Just north of downtown St. John’s, is the quaint and colourful neighbourhood of Georgestown. There stands an over 100-year-old purple house, with a black onyx door – the outer face of Georgestown on my Mind’s redecorating Instagram page.
Krista Wells is the proud homeowner of this house, a place her in-laws used to live in before they moved to Ottawa two years ago.
“This is my husband’s childhood home, well not his childhood home, he moved in around eighth grade, so he lived here basically most of his life, and my in-laws moved and we bought their house. It’s in a great neighbourhood, and we love it and that was part of the appeal of moving in here,” said Wells.
Wells’ DIY projects and room remodels stand out as artistic posts on her Instagram page – that has recently gained some notable popularity. Draped with deep blues, and highlighted with golds, wood material, unique lighting fixtures, and sometimes a snuggly pup in the corner – Georgestown on my mind feed features nearly every corner of Wells’ house.
One of the dominant spaces featured is a huge all-white loft with grand windows. A room Wells had completely transformed from originally an orangey wood and carpeted dated room to a brightly lit modernized space.
“My favourite space in the house is probably the loft and the space that came the furthest. It was a true labour of love and it was a lot of freaking work. It was a big deal for my Instagram. It was supposed to be a summer project and when it came down that we would be home, I looked at my husband and said, ‘this is my shot. I think I have a few weeks to be home. I’m doing it.’ Little did we know it would be much longer,” said the designer. “I painted the loft, I sprayed it and laid the hardwood and I think we did it in three or four weeks, we did it in rapid-fire, it was fast. We didn’t anticipate it going that fast, we just had nothing to do so we thought, why not work on that.”
The quick turnaround catalyzed an appreciation on social media, such a phenomenal feat that resulted in a beautiful, streamlined, yet cozy place where you can picture Wells and her family enjoying while snuggled up watching a movie.
Wells often shares the process of her builds and creations, and even shows her mishaps along the way, including a surprise mirror crashing in her dining room, and wrongly heued paint on the front door.
“The front door fiasco – it wasn’t large or callosal but I ruined the front door, I accidentally, well not accidentally but I chose a colour with purple undertones and that didn’t work out so well with the colour of the siding, It looked like a purple door instead of a black door.”
The designer, who is a primary teacher by day, is well aware of her limitations. When it comes to large light fixtures and plumbing, she leaves that in the hands of experts. In the case of her master bathroom, Wells passed over the torch to professionals to help her flip the space. In true Instagram fashion, she left a peaking glimpse of her new shower tile and kept followers waiting for the big reveal.
“It’s driving me crazy because it’s the kind of thing, I didn’t do the work myself. It’s the first time we contracted out a project that large. As I mentioned on Instagram, it is unfortunate that I couldn’t do it myself because I would have loved to do it myself but it’s our main floor bathroom and the only one with a shower and tub,” she said. “My husband said he was not going that long without a shower so I can play DIY for a month and a half.”
When the pandemic hit Canada, lots of people indulged in renovations. Hardware stores were running low on supplies and everyone was trying their hand at DIY projects. For those new to updating their homes, Wells suggests starting simple.
“If you want to just spruce things up, my opinion a little bit of paint and light fixtures go a long way. I think that can change the vibe of a space and I always tell people to start there. I have a friend who wants to sell her home and knows her kitchen is dated. She was going to get new counters and backsplash, new fixtures and I told her to pump the breaks. You might put all that money in and get nothing out especially with counters and backsplash, if they are not the taste of the person coming in, they won’t pay the extra dollar for it. Change the hardware on your cabinets, change the lighting, see how that goes. I think that can entirely change a space.”
For affordable and quality light fixtures, Wells suggests Kent Building Supplies and she is a firm believer in Benjamin Moore paint colour – she keeps a stack of colours on hand for all projects and refers to it as her bible.
Wells works with some great Canadian brands including Yorabode and Johnny Ruth ( who are both local), Pokoloco, a Canadian Brand and Kent Building Supplies – an Atlantic Canadian hardware store. She is now a guest participant in the One Room Challenge, with her big reveal coming this month!
Follow Wells on her continuing renovating journey on Instagram