I sometimes imagine how much fun it must be to purchase and renovate an entire home, but I still don’t think I have the guts to take the risk, nor do I have the perseverance or vision to really spot that great deal, the diamond in the rough. I think I’ll always be in awe of people who tackle full-home renovations, and I am particularly blown away by the results of this transformation by Aleksandra Oleksak, a sales rep in the realty biz and owner of the aptly named blog, Realty Queen.
Aleksandra seems like a seasoned pro at this, as she made some daring but brilliant decisions in this space: gutting the first floor, which exposed the incredible brick walls hidden beneath and opened up the dining and living rooms to the kitchen; building a gorgeous open metal staircase; and installing amazing hardwood flooring in a unique pewter finish. To complement the industrial look, she added rough but modern touches — industrial-style lighting, refinished salvaged furniture and simple fixtures — throughout. The result is awesome; it achieves a beautiful balance between airy, loft-like openness and the coziness of a traditional house. Can you tell I want to move in immediately? Wonderful work, Aleksandra! — Kate
“After” images by Joseph K. Muscat Photography
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Read the full post after the jump . . .
Cost: $75K for entire home
Basic Steps: My taste for home decor is vintage/industrial/modern, and this is not my first renovation project, so my mix of experience and influence really helped. I absolutely love exposed brick, so that was a big element to have in this project. I exposed the whole wall on the main floor, the fireplace and the chimney stack in my master bedroom, which I find gives the home a vintage/rustic look. Next was to incorporate the industrial aspect: I always wanted to try floating stairs, so the internet really inspired me to do the steel stringers, along with the cedar posts and aircraft wire.
Lastly was a touch of modern. I decided to do that in the kitchen, but I wanted to tie it in to the rest of the home’s look, so I chose the farmer’s sink and industrial-looking pendant lights that are above the breakfast bar. The accent pieces and furniture tied all three looks together into one cohesive statement. I love the concept of hard lofts, but I’m a house person through and through, so I gave a small element of a loft feel when I vaulted the ceiling in my master bedroom. The ceiling went from 9ft to 16ft. Hardwood floors were a must throughout the house, as I have a dog and allergies and love wood floors!
It was a huge project and the timeline is key! Open communication with your contractor is of the utmost importance, as they have to understand the project and the look you’re trying to achieve. Although the craftsmanship of your contractor really matters, equally important is their attitude and how well you work with them. Also making a list of everything that needs to be done, down to the most minor detail, is a must and setting deadlines with your contractor for each milestone helps keep the project on time and somewhat within budget. Once you’ve made this list, make sure your contractor has a copy. Reevaluate the list with your contractor at the end of each week and discuss any reasons for delays. And remember, be realistic! — Aleksandra
Paint: C-I-L in Pewter gray, bathrooms in gray tweed
Lighting: Ikea, West Elm, Morba, Union lighting, HomeSav and antique markets
Furniture and accent pieces: Most of my furniture either comes from antique markets or finds at my parents’ cottage, and I have Renee Elliott from Re: Creative Works redo/refinish them for me. Some of the projects she has done for me have actually been featured on Design*Sponge (you can see them here). I also love going to the One Of A Kind Show to look for accent pieces. If all else fails, I visit Ikea, Urban Barn or GH Johnson (absolutely love that store!)
Steel Stringers (Stairs): Custom designed from a local blacksmith located in Mississauga, called Ignac Blacksmith
Wood Steps: Home Depot
Flooring: I purchased the flooring from Hamilton Hardwood Outlet. They are actually a pewter colour, which I thought was very interesting, as I’ve only ever seen brown or light coloured hardwood.