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 liked 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”.

One Room Challenge Spring 2018 – Week Four!

As soon as I published last week’s One Room Challenge update, I got to work painting our dining room in CIL‘s shade of Kitten White. It was a colour that was exactly what I was looking for [and let’s not forget that absolutely excellent name], BUT, because the skirting boards, doors and window frames in our dining room were still painted yellow, they made the Kitten White walls look more like a shade of lilac. Which was unfortunately the opposite of the warm gray I was looking for. So, I was on a roller coaster of emotion and everyone in our home was invited.

But luckily, once I started painting the skirting boards white, the walls more closely resembled the warm greige I was looking for and really pulled the entire room together. I can’t explain how relieved I was. I know it’s just paint, but when you’re this far down the rabbit hole and it takes you three weeks to just decide on a colour, you want it to be right.

You can see from Cora’s bedroom door below just how yellow the walls [and skirting boards] were …

I also tried to update our dining room table this week. I painted the legs and covered the top of our dining room table with faux marble contact paper. But I’m not very happy with it. It’s not a reflection on the contact paper, but I just don’t think it works with the scale of our table in this space. The only other option I can think of is to stain the top with a dark stain, but I don’t know if that’s something I’ll do before the end of the ORC.

I did get two pieces of very good news this week! Firstly, the behemoth antique mirror I’ve been coveting since October last year will be arriving on the weekend. And, at long last, our belongings will be arriving in the coming weeks from Ireland! There are so many pieces I’ve been hoping to include in my ORC but had no idea when we would receive them. Like our love dove lamp. And our burgundy curtains. And my crow globe! And about 90 other things. It will be like Christmas morning.

To check out all the other Guest Participants and how they also did this week, you can check out the full list here!

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek Four – Week Five – Week Six