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My Sliding Door: Closer to Home

Finally!  A lake home for sale that is within our price range.  Let’s compare apples to apples, with this 35 year old home on a bay of Lake Superior.  This home is a couple hundred square feet larger than ours.  It has four bedrooms, only one three piece bathroom, but 1.8 acres (way more land than us!).  It’s priced about $20-25,000 more than what we paid for our place, so this definitely would have been on our list of homes to tour, were we shopping for a lakehouse now.

It’s a cutie!!  Looks like it has a lot of windows – must be bright inside.  It has a similar style to our place, and – I’m not gonna lie – I’m digging the wheel.  Paint that sucker turquoise and I’m all over it.

Uh-oh.  Red flag: the upholstered chairs used outside instantly lend a “Winter’s Bone” kind of feel to the house . . .

Is there such a thing as a not-nice lake view?  Another great view, framed by forest.  So much property!

I think I made a mistake titling the last tour “prepare to pine,” because that would have been more appropriate, and oh so pun-ny, here.  That is a lot of wood and I’m exhausted just thinking about painting it all.  I have to admit, though, that painted white I think I would really dig the texture, especially the diagonally installed boards.  I’d go full-on cottage cute here.  And I’d have bought those damn lobster buoys.  And not to put on my lobster traps, either.

Is the television trying to get away?

How many trees died for these walls?!?  That is just SO much wood. With the wood floors, walls, and ceilings this feels like a giant coffin, as-is.  There is an urgent need for paint here.

Something is wrong with me, because I’m totally digging these cupboards . . .  Help, I need an interventionMy taste is veering very cottagey these days and I need to recalibrate it to get back to my mid-century mod plan.  But those cabinets – so twee!  Picture them with a cute, turquoise, vintage-inspired light (like this one, which happens to be a DIY).  A black and white checkered floor would be perfect (or maybe a deep blue marmoleum?) and, if those are real wood counters (ironically, I think they aren’t), I’d stain them a deep walnut or a creamy white like ours. 

The eat-in kitchen nook is nice to have but, like so much of this house, it’s so dark, despite having large windows!!  Whoever buys this will need a milk truck filled with
primer and paint, and they should just pump it right in through the windows.  

This bedroom has a real Bates Motel feel about it.  That carpet is murderously awful. 

At a minimum this room is crying out for a lick of paint, although new drywall would be best with a calm colour.  I’d break out of my all-white habit and choose a blue-tinted grey, which can be paired with creamy, all-white bedding (ha ha – fooled you!) and a vintage wrought iron bed, navy.  Some nautical-inspired striped decor would be a sweet touch.  Obviously the offensive carpet needs to go.  So much potential here, but even I’m struggling to see past the prison-inspired brick wall.

Even turquoise curtains can’t cheery up this dark paneled room.  Beep, beep, beep – that’s the paint tanker I ordered.  This carpet almost looks good compared to the photo above, but I’d scrap it right away.

This doesn’t count for our drinking game, but I’m putting a shot of Bailey’s in my morning coffee anyway.  I have an oogie feeling that this “wall covering” is faux-parquet linoleum flooring . . . In a pinch, I could paint the vanity grey or navy, live with the flooring if I had to (or spring for a pretty slate), and install inexpensive white subway tile.  

The pine is listed as a selling feature for this house.  Okay.  We just put up paneling, so I can’t say I don’t see potential.  The pine wood has been installed quite nicely and, painted a bright white, it would have incredible texture.  In this house, I’d totally go with a coastal, nautical feel – maybe even with a hint of rustic.  The bedrooms need a lot more work than the living areas, although paint could do in a pinch.  But I’m convinced that a happy marriage needs two washrooms because the times that I really have to go are when Hubby’s taking his sweet-bippy time in our bathroom.  Our second toilet keeps me sane (and is great for guests) – but it’s a step down from our three-toilet townhouse!  A one bathroom house would lead to a lot more yelling.  I wouldn’t want to swap our place for this one (although the extra land is fabulous), but I can’t say this place is horribly disappointing.  If this were one of our only options, I could make this fabulous.  So we’re still happy with our decision to take the plunge and buy our lakehouse, as opposed to sticking to the plan and house-shopping now, but this was an interesting comparison and not completely disappointing.

Speaking of our place, we really picked up the pace and the kitchen is DONE!!  I’m lying, but as you read this, Hubby and I are nailing in some last-minute trim pieces so we’re so close to being done.  I hope to snap some photos and share the full tour this week, along with the details about how we finished off the paneling and how we addressed the shelf issue.  I just need some time alone with my Pyrex collection first.  We’ve been apart for so long.



  1. Patricia
    June 2, 2014 / 1:05 pm

    Tanya, you are hilarious! Love the milk truck comment!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 2, 2014 / 5:58 pm

      Happy to make you smile 🙂

  2. Caroline Nolazco
    June 2, 2014 / 1:11 pm

    That bedroom and bathroom are scary!!! But oh Id love to get my hands on that living room. Potential!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 2, 2014 / 5:59 pm

      The living room has loads of potential!! But yes, the bedrooms and bath are scary. I think they could be updated fairly easily, though.

  3. Ashlyn
    June 2, 2014 / 3:57 pm

    As an unrepentant wood lover, I mean this is the nicest possible way: I'm so glad you didn't buy this property and paint over all that beautiful wood. (I know I'm in the minority, but I just adore wood paneling. Someday…)

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 2, 2014 / 6:03 pm

      No offense taken!! Our little guest house has oodles of wood (walls, ceiling, trim, doors) and I've been reluctant to paint it because in a small space it looks cute:'m not going to lie: my impulse is to paint it, but I almost thinking that painting the faux wood laminate floor a bright white or cheery colour might be enough to modernize the room. Maybe the wood doors could be painted to match. And the wood paneling could live on.My only complaint is that in this house I toured it makes the rooms feel smaller and darker. Maybe we could compromise and in our imaginations just paint the ceiling :)So nice to hear from someone who is in the minority, design-wise. I often march to the beat of my own drummer too, liking things that the majority don't, so I think it's great you stick to what you like!!

  4. patty
    June 3, 2014 / 11:48 am

    I think I'd be scared to sleep in those bedrooms as is… As for your pumping paint through the windows, it reminds me of that Mr Bean episode where he wraps everything in his apartment in newspaper (including individually wrapped fruit in the fruit bowl), leaves the room and has rigged a paint can to explode so he doesn't have to paint. If only that worked…

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 3, 2014 / 10:53 pm

      A few years ago I imbedded a clip from that episode in a blog post about my penchant for white walls!! I loved that episode, so happy you brought it up. I am going to giggle about it all day.

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