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Design on a Small Budget

My Sister purchased a house in Lantzville, Vancouver Island. It was a disaster when we went to check it out. Behind all of the outdated furniture, dysfunctional kitchen and filthy carpet there had to be a gem.

BEFORE (Scary I know):


The ½ acre property backed on to a farm. There were huge trees on the site and flower lined driveway. An adorable single story home sat at the back of the property with vaulted ceilings and two bedrooms, lots of windows and an open layout.

After a weekend full of ripping up carpet and scrubbing walls the space started to expose its potential. Fresh paint, laminate flooring, new trim, a brand new kitchen, a custom island and a lot of help from friends and family made this project a possibility.



Heather prefers a low key, west coast feel to her home. We used some of her existing furniture and refinished some thrift store finds. We kept the color pallet warm and neutral to allow the space to flow from one room to the next. The simple interior draws the eye outdoors to the beautiful garden and large coniferous trees.

Kitchen: We removed the upper cabinets in the kitchen and replaced them with open shelving. The custom built island allows for storage of Heathers dishes, glasses and cookware. The opposing side has two stools tucked under a counter height bar for casual dining. Two glass pendant lights were hung above the island to provide task lighting and a pop of color!

Living and Dining Area: The areas flow seamlessly into one another with a consistent color pallet and visual style. The simple dining table finds its place in the centre of the home; it’s a place for family to gather for meals and conversation. The low hung, oversized pendant provides intimate lighting and grounds the table in the room. The Living Room shows off its high vaulted ceilings and plentiful windows and skylights by the painted wood clad wall. Large comfortable soft furnishings invite you to come in and snuggle up with a fire burning and a cozy fur blanket. The large informal coffee table is great for putting your feet up or setting a cup of hot chocolate down. The room is then grounded by a large Turkish rug for an injection of color.

Bed Rooms: Clean, simple and relaxing. That is what Heather wanted in these spaces. A pallet of grey blue on the beds is conducive to a restful sleep. Side lamps and whimsical art by Mary Touhey ( add detail to this space. A cozy shag rug welcomes your toes as your climb into bed.

Office Nook: a small vanity desk purchased at a thrift shop acts as a home office desk. An indoor/outdoor rug as well as a large organized closet makes this space double as a functional mud room from the back entry.

This project was completed with a relatively small budget plus a great deal of elbow grease! I think it was worth the effort, this house really feels like a home.

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