One Room Challenge Spring 2018 – Week Four!

As soon as I published last week’s One Room Challenge update, I got to work painting our dining room in CIL‘s shade of Kitten White. It was a colour that was exactly what I was looking for [and let’s not forget that absolutely excellent name], BUT, because the skirting boards, doors and window frames in our dining room were still painted yellow, they made the Kitten White walls look more like a shade of lilac. Which was unfortunately the opposite of the warm gray I was looking for. So, I was on a roller coaster of emotion and everyone in our home was invited.

But luckily, once I started painting the skirting boards white, the walls more closely resembled the warm greige I was looking for and really pulled the entire room together. I can’t explain how relieved I was. I know it’s just paint, but when you’re this far down the rabbit hole and it takes you three weeks to just decide on a colour, you want it to be right.

You can see from Cora’s bedroom door below just how yellow the walls [and skirting boards] were …

I also tried to update our dining room table this week. I painted the legs and covered the top of our dining room table with faux marble contact paper. But I’m not very happy with it. It’s not a reflection on the contact paper, but I just don’t think it works with the scale of our table in this space. The only other option I can think of is to stain the top with a dark stain, but I don’t know if that’s something I’ll do before the end of the ORC.

I did get two pieces of very good news this week! Firstly, the behemoth antique mirror I’ve been coveting since October last year will be arriving on the weekend. And, at long last, our belongings will be arriving in the coming weeks from Ireland! There are so many pieces I’ve been hoping to include in my ORC but had no idea when we would receive them. Like our love dove lamp. And our burgundy curtains. And my crow globe! And about 90 other things. It will be like Christmas morning.

To check out all the other Guest Participants and how they also did this week, you can check out the full list here!

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek Four – Week Five – Week Six

One Room Challenge Spring 2018 – Week Three!

After I published last weeks One Room Challenge update, Handyman Dave came over to take down the monstrosity of track lighting in our dining room and MacGyvered our secondhand Kijiji chandelier in place. Our dining room chandelier is a lot bigger than our living room chandelier and is heavy even without all the acrylic crystals. I can attest to how heavy it is because I had the embarrassing task of [trying to] hold the chandelier in my outstretched, feeble blogger arms while Handyman Dave wired it into place.

Do you want to know my favourite part of this chandelier? Its $10 price tag. It’s exactly the kind of warm and fuzzy feelings I get from hunting down really good secondhand deals.

On Sunday I got the worst part of my One Room Challenge over and done with; painting the ceiling. There are few things I hate more than painting ceilings; painting radiators would be one of them and people who don’t cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze is another. I got out my tiny stepladder and in one afternoon I managed to paint three coats of white paint over the existing orange ceiling.

Painting a ceiling is a lot like being pregnant; during the first coat you feel awful. Why did you get yourself into this situation? You’re dizzy and it takes you a while to acclimatize to what’s happening, but the second coat is much better. You feel confident. This isn’t so bad! I’m getting results! I feel great and this isn’t as hard as they said it’s going to be! Then it’s time for the inevitable third coat. You’re sore, irritable and you just want to get it over with. You want nothing more than to give up, but you know there’s only one way out of this situation and you’re left unable to walk properly once it’s all over. But the results are so worth it.

So yes, I am a total martyr for painting the ceiling and not giving up. The white ceiling immediately made the room feel better. I thought many times about why a person would paint a ceiling orange and I still cannot figure out for the life of me why [you can see our previously orange ceiling here].

But the most satisfying part of this week was finally deciding on a colour for the walls. I went three times to Home Depot to get five different CIL paint samples. I wanted to try each paint in every lighting scenario before deciding on one. Up high, down low, from the windows to the walls.

The moment I saw the name of it, Kitten White, I knew it was going to be the right shade of greige for us and luckily, it was perfect! It took a while for me to be fully convinved though as the walls in our dining room are currently yellow, so it made the Kitten White look almost lilac. So I tried painting it up by the [now] white ceiling for a neutral reference, and it looked purrfect. I also held lots of artwork [like our iBride trays I was crazy enough to pack in my suitcase when we emigrated] as well as gold accents and it looks B E A U T I F U L with everything.

It works perfectly with our Classic Burgundy feature wall which, let’s face it, is a colour that will be featured a lot in our apartment so it was important that whatever greige I chose worked with it.

