Annual Review of Home Projects

New House Home Projects | Classy Glam Living

After a mostly sunny and hot summer, it's like payback time now in Toronto.  I can count the number of beautiful crisp Fall days maybe with 2 hands.  Fall also marks the beginning of a busy season for our family, with weekends now being taken up by hockey practices!  The Mr. barely has time to continue or start any new projects around the house now.

As we planned out project after project, sometimes it's easy to lose sight of our accomplishments.  Having just celebrated our one year anniversary at the house, it's probably a good time to do an annual review of our progress thus far.    

With downsizing to a smaller house, our top priority has been tackling storage needs around the house.  From addressing what drives us (me) absolutely insane to storage that incorporates beauty, here's a list of the Mr.'s most accomplished DIY projects around our house this past year:


The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it was naturally the space in the house that got the most attention from the get-go.  With it being used practically on a daily basis, it has the highest potential to drive us insane if it doesn't function well.  This was what our kitchen looked like when we closed the house last year:

New House Kitchen Before | Classy Glam Living

Terrifying, isn't it?  Since then, we've replaced the countertop, sink, and faucet.  

New House Kitchen | New Superwhite Countertop Kohler Karbon Faucet | Classy Glam Living

This was when we finally installed the integrated range hood (hidden inside the cabinet above the range) and replaced the solid doors with glass doors.

New House Kitchen | Glass cabinets | Classy Glam Living
New House Kitchen | Glass cabinets mirror back cabinet hardware | Classy Glam Living

When I was making too many one-pot pasta to avoid crawling into the pots and pans cabinet, the Mr. built some drawers in lower cabinets.

New House Kitchen | DIY pots and pans drawers | Classy Glam Living
New House Kitchen reveal | Classy Glam Living

Our kitchen has come a long way from its ugly duckling beginnings.  It may be small, but it has functioned really well for us.  Even when both the Mr. and I are in the kitchen, we never seem to be in each other's way.  Cooking isn't my forte, and I'm not an organized cook at all.  When you think making one-pot pasta sounds as easy as can be, I can still manage to spread out everything onto the 4 countertop spaces around the stove, ie. both sides of stove, plus both sides of the sink.  The Mr. can laugh all he wants about it, but we both appreciate all the counter space our integrated appliances (fridge/ freezer drawers and microwave drawer) have freed up.  We still think it's the best design decision we've made for this kitchen.


New House Dressing Room reveal | Folding table station | Classy Glam Living

Another space in our house with a humbling beginning was our DIY custom closet/ dressing room.  As mentioned in my previous post, we made a video of the building process and there have been 15,000+ views as of writing.  

I'm so proud of the Mr.'s ultimate build of my dream closet; it's both beautiful and functional.  The pull-out folding table gets the award for beauty in function.  It has made all the folding more bearable, as I've taken the Marie Kondo* route to organizing my closet.  The Mr. was also worried that I wouldn't have enough room for my clothes in this shared closet, but I'm happy to report that I still have extra space even after some shopping 😁

You can see more photos of the dressing room in this post.

If you missed last week's post on the YouTube video, here again is the video:


New House Playroom reveal | Classic Gray work building bench | Classy Glam Living

I can stand my own mess (oh ya, anytime), but this is one room where mess can actually be hazardous (imagine the pain of stepping on a stray piece of Lego!).  Little man doesn't actually have much toys, but for some reason, the floor was covered with so much stuff at one point where I had to part the Red Sea to get to his desk.  

Thank goodness the Mr. came to the rescue!  He quickly whipped up this table top part of a storage bench that I designed.  It's been a great spot to store and display some of little man's Lego collections.  He has also used it as a building table; this ottoman is just the right height for him to work there.  

New House Playroom Reveal | Gallery wall Classic gray work building bench | Classy Glam Living

As for the storage part, the pieces of wood for the drawers that go underneath the bench have been cut...  just waiting for the Mr. to stain them and put them together!  That's the main (and most important) missing part of this playroom!!  (Can you tell I can't wait for it to be done by my exclamation marks? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I've sourced out decorative items that are suitable for a playroom, namely a low pile rug, vinyl-front frames for the gallery wall, caged light fixture instead of one with exposed bulb, just to name a few.  You can see my playroom design board in this post, and the reveal here.


