Sometime early last summer we had the idea to renovate a part of the old chapel back into a living area and move in. Even though we had talked and dreamed about it since we bought our little chapel the time had never been right. It was a crazy idea but our life had become so complicated over the years with two businesses, a full time job, a house and the chapel to run, and there was no end in sight to the busyness. It was now or never. So we did it, which meant going from a normal size house to a tiny apartment-sized space and from seven closets to one. What used to be the old kitchen, the nursery and and old cramped storage nook years ago is now our home. We also decided we could do a lot of the work ourselves and somehow we survived (see the before pictures and you’ll see why I call it survival). It is a labour of love and the work is hardly over but it has been worth it. We’re living more simply and it’s the best thing we could have done. This is our story so far.
(In the spirit of the place we’ve re-purposed as many things as we could. The ceiling lights are the original ones that we found at the chapel when we bought it. We have spare lights – just in case – hanging in the creepy crawlspace underneath the old church. The kitchen island is made from a beautiful old cabinet that my sister gave to us from her heritage home in Stratchona. The old cast iron kitchen sink, a newer bathroom sink with beautiful lines, the office floors and the doors (which all had to be re-sized individually to fit) came from our local “new and used” store where they now know us by name! We found some old door knobs to match the original chapel knobs online and also picked some new hardware that looked old from RONA.
Our new “old” front door. It separates our living space from the chapel.Our mantra and our inspiration.Some “before” photos. Here’s Mark ripping out the moldy ceiling and me sanding…and painting, tons and tons of painting.Luna here for a visit. And one of us is tidier that the other when we paint!The office, installing the old flooring that we found to match the rest of the building amidst the move.
River, me, and our cat Molly. And my view of the garden from the office in progress. The warmest place in the house, so both Molly and I love it.We ripped out the ugly old kitchen and installed a corridor kitchen with clean and simple lines.The bathrooms and entry to the garden. No explanation necessary – I can’t believe we lived through this!It is a lot of hard work, but we do have fun. Here’s Mark and my brother Marcos who helped us all along, and Luna visiting again.