New [to me] French Provincial dresser!

Two years. That’s how long I’ve been looking for a proper storage unit for our dining room. A few times a week [usually to break up my newfound hobby of doom-scrolling], I’d open my Kijiji app and search for dressers. I waded through so many ads and honestly it wasn’t until two weeks ago that I saw a dresser that I loved so much that it made me panic that someone else was going to get it before me.

It was a 9-drawer French provincial dresser that was in really good shape and wasn’t priced at $300 by someone who has never sold anything online before in their life. I feel I had an advantage as this is the photo that was advertised online, which didn’t deter me at all:

I am willing to guarantee only 5 people viewed that ad because of the photo; it had a drawer missing, but if you took a moment to read the caption it said all drawers were included and functioning [“I’m not dealing with a dresser with only 8 drawers!“]. Their loss!

After a few messages with the seller, we were due to collect the dresser the following weekend. We rented a tiny U-Haul [$14.95 + tax] and collected the dresser [$95] in Ottawa. It was advertised at $110 and managed to get the price down enough to cover the U-Haul.

It’s SO PERFECT for our living room. Our previous dresser, which was 120% a placeholder until I got a much more appropriate piece of furniture [read all about it here!], was so much smaller and flimsier than this piece.

It won’t be a popular opinion, but I will be painting this piece black. It has such a similar shape to our dining room hutch, which I painted black four years ago [and is in perfect condition still!]. I’ll also be distressing the edges like I did with our hutch, which I’m hoping will further tie to two pieces together and make them look like a set. At the moment with the dresser in its original wooden finish, it’s too much brown / orange / yellow in the room. Especially with the gold mirror hanging above it and the ‘kitten white’ beige walls, I do feel the dresser being black will anchor this side of the room.

I’m quite excited to paint it and maybe this week I’ll be able to cross it off my [seemingly never-ending] to-d-o list.

This is a perfect opportunity for some self-promotion as I used my four tips for buying secondhand items online when buying this dresser! To read about my tips in detail, check out my blogpost here.

One Room Challenge Spring 2022 – Week Eight!

It is here! At long last! It’s reveal day for this year’s One Room Challenge and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve had a busy few weeks outside of completing the ORC, so I’ve not had as much time as I’d like to complete it. So instead of beating myself up [like I do with most things], I’ve decided to style and photograph our home office as it currently is, and as time goes by and I finish my to-do list, I’ll update this post. My past self would be very surprised with how chill I am right now.

Enough about that. And more about my home office makeover!

A huge part of my ORC this year was paint related, with the most drama being when I accidentally ordered the wrong paint finish and had to, in total, paint the walls 7 times 🙃 That was fun. I spent a lot of time trying to level the ceiling [which worked out in the end] and it feels like not enough time making our home office pretty. But it’s a work in progress and no room stays the same, so I’m looking forward to adding further detail to this room over time.

Anyone remember that secondhand tufted office chair I picked up secondhand two years ago? *crickets* Well I dug it out of the basement, painted the leather in Fusion Mineral Paint‘s shade of Coal Black, sanded down the wood and refinished it. It looks SO MUCH BETTER. It goes really well with our other painted chair, which I still get questions about to this day, our painted tufted leather armchair which is happily at home in the corner of our office now.

Our custom built office desk – now that was a labour of love. I’m SO HAPPY with how it turned out. My Week Seven blog post was all about how I Frankenstein-ed our desk using IKEA kitchen counter tops and pieces from our old dining room table. I also made a reel about it on Instagram, which you can check out here!

I can’t publish this post without mentioning the wasp ‘art’ I made. When I repaired the wall under the window in Week Two, I had found a massive [very old] wasps next in the brickwork. I was able to salvage pieces of it, which I knew I wanted to frame in some way once the room was properly finished. I had bought this trio of frames from Value Village years ago and never used them. When I was rummaging through my decor stash to decorate our office, I found it and knew it would be perfect. I simply glued the nest pieces to some black velvet. I don’t know how long it will last like this, but I love it for now.

Speaking of window repairs, here is what our home office looked like at the beginning of this year’s ORC …

Click here to see all the before photos of our home office. It wasn’t in bad shape, but it also wasn’t good.

ORC SPRING 2022 SOURCE LIST:
WALLS:
– Sico paint in ‘Army Green’ in flat / matte finish
DESK:
EKBACKEN kitchen counter tops [one large, one small] from IKEA
– Legs and apron taken from our old dining room table
ACCESSORIES:
Black tufted armchair, secondhand, painted with Fusion Mineral Paint in ‘Coal Black’
– Tufted office desk chair, secondhand from Kijiji [updated blog post coming soon!]
SANELA dark grey curtains from IKEA
Vanilla Sugar candle from Wick Witch
– Picture frames, all thrifted [sorry]
– Silhouette paintings, painted by myself
More will be added to this list as I continue to update our home office!

You can check all the Week Eight / final reveals by all the Guest Participants here! I cannot wait to scroll through the finished projects this week and see all the transformations. It is my goal during each one of Zelda’s naps this week to view each update. So much effort goes into these projects and I always love to see what everyone has challenged themselves to design.

I’ve completed all but 3 or 4 items off my to-do list. The main things I didn’t get around to going is: replacing the banister at the top of the servants stairs, painting the servants stairs, update the main light in our home office [bye boob light], and then sourcing small decor items like a pillow for the chair and printing the digital artwork I bought.

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

Thank you to everyone who had supported and encouraged me during this year’s ORC! It’s been a great project, and I truly cannot wait to use our office now. Until next time.

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Week SixWeek SevenWeek Eight

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