Thursday, March 6, 2014

Building Walls ( a house update )

I'm bucking the system here - going rogue lol - because although I know every one is tearing down walls - I'm actually busy building them!

When we bought this house - there was a very narrow hallway from the front door to the kitchen -
These are the original MLS photos ( that most of you have already seen )

I knew the moment I walked in that the wall on the left hand side ( with those glass panels ) had to go
( as well as that weird contraption off the floor on the right side - which was actually a heating duct believe it or not )

Here's what what was one other side of that glassed wall

it was a long - and very narrow room -here's the other side - they had an office space allocated

which could only be accessed through a small door off the hallway - or the doorway you see above from the back of the dining room - didn't work for me at all - and although this room is bright, because of the wall - it left the rest of the downstairs quite dark -

so......................... we opened up the space and what a difference it's made -

we now have this ( Mr. Gorbachev - TEAR DOWN THAT WALL ) I also had that indentation put in to make the entrance way larger.................

Now if I could have had my way I would have opened up the entire main floor - but it's just not possible with the way this house was configured - it would have meant restructuring the entire place and far far too much work was involved - so this had to do.

Plans change as you go - original ideas turn out to be not so great - and other ideas creep up as the process goes along -

I wasn't so crazy about having such a long narrow space - decorating wise it didn't make much sense to me - so after tearing down walls - I decided to actually build one as well :) separating the spaces

leaving us space for a small dining room on the opposite side of the living room - open to each other
across the hallway................

and a small office on the main floor.

The dining room off the kitchen will now become a family room - for me - in this house - it makes more sense.  It opens up the front of the house - and allows us to entertain a little easier ( if I can ever finish the place and actually entertain that is.............)

I haven't had anyone over for dinner in 3 months - NO one !!!

Before  ( Ok Bliss this one's for you )

NOW - ( the carpet's there to protect the floor lol - I'm not decorating while building is going on )

 at the very least when you walk in the house now it feels a little more open !
And all that gorgeous fake orange panelling is almost completely gone :)

John says - I hope you're not putting those photos on your blog
Suzan says - Of course I am
John says - I'm begging you to stop this - why can't you wait until it's all finished and decorated before showing people this?
Suzan says - Because I'm documenting the process - don't you want to be able to look back and see how far we've come ?
John says - Yeah I do - I just don't want everyone else to be able to ........

I think the kitchen window may be going in this afternoon -

I have never - ever - in my life - been this exhausted - even when I came home from the hospital with 2 beautiful twin girls - even when I had my son 18 months later - THAT was a walk in the park next to this house :)

Have a great Thursday all !
Much love,


  1. I know it is a huge amount of work but I am positive it will be a showplace when you are finished and the feeling of accomplishment will be amazing. The reconfiguration of the first floor looks so much better. Where did you hide the heating ducts?!

  2. Twin babies and another 18 months later? Wow. I think you were made for this Suzan. LOL I like the idea of how you changed the layout again. It makes sense. I can't wait to see it all finished and decorated as it will look amazing. Hang in there. Hugs.

  3. Good Morning Suzan, WOW! It is really taking on the Suzan and John persona now! I LOVE it. I know it is exhausting, but this summer as you are sitting by the pool with frozen drink in will have been all worth it! Hang in there, it look mah-va-lous!

  4. Even though it is exhausting (twin girls and a son 18 months later. REALLY???) it is going to be soooo worth it. We love seeing the work in progress. xo Laura

  5. You crazy girl! Renovation on this scale is a long project and you're going at a super fast pace! take some time off before you burn yourself out!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and I know I'd be just the same if this were my house...) It's coming together beautifully! xoxox

  6. Suzan,
    It looks great. It will all be worth it in the end. I know with how exhausted you are that is probably hard to believe but it will and it is good you are documenting the process to remind you down the road where you come from with this diamond in the rough. It is looking super sweet my friend.

  7. You are exactly right. Home renovation is more tiring than childbirth! We have done renovation three times (not to the same house, mind you) and house building once! No more! I get a headache just thinking about it all. Your home will look great! Get some rest along the way. Go out to eat with those friends you haven't invited over lately. But I can't wait to see your results. ;))) Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  8. Is that the same view? I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this tear out. Help me.

  9. Make sure you preserve a piece of the orange paneling framed in a gorgeous frame so the house will have a ancestor portrait to hang over the stone fireplace. You need to host a dinner party for people to come and help you renovate. Just think, black tie, wine, and sanders!

    Also with Bliss above, I cannot picture the entrance anymore. Where the low wall with the heater duct go?

  10. I love the process! And I love new construction and renovation. Progress! It's so nice seeing so much white emerging, rather than all the woodtones. Love it! So nice that Mr. Gorbachev would come to help you out! LOL

  11. I'm loving the way you opened up that space! Also having a small office will be nice too!
    Yikes, Suzan! Twins and then another 18 months later?! Wow. We were the last of six and my mom said she wouldn't wish twins on anyone (thanks, Mom!). She said we were a lot of work. So you go, girl! When you're all done with this house, you will have such a sense of accomplishment! It's looking so much better and I'm sure it's thanking you for beautifying it!

