One Room Challenge | Bedroom – Week Three

How are we on week three already? This wee fact scares me more than a little bit – especially since I didn’t really accomplish anything in my room this week. I have a good excuse though – you see, it was my grandma’s 94th birthday on the weekend so my mom and I went to Ireland on Friday to help her celebrate. Since I only returned yesterday evening I didn’t really have a chance to do much work on the One Room Challenge, but if I don’t finish my bedroom in time I’m okay with that – celebrating my grandma’s birthday is way more important to me than decorating a room.

94th Birthday candles

That said, one of the first things I did when I returned last evening was put yet another coat of plaster on my wall. That’s right – the hole still isn’t fixed. It is looking a lot better, but my attempts to repair it are being hindered a bit by the lack of heat in my building. Mud that should only take 8 hours or so to dry is taking over 24 which is massively slowing my repair progress, and I can’t really do anything else in the room until I have the wall fully repaired. Here’s hoping I have a bit of luck over the weekend.

I mentioned briefly in last weeks post that I had done a bit of fabric sourcing and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do. There are a few options that I’m considering – I know the walls will be the Etosha paper and the headboard will be navy velvet. I’ll be sticking with white for the sheets and duvet cover so I want to add some colour with pillows – I’ll likely have a lumbar pillow in the Neo Toile that inspired my bedroom design, but other than that I’m unsure.

Bedroom fabric options

{Sorry for the cellphone pics – taking photos with no daylight is a skill I haven’t yet mastered}

The fabric was soured from Designer Fabrics on Queen street which means there will likely be a few more contenders found when I return this selection. Oh well – I’m still not entirely positive my sewing skills will extend to sewing decorative pillows so perhaps indecision is a good thing? Then again I need something to occupy my time while I’m waiting for plaster to dry and sewing pillows might be just the thing! Any thoughts on what I should choose? Have any other suggestions?

One Room Challenge | Bedroom – Week Two

If you read my One Room Challenge post last week you may recall that I finished it hoping that my little wall problem would get better, and it did. And then it got a whole lot worse. After I posted I managed to get a bit of mud on my walls and it started to look a whole lot better. I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and was hoping to be painting by the end of last weekend.

That didn’t happen. Once I fixed the moving plaster and the random bulges it became very apparent that I had another problem. Right in the middle of the wall was a large bulge that protruded almost two inches into the room. I always knew it was there, but it really didn’t start to bother me until I’d sort of fixed the other section. I realise that yes, I could continue to pretend it wasn’t there and start adding paint and wallpaper, and fun and pretty things to the room, but I knew that it would then drive me absolutely bonkers to look at it every day and I’d eventually have to fix it. There’s no point in ruining a room after it’s finished to fix something I should have done earlier is there?

Anyways, I thought it would just be a matter of continuing the method of plaster buttons I used to fix my previous problem. No such luck. I’d heard drilling holes in plaster and injecting construction adhesive between the lathe and plaster and then applying pressure could work – it didn’t. I was beyond frustrated and I had a wall full of random drill holes and dried adhesive. Eventually I got smart and realised that on the other side of the bulge was my bathroom medicine cabinet. Once that was out I could really visualize the problem.

Walls made of fiberboard with no structural support

Walls made of fiberboard with no structural support, and a patch of drywall that a previous owner had made

Problem #1 – the wall (at east in that section) is not made of lathe and plaster like I thought, but plaster over what I can only describe as fiberboard.

Problem #2 – there is no structure to anchor the wall to in order to remove the bulge.

After a phone call to my Dad I decided the only option was to remove the bulge completely which necessitated another trip to Home Depot, the purchase of more supplies including drywall, and then hauling it all home on the bus since I don’t have a car (Note to self: Win the lottery and buy a car).

Two pieces of drywall is pretty heavy, especially when you're also carrying  drywall saw, screws, work gloves, duct tape, a plastic sheet and various other DIY supplies

Two pieces of drywall is pretty heavy, especially when you’re also carrying drywall saw, screws, work gloves, duct tape, a plastic sheet and various other DIY supplies

Eventually, with a lot of effort, a huge amount of mess, and a lot of noise (sorry neighbours) I accomplished this:

Feature wall perhaps?

Hello there bathroom. If I got Ryan Reynolds to move in I think this could be called a feature wall – don’t you think?

And eventually this:

Drywall installed. Now to try my hand at mudding

Drywall installed. You can see my earlier patch on the left.

It wasn’t all dust and noise this week. I did a little sourcing for fabric for pillows and lamps (and ran into Vanessa of Décor Happy at HomeSense). No decisions made there yet, but I did pick up some fabric for my headboard at Designer Fabrics – did you know they have a whole section of off-cut velvet for $7/yd? I wasn’t going to miss that deal. And on Tuesday I found myself back in class for the first time in a couple of months.

Velvet off-cuts at Designer Fabrics

Hopefully next week I’ll be able to report that my bedroom is looking much better. I still have a long way to go, but I’m a little more confident now than I was this past weekend that I can get the room completed by the end of the challenge. Fingers crossed.

Check out some of the other bloggers progress this week on Calling it Home.

One Room Challenge | Bedroom – Week One

If you’ve read this blog for a while you may have noticed I have a bit of project ADD. I have piles of great (in my opinion) ideas on how to decorate my space, but I rarely follow through on them, or worse, I get started and then never finish. This isn’t really a good thing since I don’t have a single space in my home I’m really happy with, and well, I write this blog which is supposed to be all about my attempts at decorating – it’s a little silly that I haven’t really decorated anything isn’t it?

