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I am the proud owner of an ugly little house with a lot of personality. Maybe you're in the same boat?


Just over a year ago, my partner and I decided to buy an older home with a great location; we found it in Uptown Waterloo. A far cry from our new-build first house, the Uptown house is a two-story, 1920s double-brick building with some interesting features. Rather than spacious rooms with plumb and level walls, our new house has tiny, divided spaces with lumpy plaster walls — level is just a state of mind anyway. The change has taken some getting used to, but bit-by-bit we’ve been rehabbing the house and making it into a warm space that feels like home.


Here on the blog, I’ll be sharing our various projects, decorating tips and DIY tutorials to hopefully help you make the most of your own space. Since we’re just kicking things off, I thought I would start with three tips for getting your new house to feel like a home as quickly as possible:

  1. Paint. 
    Chances are good that your new house either has the previous owner’s terrible taste splashed all over the place, or looks like it has been dipped in a swimming pool of buyers-beige. As soon as you can, pick up a can of paint and change the wall colour in the main living spaces. Paint is cheap and can have a huge, visual impact. If you’re like me and are nervous about picking a colour, go neutral. A white paint with a hint of blue/grey/green is a lovely fresh look and will go with everything you own.
  1. Hang your Artwork.  
    As soon as those walls have dried, open the moving box marked “Art” and get something personal on those fresh, blank walls. Whether it’s a canvas print, family photos, or your kids finger paintings in dollar-store frames, adding something beautiful to a room will instantly give you that at-home feeling. Like the paint, art is really easy to change and/or rearrange. Don’t get paralyzed by arrangement decisions. Look for some inspiration, then get hanging! If you can't find the box marked "Art" buy yourself some flowers instead — you deserve them; this place is a mess!
  1. Make a Memory. 
    It’s going to take time to settle into your new home. Just looking around at the chaos of moving boxes, furniture and bubble wrap is enough to give anyone buyer’s remorse. So, take an evening, stop unpacking and spend some time with the people you love. Order a pizza, pop a bottle of champagne, and dance around your box-maze-mansion like no one’s watching — although, you’re neighbours probably are watching, so take like 5 minutes and put up a sheet or something before you break out your A-list dance moves.



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Stephanie Catcher
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