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 đź–¤

*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 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

DIY Friday – painted cabinet using Fusion Mineral Paint

A few weeks ago, while still in our current state of isolation, we went for a drive to get out of the house as we were beginning to feel more and more trapped in. While we were mid-way down a country road I saw a sweet little piece of furniture ruthlessly abandoned on the side of the road …

If you could hear the photo above it would sound like Robert grinding his teeth as he did a u-turn and popped the trunk so I could take yet another wayward piece of furniture home. To add insult to injury, the cabinet didn’t fit in the trunk so we had to secure it [safely] in the seat next to Cora in the back of the car. Robert was thrilled.

This was a piece I knew exactly how I wanted to update and needed to do little-to-no planning. I wanted to paint it with Fusion Mineral Paint‘s shade of Coal Black. No wonder this poor thing was abandoned as the finish of the wood wasn’t exactly complimentary to the velvet inside and the two clashed quite a bit [I thought. To each their own].

The first thing I did when I brought this little display cabinet home was wipe it down with antibacterial wipes because coronavirus. I removed all the little hinges holding the glass in place [you can see the black hinges in the photo above], carefully removed all the glass and got to work.

It was really straight forward project after that; using a small brush I smoothly applied 3 layers of Coal Black paint. I waited a minimum of 3 hours between coats of paint to ensure each coat was dry, but it will be a few more days before the paint is cured [want to know the difference between dry and cured? Fusion Mineral Paint has a great post all about it here].

This was such a straight forward project and thanks to the incredible finish with Fusion Paint, the completed look is so perfect. I was debating sanding the edges of the display case after applying the paint [to give a similar distressed look like our Coal Black dining room hutch], but I decided against it since the “wood” finish / stain was such a strange colour, it is what would come through. I think that shade needs to stay under 3 coats of paint.

DISCLOSURE - while this post is not sponsored, I did receive this paint free of charge from Fusion Mineral Paint in exchange for a blog post. I only work with brands that I like and of course, think you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer.