Choosing New Seating for our Front Room

I’ve been making slow changes to our front room over the past 6 months. I sold our secondhand tufted Victorian-style couch [the Victorian’s were not known for comfort. This couch really just served as comfort for the cats. I never sat in it] and was soon on the lookout for a replacement sofa or set of armchairs.

I searched secondhand websites [Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace] for a month or two and anything I suggested, Robert vetoed. Hunting secondhand online can be hit or miss, and I was finding a lot of misses. I then turned to mainstream big box stores for an armchair [or two].

When I found the REVO velvet swivel armchairs by Structube I was in love. I loved the modern shape, the velvet and that mossy olive colour. I showed Robert, he equally loved them and before I knew it we had two in our virtual shopping carts. This was late January 2022. It took them 4 months to arrive [which I know is not bad at all when it comes to pandemic online orders]. I tore open the boxes when they arrived, but my excitement fell short; what was olive-mossy green online was in reality a much colder winter green set of chairs.

Womp, womp. It was not what we [I] was hoping for at all. Why didn’t you check the fabric in-store or order a sample online?, I hear you say. Well, I ordered the chairs during the peak of the Omicron wave, and Structube don’t sell swatches of their fabric. It was a risk I was willing to take, and as it turns out, was too risky for me. I put the chairs in place and thought about it for a few days, but knew deep down I couldn’t keep them. The colour was too cold. I went through the return procedure and packed them up to be collected.

I’m back to square one, but I’m not upset about that. I’d have been more upset forcing myself to like them. I do know that thanks to having them in our front room, even if for a few days, I realized I want bigger, comfier chairs. Think 90’s huge, overstuffed, patterned armchairs. You’ve Got Mail levels of comfort, emotionally and physically.

One Room Challenge Spring 2022 – Week Seven!

For Week Seven of the One Room Challenge my main focus was to custom build a desk for our home office. I had an idea of what the desk was going to look like, but I was quite nervous about starting it so in typical fashion, I kept putting off starting it until this week.

I started by dismantling our old dining room table, which I had been using as a desk in our office for the past two years. I wanted to use a lot from the existing table, but I wanted to customise it to better suit the room. So I took it apart. I first took off all four legs, then the apron [and supporting hardware] along each side. I’ve always loved the shape of the legs and the apron detail, and I love reusing things I already have at hand, so this was the perfect project.

Hello, internet! Here’s a wildly unflattering photo of me hunched over our dining table. Enjoy!

I also had ordered two EKBACKEN white marble effect laminate countertops from IKEA [to be delivered! Did you know you can save your marriage by ordering IKEA to be delivered? It can cost between $39 – $49 depending on the items, but if you know exactly what you need and you value your sanity, you can easily order them for delivery]. These were going to be the desk tops to my Franken-desk.

I measured the right section of desk to 7 feet long, square it off and cut it at a 45 degree angle.

At the same time, I measured the height of the table legs and added wooden supports at the same height along the walls to rest the desk tops along as well as to secure the desk to the wall [I’ve included a photo at the end to show from underneath what the desk looks like secured to these].

I painted the legs and apron pieces in 2 – 3 coats of Coal Black paint by Fusion Mineral Paint. I love this paint so much and have used it on countless projects. I immediately knew I’d be painted the legs in this favourite paint of mine.

Once they were dry, I attached the legs and aprons to the underside of the desk top using a mix of brackets and existing hardware from the old dining table [seen below].

I then flipped the desk over and with help from Robert, got the desk in place. He held the desk still while I secured it to the wall using more of those metal brackets [while I was drilling in the screws the desk would resist and move up and down, so I definitely needed a second pair of hands holding the desk still and making sure it didn’t jump too much].

I’m ridiculously pleased with how it turned out. It doesn’t look too Frankenstein-ed and looks quite professional if I may say!

The Week-Seven-panic has set in and I’m in a mad dash to make it to the finish line. Luckily, I’m not alone as my fellow ORC Guest Participants get the last few projects done this week. I’ve chipped away at my to-do list, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that some aspects of my home office won’t be finished on time for the big reveal next week, and after a lot of panic, I’ve come to terms with the room not being completely ready and I’m okay with that.

What I did manage to achieve this week was pretty good, meaning I don’t have too much left:

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 Five
Week SixWeek SevenWeek Eight

Our secondhand 1900’s solid wood cradle [and an announcement]

Trigger warning: this blog post mentions a previous miscarriage.

Today we collected quite possibly the most exciting secondhand find I’ve found in a long time. Our newest secondhand addition is for our upcoming newest addition …

We’ve been keeping a little secret this past while. Though, a not so little secret if you saw my midriff right now.

At the end of March we had a miscarriage when I was 12 weeks pregnant. When we found out in August that we were pregnant again, we kept it to ourselves for a long time. Entirely out of nerves and fear. We didn’t tell anyone, especially our families, until two weeks ago after my 20-week scan.

Way back in the beginning of 2020 when we were pregnant the first time, I was on the lookout for a crib / cradle for the downstairs of our house. I checked out my usual online secondhand sites and bookmarked loads of pieces, but never ended up contacting anyone because of our miscarriage. It was only this week that I started nervously looking for cribs and cradles again.

I returned to Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace to look for secondhand cribs when I noticed on Facebook Marketplace that one of the cribs I saved from earlier this year was still available. I contacted the owner this morning to see if it was still available and if so, we could collect it today. It amazingly was still available so we drove to view it*. Trust me when I say the photos of this crib do not do it justice. I feel I need to take more pictures of it in the morning in better lighting. It is huge and solid and gorgeous. The owner explained that they used it with their kids, that he was in it when he was a baby [he was in his mid-60’s] and previous to that, his mother was in it when she was a baby. It’s easily an Edwardian piece, possibly Victorian, but I think that would be a bit of a stretch. It is so gorgeous and huge and I am so happy it will now be part of our home.

The cradle was online for a year before I contacted the owner. A year! It was originally priced at $150, but was reduced to $75 earlier this year. I took a chance and offered $50 and the owner accepted [side note: they were the nicest most genuine couple, which just adds to how amazing this cradle is. They offered to bring us snowmobiling once it’s safe to do so – insert hormonal ugly crying face here].

For anyone wondering, no I will not be painting it. I’ve been thinking about adding a small monogram to each end of the cradle base, but that’s as far as I’d go with ‘updating’ it. I think it would be an absolute insult to paint just for the sake of it as it’s way too beautiful.

p.s. I’ve been so nervous to buy anything in preparation of baby’s arrival that I’ve only bought one tiny hat and a onesie so far, and now this cradle. I know this is common with couples who have previously suffered a miscarriage, but I never realized how much of a mental minefield it is. I’m scared to buy baby clothes and I’m scared every time I go to the bathroom. I almost don’t want to talk about it as I feel I’m jinxing something. But I’m also excited and so happy I could cry. Oh, and let’s not forget the hormonal guilt; by keeping it quiet I’m not celebrating this baby as much as I did with Cora [hormones should be illegal]. I want to be excited and I want to get carried away preparing for our baby. As I’m writing this I can feel her kicking away, reminding me to go to the bathroom. We have 4 months until her arrival [we’re due May 2nd!], so I’m choosing to let myself get carried away with baby stuff now 🖤

*We’re in a lock down here in Ontario and therefore took all the necessary precautions when viewing the cradle. We all met outside, all wore masks and kept very far apart from one another. As soon as we got home with the cradle I disinfected it entirely and we washed our hands thoroughly. We didn’t travel far to view the cradle either so were not visiting a city.