Next up on our renovation series is the handy dandy contractor from Love It Or List It Vancouver who I absolutely love to hate ….. Kenny Gemmill!! LOL! All jokes aside, Kenny and I have been friends OUTSIDE of Love It Or List It Vancouver for quite a few years so I’m beyond thrilled to be able to share his family home renovation story with all of YOU!
So without further ado … this blog is now in the reliable (and oh so strong ) hands of Kenny! LOL! …
Hi everyone! Kenny here! 2 years ago, my wife and I decided to sell our home. This wasn’t an easy decision. We have 3 kids and have already moved more times than we would like to count. Some of our very best friends lived right next door, our kids could walk to school, and we had a laneway home that housed our part time nanny-turned-best-friend and her partner. It was a tough call for sure. Selling it was bittersweet, as it was our first ‘build from scratch’ project. We loved our home, our kids loved our home, but we decided that having a small mortgage was a bigger priority for us, and so off she went to another family. Also, some would say we are addicted to renovating! So the idea of doing another project is always appealing. I love planning new spaces. I can really see potential in the older homes of Vancouver. Michelle loves ‘finishings’. She has a great eye for colour, tile, stone, and putting it all together. We make a pretty great team this way.
The market in Vancouver began to take off right after we sold (as if it wasn’t already CRAZY) and we soon began to fear getting priced out of the market. All of a sudden, a little old house in the Southlands neighbourhood came up, and we felt compelled to jump on it. The home itself wasn’t amazing, but the lot was sunny and full of roses, in fact, the elderly lady who lived there was a ‘rosarian’ and had her very own rose named after her! We loved the story, the roses, and the neighbourhood. Speed limit is set at 30 km/h, horses are walking by all day, it’s a little oasis literally 10 minutes from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Little did we know the nightmare that would soon ensue. Southlands is a tricky little area in Vancouver!!! And by tricky, I mean complicated. Like calculus style complicated. There are many rules and regulations that apply only to Southlands, and this meant HUGE delays for us. We decided to move our family to Whistler for a ‘sabbatical year’ while we re-did the Southlands home. Much to our surprise, the whole year passed we came back to Vancouver, and the project hadn’t even STARTED!!!!!
Enough complaining, we finally have our permit, the project has started, and we are stoked! Because Southlands is an equestrian area right in the heart of Vancouver, we are going with a modern farmhouse design. This is a first for us, and we are excited but a bit nervous, which is why we’ve enlisted the expertise of Jillian and Francesca. There has to be some perks to putting up with them on Love it or List it Vancouver, am I right? Kidding aside, we are so grateful to be working with these women, their experience and expertise is invaluable! It’s also convenient that we seem to have somewhat similar styles, and it’s pretty fun that we are all working on our projects at the same time.
While we are still in the framing stage, the design dreams are starting to flow. Michelle is really into ‘black and white’ right now, we are going for a more simplistic vibe all around, with warm wood accents. PLYGEM windows has put together an amazing package for us, it may seem weird, but we are really excited to have black windows! We’ve been inspired by other bloggers like Becki Owens and Studio McGee for our kitchen and MERIT KITCHENS is making all of those inspirations come to life. The team at MERIT has been so easy to work with, we can hardly wait to see it all come together. Our good friends at CF INTERIORS are working with us on furnishing the space, it’s a lot different from our previous homes, so we are kind of starting from scratch. We love the clean look of the furniture at CF, but they also make sure everything is still cozy and warm. As much as we are taking a bit of a turn towards modern, it’s baby steps for sure, and we still want our house to feel like a home!
Follow along with us as we plunge into this next adventure, and if you have any advice or tips for designing a “modern farmhouse”, please send them our way! We love hearing from you!
Kenny & Michelle Gemmill