Yesterday marked Day 1 of Our Big House Renovation. BUT, I could not blog or take pictures because our littlest monkey had some sort of stomach bug… 😦 So here is a quick little vine vid showing our Demo and some Before Shots!
Since starting this CCSR Interior Design blog, I haven’t made it really personal – and just thought of it more as a blog where I could share little tips that I have learnt, or some information on current projects we are doing. Well, today that will change a little bit! I thought I would share a little bit about myself – and also take you alongside my family as we embark on a little adventure we will title “Our Big House Renovation”. Now this might seem like a strange title – so I will give you a little bit of a back story – and get a little bit personal.
My name is Christa Carls Sophia Robinson (this is where the CCSR comes from), and I started my little Interior Design company in 2008. Going back a little bit further – I started school for ID in January of 2006 and got married in July of that year. I completed my Management Certificate in Interior Design in 2007 and had spent some time interning and then getting hired on as a Jr. ID at a design firm on Granville Island. Then in late 2007, I got my dream job working downtown Vancouver at a wonderful firm – until August 2008 when I went on maternity leave. During that time, I had also spent my evenings going to school to finish my Diploma of Technology – and then returned to school again after my daughter, Sophia, was born in October 2008. Alas, my heart was definitely in school and learning about the more commercial aspects of Interior Design – but I had to admit that my girl and my husband were my priority and held my heart with a firmer grip. So, I slowly let the dream of finishing school end. (Sad – but I’m okay!)
My supportive husband (who occasionally thinks I’m crazy!!!) saw me through starting up CCSR Interior Design in August of 2008 – and by starting up I mean doing the odd re-decorating project/working on everyone’s house as a favour for my portfolio/working on stranger’s homes for [almost] free. I mean how else does one get a start in business when they are having babies and loving being a mom/wife at the same time???? 🙂 This is I guess where the first part of the story of “Our Big House Renovation” starts – we bought our home in 2007 – a 2000 sq foot rancher in our home town of Maple Ridge, BC. We were younger then (ha ha!) and couldn’t afford to really do anything to it’s interior – but we didn’t care – because we were in OUR HOUSE! The photos below, are the photos taken from when it was listed for sale.
Almost a year and a half after moving in, for the sake of my “portfolio”, my husband agreed to re-decorating our living room and dining room. My husband is really responsible with money – and doesn’t usually see any reason to spend any of it on furniture/decor… – I MEAN – COMMON! (Can you see where we may occasionally disagree???) So I got him to agree to some re-decoration, and by that I mean, actually buying furniture (we didn’t really own any at this point!). Did I mention that he may have agreed to the “project”, but funding it was another story! So, I cashed in my Airmiles points for Pier 1 gift cards and went to work – with my $2200 budget. (PS Urban Barn Outlet in Coquitlam was my best friend – talk about deals on pieces that were just the tiniest bit damaged) Now, don’t be too hard on me – I can honestly say that I did the best I could with what I had – and this was almost 5 years ago! 🙂
So, fast forward almost a year, and we hear about some new bylaws that were being passed in Maple Ridge. Now, to understand my husband better is to know that he really tries to stay informed. He is always surfing the net (that sounds so 90s) and reading up on something new interesting thing – and he also really likes to explore paths not yet taken. SO… we decide that we should take part in an experiment with one of these new bylaws that were in effect. The one that caught our eye was this thing called a Garden Suite. (Simplified Definition – A seperate dwelling on a property no more than 968 sq ft) Now, my husband is lovely and allowed me to design this little house from the ground up – I got the chance to learn about foundations, roof pitches, vaulted ceilings, exterior elevations, sections, structural engineering, etc. And we came up with the plans for our little house – and began construction in late 2009.
My husband, our 18 month old daughter and I moved into the “Little House” in May 2010 and began renting out the “Big House” with the intent of staying in this 968 sq ft home for three years. I bet you can now see where this story is going! During these past [almost] three years – we welcomed our first son Levi into our lives in October of 2010, and then our second son Theo in July of 2012. And our little home that fit three comfortably, and four tightly – now fits five – o wait – it doesn’t really fit five at all!
At the end of January, our tenants had made the decided to move to another house – which was an incredible blessing – and we have now begun the huge process of figuring out if renovation is in our future. Have I mentioned that we get possession of our “Big House” March 1st – and have I mentioned that we have a new tenant for our “Little House”/Garden Suite April 1st. If you have done the math in your head – that gave me 2 weeks to make some plans, 2 weeks to order fixtures, millwork, appliances, windows, flooring, doors, and trim, and 4 weeks to get this thing BUILT???
