We did it! In 6 short weeks (well, technically four as today officially marks one month of living in our new home in Florida) we have transformed our empty main floor living space into a gathering spot for my family of soon to be 8 kids.
Here is the before to jog your memory:
And here is the AFTER!
OK let’s start with some details- like this green sofa. I love the silhouette, I love the texture, and honestly, I love the price lol. If you remember what my former home looked like, this sofa has a similar silhouette to our beloved blue ones- but shorter dimensions to fit this space more appropriately. The beige upholstered wingback chairs were a remarkable steal from Goodwill for $8.99 each (WHAT IS THAT?!?!) I will honestly have to do an entire post on the resale market here in Florida because prices here are just so different (aka CHEAPER) than I am used to in Toronto Canada! The metal and leather-like chairs will be so practical once we put in our pool and I love how they don’t obstruct the view to my palm trees!
This rug makes my heart soar, for the pattern and again for the price! I saw it on my friend Adele’s instagram feed and knew it would provide a lovely texture and contrast against our tile floors. This Draper ottoman, a gift from the fine folks at HomePop, (we used two 58″ wide ottomans to fill the space appropriately and give everyone somewhere to put their feet up) is so durable for my rough and tumble group of children.
I really wanted a fireplace (so much so I wanted to rough in a gas line when we built the house but the builder’s sales agent literally looked at me like I had three heads when I made that suggestion- apparently gas fireplaces are just not a thing here in Florida!) so I went with a tried and true band partner I have worked with on many projects with this Thom media unit by Dimplex. Dimplex was the company that changed my perspective on electric fireplaces- they have really perfected the design to make flame look like flame and the technology to create the ambiance that a fireplace adds to a room.
One of my goals when I designed this space was to have elements that were “so Florida” and to me that is a bit of distressed wood (I also want to add something cane back or wicker in this space eventually!) So this Botanical 8-light chandelier fixture by Kichler Lighting satisfied this desire. I’m a big believer in layered sources of lighting- we love sitting here in the evenings with the sliding doors wide open and just this fixture on for ambiance.
In the eating area, I went with a pedastal table I purchased again secondhand, this time off of Facebook Marketplace for $375, with these chairs which are again so practical for my children (aka WIPEABLE). And I needed a little something glam here with this gold fixture by Kichler Lighting.
My love affair with gold continued in the kitchen with these handmade pulls by long time friend and brand partner Shayne Fox Hardware. I have known Shayne from my days working with the Property Brothers (she is a fellow Production Designer for TV) and she creates these pulls with her own hands in Toronto. I can no longer keep track of how many projects I have used these in. I love using them not only for their hand crafted beauty, but to also support a fellow entrepreneur providing for her family. And they coordinate incredibly with these Maclain 1-light mini pendants by Kichler Lighting.
If you have been following me for a while, you know my love of faucets and ensuring they are a special piece in a kitchen. They really are like jewelry on an outfit – you can take even the most basic of outfits and make it look spectacular with a statement accessory. For this installation, I went with Delta, a tried and true brand who I have done many projects with during my interior design career in Canada (take a peek at a few projects here and here). This time we opted for the Trask™ Kitchen Faucet with VoiceIQ™ Technology in Champagne Bronze. Right now, the faucet is available at Lowe’s in the classic Spotshield Stainless finish. I was lucky enough to receive early access to the Champagne Bronze finish, but be on the lookout as it’s coming to Lowe’s soon!
The Champagne Bronze picks up on the other metals I chose to use in the space, and I just love how elegant the simple gooseneck arc is, not to mention how the pull down spout is seamlessly integrated into the design. But what really makes this faucet special is the technology attached to it. Brand new to the United States (and Canada, this technology is coming to you soon), this faucet comes equipped with VoiceIQ Technology. VoiceIQ allows the faucet to be operated with your voice –- yup, with your voice! When connected to Amazon® Alexa® or Google Home (see footnote 1 below), you can literally say a command like, “pour 8 quarts of water” or “fill the coffee pot” (see footnote 2 below) and the faucet distributes the correct amount of water without you lifting a finger! Talk about magic. This especially comes in handy when I’m juggling a lot all at once, like prepping a meal while keeping track of the little ones.
