One Room Challenge Spring 2022 – Week Five!

I will admit I don’t have a huge update for this week’s One Room Challenge. My MIL arrived from Ireland this week, so leading up to Week Five I got next to nothing done in our home office. A few things arrived that I had ordered online, so that was exciting! Here are a few of the things that came in …

I ordered a magnetic doorstop and holder from Lee Valley for the back of our bathroom door. Since our house is old and hasn’t been level of plumb in about 50 years, the door to our upstairs bathroom will flap open at a strange angle. Up until now I had been using a gift bag [full of nail polish] so keep the door wide open when it’s not in use. Instead of doom scrolling one evening I started looking into some alternatives to door stops and I came across magnetic doorstops and holders.

I installed the magnetic doorstop and holder up quite high toward the top of the door. This was so, a) no one destroyed their ankles when walking by it, and, b) I overthink things and I was terrified Zelda might unscrew the magnet and then eat it somehow. So I placed it way high up.

The other order that came in this week was our EKBACKEN white marble effect laminate countertops from IKEA:

I got the idea from Christine Dovey when she updated her son Malcom’s bedroom to include a desk, which she created by adding a countertop on top of two drawer units. Pretty amazing if you ask me. So we’ll be working off of a similar vibe in our office, except I’ll be reusing the legs off our old dining room table [painted black this time around] to aid in supporting the desk [along with hidden support along the walls]. I will of course detail that process as soon as I’m finished it [which I’m excited and nervous to start].

Because I didn’t get much ORC stuff done this week, I feel I should share what I did do to kind of prove that I was super busy?

THINGS I DID THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORC:
– Painted the hallway
– Painted the main staircase
– Painted the skirting boards, doorframes, window frames and doors throughout the house
– Paint the kitchen
– Wet vacuum / deep clean the sofa
– Painted the 2nd hallway
– Moved all of Zelda’s furniture into Cora’s room
– Rearranged Cora’s room to accommodate both girls
– Set up Zelda’s room with a double bed and furniture for my MIL

As for the ORC, below is where I stand at Week Five, and as usual you can catch all the Guest Participant’s Week Five progress here!

ORC SPRING 2022 TO-DO LIST:
– Skim coat / patch ceiling
– Skim coat / patch walls
– Paint ceiling
– Paint walls
– Replace / upgrade banister at top of servants stairs
Update and reinstall handrails
– Repaint stairs [not super necessary, but I might as well]
– Install desk system
– Update secondhand tufted office chair
– Source chandelier / remove the boob light
– Source storage cabinet[s] for office items
– Possibly source and hang curtains [not sure though for either window]
– Decorate / hang artwork / overkill the space

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek FiveWeek Six
Week Seven – Week Eight

One Room Challenge Spring 2022 – Week One!

I’m reintroducing myself to blogging this year by jumping in the deep end with the One Room Challenge this spring! It’s been two years since I last partook in the ORC. My body has forgotten the panic and stress just in time to reintroduce myself to it again. Hi, my name is Alex and I’m a glutton for punishment. While my last ORC was very demanding, this year it won’t be nearly as overwhelming so I’m feeling much more confident.

This year I’ll be updating our home office and I cannot wait to start [SPOILER: I already started. But only really boring stuff, so you’re not missing out on much].

Our home office was one of the rooms that made us fall in love with this house. It’s a crooked little dormered space with lots of character, a ghost window, and access to the kitchen via a set of servants stairs. It’s so sweet and unique, as you’ll see from my ‘before’ photos of our office below …

Our sweet 17.5 year-old cat Juniper is no longer with us, but I love that she came back for a visit in these photos from 2019. She loved keeping me company while I WFH.

To give you an idea of the scale of this room, that’s our old dining room table which I dragged upstairs to use as a desk. The room is the perfect size for a home office for two. I think in the distant past this room was considered a 4th bedroom, but it can’t be considered one in today’s standards.

As you can see in the photo above, you can see the top of both staircases from our office. The banister in the office is original, but is basic, border-lining crudely made [and is uncomfortably low], so I won’t be heartbroken to change it. I’ll be replacing the banister with the same style as our main staircase for consistency. This is something I envision to be a pain in the ass and will be the worst part of the makeover.

