Project Reveal: Full Facelift home makeover

Project Reveal: Full Facelift home makeover

When I typically work with clients, I typically transform one or two spaces. Kitchens, bathrooms, and basements tend to be the spaces I spend a lot of time in. For this project, we were giving a home a full facelift home makeover! Every room received some kind of love. You can view the entire project here.

Full Facelift home makeover

This entire process started on September 6, 2018 when I first went over to my clients’ home to go over their hopes and dreams. At that time, we went through the entire home and discussed what the wishes were. On the list were some bigger ticket items:

  • address the kitchen cabinets (look at options) as well as all of the bathroom vanities.
  • new countertops for the kitchen and all of the bathrooms.
  • new paint for the home
  • all new carpet for the upstairs as well as new flooring for the main floor family room and office.
  • the addition of all new lighting
  • a new fireplace feature for the main floor family room
  • a new desk/homework area for the bonus room
  • some new windows
  • window coverings

While there were other items on the full facelift home makeover list, these were the major budget items.

Here are a few before pictures so you can get the sense of what we were dealing with.

Before full facelift home makeover: Wood stained cabinets and laminate counters

Before full facelift home makeover: Both bathrooms with laminate counters and the same wood cabinets.

Before full facelift home makeover: A dated looking gas fireplace with no great space for a TV.

Before full facelift home makeover: Laundry Room with very limited storage.

Pulling things together

It took me over a month to pull things together so I would be ready for a trade day. On Oct. 24, 2018, I had our trade day. The trade day was busy as there were many trades coming and going. Having a trade day is essential for me to bring together my budget. Clients need to know the investment they need to make to carry out the work.

Once the trades provided me their quotes for their work, I put together the product budget and the labour budget to come up with a total budget.

The Investment

I’ve said this before as most clients shit their pants with the labour costs. Of course, they may see something on TV that illustrates an entire home renovation for $85,000, but that simply is not the case (nor are those shows even close to being accurate). Our labour prices in Calgary are typically double the project budget. Our taxes keep going up, the cost of living keeps going up….it simple is what it is (sorry dad – I know you hate that saying).

For my clients, we were looking at the total budget. We looked at items that were rated top on the wish list vs the cost associated with the change. From there, we made some compromises.


  • We went with carpet for the main floor family room and office instead of a luxury vinyl tile. The prep work involved, plus the cost or the gorgeous tile, was more than carpet. So…carpet it was.
  • The decision was to use ‘in-stock’ cabinets for the main floor family room instead of custom cabinets.
  • We used ‘in-stock’ cabinets for the laundry room and the bonus room.
  • The decision was to keep the hinged doors for the office instead of installing two new barn-doors (and get rid of the space a hinged door takes).
  • We took off the wallpaper for the main floor powder room.
  • The master bedroom would be painted a different wall colour in exchange for taking off the wallpaper for the master bedroom.

While there was a list of compromises, there was also a list of ‘splurges’.


  • By far, the fireplace was the largest splurge! The gas fireplace that was installed is one that allows the hot air to be vented through the top. This would allow us to install the TV at the correct height. We picked a custom panel option to face the fireplace. I wrote an entire blog post on planning for this linear fireplace!

  • My clients chose a very nice carpet. It not only is durable, but it is also so soft on the feet!
  • Refacing of the kitchen cabinets is what we decided on. While refacing gives such a transformation (as you will see), it is also not a cheap option. We also had cats to contend with so painting the cabinets was not an option (with their claws).

Setting the Calendar

By the time all of this pre-work took place, we were going to be looking at a January start date. I have to say, this was one of the most challenging projects with slotting in the trades. It’s always a trick when clients are living in the space. Especially when new carpet was going to be installed and the entire home was going to be painted. The plan was as follows:

We had 6 weeks to update this home and give it a full facelift home makeover!


This really is a swear word when it comes to renovations. While I pride myself on being uber-organized, there are some things that are just beyond my control. For this project, we had two curveballs.

  1. We had a few miscommunication issues regarding the fireplace. The wrong one was ordered which meant we had to wait for the one to come. While no one does this sort of thing on purpose, it was a tiny bit frustrating (as it was a curveball that I needed to handle and deal with).
  2. This past winter was damn cold. I don’t know how else to get across how stupid cold it was. The new windows were not able to be installed when we had hoped they would. This put us behind schedule to get custom window coverings, the new casings installed AND the final paint. Say it with me,

Deep breath in….deep breath out…

Finishing Up

When I got the word that the windows were going to be installed, I was dancing for joy! We were supposed to be totally done by the end of February and we were moving into March. That meant I needed to slot in my trades when I could now get them! Oy…..

  • The windows were finally installed on March 8th.
  • Window casings were installed the following week.
  • The window coverings were measured on March 24th. We were looking at a minimum of 4 weeks to get them.
  • On April 24th I got the news that the custom window coverings were finally in! Now, to book an install time.
  • At the beginning of May, the window coverings were installed.
  • Both my clients and I each dealt with a death in our families and as such, we put off officially wrapping up this project until now.

My Final Thoughts

When I was back at my clients’ home for final photos and our final video, I couldn’t believe the total transformation. My clients looked after sourcing their own furniture. Although you can view the entire project images here, I always love to put the before and after images together to really get a sense of the changes!

Full Facelift home makeover
Full Facelift home makeover: Kitchen makeover

Full Facelift home makeover
Full Facelift home makeover: Fireplace makeover

Full Facelift home makeover
Full Facelift home makeover: Bathroom makeover

Full Facelift home makeover
Full Facelift home makeover: Laundry Room makeover

I hope you have enjoyed this transformation!

Sheri Bruneau Get It Together


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