a peek inside the fishbowl

04 Nov, 2011

Reno post #17 – is it butterflies or some deep-seated anxiety?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Home/reno

So we had a meeting with our architect last night. For the past few weeks he’s been working on final designs, and he emailed them to to us before our meeting, so I spent a chunk of the day yesterday pouring over the plans and jotting down a list of questions I wanted to ask him.

Somehow, by the grace of God, we have arrived at a plan that really works for us.

What we found ourselves looking at last night were giant sheets of paper with incredibly detailed renderings of what our finished home will look like. Cross-sections, builder lingo, and lots of lines and numbers… it was slightly intimidating. In the end we made a few changes to the floorplan, some smallish, some biggish, and right now I’m feeling incredibly excited and more than a little bit nervous thinking about what’s in store for us next.

I’m terrified that we’re going to miss a really important detail and that we’re going to mess up. Writing it down helps.

Remember that post a while back about the mud room? After our meeting we decided to stop at the Kanata Home Depot to see what kind of floor coverings they carry. Well, guess what. They they don’t sell the type of linoleum I want. The sales girl looked at me with a blank look as I fumbled for words: “You know, linoleum, that isn’t vinyl. And it’s got jute in it?” It wasn’t until I left that I realized the word that I was searching for was Marmoleum.

I feel a headache coming on.

8 Responses to "Reno post #17 – is it butterflies or some deep-seated anxiety?"

1 | Vivian Cheng

November 4th, 2011 at 10:42 am


I’d be ecstatic to win this!

Our house was built in 1958 and has pretty much maintained its original “charm” (read: very little has changed about the house) since then.

I’d love to have some help on how to plan our basement. It was “finished” sometime in the late 60s, which means they didn’t add any insulation but did put up some faux-wood-panelled walls. Since the house is a bungalow, there’s plenty of square footage to divide up, and then add to that, we’d like to make the basement a walk-out eventually.

So yeah, help needed!

2 | Kaitlin

November 4th, 2011 at 11:09 am


Erm, not to nit-pick, but isn’t it deep-seeded? I mean, deep seats are hard to get out of, but they aren’t buried in you…

As for the crux of your post, I know my husband and I have talked about renos and building houses (not that we’re anywhere near that stage), and he’s of the mind that a build-to-spec house would cause a lot of headaches, because it’s the ultimate opportunity to idealize.

I’m sure that’s not helpful.

What I’m trying to say is this: We’re moving across town into a new apartment at the end of this month, after four years here. I empathize, because on the one hand, it’s exciting. On the other hand, I’m scared about not being able to turn back. But, I don’t doubt that it’ll be okay in the end.

3 | andrea

November 4th, 2011 at 11:17 am


Vivian – you posted your entry on the wrong post. I’ll copy it over for you!

Kaitlin – I’m pretty sure it’s deep-seated. ;)
In my view, going a more customized route means that we’re getting exactly what we want. I think those headaches will be worthwhile, and yes, we will both be okay in the end!

4 | Lindsay

November 4th, 2011 at 1:48 pm


Always love these updates. Are you planning to live in your house while these renos go on or are you going to have to live somewhere else?

5 | andrea

November 4th, 2011 at 1:59 pm


Lindsay – Thank you!
It’s too big a reno to stay put. We’re looking at 6 months, possibly as long as 8, and it would take even longer if we stayed here. We’re currently looking for a place to live nearby.

6 | lacoop

November 5th, 2011 at 10:16 am


There’s a house for rent on Hillcrest, just beside Nepean…might suit your needs during renos (close by so you can keep an eye on things). That is, I think it is still for rent…

7 | Moneca Kaiser

November 6th, 2011 at 9:12 am


I think it’s just butterflies :) when something has been reflected on as carefully as you have I think it will come together well and butterflies can be fun hope you will be able to just enjoy the ride cause it will be a little bit loopy again in my professional experience:) here’s a few thoughts…

Marmolium is available at the healthiest home and bldg supplies they have a great showroom with nice big tile samples.

I love cork and the only place I wouldn’t use it is a mud room though it might be fine if really well sealed. I often use it in kitchens and it’s so cozy and easy to keep. There’s a great place in Quebec that stains it in lots of beautiful colours and well worth considering for upstairs cause it’s also quieting.

For the mud room you might want to consider is ceramic with a heating coil underneath. I have been using this in mud rooms for awhile and it works really nicely and is so indestructible.

And so glad you are moving out for the reno. They call drywall dust divorce dust sometimes cause it makes us all a little bit crazy when we live in it.

8 | Jennyjag

November 7th, 2011 at 4:18 pm


Hi Andrea – we went thru the same thing (we just reno’d) and found real linoleum at a local place, I’d be happy to share just let me know. Then we had to find the goop that makes it stick, which was also a challenge but we found a source! I can understand your apprehensions overall (re reno) but having lived thru it, I wouldn’t look back. Our ‘hood is a gem & a decision to reno is a sound one in my experience so far! You’re research is commendable & it’s good that you’re taking the time to do that & think through your likes & needs.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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