When I was 23, just a few years ago, I bought my first home at an estate auction. It’s a story that I’ll surely tell my grandchildren, and one that still makes me shake my head with the absurdity of it all. I was born and raised in Milton, Ontario (just west of Toronto), and as a child, I visited what is now my home often. It was where friends of my grandparents lived (whom also worked for the family business), and my sisters and I always looked forward to visiting every Halloween where we were treated with far too much candy. I grew up just two blocks away from that house, and I have many memories of speeding down the street on my bike, waving as I whizzed by, admiring the hedges and geraniums that were perfectly manicured, and dropping in on occasion with family. Years later, when I learned that the home was being sold, I couldn’t help but attend the auction to tour the home I had always known from the outside but never fully explored inside — not anticipating that I’d bet on the home. It had many original features including hand-modelled decorative plaster ceilings, hardwood floors, a large picture-window that brought in lots of light, and an income suite in the basement. Including having an emotional attachment to the space, it crossed off many items on my list, and before I knew it, I was raising my arm, bidding on the home with a belly full of nerves. Long story short, I was the highest bidder to which the auctioneer said, “going once, going twice, sold!”
Since then, my home and I have gone through the entire spectrum of emotions, from disbelief that I owned it to gratitude and nostalgia, to seeing its potential, to being annoyed with it, to wanting more, finding it and losing it, and most recently, falling back in love with it. The nature of how my home and I came together is a zany one, and the nonstop excitement and change it has brought hasn’t stopped since; so when Grace approached the D*S team with the prospect of profiling our personal homes, I thought it would be a great opportunity to capture a moment in time. Just recently, I was considering moving and even put in an offer on (what I thought was) the home of my dreams, only to lose it. Since then, I’ve unexpectedly fallen back in love with my current space and the process has made me appreciate certain aspects of the home that I had once taken for granted: a huge, lush backyard where Piper can run around in as I garden, having family a stone’s throw away, the incredible sunlight that streams in, and the potential it has to become the space of my dreams. It was just this past week that I decided to stay and make it work by renovating it, which will mean knocking down walls, transforming the basement into an office and den, and completely gutting and renovating the kitchen. So these photos of my humble, 1950s bungalow will shortly become a time-capsule of sorts.
I love my home, and it will always have a special place in my heart, no matter what form it takes or how it’s decorated. Being my first home, it’s become my place of rest and my place of inspiration, and has allowed me to experiment with all things home design, DIY and the like. Buying a house, especially at a young age, was nerve-racking and scary at times, but it’s forced me to grow and learn and it makes me proud every day to wake up and call it my own. This is where I gather with friends, where I’m raising my puppy and where I’ve started my life with my partner, Shawn. It’s the space I’ve grown into an adult in, but above all else, my home has taught me that the grass isn’t always greener. In fact, the best of things might be right under your nose. –Sabrina