One Room Challenge Spring 2020 – Week Eight!

It’s here! I’m finished! Holy shit. On one hand I don’t think I’ve fully realized I’m finished my One Room Challenge, but on the other hand, I’m looking forward to being horizontal on a couch / lawnchair / bed / under the dining room table / random sidewalk / literally anywhere and not working on any projects in my spare time … for at least a week.

I really am almost overwhelmed at trying to put into words how much this project has meant. At the end of March I miscarried at 12 weeks pregnant. I took 4.5 days off work and then threw myself back into things and wanted to work on something big. Maybe to prove to myself I can finish something and that I’m not entirely useless. For anyone who has been following along with my project will know, I really tore up from the floor up this room as I demolished four layers of ceiling, almost three layers of wall [in places], ripped everything back to the beams, built two stud walls, drywalled, painted, crafted cabinets and finished it off with a thin layer of tears. By myself. No trades people were hired and Robert only helped me drywall the ceiling.

I have really enjoyed sourcing about 90% of this room secondhand. It’s much more of a challenge to find exactly what you have in mind secondhand online, in the colour you want, within a sane budget, during a pandemic, but I tend to like making things exponentially more difficult for myself so why not?

I cannot believe this is what this room looked like just 4 weeks ago:

I’m going to skip immediately back to sharing the now photos as that picture above is giving my anxiety as it reminds me of how much work it took to get to now.

I would strongly encourage you to check all the final Guest Participant reveals here as it is a page exploding with amazing makeovers. We’ve all done incredible work over the past 8[+] weeks from all around the world.

I also want to sneak in one more huge thank you to Bin There Dump That and for their dumpster for my ORC. I 100% would not have taken on such a project if it wasn’t for being able to throw all the demolition drama into a dumpster and completely forget about it.

I ended up going much darker than I had originally planned for my ORC [seen below in my Week One mock-up], but I knew I wanted to have a dark room so I think it’s more of a case that I wasn’t as bold as I’d like to have been in my mock-up vs. the room not turning out how I had planned.

The couch / rug combination very much fed off of each other so depending on the colour of couch I chose, I would either get a pink rug [above] or a gray one [as seen in the final room]. How can you not know what couch you were going to get? That is one of the many joys of sourcing things secondhand! It is unpredictable and you never know what you’re going to get. You plan for things to look a certain way and then the Thrifting Gods laugh in the face of your plans.

My final thoughts on this project; yes, it will be a while before I take on another project of this caliber but I’ve enjoyed pushing myself and proving to myself that I can do it. I also enjoy that this project is now behind me and I don’t have to work on it tonight after dinner until I collapse from exhaustion.

Until the next One Room Challenge.

S O U R C E L I S T :
Wall paint – Onyx, Benjamin Moore
Fireplace – secondhand via Kijiji
Fireplace paint – Coal Black, Fusion Mineral Paint
Gold candle sconces – thrifted by a friend 🖤
Cat portraits – DIY by me, blog post coming soon
Pink Victorian-style couch – secondhand via Kijiji
Gray velvet pillowHay Design
Rug – Dark gray Graham rug, Rugs.ca
Large built-in cabinets – DIYed, blog post coming soon
Pink globeChapters Indigo
Burgundy curtain – discontinued IKEA
Literally everything else – thrifted, secondhand, found etc.

Week One – Week Two – Week Three – Week Four – Week Five – Week Six
Week Seven – Week Eight

One Room Challenge Spring 2020 – Week Seven!

The deadline is fast approaching as we near the One Room Challenge final week[s]. Next week is Week Eight and while it is the final week, from that date we have 7 days to submit out ORCs. It’s something I’ve agonized over as the weeks have progressed; will I be finished for Week Eight? What steps do I have to skip so I’m finished on time? NBD, I’m just the only person still at the drywall stage!

I know in the grand scheme of things the ORC is not something I should be loosing sleep over. But have you even been sucked into something that completely took over your mind and to people on the outside, you look to be totally over reacting? That’s what I’m feeling right now. I’m so far into this project that I can’t see out of it. Any time I express my anxiety, I feel silly. But at the same time, this is a big project for me! I mean huge. It’s the first renovation I’ve ever taken on and I’ve done 97% of the work by myself [thank you to Robert for helping me drywall the ceiling even when you threw your back out].

This week I finished installing the fiddly bits of drywall and applied and sanded one layer of mud and tape [so far]. Despite how awkward using a mud trowel, I slowly got the hang of it. My feeble wrists and office-zombie-arms however, are not made for such agility atop a step ladder attempting to mud a ceiling. I took my time and last night sanded the whole room – which has been probably the messiest step so far outside of demolishing the room in the second week.

