McKenzie Lake: product picking

McKenzie Lake: product picking

Product picking is personally what I think is the best stage when renovating. Or at least the most exciting stage. By picking products, you are giving others sight to what you’ve been envisioning from the beginning. If you’re like me, you’d be the type of person who could spend hours in a store looking at different colours and textures. I love determining whether a certain tile would look good with the wall paint and wooden floor. Likewise, your decisions at this stage will affect the feel of each room. It’s an exciting challenge to stay within budget while achieving your dream home.



Here is what we’ve been envisioning for our McKenzie Lake project.



Before we took a sledgehammer to the bathroom, the photo to the left is what the tub looked like. It was old-fashioned with yellow tile surrounding the tub. The bathtub area had great potential being located near the windows, so we wanted to use that advantage.

Our vision, to the right, is for the bathroom to be something clean and modern. This photo from gives you an idea of what we are hoping to achieve; a free-standing bathtub, surrounded by windows and preferably dark grey tile.


This bathroom from has a bit more of a country look to it, but the classic colours and free-standing tub give you a glimpse of our hopes for our bathroom.




As you’ve seen from before, the kitchen had some room for improvement. To refresh your memory, I’ve posted a picture to the left. Between the kitchen’s vintage cupboards and modern tile back-splash, the room needed some consistency.


Our inspiration for the kitchen comes from the photo on the right. Clearly, the space we have to work with is not near as large as what’s in this photo. However, the slick feel of the kitchen along with the grey and white colour combination are the qualities we hope to transfer over to McKenzie Lake.


Things to remember:

  • Stay within budget. Don’t purchase an expensive tile when you can find a similar one for less.
  • Some product might take time to get to you, such as carpet or countertops. Be prepared.
  • Save the excess. Keep some leftover materials, such as carpet, paint and tiles. You never know if the future may need you to fix a dent or two.
  • Don’t get decorative items such as plants or bath rugs until everything is put together.

Know your home

At this point in the pre-renovation process, you should have a good idea about the state of your home. You should know everything from what is in the walls to how you use each room. One of the last steps to complete before you can begin demoing, and it might be a short step since you’ve basically been doing this from the beginning. The purpose of making this its own separate step is to ensure you do not miss anything. Our goal is to limit problems and have no regrets. You don’t want to take down a wall without knowing whether there are pipes and electrical wiring in it. Other things you will want to consider are the following:


Taking down the wall

It’s not a surprise that the new trend is to have an open concept home. It allows for more space and enjoyment of all areas of your home. To achieve this trend, you’ll have to take down some walls. In general, we suggest hiring a professional to take down any load-bearing walls. A load-bearing wall is structurally important to your home as it keeps it from falling on you. A professional will ensure it’s done right and maintain the integrity of your home.


Where will the furniture go?

Now that you’ve taken down the wall, creating your open concept home, where does all your furniture and art go? Having separate rooms made it easy to place things up against the wall, but now that it’s gone it might be awkward to keep the furniture there. Knowing what you have and the likelihood they will no longer fit in your home will reduce the risk of surprises and prepare you to think of alternatives.


Raise the ceilings

The purpose of taking down walls is to create an open concept living area, allowing the room to feel bigger and brighter. Another way of doing this is by looking up. A lot of older homes have dropped ceilings, designed to save money on heating the house. However, it creates an enclosed feeling in the room. Consider taking that ceiling out, allowing you to see the hidden ceiling above it and opening that room up a considerable amount. What once was a stuffy room is now a spacious living area.


Allow the light in

Removing a wall helps increase light, so why not also consider how you can improve your windows? Natural light helps provide a feeling of calm and peace, therefore encouraging that to be a factor in your main living area is a major improvement to your home. You can do this is simply by widening your windows. Depending on the style and frame of the window you want, it could become pricey. Another successful way to increase the natural light in your home is by installing a skylight. Not only does seeing the sky immediately open your room up even more, but a tremendous amount of light can come in. However, if you want an easy and cost-effective way to improve the lighting, hang mirrors in the room and the light will bounce off them!