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I’m Moving; Time to Redecorate

By 04/03/2010June 2nd, 202449 Comments

In January, when I posted my goals for 2010 here, I talked about this house we rent that I totally love! Well, the owners have given us 2 months notice (they are going to tear it down and build a new house) so by the end of May, we’ll be gone.

I love this house because of all the light, I wanted to buy it and renovate it myself, but it’s not to be. The owner grew up here and her mom lived in it until she was 80 and they’ve rented it out since she passed away because they needed time to figure out exactly what to do with it.

So they will be back to this view (below) and all the light from the amazing windows, and I’ll be missing it. No more friends saying things like “It feels like Sharon Stone is about to walk through here” (only because it’s got the feeling of a Malibu pad!).

My sofa will either be toast or I’ll slipcover it in white. That is my current plan! (The white faux ostrich ottoman will have to change then because that will be too much white). I want to introduce some ‘happy’ colours in our new place.


This brick wall which got me in the eyes when we moved in (I should have painted it back then but thought I would get into trouble) will be gone!

I love this piece of art. It makes me feel like I’m cycling in Provence or somewhere in Europe! See my shelter magazines on the right, I collect them and don’t get rid of them until they are more than 10 years old, so I have them everywhere.

That 60’s mustard banquette will be gone but I bet there were many good times with the kids sitting around it. Every time my nephews come over they love playing and hanging out there!

We can’t afford to buy in this neighbourhood (the house across the street is currently listed for 1.5 million and it’s a complete tear down) so we are looking to rent again. In North Vancouver there are townhouses (we both need an office so an apartment will not be big enough), but I have been in so many of them for consultations and they are so dark. . . .I lived in a dark suite once for 1 1/2 years and no one had ever seen me as depressed as I was when I lived there.

I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that at the time I was also turning 40.

This is the sofa I really want! (credit)


We are also talking to a real estate agent (here in North Vancouver) in case we find something to fix up, so we’ll see but 2 months is not a lot of time! Anyway, cross your fingers for me, and let me know if you see anything I might like!

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:

An Open Letter to my Lover on Decorating

What I learned about Design while Decorating for my Mother

10 Things I learned so Far (from my Designer); by a Happy Client

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  • Pam Kersting says:

    Buy Maria, buy! This is fate happening for you. It is a new day. Find something with good bones and make it your own! But buy it, because there has never been a better time to buy than now! Can't wait to see what you come up with. Happy House hunting!

  • Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    That stinks. I'm sorry to hear it, Maria; I was hoping you would have been able to eventually do what you wanted and buy that house. Nothing but to look at it as a new creative challenge and adventure. Not sure how it is there, but maybe it is a "buyer's market" there like it is here.

  • Cristin says:

    Crossing my fingers for you. I know it is going to be stressful, but will work out in the end.


  • AB HOME Interiors says:

    Im sure you will find something great! Put it out in the universe, exactly what you want, and it will bring it back you tenfold!

  • Karena says:

    I just know that you will find something that will be more perfect for you than ever!

    Art by Karena

  • Kim says:

    Get in to the market now and work your way up. You've go the skills to create value!



  • aneyefordetail says:

    Yes, get into the market….somehow! How about a townhouse/condo that wouldn't be SO expensive? But how awful to know they're going to tear down this house: happens so often and what a waste….Good luck, we'll all be following!

  • Kerry says:

    Oh so sad to leave somewhere you love, but exciting to create something wonderful somewhere else. All the best for the search and of course, we look forward to the tales that will follow. I agree with AB..write what you want down, burn it and send it out to the certainly worked for me.

  • fabricfan says:

    I am a great believer that the right place will come along. Good luck with it all, I am sure you will love your next place.

  • Twenty Two Flamboyant Street says:

    You know what they say… when one door closes another opens (to allow new and wonderful things to enter your life). Good luck may you find happiness, good health and fortune in your next home.

  • Melissa @ Veranda Interiors says:

    That is such an amazing home!! As a builder in Calgary we would have loved to have renovated it rather than taking a dozer to it…and I don't say that very often. Hope you find the perfect space! Can't wait to see what you end up with, good luck!!

  • Charlotte's Color Specialist says:

    (Virtual hug)
    Everything will work out Maria!

