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Filtering by Category: Design

Modern Nursery Reveal.

Andrea Porritt

I have been so excited to reveal my nursery and today is the day!! When I first started designing the space one of the main things that I had to focus on was making it gender neutral. Dennis and I decided not to find out the sex of our little babe and I of course wanted to have everything fully set up and ready to go for the big arrival.  The space also needed to be calming for me as I know I'll be spending a LOT of time in there... So I decided on neutral colours and lots natural textures - wood, linen, wool - to tie everything together.

I kept all the furniture in the room neutral so it would all blend nicely and not make the room feel too small. The crib is Babyletto which we purchased from Westcoast Kids in Vancouver and I love the clean lines and stylish design. The glider and dresser are both from Lexi and Lake here in Kelowna. The dresser is definitely my favourite piece in the room, it was also the most spend-y. As a design lover I dread the bright, plastic-y aesthetic of most baby gear, which is why I decided to invest in a forever piece that I know I will love long after the nursery days are over. These beautiful quality pieces helped create a gorgeous framework for me to work with and helped set the tone for the entire room. 

Once I had these main pieces nailed down I started to build the rest of the room around them - rug, drapes, decor, etc. It was a bit challenging as there are so many options to choose from! I wanted it to feel clean and uncluttered, modern but cosy.

I struggled a bit with the rug but eventually settled on this scandinavian inspired wool rug from Ikea. The rug is a creamy light beige, which layers really well with all the other whites happening in the room. I knew that a totally all white rug would be a bit of a problem, but I find this one to be a little more forgiving. I layered it with a faux sheepskin and man is it cosy! My chocolate lab Rypien is especially fond if it!

The window treatments are from Restoration Hardware. I ordered them online and am quite pleased with how they turned out - they're great quality and add a nice amount of softness to the room. I went with the Belgian Heavyweight Textured Linen in Natural. I find that linen in particular has such a beautiful texture and I love the way the fabric drapes and breaks. Although these drapes are lined they aren't blackout, but I did install a roll down blackout blind for the same window. 

I knew I wanted to add a bit of pattern, something really soft and not too busy, but wasn't keen on the idea of wallpaper. So I decided to go with some decals from Urban Walls for a little fun and whimsy. I decided on their irregular shaped dots in light grey and placed them randomly on the wall behind the crib. Unlike wallpaper, these were an installation dream! And they totally made the space feel special without being labour intensive. Just peel and stick! But what I love most about them is that they can easily be removed and won't damage your walls!

And of course no nursery would be complete without a mobile, and this brass moon mobile from Restoration Hardware was such a great addition to the space.

Many of the pieces I bought for the nursery were purchased sight unseen which can be tricky! Not being able to see a product before committing to it can be terrifying. I kept thinking... what if it doesn't go together? What if it doesn't flow? But somehow it all worked out in the end. I was patient with my choices which I think had a lot to do with it. It took me about two months to complete this room - including sourcing all the pieces that I wanted and waiting on products to be shipped. Everything came together slowly and eventually the room came to life. 

This is one lucky little baby. And I'm clearly a very lucky mama who's job it was to design such a special space. This nursery might just be my new favourite room in the house! All the hearts in the world for my little babe.

Modern Nursery Reveal
Modern Nursery.

Nursery Ideas.

Andrea Porritt

I've slowly been working on clearing out the nursery room - it's basically been the junk room since we moved into our house almost two years ago. The original intention was to make this room my office with beautiful built in bookshelves, but all that changed once we found out we were pregnant. So I've spent the last few weeks slowly going through everything, throwing stuff away, shredding old documents and moving things out.

My vision for the nursery is to have it be as uncluttered as possible, which could be challenging since it seems like you need an endless supply of stuff for a baby. I really want to keep things to the basics and only get the things that are absolutely crucial. I haven't really started purchasing yet, but I've slowly been researching and creating a plan so that I know everything will work together.

The room isn't huge but it isn't tiny either so I have some flexibility that way, but I definitely don't want to fill it up with stuff just because. Besides the crib, glider/rocker, and dresser I'm also considering a cozy neutral rug and a small floating shelf for toys and books - and that's hopefully it. I think that's pretty standard right? Am I missing anything??

