The Reno begins

After writing about homes, renovations and decor for the better part of the last three years, I thought I knew what I was talking about when in came to home makeovers. However, now that I’m actually going through the process myself, I realize that my knowledge was weirdly varied, at times very in depth, but often on the newest and trendiest of products. I don’t know too much about the nitty gritty about getting it done. This past week I had my first big experience with this renovation: Trades day.

I did not know what Trades day was, but it is when our contractor rounds up all the trades guys, from demolition to finishing, to come into the place to give us more exact estimates. For the record, I am SOOO happy we decided to hire a contractor. Not only is it going to be easier on us, but it’s going to be so much nicer. The top two floors of my home are going to look like a new showhome, something I do know lot about. Anyways, Trades day was kind of crazy, made even more so by me trying to calm a crying baby for four hours as I met everyone who is going to take care of our place.

I am really excited to start to post “during” photos, but right now I’m still stuck with the before. The weather has finally turned, so I was able to get outside and take some photos of our beautiful backyard.


With fantastic southern exposure, our yard is going to be dripping in sunlight more often than not – definitely something we want to take advantage of. Unsure whether that arbour is something we can take advantage of yet …IMG_0734

This is where the french doors from the dining room will come out to the deck, which will cascade down to the ground. Much preferable to … whatever this is. This is not good. This is not to code, so it better be removed by the time we take possession. Cannot wait to see our contractor’s drawings for the deck.IMG_0740

And this is why we love our lot. There is so much space, especially when you compare it to most of the new builds going up in Calgary’s suburbs – you’re lucky if you get a side yard! Here, even with a substantial deck, there’s still room for a double-car garage and lots of grass for X to run around on.Floors

One of our biggest choices to make is about the flooring – do we keep the original hardwood from the 50s, or go all new? Our flooring guy is big on the new stuff – the price is essentially the same, so it really comes down to taste. I like the variation and character with the oak floors here; I am less enamoured with the skinniness of the planks (I’ve been advised this really dates the place). We need to make up our minds quick! One good thing about going new is that we know the quality of the wood – we don’t know how much this wood in place has been refinished, so how many more times we can refinish. I’m really torn on this one.Ceiling

I wanted to include some of the little details that need to be changed at our place. This is the glorious ceiling, along with an example of the beautiful lighting fixtures we’re dealing with. Love the colour, eh? This is all coming down – I think we’ll end up with knockdown ceiling and lots of potlights. It’s going to be a much cleaner look.Entrance2

This front entrance is also giving us a headache. I think we’ve decided to build a closet where you see those shoes and take out that little wall. It should open things up, but then we’re going to extend the tile from the front entrance out a little further, so guests aren’t teetering on a tiny patch of tile!SmokedMirrorsAnd just to remind you of the awesomeness this house was, here’s the wall of smoked mirrors again. It’s been suggested that we simply move these up to the master bedroom. I relayed this suggestion to the contractor, who I hope didn’t take me seriously.

Word of the day:

Bespoke: (of clothes) made to individual order; custom-made: a bespoke jacket; making or selling such clothes: a bespoke tailor


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