Moving my family from Toronto to SW Florida (we are just outside Naples) has been quite the adventure with its fair share of stress and obstacles (needless to say doing it with 7 kids ages 10 and under while being super pregnant with number 8), but we are so thrilled to have made it, and even more thrilled to have a space now that will allow my family to gather, connect and create lasting memories in this new chapter of our lives. Thanks for following along the adventure and come back soon for a full video tour!
And this time is no exception. We have just moved my family from Toronto, Canada, to Southwest Florida, to a brand new home. We sold most of our possessions, and only brought what could fit in a 6′ x 12′ trailer! We have essentially started over in w ay, building our home up again piece by piece.
And it has been equal parts hard, equal parts fun, equal parts difficult, and equal parts exciting.
But as you can see, we are starting to come together! I have got some art to hang, and some decisions to make regarding a few furniture pieces etc. but we are in decent shape to make my reveal! Stay tuned next week for a full round up of sources, and all the after photos I can fit on my little corner of the internet!
If you’ve been following along, you know that I have recently moved my family to sunny SW Florida from Toronto Canada- and we sold almost EVERYTHING in the most epic of moving sales. We came down to the States pulling a 6′ x 12′ trailer that held essentially almost everything of our life in Canada (save for a few pieces that no matter how hard I crammed didn’t make it on to the trailer including my white feather Christmas tree, two gorgeous natural wood end tables and some extra copies of my book The Possibility Mom.
The process has taught me A LOT. And so for this week’s instalment chronicling the room design of my new living room, kitchen and dining room as art of this season’s One Room Challenge, I’m sharing the pros and cons of selling everything when you move.
PRO- DETACHMENT IS A GOOD THING
One great thing I observed as my furniture left my house in Toronto piece by piece was just how OK I was with stuff going. I am a deeply sentimental person. I have kept practically every single drawing my children have made for me, every card, every school craft, etc. And so I thought it would be similar with my stuff- and in truth, the first few pieces were hard to let go of. But after the pieces left, and my life went on so to speak, I realized that ultimately we are the ones who place meaning and value onto things, and I have a big say just how much meaning I give something.
Craziest story of my move- I had a storage room FULL OF STUFF that had not been touched for basically the almost 2 years we lived there. As I have children of all sizes, I have collected quite a few shoes, and boots and sandals and slippers. Unfortunately, there was some water damage on the property and a massive box of kids shoes got completely soaked and left to grow mold (gross). Old Lisa would have mourned the loss and the waste. new Lisa was like, “see you later moldy shoes!!!!”
CON- YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT STUFF QUICKLY WHEN YOU MOVE IN
I have never moved with such a small amount to unpack. It was actually quite surreal when we got here and we were able to unload the trailer in a couple of hours. But as a result of selling everything, we had literally nothing to sit on when we got here. If I were to do it all over again, I would have ordered a few pieces to arrive either in advance of us, or very quickly that first week- but I found there was just so much to tackle that I couldn’t get my head around decorating, and I didn’t want to make decisions out of panic or pressure- so we all sat on the stairs, on strollers, and on the floor for the first little while after moving in.
PRO- YOU GET TO START FRESH
There is something so nice about starting practically from scratch. For example- I don’t really have a junk drawer. I don’t have any random things in my freezer, or any half used expired spice bottles or random things like that. That has been SO NICE and noticeably different from other times we have moved.
CON- YOU GET TO START FRESH
The indecision I have felt around decorating my own home has been paralyzing. I am the WORST at designing for myself. Before I wrote my book #thepossibilitymom and started speaking and coaching moms on how to follow their dreams while being a great moms at the same time, I was an interior designer in Toronto for both private clients and HGTV shows like The Property Brothers. I loved what I did but discovered what was really fuelling my passion was helping families thrive- design was just to avenue.
All this to say, I still LOVE design and my tv design days have taught me how to design rooms on a budget, and FAST, which will be helpful because there’s only 2 weeks left for the One Room Challenge so it is going to be a legit race to the finish bahahah.