Basement Family Room

The Mr. and I started working on the basement family room design, which I wrote about in this post.  The walls have been painted to a more neutral colour, which is more pleasing to the eyes than the original too-yellowish cream colour.  

New House Family Room Layout Plan | Classy Glam Living

We had a poll for our basement DIY storage furniture - to build from scratch or do another IKEA hack?  You can submit your choice here!

Laundry Room

New House Laundry Room Design Board | Classy Glam Living

Oh, our laundry room can definitely use some storage help.  Back at our previous house, I used to store off-season decor items in our cabinets, which were of abundance.  I would love to clean up the laundry room once and for all, with the cleaning supplies hidden behind closed doors!

Here's the post of my laundry room design, which I hope will come into fruition one day!

Master Ensuite Vanity

Well, if you've been following along, then you would know how much I love (LOVE!!!) drawers.  Currently, this is our master ensuite's vanity situation:

New House Master Ensuite Bathroom Design Plan | Classy Glam Living

Yup, not drawers, and that means lots of wasted storage space inside the cabinets.  I know I need to purge some products, as they're now carefully sitting on each other like I'm building a pyramid.  That's what happens when I'm not working with drawers πŸ˜“

Ideally, these cabinets will house two drawers under each sink.  One would be for products and the other our linen drawer.  Between the Mr. and I, there should be plenty of room in each drawer.

This is one of my inspirations for our vanity.  You can read more about my bathroom design plan here and colour choice here.

Between work, family commitments, and other minor home projects, I think the Mr. has done an excellent job around the house.  He's meticulous with his planning (measure twice and cut once!), never rushes through his work, and gives his projects an amazing finish. I would give him an exceed expectations for his grading πŸ˜‚  There're still loads of work to be done in our house, and they're enough to keep the Mr. busy for a long while!  

It's been fun to look over at the before's and after's of the projects.  You can see all these and some other projects on the Mr.'s honey-do list.  Yup, he'll be a very busy man!!

Creative Kitchen Ideas Curated by Shutterfly

Creative Kitchen Ideas by Shutterfly | Classy Glam Living

Our kitchen is almost complete, well, it's just missing the backsplash, under-cabinet lighting, valence... It's still a work-in-progress, which is why I never tire of researching for the latest trend in kitchen design and decor.  Afterall, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and a kitchen reno is most likely the largest investment in the house.

As I expanded my scope of research, I stumbled upon Shutterfly's Home Decor directory.  Instead of scrolling through thousands of similar images of room design, Shutterfly has curated 100 design ideas for each room of the house.  Naturally I went to check out the latest and greatest in the Kitchen category.

I know a lot of homeowners have variety phobia - they get hung up on all the different choices and would feel bombarded.  If this sounds like you, then you would be glad to know that Shutterfly has built-in filters of different styles.  This filter is also perfect if you already know the kitchen style you prefer, just click on the style to narrow down the images.

Our kitchen is currently a mix of classic shaker cabinets, modern minimalism, and a bit of French flair.  So I dove into Shutterfly's Classic, Modern, and Global filters.  Here are my top picks as they speak to current trends while encompassing each style:


This classic white kitchen is as classic as can be, with a contemporary twist of a contrasting island cabinetry color.  Calacatta gold marble countertop surrounds this classic kitchen beautifully with an elegant step ogee edge.

PHoto by:   Artistic Tile

PHoto by:  Artistic Tile

Here's another classic white kitchen, accented with oil rubbed bronze cabinet hardware.  It has all the contemporary touches, including a custom range hood, contrasting black granite countertop, and hardwood floors. 


I love the French flair and bistro vibe this kitchen exhibits.  The black cabinets act as an elegant background to the statement range hood, and gold cabinet hardware and faucet.  Even with the dark cabinet color, the kitchen doesn't appear too dark, thanks to the upper glass cabinets and white dinnerwares they display.

Designed by:  Max Kim-Bee and  Kirsten Kelli

Designed by:  Max Kim-Bee and Kirsten Kelli

Here's the ultimate kitchen that displays a contemporary yet old world feel.  The metal trims on cabinet doors are such an amazing accent that matches the brand's classic range.

