Master Bedroom Makeover Reveal

For the last seven weeks I’ve been a guest participant in the One Room Challenge. I have been working on our master bedroom to create a colorful and fun, yet still calm and cohesive space. And as always, we were on a small budget, so this room makeover included lots of DIY projects and using…

Master Bedroom: One Room Challenge Week 1

It’s that time of the year again when your social media feed is filled with room makeovers and DIY projects! Yes, it’s the first week of the One Room Challenge. If you haven’t heard of it, this is a challenge hosted by Linda from Calling It Home. She challenges home interiors bloggers to totally complete…

How To Plant A Wildflower Meadow

Remember back in February when I wrote about how I was going to grow a wildflower meadow this summer? Well we finally got around to planting it. There’s an area at the front of our property that was full of weeds and small shrubs. It seemed like a natural location for a wildflower meadow. It’s…

DIY Industrial Curtain Rod, Brackets and Finials

I’m going to show you how I made a heavy looking industrial curtain rod from inexpensive hardware store supplies. I was on a fairly tight budget for my curtains rods for the dining and living area, but I still wanted something that looked solid and substantial for our seven foot windows. There are so many…

Organizing Children’s Bedrooms

Do you have trouble keeping your kids’ bedrooms neat and tidy? I know we do here at the Vanderveen house. So I’ve come up with a list of 7 tips that can help to keep your children’s bedrooms organized. I have had the pleasure to write this post for Ola Bloom, the blogger at J’adore le…

Custom Closets With Built In Shelving

Another thing on our to-do list was to finish up the built in shelving in all the closets. I’m going to show you how we designed our closets, built all our custom shelving, and organized the spaces so you can draw some inspiration for your own home. After we moved into our house we still…

laundry room and mudroom with hooks for kids clothes

Mudroom and Front Hall: Before and After

When we designed our house, we knew we wanted a mudroom between the garage and the main living area. This would give us a place to drop all our coats and boots, and have the mess contained within a defined area. If you remember from our house plans, we built a raised bungalow with a split…

Unfinished Basement and Future Plans

When we were building our house, we decided to finish off the upstairs first and leave the basement finishing for sometime in the future. We don’t need the extra finished space at the moment. For now, a wide open area in the basement is great for the kids. The kids can practice their sports in…

En-suite Bathroom Plans and Progress

We are trying hard to get a few more things done yet before Christmas. One of the major projects we would like to complete is the master bedroom en-suite bathroom.  Here is a mood board with the components we are planning to use for our bathroom. I think the last time I showed a picture…

Week 22: Trim and Interior Doors

My parents came to visit a few weeks ago to help us with some things around the house, including the trim and interior doors. My mom took care of the kids and made meals so Tony and I could get some stuff done at the house. My dad worked non-stop on installing the trim and doors.…

Week 19: Drywall and Mudding

Once we had all the electrical and plumbing and HVAC finished in the upstairs, and once it all passed inspection, we were able to get our drywall contractor in. We hired Rattray & Sons Enterprises Ltd from Ottawa to do the drywall, and we couldn’t be happier with their work. The drywall guys came in…

Week 18: Permacon Lafitt Exterior Stone

We started building our house in the spring of 2016. We decided to be our own general contractors and do all the organizing ourselves. You can find out more about us and our houses and renovations here. Exterior Stone Over the last two weeks we’ve had our stone mason install all the exterior stone. We…

Week 17: Insulation and Septic System

Last week in-between all the packing and moving we were also working on getting the insulation done.  We decided to go with R22 fiberglass insulation. We decided not to do spray foam because of the higher cost. At this point in the build we’re trying to scale back where we can so we can hopefully…

Week 15: Soffit and Fascia

Last week Steve and Matt from Dovetail Carpentry started installing the fascia and the soffit around the house. The front of the house is finished and I think it really tidies up the roofline. We are going to have three potlights above our front step where those holes are cut out. We decided to go…

Week 14: Plumbing, Electrical, & HVAC

We had a lot going on last week, including plumbing, electrical, the furnace was brought in, and the ductwork for the furnace and HRV was started. Nothing is finished completely, but here are some progress pictures. Here is the chimney for the furnace. We bought a wood furnace with propane backup, so we needed to…

Week 12: Basement Concrete With Heated Floor

Last week the guys finished pouring the concrete slab in the basement. Before that was done though there was quite a bit of prep work, which included dumping more gravel into the basement, and leveling it off. Amvic Insulated Panel Then we laid down Styrofoam insulation on top of the gravel. We used the Amvic insulated panel…

Weeks 10 & 11: Interior Framing and Plumbing

The last two weeks have been a mix of a lot of different things, mostly including interior framing as well as the plumbing rough in. Our main contractors, Dovetail Carpentry, did all the interior framing over the last two weeks. We hired a plumber from Chesterville, ON to do all the plumbing rough-ins, and he will…

Week 9: Tin Roof – Part 2

Here’s just a quick update of what was done last week. The tin roof on the house is finished, other than where the tin needs to be cut. The ladders and strapping were completed on the garage, and then almost all of the roof on the front of the garage was installed. And the back…

Week 8: Trusses and Vicwest Tin Roof

Roof Trusses Last week Monday we got started putting up the trusses. We rented a crane for the day to get the trusses up there. It also ended up being kind of cold for the middle of June, and very windy! The trusses were flying around like kites. The guys spent a good amount of time…

Week 7: More Framing

Tony and I bought 30 acres of land in a small community south of Ottawa, ON, and we started building our forever home in April 2016. We have been planning our dream home for a few years, and this year we decided to build our house and act as our own general contractors. We are…

Week 5: Steel Beams and Floor Joists

Last week we had two ~30 foot steel beams delivered and installed. I wasn’t there, but I was told they were very heavy. We got the beams from Quintan Products in Winchester, Ontario.  By the end of the week all the floor joists were installed. We decided to go with the webbed floor joists. This…

Week 4: Framing the Knee Wall

This week Steve and Matt (Dovetail Carpentry) started framing the knee wall above the concrete foundation. We are building a raised bungalow, so the concrete foundation is about five feet in the ground. The ceilings in the basement will be nine feet, so they built a four foot knee wall all around the outside of…

Week 3: Concrete For The Foundation

It doesn’t look like a lot of progress was made this week, but pouring the concrete for the foundation was a pretty big deal and we feel like we’re getting closer to finishing the foundation. Before doing the concrete the insulated concrete forms (ICF) had to be braced so the wall didn’t fall over. (Last…

Week 2: Insulated Concrete Forms ICF Foundation

After the foundation footing concrete was poured last week, it was left to dry for a day or two before removing the forms. This past week the guys got everything ready to start the foundation walls – this included installing the weeping tile all around the footings, and then covering the weeping tile with more…

Breaking Ground!

The build has officially started! Our contractor for the civil work added a new entrance to the land today, as well as started digging the hole. It doesn’t look like much, but this house building thing is really happening, and we are very excited about it!  

Spray painted picture frame collage

I bought these plain wood frames from a yard sale for $1 for a whole box. There was a mix of sizes, but these were the ones I thought worked best for a picture frame collage. I sanded them down lightly, then did about three coats of Rust-oleum painter’s touch spray paint in key lime…