One Room Challenge Spring 2018 – Week Five!

Week Five of my One Room Challenge has been a busy week, but I feel I don’t have much to show for it. Mostly because a lot of what I’ve been doing was organising, ordering and coordinating things ahead of next weeks final deadline. Not much you can see, but of the changes I have made that I can show you, here they are!

The first being that we finally got our hands on the 5’x4′ gigantic secondhand Victorian style mirror which I cannot wait to hang up [and which may not be as scary to hang up as I originally thought]. It is a beautiful beast and it might actually encourage me to brush my SAHM hair more often if I catch a glimpse of myself in it often enough. One who owns such a majestic mirror cannot possibly be seen with a 3 day old man bun perched on one’s head.

I also updated our dining room hutch with some Fusion Mineral Paint in their beautifully goth shade of Coal Black. Trust me when I say that photos of both the Victorian style mirror and the hutch don’t do enough justice to how nice they are IRL.

I really am in love with our dining room hutch now and I cannot wait to style it with all things pretty and shiny and secondhand and unusual.

Another thing I worked on this week was updating tiny and seemingly unimportant details. One of which being the messy cable system running down one side of the dining room [and hallway into the living room].


There are a lot of these cable tracks around our apartment. They’re along just one wall of the dining room, but in our living room they’re everywhere; even along the picture rail. As you can see above, there were a few layers of cables along the dining room wall. I knew I’d be painting them white along with the skirting boards, but there were hundreds of gaps and random little junctions, all of which were generally driving me insane. So I bought some filler and filled in all the gaps. I let it dry for a day and then painted them along with the skirting boards white.

They’re really small details, but it’s updates like this that I actually love doing. They’re unnoticeable when it comes to the entire room, and no one would ever notice them otherwise, but you can be sure if I hadn’t filled all those wirey gaps, I’d be sitting every morning having my breakfast, one eye twitching at all the uneven and inconsistent gaps. Why are there so many wires to begin with? What were the people who lived here doing that they needed so many wires? Is this something I should be worried of? It’s now one of life’s many mysteries.

I also painted the hall walls to match the dining room. Again, something that is not noticeable at all, in any way. It took me an hour, but you’d never notice it. But if I hadn’t painted them, it would have been so very obvious with its big brown walls peeking around the corner trying to get invited into the dining room.

There are so many small details [and huge major ones] so put into place before next weeks One Room Challenge reveal. I feel like a lot of them are the same as I mentioned last week, but this week has been a lot of “X can only get done once X and X is done first” so there are a lot of things getting done, which I hope [OH PLEASE KNOCK ON WOOD] that everything will fall into place quickly once one thing after the other starts moving and getting done.

I really can’t wait for next weeks reveal. In a way I just want to see if the design I’ve had in my head all this time is any good. It could also be a giant, weeping mess of a disaster. Much like me. Another part of me is looking forward to the ORC to being over so I can watch a few Gilmore Girl episodes during Cora’s naps instead of being up a ladder. I think I will miss the ORC though because it’s pushing me to make big decisions quickly. To get things done every week and to stick to my plan. I’m excited and nervous about the next week. I just hope there’s more of the former and less of the latter.

If you’re curious, you can check out all the Week Five guest updates here!

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek Five – Week Six

Dining room hutch makeover in Coal Black

I really need to update some more pieces of furniture in our home because I am SOOOOOOO happy with how our dining room hutch turned out.

I wanted a display hutch for our dining room ahead of the One Room Challenge so I started looking online months ago because I knew that, especially when you’re looking for something specific secondhand, you need a huge head start as it most likely will not be something you will find in a week or two. Once again, Kijiji did not disappoint. I found this hutch advertised online and I loved the shape of it. The fancy little details are what really got me and I knew that while it didn’t look great as it was, it was a very sturdy piece and with a bit of paint and care, I could have it looking beautiful. A few phone calls later, the dresser was ours for just $30 [it was listed at $40, but I practiced my substandard bargaining and managed to get $10 off 💃].

I once again enlisted in GoFor‘s help to collect and deliver the dresser [and help carry it up the stairs] and that afternoon it was in our dining room just waiting for the One Room Challenge to happen.

Giant lopsided SAHM hair making a special appearance. Haiii!

I knew from the condition and finish of the hutch that it was a perfect piece to be updated with paint. There’s nothing I hate more than seeing a beautiful piece of furniture with beautiful wood being mauled by paint. The worst ever; mahogany. Or really beautiful antiques. This hutch was neither of those so I knew I was perfect for paint.

One of the first options that came to mind was to paint it black. But I didn’t want it to be overwhelmingly black, so I thought about lightly distressing it along its many edges.

