(Top Photo by Deborah Cave Puddister – 2014, Bottom Photo by Karen W. Hainaut – 2013)
We’re a Canadian couple sharing our thrifty design finds, organizing ideas and affordable DIY projects here on our blog www.akadesign.ca – and anywhere else we’re allowed to share. We also love to promote and share spaces by other way-more-talented-than-we-are folks on a portion of our site called Blogger Homes. We are DIY addicts, bargain hunters, restaurant lovers, movie junkies, Christian music fans, and homeschooling parents of three little monkeys (no, they’re not literal monkeys – those three cuties up there).
Dean has always worked with his hands. He is a perfectionist. He expects wood and other materials in projects to be as precise as sheet metal. Bless his heart. He has also been known to make a success out of more than one of my ‘no, I meant let’s do it right now’ ideas. He is an incredible husband and superman Dad.
I have always loved designing and decorating. Always. I remember helping my mom put up wallpaper and rearrange the furniture while my dad was at work. I worked in an architect’s office as a teenager, I took (cough) Desktop Publishing, Graphic Design and Fundamentals of Design in college and I worked in Toronto for a couple of years as a Graphic Designer.
A few years ago, Dean and I owned a company called Homespun Country. We used to sell country decorating stuff online and from our house. It was fun, but we grew out of the country look.
We’ve lived in 8 homes in about 18 years – most of which were basement apartments. We once lived in a condo that I loved just for it’s amenities (an indoor pool, tennis on the roof, etc.). Dean thought it was too expensive. He was probably right. But don’t tell him I said so.
Our first house WAS BEFORE WE BLOGGED and was a townhouse/rowhouse that we bought in 2004 when we were expecting our third child. We had an end unit which was pretty handy since there was no backyard access from the garage. The people in the middle units had to bring their lawn mower through the house to cut the back grass. It was about 20 years old at the time and had been nearly completely renovated from top to bottom when we moved in. The only things that were original were the wood windows. We decorated it with zeal though – all in country hearts, plaids and checks!
Back in the fall of 2009 we bought our second house (closer to Dean’s work)…then a run down 67 year old, 1050 sq. ft. war-era bungalow. It was long on potential and short on just about everything else. With some help from friends (thank you!), we got to work on the renos 6 days after moving in. We gutted the bathroom and kitchen, repaired rotted floors, designed and rebuilt a new kitchen, created ourselves a master bedroom, and diy’d our way through artwork, curtains, and more. We painted, caulked, back-splashed. We hung interior doors, installed a new front door that wasn’t prehung (the big box stores told us we couldn’t do that!) and created storage space from nothing.
That little bungalow also got us featured in magazines and on the Steven & Chris show (read more about that on our media page). But it was a pretty tiny house. Especially for three rapidly growing children and all the friends they seem to want to hang out with all the time!
In December 2012 – 11 days before Christmas – we moved into our third house. A cozy three bedroom backsplit with office potential in the raised basement, a separate family room and attached garage, this house is so good for our family. After hosting Christmas for Shannon’s family, we began a kitchen reno and several painting projects. Click here for all the projects to come in this well-cared for but outdated little house!
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P.S. Yes – I did dye my hair and cut it all off! Did I mention I get bored easily?!