It’s been more than five years now since we first moved into this old house from the 70’s and, as I look back, I can’t believe how far we’ve come in that time. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can catch the entire before + after tour of our home here, but I think it’s safe to say that the home we live in today looks nothing like the one we moved into five short years ago. Whether it saw just a fresh coat of paint, some new trim and lighting, or we needed to rip out everything from the ceiling to the floors, each and every room in this house has gone through at least some change to make it our own. And, with each and every one of those changes, our house felt more and more like the cozy home we always knew it could be.
Though we’ve come such a long way from where we started, there are still several big renovation projects we’d love to take on. Today, I thought I’d walk you through a few of them…
our Renovation wish list
finish our basement
It amazes me that in the 50ish years that this house has been here, nobody’s ever felt the need to finish this basement space. Granted, it’s been a great little hockey rink for C and his friends, it really has the potential to be so much more. Not only is there a large living space and even a bathroom plumbed in, but there’s a HUGE storage room tucked away behind it all too. Raising our sunken living room with our main floor renovation a few years ago gave us another foot of ceiling height down here and, just like the rooms above, we chose to beef up the main support beam to allow us to take out the post that stood in the middle of the living space so we could keep things feeling quite open down here.
We’ve already started on this reno project, framing out the different spaces, running electrical for a ton a new lights, and plumbing for a wet bar (you can read more about it here). Brady’s just started on hanging the drywall, though once we’ve got that up, I think we may take a little break to start working on some outdoor projects while we can. Hopefully we’ll come back to this in the Fall, which will give me some time to get all of our materials ordered up. I’m planning to share our design plans for it all next week, so keep an eye out for that!
create a study
Once the basement is space is finished up, this back family room will be moving downstairs, well most of it anyway (there’s no way we’re getting that piano down there!). With the family room down in the basement, I’m hoping to turn this space into “study” – I’m picturing a more cozy colour, a wall of shelves and a beautiful round table to gather around for board games and puzzles. I’m hoping it can replace my office space, but with a darker, more traditional, cozier feel.
make all of the “bedrooms” bedrooms
Finishing up our basement will not only free up our back family room to create a study, but it will also allow us to move Carson’s playroom downstairs as well, which means the two bedrooms we’d used as an office and playroom can be turned back into bedrooms once again. I’m actually really excited about this as we’ve found ourselves wishing for more beds for houseguests on more than one occasion. Often our guests are families here for a visit and I’m sure they’d be so much more comfortable with a separate bed, in a separate room for the kiddos. Carson’s also just entering the part of his life where sleepovers are becoming the next big thing and I’d love to give him a room with two twin beds that he can share with his friends when they spend the night. In case you can’t already tell, I’m super excited to start decorating all of these new spaces!
Freshening up the exterior of our home has been on our to-do list for ages, though until now, we’ve felt quite torn about just what those updates might look like. After replacing all of our windows a few years ago, we’ve just kind of been sitting on a few ideas, trying to figure out just what we wanted to do and how far we wanted to take things out here. At first, we thought we’d just try a new colour of paint on the siding when the time came, but between the cost of painting (which will be an ongoing expense every 5 years or so) and the repairs we need to make to parts of it, we recently decided we’d rather put that money towards replacing it instead. In addition to the siding, we’re planning to add some stonework, new front and garage doors, and new outdoor lighting as well. We’re also planning to add on some more insulation all around the exterior of our house and a covered patio out back while we’ve got all the siding off the house. All of this will be a HUGE undertaking over the next few months, but I know it will all make such a difference once we’re done! We’re actually just finalizing all of the design plans now, and I can’t wait to share our ideas here on the blog soon!
build another garage
Building a second garage out back is on the agenda for next Summer. Now, I use the term “garage” quite loosely here as its main purpose will be a fun little hangout/ entertaining space for the boys and will likely only ever see a vehicle parked in it through those few nights each Winter that the temperatures reach -40ºC. Mostly it will be a workout/ sports watching/ bike fixing/ outdoor entertaining space with a golf simulator thrown in for good measure. Brady’s having a blast designing it all and I can’t wait to get started on construction next Spring!
freshen up our existing garage
Once that second garage is built out back, we hope to change the function of this front garage a bit too. We’re planning to add a little mudroom space with tons of storage, a man door to the backyard for easier access and even a little dog shower to wash Charley up after a muddy walk through the trails. It’s a ways down the road yet, but I’m excited to make this space function a little better for our famliy.
Aside from updating this porch space a few years ago and creating this garden space out back, we haven’t really done much in terms of landscaping at all. We’ve got a pretty big yard for living in town, but it’s really just a big, blank canvas at the moment. Once we’ve made it through all of the construction outside and the cement trucks, etc. are done driving across our lawn, I hope to replace our fence, have our crumbling driveway and back sidewalks re-poured, build a deck out back and add a ton of trees and shrubs all around our yard. I feel like landscaping is one of those things that sort of just evolves over time, but it’s always nice to have some ideas to float around.
a redo of carson’s bedroom
Speaking of ideas floating around, I’ve had a few in my head for Carson’s room for a little while now. I’d love to add some board and batten around these green walls, change up the green colour a bit (though still a darker green) and maybe even paint out all of the doors and trim the same colour. I’ve also thought about painting over all that shiplap wood, but still on the fence with that one. I’d love to create a built in desk area under his window and add a custom built shelf on either side too. I also plan on re-doing (or maybe replacing) his headboard and adding some new bedside tables as well. I don’t mind this space the way it is by any means, but I just can’t ignore all of these fun ideas floating around my head. I’m hoping we’ll be able to tackle this space this Winter.
Adding more trim work to our main floor
Another project I hope to take on this Winter is beefing up some of the trim work around the house. I’d love to add a bit more height and interest to the baseboards around our main floor (and maybe even the hallway and master bedroom upstairs). I’ve also been toying around with the idea of adding some moulding to the walls around our living room, stairway and hallway upstairs (similar to this). I’m finding myself drawn to that more traditional look and I think it would bring a bit of interest and character to our home.
expand our master bathroom + closet
Creating a larger closet and bathroom space has been on our wish list since day one, but because both of these spaces are fairly new (the bathroom was renovated just before we bought the house and the closet shortly after we moved in) and work just the way they are (albeit not optimally), this project has never quite made its way to the top of our renovation list. We talk about it often and have some big ideas that will greatly improve the function of both spaces – someday I know we’ll get around to this one.
Whew! That’s a long list (and it’s not even close to all of our ideas for this old house from the 70’s, but that’s the point really – I’m not sure a house can ever really feel “done”. I think any house evolves and changes with the people that call it home – it changes as tastes change, needs change, as life changes. And I’m sure, as we knock one thing off this list, we’ll add a few more onto it – I just can’t help dreaming up all of the possibilities.
Have you been planning any projects around your own home lately? I’d love to hear about them!
Wishing you SUCH a lovely day!