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In My Home Tour

Reveal! Our super tiny washroom renovation

So it’s time to reveal our washroom renovation. 🙂 I am so, so, so happy with how it turned out. Every night I have a bubble bath and unwind and I look around and feel like I’m in a fancy hotel. Although I designed the room (picking the finishes, faucets etc) Aubrey did all the work making it come together. So here is a full reveal of the room, now that everything has been installed.

The main design decision that impacted the space was deciding to bump out the washroom wall into the hallway  to make extra room for the vanity. This allowed us to have a nook where the vanity would fit and give us more floor space in the washroom. It was absolutely the best decision.

In the shot above you can also see how all of our choices came together. The 2″ hexagon marble floor compliments the porcelain marble “look a like” tile that we carried onto the face of the bathtub. The trim is bright white and the walls – Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore. Grays and whites – all working together.

Vanity Lighting: One thing that was a bit concerning was that we had zero space for any vanity lighting. We ended up doing a single pot light right in the middle of the alcove. I’m happy to say that it gives off enough beautiful light. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We purposefully dropped the ceiling in the alcove to be the same height as the door, so it worked together, but also so that the potlight was close enough to where we stood to give off enough light. If we had made it much higher, we likely would not have as nice a light source. (See animated gif below)

The mirror– oh, the mirror. I had quotes of getting one custom made (close to $300, framed) searched high and low in retail stores. Nothing was right – or if it was, it was too expensive. I stopped into a Hotel Liquidators and low and behold they had the mirror above for sale for $15. Sold. Aubrey glued it to the wall and it looks like it was custom cut for our room.

Our vanity is gorgeous and it was pretty reasonable coming in around $500 (that includes the vanity and sink, not the faucet). In terms of function – this vanity hits all of the right notes. I love that the sink portion is flat – which means that you really have a full counter in front of you if you’re doing makeup. You don’t have to rest things on the side of the sink – as the interior basin is flat. I love that we went with zero handles, as it saves the floor space and I can get up closer to the sink. The only downfall is, that since we have no overhang of the sink – if water drips off the sink it drips onto the front of the drawers which is occasionally annoying.

I LOVE having drawers – they can store a ton of (my) things. Aubrey has one side, I have the other and the bottom drawer (not shown open) houses extra toilet paper, bubble bath, toys for Oscar.

And there you have it – Our bathroom reno! 🙂


Porcelain Shower Tile: Manufacturer: Cerim, Style Name: Precious Pearl 

2″ Hexagon Marble Floor: The Tile Store

Bathtub: Jaccuzi Soaker 60″ x 32″ drop in – purchased at Lowes

Toilet: Kohler Memoirs (I LOVE this toilet) purchased at Lowes

Vanity: Veneto Bath 690C in Walnut  Purchased at Bath City, Beaches Location

Three Way Shower System and faucet:  TAPS 

Robe Hooks and toilet paper holder: Kraus Aura Line, Home Depot Online  (online only)

Shower Curtain and LinerHomeSense

Shower Rod and Rings: Target

Towels: HomeSense

Mirror: Advance Hotel Liquidator 

Paint: Classic Gray for the Walls, Chantilly Lace for the trim (Both Benjamin Moore)

Drywall: Joe  (He’s done our basement, our kitchen and now our bathroom)

Other posts of interest:

Deciding to Bump Out the bathroom wallWashroom Before, Picking Tile,   Shower Systems,  Choosing a Bathtub,

In My Home Tour/ My House

TV Room Before & After

TV RoomTV Room 2 TV Room 3 TV Room 4 TV Room 5 TV Room 6

Our TV room is done! The first photo is the before (when we bought the house) and the after is as of a few days ago. The gorgeous linen romans from Tonic Living have been installed and I am thrilled with how they turned out and they definitely add a warmth to this room, that the space desperately needed.

A lot has been done to improve this room since 2008 when we moved in. But the last pieces of the puzzle were done over the last few months – new romans, a new carpet and some greenery. The romans are worth elaborating on as they are definitely the thread that pulls everything together for me – As I mentioned in my intro – they add a warmth that this room desperately needed. The fabric and the fabrication are from Tonic Living. 

I knew that I didn’t want a fabric that would cut out light entirely when they were down, instead I wanted a fabric that just diffused the light. I picked Tuscany Linen, Oatmeal Slub.  They are also lined in a white cotton fabric, that was pretty standard I think – Tonic knew what I wanted so advised on the best one so I just trusted them.

The number of windows in this room, not including the door is five. And each window was a different size than the next. A bold patterned fabric would have likely been too busy and drawn attention to the different sized windows – so choosing a natural fabric, although my taste to begin with, was carefully considered because of the odd shaped windows.

