Before & After

One Room Challenge | Bedroom – Week Five

October 30, 2014

I can’t believe we’re in week number 5 of the one week challenge already – how is that possible? It seems like only a few days ago that I was sharing my inspiration board in week one of this six week challenge, and now here we are a scant 7 days from the finish and I am feeling more than overwhelmed with all the work that remains.

I’m writing this at 2:30 on Thursday morning as I literally wait for paint to dry so I can do another coat. This is a pretty good indication of how my week has gone. I left off last week feeling hopeful that I’d get this room finished on time – I had major plans for last weekend – I was going to paint and then work on my headboard, my bedside tables, and then maybe sew a pillow of two. Seven days later and I’m still painting. The other stuff on my list? Ha – they didn’t happen.

On Friday night I painted my walls and was pretty pleased, but the next morning I started to have doubts – was it too yellow? My apartment is tricky – it doesn’t get a whole lot of natural light, and what it does get is late in the afternoon. I thought that perhaps it was trick of the light, so I decided to revisit it later that day. Several hours later and the changing light hadn’t changed my opinion.

Saturday night found me frantically looking through my paint deck trying to find another off-white that wasn’t too yellow, or too blue, or too pink. I honestly didn’t realise how hard it was to pick an off-white - they're all so similar yet so different. On Sunday morning I made the hour long trek via transit to Lowes for some tester pots of paint. After the trip back home to test them out I made a decision and had to take myself back to Lowes to buy a gallon. If you’ve been keeping track that’s 4 hours on the bus for a gallon of paint. Fun times.
Off white wall paint options
My options: (all paints Para) P5211-14 - Shape Shifter, P5213-14 - Posture & Poise, P5215-14 - French Manicure, and P5219-14 - Every Girls Dream
Anyways, a coat of the new colour went up late Sunday night and I was much happier with it. I was apparently overly enthusiastic though when I tried to do a second coat the next evening because I broke the roller. Who knew that was even possible? Anyways, after purchasing a new roller the next day on my lunch break I was able to finally get the second coat up, and tonight I’m taking care of the trim.
Broken paint roller
Why the late night painting session? I’ve got the wallpaperer coming today (Thursday) and all the painting has to be finished before he can get started. I’m really hoping that after the paper is installed I’ll feel a little less stressed out about getting this room completed.
Painting wall trim using painters tape
That said, with only one week left I think it’s time for a to-do list:
  • Install wallpaper
  • re-upholster headboard
  • Bedside tables
  • Sew pretty pillows
  • Move my furniture back into my bedroom
  • Figure out what to do for bedside lamps (What I was going to go is failing miserably so I need a second option)
  • Pick up my vintage magazine from the framers, and decide where to hang it.
  • Iron and rehang my curtains
  • Find accessories and prettiness to dress the bedside tables
  • Pull everything together
  • Take photos
Yikes! There’s still so much to do. I honestly don’t know if I can do it – keep our fingers crossed for me.

Want some more One Room Challenge inspiration and craziness? Make sure you check out the 20 bloggers doing the one room challenge, and the other One Room Challenge Linking Participants.

Before & After

One Room Challenge | Bedroom - Week Four

October 22, 2014

After the slow progress I’d made after the first three weeks (see the posts here: 1, 2, 3) of this one room challenge, I’m happy to say that I think I’ve made quite a bit of progress this week.

You may remember that when I started this challenge I decided to do a little wall repair, and that it snowballed into a major problem. After a weekend of alternately mixing drywall plaster and being covered in drywall dust I’ve officially declared the repair portion of this project over. Hallelujah! It’s by no means perfect, but I’m exceptionally pleased with my handiwork. I honestly think nobody will be able to tell the wall was patched unless they look really closely.
Patched bedroom wall
After I installed the drywall came many, many layers of drywall compound
Primed Bedroom wall
This is (again) a bad nighttime picture, but I promise the wall looks really good in person
After the wall was finished I did two coats of primer, and I’ve started the actual painting part of this project. Sadly I thought I might be able to get away with just one coat on the ceiling, but given I was painting at night with what turned out to be inadequate lighting I will need to do a second coat (there’s nothing more disappointing than lying in bed looking at your freshly painted ceiling and realizing you did a crap job). Once that’s done though I think the most difficult part will be over until it’s time to paint the radiator – I hate painting rads.

This week I also made some decisions about art. In my original post I mentioned maybe buying some new art, but I decided to make use of some of the things I already own. I found this 85 year old magazine at The Elegant Garage Sale (a Toronto furniture consignment store) a couple of years ago for $2. Given it’s age I decided to splurge and have it professionally framed. I hope I get it back in time for the room reveal.
Hearth and Home Magazine March 1929
A copy of Hearth & Home magazine from Mach 1929
I’ve also started to work on my bedside tables. I’ve had them for a while, but they were stacked in the corner of my room while I decided what to do with them.
Beside table before
They were in rather bad shape, but given their cost (FREE!!) that was to be expected. I’ve been trying to figure out if they might be vintage Ikea, but I haven’t been able find out for sure – anyone recognize them? Anyways, I’m both excited and scared about what I’m planning for them – here’s hoping my idea works.

I think I might be starting to believe I may be able to get my room finished in time. Maybe. Perhaps. Cross your fingers for me.

Want some more One Room Challenge inspiration and craziness? Make sure you check out the 20 bloggers doing the one room challenge, and the other One Room Challenge Linking Participants.

Before & After

One Room Challenge | Bedroom - Week Three

October 15, 2014

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?

Want some more One Room Challenge inspiration and craziness? Make sure you check out the 20 bloggers doing the one room challenge, and the other One Room Challenge Linking Participants.

Before & After

One Room Challenge | Bedroom - Week Two

October 09, 2014

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.
missing medicine cabinet
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).
drywall waiting for a bus
Two pieces of drywall are 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:
Bedroom wall with a window into the bathroom
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:
Wall patched with drywall
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 fabric off cuts at Designer Fabric
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.

Before & After

One Room Challenge | Bedroom – Week One

October 02, 2014

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:
Boring bedroom
My Bedroom (sorry for the awful picture)
And here’s the tentative plan:
One room challenge bedroom inspiration
WallpaperLampBedside tableHeadboard, Pillows: 123
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!

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