This website uses affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission from your purchase - at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more details.

My Sliding Door: Minty Fresh

Have you seen the movie Sliding Doors?  It’s influenced my outlook on life more than a film should.  If you haven’t seen it (go rent it!), the film follows two versions of the protagonist Helen’s (Gwenyth Paltrow) life, made totally different by one simple, seemingly innocuous event.  Anytime someone around me laments a decision or something that’s happened to them, I caution “sliding doors“.  There’s this tendency for people to think that the alternative is rosier, but I’m of the belief that a situation wouldn’t necessarily be better if things had unfolded differently.  Watch the movie, I’ll sound less batty. 

Last summer we stumbled across the lakehouse we now call home although it really wasn’t the plan to buy a house then.  This place was so perfect though that we took a leap and bought it, even though it meant some sacrifices, like being rushed to sell and not making money on the sale of our townhouse.  Our plan had been to move this year, around this time actually.  I haven’t, for a second, regretted our somewhat rash decision and when the sun sets on our piece of Lake Superior, I couldn’t be happier or more at peace.  I feel very privileged we were able to realize one of our dreams.  Of course, things aren’t perfect: we miss Ottawa and our life there, the lakehouse has some quirks (and we’ve had some unpleasant surprises), we’re an hour from the nearest city which can be taxing and tiring, and our 8km long dirt road is treacherous some days (at least until the grader shows up), but we love it here.  Hubby, though equally contented, still trolls the real estate listings, looking at other homes for sale on Lake Superior.  I am secretly terrified of this, wondering if one day he’ll find something better and it will be evident that we should have waited.  I thought it might be fun to share some of the comparable homes with you, every now and then, to see where we might have ended up – or not – had we dug in our heels and stuck to our plan.

Here’s the first place, which is actually on the part of Lake Superior I wanted to be on, because it’s only a 20 minute drive into town and closer to my parents.  It’s near a bay that Hubby and I used to frequent for swimming dates in our teens and early twenties.  When I first saw the listing, my heart tightened.  I love the location, and the exterior is minty green.  It’s similarly sized as ours, (maybe 100-200 square feet larger), but on two and a half levels.  Here’s what I was thinking as Hubby and I scrolled through the photos:

Oooo, mint green!!

Awesome view, but not on a sheltered bay like we are, and Lake Superior can kick your ass, even in the summer.  Too cold to enjoy if it’s too open!!  But look – that’s the Sleeping Giant.  Awwww.

A proper entryway!  Think of the gorgeous credenza we could make . . . sigh.   Our tiny “entrance” is so useless and awkward when we come home.

Great potential and lovely wood floors.  We could paint the walls and beams white (of course), except for the stone.  I’d paint it dark grey like I did ours – it would help the TV blend in.  Is that the best place for it?  A mid-century sectional sofa in teal tweed would be perfect for the shape of the room.

Gorgeous view from the dining room – and look!  Is that light centred?  Luxury.

Dead space between the living and dining . . .but the dining room is spacious.  Room for a credenza?  I love having one, don’t think I could give that up.

The kitchen is so similar to ours.  LOVE the additional windows and pot lights.  What a bright space, day or night.  We need more windows!  I would swap the pendant lights for two small George Nelson cigar pendants.  I’d paint the cupboards and not even tear out the uppers like we did.  The counter is neutral and looks to be in great shape – how nice.

That tiny piece of counter is too funny.

The master bedroom wouldn’t fit a king sized bed.  Why does this house have so many weird angles and bump outs?

I would break a knee cap climbing into this. 

Vanity, why are you so small and awkward??

 Powder room, why are you so awkward too?  Pretty tile backsplash, though.

A-ha!!  This is where all the crazy angles from the lower two levels meet and collide.  Insanity.

Is that garage aqua???  SOLD.  It’s got a guest space above, whereas our “guest house” (I use the term generously) is separate from the garage.  Fewer buildings to maintain would be swell.  Our yard is a jumble of sheds, a sauna/guesthouse and garage, plus carport.  This seems tidier and more well planned.

Overall, it’s lovely, right?  What did you think of it?  There are things I love about ours that I wouldn’t want to trade, even for a better location: more open concept, giant bathroom vanity, one level, tall ceilings.  But really, I could be happy here too.  You know what makes this place so much less enticing?  It’s $200,000 more than our house was, and most definitely out of our budget!!  We wouldn’t have been able to afford to live here.  Okay, so no regrets yet, but they’re just beginning to list lake homes . . . shall we do this again?



