Aug 24, 2012

See the 'After' photos below!

After living in the same, brand-new North Burnaby townhouse for the last seven years, this past spring I decided it was high time to pull up my roots and relocate to the ‘big city’ of Vancouver. Moving a few miles away may not seem all that tough, but I had my work cut out for me!

Determined to downsize to a home more suitable for single living, I moved into my new home this past June: a 26-year-old, two bedroom, two bathroom townhome, measuring in at just over 1,000 square feet. While losing the space was tough, moving into a not-so-new space was even more difficult. I’ve been spoiled enough to live in only brand-new homes I can remember, so moving into what felt like someone else’s home was a definite eye-opener.

Aside from installing new grey oak floors and a custom-made staircase handrail, painting the walls and spending more on brand-new furniture than I care to mention, one of the biggest tasks I faced in making my home ‘mine’ was tackling the non-existent garden. I’ll admit it: I bought the townhouse without really considering that I’d have to look after the plants within my gates – front and back. Luckily, my parents are hardcore gardeners – the perfect antidote for my somewhat-lighter green thumb!

The yard was overgrown and so dry from lack of watering (I take partial responsibility).  A honeysuckle growing on the fence was half-dead and shed leaves that blew into my house whenever the door opened. Out back, a dead cedar tree overlooked a ton of empty, dreary concrete. Overall, the garden was drab, dying and, well, depressing to look at.


However, that soon changed! With my parents’ help, I cut the honeysuckle back to almost nothing, along with the other overgrown plants along the front walk. We weeded, we trimmed, we conquered (and filled it all in with brand-new bark mulch). The dead cedar was replaced with fun outdoor planters filled with soil, fresh bark mulch and pink flowers. Solar landscaping lights completed the look and offered much-needed lighting for evening escapades. Total investment? A not-too-shabby $75 – plus a lot of free help from my parents.


Today, I’m actually happy to have a ton of outdoor space, now that it’s my own little oasis in the middle of ‘big city’ Vancouver! It’s the perfect place to sit with friends and sip some wine. I am now on the lookout for new patio furniture to replace my acacia wood set from IKEA. It never ends, but it sure is fun – and home is finally starting to feel like one.


Who has undertaken an easy gardening DIY project, or one to make your home feel more ‘you’?

I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!