  • Grace says:

    Oh crumbs, that is rotten. Let's hope that this is the door closing so a window will open soon. I'm sure you know more now about what type of home would suit you than you did when you rented the dark townhouse. It is very unsettling though, isn't it?

  • Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury says:

    Good luck, Maria! I hope this turns out to be the best thing that's ever happened!!

  • DesignTies says:

    Bummer that you have to move out of the house that you love. But this is a great opportunity to find a new place and decorate it just the way you want 🙂

    Good luck with the house search!!


  • My Notting Hill says:

    I know you wanted that home. Wishing you the best w/finding your new place – have a feeling it will work out well.

  • Danica says:

    I'm sad to hear about the house, Maria. Keep positive(not that you already don't!) and I'm sure you'll find something wonderful you can put your mark on.

  • pve design says:

    There is something out there "bigger and better" waiting for you to "Colour IT happy!"
    Best of Luck!!!

  • Vanessa says:

    Yes, you will find something much better, I'm sure of it. We lived in a cute little townhouse on 14th street in North Van. Loved it there!

  • Marlo says:

    What a sweet and beautiful good-bye to your home; it’s touching.

    I’ve done the same thing whenever I’ve moved. On moving day I walked through the house, room by room, and relived all the special times. It’s a bit sad but it helped me let go and by the time I reached the new house I was so excited to get it decorated and make it a home that I quickly forgot about the old one.

    Moving is bittersweet. May you find a heart-warming home with sun filled rooms. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Melissa Rakowski says:

    Anything you find will be beautiful once you add your happy touch!

  • Acanthus and Acorn says:

    Wishing you the best of luck!!!

    I for one, can not wait to see what you find and then enjoy the process as you work your colorful magic!

  • Space by Eliana Tomas says:

    i remember that post very well. the good thing about it is the excitement looking for new things, new vibes, new views…
    yesterday i was browsing in antropologie in london, and for some reason i thought of you, your colours and your advices on colour.
    good luck with your house hunting.

  • heather @ what's blooming this week says:

    What a shame – for you to have to give up the house and for the house as it will be gone. I'm sorry to hear you have to move – I know you wanted to buy that house so much. Alot of the comments are saying that you should buy – I agree. There is nothing more satisfying than owning your own home and with mortgage rates the way they are right now – you'll get more house for the monthly payments. Good luck in your search. The cool thing is that you will be adding "happy" colours no matter where you go.

  • Susan says:

    I could tell by the way you wrote about your house how much you love it there. The view is quite amazing.

    Maybe someone in this big blogging world will have a lead for you on a new place?

    I had 6 weeks notice to find a place to live when I sold my last house 10 years ago. Lady luck was with me when I found this perfect little house. I couldnt imagine living anywhere else. Although the renovating is getting old 🙂

    You get to make a fresh start and decorate the way you want without anyone dictating what you can and cant do.

    I hope you find the perfect spot.
    Happy Easter!

  • Julienne says:

    How sad they are going to pull down a home with such style. I find it difficult to believe the ridiculous prices houses now command all over the world. We moved out of the City some 13 years ago and enjoy the country life and the much more affordable price range. I wish you all the best and hope something wonderful comes hurrying along for you.

  • Tricia says:

    I believe there is a very good reason you are being uprooted so quickly right now and it's a good thing. Trust that! You will find a place where you can unlease your creativity and will look back on this as one of the best things that happened in 2010. Your positive energy is what keeps me hooked to your blog. I know you will approach this change in the same way.

  • house things says:

    Yikes. I'm sorry to see a house like that be demolished. Perhaps they'll salvage the Roman brick. Can't find that anymore.

    And, I wouldn't mind the sofa you've highlighted either. Nice choice.

  • Kelly, Arte Styling says:

    Maria – I read your post, and then read all of the comments. What a wonderfully supportive group of readers you have here! I don't think I could add much more than what's already been said. Change is opportunity. (But I think you know that already…)
    Happy house hunting!!!

  • Bethany Christensen says:

    Dang! I know how much you love your place and that you were hopeful about buying it. Best of luck with your search for a great new home.

  • DelBene Interiors says:

    Maria – I'm sorry to read of your situation. However, I believe that sometimes when a bad situation happens, it just may be the path onto something even better.

    I will keep my fingers crossed for you and wish you the best.

