One of my favourite movies as a kid was Now and Then. Loved it. It's no surprise then that I love a good before and after renovation, diy or decorating project. This week marks the ONE YEAR anniversary of my time in the condo. It has gone by so quickly. Like quickly as in I haven't even touched the bedroom and have done almost nothing in the bathroom. Keep in mind that this is a 651 square foot condo, so that's like 1/4 of the entire space. Before moving in, I remember thinking "Aw... too bad the move in date isn't closer to Christmas break... What am I going to do with those two weeks off since everything will be painted, decorated and perfect by then?" Those were the actual thoughts going through my head. My move in date was October 29th. I don't even think I was finished unpacking by Christmas, and I definitely only had a couch and a dresser in the living room. Obviously I was delusional.

Although it's taken a long time and it's nowhere near finished, I'm really happy with how everything is coming together. Throughout this year, I bought some furniture (most of it on kijiji for next to nothing) and put some time, effort and love into redoing the pieces so that they were unique. There were the chairs, the kitchen table, the mirror, the dresser that is living as a tv stand (more on that soon) and some other fun projects that I'll post about soon. I've learned a lot and it's been a really rewarding experience to invest (mostly time, sweat and tears) in my home.

BUT it didn't all start that way. Well, sort of. It started with tears. Actually and some sweat too. So basically that's exactly how it was from the beginning. Walking into the condo for the first time was somewhat shocking. I had walked through it as it was being built (when there were just studs and the concrete floor), but I assumed that it would be pretty and perfect by the time I moved in. I was wrong. First of all, I decided not to go with the carpeting that the builder offered because I knew I wanted hardwood. So walking into my brand-new-saved-like-crazy-for-this condo, I was surprised to see that the concrete floor was still there. All naked, stained and ugly. There was also vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathroom because legally spaces with water have to be "finished" before they can let me move in. That was great because we ripped it all up anyways. Fun times. Well, it was actually fine for me because I didn't do much of that step... The condo also didn't have high-end finishes, there was zero character and I started second guessing my decision. Cue the sweat. Two days later (two days before moving in) I discovered that I had three little cute mouse visitors. Cue the tears. Two humane mouse traps, a kind, brave boyfriend and a few viewings of "The One With the Pheobe's Rats" (which I can't find a clip of), the mice were gone, the floors were in (installed by Matt and my future brother-in-law - you are both amazing and I love you) and so was my stuff!

That was all a drawn out way to say here's what the condo looked like before:

This was the view from the front door. You can see the vinyl flooring (the green tape is where that floor ends and the concrete begins). Those rolls are the sub-floor that was going down under the hardwood.

 The bathroom is directly to your right when you walk in.

And here's the view into the kitchen/"hall" to the front door. The bathroom is the door on the left, right beside the front door.

This is the living room. Doesn't it just scream "Come on it, sit down, stay a while"? On the right are some of the boxes of flooring (that Matt carried up the 3 flights of stairs because the elevators weren't working yet...)

After scraping the vinyl flooring this is what it looked like (with more flooring on the right).

This is the only photo I can find at the moment of the dining room area. And my helpers.

And this is the bedroom.

I know it's not the worst "before" situation, but I was definitely crossing my fingers that things would come together quickly. Once the floors went down a few days later it made a big difference. Thank the Lord. Matt has reminded me several times that if I never saw the condo like this, I wouldn't appreciate it the way it is now and I wouldn't understand how much work goes into transforming a space. He was right. This has definitely been a process in gratitude :).

Goldilock's Favourite Chair


In May, I had my family and Matt's parents over for Mother's Day brunch. It was a lovely day :) It wasn't until about 5 minutes before they all came in that I realized I didn't have enough chairs. There were 7 people and I had 4 dining room chairs. What was even more awkward was that I only had one couch in the living room. It was the first time that my parents were meeting Matt's parents, and they were going to have to be VERY close. To solve the problem that day, I moved all of the kitchen chairs around the living room so that we could all awkwardly eat on our laps sit together. It was a temporary fix, but it worked. Since then I've been looking for accent chairs for the living room. I wanted something that was comfortable, not all wood, not all fabric (because the dining room chairs are mostly fabric), not too big but not too small.

After months of looking, I found these on Kijiji:

They were perfect! I loved the combination of wood and fabric and I knew the wheat/taupe/greige colour would work in the living/dining room (keep in mind this is a 650 square foot condo). It turns out it was an office furniture wholesaler who was selling them. They were originally asking $200 for both, but I got them down to $150. The owner reminded me several times that they were very expensive chairs. Very. Expensive. I believed him and was happy that I'd be getting them for $150.

The only problem with these perfect chairs was that they were 45 minutes away. And we'd have to take two cars. Because I really wanted two. Matt and I have small cars :S But it was okay because they were perfect.

When Matt and I finally got there, this is what I saw (except it was in a warehouse, not in my house).

These blue impostors were NOT my perfect chair! A part of me thought that maybe it was just the warehouse lighting and when I brought them to their home they would change to the perfect colour. That did not happen. I didn't love them. But I did love the boy who drove 45 each way to pick one up so that I could have both. So I bought them. 

The chairs are super comfortable and they're the perfect size. It's hard to find chairs that you can cross your legs in, and these ones are the perfect width for that. The only think I didn't like was the fabric.

The material is also tweed-ish and rough instead of smooth like they looked in the photo.

What do you think? I imagine it would be expensive to have them reupholstered... Maybe I could try it myself? Have any advice?