One Room Challenge Spring 2018 – Week Five!

Week Five of my One Room Challenge has been a busy week, but I feel I don’t have much to show for it. Mostly because a lot of what I’ve been doing was organising, ordering and coordinating things ahead of next weeks final deadline. Not much you can see, but of the changes I have made that I can show you, here they are!

The first being that we finally got our hands on the 5’x4′ gigantic secondhand Victorian style mirror which I cannot wait to hang up [and which may not be as scary to hang up as I originally thought]. It is a beautiful beast and it might actually encourage me to brush my SAHM hair more often if I catch a glimpse of myself in it often enough. One who owns such a majestic mirror cannot possibly be seen with a 3 day old man bun perched on one’s head.

I also updated our dining room hutch with some Fusion Mineral Paint in their beautifully goth shade of Coal Black. Trust me when I say that photos of both the Victorian style mirror and the hutch don’t do enough justice to how nice they are IRL.

I really am in love with our dining room hutch now and I cannot wait to style it with all things pretty and shiny and secondhand and unusual.

Another thing I worked on this week was updating tiny and seemingly unimportant details. One of which being the messy cable system running down one side of the dining room [and hallway into the living room].

There are a lot of these cable tracks around our apartment. They’re along just one wall of the dining room, but in our living room they’re everywhere; even along the picture rail. As you can see above, there were a few layers of cables along the dining room wall. I knew I’d be painting them white along with the skirting boards, but there were hundreds of gaps and random little junctions, all of which were generally driving me insane. So I bought some filler and filled in all the gaps. I let it dry for a day and then painted them along with the skirting boards white.

They’re really small details, but it’s updates like this that I actually love doing. They’re unnoticeable when it comes to the entire room, and no one would ever notice them otherwise, but you can be sure if I hadn’t filled all those wirey gaps, I’d be sitting every morning having my breakfast, one eye twitching at all the uneven and inconsistent gaps. Why are there so many wires to begin with? What were the people who lived here doing that they needed so many wires? Is this something I should be worried of? It’s now one of life’s many mysteries.

I also painted the hall walls to match the dining room. Again, something that is not noticeable at all, in any way. It took me an hour, but you’d never notice it. But if I hadn’t painted them, it would have been so very obvious with its big brown walls peeking around the corner trying to get invited into the dining room.

There are so many small details [and huge major ones] so put into place before next weeks One Room Challenge reveal. I feel like a lot of them are the same as I mentioned last week, but this week has been a lot of “X can only get done once X and X is done first” so there are a lot of things getting done, which I hope [OH PLEASE KNOCK ON WOOD] that everything will fall into place quickly once one thing after the other starts moving and getting done.

I really can’t wait for next weeks reveal. In a way I just want to see if the design I’ve had in my head all this time is any good. It could also be a giant, weeping mess of a disaster. Much like me. Another part of me is looking forward to the ORC to being over so I can watch a few Gilmore Girl episodes during Cora’s naps instead of being up a ladder. I think I will miss the ORC though because it’s pushing me to make big decisions quickly. To get things done every week and to stick to my plan. I’m excited and nervous about the next week. I just hope there’s more of the former and less of the latter.

If you’re curious, you can check out all the Week Five guest updates here!

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek Five – Week Six

Secondhand Victorian style* mirror

There was a huge amount of excitement yesterday as one of the key pieces for my One Room Challenge finally arrived! Our new [to us] secondhand Victorian style mirror and you guys, it’s incredible.

This is another perfect example of the first point in my blog post for my top tips for buying secondhand items online; looking past the pictures. The below was the photo uploaded onto Kijiji for the mirror. It wasn’t a great photo and because of that, people didn’t even bother to check it out [or zoom in on the photo to see how beautiful it is, as I did about a thousand times].

First of all, I found this mirror last year when I was looking for a mirror for our hallway [and I ended up getting this one]. I did a search for ‘vintage mirror’ on Kijiji and I did what I almost always do; I looked at every listing, right to the last page. And that’s where I found this Victorian style mirror.