  12. You are doing a great job. I like to document a renovation process too, it's fun to look back at those pictures (though we don't do them ourselves, we're ill-equipped in the skills department).

  13. Thanks for the additional photo, NOW I can see it without having to drive to Canada.

  14. You had 3 children in less than 2 years? How did I not realize this? If it were me I would open every single conversation and blog post with that fact!
    Please tell John that we thrive on the in-progress photos and reports. If you just show us 'before' and 'done' we'd all be like, 'How'd she do that?'
    I do not see where you have re-installed the smoke detector. I'd like to ensure that you have it operational, for your safety. Bliss, if you drive to Canada, pick me up on the way, I've got an inspection to do.

  15. It's looking so great Suzan!! It's absolutely amazing how much you guys are getting done. You must be so happy to be rid of all that orange panelling.

  16. The transformation is already amazing. And, just like you, when everyone is opening their houses, I also chose to rebuild one wall... And as I have frequent headaches and work from home a lot, I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to close the kitchen door when one of the machines is on! Also, walls are quite convenient for furniture!

  17. Oh sweetheart I'm so sorry that you are so exhausted. I'm sure it's emotional and physical. What you're doing is a lot at once. Love your plans and I like that you're sharing every step with us. Truth be told I get exhausted for you when I read your posts. I can't wait to see the window in place. So exciting. Hang in there!!


  18. suzan.... all these lovely post just gave me an idea you can invite all of us loyal readers up this summer when your done we can all bring sleeping bags and sleep all over the house that will be gorgeous by then can tell john that you are doing the invites so he can have a nervous break-down lmho xx

    1. You can all come up - gladly - but you have to bring a sleeping bag AND a tool - there's no way it'll be finished LMHO !!!

  19. Ohhhhhhhhh but its awesome it really is looking great! {says the apt dweller whose never had to live threw renovations but} I'm so loving seeing your changes. Hang in there. 8-)

    1. And I wouldn't wish this particular one on my worst enemy - seriously lol
      Thanks Anj xxx

  20. I will never, ever, ever attempt a job like this. I thank you for sharing. Now I know how hard it is and the reality of it all! No thanks. You tell John it was a public service! You will have a beautiful home when it's all completed, Suze. Here's to you!

  21. Looks like you are making great progress, I'm sure you can't wait until it is all done! Laura

  22. I could always hide from my house during renos but with the kids, it was always a little more trickier. They could always find me and I didn't even have twins. You must have had some great hiding spots! Your renos are coming along so much more quickly than mine. I curse Canada Customs and their lax efforts they put into their jobs. They are holding my ceiling tiles hostage which in turn is holding me up from laying my floor. I spit on them, "patooey!" That was me spitting!

  23. That fake orange paneling makes my eyes hurt! :) Don't you wonder how & why the previous owners had that vent thing in the floor?? Looks so awkward.

    Girlfriend, I have absolutely no clue how you're doing all this. Having folks over for dinner would be a walk in the park compared to the work involved in this reno. It's going to be absolutely gorgeous when you're finished!


  24. You have such vision...I don't know how you do it! But you have a REALLY great hubby, don't you? Sweet hugs to you both!

  25. It is getting there, Suzan. You know you can do this- tired or not. I love how John thinks-doesn't he know that all of us following along is half the fun?

    Looking good....really good so far-xo Diana

  26. I can't get over how different it looks. You've really done a LOT of wonder you are so exhausted! When it's all done, you will have one gorgeous home to relax in!

  27. You really have come so far. It already look MUCH better than the original

  28. I an only imagine how pooped you are, girl. But keep up the great work. You are doing a fabulous job!!!! :)

    xoxo laurie

  29. We're building wall too, after 7 years of not being able to get the room right we decided to make it 2 rooms. Maybe you need to take a weekend away and just rest and recharge, worse than twins should be granted a short reprieve.

  30. Suzan, your house looks better and better with every post update! I'm envious of your progress. The good thing for me is, because I'm behind....I can still get great ideas from you! Looking forward to seeing that window in.

  31. Dearest Sweet Suzy, I do hope you get this baby birthed soon. You are making great progress and I can't wait to see the window and the black and white kitchen floors.
    Love ya girl, Ginger

  32. I thought you had a lot on your plate before with the painting, renovating, etc you were doing...but building walls too? You sure are ambitious but I bet it's going to look amazing!
    Debbie :)

  33. You have done so much in such a short time it's no wonder your exhausted. I get tired just reading about all the stuff you have been doing. The house is really starting to look like a Suzan house, and you have some amazing features in that house. I think you guys need a vacation, take off for a week and do something for you. The house and the renovations will be there when you get back. hugs Tobey

  34. Oohhhhh...more more more. Get busy and show us more. =D Loving it!!


  35. That white paint makes an incredible difference and really brightens the place up. This sounds like one massive undertaking, but you will have something gorgeous to show for your effort when it's all completed.