    BTW, The picture of the couch that you want, my Mom had in our living room in the house I grew up in. She had it reupholstered and gave it to my Brother and Sister-in-Law as a house warming present. I say we break in and couch-nap it!!!! LOL

    best wishes,

  • Roberta says:

    Good luck Maria. One door closing and another opening! xo

  • House Hunting in Paris says:

    My sympathies! I can only hope that the househunt is much easier in Canada than here in Paris! And you're right, light is sooo important – we just the first to visit an apartment that has absolutely everything we want – great location one street away from our current place, beautiful stone building, elevator, cellar…except it was only 1st floor (US 2nd floor), the bedroom felt like a cave and even the living room on the street didn't get any light. I am ready to give up so I would've made an offer but my level-headed companion sternly shook his head at such crazy thoughts and so we are still looking, story of our life. Good luck!!!

  • Windlost says:

    Good luck Maria – I know it is hard finding an amazing place for a reasonable budget. I live in Calgary after all where everything with character is millions, even if tiny. It is hard to find an interesting apartment here and houses are not much better. Vancouver is likely far worse cost-wise but more interesting choices I imagine. Good luck finding something light and airy. Don't give up.
    xo Terri

  • Sue says:

    Hi Maria, We had a similar experience a few years ago. Our rental home was sold and we had to find a new home. White Rock real estate is similar to North Van I think. I had just done some painting and decorating and perspective buyers were loving it. I was tempted to repaint it back to the unattractive colours, because many people can not see the potential of a house, only what is. You have the gift, and you will find a new home in which to speak your language! Sometimes the universe whispers, so stay open to the new opportunties coming your way, either when you purchase or find a new rental. Sue

  • Ivy Lane says:

    Sending good house karma your way! It will all work out!!!

  • Love Where You LIve says:

    You have such great style, Maria, and I know you'll miss much about your current place. However, I think the best creative times are ahead of you — i terms of getting the home of your dreams, that is!!! I will send positive thoughts your way in anticipation that you soon find the perfect place where you can do your magic. Perhaps things do happen for a reason. My best. And here's to new adventures, -susan

  • Renae says:

    I love that sofa too! You NEED it!
    All will be well Miss Maria!
    Have a blessed Easter.


  • LesleySW says:

    Such a cool house and it's sad to see it go.

    But I think you'll have a great time finding something you can make completely your own. (And we'll all have a great time watching you do it!)

    Good luck in your search.

  • Dayka (Life +Style) says:

    I LOVE that sofa, and love the house (and the view!). It sounds so cliche, but there really must be something better out there for you! Good luck on house hunting–can't wait to see what you find and read about how you make it your own!

  • Erika @ BluLabel Bungalow says:

    **kicking rocks** Everything is going to work out the way it should. Just don't waste time feeling sad or worrying, you need your energy for the house hunt…after all a renovation DOES sound exciting, right?

  • Developing Designs says:

    You must think and have positive thoughts. I have been thinking a lot about your situation and I just know, you are an amazing person and will be rewarded with something better than you can imagine. Why this process is something you must go through will then be revealed. Everything happens for a reason (don't you just want to roll your eyes when someone says that?) 🙂
    IT must be hard for her to tear down her family home, no?

  • Maria Killam says:

    Thanks all of you for such sweet and supportive comments.

  • chanteusevca says:

    Praying that you are led to just the right property for you and that it's just the right price and exactly what you love with lots of light and another great view! Have faith and don't give up! It's out there waiting for you!

  • mydivabydesign says:

    I'm so sorry that you have to move from a place that you love. here's praying that you find someplace even better!

  • Marie Brady says:

    Ooooo, that mustard banquette is to die for! Well Maria, you are simply destined to move on to better things. I'm sure you'll find something perfect!

  • Between you, me and the Fencepost says:

    I am going to miss your house so much. xo

  • Candied Fabrics says:

    Like all the folks above me – I know that this was a hard pill for you to swallow and I also know that you'll find something else wonderful! Best of luck in the hunt!

  • Caroline says:

    I agree that mustard banquette is gorgeous, in fact I think the whole house is. I wonder if the landlords will salvage bits and pieces? Seems like such a shame to just tear the place down without letting that detail be preserved.

    Congratulations on the move! That's so exciting!!!

    Have you ever read Dwell Magazine? Lots of examples of people fixing places up themselves. I'm an addict of that publication. 🙂

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