Kitchen Renovation Progress

The kitchen is almost done! We’re just doing some final touches. Things left to do:

  • under cabinet lighting
  • over head lighting
  • corner cabinet lazy susan
  • caulking

Things are still a little all over the place, so I just have one little photo to share right now. It’s the same angle as the before photo, so you can really see the difference. I love how much brighter the space feels.

The lower cabinets are Rattan Cane by Formica and the upper cabinets have been painted in a factory, a matte white. Our counter tops are Rice Paper by Corian and luckily when we purchased it, that specific colour was on sale! Our backsplash is a basic gloss white 4×9 white tile, since our cabinets and counter top were all matte, we went with a gloss backsplash to reflect some light.

We couldn’t afford to do solid wood cabinets, but we still wanted to bring in some of that natural wood feeling, so we saved the area above the sink for some solid fir wood floating shelves.


Upstairs Bathroom

The upstairs bathroom is a bit of a nightmare. The previous tenants installed a steam shower where a closet once existed. in this closet there was the water heater and some electrical as well as 2 sprinklers and the water shut off for the suite.

We took down the dividing wall between the toilet and the steam shower to create a full bathroom. Unfortunately we aren’t able to move the sprinklers or the water shut off valve, so we’ll have to work around it. If we did move them, we’d have to discuss it with our strata council wait for approval from the board, this is definitely not an option on our tight schedule.

Our solution is to build a shelf around the water shut off value that will disguise it.

Our plumber created a second water shut off near the water heater, which was moved into the bedroom closet, so we won’t really need to access the valve in the shower.

The sprinklers will also be staying, but they’ll be hidden in the ceiling. We’re doing a fir slatted ceiling instead of drywall. It’s actually cheaper in terms of labour costs to do this and it’ll give the room a sauna feeling.

The shelf to disguise the shut off valve will be made of corian or plexi glass and will fit nicely in the corner to hold our shampoo etc.

Kitchen Cabinets

The original kitchen was not functional at all. All of the appliances and cabinet doors opened up onto each other creating complete chaos. We ripped out the 80’s bar area and removed the full height cabinets to allow for a more open space.

We salvaged old cabinets and figured out a way to fit them into the space. Well actually we hired contractors to do this because we have no clue what we’re doing when it comes to that stuff 🙂

We’ll need to remove the veneer on the outside of some cabinets and replace it with white and then order some cabinet doors.

Since it’s an L shaped open concept kitchen, we’re going with a lot of white and natural finishes so it doesn’t conflict with our living room design.

Eventually, we’d like to purchase or make a moveable kitchen island and have 2 stools.

One thing I noticed immediately is how much light has been added to the space just from having the white ceilings.

The Ceiling

Here’s a quick before and after, I’m sure there will be many more photos of the ceiling in the next few weeks, but these were quickly snapped with my cellphone because I couldn’t resist to share the transformation.

Something we learned: it took way more paint then we thought to cover this dark purple. Also, the ceilings are made of corrugated metal, so the surface area is actually double!!

We used Benjamin Moore “night horizon” and “snowfall white”
The space feels 10 times larger and very serene. I couldn’t be happier with our colour choices.

New Apartment Coming Soon!

Guess what? I’m moving to an amazing loft next month! I’ll be moving in with my boyfriend and we’ll be fixing up the place. My blog will probably be filled with posts about before & after’s, DIYs, decorating for the next year or more? We’ll be getting some professionals to do the tricky stuff, but after that it’ll be a clean slate for us to have our way with. I’ll be attempting to document as much of it as I can.

Below are some photos of the space:

Amazing windows – one of the main reasons I wanted to live here!

Probably the most dysfunctional kitchen i’ve ever come across. The fridge and oven open up onto each other, the upper cabinets are extremely large and deep, you need a ladder to reach into them and that 80’s bar/island has got to go.

The ceiling is amazing! But the colour is scary. We’ll be painting it white with dark beams. Don’t worry, we’ll be getting professional painters for this part, the ceilings are 16ft tall, I don’t really see myself standing on a ladder that high up!

The downstairs bathroom will get new tiles, fixtures, a claw foot tub, and some sliding closet doors:

Goodbye lino floors and laminate counter tops, you won’t be missed:

I look forward to sharing our adventures in home renovation and decorating with all of you!

Earl Grey Cake Recipe

I recently experimented with a new cake recipe for my boyfriend’s birthday. He requested an Earl Grey flavoured cake after I raved about how good the Earl Grey donuts were from Cartems. I searched the internet for a recipe and couldn’t find anything good, so I decided to create my own and share it with you. Happy Baking!


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs (room temperature)
½ of a vanilla bean
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons of good quality loose leaf Eary Grey tea (whole leaf)
1 tablespoon of good quality loose leaf Eary Grey tea (ground)


(This recipe makes one 8-inch cake)

1. Preheat oven to 345F. Lightly grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.

3. In your mixer, beat butter, sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon ground tea leaves until light and fluffy. The scent of the tea leaves will emerge.

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

5. In a small saucepan, heat milk and 3 tablespoons of whole tea leaves until just boiled, remove from heat and let steep for a few minutes until the milk changes colour. Strain out the tea leaves and set the “tea milk” aside.

6. Add the combined flour mixture into the wet mixture, and finally pour in the “tea milk”. Mix just until blended.

7. Immediately pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. (bake time may vary depending on your oven, watch closely near the end and check for doneness with a toothpick)


1 ½ cups icing sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 ½ tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of ground earl grey tea

Combine all ingredients in your mixer and whip until the scent of the tea emerges.
You can adjust the recipe for thicker or thinner icing by using more or less icing sugar and butter.

Find Finds on a Budget: Spring 2012

I really love a good deal on home decor. Your home doesn’t have to look like you’re living on a budget, it’s all about mixing new with old and a few DIY projects, to create personality and warmth.

I love finding affordable items at HomeSense. They have great deals on current trend setting items for your home. I’ve found the same styles at high end boutiques, but for way less. Today I stopped by on my lunch break and found a few cute spring trends I wanted to share.