A few years ago Michelle and Will purchased a beautiful home in the suburbs of Montreal. At least it was beautiful from the outside but the interior with it's original 1940s finishings left a lot to be desired! See the before photos and blog post here.
When I visited for the first time since they moved in I was so impressed at the transformation! The worn out pacific birch floors were sanded throughout and brought back to life. The whole house was repainted top to bottom and where it was once gloomy it was now so full of light. The first show stopper I noticed in the home was the amazing white washed sliding wood door that Will built to close off this room that Michelle chose to use as her office. Sliding door hanger systems are quite expensive and they thought they could do better by creating their own. A few large eye-hooks, some pipe and a few wheels from a disassembled pair of second-hand child's roller blades did the trick!
800 coffee filters went into making the hanging light fixture, an amazing DIY project that Michelle found on Pinterest and did herself over a few weeks. The kilim carpets were a great deal online and the brightly colored abstract paintings around the house are by an artist friend of theirs that really add punch to the space. The previously stained and dingy fireplace bricks were painted white and now look contemporary next to the original stone mantle. When not working out of the yoga studio she co-founded, Michelle uses this room as her office to see her clients. She is an osteopath, yoga and pilates instructor.
When they got married a few years ago, I painted this acrylic on wood portrait for Michelle and Will, their son Pip is so proud to point out "that's my mommy and that's my daddy!" To the right is a print Michelle found on Etsy, there are several more of the same collection hanging on the opposite wall.
When I asked about their choice of a white color scheme, Michelle had a great answer for me. "I've lived in spaces with lots of color but with my introverted personality I feel overwhelmed and I get lost, I didn't want to feel lost in my own home again. Choosing a white on white color scheme lets the objects and people I love stand out"
The first renovation that took place in the home was taking down the wall that divided the kitchen and dining room. It was one of the main ideas we had talked about before they purchased. The only thing remaining from the original kitchen is the charming window, even the bulk head above it was removed opening up the space even more.
When they ripped out the original avocado green kitchen, they decided to keep their costs low and go with an Ikea kitchen and counter tops, their only splurge was the range hood.
What I thought was a pretty swanky coffee maker is actually a water filter. Not only is it beautiful but it doesn't use electricity, is portable and is less expensive than under the sink models.
Will who is a lead developer at CloudOps and co-founder of Kiteaid, grew up in northern British Columbia on a homestead where his family hunted and farmed. This is one of the reasons this family feels strongly about eating as little processed foods as possible. They love cooking together and preparing most of their meals from scratch. Farmers markets and co-ops are where they buy the vegetables they don't grow and they buy their organic meat directly from farmers.
I got a great photo of Pip bouncing a ball off the floor, the decorating of the family room was kept pretty open and minimal with a toddler and two big enthusiastic dogs running through it. The denim couches have slip covers that are washable as well.
This long plank of stained wood goes from one end of the room to the other and is held up by bricks. It's a great alternative to a traditional entertainment centre furniture and Pip has easy access to the baskets of toys underneath.
The bathroom on the second floor was in dire need of renovation. A simple white vanity, medicine cabinet and storage cabinet were a good choice and even though the original tiles were charming they were too broken up to keep. Tumbled to keep this small space feeling open. Tumbled travertine tiles are what they chose for the new floor, they're soft on the feet and non-slip when getting out of the shower.
It was great to see the newly-built planter boxes all filled with earth and ready to be planted for the season. The layout and design are quite original compared to traditional planter boxes we usually see that are all rectangular.
Beloved family members Annabelle and Lilly sharing a quiet moment on the bench. Pip and dad Will relaxing in their hammock in the backyard, it's from a great little Montreal store called Karibu