Here’s a quick update of what’s going on in my home:
We had a bit of an unspoken rule that if it did not fit in a box, it did not come to Florida. So while my furniture did not make the cut, a lot of my small decorative items did and this really made my home feel more like “me”. The cake stand is new and it is PLASTIC which is so helpful with my little toddlers with not so gentle fingers.
I am like a million weeks pregnant LOL and everything is adjusting to this Florida climate WHICH I WILL NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT BECAUSE CANADA IS NOW FREEZING COLD. I scored these side chairs second hand (PS- the resale market in Florida is just bananas. People sell high end, beautiful things for next to nothing. These chairs, in incredible condition, were less than $10 EACH! WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!
And I finally pulled the trigger and bought a sofa. Come back next week and I’ll hopefully have it here. Let me tell you it’s going to be the maddest of dashes to the finish line but I AM HERE FOR IT. Nothing like a nesting pregnant mama to get a decor project done in a jiffy.
Well, we did it! We have successfully moved our family of soon to be 8 kids to our new home in Florida. I write this from a mattress on the floor because as you know if you have been following along, we sold almost everything we owned and are rebuilding piece by piece.
And it has been overwhelming.
We said goodbye to all our support systems, our regular sources of childcare, our rhythms, our routines…
…and it left me feeling so overwhelmed.
In the juggle of unpacking boxes, trying to find clothes, and sheets, and baby bottles, managing my hormonal pregnancy emotions and the emotions of 7 kids, AND still trying to answer work emails and deal with cross border banking and ALL THE THINGS…
…I was so overwhelmed that I started to believe the lie that you cannot follow your dreams and be a great mom at the same time.
And it was HARD. I was really starting to give in to every form of stinking thinking, every form of negative thought pattern, every form of white flag waving defeatism.
And then I treated myself like a client.
When I coach a mom 1-on-1, I always ask these three questions:
What is going really well?
What is going not so well?
And if a miracle were to happen in your life right now, what would that miracle be?
And so I treated myself as a client, asked myself those questions, and realized the big thing I am lacking right now: a regular schedule, where my top priorities are captured through recurring appointments.
So I did what I would tell any of my coaching clients to do: I looked for what was possible. I enlisted the help of local childcare so my husband and I could go on a date. I looked up when the local church was open and discovered I could go after my kids were in bed to pray. I started a routine involving my kids in dishes and laundry. I wrote out a schedule when it would be ideal for me to work and drafted a job description to post in a local childcare job listing board.
And immediately I started to feel empowered.
Because here’s the thing- overwhelm is a feeling. It’s a real one, and it can hit like a mack truck.
BUT IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE TO GET OUT OF FAIRLY QUICKLY.
And the fastest way I have found to get out of overwhelm, is to make a plan. And then take ACTION, no matter how small, towards making that plan a reality.
That’s it. The action can be imperfect. The action can be so small you may not think it will make a difference in the world.
But action is what will make the difference between living your dreams, and living in constant overwhelm.
And you can do it too.
Going well: we have ottomans! Special thanks to Home Pop for sending it over as the best welcome home gift ever.
While we literally sold almost everything, I made sure to hang on to a few things that remind me of home, like this Ontario mug : )
Things I cannot wait for: actual dining seating- we are currently improvising with our double stroller lol. Also excited for an actual sofa! And actual everything else lol.
I have a confession to make: I have no idea what I am doing.
Backstory: I have been practicing interior design for the last 12 years, recently making a switch to focus on my book, The Possibility Mom, and my online courses and coaching. I am normally super confident when it comes to decor choices, but for some reason, I am stumped this time for what to do in my living room!
WE ARE MOVING TO FLORIDA! In 2 days!!!!! And so I am jumping into Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge yet again to decorate my main floor. Since we aren’t down there yet, I don’t have decent before photos (come back next week) but press play below to see an emotional first look at my home. So excited to be joining as a guest participant this time around!
Be sure to check out the Featured 20 designers, as well as all the guest designers right here!!!! I will be back next Thursday with some before photos of the space, and my vision for what I want our new life in Florida to look like!!!!!!! Excited to journey together on this one : )