Monthly Archives: April 2014

P is for…

p  Pantry!

Already to “P” – can’t believe it! This means April is going to start the slide into May. Time just keeps marching on, doesn’t it?

Anyway, P for my theme is for Pantry, of which we have one. Except that when we bought the house (the B&B that had been empty for 10 years) it was a bedroom. When I look at it today, I don’t know how it was a bedroom, but here is a picture of it when it was.

Pantry1  Pantry2

We cleaned it out and ripped up the carpet and then refinished the floors.

Pantry3  Pantry4

Then we moved in


Then we emptied the room again and painted it. We still need to paint the ceiling and add an actual light fixture, but this room has been fabulous! Not a lot of closet/storage space on the main floor in this house, so having this set up as a pantry has been great.

Pantry6  Pantry7

Pantry8  Pantry9


This is what it looks like today:


The units on the left side of the room are from a hotel – old TV units they were selling. We bought 4, and then sold 1 again as we only needed 3. On the right, next to the window, is an old wardrobe that was in the house (and which doesn’t fit hangers of today). It’s our broom closet.  Then we have a table, which is really handy when getting things out and putting thing into the white cabinet which is the actual pantry for cans and stuff.  And then by the door is our old wardrobe with extra hubby coats in it. He has a lot of coats!  The cats (as you can see) like to hide under the wardrobe.

There is also a door on the left leading right into the dining room here, which is handy because the pantry, strangely enough 😉 is right off the kitchen. When it was a bedroom, this door was boarded up. Now we use it all the time to get quickly to the dining room from the kitchen. All in all, a nice space!

O is for…

o  Office

I’ve already talked a bit about the office on my blog, but I will do so again for the A-Z challenge today. As O is indeed for Office. Which used to be a bedroom, and what it was originally, probably a bedroom, but who knows for sure. What I do know for sure is that this was another bedroom that had wallpaper on it.

Office1  Office2

The difference between this room and the Master bedroom, was that this wallpaper was SUPER easy to strip – almost all of it came off with no soaking at all. I still had to wash the walls after as they were pretty gluey, but the wallpaper itself did come off really easily.

Office3  Office4


But, when I was taking the wallpaper off, what did I find on top of the picture rail, but a stencil. And it is possibly original to the house. At least that is what one person told us (an expert on Victorian wallpaper). So that was pretty cool.


Also, this is one of the few walls in the house that was still plaster. Some evidence of wallpaper from the past being painted over multiple times as well (like the hallway on the main floor) as well. So, there were a few holes that needed a bit of patching, but I didn’t do a lot as I didn’t want to knock things apart too much. As a result, the walls do look rough, but I like the look. I like it when things don’t look “perfect”! Reminds me of me.

Office8  Office7


And here it is after I finally painted it (still haven’t put the furniture back in it…sigh…)!


N is for…

n  Not sure what to post today.

I can’t think of anything in our house that starts with an “n” that I can post pictures of. So maybe I’ll make this post about nothing in particular. Or maybe I’ll post some non-interior pictures of our house.

So, here is our house. I should first note that I hate the colour. We are planning on having it painted, possibly next year. There is still some work to be done to the exterior wood, and we want to have windows replaced, then paint. I can hardly wait!

This is the front.


This is the back. Notice that there is a deck, but it has no railings or stairs. It’s a long story, but that’s the way it was left for us. We haven’t finished it yet because of complications around getting permits, probably needing variances, and needing to adhere to Heritage guidelines. Someday…


This is the right side of the house. At the back are the kitchen windows, and opposite those (against the neighbours’ fence) is where I want to set up raised beds for vegetables.


This is the left side of the house. Two pictures.

house4  house5

It’s a big house for two people and four cat. Well, probably no house is ever “too big” for cat. Many places to play, and hide, and sleep.


M is for…

m  Master Bedroom!

Ah, the master bedroom. Where do I begin? Well, like every other room in the house, it was full of furniture, in this case, two queen beds, and assorted little tables and some comfy chairs.

Master Bedroom 1

It’s a big room… with a fireplace. And a closet that has no doors. And while I’m on the subject of closets, this closet, like the two in the spare bedroom, does NOT fit hangers. Dumb. Don’t know if it’s the cedar lining that probably was added sometime in the past, or if the closets were actually that small, but you have to hang things on a small angle if you want to close doors. Although the closet in this room has no door – it’s missing, and we don’t have any idea where it went.

