Building McIlquham Ranch


Erica here. For those of you who know Ben and I, you’ll know that our life is a bit complicated right now. He is working for a healthcare procurement company (and loving it) in Kingston and I am still working for an energy company (and loving it) in Toronto. In order to make both of our careers work, and make us both happy, a year ago we decided that making Kingston our home base made the most sense…. so I continue to travel back and forth to the “big city”, and luckily my company is very progressive and supportive, so that I have the ability to work out of my home office very frequently.

This is where the story of the McIlquham Ranch (we nicknamed our house this) comes in. At the end of 2014 my husband and I bought a century old farmhouse and hundred acre property in Kingston. It was our dream to own some property, a farm, and a house we could fix up to call our own. I’m writing this post with the plan of updating all of y’all along the way with our renovation progress- and maybe to inspire you to live your dreams, no matter what stage in life you are at!

We could never have afforded this in the GTA, and looking back if we had waited until retirement (the original plan) to take this plunge we probably never would have had the energy to do the type of renovations, and keep up the maintenance, that this home and property will require. Everything happens for a reason.

As all renovations go, the original plans and work to be done have grown from “just a few”.. to a WHOLE LOT, this also means that we are taking a lot more time to complete the project than expected. Luckily we have an amazing family and are able to stay with them throughout the renovations so we don’t have to live in a construction zone, and can save loads of dollars by DIY-ing the crap out of all of our projects.

Right now we are in the “crazy million decision making mode”- where we have to make decisions about layout, design, colour and EVERY little detail. and Pinterest have been lifesavers- does anyone else have any other resource recommendations for home design and renovations?

Here are a few snap-shots of “The Ranch” thus far, follow me on Instagram at @ericaemma1 to see more photos and get live updates.

IMG_1147Photo of the view down the driveway before winter hit us with full force


Photo of the original kitchen- none of this exists any longer and I’m posting this for affect so you can see the before/after.


Working for a gas company, one of the first things we did was get a gas line installed (house used to run on oil + wood)- here is the trench going in.


Here is me hugging our rough-sawn beams that we installed in the kitchen.. can you tell that I’m happy?

Photo of our new range! Can’t wait to cook up exciting recipes for the blog on this baby!

Check back often for more renovation and home design posts!

Anchors aweigh!

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