I picked up 3.68L of Kitten White last night and I actually cannot wait to get painting. Also, the faux marble contact paper I ordered to recover the dining room table arrived yesterday so I’ll be updating that in the coming days. I’m also a few steps closer to painting our dining room hutch black, getting a second hutch for the other side of the room, our antique gold mirror should be here within the next few weeks and I’ll be heading to IKEA soon to try out some dining chairs. It’s slowly starting to come together, but I can’t help but panic a bit ZOMG I ONLY HAVE THREE MORE WEEKS / three weeks? That’s tons of time! I am a glass case of emotion.

p.s. Check out all the Guest Participants’ Week Three ORC updates here! There are some amazing transformations happening right now.

Week OneWeek TwoWeek Three – Week Four – Week Five – Week Six

One Room Challenge Spring 2018 – Week One!

The Interior DIYer - One Room Challenge Spring 2018 Week One!

I am very excited and a bit nervous today to share that I’ll be participating in the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge as a guest participant! It’s something I’ve followed year after year and I’m excited to finally be participating this year. For anyone who found me here thanks to the ORC, hello! I’m Alex and I’ll be redesigning the dining room in our rented apartment here in Ottawa over the next six weeks as part of the Spring 2018 ORC.

We’ve been living in our Lower Town apartment in Ottawa for six months which has given me plenty of time to think of design ideas and decide on what I’d really like to do with our dining room. To give you an idea of what I’ll be working with, here is our dining room as it is right now …

The Interior DIYer - One Room Challenge Spring 2018 Week One

It’s the brightest room in our apartment and also where Cora and I spend most of our day. It’s the biggest room and I did think about maybe tackling a smaller room for my first ORC, but we spend so much time here as a family that it made the most sense to update it first. We’ll also have guests staying with us over the next few months so it’ll be a [more] welcoming space for them.

I’m hoping to source as many secondhand pieces as I can for this challenge. I will be getting some brand new pieces, but I’ll be putting a lot of thought into each piece before buying it. So starting from the top down, here’s an outline of what I’m planning on doing to our dining room! …

Change the lighting
I luckily already have a secondhand chandelier ready for our dining room. It’s very similar to our living room chandelier but bigger. I’ve been patiently waiting for the day when we can take down the track lighting in here as this cluster does absolutely nothing for this room.

Paint the ceiling
It’s not as intrusive as you might think, but it’s time for peachy ceiling to go. I have leftover ceiling paint from updating our living room so I’ll use up the remainder of that.

Paint the walls greige
It’s taken me a while to come to terms with it, but I’m a big fan of greige [grey + beige]. I like neutral walls but I’m not very comfortable with stark white or cold greys, and greige is just the right mix of neutral and warm I’m looking for this room.

Burgundy focal wall
There’s an opportunity to make one of our hall walls [seen below] a focal wall as part of my dining room update. It’s a dark area so I’ll be embracing it and painting the wall burgundy with the leftover paint from our living room.

Contact paper dining table
We inherited the dining table from the previous tenants in our apartment. It truly is a beautiful table, but it’s seen better days; the legs are scratched and painted different colours and the top is dotted with spilled red nail polish, coffee stains [that I can’t remove] and has a finish I’m not in love with [the knots are too dark for my liking and I’m not keen on the pattern]. So instead of buying a new table, I’ll be painting the legs and covering the top with faux marble contact paper [like what I did with our coffee table].

New seating
We bought our dining chairs secondhand and they have not held up well. Along with my persistent hip problems, I can’t sit in them for very long without immediately regretting it. And they’re falling apart. The chairs, that is. And my hips too I guess. So I’m on the lookout for well made chairs with a bit of a modern design, or possibly two chairs and a bench? I’m still open to options.

Large vintage mirror
Just wait until you see the beauty of a mirror I found on Kijiji. Once the walls are painted I have the tall task of safely securing it to one of the walls without bringing the entire building down.

Paint the dining hutch
I found this beautiful hutch on Kijiji for just $30 a few months ago. The wood finish is terrible so I have no hesitation painting it with Fusion Mineral Paint‘s shade of Coal Black and distressing the finish a little to make it a little less perfect.

I have so many more details and ideas to add to the space, but for now I threw together the below to give you an idea of how I’m hoping our dining room to feel. I’ve been hoarding little thrifted treasures for this project for what seems like forever, so I really can’t wait for all my ideas take shape! I’m still in the excited stage and waiting for the WTF were you thinking trying to do this in 6 weeks with a toddler underfoot? stage to set in. Give me a day or two and I’ll be panicking.

Check out the full list of Guest Participants here! I should have stayed up and added my link when the link-up went live, but I slept through my alarm 😅 #MomProblems

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