One Room Challenge Spring 2022 – Week Three!

Week Three can be a fun week for many people undertaking the One Room Challenge. I say ‘fun’ in massive exaggerated italicized letters. It’s when little problems come sneaking out of the literal and figurative woodwork. Week Two lures you into a false sense of confidence. Week Three makes you question why you even decided to improve your home.

It wasn’t all bad though. I finally finished the ceiling! Considering the amount of work that went into updating the ceiling to make it look like a … ceiling … is very anti-climactic, but it’s finished!

The above photo is what the ceiling looked like when I was finished flattening [levelling? repairing?] the ceiling [you can see what I mean by flattening in my Week Two blog post].

I ended up doing three coats of paint and the ceiling looks miles better [below is showing only one coat]. I actually didn’t get the ceiling looking as perfect as I had wanted it to, but I could easily see myself spending all eight weeks of this just sanding small patches of ceiling and adding “just one more layer!” of pollyfilla. So I decided it’s an old house and has character, and accepted it’s little quirky bits. Because otherwise I would have driven myself insane.

I haven’t finished flattening [again, levelling? I’m unsure of the correct terminology here] all the walls in the office just yet [by using the same treatment as the ceiling, but I have finished repairing the tape on two walls, so I jumped in and started to paint.

PLOT TWIST: I bought the wrong paint finish. Welp. Don’t ask me why, but I bought eggshell finish paint instead of matte paint, so all the tiny imperfections I’ve been working so hard to hide are now essentially in 3D thanks to the eggshell finish. But all is not lost. I’m going to continue painting the room [as I bought 3.75L of eggshell paint] in two coats of paint, I’ll lightly sand the walls, wipe it down, then paint one coat of matte paint of the same colour on top [I’ll detail this further in next week’s blog post, as I will have hopefully finished the steps by then].

I’m not the only one running into difficulty when it comes to Week Three, as you can see by all the other Guest Participants here. It’s a good week to check out if you find you have some time to browse everyone’s progress as there are big changes across the board. I’m also slowly making my way through my to-do list. I’m hoping to have at least two more items crossed off my list by Week Four:

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

One Room Challenge Spring 2022 – Week Two!

My first week of this season’s One Room Challenge was a tedious one and I feel like I didn’t get much done. But at the same time, I know once I get the tedious and incredibly boring stuff finished, things will fall into place quickly. As soon as I paint the ceiling and walls the room will feel 70% completed, so let’s get this week’s boring updates over with!

One tedious thing I fixed this week was the strange drywall “repair” under the ghost window in our home office …

I honestly think someone tried to repair a hole in the wall by mushing a piece of fabric into it and then painted over it roughly 40 times [seen above]. SPOILER ALERT: it didn’t work as well as they thought. Insert Chrissy Teigen disappointed gif here. It would move when I touched it, so I ripped it out. While I was giving this corner some special attention, I peeled away the taping someone had half-assedly put along the corners 60 years ago, then everyone who’s lived in this house since has ignored it instead of fixing it [seen below].

ALEX ENTERS THE CHAT. This is definitely a satisfying fixe. I started by removing the chonky repair work under the window but quickly realized it would be easier to just replace the entire panel under the window. Once I got in there, I found a giant [and I will stress a very old] wasps nest.

I carefully removed it, filled the gap with insulation and added a small piece of drywall. And taped and mudded it *properly*. I would like to thank the academy

Speaking of mudding, in my Week One post I mentioned the tape throughout the room that no one bothered to mud. It was very difficult to photograph before, but now that I’ve been repairing it, it’s incredibly obvious [as seen above, the view from our bathroom looking toward the servants stairs. The office is to the left, and the bedrooms are to the right]. For some reason I am unable to comprehend, whomever drywalled this room put up tape, but never mudded it. And possibly added really thick tape? And then painted over it. It’s one of those things that didn’t photograph well, but IRL was soooo obvious. You could see tape lines every 12 inches across the ceiling and along all the walls. So that was the biggest challenge for me this week; just finishing evening out all that old thick tape.

