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Thursday, December 15, 2016

In Like Flynn and Making it Ours

I had posted an update to the ongoing saga on the house on Facebook, but had not written a post to say that we had indeed been approved for our financing, in the nick of time, and took possession of the house in the evening of December 9. That evening, and the next day, I unloaded the truck, with the kind help of the neighbour across the corner from us on the china cabinet and the mattresses, as I was simply out of gas by the time I got to these last 2 items.

Steph immediately got to work, feverishly organizing the rooms on the main floor, and oh what a fantastic job she did. When we bought this house, we had barely enough furniture for 2 or 3 rooms. Thanks to her vision and prowess at acquisition, she managed to acquire all the pieces that we needed to fully furnish the house. I went to work getting our new office organized, while she did the rest of the main floor. Now, after just 6 days, I am pleased to say that we have the main floor completed, and just the upstairs bedrooms to go. We shall celebrate this weekend with our first lobster meal since arriving here!

Without further ado, I give you pictures of the completed rooms:

Living Room

The art-deco red club chair was easily Steph's best score. I was also very happy to be able to finally put up the 1885 copper etching of Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey, by the famed 19th century etcher, Axel Haig. That etching has been in my family since 1974, when my parents bought it at an auction. So it has literally been around the world. 

My pride and joy, one of two Queen Anne wing-back chairs that my parents bought in the same year as the etching. My brother has the other chair. Viktor loves to climb on it, as you can see here. 

Steph wasted no time in getting our Christmas tree up. We couldn't put one up last year because of Viktor, but so far he has not tried to climb it. 

Our favourite feature of the living room has to be the working fireplace, which we used on our second night, and every night since. 

Dining Room

The dining room as seen from the front hall.

The mantle and built in cabinet. Unfortuntely the old coal fireplace is not working, but maybe we can get it restored eventually. Steph put up the seating chart from our wedding reception above the altar chest on the right.

I insisted on bringing the rosewood china cabinet that my parents gave me almost 16 years ago. It has always been a favourite piece of mine. It turns out to have been a great place to display our "nerdy stuff" as well as Steph's books.

Front Hall

A little display that Steph made on the radiator cover. The round mirror was one of 2 that Ikea had on sale for $20 each because of the green colour. However we knew it would work here, so we bought them. 

The rest of the hall looking toward the sunporch. 

It is balls cold right now in this porch, but it should make a nice sitting area once the temperatures warm up. 

The glass windows extend around the right side of the porch as well. 

Despite the cabinetry being very dated, the layout is still very user friendly. The addition of the portable island in the centre makes it a very efficient space. We plan to install a dishwasher that we bought with us that is currently out in the garage. But that is in a month or two, once we sort our finances and sales get back up to the level they were at before the move.

The little built in spice rack is the perfect place to display my collection of vintage tobacco tins.

The stove and pantry, with the laundry room door on the right.

The 1930's art works well on this wall. The sign on the laundry room door that Steph made reads "Laundry today or naked tomorrow.", which I thought was clever and funny. 

Laundry Room

Tons of storage, and a good place for the cat box. Off to the right is a nice powder room. It is so small though that there is no way to get a good picture of it, so I didn't bother. But it's there.


Looking in from the hall. This room is directly across from the kitchen and is the last room before the stairs. Steph's desk is at the back, while mine is in the foreground. These wide desks from Ikea were just the thing to give us plenty of space for the printer, scanner and computers, while having space to actually work on stamps too. I love the deep crimson walls with white trim.

I put up shelving behind me for the larger Canada items, supplies and a neat little workstation for the ultraviolet light, so that I don't have to keep hauling it out when I want to use it. I was also able to finally hang another heirloom piece: a copy of Queen Alexandra's address to England upon the death of her husband, King Edward VII. Steph's pop-art worked well here too. 

Easily the best feature of this room is the built in closets whose width extends fully into the wall on both sides, so I can store the stuff I don't need to access for a long time out of sight. The main stock can be placed where I can easily access it, and I can lock the doors. I put up shelving for the 50,000 Nigerian covers that I bought last year. 

Viktor watching me from my desk, as I filled the order backlog. 

The bulk of the Canada stock to 1971, British West Africa on the top shelf, and pre-1936 Nigeria in the albums. Each red box holds 1,000 stockcards and most of these boxes are full. Most stockcards can hold as many as 20 stamps. 

The rest of Canada after 1971, the rest of Nigeria after 1936, some general Commonwealth, worldwide, and our catalogues on the bottom shelf.

And that is it for now, until we finish the bedrooms.


  1. who ended up providing the financing?

  2. I'd rather not say. However it was one of the major banks in Canada.

  3. I know hindsight is 20/20. But why would you not have gone that 'conventional route' right from the start?

  4. We tried - with TD, our regular bank. But based on our business, we didn't think we would qualify. So we consulted a broker.