In the News

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Couple and Their Bungalow
A few posts back I announced my excitement with numerous exclamation points over the fact that a real live photographer was coming to shoot our house for a news article. This Saturday our 'bungalow' had a three page spread in the Home section of the Montreal newspaper 'La Presse'. While I bought out our local convenience store of copies, you can check out the full feature with additional photos by downloading their app or because I know everyone doesn't speak French (lord knows mine is questionable) I've included all the pictures and a translation right here!

Ode to the Bungalow
Do you have to spend a fortune to update a 50s house to a modern style? Not if it falls into the hands of this talented Montreal couple! Visit a cottage in the neighborhood of Saint-Laurent that has been given an inexpensive but tasteful update.

It’s well known that renovations are often hard to live through for a couple. Listening to Sarah D. Brown and Chad Zentner, you can see not only that the couple survived the renovations but also that it brought them closer together!

Before getting their hands on their Saint-Laurent neighborhood house, the young thirty-somethings lived in Iqaluit, where they redecorated a condo that lacked warmth. “The resources were limited, we could only bring things in by boat once a year. It was very expensive to deliver furniture or flooring. We had to make do with what we had," recalls Sarah D. Brown.

Quote under photo: “People often ask me where I got a frame or certain object,” says Sarah D. Brown, but she often can’t offer a source. Certain things where bought online, but many others were found secondhand. 

Quote under photo: The Bingo sign resting on the floor is still in working order and was bought on a trip to the Brimfield antique market, in Massachusetts. “It weighs a ton. I still haven’t found a way to hang it on the wall without calling in an engineer,” Chad Zentner says laughing. 

Quote under photo: In the open plan living room are two of Sarah D. Brown’s favorite objects. The long dresser, which now serves as a buffet, is an heirloom from her grandmother. The sun wall hanging comes from her grandparent’s cottage. “My grandparents had incredible taste," she says.

Quote under photo: Who says renovations have to necessarily mean buying everything new? Sarah D. Brown decorated her house with many vintage objects.

Quote under photo: The bathroom was hardly updated by the new owners. Only the floors were redone due to water damage ruining the old ones. The wall tiles are original. 

Quote under photo: Upstairs, the main bedroom was redecorated first. The owners fully benefited from this while the ground floor was turned upside down because of construction. 

Quote under photo: The couple invested $25,000 in the renovation and decoration of the house.

Four rooms, four worlds. Check out the changes now from when they bought it.

Quartz countertops, custom made cabinets, new appliances: many people invest more in a simple kitchen than this couple did in their entire house. How to cut costs? Three tricks pulled from their experience.
  1.  Do it yourself “One of the reasons why I wanted to do it myself, apart from the satisfaction, is to save money. I am certain that we would have doubled the cost of renovations if we have hired someone to do it,” says Chad Zentner. Never painted a wall? It’s hard to make a huge mistake. “At worst, someone has to come and fix it, but sometimes it’s better to try. While working, I told myself that if it went really badly, we could always hire someone to come and redo it," says Sarah D. Brown. 
  2. Shop Used. You don’t have to buy all new things when you move into a new house. Sarah D. Brown loves vintage décor, but doesn’t buy the ‘new vintage’ you often see in stores. “Vintage shopping is one of my passions. You save money and you get quality things. If they’ve lasted this long you know they’re going to continue to last a long time,” she stresses.
  3.  Don’t Invest in Expensive MaterialThis is often what drives up the cost of a renovation. For Sarah and Chad, not paying a fortune for materials also gave them peace of mind in undertaking the work themselves. “I would be more afraid to try things myself if we had expensive materials,” says Chad. “Our backsplash, for example, is made of tiles that cost 10 cents each! If we installed it really badly, redoing it wouldn’t be the end of the world…”
Thank you so much to Marie-Eve Morasse for interviewing us and to Edouard Plante-Frechette and Sarah Mongeau-Birkett for the lovely photographs.

2 Response to In the News

August 11, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Amazing feature, congratulations!
It's good to get a peek around with these professional photos. Shop cheap should be my mantra from now on!

August 11, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Thanks Lesia,
It was fun to watch a professional photographer and realize they had some of the same issues taking pictures of the house I did!

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