The room has a bit of a ‘T’ shape floorplan. Behind that door [seen above] is our upstairs bathroom. In the space below the proper window in our office [vs. the ghost window] is where the main part of the office desk space will be, and will loop back in an ‘L’ shape along the back wall.

And lastly, the view up the servants stairs into the office from our kitchen – another total dreamboat view that made us fall in love with the house.

This is going to be a far less demanding makeover than my last ORC, and because of that I am so excited. The room needs to be prepped A LOT before any paint can go on the walls [and ceiling] as both were never properly finished; you can see the old seams along the edges of each piece of plasterboard. You can see some of the patching / skim coating I’ve done already above to smooth out the walls. I feel this will be the most tedious part of the project, and I’m happy to say I’ve finished most of it already. All will be revealed next week!

ORC SPRING 2022 TO-DO LIST:
– Skim coat / patch ceiling
– Skim coat / patch walls
– Paint ceiling
– Paint walls
– Replace / upgrade banister at top of servants stairs
– Update and reinstall handrail [with prettier hardware?]
– Repaint stairs [not super necessary, but I might as well]
– Install desk system
– Update secondhand tufted office chair
– Source chandelier / remove the boob light
– Source storage cabinet[s] for office items
– Possibly source and hang curtains [not sure though for either window]
– Decorate / hang artwork / overkill the space

There are going to be so many great projects this year, so if you have a chance, check out all the Guest Participants here. It’s going to be a good one.

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek FiveWeek Six
Week Seven – Week Eight

A decorative plate display for our dining room

A few weeks ago I added a plate display to our dining room and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. I added some of my favourite thrifted plates along side some very fancy one-of-a-kind plates I’ve collected over the years.

A lot of the steps I took to hang the plates are pretty obvious, but since I encountered some trial and error [i.e. I dropped a plate], I thought I’d share my whole hanging process as this was the first time I’ve ever hung up decorative plates.

I started by making an arrangement with our plates [above] and swapped them around until I was happy with how they looked. I next left them on our dining room table for 5 days and awkwardly ate each meal around them. This step is optional.

I next worked on how to hang up the plates. Two of the plates came with hooks already fixed to the back, and I think we were in a state of lockdown when I was working on this [I’m loosing track of lockdowns at this point], so it wasn’t an option for me to walk into our local hardware store to pick up some sort of plate hooks, so I DIYed my own. I took some pull tabs, bent them slightly with plyers, and super-glued the bottom to the back of the remaining plates [seem below]. As an added strengthener, I super-glued a long piece of masking tape through each the pull tab. This looks 9,000% flimsy, but the masking tape sealed rock-hard to the back, adding extra “just in case Cora goes on a stomping rampage” insurance to each plate. Trust me, this is incredibly secure.

I then began adding the plates to the wall by starting with placing the two largest plates as a starting point, then adding one plate at a time. TOP TIP: it’s a total pain in the ass, but take every plate down before you hammer in a new nail [so your pattern will be: hang up a plate, hold up another plate, mark the next nail, and take down all previous plates before nailing in the next nail]. I didn’t do this in the beginning and my hammering caused the large plain plate to jiggle off the nail and fall. Luckily, it didn’t break. Taking all the plates off before nailing in the next nail is a total time-suck, but worth it in the end.

SOURCE LIST:
1. Fuck That Shit decorative plate by Lou Brown Vintage
2. Thrifted gold plate
3. Thrifted side plate from Value Village
4. Plate left in our Lower Town apartment by previous tenants
5. Thrifted side plate from a charity shop in Dublin
6. Insect Mandala side plate by The Curious Department
7. Bubble wall sculpture by Lana Filippone
8. Thrifted tea set from a charity shop in Dublin for our wedding
9. Plate left in our Lower Town apartment by previous tenants

Special mention for one of my favourite plates which was a recent pregnancy insomnia purchase, Fuck That Shit plate from Lou Brown Vintage [pictured below is a similar plate since they’re all one-of-a-kind]:

I have many more plates I’d like to add to this corner in our dining room. A good few of which will be from Canadian artists I’ve found through Instagram over the past while, and there will be more thrifted plates as well. I’d love to have so many plates that they overflow onto the next wall.

In short: this plate display virgin is a solid convert.

Also featured: secondhand painted black highchair, pretty gold curtain rods