Category — Homes + Interiors

Open House: Green Avenue, Part 1

With less than a month until moving day, it’s time for me to get serious about packing. Like, really serious. I haven’t filled a single box yet but am finding it really hard to start as most things can’t get boxed up until the very end. I suppose I’ll start with our storage room and work my out from there. Any moving pros out there? Please feel free to send tips my way! Packing means purging and although we already made a huge dent in our clutter pre-listing date, I’ve still got a few junk drawers and bins to sort through. Organizing takes so much brain power, doesn’t it? It can be draining but it’s worth it to see the final results. I promised I’d share some recent pics of our house before we move and here are some I took before our open house a couple of weeks ago:

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Birch + Bird: My House | Home of Lily Ellis

Although I’ll miss our huge living room windows here on Green Ave, I’m really excited by the amount of wall space that we have in our new townhouse. I may or may not already be hoarding vintage art and signs from my shop, Spruce Collective for gallery walls galore. So much for purging! I’ve got some more pics of our bedrooms to share very soon and you can see past photos of our house (they’re much prettier than mine!) here, as well as pics of Gabe’s basement bedroom here. Happy hump day!

April 16, 2014   4 Comments

Vintage Modern: Schoolhouse Electric

I’m suddenly at that age when trends I’ve lived through are coming around full circle (like overalls and Doc Martens, for example) and I admit it’s making me feel a wee bit old! But that’s the thing about style and fashion. There are only so many ideas out there so old ideas have to recirculate and when given a fresh enough twist, they become “new” once again. I’m all for classic pieces over trends (in both home decor and fashion) and love seeing traditional lines given a modern edge. Schoolhouse Electric is a company that really just gets it right. Branching out from their signature heritage and  industrial light fixtures, the collection has expanded to include furniture, bedding and home decor essentials built with classic lines and a strong nod to mid-century design. I’d be happy as a clam to move any of these pieces into our new home next month:

Schoolhouse ElectricSchoolhouse Electric: Fulton Chair

Schoolhouse ElectricSchoolhouse Electric: Satellite Sconce

Schoolhouse ElectricSchoolhouse Electric: Equestrian Loveseat

Schoolhouse ElectricSchoolhouse Electric: Bed Linens

Schoolhouse ElectricSchoolhouse Electric: Cassandra Bed

 Can you tell I’ve got a little thing for button tufting? There were far too many great pieces to narrow down for this post so be sure to check out the rest of the Schoolhouse Electric website on your coffee break. I really should be packing, not “dream” shopping online but I work better under pressure ;) Off to work I go but have a great start to your week!

April 14, 2014   0 Comments

Friday Links: Weekend Round-Up

This week has left me more than a little brain fried. Finishing up tax season for both the shop (ouch!) and our personal taxes while sorting out mortgage details for our new townhouse have left my head spinning with numbers and I can’t wait for the weekend ahead. The sun is supposed to shine and temperatures will be warm, the perfect time to hang with friends and BBQ tomorrow and then we’ll be celebrating Gabe’s 11th birthday with family on Sunday. Eleven. How do I have an almost teenager? Jeepers, time flies! I haven’t had much time to scour my have blogs recently but here are a few links I’ve loved this week:

1. The Pender Island home is beyond breathtaking, as are the views and trees surrounding it. One day I’ll live by the sea:

Janis Nicolay for House & HomePender Island retreat. Janis Nicolay for House & Home. Designed by McCarthy Hinder.

2. Loving this DIY galaxy wall for a small bathroom. Might have to try something similar in our new townhouse’s powder room:

A Beautiful MessDIY Galaxy Wall by A Beautiful Mess

3.  Eva Juliet‘s family trees are so beautiful. The perfect gift for Mother’s Day, don’t you think?

Custom family tree by Eva JulietCustom family tree by Eva Juliet via Poppytalk

4. I love me some quirky art and this entire home is filled with it along with plenty of other bright, unexpected touches:

The Design Files. Photo by Eve Wilson.The Design Files. Photo by Eve Wilson.

5. You know those recipe photos that instantly make your tummy growl? Yeah, this was one of them:

Coconut Chess Pie recipe by Crazy for CrustCoconut Chess Pie recipe by Crazy for Crust

I made a little mixed tape for a few of the friends we’ll see this weekend to kick off the start of BBQ season. Here are a few of my favourite tunes this week. Have a great weekend, hope it includes plenty of sunshine, fun and a cold drink or two!

April 11, 2014   6 Comments

Southern Charm: A Modern Farmhouse

Before I chat about anything else, I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you who commented and sent all forms of moral support my way after Monday’s very personal post. It felt natural to share the truth (I’m all for keeping it real!) and it seems as though most of you can relate in some form or another. Life is funny, isn’t it? So many hills and valleys and unexpected turns along the way but this is one twist that I’m really looking forward to. Our corner of the world just happens to be one that’s ridiculously expensive to live in but I’m all for dreaming big and this Nashville renovation is definitely a country dream. And it’s big. Really big. I’m absolutely in love with how the architects preserved the original 1850′s front + exterior of the home and added all of the modern conveniences to a large (massive, actually) addition in the rear. Designed by HS2 Architecture, this family farmhouse manages to blend traditional, modern and some rather quirky + unexpected elements into one very liveable home. Come take a peek:

Courtesy of HS2 Architecture. Photo by Caroline Allison.HS2 Architecture via HGTV. Photos by Caroline Allison.