So. The master bedroom. It had a huge ugly green rug on the floor, and after I got rid of all the furniture, including the beds (there were 8 beds in the house. Do you know how hard it is to get rid of beds? I had to finally put them up on Used Victoria for free because no one would take them. Only one charity in town takes beds, and they weren’t taking any more at that time…sigh…) we took the carpet out of the room to see that the whole center section of the floor was unfinished.

Master Bedroom 2

Okey dokey then. Guess we have to refinish this floor (which we did, along with the hallway upstairs as it was also unfinished under the ugly green carpeting on it.)

Master Bedroom 3

Then the walls. Wallpaper everywhere, and I hate wallpaper, so off it would come. Yes. Great idea. As long as the person who wallpapered the wall painted the drywall first, which they didn’t. If I ever find out who wallpapered that wall over unpainted drywall, I will punish them. Oh yes, I will.

Master Bedroom 4  Master Bedroom 5

Master Bedroom 6  Master Bedroom 7

Hours and hours and hours of stripping that wall, we had to have a drywaller come in and skim the whole room. Two days before we moved in. Or was it one? Do you know how much a newly skimmed room burns the eyes? It does. And it is very dusty after all the sanding. What a nightmare. Although, it does look great now.

Master Bedroom 9  Master Bedroom 10

Kevin painted the room after we moved in. We slept on a mattress on the floor of another room for a couple of months though.

Master Bedroom 11  Master Bedroom 12

Now, it’s a restful, quiet room.  All that’s left to do is to replace the ugly old aluminum windows with wood windows, and to possibly replace the coal burning fireplace with a gas one.

L is for…

l Livingroom

So, the living room. When we bought the house, it was orange (basically) and full of furniture, with lace curtains and a piano on one wall.

livingroom 1  livingroomz 2

livingroom 3  livingroom 4

livingroom 5  livingroom 6

Got rid of the furniture, refinished the floors (after realizing that the tape that had been holding the rug in place would NOT come off the floor), painted and replaced the light fixture.

livingroom 7  livingroom 8




livingroom 9  livingroom 10

Eventually we also fixed the windows so that they now open and replaced the ugly lace curtains (sorry, I know some people, my mother included, love lace curtains, but I can’t STAND them) with wood blinds.

livingroom 11  livingroom 11

Now, it’s one of our favourite rooms in the house with plenty of room for having lots of people over.

Silent Sunday

Chemainus Mural

K is for…


When we first bought this house, as I’ve noted before, everything was still in it from when it was a B&B. That included the kitchen. No real perishables, but it was pretty gross. And no cupboard doors on any of the cupboards.

kitchenzf1  kitchenzf2

So, the first thing I did, with the very appreciated help of my friend Judy, was to clean out the kitchen and clean it up as best I could. Got rid of everything.


Including, eventually, the fridge and stove. We tried replacing the stove with a used one, but it broke right away, so we splurged and bought a new fridge and stove, and picked up a nice dishwasher and microwave on Used Victoria.  Then we had to have cupboard doors made, and some drawers – the kitchen had no drawers! So, we found a carpenter to make them, and then eventually I painted them.

kitchenzf7  kitchenzf8

We painted the whole kitchen too. Gold and red – it does look really nice!


And then we moved in



kitchenzf12  kitchenzf14

kitchenzf15  kitchenzf19

And then, the final touch for now was the glass in the cupboard doors. I admit I had gotten used to reaching in through the doors for glasses, etc., but they do look finished now!

kitchenzf18  kitchenzf17

Someday we’ll paint the ceiling and get a couple of new lighting fixtures. And hopefully this year we will get the windows redone as double-hung (getting rid of the gross aluminum).


J is for…


Jasper – is a Savannah cat, and is loud and demanding (at times) and cuddly when he wants to be, and sleeps with us every night. We got Jasper after Simon (our 15 year old back buddy) died. He is a bit of a fraidy cat, but is getting better these days.