One thing that is worth noting is that the romans have a manual pull, meaning you have to manually wrap around the cord to a hook on the wall, to secure the drapes from unraveling down – whereas some companies (mass produced romans) have mechanical stops that make it easier to adjust. I was worried that this may be annoying but I’m pleased that it’s actually really easy to get the blinds to adjust to the same level as the others. The blinds go up and down occasionally twice a day. At night when we’re watching TV and in the morning they come up so we have bright beautiful sunlight.

I’m in LOVE with them. I highly recommend Tonic for fabrication and I absolutely adore the fabric too. There are other little elements that came in to make the room feel done.

A rug: An awkwardly shaped room I thought a custom rug was our only solution. But that wasn’t in our budget so I put in an Ikea Havbro wool rug that is really too long for the room but you wouldn’t know because I’ve hidden the majority of it under the couch. Totally works.  Side Table: I’ve moved my favourite table – my Duncan Phyfe games table that I bought in Craigslist, from the upstairs hall to beside the couch in this room. It adds a little more warmth. It’s possible from a design perspective it’s too tall but it’s staying where it is. A lamp from HomeSense, my DIY Concrete Planter, and a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree that sits in a new HomeSense basket – all make this room warm yet uncluttered. Aubrey and I watch TV in here every night and the leather couch makes it a stress free room for me with Oscar. He eats on this couch, and we just wipe it clean.

I’d love to add an ottoman in here but it has been tricky to find the perfect one in our budget. So the hunt continues. Anyhow, it’s not a grand room but it’s potentially now one of my favourite spots in the house because of how cozy it is at night and cheery in the day. I do love it!

Shopping Guide:
Wall Colour …………… Cloud White, Benjamin Moore
New Windows ………… Fieldstone Windows
Roman Blind Fabric ………………. Oatmeal Slub Linen via Tonic Living
Roman Blind Sewing/ Fabrication ……………… Tonic Living
Leather Couch …………………… Verona by Barrymore Furniture
Duncan Phyfe Games Table ………… Craigslist
Glass Lamp ………………… HomeSense (2011)
Concrete Planter ………………. I made it. 
Picture of Oscar ……………….. Tynan Studio
Frame (Picture of Oscar) ……… Ikea
Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree …………….. Ikea
Basket for Tree ……………………. HomeSense (April, 2013)
New Glass Door ………………….. Lowes, Aubrey installed
Rug  ………………………. Ikea

In My Home Tour

Nursery to Toddler Room…

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The new pine dresser is in Oscar’s room. I love it. I actually clasped my hands together, jumped up and down and beamed.  A year ago I don’t think I would have put pine in this room but for some reason when I saw the piece it felt like it was meant to be for Oscar. It just feels like a family piece, worn with bumps and scratches from years of love and ready to handle many bumps and scratches from our family.

In My Home Tour/ Renovations

Ikea Hack, Trash Pullout

Ikea Kitchen, Garbage Bin

One of our favourite Ikea hacks in our new kitchen is the trash pullout.  We tried to go with the system Ikea sells but we think their bins are way too small. We didn’t want to be taking out the recycling/garbage twice a day.

Here is how Aubrey created something way better….

He ordered a base cabinet that was 18″ wide and came with a full height door. He added on one large drawer unit (18″ Rationell.) He installed that drawer unit at the very bottom, and attached the door. This allowed us to use the Rubbermaid bins that you see above. They are 16″ x 11″ (about twice the size of Ikea’s largest bin) and available in most hardware/home improvement stores. Ta-da! Awesome.

This is a perfect example of how you have to think about functionality when you are designing your kitchen. Imagine yourself actually using it on a day to day basis. Aubrey did, he’s the one that takes out the garbage.

You don’t have to stick to what’s available – take what a big box store offers, and improve it.

In My Home Tour/ Renovations

Kitchen // Shopping Guide

ikea kitchen shopping guide

So you have likely seen our Kitchen Reveal and tips and tricks for buying Ikea Kitchens.  This particular post is going to tell you where we got everything else – the essential elements in making our Ikea Kitchen look custom. Things like what hardware, countertops, sink, faucet etc…. This is a long post so all the info is after the jump. Cheers! – Lindsay


CABINETRY / Purchased all cabinetry from Ikea. Door profile, Adel.

HARDWARE / Made by: Hickory Hardware Studio Line, in Polished Nickle

FAUCET / Made by: Aquitaine Single Lever faucet made by Perrin and Rowe

APPLIANCES (Fridge, Dishwasher, Microwave, Oven)Manufactured by: GE Cafe Line – StoveMicrowaveCounter Depth FridgeDishwasher

SINK / Purchased at: TAPS. Manufacturer by Julien. Daniel Scheffel at TAPS. We LOVE having a single sink.

Type of Countertop: Caesarstone in Misty Carrara Installed by MG Stone Craft

– Tile and Grout Purchased: Home Depot, Aubrey installed

We purchased the wood at Central Fairlank Lumber, installed by Aubrey.
Painted it Benjamin Moore Paper Mache, in Semi Gloss which is a great match for the Ikea Adel doors.