I'm going to hold off on any decor and accessory items until I get the main pieces in place. Again, I'm not planning on going nuts here... Just a few key pieces that will add some texture, tie everything together and make the room pop. I've been eyeing up some baskets for storage, a cool mobile and of course some pretty wall art.

Well, that's really all the updates I have so far, excited to get it started and share it with you guys! For anyone that has done this before - I would love some advice on what I'm missing, what's absolutely necessary, and what I don't need that everyone says I do, etc.

Since we don't know the sex of our little babe I've decided to keep the overall nursery plan and design pretty neutral. Here are some of my favourite neutral nursery ideas...

Here are a few of the actual items I'm considering...

Laundry Room Reveal.

Andrea Porritt

It's laundry room reveal day!

It's easy to dismiss a room as a purely functional and utilitarian space and not give it much thought or effort. But whenever we decide to start a new project big or small I flip right into full design/plan/execute mode! And once my mind is set on something, I do whatever it takes to fulfill that vision (within a reasonable budget of course). Thank you Dennis for dealing with my stubbornness. 

Now since this is a laundry room, we needed a place to hang clothes. I wanted something simple that didn't take up too much space so we added a closet rod that extends from the wall all the way over to the cabinets. This has worked out perfectly as it gives us lots of space to hang clothes!

Our laundry room is located on the main floor of our house. It's sandwiched between the kitchen and the garage which means that it also serves as a bit of a mudroom. So it needed to have a closet and lots of storage space. Other must-have features I needed in my laundry room included a deep sink and plenty of counter space for folding clothes.

I intentionally kept everything soft and neutral to create a calming atmosphere while featuring a combination of crisp whites, modern lines and luxe materials that feel on trend yet unique and timeless. I also couldn't resist including some greenery! I mean who doesn't love a cactus and a few orchids!

Laundry Room Reveal.

Laundry Room Details:

White Subway Tile Backsplash - Small's Tile & Flooring

Tile Flooring - Small's Tile & Flooring.

Riobel Faucet - Bath's by Design.

Wall Colour - Benjamin Moore 'White Heron'.

Lew's Hardware Bar Pull Series in Brushed Brass.

Light Fixture - similar here and here

 

Living Room Reveal.

Andrea Porritt

I am so excited to be revealing my living room with you!

When I first started designing this room I really wanted it to be a place I wanted to live in - casual and comfy but also refined, chic, stylish and timeless. I wanted a space where I could entertain, edit blog posts, hang out with family and friends and lounge around without having it feel too stuffy or uninviting.

Since our living room is right off our kitchen I decided to use the same colour scheme and play off the colour of our kitchen cabinets. I chose a palette of subdued neutrals and bluey greys with accents of gold and greenery. The space also has a ton of natural light, thanks to our floor to ceiling windows, so I wanted to keep the vibe light and airy. 

The room is a bit of an eclectic collection of furniture, which I like. We bought some new pieces, such as our sofa (which I love!!) but mixed them with some furniture we already had. 

Our living room is still a bit of a work-in-progress, as I'm thinking of adding some floor to ceiling drapes for a bit more texture and maybe a couple of small ottomans or poufs for some extra seating. But overall I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out so far and I love being able to cozy up in this space with my family and friends.

3 Tips for Keeping Your Fig Tree Fit as a Fiddle.

Andrea Porritt

A few months ago, I was on the hunt for a new good looking house plant for a dead corner in my home. I needed a plant with a bit of scale and height as well as something that would work with the modern decor of my house. After sussing out a few different options at my local nursery, the fiddle leaf fig seemed to fit the mold perfectly. I loooove this plant! And I've been seeing it everywhere lately, from design magazines and blogs to boutique stores and social media. Even The New York Times dubbed the fiddle leaf fig "the 'It' plant of the design world." 

While fiddle leaf figs are relatively low maintenance, there are a few tried-and-true methods for keeping them healthy and beautiful. The good news is, if I can take care of one, you can too! I've had my fiddle leaf fig for about 6 months now and it seems to be doing pretty well so I'd thought I'd share 3 tips that will help keep them healthy and happy.

