Interiorssneak peeks

Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab

by Garrett Fleming

Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge

One of the things I love most about our interiors coverage here at Design*Sponge is how each tour teaches me something new about the process of buying, selling and decorating a home. Take today’s peek, for instance. The story behind  hunt for a home in Ontario, Canada illuminated a part of the buying process I know next to nothing about: inspections.

For example, did you know sometimes a seller will have their property inspected before it hits the market? While it may seem a little backwards, the process can save the homeowner time, stress and money in the long run. Not only are they getting a heads up on any issues that may arise come closing, but it also allows them to rest a little easier knowing an offer won’t be derailed.

The homeowner isn’t the only one basking in the benefits of this, though. The inspector also gets their own little perk: previewing properties before they hit the market. Such was the case with Catherine’s in-laws. They’re both home inspectors, and the second they were called in to take a look at this Colonial, they knew their son and daughter-in-law would want to see it.

The house was built in the 1960s, and its age definitely showed. For some this would be a drawback, but this retro sensibility was actually what made it so perfect for Catherine and her husband Shaun. They wanted the opportunity to sink their teeth into a renovation and to restyle a home from the ground up. That being said, the blue-and-pink bathroom fixtures, orange carpet and choppy layout made their hearts race. So they put in an offer, and before the house even hit the market, it was theirs.

Since moving in three-and-a-half years ago, the couple has painted, torn down walls, and installed new fixtures everywhere. What makes the nest particularly special, though, is its copious amounts of color. Pink sofas, green ceilings and a black fireplace set the home’s dial to “fun,” and I’m loving the new look. Scroll down to check out the results of Catherine and Shaun’s overhaul, and enjoy! —

Interior photography by | Portrait by 

Image above: The artwork above Catherine and Shaun’s bed was done by one of Catherine’s friends. They carved a large piece of wood into a stamp and transferred the design onto paper. It’s been with the couple for years, but Catherine tells us this wall is by far its best home yet.

Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
Catherine and her husband Shaun completely renovated this 1960s-era home after moving in. They tore down walls, ripped up bathrooms and used easygoing finds to give each room a laid-back attitude.
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
Catherine admits she didn't give her husband Shaun much say when it came to the look of their home. She did, however, let him hang his guitars on either side of the fireplace and loves the way they look.
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
Painting a fireplace can be a risky move, but Catherine had painted an accent wall in her previous home a similar shade to the one above, so she knew it would work. Initially, her friends said she was too ambitious, but now her inky paint job gets more compliments than any other aspect of her home.
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
The house sits on what used to be an apple orchard, and a few of the trees still stand in the neighborhood. These giant, original windows offer views of the area's tree-lined streets and let in an abundance of light.
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge

This pink sofa was a turning point for Catherine. Before pink was cool, she came across it in a thrift store and just had to bring the beauty home. While cleaning it up, she fell in love with upcycling and became obsessed with shopping secondhand.

Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
The playroom features a portrait of the couple's oldest daughter Mickey. Soon, the piece will be joined by one of their youngest, Isla.
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
The dining room is creeping to the top of the family's list of up-and-coming projects. They want to tear down the walls that separate it from the kitchen.
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
One of the things these homeowners love about designing bedrooms for kids is how you can plop any number of patterns or colors inside, and it works. Mickey's room further proves it.
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge

“I love finding art and tchotchkes for my girls’ rooms and just packing their walls and shelves with little treasures. It’s where I can ease up a bit on perfect styling and just have fun,” Catherine says.

Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
Mickey's basket wall has persuaded Catherine that every home needs one. Period.
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
Through some clever online sourcing, the Coes completely updated their bathroom for $125. That includes a new vanity, sink, faucet, towel rack and sconces (which are actually outdoor lighting from Lowes).
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
Another look at the sunshiny, renovated bathroom.
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
Before Isla was born, Catherine was convinced she was having a boy. When she learned a baby girl was on the way, she made slight modifications to her bedroom plan. One thing stuck around though: the painted ceiling we see a peek of in the upper left of this picture.
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
"What we love most about this home is: (It's) perfectly imperfect, a collection of memories, a work in progress, a beautiful mess, fun (and) us." – Catherine and Shaun Coe
Gutsy Color in a Canadian Gut Rehab, Design*Sponge
Several walls inside the Coe family's home have been torn down in order to make each room more seamlessly flow into one another.

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