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Jun 15

Finally Spilling It ALL: What the Heck are We Doing With Our Home

neutral bright kitchen

Photo & Design: Gillian Stevens

Okay so if it isn’t totally obvious, we can’t make a decision regarding what the heck we’re planning to do in our home (most specifically: our renovation plans). The reality is that we know that this isn’t our forever home and there are so many factors that are weighing on us and keeping us in limbo…

[break]SHOP THE LOOK: 
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Our current kitchen truly needs some attention; the laminate countertops are beginning to peel, the doors are falling off their hinges, and our temporary kitchen update is starting to show it’s age. We only have one bathroom, and we’ve always dreamed of adding a powder room to our main floor. In addition, our third bedroom currently acts as my office and if and when we decide to add another little one to the mix, I’d need to carve out a new space for my business. I don’t need much as I often end up working in our dining room or from our couch anyway, but a dedicated space is still essential for my needs.

I have the ability, the contacts, and the skillset to help this home reach its maximum potential. It seems like a no brainer on paper. But since we don’t plan on staying here for much longer, and we’re hoping that our next home will be our forever home (aka a big project that we will truly make our own), and it all gives us pause.

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Read Next: A New Renovation Update (We’ve Pivoted)

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When it comes down to it, the thought of doing two big renovations in the next few years feels like a lot, especially with a little one in tow. We often decide we’re going to go full steam ahead with our renovation plans, and then we back out because it’s just not where we want to spend our limited energy right now. I’m fully aware of the sliver of time and space I’ll get with my daughter while she’s still so little, and the thought of missing any of it while I’m knee deep in drywall dust doesn’t sit well. Most days I’d rather eat off of our peeling counters, covered in play d’oh and banana bread I baked with my girl that morning!

But then we factor in the insanity that is the current Toronto real estate market, where homes regularly go for 500 thousand over asking. We look at our current kitchen which needs some love no matter what. And we wonder if we should just spend the time and resources making this place our own. We’d then stick around for just a little while longer in hopes that the market will cool its jets. 

All that said, while we still haven’t quite made up our mind on our next move, but I’ve had the space designed in my brain for years, and on paper for months and months now and I thought it’d be fun to at least share our intentions.

Here is the current layout of our home: Model

And here is the dream renovation plan: Model

Essentially, I want to fully take advantage of our currently barely-used front porch. There’s a ton of valuable real estate that’s being under-utilized at the moment. It includes two vestibules, which is redundant. And flipping the location of our front door opens up so many avenues.

Not only does this change allow me to tuck my office into the front porch, freeing up our third bedroom. But it also allows a more welcoming foyer – with a coat closet! (a premium here in Toronto where coat closets are often non existent).

In this renovation plan, the current second vestibule can be turned into a main floor powder room, meeting that ultimate need and eliminating it’s redundancy. In addition, removing the wall between our staircase and our living room opens up the space a ton, all while ensuring that each room still remains distinct as I’m not personally a fan of open floor plans, especially not in our 1900’s Victorian home. 

Lastly, we’d widen the doorway into the kitchen, add a massive window on the back wall to encourage some additional natural light (our home gets so dark in the winter). We’d then relocate the back door to allow us to run some cabinetry around the perimeter of the space. A big beautiful island gets tossed in the middle and voila! There is so much potential here, and it all involves a significant amount of work, but the whole thing really excites me. Model

I tend to blog things long after they’re complete, but I thought I’d try something different with this project and take you on the ride alongside me as we figure this whole thing out. Who knows what our next update will be, only time and indecision will tell, but I promise to come back and fill you in when it happens. 

[break]SHOP THE LOOK:

 

Read Next: A New Renovation Update (We’ve Pivoted)

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UPDATE: I came up with the exterior designs RIGHT after this post went live. See em’ here.  (it includes the current front facade, which is pretty embarrassing right now tbh)

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  1. Deb says:

    I love your new floor plan and believe you’d benefit both in peace of mind and financially. I’d do it!

  2. charisse says:

    Liking where you are going with this. I think the new office giving you back a 3rd bedroom will certainly help with resale when and if that time comes.

  3. Stacey says:

    I love the idea of staying and doing the renovation. If you love your home and your neighborhood I think it’s a great plan.

  4. Sandi says:

    Nice and open. Are your guests arriving and at the foyer and walking through the dining room to get to the family room?

  5. Edwardlip says:

    All happy kitchen renovations are alike — and they live mostly in our dreams. “The existing space is tight and usually comes with restrictions,” said Sami Haxhija, a contractor in New York City, ticking off the difficulties. “You have unmovable and unleveled walls, pipes, gas lines and electrical work that often need to be relocated and upgraded according to new codes, and areas where only custom millwork will fit.”
    Travel blog

  6. Sandra says:

    I absolutely love this post and seeing your thought process. When I saw the original floor plan and then scrolled to your planned one, my immediate thought was “of course, that’s genius” for the kitchen layout, converting the patio, and the powder room. I really think this would be phenomenal and would give you everything you’re looking for, and as others said, would be great for resale value. If you do eventually decide to go for it, I’m really looking forward to following the journey to see how this pans out!

    • Right?! It feels like a no brainer! But then it’s such a big job that requires strucutral engineers and permitting and and andddd – it gives us pause haha. If it were our forever home it would be non negotiable 100% a go. Annnd here we are

  7. Michelle says:

    If you move ahead, I LOVE the layout rework. So, so good for while you stay + eventually when you sell! Good luck xx

  8. Leanne says:

    These plans are brilliant! Such great use of space and so functional. Plus we know you’d make it look stunning! Good luck with decisions:).

  9. Mariele says:

    Quick question — what about flipping the dining room and living room? It makes sense to me to have the dining room next to the kitchen.

    • Totally makes sense! That’s actually how the home was staged when we bought it. We flipped it because we aren’t huge formal diners – we’re definitely more of a relaxed/lounge-y family and wanted to capitalize on the larger space to suit how we use our home

  10. Mom says:

    Looks amazing!!!What a difference it will make.

  11. It is difficult in any home and environment to make renovations. The up and down of the market makes it even more challenging because if you sell high, you will end up buying high too.
    That said, your plans look and sound beautiful and use the space and house much better.

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