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December 02, 2015

Remembering Susan Hargraves

The Vancouver Island design community lost a bright light this past weekend. 
There are just not enough words to truly describe Susan Hargraves 
and encompass the amazing woman she was. 
A few that come to mind ~  mentor,  teacher,  brilliant designer, talented stager, 
 supportive colleague, fashion maven with impeccable style
and most importantly above all, a wonderful friend.
 Class elegance and charm.


Susan held my hand through the early stages of my business. She openly shared her expertise and her experiences. By sharing , I mean not just stories and ideas but real tangible things like a business plan and contracts . Things that many are just not willing to share . She pushed me to think not only about design but about the business of design.
That is the Susan I am so privileged to have known. 
She was a champion of women in business. 
She wanted us all to succeed.

Stacey and I were fortunate enough to work side by side with Susan on many local Victoria projects. She loved the design planning and project management and called upon us often for the end styling. When she and Jim moved to Cedar we were lucky enough to road trip there for a day - adding some fresh design eyes for her gorgeous country cottage home.
Susan's "Rooms That Work" always did work and much much more. 

Here are just a few of the projects we worked on together. 
So very grateful and 
happy to celebrate her work.


ReMarkable Interiors


Remarkable Interiors



Remarkable Interiors




You will be missed . Godspeed . 
May you Rest in Peace Susan, you have forever touched my heart.

xoxo ~Tracey


November 11, 2015

What does the house want...?




Working hard on the TLC House! This is the time in a renovation when it seem like lots is happening but not much change to see...messier, dirtier, uglier. 

I always say it has to get way worse before it can be better!


We are getting down to the end of demo. (reiterating last post...demo day...not just a day!!) Kitchen is out entirely as is main bathroom. 
Big thing that happened this week is the fireplace removal! 
We decided instead of working around the awkward centre of room structure we are just going to tear it down and create a wall focal point with a new gas insert. 

Now thats a really big hole in the floor.... and we will have to deal with a support post or 2! 
Wall framing coming out soon around this. Open concept...hello!



Kitchen circa 1961-2015


Kitchen demo'd!



Main bathroom circa 1961-2015

Oooohhhhh! 

Bathroom gone! 

Pretty blue toilet...cheap!


Our most excellent contractors are starting to frame up the basement rooms and slowly things will start to take shape.
Thanks Wayne ( Keybroy Construction)
and Brian ( Bendle Homeworks)




Working on the interior design plan now with Leslie 
and there are a lots of moving parts to consider. 
Like Really Consider !   
A sidebar on this - Stacey and I were at a client consult a while back and we asked as always what the client likes /dislikes /is inspired by etc. She answered "...Its not as much what I want and like but really more about 'What does the house want?' ..."  We laughed because it does sound abit corny new-agey but it is kind of true.
There is no right or wrong ( ok maybe some small wrongs turns!) to what you like in terms of design but you really must identify for yourself how you live in a space and what the structure IS in order to make it work. An example - we finished a full house reno awhile back. A typical west coast style home that our client wanted to makeover into a 
"New York Loft" feel.  It is stunning but you know what...when they finally moved in and spent some time  it was mentioned they are regretting alittle not thinking through "what the house wants..." I guess although it look s amazing it just doesn't feel 100% right for the house and location. 
( I think they will come around though ;)
This is an extreme example but really good to consider everything when taking on a reno.


With the TLC house we have to figure out who will buy this property and how they may live in it and that will determine a big part of the design. 
Taking TLC out of the equation and inserting potential
"Any Family" is key.


I think this might be what the TLC house wants? :) Some RoomCandy!


And this...


Not this... ( thats next weeks project!)



~ Tracey

PS also did not want to forget a big THANK YOU to Dave at Lida Homes
tons of great advice, support and suggestions!
...it certainly may take the whole community! :)




October 26, 2015

Hey HGTV .... "DEMO DAY" isn't a DAY!

Hammer Time! Demo begins....

We took possession of our TLC flip 2 weeks ago. 
Progress is being made...slowly but surely.

Plans coming together, permits applied for, yard repairs started and trades lined up. 
If anyone tells you this is easy....LIARS! 

This planning and demo time is probably the hardest part of the whole process- besides sweating the sale on the other side :)

Leslie and I decided right up front that we were going to tackle the demo to the point where our "boots on the ground " trades could come in and really have a clean slate to start work with. There is a point however where you need to go 
"Is this worth a broken back/arm/head/eyes/ears...?" 
and more fitting for us, the question 
"Do we really have any idea what we are doing?!!"
When in doubt bring in professionals!

Here's some pics of where we started 
and where we are after week 2:




Yep, its an ugly duckling right now....but just you wait :)

Here's the living room...


Rotten underlay over really nice Oak! Whoot!


Hearth and walls are coming out this week! Open it all up!





Because we are working at our paid jobs all day, demo is happening in the evenings and on weekends. A little third world-ish with only 2 working lights on the main floor. 
Thanks to husband for most ( ALL) of the tools...
sledge, pry bar, shop vac, work light....
(You don't see husband(s) here though do you...hmmm?? Maybe they are waiting for the really hard work... yes that's it! )



Scraping, shovelling, prying, pulling. No big deal.





Highly paid labour. Only the best for the TLC house! 
Thanks Stacey !

Sneak Peek at the basement....



So my Mom is such a champ...she helped me tear out the cedar ship lap and the panelling while my partner is on the beach in Maui- really!
 (she also bagged the mouse nest without flinching!) Thanks Mom!

Thanks also to so many of our friends in the business who have offered up some awesome ideas and good direction with lots of the "unknowns". Beer's on us at the end of all this! 
To name a few:

Darren @ Argus Excavating

Stay tuned : Demo Continues... 
Perimeter Drains, Kitchens and Bathrooms 
Yay! ( I think!)




~Tracey









October 15, 2015

So....We Bought a House !

Yes we did...We bought a HOUSE!

"Flipping Victoria" ? Sounds good right? We thought so.

After months (& months!!!) looking for the right property this little gem in Gordon Head presented itself to us. Awesome big lot, near by parks, schools, transit, shopping. Untouched 1961 split level...checking all the right boxes for two newbie flippers.
 Holy CRAZY you think?






There is a house in there... really. This is just a teaser ...wait till you see inside!

Newbies to flipping yes but Leslie is a commercial banker...she KNOWS money! 
(insert giant spreadsheet that I don't understand here) AND she will keep me on budget AND in line in pretty much every other way. I think I can work on the design :) 
Just need to reign in the ideas. 
We will figure out the rest...electrical plumbing perimeter drains...say what!?

Our little joint venture has a name...TLC



Tracey Leslie Co
The Land Co
Two Looney Chicks
Two Large Cones ( thanks hubby! please!)

They all work.

Understatement much?

Follow RoomCandy for renovation highs and lows, photos, bloopers, our whole dive head first into the house flipping #YYJ style. 

Hard hats on...demo begins!

~ Tracey