Welcome to my blog! I am going to treat it as a "diary" of sorts, where I promise to report the Good, the Bad & the Ugly of building a new home...., I have dreamt about it... up to the smallest detail, I have spent (still spend) many nights thinking about, roof pitch, door style, knobs, tile....... I know it's kind of odd but for me, it's become my strange addiction!.
Truhfully, I never thought it would happen. I don't consider myself a go getter, a risk taker, that's why I thought that this was more of a fantasy than reality. I had a home, that I loved. My husband and I bought it 18 years ago.....we bought a dump actually and i mean that literally. It's all we could afford, we thought the bones where good, so we did it. I, we, were much younger then, no kids , so much energy and clearly patience to go with it. It really was a special house, built in 1912. It had gone through quite a bit of abuse as a rented property to not one, not two but three grown men, oh and their dogs! Imagine the state!!, no offence to men owning dogs out there. It was rough. But we didn't care.... it was OUR HOUSE and we loved it. Loved it so much, in fact, that we never saw the main beam supporting the entire structure of the house was actually sawed in half! Why??? Who knows! Fair warning to all out there, please look out for these things before you buy!!!
We had a year to get it in "shape" before we got married. We worked .....and worked, we stripped what seemed like 10 layers of coloured paint to expose beautiful white oak trim , the railing, the stairs, the fireplace ( which was purple brick) . Pretty sure it was lead paint and there were a few brain cells destroyed by mixing that and the heat gun together. Again, we didn't care,....it was our house. We had help and we took it, friends, family, any one who felt sorry enough for us came out! We heard the question "why???" asked a few time. We didn't care it was our house!
Again, we loved that house, so we pushed through and created the "perfect home" for us. It was small but full of character and love. We learned a lot during those first years. We made many mistakes looking back but overall we made that house our home. We had 2 lovely children while in that home, we were truly happy there . My husband learned that he loved gardening. It was his outlet, he worked hard and it showed. We had people knocking on our door wanting to see it. The trees grew bigger and peaked over the fence. The koi pond....ponds made the garden complete with the never ending sound of running water. We lived on a main street, which in my opinion was the only problem with our home,... but we did everything to mask the noise. Our hedges were tall, our trees grew bigger as did our koi.
Through that home reno, I learned that I loved design. I really loved everything about it, that new passion lead us to our first store. 15 years ago, on Annette street, Rizo Home& Garden opened its doors as a quaint little shop . Rizo was my dog. Hmmmm...looking back , the name Rizo home and garden sounded a lot like Rona Home & Garden. It fed my need to constantly decorate and buy!! I love to buy !! We learned as we went. We opened store number 2, Little Lola after my daughter Madalene Lola was born. I still miss that place.
Eventually we finished our never ending renos. We were incredibly fortunate and flattered to have our home put in Style At Home magazine twice, be featured on the Steven & Chris show, Globe & Mail and Gardening Life. It was amazing for us, such an honour.... but most of all, we were proud to have given life back to the one of the oldest houses on the street. The original owners came by one a few years back , two lovely ladies told us stories about how as teens. They would sneak out the side door for a smoke while their parents where indoors. (yes, smoking is bad, but it was cute to see these ladies laughing , recalling all the mischief the siblings had gotten into while living in that house.) . Almost forgot....somewhere in there we opened the 3rd and final store Rizo Lola & CO, our beautiful son arrived shortly after, Elias Troy.
So back to why I am here building my, ( ok, our) dream home. We finally decided to sell last summer. It was painful and so scary, but we did it and here we are.