It can take years to make your home look the way you envision it in your head, to give it your style and also take into account functionality and livability. Four years ago, Ally Scott moved into her 1920s house, which she shares with her partner. At the time, Ally says the home wasn’t pretty—”it had been stripped of character,” she said, and the chopped-up layout made the kitchen feel small and the dining room feel dark. Rather than do a major overhaul all at once, Ally decided to handle renovating the home in phases.
The first thing Ally tackled was flooring, replacing the skinny wood boards with wide, dark ones with an upscale vibe. Then, she started tearing down walls—the one between the kitchen and dining room and the one that blocked the stairwell from view were both scrapped, with help from her dad. Ally then completely ripped out the dated kitchen cabinets. “It was so satisfying to demolish the old cabinets,” she says. She hired pros for the additional structure work, and to install the new kitchen cabinets. “With a 100-year-old house, nothing is plumb or square,” she explains. Next up, Ally added the shiplap, shelving, and hardware in the kitchen, and board and batten wainscoting in the dining room.
Overall, Ally says the reno has cost about $13,000 CAD—and has taken about three and a half years. And it was well worth it, she says: “We have amazing sight lines, and it feels so much bigger and brighter!”
The only thing Ally would change if she could would be to install a hood vent over the stove instead of placing the microwave there. “I don’t know where else the microwave would have gone, but there are so many stunning, good vents,” she says.
If you’re struggling to start with a major overhaul like this, Ally’s biggest advice is to just go for it. “It’s hard to step out of the dreaming phase into the doing phase,” she says, “but it’s worth it.”