Moving to the country. Sounds idyllic, right? It has always been a dream of mine and my dream has come true – but not without a few nightmares along the way! Like any move, particularly one that involves extensive renovations, it’s never easy on the family but with smart planning and a mindset that “what can happen, will happen” the process can be just a little bit easier to live through!
My husband and I had decided that once we had purchased our country home, we would move out of our Hampton-style home in the historical town of Oakville and dig right in to start the renovation of our newly purchased, never-renovated, mid-century bungalow in the heart of Ontario Wine Country at the foot of the Niagara Escarpment. Ambitious right? You got it!! But before we started demolition, we had to make a big decision. Where were we going to live during the renovation? It had to be somewhere close by to so we could regularly check up on the progress of the reno. After a disappointing search for acceptable accommodation, we decided to purchase a new trailer home from SmithvilleRV.com that we would park on our 14-acre property just steps from the house. It was a brilliant decision! Living on-site allowed us to manage and monitor the reno on a daily basis and avoid painful and costly surprises that arise during any reno.
Although the trailer decor was quite acceptable and comfortable, naturally, as a Designer, I couldn’t resist adding a little personal touch to brighten the space. Knowing my husband and I would be living in the trailer over the late summer and early winter months, we wanted our temporary accomodation to look and feel like a home that would house the two of us, occasional weekenders (my son, his girlfriend and dog) and my 3 dogs! Sound idyllic now? It was a challenge but somehow we made it work…and keep the family in tact!
I’m happy to report that, thanks to our cozy trailer home, my husband and I survived our home reno in comfort and style through to the start of the winter of 2016 and were able to move out and into our new home – although a far cry from finished! – just one day before the first snowfall in December and just in time for Christmas. Phew!
Here’s how I magically – and inexpensively – transformed our trailer into a welcoming summer/fall home that we’ll always be thankful for and will never forget!
Above: My trailer home was parked just steps away from my newly-purchased mid-century bungalow. Living on-site saved us time, money and a whole lot of stress! It’s always a good idea to be on site as much as possible during any renovation.
Overlooking the large pond fed by a water fall from the Escarpment on the property, I always felt like I woke up at the cottage and not a construction site.
Check out the next blog to see how I created a deck to die for that extended our living spaces all summer long. We couldn’t have survived without it!
Let’s take a look inside!
BEFORE- LIVING/DINING ROOM: Nicely decorated in a warm neutral palette the new trailer included stunning features including an electric fireplace, carpeting and a wood-look vinyl floor in the living room/dining/kitchen area. Two swivel/rocking chairs, a comfy leather sofa with storage and wood dining chairs with upholstered seats and backs, make the space quite comfortable. Check out all the storage cabinetry! Bonus!!!
To brighten the 400 +sq ft space, I repainted the fireplace wall and cabinetry in Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist OC-27 with countertops in Onyx 2133-10, all other walls in Silver Satin OC-26, replaced the original rocking/swivel chairs with 2 classic upholstered chairs and added an ottoman reupholstered by Switch Studio with JFFabric’s Coco 67 blue velvet, all from my previous home in Oakville. I had striped pillows made in JFFabrics ‘Oliver’ for the sofa and chairs.
I was so pleased that both my upholstered chairs, ottoman and bench all fit perfectly in my tiny living room to accomodate seating for at least eight! Good thing all my friends and family enjoy each others company! Everyone is happy to cozy up around the fire to watch TV or just chat about how amazing my trailer is!
I painted my dining table in Benjamin Moore Onyx 2133-10 – you’ll see it in the kitchen too – and replaced the original dining chairs with my comfy upholstered dining chairs. Sweet!
BEFORE – KITCHEN: How happy was I to see that the trailer came with a full-size fridge and a good sized oven with ventilation hood (above), both powered by propane. My culinary passions were not challenged in the least!
The original kitchen was warm and inviting but I decided to paint the cabinets and countertop for a more sophisticated look.
I started by replacing the vinyl diamond “backsplash”, with a stone mosaic peel & stick backsplash! Cheap and easy to install and very chic! After installing the backsplash, I primed the cabinets and countertop in Benjamin Moore Advance Interior Paint primer (K790) then painted the countertop in a white Advance and the cabinets in Onyx 2133-10 semi-gloss (Advance comes in all Benjamin Moore colours) for maximum durability and it’s so easy to clean. Available in matte, pearl, semi-gloss and high gloss finishes, it’s specifically designed for cabinets, furniture and work surfaces. I installed a new, more efficient and stylish pull-down faucet for the double sink. I love that there’s a window at the sink to provide a view and fresh air when cleaning up! Under cabinet lighting illuminates the work area.
Above: I discovered this peel & stick tile at Home Depot. If your store doesn’t carry it ask for help to order it. It’s amazing!
BEFORE – BATHROOM
The teeny yet efficient bathroom has all the essentials; a shower stall, toilet, vanity and linen closet. I painted the vanity and countertop in the same colours as in the kitchen/living room and added an Ikea vanity mirror (below) complete with shelving and towel bar.
Below: After painting the bathroom walls in Silver Satin OC-26, I added a ladder behind the toilet for towels and magazines.
BEFORE – BEDROOM
AFTER: In the bedroom, I removed the headboard and painted the walls in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65. Custom pillows in JFFabrics Lush (34J7331), a pretty neutral leafy pattern, and pretty dotted sheers (JFFabrics 51334 in Vanilla 552) that diffuse the light, add privacy and a touch of romance to the room. A lovely transformation!
Below: Ikea’s space-saving Norberg wall-mounted drop-leaf table was the perfect addition to this tiny space offering me a surface for my iPad and a place to apply my makeup or blow dry my hair when the bathroom is in use.
Photos by Karen Kirk
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For Sale! Sadly we will be parting ways with our beautiful trailer home this summer (2018). If you’re interested in purchasing my trailer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.