Options, oh options, why so many options.  Badges, Badges, we don’t need no stinking badges!  Oops sorry I slipped into a WKRP time warp there.  At least they didn’t have to do any packing at WKRP.  Jennifer could just flirt her way out of any problem.  If only that were the case for me.  Needless to say, I am drowning in packing and have decided to ignore it and post instead.

I thought you’d be interested in one design option.  Our friend, Andrew did a napkin sketch for us.  He is our architect friend who has such a lovely house himself.  I would trade his house for my leaky urinals any day.  I’m not sure he would go for that deal.  He is much too savvy for that old one two urinal switch scam.

His proposal is that we do some living in the gym.  We would have a big fireplace on the south facing wall flanked by large windows with a walk out on one side.  We would have an open plan living and dining space.  The kitchen would have a large island in the centre.  We are looking into a commercial range with two ovens, 6 burners and a grill.  We are also thinking of a double fridge.  We are hoping to have lots of friends and family visit and they all need to eat!

We are going to keep the stage.  We’ve been talking about having a talent show once a week.  Each member of our family will have a week to hone a talent, and present it.  My husband is a very good magician, juggler, guitarist, and is also working on his stand up routine.  He is all over this talent show!  My kids think they are good at everything so they are also looking forward to it.  I’m not as confident as the others.  All of my talents don’t present that well.  For example, I am a very good multi-tasker.  And an avid reader.  I’m also really good at talking on the phone with my girlfriends.  And don’t forget the bargain hunting.  Somehow I have to work that all into my bit.

That’s all we have so far on the design front; a fireplace, open living space, some windows, a stage, and a talent show.  We are also thinking about bedrooms, some bathrooms and other stuff.  But I must get to my packing.  This house isn’t going to pack itself, you know.


9 thoughts on “Options

  1. I love the idea of a “great room” as your main living space, Alysa. Having said that, my own family just cried out (literally!) in objection behind me, at the news that you might be “wrecking the gym,” as they put it. Is there enough living space if you leave the gym intact, as a gym (think yoga classes, skipping, birthday parties, free weights, family basketball night, etc. all through the cold Canadian winters, or if your girls prefer, a place to skateboard or ride bikes indoors. You could even hold community trunk shows!) Just having some gym envy, I guess…
    Rebecca, writing from the trenches of our own crazy, drastic lifestyle makeover

  2. During my time photographing the space, I envisioned the gym as your main living space. I pictured a big minimalist white cube! I saw the stage as your kitchen and a loft at one end, perhaps for sleeping. I also saw skylights running down the long hallway. That’s all I saw! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  3. you could have a great auctions on that stage Alysa! Esp with all the good deals and antiques you will find in your new area! Art shows, oh so much potential for fun and success!!!!

    I will miss you so very much though (sad sigh). xo

    • I think my plan behind the talent show was to overcome my paralyzing stage fright. If it’s just in front of the family, maybe I won’t simultaneously puke and pee on myself from nerves before the show. Or maybe that should be my act! It would sure get a laugh.
      Just so you know, visitors have to participate as well. So you and Joe will have to play a song or two. Or maybe you have a hidden talent that I don’t know about?

  4. After getting the grand tour of the school with JP the other day I am really excited for you folks! There is so much potential in that building (and property) and you guys have already though of some really great ideas.

    As a recent graduate from city living to ‘not city living,’ I can say that once you move in and live there for a while, you will think of many more ideas (and I have even found that the ideas that come up are quite different because being immersed in life gets you thinking differently — less stress/urgency, different priorities and different perspectives).

    With the purchase of the school and the sale of your Toronto home, you have given yourselves the gift of time and space — why not spend a bit of both to “live there” for a while before you commit to pressing forward with radical changes to the building?

    Now, I realize that the reality is that you need to make things liveable immediately. You need a kitchen, you need a bathroom etc. All I am saying is that there might be a way to get those things in place in a less permanent (and cheaper) way to give yourself the facilities you need immediately while you give yourselves time and space to consider all the ideas you will have.

    In summary: keep the gym! (for now) Once the gym is converted, that unique (and large) space is gone for good. The gym (and stage) is the crown jewel and it is the type of space that deserves a lot of time and thought before changing it (in my opinion). PS – Forgive my rant-iness.

    Anyway, no matter what you do I am sure it will end up looking great (you obviously have some excellent ideas for the gym from some smart and talented folks). I’m really happy for you guys and I think you are making a great move!

    • Hey Barnes
      Thanks for the support and advice. So glad you loved the school. That makes me feel less crazy when other people are on board. I fought hard to keep the gym intact but I think I have lost the battle. We will see what happens.

  5. Yeah I’m with the other folks here. Keeping the gym seems like a good idea. The place is huge surely there is enough space to keep the gym. I also think it is a good idea to live in the place a bit to see what is possible. Lisa and I did this here on our current renovations. Our plans too complete 180 degree turns because we took time in the space to see what really made sense and was valuable.

  6. Soooo envious of the gym…. The idea of roundin’ up the family for a good ol’ game of Dodge Ball, or basketball, or tag, or creating a big arts and crafts area, or turning it into an accessible area to sell goods, or…. Needless, to say the possibilities are endless! (Regardless of what you opt to do, I am sure it will be amazing! 🙂

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