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The ‘Calm’ Before the Renovation

The calm before the storm of the Wesszer house renovation

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you will know that we are smack dab in the middle of a major home renovation! I’ve been asked a million questions about the project so am thrilled to be writing a series on our home renovation to share our story and process!

Allow me to rewind a bit. I remember the day I drove up to Charles’ house for the first time like it was yesterday.  It was the spring of 2008.  I had just met the man of my dreams and we had an INSTANT connection; it was such an incredible time of our lives.  After the first date he asked if he could come over and make my parents dinner at their house.  I quietly picked my jaw up off of the floor and nodded my head.  Like, since when does a guy ask to do that??  What planet was he from?

Needless to say he awed my parents with his charisma and cooking skills, made instant BFF status with my dad (I think the scotch and killer chicken parmesan helped) and the rest is history.  But back to his house. On our next date he asked to make me dinner at HIS house, and since the first was such a success I thought, HECK YES!  I had butterflies in my stomach driving up wondering what his house looked like and of course trying to picture what our lives would look like once we moved in together (enter the eye rolls, it was only the third date after all talk about putting the cart before the horse!).

The place was a complete dump.  I mean, brutally ugly.  If I was marrying this guy it was ABSOLUTELY for the right reasons.  Good thing he was nice, hot and could cook!

I’m embarrassed to say that I cried like a baby when we moved in to that house before renovating it.  And they weren’t tears of joy my friends. I was SO overwhelmed, I simply couldn’t wrap my head around how we were going to make the house livable let alone nice.  But we did, and we did it on a teeny tiny budget and a boat load of elbow grease.  There were empty beer cans covering every square inch of the dirty green shag carpet, garbage sprawled across the orange countertops, weeds growing in the yard that were taller than Charles and the wallpaper was peeling off the wall in big panels. We pulled it off and it gave me faith that we could survive another renovation. Five years later we sold it to move closer to our family (which is only on the other side of town haha!) and were on the hunt again.

We shopped around for a home for a couple of months thinking that we would just lipstick something and move on.  The first time I drove past the house that we ended up purchasing I told my mom to keep going (I think my exact words were “this one is hopeless”).  She nodded her head in solid agreement and continued driving.  A couple of months later we ended up driving by it again and stuck our heads in; the moment we opened the door we knew that we had to buy it.  We liked the bones and the potential, but most important we loved the flat half-acre property bordering our favourite wineries with the stunning lake views.  We purchased it two hours later.


Life got busy and I got pregnant with Max, so we decided to live in the space for a bit before digging into the renovation, and I’m so happy we did.  We painted the inside of the house Benjamin Moore Intense White [1] (it was originally a dirty orange colour) and also painted the fireplace (a complete pain) and the kitchen backsplash and cabinets white (a bigger pain… I would do neither again for the record knowing that everything was getting torn out eventually).  The longer we lived there the more attached we got to the property, and our flip home soon turned into our future dream home.  Plans were drawn, and drawn again, and then again (we took months to plan which I HIGHLY recommend – this is not a phase you want to rush!), and finally we arrived at a set of drawings that we both loved!

We ended up going with a Cape Cod style house with light grey shakes (check out the next post on our exterior) with a giant covered balcony off the back of the house to enjoy the gorgeous lake view all-year round.

We are about a month away from moving in and I CAN’T WAIT!  I am so excited to share our journey with you here on the blog, and will be giving you all of my tips, tricks, favourite products and disaster stories in the coming months, stay tuned!