Nannie’s Suite




We finally finished Nannie’s suite.  My mom, our kids' Nannie, has started living with us part time and we wanted her to have her own private spot in our home.  We live in a four level side split, so our first basement level is slightly below ground.  We had a room there that was open to the rest of that level that we honestly just used as a dumping ground for things that didn’t have a home.  We thought it would be a perfect spot to make a tiny studio apartment for my mom, because if we put up a strategically placed dividing wall she would have her own private bathroom.   After talking and dreaming about this for years, we got started this summer.  There were no windows in this room, so the first thing we did was have two large windows put in.  Then, while I was on the road home from Ontario to bring my mom out here, our friends and my husband put up the wall to separate the space. For the first month and a bit my mom lived downstairs in our guest room while I ripped out carpets, took off popcorn ceilings, and installed baseboards, panelling, flooring, and a closet. My mom was a huge help too.  She helped with painting and the ceiling.  She has done so much painting!  We also renovated my mom's bathroom along the way, with the help of my father-in-law and our friends. After all of that was done, she moved in even though we weren’t quite finished everything.  After she moved in I put up wallpaper, installed a kitchenette, made window coverings, and found the finishing pieces for the room.  It was one of the biggest renovations I have ever personally done in my house and I just love the way it turned out for my mom.  It was full of budget conscious decisions, DIYs, thrifted items, and clearance pieces, and it feels very much like her and home.

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This room is only 150 square feet. We wanted to fit a kitchenette, a bed, a sitting area, and a closet in the space, and we did just that!  When you walk into the suite from the doorway, you see we have created an ‘entryway’. To the left when you walk in, you see the door to the bathroom, and just past that are a row of hooks for hanging coats and sweaters.  The ‘hallway’ to the sitting area/kitchenette looks tight in this picture but it's actually more than three feet wide.  When you are in the space it doesn’t feel cramped, I promise. 

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In the before picture you can see two beams on the ceiling.  The closest beam is where the wall went up.  Our family room is on this level too and also has two windows, but it faces north and is honestly really quite dark. So I didn’t have high expectations for light even with two new windows on this wall. But, it faces northwest and apparently gets way more light than my family room does!  If you look at the before picture again you can also see that the outside wall is divided, with a ledge in the middle.  I wanted it to feel a bit more intentional, so I added moulding for a panelled look.  My mom’s favourite colour is a deep indigo blue, and  I knew I wanted that to be the main colour in the room. So we painted the panelling a beautiful blue.  From the very beginning I wanted wallpaper in this room, but wallpaper can be very expensive.  I was on the hunt for a really long time, and had started thinking that it was a dream that wasn’t going to happen when I found this paper.  It was on clearance, and cost us $267.00. We hemmed and hawed over it because it was really an unnecessary expense, but I am so glad we decided to get it in the end.  I love how special it feels.  It was my first time wallpapering, and it was NOT fun but it was easier than I had expected. We also DIY’ed the window coverings.  They are extremely basic, but window coverings are very expensive and weren't in the budget.  These cost us $40.00 to make. 

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On the side of the room opposite the windows we put in a closet and kitchenette.  The closet is an IKEA wardrobe that we got off Facebook Marketplace.  It was originally a freestanding closet, but I added moulding and trim to make it feel built in. I love the mirrors in the doors.  It gives my mom a place to check her appearance and bounces light around the room too.  In the before picture you can see there was always a little niche in the room, and it felt like it was just made for us and our little kitchenette!

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In my last post I gave all the details of this DIY’ed budget kitchen, so I won't say too much more here. But I just love how the niche makes it feel a little bit separate, even though it's such a small space overall.

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At the end of the room, we created a little sitting/living ‘room’.  It gets very cold in Edmonton, and so I wanted to add an electric fireplace to the space for heating.  I found it on Marketplace for $125.00, and Mom painted it white. We wanted my mom to have a private space where she could be by herself, and just hang out and read or watch whatever she wanted on TV.  I got this TV off an amazing Facebook swap page I am part of for $65.00, including the swivel mount.  It is just the right size for the room. The recliner was another Marketplace find.  I had been searching for months for the right chair.  The woman who sold this one to us had bought it for her husband, but he felt like it was too pretty for him and he never sat in it.  The chair had basically been unused, and we got it for $125.00.  It was in perfect condition and a fraction of the cost of a new chair.  It is extremely comfortable too.  We found the rug at a liquidation store in Edmonton.  We weren’t going to go with blue in the rug, but we came across this one and it worked so well that when we saw it, we instantly agreed that this was the one!  It is such a cozy spot, and I confess that sometimes when I want a break from my kids I will ask my mom if I can sit in her chair. 

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The before picture is a bit confusing, because it was taken before we started all our renovations in the family room. In the after picture, you are looking at the wall that didn't yet exist in the before picture!  This wall now divides the two spaces, our family room from my mom's suite. I just love how cozy her little bed nook is.  I love that it's by the window for maximum natural light, and that it's tucked into the corner in its own little space. The bed itself is more than it seems at first glance. We knew storage needed to be maximized in the room, so this bed actually lifts up and provides lots of extra storage space.  It is an IKEA bed that we found on Marketplace. The art above the bed was also thrifted for $15.00.  Currently my daughter and I are arguing about who gets to sleep in this room when my mom is not here, and I’m pretty sure I am going to win!  We are so thrilled with the way it turned out and how big 150 square feet can feel.  


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