Sunday, 29 June 2014

Settling In

It's been a crazy week for us!  The move went well, thanks to the help that we received from our family and friends.  We couldn't have done it without you!  I'm so thankful that we decided to bridge the two houses for the week.  We are still moving the last few things over and I can't imagine doing it all in one day!  The new owner will move into 72 Union tomorrow, and I hope they are as happy as we were there.

In my last post I talked about how I was feeling uneasy about the change.  We've been in this house for almost a week, and it's truly been amazing!  Although the amount of work that needs to be done is a bit overwhelming at times, I keep reminding myself that we can take our time.  It doesn't all have to be done immediately.

On our first night in the house, we began removing some of the heavy drapes that they had covering the windows.  I still can't believe that they had covered the amazing stained glass!  Having the drapes down lets so much light into the house, and we get some pretty awesome light spectrums shining on the floors and walls as the sun comes in through the coloured glass.


With the electricians starting their work next week, we have left as much in the garage as possible and we're basically living in just a few rooms for now.  Even our closet hasn't been unpacked because we know that next week will be a dusty one in the house.

I spent a lot of time this week working in the gardens, and had some help from Jeremy's parents today.  I can't believe the progress we have already made.  On Monday we could barely pull into the driveway because the trees and bushes were so overgrown.  Many people have stopped by to ask us about our plans, and it sounds like the gardens haven't been tended to for many years.  We've been working on digging up the shrubs along the driveway and in front of the porch, and we have created a "holding bed" in the back for some of the perennials that we're hoping to reuse elsewhere.  Jeremy has also been busy ripping vines down.  What a difference that has made!


We've really been enjoying the front porch.  Having our coffee outside every morning has been a great way to wake up, and with the addition of the palms and ferns that we bought for the wedding, it's really starting to feel like a cozy space.  There's an awesome breeze that blows through, and even on a hot day it was still a cool place to sit and take a break.  I know we'll be getting a lot of use out of this space in the years to come!


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables

Well, the office that I usually write my blog posts from now sits empty.

It's been a very long day of packing boxes and loading the U-Haul and other vehicles.  Many thanks to my parents and our amazing neighbour who came to help out.

This is what the moving truck looked like this afternoon.  Filled to the brim with all of our furniture and belongings.

The library was packed to the brim this morning.  Jeremy worked hard all week, bringing everything up from the basement which meant fewer stairs today. This room is now practically empty!

It's hard to believe that it was almost 10 months ago that we put our first offer in on our new house. It's been a long process, but I know that in no time, we will feel like it has all been worth it.  I know that right now I'm feeling uncertain about this big change, but as Jeremy says, "it's going to be home."

Tomorrow we will say our goodbyes to this house that has played such an important part in our relationship.  We worked on so many projects together here and have made so many memories over the past 5 years.  When I think back five years, I had the same feelings of uncertainty when we bought this house, and it's been AMAZING!

So, goodbye 72 Union.  My next post will come to you from the house that truly is the reason for this blog adventure.  Hello 220 Cochrane!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Packing Up

It's been a busy week.  Between wedding showers, family dinners, school functions, dinner club and a mystery bachelor party weekend, I feel like I was barely home last week! Needless to say, I didn't get the light fixtures sprayed and we are not nearly as far along with the packing as we would like.  We get possession of the house next Monday and are hoping to have the truck packed and everything ready to move, as we both took moving days from work.

Jeremy's been busy packing up boxes (he was able to get many computer boxes from work so they are all the same size for stacking nicely in the moving truck) while I've been busy wrapping up our art and photography collection.  In all of my previous moves to and from university, the only thing that I've ever been disappointed with is the picture frames that always seemed to get scratched.  This time, I'm taking the extra effort to shrink wrap all of our pictures so hopefully we won't have that problem.

It's sad seeing the bare walls.  Especially in the stairwell where we had all of our personal photography from the trips we've been on.  But, I keep reminding myself about the adventure that we have ahead of us.  Soon enough the boxes will be unpacked, our photos will be on display again and we will be keeping ourselves busy with personalizing each of the new rooms to make this incredible old house our new home.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Let There Be Light!

With just two weeks left until we can start moving into our new home, we have been busy with packing, and picking up more new furniture and light fixtures.  Because of all of the renovations that need to happen, we're on a pretty tight budget when it comes to furnishing the house.  We figure we'd rather put extra money into the finishings (like heated marble floors in the bathroom...ooohhh) and save some cash right now by finding as much second hand furniture and light fixtures as possible.

