Read Part 1 and Part 3

An exciting moment during building our dream home was when the roof was put on. Suddenly it went from a concrete and steel foundation into a structure, a structure that will become a home – OUR HOME! Now I’ll be the first to admit that construction bores me… I mean, I want it to be finished so I can put all the finishing touches on it!

secondfloor1

It still doesn’t quite look like a home yet.

We went with a material called Q-Deck for the ceilings, which was later painted white on the inside, to give our ceilings a cool industrial feel. Q-Deck is a metal cladding that’s great for insulation and pouring concrete on top of, and also as a waterproof base for our roofing material.

secondfloor2

View Post

Follow:
Share:

verve-kitchen-sliding-top-75735-1900

When Jay and I discuss our kitchen design, we know what we want. We want matte white lacquer cabinets with no handles. We want white corian counter tops. We want all the appliances integrated so it doesn’t look like a kitchen. That’s right, we want a kitchen that doesn’t look like a kitchen.

verve-kitchen-sliding-top-75741-1900At the latest Interior Design Show (IDSwest) in Vancouver, we became obsessed with the idea of sliding counter tops, hidden sinks with retractable faucets and integrated convection cook tops.  View Post

Follow:
Share:

In the summer of 2009, my husband Jay convinced me to pack up our belongings, our daughter, and our lives, and move from Toronto to Vancouver. It took a lot of convincing on his part to get this to happen – I was totally against moving to the West Coast – I was a ‘City Girl’. Toronto was a happening place – amazing restaurants, shopping, nightlife – and only a short plane ride away from New York City! This was supposed to be our life, not some hippie granola-munching yoga-pants-wearing sloooow lifestyle that I’d heard happened out in Vancouver.  But I digress, he convinced me, and in October of 2009 I found myself in Vancouver. And thereafter fell deeply, madly, in love with it.

view

The fresh air, the mountains, the ocean, it was intensely beautiful. Overgrown trees, beautiful flowers, and even palm trees were seen on a daily basis. The weather was so gorgeous (when it wasn’t raining!), and I even welcomed the rain into my life by trading in my Tory Burch pony-hair flats for a bright red pair of Hunter rain boots.

We quickly discovered that the only real draw-back to moving from Toronto to Vancouver would be the real estate market. The cost of living is a little more expensive here, but the real estate can double or triple in price depending on the area. It was a bit shocking to us, considering we had just sold a place in Toronto and were hoping to put a down payment on a home out here. C’est impossible!

What we wanted and what we could afford were quite different realities, and anything we could afford would either need a total renovation or wasn’t in the right location. Jay always had dreams of building his own house, he is not one that’s happy with a builder’s finishings, he likes to make things custom to his own designs, which leads to the problem of ‘settling’ for a home that wasn’t quite what we wanted and was out of our price range anyway.

britlot3

Then one day, sometime in 2010, Jay comes home and tells me about a ‘building lot’. I listened to what he had to say, but I hesitated to agree with him. We had purchased a lot back in Ontario and lost our deposit on it after realising that the project was too far out of our reach to complete. Building a home sounds like a wonderful dream come true, but when faced with a steep, tree-filled landscape (that is 40 minutes away from Vancouver, in the middle of nowhere) you really have no idea where to begin! And I need to see things before I can understand them, whereas Jay is a visionary and gets frustrated when others can’t see what he sees (in his head, mind you….). View Post

Follow:
Share:

Living Room

With three weeks left in this house, I keep stealing glances at my surroundings and thinking of the memories that happened there. The cuddles on the sofa, Holland’s first steps in the living room, the playtime in the bathtub, the hours in the sun playing on the deck in the backyard.

Although this place was a rental, I still attempted to make it feel like home as much as possible. I wanted my children to grow up in a “temporary” house that felt like our own. We didn’t paint or spend too much money on the interiors – Jay, the practical one in our relationship, didn’t want to invest in a place that we didn’t own. I agree with him, but I still feel that you can add your own personal taste into a space without compromising budget or making it a permanent change.

View Post

Follow:
Share: