Sunday, April 6, 2014

Reluctant Renovator: Are We There Yet?

It's been eighteen months since we embarked on 
our renovation journey 
and I've finally gotten around to asking myself if "we're there yet".

I have a sneaking suspicion that, for me at least, when it comes to our home renovation we're never actually going to arrive, simply because my "there" is a tad too Utopian.

Far from being frustrated, I'm actually very content with this idea of a never-ending renovation journey especially since I'm now enjoying some major accomplishments.  All this to say that it's a excellent time to take stock of what we've done, where we are, and where we want to go from here.

First things first though ...

Who Are We?

We're a family of six living out in the 'burbs of Ottawa.  As you can see, three members of the family happen to be of the canine variety which, believe you me, complicates any home design/decoration project we undertake.  Our dogs are well-trained & well-behaved (and the only members of the family willing to have their pictures posted on social media) but it still pays to be proactive in creating an inclusive environment.

I'll probably be mentioning design decisions based on the dogs much more often than those based on my husband or daughter.

With the exception of our daughter, this is our "forever" home.  We've been here a while and have no intention of moving; renovation for resale is not on our minds.  

We basically know what works and what doesn't; figuring out how to fix various problems is another story.

What Do We Want?

Every good systems analyst knows that they should identify the problems before jumping to solutions.  I know this, I believe in this, and for the most part I try to follow this though I have been know to find a solution (in the form of a beautiful wall panel for example) to a problem that may not have existed.

I also feel compelled to mention that I know the difference between wants & needs and yet strongly believe that a splash of whimsy is absolutely needed in my home.

So here are some of the things we are looking for.

More Light

Never underestimate the importance of light!  Our house was one of the first to be built on the block which meant no next-door neighbours and an abundance of natural light.  Unfortunately, the houses that were eventually constructed ended up being rather large, think of us as living in Stuart Little's house and you get the picture.  They stole a lot of our light and we need to compensate.

More Modern

Perhaps what I really mean to say is more classic.  As you can see, the kitchen though still fairly functional, looked dated.  Note the lovely 90's bulkhead above the cabinetry and imagine the buzzing fluorescent light panel above the island.  There was nothing classic to preserve here.

All the major appliances were dead (the fridge breathed its last the day we decided to go ahead with the reno) or dying.  The while cupboard doors had each managed to achieve their own individual shade of yellow.  The tile floor had "failed" and was spitting grout at an alarming rate.

Need I say more?

Less Clutter

The older I get, the more I understand how detrimental visual clutter can be.  After years of collecting it was long-past time for curating.  Getting rid of this wallpaper was easy, getting rid of a half-life's worth of nick nacks, pictures, photos etc. is still ongoing.  Watching the occasional episode of Hoarders helps.

Our battle cry is "we will no longer be oppressed by garbage".

Are We There Yet?

Have we arrived at the home of our dreams; a place that's light, bright & beautiful , easy to clean, safe for our pets, welcoming to friends & family and comfortable for us?  

I'm convinced that we're moving in the right direction and I'm looking forward to sharing our adventures, achievements and even our failures with you.

Stay tuned!

Reluctant Renovator: Are We There Yet? by  on 2014-04-06
You have to know where you're going to know when you get there.

Images: Tatiana Dokuchic; The Money Pit: Unknown; Under the Tuscan Sun: Unknown; Stuart Little's House:Unknown

Find Tatiana Dokuchic on Google+


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Andrea! We've been working hard on it and it certainly has been an adventure.

  2. ha ha! I hear your battle cry. Mine is similar...I will not be oppressed by furniture I do not like! ;-) I love the pups and totally get the design considerations biggest "pet peeve" is not being able to buy the carpets I love.

    1. Yes, I dream of carpets ... a nice oriental runner in the kitchen ... something besides the indoor/outdoor carpet at the front door (though that one actually doesn't look half bad). Ah well, a carpet can't provide unconditional love like a furry friend can.

      Thanks for dropping by, Mere. BTW love your bathroom "perk up", the stenciling especially turned out great!

    2. I also discovered indoor/outdoor carpets are perfect with the dog! I didn't realize mine was an outdoor carpet (duh!) until I had it in the living room for a few months. Ideal for both kids and dogs. I'm actually on the lookout for another one to add some Spring to the same room now. Thanks for the stencil kudos -- I appreciate it :-)

    3. You might want to try Pier One Imports. I haven't looked this spring yet but they often have a great selection of outdoor carpets.

  3. It's funny how the clutter we loved in the past becomes so "less" appealing. Looking forward to following along ( and great to find a closer to home blogger)

    1. Thanks for stopping in, Linda. I agree, it's very cool to connect with local bloggers :)

      I'm afraid that I've reached the point in my life where I can look at a beautiful collection of objects and the first thing I think is "now who is going to dust all that". Go figure.

  4. Great guidelines to use when making decisions for your reno. I really connected with reducing visual clutter. That is why I will probably never use patterned wallpaper again. I much prefer a fabulous colour of paint. Keep us posted with your progress!

    1. With your keen organizational skills I thought you would relate to that, Thea :)

      Patterned wallpaper actually seems to be making a come back but a little really goes a long way. For now, I'm working on keeping things simple.

      Thanks for taking a look!

  5. I think it's great that you stopped to take stock. I tend to get caught up in all the projects and lose the big picture. And I am with you on decluttering - so necessary but tough to do!

    1. I'm the same way, Dani as I tend to flit from one project to the next. Too many projects, too little time! That's probably why it took me 18 months to get to this summary :)

      So glad you could pop by!

  6. I can so relate to your desire to get rid of the clutter! It makes me crazy! I want to blitz the house and throw everything away. Then I lie down until the feeling passes! ;-) Good luck on your journey!

    1. I really did laugh out loud at your comment, Robin :)

      I've been known to take a nap to curb my ambition at times. That short sleep has probably saved me from some doubtful heat-of-the-moment decisions.

      Thanks for the luck & for stopping by!