Our Second Home

In late March of 2013, we found ourselves in a funny spot. We had been living in a rental (that weren't very fond of) for a year and after a few bad experiences, we knew we needed to get out. Immediately we began to search for new rental options in our desired area. What turned up in our price range was not pretty, and most of them weren't very keen on us bringing our two big dogs along. I was feeling a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, and finally started to browse around on MLS. One thing lead to another and on May 18, 2013 we got the keys to our second home - this time on the West Coast of Canada. Welcome to our second home...

*Updated photos will come as we start to put our mark on this place. All "before" photos were taken during our second walk of the home in early May*

The Front 

We were so pleased with the curb appeal with this house from the moment that we first saw it. It actually had much better curb appeal than some of the other houses on the street, but we could still pretty it up. We hope to save up for a really nice wood door and sidelights (we're thinking like this) in the future, as well as work on landscaping and pretty up our tiny "porch" (that no long has that bistro set on it - that belonged to the previous owners).

Front - without number

The Front Entry

I loved how open the front entry was from the first time we set foot in the home. We hope to brighten it up and change out the light fixtures in the space. 


The Office

The wheels started turning the first time I walked in here. A perfect spot for me to set up shop for Halle Handmade and all of my other crafts and creative work. I wanted to make it an inspiring space that was a little more girly and fun to work in. We're doing it all on a budget, trying to use things we already have in the house.



Progress: We've painted the walls, had our old living room area rug cut to fit the space, built a desk, hung curtains and made a DIY light fixture. It's look good so far, but I plan on painting the two non white peg boards on the wall and using those as storage space for more craft supplies!

My Office - August 2014

My Office - August 2014My Office - August 2014

My Office - Halle Handmade tags

The Laundry Room

A literal blank slate when we moved in - but I was happy nonetheless to have a space dedicated JUST to laundry. For now, we've only moved in a brand new washer and dryer set that we bought. I've already started planning what I would like to do in the space though!


After: We could have left this room as is, but decided to spruce it up a little before we listed our home for sale. We scrubbed the whole space and brightened it up with a coat of paint. It looked so much bigger and brighter!

Laundry Room - Feb 2016

The Rec Room

This room will serve double duty for us... triple even! It's going to be our area for watching TV (even though we've opted not to get cable at the new house - so Netflix and movies really) as well as B's man cave. Most importantly, this space will serve as a little play area for Halle. We're in the process of painting the walls and plan on building bookcases along two of the walls, as well as installing a wood burning fireplace. I can't wait to share photos soon!



Downstairs Bathroom

The only room (besides the front hallway) that actually has REAL tile! We're pretty happy with it for the time being. This bathroom is the lowest priority on our to-do list.


Downstairs Guest Room

What had clearly been a work room for the previous owners...



... we turned into a guest room for visitors. We pulled it all together in less than week, using only items that we already had in the house. It's a temporary fix for a room that needs to be painted and fixed up nicely. For now, at least guests can sleep comfortably.

Downstairs Guest Room - October 8

The Workshop

B's domain. A space for him to work besides the garage. Not much to be done in here, but I bet you'll see a lot of it as we work on things around here...


The Dining Room

This space was laid out to be a dining room and sitting room in one. To me, the idea of having a dining table crammed in one end, right near the doorway to the kitchen and the staircase was really awkward. So instead we decided to transform this space into one big dining area...


Progress: The very first thing we did was remove the not so pretty, and hanging in the middle of the empty room, light fixture. Then the room sat empty for a very long time. B worked from September until mid November building us the perfect 12 foot long dining table! In late January of 2014 I snagged some new chairs for the dining table, and in February B constructed our DIY chandelier. In November of 2014, B completed the transformation on the church pew we purchased off of Craigslist.  For now, we're happy with this room, but down the road we would like to add a proper built-in behind the pew.

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014

First Time Fancy DIY Dining Room Light Fixture

The Kitchen

When we moved in, we made due with what we had for quite some time. Builder basic cabinets and the same grey walls as the rest of the house...




Progress: The kitchen has been evolving over time. The first project we tackled was hanging a new, inexpensive pendant light over our sink. Our biggest project to date was transforming our cabinets with the help of the people over at The Home Depot. They supplied us with Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation kits, and we did all the work! The new pulls we added to the cabinets were gifted to us by friends. Everything has really made the kitchen look  more modern and updated.

Refinished Cabinets - January 2014

Refinished Cabinets - January 2014

Refinished Cabinets - January 2014

The Family Room

A cozy space with a gas fireplace - low on the priority list!


Progress: We haven't done a whole lot besides move in our furniture and hang some artwork. My favourite part of this room is the pallet that B hung over the fireplace with our oars. 

Living Room Wide Angle

DIY Pallet in Living RoomLiving room gallery wall

The Linen Closet

... or the linen room as we call it. It's pretty huge, and we're pretty excited about it (that's pretty much the only reason I included a photo).


The Master Bedroom

We love our new room! We knew it needed some love, but it was big enough to hold our king size bed and all of the other pieces we wanted to bring with us...



Progress: We've made some progress, painting the room, hanging some more artwork and finding some nightstands. Next on the list is finding a new light fixture for this room.

Master Bedroom

The Master Bathroom

The bathroom could use some work. Putting a new counter on the vanity with TWO sinks, new mirror(s) and light fixtures, some tile, and some paint. Down the line I'd love to make our shower stall all glass (above the plumbing for the tub anyway) so it doesn't feel so small and closed in.



The Upstairs Bathroom

Another room that could use a little facelift with some tile and paint...


After: Though we had hoped to do more with this room during our time here, we had to settle for a quick coat of paint before we listed the house for sale.

Second Bath - Feb 2016

Halle's Bedroom

Oh the PINK! and those decals... and stickers... and dirt! It was everywhere. Halle's bedroom was the first thing we painted when we got the keys. 




Progress: Halle's room has been fun to work on, but we still have a ways to go! My favourite part of her room are the gold plumes on the wall that I painted  by hand. The next biggest thing for her room is finding a new light fixture!

Halle's Big Girl Room

Halle's room - DIY BookshelvesHalle's Room

Halle's RoomHalle's Room - Tiny Fairy

Halle's Room

The Upstairs Guest Room

Basic and grey (just like the whole house). For the moment, absolutely perfect for a second guest room for us. 


The Back Deck

A nice huge area that we have enjoyed very much for breakfast and dinners. Since moving in we've only purchased a nice dining set. We hope that next summer we can build some furniture to put at the end of the deck closer to the stairs for more lounging. 



The Back Yard and Covered Patio

A nice large space for our family of 3 and two dogs! Since moving in we've built a dog run on the side of the house, a swing and sandbox for H and the start of a playhouse. We've also created our first vegetable garden, which we are so excited about. New photos to come soon!








  1. I LOVE this house! Houses over there are so different to Australian houses, it's both bizzare and interesting to see. So, did you buy this house or rent it, I'm confused sorry!

    1. Hi Jackie, yes you're right - I wasn't very clear on that point! We did buy this house!

  2. What a beautiful house! You certainly have found a gem there!


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