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.

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 One!

I am super excited to share that I will be partaking in this spring’s One Room Challenge as a guest participant! Pretty much since buying our first home last autumn I’ve been weighing up which room I would makeover first, and this time as a fully-fledged ORC participant [vs. when I participated in spring 2018 as a renter].

I decided to update the room we’ve called up until now the front room. We call it that because it’s at the front of the house and it’s a room. A room that serves zero purpose other than to be Random Furniture Limbo™ and somewhere to put Cora’s dollhouse. It’s basically is where furniture goes to die, but I want it to be so much more. I want it to be a room we want to spend time in.

Before I detail my plans, I want to acknowledge that I am taking this project very seriously during the current COVID-19 pandemic. I will not be hiring anyone to come into the house to do work. I will be doing all the work [with help from Robert when I need a second pair of hands]. Anything that comes into the house will get the same treatment everything gets these days; it’ll be Lysolled within an inch of its life. Anyone who follows knows I prefer to source items secondhand. I will continue to do so as it’s very budget-friendly and I strongly believe it is more environmentally responsible than ordering brand new everything. Anything secondhand coming into our house will be Lysolled and where needed will sit for 2 – 3 weeks in our shed to be on the safe side and to kill off any unnecessary visitors. Because of the pandemic, we have 8 weeks to complete this ORC project vs. the usual 6. I am not going into this project being flippant. Trust me, I’ve thought of all the scenarios and have the stress-induced acne to prove it.

Now that that’s out of the way, onto my ORC!

Our front room is okay at the moment. I mean, it’s livable. But I have big plans. The main items I want to achieve are: 

CEILING AND WALLS
Both and all will be ripped out. The 50’s / 60’s style ceiling tiles will be removed, the faux wood grain panelling will be ripped out [the entire room has that 80’s wood paneled walls, but it’s been sneakily painted since so you can’t tell it’s there], and then on the exterior walls I will be insulating, drywalling, plastering, then adding the good-kind of wood paneling treatment on the walls and finally painting them all a dark, warm gray. It’s a tall task but it’s also a small room so I’ll take my time. 

I’ll be partnering with the incredible team at Bin There Dump That, who very thoughtful offered to send a 14-yard dumpster to help with our renovation. It will be arriving tomorrow and I cannot wait to throw every single ceiling tile into it with a smile on my face. I’ll detail the whole process next week! 

SHELVING
At the far end of the room [as seen wall above] using secondhand shelving units on either side of the window, I’m hoping to create a built-in-shelf-feel as well as make a window seat under the window. I’m planning on painting the shelves white, but I’ll flexible with maybe painting them the same colour as the walls [but am not sure if that might be overwhelming]. Again, I will be using as much secondhand as I can and using up the plethora of leftover wood scraps we inherited when we bought the house. Waste-not.

FIREPLACE
I so desperately want a fireplace somewhere in the original section of our home, but without having to spend $10,000 to install it. So, I’ve sourced a fireplace mantle secondhand for next to nothing which I’m hoping to place where Cora’s dollhouse currently sits [as seen above]. The fireplace is currently oak and I’m debating whether or not to paint it or leave it as is. I have 8 weeks to decide so I’ll take my time.

There will be some items I want to buy new, one being a focal rug. It’s not something I want to source secondhand right now and I’d prefer to buy a new one. If anyone can suggest a great Canadian company that specializes in over-dyed or faux vintage rugs, please let me know! I have a backup rug but would rather support something more local.

Check out the full list of Guest Participants here! I’ve had a quick look at this year’s projects and they are amazing. I’m equal parts looking forward to starting and also WTF am I about to take on and I don’t even know it yet. I guess time will tell!

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek Five
Week SixWeek SevenWeek Eight