2014 DIY Goals

We didn’t fall on our asses completely with our 2013 DIY goals, but I’d like to do even better this year.

This year my goal is to not fall on my ass.

Likelihood of success: slim to none.

Well there you have it, list done, I’m going back to bed.

Oh… about those real 2014 DIY Goals. Okay okay, here they are.

Main Bathroom Makeover: You’ve never even SEEN this room! When we moved in we gave it a coat of Tiffany blue paint, hung a white shower curtain and that’s about it. After living with the bathroom for three years, we’ve noticed it’s a bit lacking in functionality. The vanity is too small for El Granto and I to get ready at the same time (which we do) and the storage is not as useful as it could be. (Aka too little and of the unorganized variety.)

Bathroom Vanity & Mirror
Bathroom Vanity & Mirror (sorry about this terrible picture, I shot it months ago and apparently forgot how awful/out of focus it was)
The strange (useless) gap between the vanity and the wall
The strange (useless) gap between the vanity and the wall (and hells yeah, we have a happy face nightlight)

Our goal is to build a larger vanity with drawers and his and hers doors and storage. We’d also like to build a new counter with built in trough sink and two faucets. A new mirror and lighting will have to follow as they will be off center and dorky looking after the new vanity.

Old Laundry Closet
Old Laundry Closet

When we moved into the Storefront there was a stacked washer/dryer in our main second floor bathroom. This dryer and it’s poorly constructed venting was the start of our water woes that resulted in Mike Holmes coming to fix our house. During the reno, Mike & the crew moved our laundry to a safer location in the basement. What was left is a large (empty) closet in our main bathroom which thus far just holds a laundry basket and some extra TP. We’d like to conquer the closet and custom build a linen closet with glass doors for pretty storage, and drawers for other not so pretty storage (I’m looking at you toilet paper). We’d also like to build in a hidden laundry basket door/drawer system. I really enjoyed making the media cabinet last year and am itching to do some more cabinet making in the bathroom.

To complete the bathroom will be a new shower curtain, towel hooks, art etc. I am also hoping for new tile (but that may be wishful thinking.) It’s a BIG project that we hope to start sometime in the spring.


Staircase/Hallway: The upstairs hallway was on my list last year and it never got done. I would like to finish it off, and continue down the staircase and knock that off the list as well. The staircase is the ONLY remaining beige wall inside. The reason it’s remaining as it’s hella tall, and going to be a pain in the ass to paint. While I’m at it, I’d like to do some trim work in the staircase, and beef up our newel posts to make them more appropriate to the period of the Storefront. Aka less 1990’s more 1910.

The Staircase
The Staircase


Do something with the backyard: The grading is sliding sideways and we’ve lost half the dirt/sand in the backyard in the last year. The pathway is sinking, creating a lake when it rains and the grass refuses to grow in the shifty sandy soil. I would also still like to put in a patio of some sort and build some patio furniture. This looks like an easy task but is HUGE. It may not get done this year.

Backyard Lake.
Backyard Lake created by the sinking pathway.


Garage Love:  The garage needs a little TLC. We need to add some lumber storage, make a new workbench for our bench top tools, add some insulation and figure out some sort of sawdust control system. As El Granto got a new belt/disc sander for Christmas, I think this project will be starting sometime soon.


Paint the exterior of the Storefront: I would love love love to remove the siding on the front of the house, re-point the brick, clean it, and re-do all the flashing. Unless I somehow come into a lot of money, this is not going to happen in the next year. To live with the front of the house for now, I would like to prime & paint the siding to give it a new lease on life. While we’re at it,  I’d like to de-beige the back of the house with some paint as well. I would also like to try a new paint color on the front door & mailbox. I’m thinking something fun, like green or blue.

I hate the ugly siding
I hate the ugly siding

What do you think? Is it a do-able list, or am I going to fail miserably?

History of our House

As you may by now have figured out, we live in an old storefront.

After we purchased the house, we spent an afternoon in the City of Toronto Archives trying to researching the history of our home. We learned that it was built sometime between 1912-1917 and originally served as a Grocery Store. Later on it was used as a Barber Shop, then after WW II it was a Laundry Service. Originally the store was on the main floor, and an apartment upstairs.  Unfortunately we did not uncover any historical photos of our house, but here are a few from the neighbourhood.

Bloor & Lansdowne 1923
Lansdowne South of Wallace 1929

After the Laundry Service shut, a woman lived alone in the building until just a few years ago, when the people who owned the house before us renovated it.  It is an interesting home, it is semi-detached 2 story and is only 12.5’ wide. It’s almost 60 feet long however and it houses 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths and an unfinished basement. It has over 10’ high ceilings on the main floor, a storefront window, 3 skylights upstairs, a 2nd floor deck off the master, and a walkout from our living room to our yard and detached garage.  El Granto & I loved that it was an old storefront, and even though when we bought it, it had been “decorated to sell” . By that I mean beige. We could see that it had potential for us to insert character back into it, and make it ours!

Here are some pics from the house before we moved in.

Main Bathroom
First Floor Powder Room
Master Bedroom
Staircase and Hall view from Livingroom


Did I mention before that the ENTIRE HOUSE WAS BEIGE?!
Forget Fifty Shades of Grey, my house is Fifty Shades of Beige!