  1. Anonymous
    May 7, 2014 / 12:31 pm

    Yes! Loving this look through real estate listings!! 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 7, 2014 / 12:53 pm

      I'm happy to hear this is fun for you too!

  2. jen c
    May 7, 2014 / 12:37 pm

    Definitely do this again! I love real estate (it's about me and what I love, right?!). I'm currently in the process of a patient, multi-year (apparently) house hunt for the perfect home so it's nice to see what other people think when they look at pictures!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 7, 2014 / 12:56 pm

      Wow, a multi year hunt…you are patient! It is worth it for the right place. I hope you find your dream home!

  3. the cape on the corner
    May 7, 2014 / 1:49 pm

    i love seeing what people do with the same house set up. also, sliding doors is one of my favorite movies ever. john hannah's accent!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 7, 2014 / 8:04 pm

      Such a dreamy accent!!

  4. Jazmyn Strydom
    May 7, 2014 / 2:38 pm

    Love the listings!! But I think you got it right 🙂 It's weird those cabinets to the right of the fridge hinge left (I work in cabinet design)… I would never have done that! And a sink in a corner.. you won't like it 🙂 You will like yours better!!! I wouldn't like all the weird little bump-outs and angles… yours is much better 🙂 I always look at listings when the real estate catalogue comes… we are always looking at comparables.. did you notice when you were looking at comparables how some people don't even stage/clean for photos!? I was looking at the houses on our bay for sale (there are 3) and there's laundry baskets in the photos… the bed is just lumpily made… (lumpily?? well it's a word now…) When we list our house I will definitely get my sister (into photography) so take photos to list… I will stage my house too… Yikes how some of these homes look! And they're all 6 years old MAX. That's so crazy to me…

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 7, 2014 / 8:08 pm

      I thought about you because I remembered you design kitchens. I knew you'd be like "whaaaaat? " when you saw the wee counter piece. It is strange how some people don't prep a home, not even tidy. There was a million dollar home in Ottawa for sale with junk everywhere and voodoo dolls hanging from the ceiling. If I were the realtor, I'd photoshop a lot of mess out.

    • Jazmyn Strydom
      May 8, 2014 / 5:30 pm

      Haha I can understand using the space but it's weird it opens AWAY from the fridge… haha awesome you thought of me! If you're ever curious about homes this way… "Morden Realty", "Gables Realty" & "Ron Wiebe Agencies" are the main ones here!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 9, 2014 / 5:11 am

      I'm going to check those out! Thanks 🙂

  5. Staci
    May 7, 2014 / 4:50 pm

    Fun! Those crazy angles, though! Who designed this! Cute from outside, strange from inside. Yes! I'd like to see more 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 7, 2014 / 8:10 pm

      I never would guessed it would have so many angles!! This is why I could never design a house – I'd end up with even more, lol.

  6. Dana@Mid2Mod
    May 7, 2014 / 6:45 pm

    Your lakehouse is much prettier than that house, I think. I know how hard it is to live far from the city though. I grew up in a small town that had very limited shopping, restaurants and entertainment. The two nearest towns of any size were 30 minutes to an hour away. For a real "city," we had to drive 2 hours to Dallas.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 7, 2014 / 8:12 pm

      Thanks Dana!! We have nothing here, no gas station, no restaurant, no post office. We're really rural but with that comes a quiet lake experience. Closer to city means more motor boats and noise. The drive is nice too, so we're adapting…

  7. Lindsey@ A Pear to Remember
    May 7, 2014 / 9:00 pm

    Ahhhhhh, Tanya, I know we would be best friends if we actually met. Hubs and I bought our first home, move in in a few weeks, and are getting the same dog as you. Likely naming him Niles, after our favorite television character…But the real reason is that I saw Sliding Doors in middle school and if affected me, oh yes, more than a movie should! It's still a total secret indulgence and I show it to all my girlfriends with glee. "Can't believe I never heard of this movie!" they say in disbelief at the end. Seriously, I LOVE Sliding Doors. And, hilariously, the day after Gwen made the news due to her "uncoupling", Sliding Doors was on loop on HBO for weeks!Dreeeeaming of decorating our new place, you've provided much inspiration.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 7, 2014 / 10:50 pm

      Oh my gosh, you're getting a Komondor??? That is so awesome!! Can I ask who the breeder is? Please, please, please send me photos when you get him. I'm so happy for you: new house, new pup!! Congrats :)I wish I'd caught that loop, I'd have re-watched it every night. I own a VHS copy, haha. It totally shaped my outlook on life, and how I deal with decisions/things that happen. I always imagine there's an alternative life, but I never picture it being better (you know why, lol). I'm so happy there's someone else out there who is as smitten with that movie!I'm so happy you've been able to get a little inspiration here. I love decorating, so if you ever want to chat about your place, shoot me an email or let's connect on instagram. It would be fun!

