Happy Thursday! I am so excited to share another amazing home with you today. I’ve read Dans Le Townhouse for a long time now, and watched Tanya do amazing things in her old home, travel the globe, and purchase an amazing new to her lake home! She and her husband are in the process of making it over, and so far so good! I love Tanya’s fearless use of color, and her love of contrast. I know you are going to love it as well! Enjoy!
Hi everyone! I’m so thrilled that Cassie invited me to share my home with you, but I’m also a little nervous because it’s definitely a work in progress. Embarrassingly, a lot of our stuff is still packed in boxes. After a disappointing experience selling our first home (the townhouse that inspired me to start blogging), my Handy Hubby and I finally moved to our new place on Lake Superior in January of this year. The move is why I’m transitioning my blog name from “Dans le Townhouse” to “Dans le Lakehouse.” We’ve decided to settle here for the foreseeable future, so we have BIG plans, including major renovations in the laundry room, bathrooms, and kitchen – plus new floors, roof, and more – but our budget has other ideas. We will have to save our pennies and cool our jets, but in the meantime we really want to de-oak and modernize our new home, and paint has been our biggest ally. Here’s a look at where we’ve gotten so far (many of the “before” photos have the former owners’ furniture):
I was lucky enough to be able to sneak here in the fall, while the house sat empty, to do a little painting and that’s when I painted the concrete faux stone fireplace a dark grey, and painted out the gold with matte black heat resistant spray paint.
In the living room, and all over the house actually, I painted the walls, ceiling, doors, and skinny oak trim white to make the space feel more open and airy. I like to pretend I live in an art gallery, so I’m deeply committed to white walls. It’s a great way to make uninspiring details disappear, and a perfect backdrop for our colourful artwork. To layer in more colour in the living room, I have a mid-century sectional sofa in storage that I can’t wait to have upholstered – I’m leaning toward teal tweed. Did I mention I found the teal velvet chair in a trash heap?
Although we’re normally kind of thrifty, I splurged on three George Nelson bubble lamps in the dining room because I knew they would be a permanent fixture (pardon the pun).
The Ikea cabinets we hung as a credenza still need a wood top, so that’s on our very long DIY to-do list.
A kitchen spruce is currently underway and keeping up busy. I just couldn’t live with the cathedral style oak doors for one minute, let alone the five or six years we plan to take to save up for a reno! We ripped the upper cabinets out, along with the mint and peach tile, and put up some cheap and easy paneling, painted white. The lower cabinets were painted turquoise, colour matched to my turquoise Pyrex collection. The old laminate counter was peeling, so Hubby made thick, solid maple counters which I stained white. We recently built a simple pantry, and open shelving is in progress, so we’re in the home stretch! Normally I gravitate toward mid-century design, but I’ve really embraced a sweet, cottage vibe in the kitchen, which will be amplified when I add my vintage glassware and dry good canisters.
In the bedroom there are a few things missing, like drapes, closet doors, and dressers (the one we have is on loan), but just adding our DIY welded headboard, vintage teak chair, and my 1960s posters from Hungary has made the space ours.
I really don’t mind not having closet doors yet (the mirrored doors were broken when we moved in), because it forces me to keep things tidy, plus the orange is a pretty uplifting colour to wake up to!
In the second bedroom, which we’re using as an office, I’ve turned a closet into a more practical nook for the filing cabinet (which I’d like to refinish), and a vintage chest packed with office supplies. The rest of the office is a mess, but I have grand plans for a DIY desk for two. I’m on the hunt for some un-officey office chairs right now.
I embroidered the pillow!! Can I brag about it for a minute? It took me forever, but I did it during a research stint in Hungary so it became a really neat, tangible representation of how long I was there (four months). No one is allowed to touch it. Or look at it for too long (looking leads to touching).
Speaking of the office, I’d like to make some magazine holders to really organize the bookcase (it would thrill me to have all my magazines in identical holders, customized to fit the cubbies perfectly). I already did my Expedit trick: painted canvases on hooks, which act as swinging “doors” to hide my unsightly junk (this is the second time I’ve used this trick).
While I was willing to put some time and money into the kitchen because we’ll live with it for a few years, the objective for the bathroom makeover was cheap, cheap, cheap (and fast) – I spent around $100. I basically painted everything: the cabinets, tile, walls, ceiling, trim, the vanity light, and even the hardware. There was no stopping me! My deceptive plan is for the large DIY art to grab your eye’s attention from things I’d rather you not focus on (like the space portal shower and 1990s vinyl flooring). Is it working? No? Darn. We’re renovating it next spring and I can’t wait.
The laundry room is the only way to access the powder room. A pretty DIY curtain on an easy-to-slide curtain track was an inexpensive way to hide our ancient machines and unmentionables in a snap. A matching puppy quilt for Szuka, our adorable Komondor, makes her side of the room stylish too.
The laundry room is one of my favorite room makeovers, not because I really enjoy laundry, but because this is the view when you first enter the house:
I LOVE not showing the dry rack crammed full of undies to guests. Speaking of the hallway, some paint, new lights, fancy door hardware, plus DIY art brought from the townhouse and a sentimental framed Hungarian embroidery was enough to make this area brighter and happier. As soon as it’s warm enough, I’m painting the front door a bright colour.
Yep, I started the tour backwards so you’ve kind of moon-walked your way out.
The powder room and weird “fish room” still need a little TLC, as does the small bunky we have. We’ll be busy this summer, finishing the rooms above and tackling more projects. I’m confident (and hopeful) that our space will always change and grow with us. I’m a treasure-hunter by nature and quite a bit of our furniture and accessories have been sourced from thrift stores, the classifieds, or handmade by us. In the move we downsized a bit and had to de-clutter, but it’s been a great experience to really re-evaluate what we like and it’s kick-started a bolder approach to decorating. I’m excited to see this place take shape, and to see what eclecticism means to us in the future.
Thank you, Cassie, for letting me take your readers on a tour! Feel free to stop by anytime and we’ll toast some marshmallows by the lake (just mind the goose poop) . . .