WATER

Water your fig tree when the top inch of the soil is dry. The easiest way to tell if it's dry is to stick your finger in the soil. Pretty soon you'll figure out how often you need to water. Keep in mind that this may fluctuate based on seasonal humidity, etc. 

Keep your eye out for brown spots on the leaves as these are generally related to too much or too little watering. Also, if your fig starts dropping leaves this could also be an indication of too much or too little water or being exposed to cold air (from a drafty spot) or too much warm air (from a heater). Remember that these trees are native to warm, humid, tropical places where they get consistent moisture and even temperatures. Fiddle leaf figs are pretty easy to grow and don't need special pampering, but the more you can mimic their natural environment, the happier they'll be.

LIGHT

Fiddle leaf figs like it bright! So choose a site where they'll get plenty of light. Keep your fiddle leaf fig in bright, indirect sunlight. In other words, you want it to have a lot of light, but not sunbeams falling directly on it. Just make sure your fig won't have sun shining directly on it since that can damage the leaves. 

REPOTTING or TRIMMING the Root Ball

If you start to see a lot of roots creeping out the bottom of the pot , it's time to either repot into a larger container or root prune. When roots begin to grow out of the bottom of the pot, either re-pot into a container that's a couple of inches bigger or trim the rootball, being sure not to reduce the roots by more than 20 percent. This latter option also keeps the plant from getting too big, if that's a concern.

Master Bathroom Reveal.

Andrea Porritt

Welcome to my master bathroom! So excited to be able to share this space with you guys today! This is where I get to do the 500 brush strokes through my hair every night, and my life is better because of it (just kidding).

I wanted our bathroom to be comfortable, elegant and polished with surfaces that were both simple and easy to clean! I chose neutral colours and a tonal palate of wood, soft muted greys and bright whites. Everything is light, tonal and clean which allows for the space to feel as serene and open as possible.

To avoid it from looking too plain I decided to use the same cabinet hardware as in our kitchen to add a touch of sophisticated interest. Our vanity was custom made by our cabinet maker and I love that it looks like a stand-alone piece of furniture. It's simple, modern and has great storage - cupboards on both ends and two deep drawers down the middle.

The faucets pretty much speak for themselves - they're simple, modern and the polished nickel finish is perfect. I love the gooseneck spout and cross handles. There was a lot to choose from but for this room they were sure winners. We used the same finish and design on all the shower valve trims as well as the tub filler. 

The rain head in our shower has been a game changer and even though I'm not a big bath person I do really love our freestanding tub - a key to modern bathroom design. I didn't include any photos of the toilet but in case any of you were wondering we were lucky to have a spacious enough bathroom to include a separate water closet. This has been ideal for maximum privacy, and we installed a pocket door to avoid door traffic. 

Finally, our bathroom wouldn't be complete without a touch of greenery. I love greenery in bathrooms as I feel that it helps create a connection between the indoors and outdoors. My orchid is definitely right at home in this space.

So there you have it, a full tour of our master bathroom! I've got a few more decor items I'd like to add.... maybe a patterned rug for a pop of colour?? But ultimately we love the space and feel like our hard work has really paid off. Now I'm off for a soak in the tub. Have a great week everyone!

Finishes:

Wall Colour - Benjamin Moore 'White Heron'.

Vanity - Custom.

Cabinet Hardware - Lew's Hardware Bar Series in Brushed Brass.

Countertops - Quartz Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo.

Faucets - Kohler Purist Widespread Lavatory Faucet in Polished Nickel.

Shower Rain Head - Kohler Watertile Rain Shower Panel in Polished Nickel.

Sliding Hand Shower Rail - Riobel in Polished Nickel.

Shower Valves Trim - Kohler Purist in Polished Nickel.

Floor and Shower Tile - Small's Tile & Flooring.

Freestanding Bathtub - Mirolin 'Ashford' Freestanding Tub from Baths by Design.

Freestanding Tub Faucet - Riobel Gooseneck in Polished Nickel.

Sconces - Hinkley 'Margeaux' in Vintage Brass.

Vanity Tray - Martha Sturdy Square Tray in Silver Marble from Lexi & Lake.

Candle - Vancouver Candle Company in Point Grey.

Kitchen Reveal.

