Home Diaries: How to add color to your Living Room

I love changing my decor regularly, but I usually play it safe and only change it up in my bedroom and bathroom. I do change my duvets regularly..and I am always switching up my bathroom accessories, but I only change my living room decor once or twice a year..and that is usually around the holidays. I guess it is just easy to switch up the decor seasonally with some soft throws and warm colored accents and you are done..but summer time decor can be a little challenging. How do you decorate without throws and candles?? I say add colour..and a lot of it! I generally keep this area fairly neutral and it works with a toddler in the house, but this is such an easy way to add some pop of colour that you don't even have to think about commitment issues. I usually have these velvet cushions in our guest room where they pop against everything white..but one evening I decided to change things up. I wanted to add some life to a dark gloomy living space (because let's face it..our summer has been nothing but dark and gloomy this year) and all I did was grab all the cushions from the guestroom and everything else colorful in the house and.. VOILA! It took me less than 15 minutes to spruce up the space! I have added links to the all the accessories I used. The best part is that because it is all accessories, you can pack everything up just as quickly when you are done with the look..or in my case when my little monster wanted to take over the living room.



I was hoping to have this post up last week, but something always came up. I have finally got a good routine working with the baby, she is finally starting to sleep better, waking up once or twice a night..which is a BIG improvement from waking up every hour!! I was losing my mind just a few weeks ago and never thought I'd sleep again. I was getting on avg of 2 hours of sleep each night. Looking back it turns out it was probably because she was teething and I was dealing with the 8 month sleep regression.  Combine that with gloomy miserable weather, and the whole circus that followed with Donald Trump's inauguration..I basically went into a mild depression! But..the days are getting longer, we are almost half way through February which means spring is around the corner, and the baby is getting better at sleeping! She cut her first two teeth (yes a bit late), learned to stand on her own and started feeding herself all in one week!! Hallelujah!
Soo this means I can finally find a moment to sit down and share our Master floor with you guys! The third floor was basically divided into two rooms separated by closets..and for some reason one room had a sink in it! I am guessing it was being rented at one point and was a kitchenette of some sort up  there. We decided to removed the closets that were separating the two rooms and created a large bedroom with master bath on one end. So without further adieu, I share with you guys the before and after of our Master Floor. It still needs to be furnished as the rest of the house, but I will share the room makeovers as I get around to finishing each room.
Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern attic loft conversion Master Bathroom |navkbrar.blogspot.com
Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern attic loft conversion Master Bathroom |navkbrar.blogspot.com
Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern attic loft conversion Master Bathroom |navkbrar.blogspot.comProject Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern attic loft conversion Master Bathroom |navkbrar.blogspot.com
Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern attic loft conversion Master Bathroom |navkbrar.blogspot.com
Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern attic loft conversion Master Bathroom |navkbrar.blogspot.comProject Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern attic loft conversion Master Bathroom |navkbrar.blogspot.comProject Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern attic loft conversion Master Bathroom |navkbrar.blogspot.com


Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern open concept black and white kitchen |navkbrar.blogspot.com
Today I am sharing the full main floor reveal with you guys. Looking at the before pictures, I can't believe that I walked into this house and said "I kinda like it" lol..like seriously..was it my pregnancy hormones or I had so much faith in us that I thought I could pull this off?! Well..either way we did it! It turned out exactly how I imagined it. We took out two major walls and converted the main floor into an open concept space for our growing family. The original kitchen was only 8'x9' I believe, complete with the green ugly wall tiles and asbestos floor tiles!..I shared the kitchen details last week, check it out here. I am so glad we were able to move the kitchen and make it so much bigger than it was before. We also converted the (old) kitchen window into a full entrance from the backyard while keeping the side entrance for the basement. We also kept the original doors and the hardware, which are just stunning! I will be sharing some more detail pics in a later post.

Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern open concept black and white kitchen |navkbrar.blogspot.com
Above is the view of our main floor from where the old kitchen would have been..I am still in awe of what we have accomplished..I love this feeling of open space as it allows me to keep an eye on the baby.. plus now she has so much room to crawl around in! I am also glad that we kept the original pocket doors as seen in this post, since it does allow me to close off the living room if needed..because there are days when you do need a bit of privacy so I am glad I have that option.
I've also attached some pictures of the foyer in this post, which only needed a bit of cosmetic makeover, no structural changes were needed there. I do love that you can see right through the house from the front entrance. The stairs were in good shape, little squeaky here and there but very sturdy. They were a bit worn out though, and we tried staining them..but it turns out that the first floor had Oak steps but the second had Pine. The pine did not take the stain very well and it basically looked like we painted them black! So we had to just choose a different paint colour and just paint the stairs all together. Other than repainting and re-staining the stairs, we kept the foyer more or less the same. We did add some extra storage under the stairs, can never have too much storage right!
So this is it guys, this is the main floor..I will be sharing our master floor soon..you may have seen some of it on Instagram but I can't wait to share the entire floor!! Click below to see more.