So, as of yesterday my husband and I had one last chat about if we were going to do this thing – and today it is official – we are on this new adventure titled “Our Big House Renovation”. With the excitement that a renovation brings – what better way for me to remember the chaos that will surely ensue – than to BLOG to entire process for your enjoyment! Pray for me please – and for my dear dear children – as their mumma might come unglued! But, don’t worry too much – as we have done something similar to this in the past. Click HERE to see a video of when we renovated a 2700 sq foot home in 1 month.
This past Tuesday we got an email from the lovely Lynn Easton of The News, our local Ridge Meadows newspaper, asking if we would be interested in giving our opinion on design trends once more! I managed to gather a few decor pieces to show current design trends in our small little “Garden House” – and here is the photo and design story written by Lynn. Hope you enjoy – it is always such a pleasure to be a part of our small local design community – let me know what you think of our opinions!
QUIRKY, INDIVIDUALISTIC STYLES FOR 2013
If you are feeling a little blue this month as we head into the dark days of winter, don’t worry, you’re right on trend.
And with any luck, there’s a way to cheer you up while brightening up your surroundings at the same time.
Interior designers and home decor experts are already looking to embrace the deep warm shade of [Monaco] Blue that echoes the warm sunny [climates] as the next trend to make a splash in home design.
This Pantone spring-2013 trend will likely be seen both in new condos and home renovation project alike, says Christa Robinson a Maple Ridge interior design and owner of [CCSR] Interior Design.
“It’s such a beautiful blue,” Robinson says of the colour making its way from the fashion runway to our driveways. “It is very welcoming and warm”.
Whether you are planning to sell your home or just hoping to curl up and enjoy the many hours you’ll spend inside this winter, you will be touched by this year’s somewhat traditional hues.
The deep [Monaco] blue will be one of the strong new natural colour going into 2013 and by adding a touch of the season’s complementary red creates a welcoming winter combo.
“Red undertones feels just right for November. We’re all hunkering down for cold weather and this cozy, cozy colour warms everything from wearers to sofas,” says Lila Zargahmi of HGTV, echoing Robinson’s local take in her November blog.
Colour is not the only trend taking hold this winter and foreshadowing the next big thing.
Quirky and individualistic styles are taking off as we head from 2012 to 2013. People seem to be a bit more optimistic about the economy and are willing to open up their pockets and buy one or two bit items that say something unique about themselves, Robinson says.
“I do think people are getting out of the recession thinking and starting to want to invest again in something that will mean something to them for a long time,” she says, “People don’t want to be super frugal.”
That special item is often something like an oversized leather couch or a striking piece of art.
Meanwhile, bold shapes like chevrons and zigzags are big trends for accent pieces such as pillows and carpets. And wallpaper remains one of the 2012 trends that will endure.
“You can find gorgeous [wallpaper, in all kinds of graphic patterns] and it’s very contemporary,” Robinson says.
While designers are playing around with big and bold trends, homeowners are hardening back in time and some long-gone trends are making a comeback this winter.
Robinson says many of her clients are now asking for the once ubiquitous white appliances again, citing the clean lines and classic finish of white in the kitchen.
And a surprising resurgence of brass in the kitchen is taking hold.
“The brass we all hated is coming back,” she laughs. “Thankfully, it’s not done the way we used to see though.”
Instead, people are mixing and matching metals and using muted tones of brass that complement those white appliances and white subway tiles that are becoming staples in the kitchen.
And some of the urban-chic design of clean lines and bold colour that has been common in Vancouver for the past couple of years is making its way eastward to the Fraser Valley and can be seen both in new condos and some of our commercial properties.
Robinson points to the new Chameleon Cafe on 224th street in downtown Maple Ridge as an example of this trend.
“We are seeing younger demographic and buys,” she says, “There’s definitely a more streamlined design style out there.”
But as those young people look toward the end of a lousy economic slump and into a new year they are also in the mood for a bit of fun.
Animal prints and stylized moose or deer head sculptures are big this winter and are becoming a common site in upscale home decor stores.
But if you’d rather leave the moose to the hunters this winter you can huddle under your Hudson Bay blanket this year as all things Canadiana also makes a comeback.
If you really want to be on trend you could grab your Bay blanket, sit on your big overstuff [couch] and dream of the blue sky and warm blue water of that off Moroccan beach.
-Lynn Easton is a local freelance writer.
For more on Robinson’s take on these colours and trends go: www.ccsrdesign.ca