Xenon Lighting via Home Depot
Comments: They do heat up a lot, so sometimes it makes the cabinet kind of warm. I love the light that this collection gives off. Highly recommend.


Who we hired: Eureka Assembly & Installations
Comments: Ah-ma-zing. We really appreciated the help from these guys. Aubrey built the cabinets himself, but hired this company to come in and help install. Although you can hire them to biuld your cabinets as well. I really recommend them, we were super happy with the service.

Manufacturer:  Benjamin Moore
Walls: Cloud White, Benjamin Moore
Crown Molding: Paper Mache, Benjamin Moore (Matches perfectly the Ikea Adele doors)
Trim elsewhere: Chantilly Lace, Benjamin Moore

Read this post on the Tips & Tricks on how to design the kitchen

In My Home Tour

Tips & Tricks for Buying an Ikea Kitchen

ikea kitchenI know that someone may fall upon our kitchen reveal in a few years time and will have missed all of the entertaining posts leading up the grand reveal that explained how and why we chose things. I’m going to create some posts that include a lot of information for readers who may be interested in renovating their own kitchen.For this particular post I’m focusing on the main element – our cabinetry, which is Ikea, and the door style is the Adel door. This post doesn’t go into the details of what we picked elsewhere (counter, tiles etc) that you can find in our “Kitchen Shopping Guide”. This is just a list of things to consider when designing an Ikea kitchen.  Warning. This is a LONG post.

If you read my blog regularly you’ll know I’m a fan of “hacking” Ikea things to make them look custom.  So my kitchen is no different. We’ve gotten creative with Ikea cabinetry and worked in elements from other stores – giving us a custom look at a better price than custom. Anyhow, without further delay – here is my summary of buying an Ikea Kitchen.  – Lindsay

#1| Why we chose IKEA cabinetry for our kitchen

The pros to an Ikea kitchen are pretty clear – they are economical, easy to buy, things are usually in stock so you can walk out with them the same day. The downside – your Ikea delivery may look like this and will be a little intimidating. And ….you’re really on your own to design and build your kitchen.I’m not going to go into the differences between custom kitchens and Ikea, there are a lot of factors in support of both – but for us the cost savings of an Ikea kitchen was very hard to ignore. For cabinet purchasing- Ikea really came in as the economical choice.  We ended up choosing the Ikea Adel door, a classic shaker that I think is the best profile they have.

#2 | Buying & Ordering Your Ikea Kitchen Cabinets

We’ve all done it – open the Ikea Catalog, seen kitchens that are economical and look like they could just be installed the next day. I wouldn’t say it looks easy to accomplish, but it definitely looks achievable for the every day homeowner. Which, is true. BUT, if you want it to look built in, a lot of pre-planning is involved.We spent a lot of time designing because we really wanted the kitchen to look built in, not just “installed”. This meant that we had to do a lot of planning, something that took us months and months. Aubrey stresses that you really have to pre-plan EVERYTHING when doing an Ikea kitchen and it’s a domino effect. Everything effects spacing – appliance dimensions, what crown molding you use, what height is the valance you use. Know everything you are going with before you start the design process.

Although we have a relatively easy space I found the design process stressful. The one downside to an Ikea kitchen is that although they have a very large selection of cabinetry – inevitably they are limited in cabinet sizes. So it’s a bit of a puzzle working out which cabinets should go where. In the beginning I did debate hiring a designer to help design the layout. I have read that many designers can offer select services – such as helping design layouts – which may make it an economical opportunity for a homeowner. (For example, Carol Reed offers this service) In the end Aubrey and I worked it out – I’m pretty creative, and Aubrey is great with numbers/measurements.  I can break our designing process into three important steps/stages.

  • Researching Ikea Kitchen Pictures: I spent a few hours going through Carol Reed’s blog, soaking in some of her designer tips of working with Ikea kitchens. I also googled a lot of “Ikea Kitchens” and tried to really spot what I did, and also what I didn’t like of Ikea Kitchens.
  • Ikea Kitchen Designers: We took advantage of the staff at Ikea in the Kitchen Department. They were great. With our measurements in hand, they helped get set started using their kitchen design tool. That initial meeting with a kitchen designer set us off on the right foot. You still have to do the design yourself, but the kitchen staff will helped start us off with their design program.
  • Ikea Online Kitchen Design Tool: The last step for us was tweaking the design that we did in Step #2, at home. When you go home, you can tweak the design using their online design tool. I found the online tool confusing and frustrating so Aubrey ended up taking over and handling it. (Guess which one of us has more patience in the relationship)

TIP: Be creative and think outside the box. You can hide some empty spaces with “Filler Panels”. One great example is shown below. I wanted to connect the “Eat in Kitchen” with the Kitchen we brought the counter further into the eat in area. The space for cabinetry in the kitchen area allows for normal depth cabinets. But the eat in kitchen is an extension, and the wall is actually further set into the room. We couldn’t maintain the same base cabinet size along the run. So to maintain a straight line of base cabinets into the eat in area, we had to fake it a little. We added in less deep base cabinets into the eat in area. We added in a brace for counter top, and knew that “cover panel” would hide the wasted space behind – and in the end, seamlessly blend in.

