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Our House in Downtown Toronto is 130 Years Old. Here's the Tour ~

I've shared this quote a lot on this blog and in life, but I can't seem to get away from it, so I'll share it again. It speaks so much to contentedness, joy, gratitude, and the work of restoration by God in the world, and I keep trying to go back to it with my mindset toward housing. And not housing in a broad sense, but in the rental space we steward, a place we were so thrilled to come across and be approved for (despite our landlord turning a couple away just before us because they had a dog), but in moments of discontent, this privilege loses it's allure in it's problems and we can often lose sight of the gift that our home has truly been in the last couple of years.


So this article celebrates it - and in light of the attitude that comes along with this quote, we are trying to make the most of it in the fullest way. We recently hosted Rosie's baby shower (you can dive into that here) but it was the perfect catalyst to projects that would not only better welcome our guests, but in my mind, better welcome our little girl when she comes home with us in about a month. Historically, it's rubbed me wrong when people go all out to fix up their house right before they sell it - while they could have put in the effort to enjoy these benefits while living there. So in the spirit of this quote, let me show you around.


"Location has nothing to do with it. The great question is always will we see the holy potential of what's right in front of us and will we shape it for the love of God in a way that affirms something that's true about Him in the world?"


-LANIER IVESTER


So we live in a three story Victorian era semi-detached house, meaning we share a wall with some neighbours, and we rent out the main floor (which included an unfinished basement - a last minute side comment by our landlord, aka storage galore). It boasts tall ceilings and some of the "charms" that come with a home that's 100+ years old - both good and bad, but we'll focus on the good ones here.



We painted our front door a fresh green, and used our silhouette cameo to print out our house numbers on a white vinyl. I love how it turned out. It's more about design than practicality, and I think it totally changes the feeling of the front entrance. Inside, we rearranged our home to better accommodate a "nursery" space, putting our bedroom in the very front room, which boasts the highest ceilings and the most square footage out of all the rooms. I love the once functioning fireplace in this space. Rosie will share this space at least in the first several months, so we have her dresser/changing table and crib here too, along with the art we have picked out for her. It's not quite finished. Stay tuned for an official "nursery tour".








Next, the living room - we have a tv, it's just wrapped up in storage in the basement, and instead, we've opted for a projector, so we leave a nice open wall to watch shows or movies on. We want our living room to be more about connection than screen time. Here's a few views of that space - complete with the quote I mentioned above.





The next house project I'm excited to have done is the mini bathroom reno we did in preparation for the baby shower. I found a subtle white-on-white floral pattern on Wayfair, and Luke applied it to the walls. We also hung an oval mirror, switched out the light fixture for a chrome and subtle look instead of the bulky (and dated) black light fixture and oversized mirror that was originally there. The small art pieces really helped complete the look, and I'm so happy with it all.



We work from home, and our office is the next space I'll show you, and it doubles as a dining room when we have a group of people over. We bit the bullet and bought enough dining room chairs to host a group of eight, and so I love the double purposed functioning of this room. It's taken some time, but I feel like we also now have a better handle on storage for all our camera gear, and all the things it takes to run our business. I'll keep it to the office space for now, and then snap some photos the next time we switch the space over to hosting.



Our kitchen sits at the back of the house, and the evening sunset light is so so pretty. It's small but bigger than our last place, and I think it works beautifully for us. I can't wait to add Rosemary's Tripp Trapp light oak high chair to our setup when she gets a little older to join us at the table. It's a gift from my parents and I am so thrilled to use it! Here's a couple shots of the kitchen to round out the "photo tour".



Choosing to believe that God will care for us right where we are, while of course making goals and chasing dreams can ignite a spirit of gratitude and joy. This is a lesson I'm consistently trying to learn these days, and I hope you feel encouraged by it too. I want to look back at this stage and know I didn't waste it. When we decided to host Rosie's baby shower here, me and Luke talked about how someday we'll tell our little girl how we hosted her baby shower when we lived in that old house downtown that's now (most likely) gone and turned into a big condo building. We'll say "we made the most of our time there, and we were richly blessed by God".


And we are. Today I am counting my blessings and thanking God for this house we get to steward.


Thank you for following along, friend! If you'd rather see me give the house tour, check out my YouTube video going live this Friday! You can find my channel here.


Best,

Allie





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