VICTORIA | OAK HOUSE

cozy town

this post is long overdue, but i’ve been finding it difficult to get good photos to share these days — my house being clean, the sun being out and my toddler not wrapped around my legs grabbing at the “nece” aka necklace aka camera is just about never. but, i managed to grab a unicorn of a moment last week, and i wanted to share how our living room / fireplace has been coming together!

(we are having a seriously poor week at the house with several unexpected delays, expenses and demands on our time, but it’s the holidays and i’d like to share this success before detailing how so many things have gone wrong for us here lately. i do write this blog to share the “real life” of living through renovations, so i promise i will get to all the stuff that will have you swearing off buying a 100-year-old house, but today is not that day.)

shortly after (canadian) thanksgiving, we had our chimney swept and ark at home arrived to install a gas fireplace insert. after about 15 minutes in their showroom, we chose a valor fireplace in all black with the driftwood / river rock setup. i got the smallest fireplace possible so that we could hang onto our (now totally ornamental) fireplace tools. since our house is just one floor, turning the fireplace on in the mornings and evenings gives us a pretty toasty home without having to use our electric furnace (installed in 1975 and still going strong but a little expensive to run). i love the convenience of a gas fireplace and i love having a mantle for stockings. (we used to hang our stockings in our mudroom, which was less than festive.)

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my dad took some time out of one of his visit in october (i mentioned this post was overdue) to help pierre mount our television above the mantle. pierre did a lot of research to come up with the dynamic mount. the arm extends downwards 32″, so when the tv is on we can watch it at a more comfortable viewing angle. i miss our giant antler, which just didn’t look right up on the mantle now that the television is there, too, but it’s been sold and gone on to a good home.

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we ordered a habitat braided extension cord in sea glass off amazon to make the dangling cord for the television less officious. (helped even more by a tiny strand of led lights, at least for this month!)

of course, this view has had more updates in the past seven months than just the fireplace insert and television mount. we had new baseboards and window casings installed in this room in june, replaced the overhead light fixture with this beauty, replaced the woodwork around the fireplace, painted the ceilings (sherwin williams extra white) and walls (reclining green) and rebuilt the bookcase from scratch. i regret getting rid of those curtains in the top photo on move-in day because we still don’t have window coverings to replace them and, honestly, they worked in the space! (i don’t regret getting rid of those swagged lamps.)

in our small house, this is the room you walk into (no foyer) and the one that you can see from every angle as it’s open to the dining room and kitchen. it’s our only living space, so it’s where we sit with friends, talk, drink our coffee, watch tv, read, play with frankie, etc. there’s just a little bit left to do in this room — replace our front windows, rebuild the window casing, order window coverings and paint the front door — but i couldn’t be happier with how it has come together. i just needed to put this post together and share as a reminder that we’re doing good things here even when it feels like the house is out to get us! hope you’re all out there enjoying family time in your cozy spaces, too.

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