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As I mentioned in my February 2012 editor's letter, I'm about to dive into a mid-life reno of my Toronto home this spring. It's a two-phase renovation with some minor updates happening in March, and the bigger moves happening later in the spring. In phase one, we will be freshening up the ensuite bathroom and kitchen. In phase two, we will be opening up the second floor of the house between our current den and principal bedroom.

It's hard to picture, but the update will effectively convert the second floor into a totally open master suite and allow us to move our bedroom to the front of the house where the current den is. Plus, we will finally have a fireplace in the bedroom! The existing bedroom will then be tuned into a walk-in closet, which I have always dreamed of. No more tiptoeing around the bed in the morning with the lights off trying not to wake Arriz. Because I'm trying to map out this reno while having a pretty demanding job, you never know exactly how long it will take. And I will probably change my mind a billion times. But I'll be sure to keep you posted along the way. Here are some of my plans and inspiration photos:

Here is my staircase as it looked after I made it over on my old TV show, The Style Dept.

Since then we've added this gorgeous front hall console that so many of you have asked about — it's actually a custom design.

But the sisal carpeting is almost eight years old, pretty tired and stained. I'd love to update the space with a bold, colourful runner like this one from Roger Oates.

My budget may not allow for this choice, so I'm also looking at having a custom carpet made based on this Italian linen runner from Elle Decor. (I've had this photo in my inspiration files for years now.) I'd swap the rust colour for a deep blue though.

We're replacing all of the existing doors in the house with panelled doors based on this photo.

And we're changing all of the black wrought-iron doorknobs to antique tarnished brass knobs along with unique lock details like this.

We are considering replacing the main floor hardwood with a dark herringbone pattern like this one to work with the old world feel of the new doors.

We are also updating the kitchen — here is how it looked a few years ago (we have since painted the cabinetry).

The plan is to redesign the fridge and counter area (not pictured) and update the sink, counters and cabinetry finish. I'm leaning towards a softer palette with smaller knobs like this putty coloured kitchen from the U.K.'s Plain English. Possibly even a statuario countertop with an undermount stainless steel sink. And I love this faucet from Rocky Mountain Hardware, although I would prefer to find an option with a pull out spray nozzle in the faucet.

And I've always been inspired by this kitchen by David Netto.

However, Arriz is pretty intent on keeping the cherry finish on the cupboards, so I may have to forgo the light cupboards and settle for a few hits of lightness on the new fridge side of the room. Kind of like this shot, also from Plain English ... we will see.

I've already repainted the chartreuse accent wall on the back staircase landing in Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue (#30). I'm really happy with how it turned out!

The ensuite bathroom will stay where it is, but also undergo some changes. Here it is now. It's a gorgeous room to shower in but the tile and grout work is tired.

The flooring in this bathroom really caught my eye. I've narrowed my choice down to this mosaic pattern from Saltillo and this time I will opt for grey grout so that it wears better. I can't wait to see how it transforms the space.

This is the second floor den as it looked a few years ago. It will undergo the biggest transformation — in the spring — to become our bedroom. The king size bed will sit in the window.

I might do something similar to this gorgeous draped four-poster bed from House Beautiful.

The den also has a fireplace, so our newly relocated bedroom will have one, too. This stone mantle is the inspiration for the look and feel of the fireplace.

I'm also planning on adding panel moulding to the walls in the den for a traditional look.

And here is our bedroom as it is now, which will eventually be the walk-in closet. As you can tell from these two photos, one side of the room has white cabinetry and the other is wrapped in walnut cabinetry. It is going to make the perfect walk-in! After the reno, that section with the bookshelf is going to be a doorway through to the new bedroom on the other side.

My inspiration is of course J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons' closet. She has used every inch of space, although I don't have half as many shoes or clothes as she does.

We are also converting the third floor into a proper home office, but more on that later... we're doing one floor at a time. But it might look something like this one from Domino.

For more, take a virtual tour through our cottage.

Photo credits:
1. Photography by Michael Alberstat
2. House & Home November 2010 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
3. Roger Oates
4. Elle Decor
5. Casa Tia blog
6. Photography by Stacey Brandford
7. Everything Fabulous blog
8. Photography by Rob Fiocca
9a. Plain English
9b. Deck Mount Faucet, Rocky Mountain Hardware
9c. Kitchen Side Spray, Rocky Mountain Hardware
10. David Netto kitchen, Free House Interior Design Ideas
11. Plain English
12. Photography by Rob Fiocca
13. Photography by Angus Fergusson
14a. Happenstance blog
14b. Suzanne Dimma
15. Photography by Michael Alberstat
16. House Beautiful via Kerrisdale Design blog
17. Designed by Haynes-Roberts Inc.
18. Designed by Borja Azcarate
19. Photography by Rob Fiocca
20. Personalorganizing.about.com
21. Domino via Chateau de Lu blog

Author: 

Suzanne Dimma

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