For the past few years I’ve followed the One Room challenge that was started by Linda at Calling it Home – twice a year a group of pretty amazing design bloggers completely redo a room in 6 weeks. It’s that time of year again and this time I’ve decided I’m going to participate in the link-up challenge in an effort to get a room done. I’m rather hoping a 6 week deadline will kick me in the butt and help me get ONE ROOM finished (or close to it).

I’ll be trying to finish my bedroom, which in all honesty is probably the room that I’ve completed the most projects for – my dresser, my headboard and the pinch-pleated drapes. They’ll all be staying, but may be modified a bit.

Here’s pretty much what I’m starting with:

My Bedroom (sorry for the awful picture)

My Bedroom (sorry for the awful picture)

And here’s the tentative plan:

You may recall I won the Thibaut Etosha wallpaper from Meredith Heron a number of months ago – I chose the grey. I’ll only be doing an accent wall behind the bed (which incidentally I don’t think Meredith would approve of, but it’s a really bold pattern, and I don’t yet have the designer guts that she does to do a whole room).

The rest of the room will be inspired by the Neo Toile fabric from Tonic Living. If I get my act together I’m hoping I can sew some cushions for the bed (note to self: find some good tutorials). I also need some bedside tables, because the mismatched ones are an eye-sore, and some new bedside lamps since my current white and green ones won’t go with my new colour scheme. Unfortunately I won’t be getting the 1st Dibs tables pictured above since they cost many mortgage payments.

I also want to add some personality to the room with some art. I’ll be using the Zoe Pawlak art I won from Christine Dovey, but I’ll need some other pieces. I might order something from some of the art I love on Etsy, but I’m not yet sure what I want. The room also needs a rug, but given my budget (miniscule) that likely won’t happen. We’ll see – maybe I’ll find the deal of the century.

In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you I’ve already started this project, and I’ve already run into a huge problem. I noticed a small crack on the wall behind my dresser and when I moved it to do a quick patch I discovered the plaster had pulled away from the lath and was bulging and moving rather alarmingly. It’s never a good thing when your wall moves. I’ve started the repair which I’m crossing my fingers will work and won’t look too nasty once I’m done. At the moment it looks like this which I’m very much hoping is a case of ‘it has to get worse before it gets better’.

What do you think? Can I get the room done in 6 weeks? Does anyone in Toronto have the name of a great wallpaperer? Any great artists or art sources to share? Let me know!

The China Cabinet Beautification Project

For as long as I’ve lived in my apartment I’ve wanted a little china cabinet to go in my dining room. My kitchen isn’t huge and I loved the idea of being able to display pretty dishes and other things in the top of a cabinet with glass doors, but hide less-attractive-but-needed items like napkins and place mats in the lower half.

I looked for months on Kijiji and Craigslist – there were lots of cabinets available, but I needed one with a small footprint and one that was within my tiny budget. It was quite some time before I found anything that would suit, but eventually I did. As luck would have it, my new cabinet had some very familiar details – it’s the same style as the console/sideboard I have in my living room.

The before

The before

When I first saw the cabinet I had visions I stripping and refinishing it just like its mate – however I was soon thwarted by something that I didn’t notice until I tipped the cabinet over to start working on it. I knew that the cabinet hadn’t been treated too kindly and was filthy, however there was one small detail I hadn’t noticed when I bought it – one of the feet (for lack of a better word) was irreversibly damaged – the wood base was missing a rather large chunk. This immediately took the wind out of my ‘woo-hoo, new project! ‘ sails, and left me completely stumped on how I was going to fix it. I could strip the veneer easily enough, but as the missing chunk was at the front corner of the base, even if I could repair the structural wood underneath I would have to re-veneer two sides. While I repaired the veneer on the base of my console, the repair there was on the side and isn’t easily seen. The front of the cabinet would always be on display, and I wasn’t confident that I’d be able to do a good enough job with the veneer replacement. Compounding the issue, I didn’t have the tools, space or skills for any woodworking, so repairing the base myself was impossible.

Damaged cabinet base

Needless to say I was completely stumped as to what to do so the project came to a screeching halt. Eventually I got tired of the cabinet sitting there empty and ugly and I decided to just Google local woodworkers and email them asking if they might be able to replicate the entire base of my cabinet. Eventually I found one who was willing to work on such a small project and I schlepped the damaged base cross town on public transit so he could copy it. Skilled trades aren’t cheap, and his expert work cost me nearly 3 times what the cabinet did.

My china cabinet was quite dirty when I got it - the hardware before and after a prolonged polish

My china cabinet was quite dirty when I got it – the hardware before and after a prolonged polish

Once my cabinet had a sturdy base it was time to turn my attention to its beautification. The new base was natural wood and I could have attempted to veneer it, but I opted for paint instead. I’m normally firmly in the ‘wood should not be painted’ camp but the veneer on the entire piece was in really rough shape, cracking and splitting, so painting it was the only option. After using wood filler to fix the worst of the blemishes I primed it, and then did two coats of colour.

Painted china cabinet

I debated painting the interior of the cabinet a fun hue, but in the end I decided that I wanted the items I displayed behind the glass to be the focus so I chose a warm white – Coconut Sugar (PF 60). For the exterior I wanted something that would highlight the brass hardware I spent so long polishing, but I didn’t want anything too dark. I chose Fort Beauséjour (P2144-02) which is a lovely blue-grey. Both colours are from Para Paints.

China cabinet painted gray

I think my china cabinet is a million times better than when I got it and, in the end, I’m glad I persevered.

As a member of the Para Paints Blog Crew I was supplied with the paint used for this project.

Linking to: My Repurposed Life