Renovation Blogs

August 21st, 2009

Renovation blogs are becoming quite popular these days, and with good reason. Young folk are following in their baby boomer parent’s steps buying fixer uppers and on a budget making them their own. The cheap suburban model will always exists, but it’s what people do with older homes that makes for interesting design and decorating. And this time around, we have the advantage of learning from our peers and their experiences about construction, materials and products that we wouldn’t necessarily have figured out or stumbled across ourselves.

So, since it’s Friday, I thought I’d give you some ample reading for the weekend (and possibly a little bit into next week…we promise no matter what, you will get a big reveal on Thursday!). The following are a few sites that we here at Kitka have been following lately.

The Brick House




Morgan is forever changing up her look with amazing new furniture finds…and she is so THRIFTY she puts us to shame. She is one of those lucky people who lives in California and has access to bungalows—a rarity here—and old people’s stuff, and even though she bemoans her space once in awhile, her home is fab. Mostly she spares us the demolition dirt, and teaches us instead how to reinvigorate a room that you may have grown tired of (and she grows tired often). Keep an eye on her Etsy store because the accessories that go out the door often end up on there.


The Townhouse



Amazing what a little paint can do…


West Coast (Vancouver) blog Poppytalk‘s husband and wife team have started another blog that will cover the renovation of their newly purchased townhouse. My attention was peaked when I read: We moved in at the beginning of the month, and are living in one room upstairs. This room is the master bedroom, where we’ve set up sleeping, eating, living and working quarters. I know, a little crazy, but like I said, this is a “makeover on a budget” and since we don’t have the luxury of renting a different place while we do this, we’ll just have to make it work. After having experienced the cottage reno, mouse poop, incessant dust, garbage mountain and all, I’d have to say this challenge should make for some very interesting blog posts!

Their townhouse is very 70s, decor and all, which should make for a gorgeous transformation. To aid along the way, they are discussing their inspirations, which will be fun to see how close they come to, or how far they stray from, in the end. This blog is fresh, so you’ll basically be following them from the start. FUN!


Arren Williams

Back of house

Rear view before

Rear view with new windows

Rear view after, with new windows and doors. What a difference!


Arren is a Toronto-based stylist, editor and trend reporter who is renovating a mid-60s house along with his partner David. This is a case of vision. Because seriously, if I had been shown this house I would have passed it by. This is because I remember as a child of no more than six, I lived on a lovely side street off of Yonge, north of Lawrence. And on this street, there was an anomoly, a 70s square building of about 3 storeys, probably containing 3 apartments, that I thought to be terribly ugly in amongst the typical houses in this neighborhood (upon reflection, I probably picked up this attitude from one of my parents, because it’s not normal for a 6-year old to notice things like this).  But Arren has shown me the way. The box style is perfect for a modern home so it appears that all these places need are new mod windows and doors, proper street appeal, and an updated interior (of course none of that is as simple as it sounds). Besides, I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. According to Arren in the early stages, Kind words and concerned looks [were] the norm.


360 Winnett Ave.


Before – super cute, but tiny!


Getting there…modern, spacious and green.


Jeremy and his wife are nearly finished building a brand spankin’ new home on top of the site of their initial post-war bungalow purchase in mid-Toronto. Their blog chronicles their entire experience, from chooing an architect, to buying windows, green solutions, financials, and all the nitty gritty that I can imagine is super confusing and scary when taking on a project like this.


And finally, the renovation spectacle over here at Kitka is not over yet. As we mentioned, we are moving in November to the Junction area of Toronto. This is a whole new beginning for us, moving to a new neighborhood (and bribing our friends to follow suit), downsizing to an apartment from a house, and starting a business (which will be revealed to you in the next few months).

We are going to have to initially make the apartment our own through some smaller temporary projects, and at some point down the road, we will be doing a full transformation of making two apartments into one that we can grow into. Exciting times are ahead, indeed!

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