Courtesy of HS2 Architecture. Photo by Caroline Allison.

Courtesy of HS2 Architecture. Photo by Caroline Allison.

Courtesy of HS2 Architecture. Photo by Caroline Allison. Courtesy of HS2 Architecture. Photos by Caroline Allison.

The original bones of the farmhouse were maintained yet some walls were stripped down to the studs to allow light and sight lines to flow throughout the main floor. Such an unexpected feature for this home but I think it’s brilliant! Adds a fun, eccentric touch don’t you think? It’s always inspiring to me to see such a combination of styles juxtaposed together in a space and actually working, like they do in this home.

Courtesy of HS2 Architecture. Photo by Caroline Allison.Courtesy of HS2 Architecture. Photos by Caroline Allison.

Courtesy of HS2 Architecture. Photo by Caroline Allison.

Courtesy of HS2 Architecture. Photo by Caroline Allison. Courtesy of HS2 Architecture. Photos by Caroline Allison.

And the property. Seriously. How are there even pastoral vistas like this in existence? I don’t think I’d ever leave! You can see many more stunning photos of this Nashville home on the HS2 Architecture website so be sure to check them out. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

April 9, 2014   1 Comment

Big News: We’re Moving On!

Hey strangers! Sorry to fall off of the grid here on the blog but if you’re following me over on Instagram, you’ll know that we’ve been preoccupied with some pretty big news . . . we sold our house! Not something we thought would be happening even a mere 2 weeks ago but sometimes things are just meant to be. Here’s a personal look at our story, in a nutshell:

Brad and I bought our first home 11 years ago right before Gabe, our eldest was born, and we’ve basically been house-poor ever since. For the record, it’s totally our fault for the simple reason that we love our homes! Projects, renovations and home improvements get me excited (obviously!) and Brad just happens to be an all-round handyman. Our tiny first house was a 5-year renovation labour-of-love that took it’s fair share of blood, sweat, tears (not to mention cash!) but we loved transforming the former flop house (it was bad!) into our sweet first family home. Sadie was born and we jumped right into more serious renos there, gutting things down to the studs and swapping the kitchen and living room (I do not recommend living on site with a newborn and toddler for a renovation of this magnitude!) and somehow all survived. Fast forward a couple more years with Lilah on-the-way and it was clear that we had officially outgrown our tiny 2-bedroom heritage charmer. We bought our current West Coast rancher from friends and it has been the most amazing home to raise our family in! The cedar tongue-and-groove ceilings, treed yard, huge windows and quiet neighbourhood will forever have our hearts.

Birch + Bird

The thing is, despite the fact that Brad and I both work our tails off (he is honestly the hardest worker I know) financial stress has never been far away. Even though our house isn’t huge (and we had renters in our basement suite for most of our 6 years here) there are always projects to do, appliances to fix and bills to pay and we’ve been feeling like we’ve been treading water for far too long. Financial stresses have played a big part in our marriage and we realized early this year that something had to change if we wanted to keep our family together. We’ve played with the idea of downsizing (or even selling our house and renting) over the years but never seriously considered it until recently. One of my partners, Kevi, and her family live in a ’70′s era townhouse complex very close to us and I really loved the layout and lofty ceilings when I first saw her place (not to mention she has mad decorating skills!). I’ve kept my eye open for similar units on the market (they’re few and far between on our side of town) but she let us know during Spring Break of a new townhouse listing in their complex. It had been fully renovated (we’re talking everything) so we called our realtor, loaded up the kids and went by for a looky-loo. Well, we loved it! I think we were all surprised by the fact but it felt like us and we could totally see ourselves living there. Long story short, we listed our house last Saturday and the first viewing was on Sunday (before it was even officially on the market) and they made an offer by dinnertime that evening! We accepted and made an offer on the townhouse, which (after a few negotiations) was also accepted. Boom.

Needless to say, we feel like we made the right decision and that this move is “meant to be” but that doesn’t mean that it’s been an easy choice to make. I’ve definitely shed a few sad tears (I’m sure there will be more!) and we’ll all miss this house dearly (especially the yard, sniff sniff). But I’m also totally at peace and incredibly excited about our fresh start as a family. There is so much relief at the thought of putting our financial burdens behind us and having the chance to actually save money (is that what a savings account is for??) not to mention have a bit more flexibility for the odd vacation and family fun too. Weighing the pros and cons was actually surprisingly easy when we envisioned what we wanted our future to look like. Together.

Birch + Bird: My House

Sorry for the long-winded personal post but I thought it was important to share my story and I’m really excited to share the rest of our journey with you too. Our house is looking sooo clean and has never been more organized (seriously, it hasn’t!) and I’ll be sure to share some fresh photos with you before we start packing. With the thought of neighbours and who-knows-who poking around at our open house yesterday (I hope someone actually appreciated my tidy utility closet), I’ve cleaned, purged and organized every cupboard, drawer and closet and it’s really inspired me to keep clearing out the clutter and keep things simple at our new townhouse. Our closing date is mid-May so I’ve only got a five weeks to pack thing up, eek! You can keep tabs on the process here on Instagram and please feel free to send any moving/packing tips my way! Enjoy your Monday :)

April 7, 2014   21 Comments