Welcome to my summer 2015 house tour! I am thrilled to be providing a sneak peak into our home as it stands now. Today, I’ll be sharing interior views with the promise to show you detailed exteriors, including the backyard, in the near future – it is patio season, after all, and I’ve got outdoor decorating schemes already swirling in my head;) Well, without further ado, on with the tour!
My husband and I purchased this newly-built 1700-square-foot bungalow in March 2010. After living in a teensy-weensy, 1-bedroom apartment for six – very long – years, it was a big change! We moved in with nothing but second-hand furniture and a dream to make this house our ‘forever home,’ (or at least a long-term home). It is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a den as well as a Great Room (i.e., living, kitchen and dining room all rolled into one). We love the open-concept layout and with no children and (then) 2 cats, we had no reason to live in anything bigger. All I remember was the feeling of being incredibly blessed to have a house of our very own.
When you enter our home, there is a foyer where you can sit and take off your shoes, put your keys on a table and hang your coats up (closet not shown).
It is roomy without being too big. Before moving in, we made a couple of small changes with the builder that involved expanding the entrance from the foyer into the Great Room. This involved doubling the width of the doorway with French-style pocket doors. Not only did this open up the space, but it made the area light-filled and less divided from the rest of the house. It took another three years to make the foyer into a more stylish space. Initially, all we had were the two Ikea chairs you see here, but we slowly acquired a side table, mirrors, a lamp, buffet and added the accessories.
The golden colour-scheme was inspired by the crafty-looking felt pillows which naturally led to other golden touches from the flowers to the bowl. I have plans to brighten the area up with paint, but that is for another time…
Passing through the foyer brings you directly into our Great Room. This is my favourite part of the entire home. It makes the whole home feel large and spacious with three rooms in one, including a living area, dining area and kitchen. Below is a view of the living room area of the great room, which faces the back of the house.
Before moving in, we had our builder add large windows along the back wall to let in as much light as possible. It does not hurt that our backyard backs into a walking path and large green space, making the view spectacular in any given season.
As I mentioned before, when we first moved in we did not have a stick of furniture in the space. Our decrepit futon and chipped coffee and side tables became instant basement furniture (which is where they are now), leaving us with a shiny maple floor to sit on during the first couple of weeks:) After receiving a free Ikea couch from friends who conveniently live around the corner, we purchased a matching one, both of which we covered with cream-coloured slip covers. And voila! Our first living room seating was created.
Over the next few years, I found two comfy armchairs, the oversized coffee table (a rare find), an inexpensive shag rug from Costco, a retro-looking tv stand/storage unit (purchased about a year and a half ago), along with soft green and happy yellow accessories with touches of grey and black to help ‘ground’ the space.
Eventually, I plan to replace the Ikea furniture and the rug (which is starting to wear) and add more wall art, but for now I am happy to continue tweaking the space as it is.
Next to our living room area is the dining space.
The table and buffet were one of our first purchases for the home. We were fortunate to get a deal on them as they were the floor model. Made of acacia wood, the pieces have a unique grain finish that have both a rustic and exotic appeal at the same time.
Until last year, we had no mirror, just a blank wall above the buffet. On a trip to Prince Edward County, on our almost-annual wine tour of this quaint region of Ontario, we toured a fine furniture store where I saw this enormous mirror. I instantly fell in love with its traditional feel and knew it would provide the perfect contrast with the creamy-white mid-century modern chairs and the bright and modern accent pieces that I had already been incorporating into the space. I have changed out the décor accents over the past couple of years, but continue to gravitate toward white and cream-coloured items to keep things fresh and light.
The hand-made candlesticks (splurge items), geometric candleholder (Walmart purchase) and remaining accessories have all been purchased within the last six months with no plans to change anything out – for the moment 🙂
Immediately next to the dining area and living space is our corner kitchen. Light and bright, but without being too starkly white, I really wanted a kitchen that felt modern, yet classic and even somewhat country. The creamy colour-scheme against the soft green/sage-coloured backsplash, I think, achieves this.
