Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This Old Home...

We just bought a home! Time for a change. Thought I could never leave the home we live in now. Over 30 years of love and laughter, good times and challenging moments. Our children were raised in this home. A lifetime of memories. But change is good. It's time. New challenges and exciting things in store for us.

Our "new" house was built in 1896 by a grocer who had a store in the 700 block of LaSalle Street in Ottawa. Just a stones throw from my store, A Mess of Things. His name was James McMullen and according to my husband who has become quite the expert on Victorian homes, it is in the folk Victorian style. It is considered the poor man's option or for someone who didn't care for the more ornate Queen's Anne style home. I'm sure some of my reader's are experts in this area and I'd love to hear more info on it from you.

I'll be taking you all on my journey as we make this home our own. The former owners took very good care of the house and lived there over 40 years. They too were ready for a change and lovingly handed it over to us along with a large envelope of newspaper clippings and actual photos of the home from over the years. What a treasure to have!

Now it's time to make it ours. Our ideas are running wild as you can imagine and I have the luxury of having a very creative minded (and somewhat handy) husband. I also have a store that is a treasure trove of repurposed furniture, shabby chic items, and vintage finds. It will be fun picking the brains of my ever so talented friends who also share a love of the unique and unexpected.
I've allowed myself to put carpet just on the stairs and have something already in mind!
So, after a week of ownership we have stripped the home of all the carpets and floor coverings and discovered great hardwood floor bones...some rooms in need of a little more TLC then others. That will be our first task - restoring every inch these wood floors. Clean, environmentally friendly, free of dust mites and critters that may be hiding out in that lovely orange shag and drab grey carpet. With two dogs and three cats it's the only way to go. And oh, how it has opened up the rooms and let this old house breathe to pull up that carpet and brittle foam backing. The upstairs has wide pine planking and those rooms plus the hallway will have painted wood floors. Don't worry. I'll put a twist on those floors as well some with stenciling.

Follow our progress and see what I use to make this a show stopper. I'd love to hear some of your suggestions and comments as well. I'll be doing some things very economically. And on other things we will just have to bite the bullet and spend some cash. I'll be using recycled objects along with new. The expected with the unexpected. Many items will come from my store or from our many road trips to flea markets, estate and barn sales. Share the journey with me to make this old house my new home.
From the old owners of the house to us. It was on the kitchen counter when we walked in the day we bought the house. How sweet.


  1. I know you will make it truly beautiful! Don't forget to take before and after pics!

  2. You can count on photos. I think the upstairs bathroom and the dining room will be my first rooms to do.