Now that garage sale season is in full swing, we've been out bright and early for the last few Saturday mornings, looking for any pieces that will work in our new rooms.  We know exactly how we want each of our rooms to look (check out my Pinterest boards for each room!) so we've been pretty picky when it comes to buying other people's junk.  Some of the pieces we've bought won't be forever pieces, but will hold us over until we can afford the ones we really want.

In the foyer, we are planning on hanging a large glass apothecary light fixture like the ones pictured below.

Photos courtesy of Pinterest

We'll hang matching ones in the upper landing and hallway to really make the space flow.  The only problem is that the one we want for the foyer comes with a $400 price tag, and we will need three more for the upstairs hall! That's not in the budget right now, so we picked up this brass beauty at a yard sale last weekend for $5.

Although it's not exactly what we want, it will work for a few years until we can actually afford the apothecary fixtures.  It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the glass panes are all bevelled, which will create some great reflections on the foyer walls.  A coat of black spray paint will really change the look of it!

In the living room, we've been looking online and in lighting stores for a fixture similar to the one below.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

At 15' by 22', the living room is a massive space that will require a massive light fixture.  I haven't been able to find this exact fixture, but we did find a few that were similar.  Most of them were in the $600-$900 range, and a few were higher.  That won't work for us, so we found this fixture on Kijiji a few days ago for $90!

It's hard to tell in the picture, but this fixture is huge!  I'm going to spray it all black, and the glass needs a really good cleaning but when we're done with it, I think it will give us the same look at a far more reasonable price.

After the paperwork was signed for the sale of our current house, Jeremy and I looked at each other and both said that we shouldn't have sold the fixture in the library.

It's a knock-off of Restoration Hardware's Foucault Orb Chandelier, which sells for over $600 at RH.  We purchased this one at one of our favourite shops on Port Perry's main street a few years ago, for around $300, and we have loved it since we hung it up.  We didn't think we'd ever find one again, but last week we spotted this one on Kijiji.

Other than the finish, it's exactly the same as our current one!  With the ceilings in the new house being considerably higher, we need the longer chain that this one has.  With a coat of spray paint, it will look exactly the same as the one that we have loved so much in this house.  We figure we will hang it on the landing until we can afford the apothecary lights, then move it into one of the bedrooms.

And finally, we spotted this lamp at a garage sale last week and thought that it had some great bones.

We don't know where in the house it will go, but with a fresh coat of paint, it will look great on a desk or side table.  At $5, we couldn't leave it behind!

With the exception of the dining room, we now have new fixtures for the entire main floor of the house (the kitchen has a ceiling fan that we will paint...with no A/C, it will be needed in there!).  I'm feeling really good about what we have found so far, and it's all been within our budget.  I'm hoping to get them all painted this week, so stay tuned for before and after pictures!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Lessons Learned: Lesson #1

I thought it might be fun to start a mini-series within the blog, so as we stumble across any difficult (or sometimes obvious!) challenges, I will share the lessons that we learn with you.

This was a really trying week for us budget-wise.  Right now we're working with two budgets, one for the new house and one for our wedding.  As many of you know, we are getting married on July 12, just a few weeks after we take possession of the new house on June 23.  As of June 30, I'm also moving to a new school.  I think the stress of all three of these events built up this week, and I finally cracked! But, after a good talk, we are back on track and ready to go full steam ahead!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we had asked two electricians to come visit the new property and give us quotes on rewiring the whole house.  For insurance purposes, the 100 year old knob and tube wiring needs to be disconnected and new wiring needs to be run.  Our insurance company has given us 30 days to have this completed. Anyway, we received the first quote back very quickly.  He estimated $12-15,000.  Not bad, and right on budget.  He also said that he didn't have time to do the job, so we were really hoping the second one would come back similar.  We waited for quite a while, but finally heard back from him earlier this week.  $25-30,000. I was crushed.  That's double the amount that we had budgeted.

Lesson #1:  Get Multiple Quotes

So after a small break down along the lines of "we can't afford this house and our wedding!" we called in two more electricians and got two more quotes.  The first one came in at $8-10,000.  Wow, under budget!  The second one, who specializes in rewiring century homes, came in at $9800-14,900.  Right on target, and booked!

They always say to go with the middle quote, so that's what we have decided to do.  Thankfully, we don't need to break the bank, and we might actually be able to afford the house and the wedding after all!