Home Improvement

You may be aware that I write a bi-weekly column for the Toronto Sun called House Proud.  It runs in the New Homes and Condos section and it’s about anything and everything to do with owning a home.  It’s also one of my favourite freelance jobs because I’m all about a comfortable home – not showy or even necessarily with the latest and greatest things.  But an oasis and a nest that reflects the people who live in it. 

My home here in London had the ugliest kitchen ever.  No, really.  It was several layers of ugly. The rest of the house has been nicely spruced up from its dated appearance but no amount of sprucing could help this kitchen.  The previous owner apparently had a severe allergy to good taste and minor repairs.

The horrible old laminate counter top was peeling away and its veneer was actually glued up the walls as a blacksplash.  Why limit the ugly to the counter, eh?  The floor in front of the dishwasher was curling up and after one run of that old eyesore it was easy to see why – it rinsed the floor better than it did the dishes.  The walls were covered in a wallpaper featuring white geese wearing folk-art blue bow ties which appeared to have been adhered with super-glue.   I actually entered this kitchen into an “ugliest kitchen makeover” contest with every confidence that it would win!  It didn’t, so whoever had an even uglier kitchen deserves the free reno, for sure.

A gutting of this kitchen would be over the top.  Anything that can be done to open up the room has been done with the removal of much of a disgusting pantry and its filthy doors, blocking the only doorway into the rest of the home.   So a refacing was in order.  And it’s well underway and looking absolutely incredible, I must say.  It’s being done by my partner and co-owner and his creative and industrious brother.

I’ve started a new photo gallery on my website called “home stuff” and from time to time I’ll post pictures of the progress.  We’re still trying to find our old “before” photos so you can truly see the transformation for what it is – nothing short of a miracle! But you can get the idea from the shots that are up now.

I always have an ongoing list of things I want to work on.  There’s a dresser I plan to strip and stain or repaint.  I need a long runner for the hallway and it will probably have to be custom made because no one seems to stock them in the length I need.  The curtains for the patio door are in but I’m still waiting for the rod.  And on it goes when you own a home, eh?  And I love every minute of it!