Andrea Porritt

I am thrilled to finally be revealing a little more of my house to you guys today! Part of me thought this day would never come! It has been a LONG process but I am so thrilled with how everything turned out. We have worked on this project for over a year, and it's a bit bitter sweet to have it come to an end. Well, that's not entirely true..... We still have some furniture left to buy and do all our landscaping, not to mention bookshelves in my office and the wine room!! But when you design a home from the ground up it sorta becomes your baby.

To kick things off I thought I would start with one of my favourite areas in the house, the kitchen! Kitchens are one of the most technical and time-sensitive spaces in the home. I spent many hours on my kitchen design, from perfecting the drawings with my designer to selecting the appliances and fine tuning the finishes with my cabinet maker. There were also countless hours spent on researching and selecting the perfect hardware, lighting, backsplash, countertops and plumbing fixtures. I took a lot of time on this and wanted everything to be just so because I believe that the beauty is truly in the details. 

I wanted a kitchen that oozed casual elegance, sophisticated yet with a bespoke feel, so we went with a mix of clean lines and traditional elements - blue grey cabinets, a dash of open shelving, subway tile and some dark grey grout. I realized a long time ago that I needed brass hardware in my life so I opted for some amazing brushed gold bar pulls. We decided to finish everything off with a pair of bold kitchen island pendants for a little added drama and atmosphere.

I hope you guys like it! Let me know what you think in the comment section below!

I will slowly be revealing more of our house over the next few months so be sure to check back for more pics! Click the following links to see photos of our dining room table and chairs

Finishes:

Appliances (Gas Range, Microwave, Wall Oven, Warming Drawer, Dishwasher) - Thermador Professional Series from Coast Wholesale Appliances.

Wine Fridge - Marvel Dual Zone Wine Cellar from Coast Wholesale Appliances.

Fridge - Electrolux Icon All Refrigerator and All Freezer from Coast Wholesale Appliances.

Wall Colour - Benjamin Moore 'White Heron'.

Cabinets - Benjamin Moore 'Smoke Grey'.

Kitchen Island - Custom Stain.

Cabinet Hardware - Lew's Hardware Bar Series in Brushed Brass.

Countertops - Quartz Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo.

Back Splash - Subway Tile in White from Small's Tile & Flooring.

Kitchen Faucet - Kohler Purist Primary Pullout Faucet in Polished Nickel from Baths by Design.

Pot Filler - Custom from Baths by Design.

Island Pendants - Jonathan Adler Antwerp Pendants from Lexi and Lake

Floors - Hallmark Floors Alta Vista Hardwood Collection in Malibu from Small's Tile & Flooring.

 

 

Dining Room Chairs 101.

Andrea Porritt

After I was able to pinpoint my dining room table, it was time to move on to chairs!

Decades ago, picking your dining room furniture was not even an issue, as most tables came with a pre-existing set of chairs so you never had to wonder if the pieces worked together.  Thankfully, the days of the dining room sets are well behind us, and the modern home is all about a wonderful amalgamation of different styles, trends, textures and shapes.

Here are five easy steps that will help you pick the perfect dining room chairs:

1.) Dimensions.

Chairs and chair arms should be able to slide under your dining table with ease, but they also must have comfortable lap and leg room when guests are sitting in them. Most dining tables are about 30 inches high. Chair height is generally 18 inches (from the floor to the seat). A rule of thumb is to allow 12 inches between the seat of your chair and your tabletop.

The average dining chair width is roughly 16-20 inches, but I would avoid anything narrower than 17 inches; they just don't provide enough support for the derriere. Since I had the space I opted for max comfort and chose chairs that were 22" wide with a depth of 19.5". I also decided to go with all arm chairs for an extra luxurious feel.  But keep in mind arms will usually add a few inches to the overall width of a single dining chair. So if space is limited, you may want to opt for armless dining chairs or only use dining chairs with arms at the head and foot of your table to conserve space.

2.) Don't Overcrowd Your Table!

If dining chairs are placed right next to each other with no space between them, people will be touching elbows while they eat. So be sure to provide each guest with 24 - 30 inches of space at the dining table. For rectangular tables, add an extra 12 inches at each end for those seated at the head and foot of the table. You'll also want to make sure there is enough room behind your dining chairs for people to slide out easily.

3.) Mix-and-Match.

