September 30, 2009

A Sweet Dreams Rewind

rewindbutton_thumb It’s Wednesday again… and that means it’s time for a Rewind! And I had to dig waaaay down into our archives to find this post…

Today – because I mentioned our wardrobes in my small space post from Monday – I’m sharing the post I wrote ages ago about the renovation of our primary (master) bedroom. We went from an ugly itty-bitty bedroom to a small, perfectly appointed bedroom. You’ll have to tell me if you agree!

Underline LeftTo call our bedroom a "Master" is really quite misleading because it's extremely small. Making matters worse, we have a king sized bed that fit perfectly in our previous home! Somehow, we needed to make the bed fit into this room... and somehow we ALSO needed to accommodate for a lot of clothing :-)

Here are a couple of BEFORE photos of our room:



I don't remember for sure, but I think the dimensions of the room were 10'x10' and the only way we could gain more space – short of adding an extension to the back of the house – was to take a few feet from the room next door.

So... the wall you see in the second photo above had to go...

But first, we had tons of plaster & lath to remove...all the walls AND the ceiling!

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You may think me nuts but I actually enjoy this phase of a remodel – the time when things are starting to happen! It's a very exciting time in a renovation… albeit more then a little chaotic!!

Take a look at the photo below. Can you see the new wood studs in the wall? That’s the new wall we built two feet in to the front room. Now take a look at the floor… the “H” you see is where the original walls were – two closets, one (attempting!) to serve each of the rooms.


The result… with the walls and debris removed we now had a room that was approximately 10’x14’… gigantic! LOL! Don’t get too excited for us ~ we still need to add back some closets!

Before we could start putting the room back together, we had to replace the old, single-paned window. Taking advantage of the open walls, I had my husband install a window that was a little bit wider then the original window... what a difference it makes! Here are some pics of that process. Brian did a great job!

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But if you think that looks good, take a look at his finish work! The walls were insulated (take a re-peek at the wall removal pics above and you'll see that - typical to houses of this age [70 years] - there was NO insulation) and drywalled... and then Brian set to work on the trim.


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Like I mentioned, our little bungalow is 70 years old. Apart from unique features like a fantastic coved ceiling in the living room that we LOVE(!), the house doesn't have a lot of the character that houses of this age usually have.

So... I did a little research and found local craftsman bungalows with trim like what Brian installed in our bedroom (and throughout the house). In combination with the arts & crafts panelled door and the "prarie-style" window, I simply love how it all turned out!!

Painting the walls & ceiling was my job. I used Benjamin Moore paints - Sandy Brown on the ceiling, Stanley Park (a lovely mossy green that the photos don't do justice to) on the walls, and Cloud White on all the trim.

And now... the AFTER photos!!




Things aren’t completely done yet… I still have to decorate!! My plan is to sew a new duvet cover (the white is temporary) as well as some Euro pillow-covers. I also need some art on the walls (the little print below is gone now – too small). I KNOW the room will look fantastic once it’s all decorated!!

And the pièce de la résistance... my built-in wardrobes!


These wardrobes are very large – seven feet tall and the length of the room (approx 10 feet). I have to tippie-toe just to hang things up! Forget getting to the top shelf... that's what tall hubbies are for!

And check out what's inside. Behind each door are great organizational features that really work for us... rods, drawers, baskets, shelves, hooks...

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And look at my jewellery drawer! Every time I open it I'm filled with happiness!DSC01122

The wardrobes are so important to us because the room is too small for a chest of drawers. Everything we need is in these wardrobes! We love them!!

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blogpartyJAVAI’m including this Rewind Wednesday post in the HOMEdigz blog party!

If you’ve joined us from HOMEdigz, welcome!!

Now… navigate over to HOMEdigz so that you can see what other bloggers are writing about today!! Just click on the button :-)

Thanks for visiting DesignTies today!!


September 29, 2009

Toronto’s teeny-tiny house

If you read Victoria’s small spaces post yesterday, you saw a picture of this teeny-tiny house:


Yes, it’s a real house – all 300 square feet of it!! It’s known as Toronto’s Smallest House. It even has its own web site, The Little House.

Toronto contractor Arthur Weeden built the house around 1912 on a 7-foot wide by 113-foot long piece of land where the city had forgotten to cut the curb for a laneway. Mr. Weeden lived in the house with his wife for 20 years. Since then, it has been home to several families, including immigrants from Hungary, Italy, and Brazil.

Property manager David Blois bought the little house for $139,000 with the intention to flip it. Here are a couple of before shots of the front of the house:

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How small is it?? It’s THIS SMALL!!

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Mr. Blois refinished the house both inside and out. He added the decorative window in the gabled roof, hardwood floors, new cabinetry, new appliances, an interlocking walkway in the front, a patio in the back, and gardens. The most recent information I can find on the house is from earlier this year when Mr. Blois put the house on the market for $189,800.

Let’s go inside…

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…and see what you can squeeze into 300 square feet. Here’s the floor plan so we can get our bearings. Front door is on the left, followed by the entry, living room, bathroom, kitchen/laundry room, bedroom, and back door to the patio and driveway.

floor plan 1 Entry…

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Hmmmmm… where do the shoes and coats go?? The entry flows into the living room…

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Wow, that hallway is skinny!! Assuming it’s about two feet wide, that leaves less than five feet for the bathroom…

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I have a feeling this shower is pretty claustrophobic!! There’s storage above the shower stall.


I bet the tub is pretty tight too!!


Next is the kitchen, which doubles as the laundry room…

kitchen shelves laundry fridge

Small kitchen means small kitchen sink… but it looks good :-)

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The average width of the appliances is 24”. Is that wide enough to fit a proper cookie sheet in the oven??


The view from the kitchen into the bedroom…

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Where’s the bed??

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There it is!! You can see why the only bed that could really work in this tiny bedroom is a Murphy bed. Tight squeeze!!

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Out the back door to the patio…


Pretty purple flowers :-)

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And a driveway big enough to fit two cars…


…or ten smart cars :-)


There’s also a 5 foot tall basement that’s accessible through a trap door in the floor.

Here’s a plan for a second floor addition to the house:


It includes a bedroom, double height space with a wood bridge, and a roof garden. The proposed second storey is feasible as shown in this plan, provided that the foundation is strengthened and the builder applies for a Building Permit. Both are subject to City approval.

If you’d like to see another little house, check out Hooked on Houses where Julia recently wrote a post about the narrowest house in New York City.


What do you think, could you live in a teeny-tiny house?? Wait, don’t answer yet!! Come back to DesignTies on Thursday to see what might be the ultimate in small space living. It makes The Little House look like a mansion!! Here’s a hint: it’s a real home that belongs to a real designer…

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Unless otherwise noted, all pictures of the house from The Little House

September 26, 2009

I want this chandelier

I saw this beautiful chandelier at Backyard & Veranda in Bedford, NS:

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I want it!! But Cheapohubby (seriously, that’s his name) refuses to pay $1,400.00 for it. Yeah, OK, it’s probably over-priced — but it’s so shiny and sparkly and pretty!! And it would look fantastic in our entry!!

If you’ve seen a chandelier like it for a more reasonable price (Cheapohubby says $140 would be acceptable — he’s incorrigible!!) please let me know.

Also, if you’re good at math, I need you to do my Drafting homework for me ;-)

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