Jasper 1  Jasper 2

Jasper 3  Jasper 4

But I couldn’t just post pictures of Jasper without posting pictures of Dexter, Elliot (whose letters have already passed) and Nicholas (because I don’t want to leave him out until later)

Nicholas – who is the oldest, and who we got at 6 months old. He was a feral kitten and is still very nervous around us. It doesn’t make it easier since Elliot is mean to him, ever since he had dental surgery which seemed to make him much happier than he had been before. Apparently his teeth were causing him all kinds of pain, and without the pain he began to come out of his shell. We are hopeful that some day Elliot will get over it and become friends with Nico again.

nico1  nico2



Dexter – who is a month younger than Nico, but about 3 times his size. Dexter is half Maine Coon, half Devon Rex. He and his brother (who was already adopted when we got Dexter) were accidents, but he is lovely. He is also a fraidy cat and hides when people come over. If people are staying, it takes him a few days, but he will poke his head in to check things out. With us, however, he is a big suck! We originally got Nicholas as a playmate for Dexter. We had gotten Dexter when our 13 year old Finnegan died, and his brother, Simon, was left along. Dexter was too much kitten for Simon, however, so Nicholas became Dexter’s playmate, but Nico loved Simon and hung out with him whenever he could.

Dexter1  Dexter2


Elliot – is half Savannah, half Bengal, and the most fearless, in-your-face cat I have ever had. We got Elliot a month after we got Jasper. He is a bully with the other cats at times (especially with Nico), he wants to know where you are all the time (when he is awake, that is), he plays hard, sleeps hard, and sometimes does things he shouldn’t, but you just can’t help loving him. So innocent when sleeping.

Elliot1  Elliot2


So, that’s our family (I know I’ve talked about them before, but I thought I would again – can’t help myself).



I is for…

i I love my garden (or will someday)

Or, the yard that is slowly becoming a garden again. I understand from long-time neighbours that the people who owned the house and sold it to the guy we bought from had an incredible garden. The guy we bought the house from had let it sit pretty much empty for 10 years, as I noted before, and the garden just went. I think neighbours say he maybe arranged for the lawn to be mowed a couple of times a year. You see, he didn’t even live here in the city – or even in Canada. But, that aside, the garden was gone.

Here is the front before we dug up the lawn on the one side:

garden2  Garden1

Here is the dug up lawn


And here is the front with new mulch and pots populated with bright and colourful flowers!

garden7  garden8

We are still fighting weeds, but we have made the front yard look a bit more respectable now. We will probably plant things in front next year after we have made sure the weeds are gone.

In back, I need to finish digging things up and laying my brick border, and then we have several pots of plants, courtesy of my friend the avid gardener, to get things going.

Here is before starting the big dig:

garden3  garden4


And here is after

garden9  garden10


On the side, now that the neighbours there have put up a nice new fence (no pics of that yet…this is the old crappy green fence you see on the right), I am going to set down some raised beds to grow some vegetables.


So, a lot to do this year. I am looking forward to a chunk of time off work this summer to get some things done!

H is for…

h Hallway(s)

There are two main hallways in our house. One long one on the main floor which leads past the den, the dining room and into the kitchen and one longer one upstairs leading from the master bedroom past the spare bedrooms and two bathrooms down to the door that leads nowhere.   Well, it currently leads to the roof (although it’s bolted shut now). It used to be a fire escape back in the care home and B&B days of the house. But now, it’s a door to nowhere that we want someday to make into a window.


The hallways haven’t had a lot done to them. Mainly downstairs, the floor has been refinished. I don’t have a before picture of the floors. There were rugs on the floor that had adhered themselves to the floor leaving them in such a mess that we had to refinish them.


And also we had the holes left by the electricians dry-walled over, and the ceiling too, which you can see.

hallway4  hallway7

hallway5  hallway6

The wall used to have wallpaper on it, which I’ve stripped. Haven’t gotten around to painting yet. Stupid, I know. We did discover that the walls are layers and layers of painted over wallpaper, so I wasn’t going to paint over yet another layer, but it means there is a lot more prep than other walls have…sigh…

hallway1  hallway2


We also found a cool vintage light fixture for the hallway!


Upstairs, there was a similar deal, except that the floors had ugly green carpet stapled to them, and the floors underneath looked pretty unfinished, so we had to refinish them.


Again, walls needed to be patched, and we had the ceiling skimmed to get rid of the popcorn ceiling and the holes in it. No wallpaper up here. I believe all the walls upstairs, except for the office, are drywall.

hallway13 hallway14

hallway15 hallway16

Someday we’ll paint. We do at least have colours picked out (sort of…)