Mix-and-match sets are in vogue. They're more interesting, but also more challenging to put together. And let me tell you... there are even more chair options out there than tables, so it can be hard to find the right match for your table and lifestyle.

Although it can be chic to pair traditional chairs with a contemporary table, and vice versa, I think its best to try and find pieces that share a common design element. For example, if your dining room table has slightly curved legs look for a chair with a curved back. My dining room table is rectangular so I chose chairs with a rectangular shaped seat.

I also decided to go with chairs that matched each other, but not the table. Another option that has become quite popular is to opt for non-matching chairs - chairs that don't match each other or the table. But whichever way you decide to go, mixing and matching definitely allows for more leeway in purchasing and allows your personal style to shine through!

4.) Style.

Having the perfect dining table is only half the battle when it comes to furnishing your dining room. The right chairs not only set the mood of the room, but take on the responsibility of keeping you, your family and your guests comfortable during a meal. The shape, colour and material of the chairs say a lot about your personal style and can alter the entire look of the dining room. 

There certainly are a zillion different styles out there, from traditional, modern and ladderback to windsor, mission and shaker, the options are simply endless!! Then there's the question of upholstered versus non-upholstered. It's important to take a look at your lifestyle and family when making a decision about upholstery and fabrics. An upholstered chair seat and back creates a more traditional, glam feel, while an all wood or all metal chair offers a more streamlined look that's easier to clean.

I opted for a modern but slightly formal look with our dining room chairs, as this was a good match for our dining table and the rest of our house. We decided on the Harput Wood Dining Room Chairs from Soho Concept. I love the clean lines and simple shape of these chairs (key details for a modern look), and decided on a classic neutral fabric in a silver-grey for a more sophisticated feel. I bought our dining chairs from the lovely ladies at Lexi & Lake, a fabulous boutique store here in Kelowna that specializes in modern furniture and home accessories. A must visit if you love design and anything modern or contemporary!

5.) Comfort is Key.

Whatever chairs you decide to go with, make sure they're comfortable! As great as some chairs look, if you can't sit through a meal in them they're not going to do you any good. SO when you're out looking be sure to take your time and sit in the chairs. And if your back starts to ache after five minutes, it's time to move on.

So go forth and choose wisely. With so many option available, you're sure to find one that suits!

Dining Room Details:

Soho Concept Harput Wood Dining Chair in Camira Wool from Lexi & Lake.

Calvin Dining Room Table from Once a Tree Furniture.

Picking the Perfect Dining Room Table.

Andrea Porritt

Well it's been two months since Dennis, Rypien (furry) and I moved into our new house and so far so good! We've slowly been making our way into the furniture phase but to be honest, I'm still a little burnt out from all the decision making that went into picking everything for the house. But after moving in we realized that there were a few things we needed right away, and for us that was a new dining room table and chairs.

Now choosing the right dining room furniture was a bit of an overwhelming affair, especially since I didn't know exactly what I was looking for at first. There are so many shapes and sizes of dining tables, the options are simply endless!  Which one would be right for me? The look of your table is important, of course, but making sure it fits your space and gives enough seating is even more critical. But after a bit of research and rifling through a serious stack of design magazines I was able to find my stride and narrow down my options. So incase any of you find yourselves in a similar situation and have no idea where to even start, here are a few tips and tricks that I learned along the way.

1.) Shape.

One of the first decisions that I needed to make was what the shape of our dining room table was going to be. And since our dining room is somewhat long and narrow we opted for a rectangular table. This shape fit the space the best and left lots of room for traffic flow.

Now don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of round tables too, but they tend to be better for small spaces. They're perfect for creating a more intimate setting and you can usually fit more people around them because they have no corners. 

2.) Size.

Be sure to measure the space around the room! This is so important!! The golden rule here is to ensure there is at least 42" - 48" between your table and the edge of any adjoining wall or furniture. This is to allow your diners to sit down and get up easily from their seats.

Now to test out an approximate table size in our dining room I first taped out the area according to the measurements above. I then grabbed a bed sheet, folded it into the appropriate shape and placed it where the table was going to go. This served as a bit of a template for the size of the table and helped me visualize the space that it would take up.

