Reflecting on 8 Years: Our Home

We’re approaching the 8 year mark since we moved into our home. It’s only 2 if you’re counting leap years because we moved in on February 29. I’ve heard that it’s good luck when big things happen on that day. In my experience, I couldn’t say definitively.

When we purchased our home, it was at the beginning of the housing boom in our town. We were fortunate to buy low-ish, but the number of houses to select from was very limited.

We ended up buying what we thought was the best house in a price range we were comfortable with, even though it was far from our dream home. Looking back, it was a good thing we didn’t wait for the perfect house to come around because prices jumped dramatically in the year to follow.

Over those 8 years, we’ve made some changes to our house, but far from what we originally planned. When we moved in, I didn’t just dislike the flooring, I actually loathed it. Added to that list was the faux granite laminate countertops, the textured fireplace, the cool grey painted walls, the ugly builder grade light fixtures, and the reddish stained skimpy baseboards.

Living Room with Arched Fireplace

It seemed like a lofty list, but the house was located in a family-friendly neighborhood and was the right size for the 3 of us.

I loved the large windows in the kitchen and master bedroom. As well, the ensuite had a wonderful soaker tub and a lot of storage. The kitchen had a large island and walk-in pantry and there was a large family bonus room on the second floor. The positives far outweighed any of the negatives, and I knew I could work with it.

I told my husband that I could live with the UGLY for a short while, but eventually it all had to go! So, I started with paint because that’s one of the easiest changes at a low price point. I finished a few rooms, but once spring hit, my focus quickly turned outside.

The yard needed a lot of work since we were basically starting with dirt and a lot of rocks. I persuaded my son to help pick wheel barrels full of rocks (I felt it was only right that he find out what I did growing up in the country!). We then installed a stone patio (requiring a lot of patience).

Building a Stone Patio in the Backyard

And some sod…

Backyard with Stone Patio, Cedar Fence and Sod

Fall hit and we were back to rigid school, hockey and work schedules. Home improvements were basically put on the back burner.

Over the next few years, we added window treatments and I painted and decorated a few more rooms as time allowed. I installed new closet organizers in most of the rooms, bought storage containers and labelled everything I could. My husband also added storage to the garage.

The washing machine and dishwasher broke down, so we purchased new ones in stainless steel. We were tired of looking at the granny-inspired furniture we had in our family room, as well as the enormous tube TV, so we saved up to replace it all. We continued improving the yard with plants, lighting, stain, stone and more. Little by little our house was being transformed- that is except for the items on my initial list!

Now, 8 years later, I’m still living with those same ugly floors, baseboards, fireplace, countertops and a few of those same light fixtures. Most of the walls have been painted except the stairwell, which is impossible for me to reach.

Last fall we finally replaced the hideous light fixture. Even before Tommy Smythe of Sarah’s House referred to them as “boobs,” I couldn’t wait to get rid of all of them in my house! Not only was the scale wrong for the stairwell, but it added no sense of style or warmth. (Pardon the poor quality photos- the new camera I want is on backorder!)

Dated Stairwell

And now…

Stairwell with Drum Pendant Fixture

Now with some paint (I think I’ll hire that out), and perhaps a little artwork or framed photos, I will have the stairwell I’ve been dreaming of for the past 8 years! I’d love something inspired by this…

With the changes we’ve made to our work load and no longer having hockey every weekend, we’re planning on finally tackling some of the larger projects we’ve had planned for a while. We’re currently in the process of renovating our basement and we’re going to make our way to other areas of the house after that. It’s exciting to be able to take on that list I created 8 years ago!

Update: See our renovated house!

Have you wanted to make changes to your home for a long time? What obstacles do you have standing in your way? What projects have you been able to complete in the meantime? I’d love to know!

Enjoy your day!

Shauna at Satori Design for Living Blog - Home Decor, DIY, Vintage Finds, Recipes


  1. I’m really excited to see the transformation Shauna!  Good luck with it all and I know it will look nothing less than fabulous!!

  2. we have been in our home almost 10yrs and I still have the ugly counter tops and nasty carpet upstairs. And my backyard-lets just not go there.  But like you were a working on it bit by bit- I guess by the time the kids are grown & in college we’ll be done-then we’ll want to move to a smaller house and then its back to square one again! LOL

  3. I’m glad I found your blog. I’m now following on LF. I would love if you stopped by and followed back so we can stay connected. See ya around, Lori

  4. Love what you guys have done so far! Your home is beautiful! know how it feels to be to be too busy to get your projects done. Hang in there…it will all come together. Following via LF, too.

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