Structurally, it remains as it did when we moved in. We simply added the appliances (most of which were purchased in the first few weeks of moving in – and which meant takeout food until then!), bar stools and accessories. The raised bar attached to the kitchen island has proven to be a very popular place for guests to congregate – and play around on the swivel bar stools:)
Although I am pretty happy with the kitchen, future plans include adding more colour and texture. And though the granite is beautiful – and more importantly, hides crumbs and food splatter so well! – I am toying with the idea of eventually changing it out for a lighter-coloured and durable quartz material – one day!
Just off of the Great Room, there are two bedrooms, one at the back of the house (the master bedroom) and one at the front (the guest room).
Our bedroom is still a work in progress that needs some sprucing up, particularly the floor and the walls which are quite bare for the most part. I imagine that for most of us, the bedroom is the most neglected space. Tucked away and out of sight, it often gets styled and decorated late in the game. Until just a few weeks ago, there were NO accessories and no water blue accents as you see in the photos. Adding some pops of colour has really made a difference to the space.
The furniture comes from a variety of places, including Ikea (Pax wardrobe), Pier 1 (side tables – actually, dresser drawers which were the perfect height) and Pier 1 headboard. The bedspread is from Jysk, a very affordable place to shop for home accessories and furniture, indoors and out. I like our bedroom, including the vaulted ceilings, and plan to continue making it more stylish with paint, art, with maybe a rug and a pouf – to start!).
The guest room is a soft, light-coloured space that is very comfortable to sleep in and has enough visual appeal, I think/I hope, for overnight guests. It is one of my favourite rooms in the house with a soft palette of white and grey with bits of watery blue/green. The bed and side tables are from Ikea and have a natural finish. Other raw elements are used to decorate the space, including beeswax candles and grape wood (a Pier 1 find) seen below.
The best way to know if your guest room is comfortable is to sleep in it yourself! I have done it and it has helped me determine the best placement of items. It’s a tight space, but very cozy.
Each of the bedrooms also has a bathroom either attached or directly next door, making it convenient for everyone when guests are in town! The master bedroom’s ensuite bathroom has a white and grey colour scheme that I have, quite honestly, not done much of anything with except to add chrome finish fixtures – towel and toilet paper holders, specifically – and some rugs and containers for cotton balls and cue tips as well as tooth brushes and liquid soap. The framed photograph on the wall was a gift to my husband from a friend and I thought it worked beautifully in this space.
I have some watery blue prints waiting to be hung, but have no immediate plans to accessorize or paint just yet. I am waiting for that ‘inspirational’ moment. So, until then, the bathroom will remain a ‘blank slate’ more or less.
Similarly, the guest bathroom has not much changed since we first moved in. The curtains and framed prints have been there for nearly five years now as well as the chrome finish towel and toilet paper holders as well as the double-curtain rod (one for the inner and one for the outer curtain). It is a neutral, tan colour scheme that I’d like to update and modernize with paint, new prints and curtains. In the meantime, it is a functional and serene space for guests.
And finally, the last space on this home tour is a multi-purpose room that is a combination den/sitting room/guest bedroom rolled into one – there is usually a room like this in most homes and – with the exception of the bathrooms — it happens to be the smallest room in our house.
Besides our living room area, it gets used the most often by both my husband and me. I check the internet every morning there; do my morning devotionals there; and often sit and read on this pull-out couch. I absolutely adore this little space! It is also my husband’s main workspace, where the bills are paid and he checks his email and, as such, I kept the colour scheme a bit darker and ‘masculine’ with warm tones, dark browns and turquoise accents. I feel cozy and comfortable in this space and hope that guests who have stayed there feel the same.
So there you have it – my home tour! Some areas are further along than others on the journey to transform this builder basic house into a home. Our house is truly my playground with which to dream, create and experiment. Thankfully, my husband has been incredibly easy-going with my creative choices, but then again, I have also made sure that function is front and centre to any style choices made so that he can feel as comfortable in the space as I do.
Can’t wait to see what comes next!