I decided to keep the original chimney piece in the ceiling. You actually won’t see it once I’ve put the shelving units on either side of the window, but it was something quirky I wanted to keep.

I also picked up / received a few very exciting pieces this week! We first collected a fireplace mantel that I’ve had my eye on for weeks. Unfortunately the person I bought it from was probably a conspiracy theorist and a flat-earther as they were super awkward [they actually ran away from us when we arrived to curb-side pick up and spied on us from around the corner of his house].

A far less creepy addition to our front room is these absolutely gorgeous sconces a friend of mine Alicia, who spur-of-the-moment bought these a year ago in a thrift store and the moment she saw them, knew I’d love them [emotions]. Alicia offered to send them to me in time to include in my ORC and they could not be more perfect.

I feel a bit more relaxed and confident in my decision to give myself a few more days for my ORC deadline. I know it’s the right decision [again, for anyone outside of the ORC bubble, this will all seem dramatic] because I’m back to looking forward to work on our front room vs. my recent and constant dose of resentment. I want to have a beautifully finished room. I want to enjoy the process. I know I’ll be upset next Thursday when everyone else is sharing their final rooms, but I’ll just have to deal with that myself.

As usual, you can see all the Week Seven Guest Participants progress here!

Week One – Week Two – Week Three – Week Four – Week FiveWeek Six
Week SevenWeek Eight

One Room Challenge Spring 2020 – Week Six!

Did you know drywall dust makes for an excellent dry shampoo substitute? I know this because I could liken the feel of my hair to that of a 5,000 year old mammoth that was recently released from the permafrost thanks to the constant dusting of drywall gently showering me over the past few days.

I’ve got a lot done since Week Five of my One Room Challenge, but if you missed last weeks post and are also wondering why it looks like I haven’t done much, it’s because I had to rip everything out and start over.

Once I finished insulating the stud walls I built for the exterior walls and also insulated within the ceiling between the joists, I got onto adding the vapor barrier. Vapor barriers have to be installed using acoustical sealant and a staple gun. Acoustical sealant is very similar to the black tar that killed the dinosaurs housed in a caulking gun. It has the potential to get absolutely everywhere. I luckily was very tidy when applying it to the stud wall, however, when I was working in a tight corner I managed to get it all over my bare shoulder and five days later it’s still there.

Once the vapor barrier was installed everywhere securely, I moved on to prepping the room to install drywall to the ceiling. I first had to remove all the nails from the ceiling slats that were still there from the lath and plaster, as well as hammer the slats back into the ceiling joists. They had separated from the joists slightly due to the immense weight of four layers of ceiling that was on them for 30+ years [as seen below]. Trust me, these things are very secure so I was confident with leaving them for applying drywall to the ceiling [after I hammered them back in, of course].

I was absolutely terrified when it came to installing the drywall to the ceiling. I had watched many YouTube tutorials but I was very aware that I was not as strong nor as used to hoisting a massive piece of drywall over my head as said construction workers on YouTube. I can confidently say I had a panic attack as Robert and I added the first piece. It couldn’t help that I kept wobbling “I’m so sorry!” the longer it took me to drill the first few key drywall screws, while trying to help balance a huge piece of drywall over me and on top of a stepladder. It was awful.

SPOILER ALERT: we did the whole ceiling and I became much more confident with handling drywall.

It’s a finicky room and there’s barely a right angle in the whole room [old house charm], so there are gaps here and there in the drywall, but it’s nothing a bit of mud and filler can’t fix.

I also got a very exciting delivery for our front room. It’s possibly the only piece I’ve ordered brand new for my ORC and it’s the rug which will take up a huge amount of the floor space. Here’s a sneak peek …

I am incredibly pro-secondhand, but I feel weird thinking about secondhand rugs so I was very comfortable with ordering a new rug for our front room. Our rug arrived yesterday and I cannot wait to see it in the front room. I love vintage over-dyed rugs and this faux vintage one is a perfect mix of traditional design but also a little bit witchy and vampiric.

As usual, you can see all the Week Six Guest Participants progress here and all the incredible work everyone else has been doing! Looking at everyone’s progress makes me very nervous for getting everything done in the next two weeks* because I am the only one still at the drywall stage. Welp.

YouTube videos that helped immensely this week:
How to install a vapour barrier, via House Improvements
How to insulate [and vapour barrier] ceiling joists, via House Improvements
How to install drywall, via Home RenoVision DIY

Week One – Week Two – Week Three – Week Four – Week Five
Week SixWeek SevenWeek Eight

*We don’t all have to be finished and submit our final room design during Week Eight of this spring’s ORC and have from June 25th – July 2nd to submit our final rooms, but still. I can’t help but have June 25th as my deadline. I like to put myself under unnecessary pressure.