I originally saw it advertised in October 2017. I called the owner and we had a long chat about the mirror. The owner had placed a bid on one of those storage units that so many TV shows are based around. He placed a bid, won the unit and found this behemoth mirror [among other things] inside. The mirror alone was originally bought for something like $700, but the owner lost interest in the storage unit and that’s how it came up for auction. This is then when the man now selling it hinted that the mirror had been advertised online for almost a year.

A year.

I sat and thought about it. It was and epic mirror, but at the time we had just moved to Canada and we were sleeping on the floor, so I couldn’t really prioritise it over buying essential things for our home. Like you know, groceries and milk for Cora and mattresses. So I waited. And thought about it. A lot. And really just waited for an appropriate amount of time to pass until I could buy it.

After Christmas I went looking for the mirror in my bookmarked tab but it was gone. I was heartbroken, but I also figured it was too good to be true and a little bit that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Then, ahead of the One Room Challenge, I started looking on Kijiji for a mirror in mid-February and to my absolute surprise, there it was. The Mirror. It had been relisted! I immediately called the owner again. He remembered me and we struck a deal; I would take the risk of buying the mirror without seeing it if he could guarantee the mirror was not broken or scratched, it had proper hanging equipment on the back, the frame was in good condition and that the giant plaster frame was not warped in any way. The owner lived an hour away and it was still the middle of winter here in Ottawa at the time, so we agreed he would deliver it once the snow had gone.

Want to take a guess how much I paid for it?


Plus delivery.

I’m not a monster. The man lived an hour away.

Juniper for scale.

He delivered the behemoth mirror yesterday as promised and it did not disappoint. It is equal parts epic and beautiful and I woke up in a panic last night about how we’re going to safely hang the damn thing because it weighs more than an adult human [I’m going to contact a few art galleries and hardware stores and get their advice. This is the most adult I’ve ever felt].

I have to stress that my hurried photos do absolutely no justice to the detail on it and the finish. It’s really beautiful. And to give you a full idea of how big it is, it’s 50″ / 4ft tall and 60″ / 5ft wide. This thing is incredible. I cannot wait to hang it up.

EDIT: I called a professional art installer and they suggested French cleats to hang the mirror securely – something I thought of but never knew the name of! Fingers crossed.

*I have no idea if it’s a Victorian style or not. I called the last one a Baroque style mirror, so this one is being called a Victorian. But in all seriousness, if you do actually know the style or era this mirror is modeled after, I would love to know! I’m fairly clueless with dating things like this. I have Googled it, but Google isn’t great with dating “giant fancy funny shaped mirrors”.

Secondhand French provincial sofa and armchair

Despite it being a Monday, I’m very excited to share photos of our new secondhand French provincial style sofa and armchair that we got our hands on last weekend through Kijiji! And I am so in love with them.

I had been searching Kijiji for vintage and vintage-style sofas for a while and every time was met with either beautiful sofas that were way outside of our budget (a months rent minimum) or the polar opposite of threadbare couches with disproportionate price tags. Then one afternoon while Cora was napping, I logged onto Kijiji to see if there was anything new (or, I should say, ‘new’) and there on the first page was a peach coloured French provincial sofa and armchair …

The seller was looking to have the set gone by the weekend, so she marked them as free. F R E E. You can imagine the sounds I made when I saw those four letters, so I sent a message, made a few phone calls later and the next day the sofa and armchair were being delivered to our apartment.

There are a few stains on the fabric and the foam cushions have seen better days (which is understandable, I mean, it’s a 30 year old set), but it’s otherwise in incredible condition. Both the sofa and armchair are very firm and comfortable and are just what I’ve been needing for my hip problems (yay, ongoing post-pregnancy issues). The wooden frame of both the sofa and armchair are incredibly sturdy and the springs in each are perfect. But I do have big plans for this set. I’m planning on having them reupholstered in a dark gray velvet and have the back of both pieces tufted. Not too unlike this beauty …

I’ll be getting a few reupholstering quotes in the coming weeks and I’m hoping the cost of reupholstering both pieces will be exorbitantly cheaper than buying a brand new sofa (which I’m not totally against, but the past few months have been very expensive so I’m trying to keep costs down. I might splurge on a new footstool).

In the mean time, I’m happy to keep a peachy sofa set in our living room. And so is Juniper, in case you were wondering.

Image four credit.

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