As I said in the previous post, the living room was probably the only room in the house that was in a decent shape..it all went downhill from there. The Kitchen was one of our major projects..we basically relocated it, redesigned it and took down a few walls. Since we didn't need a formal dining room and we were going to create an open concept place; having a large kitchen with an 8 foot island made perfect sense to me. Overall I am thrilled with how the kitchen turned out. It doesn't seem like a lot of space, with all the storage only on just one wall and some storage in the island..the best thing I did was add drawers instead of cupboards. We only had 3 drawers in our old kitchen, and in this one we have 14! It just makes sense, you use every inch of space this way, plus no more ducking down to find pots and pans. Everything is perfectly organized with larger drawers for pot, pans, bulky items, and smaller ones for pretty much everything else. I even managed to add pantry storage in here. So if there is anything I can recommend, it would be add drawers instead of cupboards. We even managed to hide our appliances in the pantry..as much as I love open concept, I do get overwhelmed with clutter. So having a designated space for all of the appliance does help to control the visual clutter.

Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern open concept black and white kitchen |navkbrar.blogspot.com

The only thing I was sad to lose was the window seen below, it allowed so much natural light into the dining area..but the older houses only had one bathroom in the entire house, which meant no powder room on the main floor. So we decided to use the space beside the kitchen and squeezed in a tiny 5x3 powder room. I would have kept the window if I could but sometimes you have to make hard decisions. Removing the wall between the (now) kitchen and the room beside it (which btw I have NO idea what its purpose was!) has made the kitchen a lot more brighter..but I am a sucker for natural light and can never get enough! Anyway guys I am going keep this one short..I will be sharing the full main floor reno soon! See below for more pictures of the kitchen :)
See Previous posts here, here, here and here


I promised to share more reno updates as everything was going on, but I failed to keep up yet again. I am not sure if it was the madness of having to make a lot of design decisions on the spot (I blame my contractor for that..but that story I will save for another day)..I just never felt organized. I never felt that I had enough time to research, blog, share and then decide. It was more of "okay you need to decide on trim by tomorrow", or "you need to pick the tiles by next week". In most cases I actually did not have to get things done that quickly, most of the time the guys were way behind schedule anyway, or sometimes he did need a quick decision from me but a little heads up would have been nice. I guess it was hard being on top of things, this was our first renovation so we didn't exactly know the timeline either. On top of that having just had a baby, who was only 2 months old then, I found myself just trying to keep up with life. Then came the big move with a 4 month old, that was not fun. None of our old furniture fit into the new house..quite literally! So we had to buy some pieces quickly or take whatever could fit for now, and decorate later...And next thing you know it's October!
Having a growing baby and a chaotic mess that was this house for months, I couldn't even think straight. But with the permit finally closed, and being officially done with the contractors..which mean no more random visits from the electricians/painters/plumbers, I can finally sit down and share the progress so far! I say so far because we have yet to buy all of our furniture so I will be sharing the decor updates as we go..hopefully!

If you have been following me along, I did share the horrendous "before" pictures of the first floor, click here to see the original post, I did some updates during the reno here and here. Which brings us to today! A fully finished main floor! As you can see the living room needed some love. I actually loved the original trim work, and the fire place, and the original paint colour as well, but the house wasn't insulated at all being that it is over a hundred years old. I don't know how people lived back then without proper insulation! Anyhow, that meant having to take apart the entire house. We had to gut the house entirely to redo the electrical, plumbing, insulation..the whole bit! I couldn't save the trim work but we did reuse the original doors, kept the fireplace and the original radiators.  We moved some of the rads where we thought they'd better fit for us but rest of the living room and foyer were kept exactly the same. I even managed to save the pocket doors that separated the living from the dining room (which is now the new kitchen)..but I did paint them a very bold colour..see below!

Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - foyer |navkbrar.blogspot.com
Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - foyer |navkbrar.blogspot.com
We painted the whole house "Decorator's White" by Benjamin Moore. Replaced the hardwood..and tried to match the original trim as close as possible. The fireplace needed a makeover, the original tiles we missing and some were cracked, so we went with a geometric texture tile on the facade, and patterned tile on the floor. I love how it all turned out, it actually has bit of a Moroccan feel to it. The windows of course had to be replaced, and we went with the modern cleaner look there. It just makes the space feel much larger and I love the uninterrupted view of the outside.
Project Rad: Toronto century home renovation - modern black and white living room  with Moroccan inspired fireplace patterened tile|navkbrar.blogspot.com
adding a close up of the fireplace from the holidays so excuse the festive decor :)
Project Rad: toronto century home renovation - edwardian living room before and after  |navkbrar.blogspot.com before and after
modern black and white living room before and after
I was a bit nervous adding the two mirror panels on the either side of the fireplace, because I was afraid of it looking a bit tacky and since it was my idea I just felt a lot of pressure. But once the panels went up I was very happy with my decision. It made the space feel spacious and bright. As I mentioned the furniture will be completely replaced in this space so stay tuned as we give this room a new make over. But I have just gotten started, up next is the kitchen! I am super excited to share as it was truly designed from scratch. We moved its location and I actually designed the whole thing! I hope to have it up in a few days..until them click below to see more pictures of the living room.
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