We ended up deciding on a table size of 48" x 85", which seats eight people comfortably and still leaves enough room to walk around it. 

3.) Style.

Once you've got your dimensions figured out you can then move on to style - by far the hardest part! Crafting that brilliant dining room is all about getting the theme and the style right. Since our house has an open floor plan I wanted to opt for a table that seemed like a natural extension of the remainder of the living area.

Now some of you might want to add chic contrast by using a rustic table in a modern space or even a minimalist metal table in a room dominated by warm wood tones. But no matter which style you go with, remember that the table you choose will set the tone for the entire dining area.

After looking at countless options we decided on a solid wood table. These are very durable and long-lasting as most scratches and/or stains can be repaired, however, they do tend to be more expensive. We opted for a dark stain on our table which fits the modern design of our house and gives it a sleek sophistication.

We bought our table from a Vancouver based company called Once a Tree Furniture. I loved these guys! Super helpful, friendly, knowledgeable, and they make all their own furniture onsite right below their showroom! They offer loads of great custom solutions and everything is made with quality materials and expert craftsmanship. As a result, our dining room table is a unique, long lasting and well designed piece that we will enjoy for years to come. Whether it's a lovely evening dinner with the family or a grand holiday celebration, this table will play the ideal host!

Dining Room Details:

Calvin Dining Table from Once a Tree Furniture.

Joyful Front Entryways.

Andrea Porritt

When it comes to decorating for the holidays, you simply cannot forget your front entrance. Many people spend just as much time decorating their front entryways as they do putting up the tree. 

Between holiday parties, friends' dropping in and overnight house guests, our homes are on display more than ever this time of year. And because the front porch is the first thing that your guests will see when they visit you during the holidays, you want to make sure that it offers a festive touch that will last all season long.

Whether you want to make a few quick changes, or you have a more ambitious decorating project in mind, here are a few simple ways that you can add a little holiday cheer to your entryway. 

The welcome wagon.


1.) Wreaths.

The front door wreath is a classic Christmas welcome and an introduction to your home's interior. As a result, it's important to consider your interior colour scheme and  decorating style when buying a wreath. If you have a hard time finding a wreath with your home's interior colour scheme pick a neutral wreath, they are always a safe bet and my absolute favourite!

Be sure to measure your door before you go shopping. My front door is 42 inches wide so I opted for a 24 inch wide wreath. This left me with enough space on each side to serve as a frame around the wreath, which gives it a nice appearance.

Since this is our first Christmas in our new house I opted for a live wreath. I bought this beautiful woodland wreath from Art Knapp and just love its lush simplicity. If you're wanting to add a little extra sparkle, use the ribbon to hang your wreath from the door instead of a hook. Or weave some ribbon all the way around the wreath for something more dramatic. 

2.) Lush Holiday Planters.

You don't have to purchase a lot of decorations to give your entryway a festive touch. If you have large planters, fill them to the brim with seasonal greens, branches and leaves, then add some pinecones, ribbon or red ornaments to make them really pop. Or you could tie a wide red or gold ribbon around the pots and then add your decorations. 

If you don't have any supplies on hand or have simply run out of time just take your planters down to your favourite local nursery and have them make them up for you!  No matter which way you decide to go lush festive planters make for a dramatic holiday greeting at any front door.

3.) Ribbon & Burlap Garland.

This year I opted for a subtle gold ribbon but if you want a more rustic, traditional looking Christmas front entryway, you can use burlap instead. Burlap is relatively inexpensive and makes for great rustic looking decor. Whichever direction you choose, just line your porch rail or your outdoor trees (if you have them) with the ribbon or burlap, add a few lights and you have a beautiful Christmas display that is easy and inexpensive.

4.) Use lots of Lights.

You can really do a lot with clear Christmas lights. I chose to add some to my outdoor planters and just wrapped them around the pine sprigs and holly. I bought two sets (one for each planter) of Micro LED Lights from Art Knapp in Kelowna, but I'm sure you could find them pretty much anywhere. The lights are totally great, they've got three different functions, a timer, and they operate on batteries so you can use them outside. But no matter how decide to use them, outdoor lights are a must for your Christmas decorating!

Exterior Finishes.