Photo by:  Officine Gullo

Photo by: Officine Gullo


Modern cabinetry has simple lines that may otherwise look dull.  This kitchen takes modern cabinetry to the next level, with a mix of dark and light wood.  To add the needed "oomph",  a row of gold upper cabinets make this kitchen exceptionally stylish.  This kitchen's minimalist look was also the inspiration for our kitchen's even row of upper cabinets.

Photo by:   Brooke Holm

Photo by: Brooke Holm

When I think of a modern kitchen, this would be a kitchen that comes to mind.  A waterfall island is the essence of this bright and modern kitchen.  Its contrasting streamlined white uppers and warm wood lower cabinets, accented by stainless steel kick plate and marble countertop and backsplash, give this modern kitchen a top-of-the-line vibe. 

Photo by:  Katya Grozovskaya

I hope this has inspired you to start brainstorming about your kitchen reno/ makeover!  Since our kitchen is still missing a backsplash, I'll hop over to Shutterfly to see what inspirations I can find.  I'll try not to spot another DIY project for the Mr. 😝

Are you planning a kitchen reno or a design/ DIY project?  Head on over to Shutterfly to check out their curated library of beautiful rooms!

Kitchen Update - DIY Pots and Pans Drawers

DIY Pots and Pans Drawers | Gray white gold kitchen | Classy Glam Living

If you know me, then you would know how much I LOVE drawers.  Especially those with the full extension slides...  ah I'm in heaven!  No more crawling into the cupboards, no more heaps falling onto piles of stuff.  I'm convinced there's not a problem that drawers can't solve!

I'm super excited about the pots and pans drawers that the Mr. newly installed!!  They're not as obviously beautiful as a new backsplash (we'll eventually get to that), but it has improved exponentially the functionality of a small but heavy duty spot in the kitchen!

DIY Pots and Pans Drawers | Gray white gold kitchen | Classy Glam Living

A lot of you may already have pots drawers in your kitchen, so did we at our previous home.  We took ours for granted, as the builder of our previous house included them (not an upgrade).  We felt spoiled when we found out from our current home's builder that the drawers cost close to $1000!  Seriously?  And don't even dream that they come with the "no bang" soft-closing mechanisms, like the ones you see on IKEA's kitchen commercials!

DIY Pots and Pans Drawers | Gray white gold kitchen | Classy Glam Living

We couldn't fathom how 3 builder-grade drawers can cost "close to $1000", so we didn't go with the upgrade.  For the longest time, the pots and pans cupboard was of 2 doors, with a half-depth good-for-nothing shelf.  You don't want to know the daily curses that go on (in my head) when I try to take out a pot or pan from a stack of them.  

I became the champion of one pot pasta, thanks to my annoyance at the pots and pans cupboard.

Did you notice the mismatched lower cabinet hardwares in this Instagram photo?  Gold pulls vs. pewter knobs?  The hardwares are now finally consistent!!

DIY Pots and Pans Drawers | Gray white gold kitchen | Classy Glam Living

The Mr. was completing a playroom storage unit for little man, but I made a special request to skip the line with the pots and pans drawers.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I need to get there NOW!

DIY Pots and Pans Drawers | Gray white gold kitchen | Classy Glam Living

We've ordered the drawer fronts from our kitchen cabinet vendor together with the glass cabinet doors.  With the experience from building our dressing room's drawers, these kitchen ones were not a challenge for the Mr.  He just needed time to get to building them.  

DIY Pots and Pans Drawers | Gray white gold kitchen | Classy Glam Living

The Mr. built the drawer boxes with 3/4" maple and used 100 lbs full extension soft-closing drawer slides for these 3 drawers.  Without further ado, here's a brief video tutorial on the installation process.

The drawers make dinner prepping so much more efficient and enjoyable!  It reminds me of the pull-out pantry shelves that were the Mr.'s first build for our previous home.  Drawers/ pull-out shelves make use of the entire storage space in the cupboard, while making storage of and retrieving items much easier.

No more crawling into the cupboard!

If the kitchen is the heart of the house, then these pots and pans drawers must be its major arteries.  At every single meal, you access the drawers how many times to pump out yummy dishes.  I'm no longer afraid of the pots and pans cupboard!  I may even make several dishes at our dinner, just to show my drawers some love 😁

Drawers => Happy Wife => Makes good food => Happy life

DIY Pots and Pans Drawers | Gray white gold kitchen | Classy Glam Living