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There are more tips on the design process below in section D.

#3 | Buying & Ordering Your Ikea Kitchen Cabinets

Here are some tips on ordering your Ikea Kitchen.

  • DO ask for help from the Ikea Kitchen Staff.
  • DO Take advantage of the Ikea kitchen sale. You get 10% back in Ikea gift cards when you buy Ikea cabinets from the store during the sale.
  • DON’T plan your kitchen design in the middle of the Ikea Kitchen Sale. It’s going to be crazy busy and getting one on one assistance (uninterrupted) from a Kitchen specialist will be impossible. Plan and design your kitchen well before the sale happens.
  • DO ask about their sale policies. We found out that Ikea will honor the 10% sale discount if we bought up to 45 days prior to the sale. [Call the store and ask what their policy is on honoring sale prices] We ended up getting back $400, in gift cards but skipped the mad rush of the sale in the store.
  • DO call your order in vs. going into the store and picking each piece out of the warehouse.
  • DO have your order delivered. We had a bad experience with the delivery company that Ikea used/uses. Ikea called for feedback (standard policy) after the order was delivered, and Aubrey gave an account of what happened and we did receive an apology. But still, just be ready to instruct the delivery guys/women on where to put the order and be prepared for your delivery to look like this.

#4 | Building & Installing (It’s ok to hire some help!)

You can hire a company to build and install your Ikea cabinets. When we priced this service out it was going to cost approx $100 per cabinet. So if you have 20 cabinets (which is normal) you’re looking at $2,000 for this service. Because we were watching where our money was going, we decided to do 1/2 the job ourselves. Aubrey built the cabinets, and hired a company to just install. Be warned…..Some companies won’t do this – they only offer the Build AND Install combo. So call around before you start to build your cabinets. Either way – I thought it was really valuable to hire a company to help with the installation. Ask whether the company will install the cover panels/filler panels – these little details are what finish off your design. It’s ok to hire help, and there are a lot of reputable companies that are around that will help you install.

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#5 | Finishing Details (You’re Almost there!)

Here is what I think are important tricks for making an Ikea Kitchen look custom.

  • DO BUY the tallest cabinets possible, so that they go as close to the ceiling as possible. I think wasted space above the cabinets always is an obvious sign to the fact that you bought “store bought” cabinets.
  • DON’T BUY any of the trim from Ikea. Build your own valance. You need to have the right tools, but this kind of detail makes a HUGE difference. If you don’t have the tools, maybe hire a handyman for the day.
  • DO consider adding in crown molding. I think crown molding gives a gorgeous “finished” look. [See photos below for examples]
  • DO Paint the trim to match the Ikea doors. Ikea Adel
    door paint match is Benjamin Moore Paper Mache.
  • DO BUY an Ikea door to bring around town with you as you try to match elements for your kitchen. That one Ikea Adel door stayed in my car for a month as I went looking for counters, tile, etc.

I guess my analogy is this – I think buying Bedroom Sets from a store doesn’t result in a very nice look. It looks too matchy matchy. (This is totally a personal style, so don’t take offense if you have a matchy-matchy bedroom set.) They sell them as sets because people like them, and need them. But for me – I think things look more unique and custom, when you mix and match from different stores. The same goes for Ikea and their kitchens. Buy the cabinets from them but look elsewhere for everything else. It likley won’t cost you more, but it will take you some time to source things.

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Our kitchen – Note the crown molding is painted the same colour as the doors. Have your local paint store help match paint. Benjamin Moore’s PAPER MACHE is a perfect match for Ikea Adel Doors.

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#6 | Done! And my final thoughts on Ikea Kitchens after our own reno?

We likely spent more hours designing than the majority of people would but we really wanted it to look built in. Do you need to spend as many hours as we did designing? No – but it’s worth it in the end. As Aubrey stressed when he saw me writing this post – it’s imperative that you know everything you’re working with before you start designing. The cost savings of choosing the Ikea cabinets made it worth it. And, they look fabulous. In my mind, go with the Adel doors, they are so classic.

I’m sure I’ve missed certain things. I appreciate this isn’t a buider-guide-how to, but at least you get the inspiration to take away to create your own kitchen, and see the tricks we used.

I hope this has helped!

xo Lindsay

Disclosure: Because of the extensive (LONG) review, I feel as though it is worth noting that this post was not sponsored by Ikea.