoarding. He endures my constant rearranging, tinkering and melodramatic ways and joins in to offer a level headed way of thinking.

 
Together we are trying to see the glass half full while trying to kick our bad habit of taking on too many projects at a time. 

 
Since becoming a family of five in May 2012 much has changed! 
For the first time in our lives I am at home with my babies (for now, business endeavor to come and build!) I desperatly want to capture this precious fleeting time with our sweet little crazies and thought this would be a great way to do so!
 
 
 
I am an active Mama, but one who is still just trying to keep up with the kids!With renos and life flying by I want to embrace all the little moments.
 
  
 
 Between crafting, cooking and creating we love to use up our energy by discovering all the corners of our beautiful little town.


On our travels our kiddies have learned to brace themselves for the impending immediate stop of a yard sale and curb side "treasure hunt" for some mommy-child bonding time all while trying to view life through rose coloured shades.
 
 



This is for all of our family and friends and soon to be friends.

Consider this your official invite into our home!!
This is a place where I know like minded people won't judge my furniture addiction, a place where we can have conversations on how to create and a place where together we can all endeavor to turn our houses into a place we are proud to call home.  

Our furniture is truly always covered in dry wall dust, our rooms are usually littered with power tools and half finished projects are in every corner.
But a true sign of a friend is one who sits next to your laundry piles and uses them as an arm rest, no?

So come on in, dust off a spot and enjoy this memoir of our trials and triumphs and this collection of snapshots from our blessed life.

We are so glad you are visiting today!
We hope you will join us on this journey!

I know we will become fast friends.

 
 
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