Andrea Porritt

This has been one stressful week! I've been running around like a crazy person trying to gather the gargantuan list of documents I needed for the inspector in order to obtain our occupancy permit. But I am delighted to announce that the building inspector was here this morning and we passed!! We have occupancy!! Thank goodness!!!! I can hardly believe it.

And more good news..... We have finally moved in! Have I ever mentioned how much I hate moving!!! Ugh! The worst! All that packing, its just no fun at all. I have slowly been easing my way into the unpacking phase, little by little and box by box. I think the hard part is trying to figure out where to put everything. Moving from a condo to a house has given us so much more room and after unpacking all my kitchen stuff most of my cupboards are still empty!

It definitely feels a bit surreal to finally be in the house. It's been over a year since we started this project, having poured the footings last September! Things have come a long way since then and let me tell ya there certainly has been no shortage of blood, sweat and tears along the way. It's been quite the roller coaster!

We're all still adjusting, Rypien especially (our chocolate lab). Our condo was very open concept so he always kinda knew where you were. But now that we're in the house with its extra floor, additional rooms and square footage he tends to lose track a little more easily. So occasionally, if he doesn't know where you are he'll let out a few barks until he finds you. What a nutter!

And last but certainly not least, I want to send a big shout out to all our friends and family who have helped out and supported us along the way. We couldn't have done it with out you!!! I feel completely blessed and oh so thankful.

No more stress till landscaping in the spring! Lol. 

Time to celebrate!!!

Exterior Finishes:

Stucco: PTM Quality Stucco

Windows: Starline Windows

Railing: Falcon Railing

Rock: K2 Stone

Cedar: Conroy Exteriors

Front Door: BC Door

Garage Doors: Creative Door

 

Progress So Far.

Andrea Porritt

So sorry it's been forever since my last post on the house but things have been busy! We've had lots of headaches over the last few months, the majority of which were with our general contractor. He has been nothing but awful - rude, disrespectful, disorganized, terrible management skills and was the king at passing blame that was really his.

He had a total lack of professionalism and commitment to the project - months would go by and I would never see him at the job site. If I arranged a site meeting with him, many times he would simply fail to show up.

When undertaking a big project such as this, one would expect that timely and good-natured communication from your contractor would be a given - he should be able to convey exactly what's going on. This was totally not our experience, as our contractor was evasive and hard-to-contact.

I'm no building expert. But as the homeowner, I have a right to know what's going on. And it's my contractor's job to effectively communicate this information to me. A missed call is one thing, but failure to return a call promptly is another. Our contractor's communication was vague at best, difficult to understand and was even on occasion delivered with ill temper.

To anyone who is about to build a house or undertake any renovations, remember, your contractor works for you, and regular reports to his boss (you) is part of the job description! Suffice it to say, we fired our general contractor about a month and a half ago now. THANK GOD!!!! I drove myself nearly batty with frustration and rage having to deal with him.

We chose not to hire a new contractor and instead decided that I would take on the role - I was basically doing his job already, before we fired him. Everything has been going great so far, we are into the finishing stage so there are lots of trades to organize and coordinate. I've been learning lots and have been enjoying the process. I am at the house everyday and if I'm not on site I'm running around, doing errands and making sure the trades have all the things they need to keep moving forward.

So where do we stand so far.... In terms of exterior finishes our stone work and cedar are both complete and we are just waiting for the stucco colour coat to be applied, which will be happening next week! As for the inside, we are deep into cabinet mode and our tile work began about a week ago. We still have a few more weeks of tile to go as there is a fair bit of it. But it sure is exciting to see everything finally start to come together! Stay tuned!!!

Doors & Drywall.

Andrea Porritt

Our plumbing, electrical, HVAC and insulation is complete and now we're on to drywall! Things are starting to look real:)

Dry wall is officially underway. This has been one of the most exciting phases to date in our custom home build, as our new house is beginning to transform from a structure/blueprint to the home that we hoped it would be. Rooms are becoming more defined and what our house is actually going to look like is starting to take shape.

Our exterior finishes have also begun. Paper and wiring is underway -  part one of the stucco process. Our soffits are almost completely installed and we are waiting on our cedar, which is on back order. The rock work around our front entrance and chimney should be getting underway early next week and all our exterior doors are now installed, including our beautiful garage doors! Confession: I'm totally in love with our front door, which is made entirely out of cedar and glass -  it still needs to be stained and the hardware installed but that won't happen for a few more weeks. It's all coming together!

