Archive for the ‘House project’ Category

I am lucky that my work is also my passion and hobby. My mind never stops thinking about how to make decor updates and changes in my own home, especially when the seasons change. With spring around the corner, I am changing it again. This time I decided to play with one of my favourite colours: turquoise. My inspiration was a Bitossi piece I bought at an antique store.




I love brining spring inside. Tip: repot the plants, no yellow or pink liners needed, keep it simple.


It started with a couple of candlesticks. Tip: buy things in pairs or threes.


For Easter I inserted the turquoise here and there…






My dog Gus watches me as I work. 

A few cherished items grouped together.

turquoise-16Buddha gets a backdrop of mountains. Tip: Layer things on your bookshelf.


Yellow tulips lasts the longest, that’s what my mom said anyway.



Two glass bottles found in my bedroom got a new spot on the living room book shelf. Tip: use dried flowers instead of fake or real, these hydrangeas are from my garden last fall.


I needed some art to layer on my book-case and printed up personal photos in the right colour tones. Tip: Ikea frames have great mats, order your prints to fit in these frames.


Old books look great stacked. Tip: remember to have your books at the edge of the shelf, not pushed in. turquoise-21

Tip: group old with old, worn with wornturquoise-22


turquoise-29And here my treasures come to life.


Tip: repeat colours, patterns and textures.

Lighting is very important. Tip: a good reading lamp is a must have in every living room.

The spring refresh is done.




I can help you with yours.


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I am so delighted with the feature of our house in the April 2014 issues of Avenue Magazine. It feels surreal to have your own home depicted so nicely. It was a long day of photography, but the crew from Avenue was so fun to work with and the end result is great. Here are the pages, and if they are hard to read you can download the Avenue reader for your tablet and read it there.

Here is also a clip from a recent CTV morning show I was on in regards to this article.


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It’s been a while since I updated the house project. I had planned to blog about the progress but to be honest, the project took over my life and I often felt overwhelmed with all the issues. Every day there was something to deal with, and often issues that were not uplifting and fun to write about. It started with asbestos discovered in the existing house, and when the house was removed eventually the soil was potentially too soft. After testing it, and several hundred dollars later, the soil was fine. Then the foundation was poured too high, or the hole was not deep enough, the framers went on holidays because we were delayed. On and on it went, but I have realized this is just the way it goes in this industry. Looking back, there are were many many negative things that happened (everyday was a new challenge) but now that I could sit down and write about it, I feel I don’t want to bring up the past where the memories are sometimes painful. I would rather focus on the fact that I live in my dream home and am so grateful for it.

The trades I hired to do the interior (I was not in charge of the build up until drywall) were great. They worked sometimes on top of each other, and even if many don’t like this, they put up with it. And I am grateful, because it meant we could move in sooner.

With all the issues, I can say we actually made it in here on a good schedule. We started digging in June 2012 and moved in April 5, 2013.

Today our house was featured in the April 2014 issue of Avenue Magazine, Calgary’s monthly lifestyle magazine. They did a wonderful job. I will create a link to the on-line version once it becomes available.

Until then… here are a few moments from the build…

Demolition June 28

Demolition June 28

July 18

July 18

August 8

August 8

September 8

September 8

September 5

September 5

Helpers Gus and Oliver

Helpers Gus and Oliver

Upper floor

Upper floor


Stairs up


Bath goes upstairs

Kitchen in boxes



Finally! It was worth the effort!

More photos here…

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We have had the most amazing fall weather which is great when you are framing a house. As is to be expected the house build is going slower than I would like, but I have promised myself not to get fussed. So far so good.
Last night we had some good friends over for dinner but we started the night on the deck of the new house. It was a lovely warm evening as we sat and enjoyed a drink and homemade guacamole. When we were sitting there a very interesting bird landed on the roof rafters. And thanks to google I quickly figured out it was a Northern Flicker. Maybe not a rare bird, but to us it was…

Photo source

We did the grand tour of the house which now consists of two stories and some roof rafters and gravel in the basement.

Deck and first floor done.



Peeking out of the office

Helpers Gus and Oliver

Upper floor

Flicker on the rafter

Tomorrow they are installing Plastispan Insultaion Board to the basement floor which will have in floor heating. We will be filming it for Plastifab, stay tuned.

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Since my last update we now have a basement and are starting to get a feeling of the size. The big basement windows are great, I am glad we added a couple (from the original drawing).
There was a worry that the house or the rooms were too small. But I am glad the house is not bigger. I see so many homes that have unused space, empty rooms or rooms filled with furniture that no one uses.


This tree was almost removed by mistake. I am so glad it is still standing. I would like to know what kind of tree this is? Perhaps it will become clear once the fruit gets a bit bigger…It kind of looks like pears, but I don’t think pears grow here. However looking at this site, it sure does look like pears.

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Everyday there is something happening. It may be progress or it may be a slow down. Today the cement trucks broke down apparently. But we have a start. There will be a house there.


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House build update –

It has been a while since my last update. But now I have something positive to report. The house is almost gone. It seems like forever, and it has been. But we had to remove asbestos from the drywall and stucco before taking the house down. In the process I have learned a lot about this nuisance (asbestos), and for one, many many many small houses are demolished in Calgary, probably daily, asbestos and all. Not sure why this is still not regulated more, i.e. why a builder does not have to prove a house is asbestos free. As far as I could tell, all you have to say is NO on the form and sign your name. My biggest beef with the asbestos is the expense of removing it. If the government somehow got involved and regulated this service, perhaps the removal quotes would not fluctuate with thousand and thousands of dollars. It’s insane.

Here is the house, all cleaned up. I was very pleased at how clean the company: Clean Air Services, left the site. My only beef with them is they don’t accept credit cards for payment.

So here we are during demolition. The heavy equipment operator (who thanked me profusely for removing the asbestos) was kind enough to save me some cedar ceiling. I am hoping to make one of two benches out of that great wood.

Well you could say the asbestos issue was not a good start to the project… and it sure feels like I have to say goodbye to the Miele steam oven I have been coveting… a luxury I can live without. There are some things I am not willing to compromise on, but other things I can. There will be a lot of back and forth in the coming months as to choosing and picking materials and finishes, so many decisions to be made, and yes even for me it feels a bit overwhelming. But there is no going back now. One step at a time.

Stay tuned ~

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