I had heard of the Canadian brand of Fusion Mineral Paint a few times since moving here, so I checked out lots of their customer projects and reviews. I loved the finish it gave and was convinced by all the reviews of their paint so I looked up our local stockist. I headed to Blue Bird Upcycle here in Ottawa and picked up a pot of Fusion Mineral Paint’s Coal Black.

I followed Erin’s advice for preparing the hutch, then painted two coats of Coal Black over the entire piece. I let it dry overnight then the next day I started distressing it with a piece of wet coarse sandpaper. It was looking so good that I distressed the entire thing in one sitting. It did take me about 3 hours [those curves around the glass were tough], but it immediately looking lovelier and lovelier is what kept me going.

I had thought about replacing the hardware, but to be honest I likes the idea of the hardware taking a back seat. I really liked the shape of the existing hardware but it had seen better days and didn’t have a great finish, so I decided to paint over it all. I also never came to a decision about what to do with the inside of the hutch, so I left it untouched. I painted the edge of the shelves to make them stand out a bit more, but other than that, I did nothing. I kind of like leaving the original wood [or ‘wood’] finish inside the hutch. I think it warms it up a bit and makes it seem less harsh against all the black.

I really can’t wait to style our hutch properly and share it with the rest of the room for my One Room Challenge because our hutch looks so much better when you see it as part of the room. Not long now!

Secondhand Victorian style* mirror

There was a huge amount of excitement yesterday as one of the key pieces for my One Room Challenge finally arrived! Our new [to us] secondhand Victorian style mirror and you guys, it’s incredible.

This is another perfect example of the first point in my blog post for my top tips for buying secondhand items online; looking past the pictures. The below was the photo uploaded onto Kijiji for the mirror. It wasn’t a great photo and because of that, people didn’t even bother to check it out [or zoom in on the photo to see how beautiful it is, as I did about a thousand times].

First of all, I found this mirror last year when I was looking for a mirror for our hallway [and I ended up getting this one]. I did a search for ‘vintage mirror’ on Kijiji and I did what I almost always do; I looked at every listing, right to the last page. And that’s where I found this Victorian style mirror.

I originally saw it advertised in October 2017. I called the owner and we had a long chat about the mirror. The owner had placed a bid on one of those storage units that so many TV shows are based around. He placed a bid, won the unit and found this behemoth mirror [among other things] inside. The mirror alone was originally bought for something like $700, but the owner lost interest in the storage unit and that’s how it came up for auction. This is then when the man now selling it hinted that the mirror had been advertised online for almost a year.

A year.

I sat and thought about it. It was and epic mirror, but at the time we had just moved to Canada and we were sleeping on the floor, so I couldn’t really prioritise it over buying essential things for our home. Like you know, groceries and milk for Cora and mattresses. So I waited. And thought about it. A lot. And really just waited for an appropriate amount of time to pass until I could buy it.

After Christmas I went looking for the mirror in my bookmarked tab but it was gone. I was heartbroken, but I also figured it was too good to be true and a little bit that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Then, ahead of the One Room Challenge, I started looking on Kijiji for a mirror in mid-February and to my absolute surprise, there it was. The Mirror. It had been relisted! I immediately called the owner again. He remembered me and we struck a deal; I would take the risk of buying the mirror without seeing it if he could guarantee the mirror was not broken or scratched, it had proper hanging equipment on the back, the frame was in good condition and that the giant plaster frame was not warped in any way. The owner lived an hour away and it was still the middle of winter here in Ottawa at the time, so we agreed he would deliver it once the snow had gone.

Want to take a guess how much I paid for it?

$100.

Plus delivery.

I’m not a monster. The man lived an hour away.


Juniper for scale.

He delivered the behemoth mirror yesterday as promised and it did not disappoint. It is equal parts epic and beautiful and I woke up in a panic last night about how we’re going to safely hang the damn thing because it weighs more than an adult human [I’m going to contact a few art galleries and hardware stores and get their advice. This is the most adult I’ve ever felt].

I have to stress that my hurried photos do absolutely no justice to the detail on it and the finish. It’s really beautiful. And to give you a full idea of how big it is, it’s 50″ / 4ft tall and 60″ / 5ft wide. This thing is incredible. I cannot wait to hang it up.

EDIT: I called a professional art installer and they suggested French cleats to hang the mirror securely – something I thought of but never knew the name of! Fingers crossed.

*I have no idea if it’s a Victorian style or not. I called the last one a Baroque style mirror, so this one is being called a Victorian. But in all seriousness, if you do actually know the style or era this mirror is modeled after, I would love to know! I’m fairly clueless with dating things like this. I have Googled it, but Google isn’t great with dating “giant fancy funny shaped mirrors”.