  8. Meg Hannah
    May 7, 2014 / 10:07 pm

    I love the listings and your commentary! Now and then I still look though listings—two full years after buying our townhouse. I finally decided it's better to know. (Knowledge is power!) So far everything I've seen has made me feel lucky we found our place. Whew!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 7, 2014 / 10:45 pm

      You're so right: it's better to know! I'm so happy to hear that you haven't found a single place that makes you love yours any less – that's fabulous news!! And it's such a good idea to keep tabs on the real estate market so if you ever sell you'll have a good idea of price.

  9. brikhouse2
    May 8, 2014 / 11:02 am

    Meh. Though all the angles add some interest, I bet it would be a nightmare to decorate. Hard time placing large furniture and lard pieces of art would be hard with such weird walls. Kitchen would be nice if painted as you mentioned…..I love the bathroom but the tile is horrendous…..I have always wanted one of those bath tubs……I would probably also be the crazy plant lady with plants in all the best windows..including the bath rub. lol

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 8, 2014 / 4:50 pm

      The angles would make things tricky! The plants in the bathtub suggests to me they don't use it much. I've never had a bathroom big enough for a separate shower and tub. I prefer a larger vanity, if I've got the space, but I can see how they might be very spa-like. A bidet is also not on my list of must haves, but on the beach maybe it's necessary? All that sand….

    • brikhouse2
      May 11, 2014 / 1:00 am


  10. beach_bum
    May 8, 2014 / 5:51 pm

    I love the house you bought…being sheltered on the lake would be much better I think. I gasped when I got to the end and read: "$200,000 more." Holy smokes – can't imagine the listing price. I wish we had more affordable housing in Canada (especially on lakes!). We'd love to buy a cottage near where we are, but even a teeny tiny place on a smallish lot is valued at more than the price of our house. Bah.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 9, 2014 / 5:01 am

      The listing price was quite a shock!! But then, it's much closer to town. It's also more developed over there, and the property tax is twice as high. Things I never considered when I designated that my "dream neighborhood". I'm frustrated for you that the cottages are so pricey where you are! We could never afford a secondary lake home either. Our place was actually someone's summer home, but luckily it was zoned as residential, not recreational, and it had been winterized – although we were pretty chilly!! We can only make it happen by committing to live here all year round. I hope one day you find a nice cottage. Is land available? I've seen some great, pre-fab house kits for the more adventurous . . .

  11. beach_bum
    May 8, 2014 / 5:56 pm

    My comment just vanished. :(I just said that I love the house you picked – a sheltered area on the lake sounds MUCH better. Also, I gasped when I got to the end and read "$200,000 more" – good grief. I can only imagine the listing price. I so wish our property prices (in Canada) were more affordable. I looked at a nearby lakefront beach cottage once, and although it was a teeny tiny actual cottage (not a house called a cottage) on a smallish piece of land, it was $$$$$$. Bah.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 9, 2014 / 5:03 am

      Sorry! I have to approve comments because I've had some really gross spammers selling really gross things. This way, I'm able to see all new comments and can answer questions, which is a perk. Sometimes I'm slow approving them, if my handy are painty and I can't reach a computer . . . I know it's a hassle and I apologize. I wish the spam filter caught more 🙁

  12. Cost2Coast
    May 8, 2014 / 10:00 pm

    Hands down, my favorite part is the toilet seat lid in the 2nd washroom. Sold!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 9, 2014 / 5:04 am

      Haha, me too! I actually caught myself wondering if they bought it in town . . . foxes go with everything, lol.

  13. cred
    May 9, 2014 / 2:13 pm

    I still love your lake house. The distance from your parents and town are huge but your house seems more to your taste and without the wonky angles. The price just seals the deal.Yes, these explorations are fun- I'd like to see more listings that you would have considered.Sliding doors- funny, I loved that movie but haven't seen it in years. Should revisit that one with hubby.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 9, 2014 / 6:36 pm

      The price and layout of our home have been perfect for us. There is a must-see million dollar (!!!) lake home I have to share.. I think I'd still pick ours 🙂

Dans le Lakehouse is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. If you click on a link that leads to Amazon, I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases - at no cost to you. Thank you for your support!