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Adventures in DIY Domestic Bliss – Part 1

Adventures in DIY Domestic Bliss - Part 1

After six years living in Halifax with my husband, we decided it was time to make the move back to Ontario where we both had big loving families eager to spoil our then one-year-old daughter, Evelyn.

We were given a reality check when the housing market in the GTA was nothing like the small, but glorious metropolis of the HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality). We lived far from the city in Haligonians’ minds (an eight-minute ferry ride over the harbour in Dartmouth) and paid a third of what housing prices are in the GTA.

Living downtown as we once had was no longer an option, so we eventually settled on the little hamlet of Uxbridge. We purchased a lovely three-bedroom home, with a big backyard and tons of lace valences, wallpaper borders and an old, beaten-up galley kitchen. A beauty in 1982, I’m sure. Thank goodness we have a family of skilled tradesmen and women who could help us along the way.

As an Account Manager for HOMES Publishing Group, I am surrounded every day by inspiring people and spaces. I was anxious to roll up my sleeves and make this house a home, starting with the kitchen.  These are the chronicles of two half-knowledgeable DIYers, a two year-old, a border collie, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Here is a picture of the kitchen when we started:

The ceilings were very low and the countertop featured a rusty leaf print. At least it has a gas stove! We started doing some research as to whether the wall could come down and we were thrilled to learn that it was not supporting!

“So, let’s start demoing and see what we are dealing with up in the ceiling!” said the novice, over-excited, eager DIYers.

We found drywall on top of beaver board, on top of lap and plaster, on top of 50-year-old insulation, on top of MORE insulation.

Great, we can make the ceilings much higher! And in my life, I never want to do that again! We had our daughter out of the house one Saturday and my parents kept her overnight until we got the debris cleaned up. We are still dealing with the aftermath of the dust apocalypse.

(Who said a snow shovel wouldn’t come in handy in the middle of June!)

Fast forward a week, once our lungs recovered and because, apparently we enjoy pain, let’s take down the wall!

Phase one of our kitchen demolition is now complete and our pooch, Piper, likes how this is shaping up.  We have hired Peg Corporation, an Ikea-affiliated company, to do a kitchen consultation and measurement for a new Sektion kitchen.

Stay tuned, these DIY adventures are just getting started.

Jess MacInnis