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How this run-down Halifax dwelling turned a real-life Barbie Dreamhouse  – Macleans.ca Categorical Instances

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Seasoned dwelling renovator Rebekah Higgs created her personal all-pink palace, which she shares along with her daughter and canine 

A split photo. On the left is the front of a pink house. On the right is a woman in blue jeans, a white top, and a blue jean jacket standing in front of the front door.

(Pictures courtesy of Rebekah Higgs)

As a child rising up within the leafy south finish of Halifax, Rebekah Higgs admired the rambling, majestic previous properties dotting her neighbourhood, however by no means imagined proudly owning one herself. She spent her twenties touring the world as a musician—each as a singer-songwriter and along with her digital dance band Ruby Jean and the Considerate Bees—and incomes a ravenous artist revenue. 

A photo of a pink house, seen from the driveway

In 2014, a yr after her daughter, Lennon, was born, she gave up her peripatetic profession and moved again to her dwelling province, taking a product job at Halifax-based media firm Egg Movies. However as a lifelong lover of inside decor raised by seasoned dwelling renovators, she quickly determined to observe in her dad and mom’ footsteps. By 2016, she started renovating homes as a profession, even starring in a web-turned-TV sequence referred to as DIY Mother.

A split photo. On the left is a bathroom counter with two sinks and two mirrors. On the right is a bed in a bedroom with marbled walls

5 years later, Higgs was residing in a mid-century fashionable bungalow with a pink door in Rockingham, Nova Scotia, with 10-year-old Lennon. She got here throughout a $850,000 actual property itemizing for a surprising 3,300-square-foot Craftsman dwelling within the South Finish of Halifax. The house had lovely wood-framed home windows and excessive ceilings, with an elementary college inside strolling distance. It even had a pink door—a characteristic she has added to each single dwelling she has ever renovated. However its market standing saved switching from “pending” to “on the market.” “As soon as that occurs a couple of occasions, you get the impression there’s one thing incorrect with the home,” she says.

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When Higgs visited the house, she rapidly realized why. The roof was rotten and leaky, the inspiration was crumbling, and the plumbing was starting to rust—the home would want a wholly new system. That was an issue, as a result of Higgs deliberate so as to add a number of new bogs and an addition on the again of the home. She used the poor situation of the home to her benefit, finagling a deal to buy the house for $767,000. She took possession in September of 2021.

A split photo. On the left is a room with two beds and pink curtains on the window. On the right is a bathroom underneath a stairwell.

When she purchased the home, the outside was painted a shabby shade of inexperienced. After contemplating the East Coast’s renown for eye-catching, vibrant homes—and clocking the blue, purple, yellow and inexperienced homes on the road—she realized she needed so as to add to the allure. And the color most emblematic of her character? Pink. “Pink is a fairly daring alternative, however as a result of it’s simply me and my daughter, I get to make these choices,” she says. “So if I wish to reside in a pink home then I get to reside in a pink home.”

A photo of a flight of stairs

From there, Higgs launched into a sequence of main renovations to show the charming however crumbling hovel into her final Barbie Dreamhouse. When she first moved in, the basement was crammed with uncovered wires and pink insulation hanging from the ceiling, making it appear to be one thing out of the Noticed franchise. Her first order of enterprise was to remodel it into a correct basement residence. 

She discovered the six-foot ceilings claustrophobic, so she opted to rent an expert home lifter to jack up the property by two ft to create eight-foot ceilings. “I used to be going to dig down, however if you carry the home you get these huge lovely vivid home windows within the basement, which makes the area really feel a lot lighter and brighter,” she mentioned. To make the construction as mild as potential previous to lifting, she demolished a number of partitions, which opened up the primary ground, and eliminated the chimney and the entrance steps. Then, by constructing an addition onto the again of the home, Higgs was ready so as to add a couple of extra bedrooms and bogs to the area to extend the property worth.

READ: The Transfer: How two Toronto entrepreneurs revamped a retro Nova Scotia normal retailer

A photo of four pink high chairs next to a kitchen island

One in all Higgs’s favorite options is the pink polished concrete ground within the basement residence, which she rents on Airbnb. To avoid wasting cash, Higgs bought her personal dump truck filled with concrete, added concrete dye and employed a employee to funnel it into the basement. By bringing within the concrete herself and having Nova Scotia Concrete grind and polish the stone, she was capable of deliver the price of the ground down from $10 per sq. foot to $4 per sq. foot.

READ: This revamped ’30s-era Montreal duplex has its personal Escher-inspired staircase

Higgs moved into her pink palace within the spring of 2023, two years after taking possession. Inside, she saved the palette barely extra muted than the facade, however made certain to sprinkle a variety of pink accents all through the home, like a pink front room sofa, pink toilet tile and pink stools on the kitchen island. 

A photo of a living room with a fireplace and pink and white couches. The room is lit with natural light from many windows. In the foreground is a succulent plant.

Higgs saved many of the dwelling’s historic thrives, together with the unique picket trim, home windows, and staircase spindles and rails. She additionally left the brass radiators intact, albeit turning every one right into a shelf with the help of white open-front radiator covers. “The home feels prefer it matches my character. We’re a home full of ladies. It’s me, my daughter and our canine Ziggy, who can be a lady,” Higgs says. The completed house is calm and comfortable—Higgs likes to host events, and she or he needed the home to be a spot the place individuals may take pleasure in themselves. Yearly, she hosts a DIY Mother Christmas Karaoke occasion—the place she places out a giant unfold of oysters and charcuterie within the kitchen—and a Galentine’s Day potluck dinner with 20 of her closest mates.

Higgs plans to remain within the dwelling so long as potential. “I needed to create a second that folks would bear in mind, a recognizable area that provides slightly little bit of tradition and character to the road. I feel that’s what I achieved,” she says.

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