How I did this was pretty simple on a small scale, but spread across a whole room was tedious. I bought a few tubs of LePage Polyfilla from Rona and with help from my palette and a few blocks of sandpaper, I got to work. I applied polyfilla to either side of the taping, and using my palette, scraped along either side of the tape, creating a flush continuation from the tape to the walls. That is super wordy, so I created this little image to hopefully better explain the process:

I’m quite proud of that little diagram as I think I managed to explain it quite well.

I am so close to being finished with filling and sanding the ceiling. I’m being very particular about it, but I’m really hoping to be finished by the weekend so I can get a coat of paint on the ceiling. I’m certain that once I get the ceiling finished, a huge part of the work will be over, because there honestly seems to be more ceiling than anything else in this room.

As for my to-do list, it looks like I’ve achieved nothing this past week, but I know next week will give me much more satisfaction when I cross like 4 things off my list.

ORC SPRING 2022 TO-DO LIST: (no change from last week … )
– Skim coat / patch ceiling
– Skim coat / patch walls
– Paint ceiling
– Paint walls
– Replace / upgrade banister at top of servants stairs
– Update and reinstall handrail [with prettier hardware?]
– 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

Be sure to check out all the Guest Participants here and view all the Week Two updates!

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek Five
Week SixWeek SevenWeek Eight

One Room Challenge Spring 2022 – Week One!

I’m reintroducing myself to blogging this year by jumping in the deep end with the One Room Challenge this spring! It’s been two years since I last partook in the ORC. My body has forgotten the panic and stress just in time to reintroduce myself to it again. Hi, my name is Alex and I’m a glutton for punishment. While my last ORC was very demanding, this year it won’t be nearly as overwhelming so I’m feeling much more confident.

This year I’ll be updating our home office and I cannot wait to start [SPOILER: I already started. But only really boring stuff, so you’re not missing out on much].

Our home office was one of the rooms that made us fall in love with this house. It’s a crooked little dormered space with lots of character, a ghost window, and access to the kitchen via a set of servants stairs. It’s so sweet and unique, as you’ll see from my ‘before’ photos of our office below …

Our sweet 17.5 year-old cat Juniper is no longer with us, but I love that she came back for a visit in these photos from 2019. She loved keeping me company while I WFH.

To give you an idea of the scale of this room, that’s our old dining room table which I dragged upstairs to use as a desk. The room is the perfect size for a home office for two. I think in the distant past this room was considered a 4th bedroom, but it can’t be considered one in today’s standards.

As you can see in the photo above, you can see the top of both staircases from our office. The banister in the office is original, but is basic, border-lining crudely made [and is uncomfortably low], so I won’t be heartbroken to change it. I’ll be replacing the banister with the same style as our main staircase for consistency. This is something I envision to be a pain in the ass and will be the worst part of the makeover.

The room has a bit of a ‘T’ shape floorplan. Behind that door [seen above] is our upstairs bathroom. In the space below the proper window in our office [vs. the ghost window] is where the main part of the office desk space will be, and will loop back in an ‘L’ shape along the back wall.

And lastly, the view up the servants stairs into the office from our kitchen – another total dreamboat view that made us fall in love with the house.

This is going to be a far less demanding makeover than my last ORC, and because of that I am so excited. The room needs to be prepped A LOT before any paint can go on the walls [and ceiling] as both were never properly finished; you can see the old seams along the edges of each piece of plasterboard. You can see some of the patching / skim coating I’ve done already above to smooth out the walls. I feel this will be the most tedious part of the project, and I’m happy to say I’ve finished most of it already. All will be revealed next week!

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 handrail [with prettier hardware?]
– 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

There are going to be so many great projects this year, so if you have a chance, check out all the Guest Participants here. It’s going to be a good one.

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek Five
Week SixWeek SevenWeek Eight