Going for Gold.

Andrea Porritt

For the last few months I have been consumed with finding the perfect cabinet hardware for my new kitchen. Cabinet hardware is often referred to as the jewelry of a kitchen, and just like with an outfit, it can really alter the overall look of your space.

Through my search I have become slightly obsessed with gold cabinet hardware and have decided that this is a definite must in my new kitchen! Gold hardware is warm and luxurious all at the same time, and looks just as good in traditional homes as it does in modern ones, giving it a certain je ne sais quoi.

In terms of selection its pretty slim pickings here in Canada, but there are a variety of finishes and styles that can be found south of the border in the United States. The prices for gold hardware does range considerably, and can reach up to $100 per piece!

Based on the photos you see online, it can be quite hard to get a good sense of the different gold finishes. As a result, I would recommend making a shortlist and order a few samples of the pieces you really like. Seeing the hardware in person makes a huge difference as you can really get a good sense of the look, feel and finish of each piece, as well as how it looks with your chosen cabinet colour and/or stain.

If you're just as obsessed with gold cabinet hardware as I am, be sure to check out the following links.

1.) Lew's Hardware

2.) Pottery Barn

 3.) SchoolHouse Electric & Supply Co.

4.) Nest Studio Collection

 

 

Finishes.

Andrea Porritt

I am now fully immersed in the interior design phase of our home build. Choosing materials and finishes for the interior and exterior of our house amongst thousands of possibilities has certainly been no easy feat. Decisions about floors, walls, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, doors, tile, as well as cabinets and cupboards have all been part of the selection process. The large variety of products available on the market can make these choices quite a daunting task to do on your own. Thankfully, I've been fortunate to have the help of my amazing interior designer, Tara Reavie, who has been guiding me through the entire process. If it wasn't for her I think it would have been death by plumbing fixtures for me! Anyways, below is a sneak peak into my progress so far and a bit of a preview of the direction I'm taking with some of my finishes.

Lock Up, Kinda.

Andrea Porritt

The house is starting to take on a more finished look as the build advances from framing to lock up. All our windows are in - we decided to go with black metal windows. Our sliding doors and exterior doors, also black metal, will be installed in the next day or two. We are waiting on our front door which is still a few weeks away as well as the garage doors.

Framing Underway.

Andrea Porritt

Lots of change - the house is starting to look like a house, finally.

We poured the foundation back in October 2014 and have been framing ever since. It's been a long process, fraught with lots of delays, mainly due to material suppliers (our roof trusses were delayed an entire month!). Then there was the Christmas break, which resulted in another two weeks of nothing getting done. Now it's the New Year and we are back in business! Certainly feeling more optimistic that things will start to move a little more smoothly from here on in ;).

As I mentioned above, framing has been in full swing for a while. Most of the walls are up; there's still a few to go - mostly downstairs - but I am able to walk through and get a good idea of what some of the main spaces will be like. It's feeling really great so far!

Foundation day.

Swinging hammers.

Framing underway.

More framing.

The lower level.

One, two, three..... Lift!

My hubby hub.

Roofing in full swing.

Still framing.

Progress.

Starting to look like a house, finally.

10 Things I’m Going to do in 2015

Andrea Porritt

1. Start a Blog. I've been wanting to do this for a while and now I can successfully say that this is the first of many more posts to come!

2. Finish building the house. The lot was purchased in the spring of 2014 and the initial stages of construction began in late fall.   It has been a great project so far, filled with surprises, challenges and excitement and I'm hoping to have it all fully completed this year.

3. Be healthy and eat less sugar. GOOD LUCK Andrea..Hehe.. Well I can at least try.

4. Keep an open mind.

5. Travel. Adventure is out there and once a year I'd like to go somewhere I've never been to before.

6. Have more sex :)

7. Be passionate and positive.

8. Keep up with my workouts. My body and mind need this at least 4 - 5 times per week.

9. Be the best pet parent EVER.

10. And last but not least, be proud and thankful for my family, friends and  everything I have and do.

What are yours?!