The walkway connecting the side of our house to our garden has been wrought with issues – grass wouldn’t grow there, and in the winter months it would pool with water and turn into an ice rink. In Summer it is just a muddy mess. We decided therefore, while we were adding wood cladding to the pool that we would keep the momentum going and build a mini walkway by the gate. A mini boardwalk, which seemed fitting also as we live close to the Beach.
It started with us digging out the ground, in order to place some rocks for better drainage. We were originally going to just make a straight walkway and end it parallel to the stairs – however I decided at the last minute, much to some annoyance of Aubrey, to connect the walkway with the staircase, in order to make the whole area seem as one, and create a “pond” of our grasses.
It ended up making it a bigger project than we originally assumed, as now we were tying in the walkway with the stairs. But as it started to come together, it was clear that the extra effort was indeed worth it.
I am so ridiculously happy with how it turned out!
After 14 years in this house I started to itch for a change in our living room. I think it’s 50% pandemic fatigue and being in the house every.single.day and 50% just my own personal style changes. Thankfully Aubrey has been patient and encouraging of my need for change, and has been supportive with need for changes. Here is how our living room was as of a few months ago.
As you can see from the top, to the picture below – I took down the gallery wall and, console table. So far the only thing I have done is repainted the wall and added a new pillow. LOL. The couch and coffee table are staying, as are our built in bookshelves.
I’m debating what to do along this wall, and have been wondering if we could add in a gas fireplace much like the ones below – a full bump out with minimal mantle.
I’ve also torn apart the dining room and TV room so the whole first floor is pretty much being redecorated. 🙂 (More on those rooms later) I have my feelers out to fireplace shops to see if they could suggest a model based on our space. Stay tuned!
This big box…. (see above) arrived just after New Years. It was a purchase we made in June / July (I’ve lost count) in the height of the Summer, mid lockdown, when life at home was getting terribly claustrophobic.
With the cover rolled back …. it reveals a …. pool! That can be used every day of the year, in the height of the winter, and the scorching heat of the summer. With our gym memberships cancelled, travelling grounded for the year or more, and bring stuck to our home, Aubrey and I decided a swim spa would be a really useful, amazing investment for our backyard.
We were desperate for something we could all do together as a family- and swimming is just something we all love. We’re not skiers, or skaters. The three of us are water people – I find the greatest calm by being by, and in water. For years I’ve pinned pools, and dreamt of a plunge pool that we could incorporate into our garden.
I was originally smitten with something called “Shipping Container pools” – which are just that. Pools made out of shipping containers. I obsessed over their their looks, but after having the hardest time getting a hold of one company (not naming names) and realizing that if I couldn’t get a hold of a company to talk about buying something – how hard would it be to get a hold of someone if something went wrong, I packed that idea away and decided I didn’t have enough patience left during a pandemic, to try to make something work that just didn’t want to work. Perhaps because of the such a bad experience trying to get information out of a company, it made me appreciate and value the experience we got at BonaVista (pictured below) in Toronto that much more.
So I knew BonaVista pools in Toronto for building gorgeous, in ground pools. What I hadn’t realized is that they had a whole division just dedicated to Swim Spas by Hydropools. Aubrey and I went in to talk with Jennifer there mid Summer (without Oscar first), and talked about pricing, what the overall cost looked like, and then booked ourselves a swim test. Oscar and I went into the pool, did a little swimmy swim and I was sold. On. the spot. It was SO MUCH FUN with the jets.
Although I’m still smitten with the design concept of a shipping container pool, I am SO glad we went with the Hydropool as it just has that many more bells and whistles that makes it fun for everyone. And although it wasn’t the look I was originally thinking, it actually is way more beautiful than I could have imagined.
Pros. This is something we can use 365 days a year. In the coldest of days I was in there floating looking at the stars, with it cranked up to 104 degrees. In the Summer I will be lying out there too, but with it waaaay lower.
Cons: Cost. It’s not just the cost of the pool but you need to factor in electrical, setting up your property to handle it, and the crane.
As much as this was thought of for Oscar to have fun in – This is also for Aubrey and I to get laps in. With the jets you can swim against the current and get in an awesome workout. I found it difficult to do the workout when we had it cranked to 104 in the dead of winter, but I see us doing the exercise more when we lower the temperature of the water, as the heat outside starts to go up. Feel free to ask any questions if you’re interested in getting one!
We bought it from: Bona Vista Pools (they are the BEST)
Ask for Jennifer and she’ll know which model we bought!