Sunday, October 11, 2015

Ready for Check-In

There was a day when I dreaded Mondays. That was back in the days when it meant the start of a new work week and going to a job I despised. All that has changed now and Mondays are generally relished. It is catch up day, blog day, quiet day after a busy get the picture. This renovation that has been on the agenda non-stop since early September is well underway and the weekends are big days of productivity since my resident handyman is available for two solid days to tackle all the jobs that I need help with and require skills I do not have. I feel so lucky to have him.

We were on a mission to finish off the guest room makeover this past weekend and I am happy to say, mission accomplished. There are a few finishing touches to complete, but I reckoned it was ready for the reveal. You would think that a simple small 10 x 10 room would be a quick fix, but it took almost two solid weeks of effort to pull it together. It had been pretty neglected and every square inch of the space needed attention. If I had to compare it to something or someone, I would have called it Pigpen...the character from the Peanuts comics. The old wardrobe was past it's prime, in disrepair and way over-scaled for the room, the carpet was gritty underfoot, the walls were desperate for fresh paint, the windows were dirty, the old blue vertical blinds were; well, old BLUE vertical blinds, the ceiling fan was an old clunker of a thing and at some point the resident child had stickered it with stars and it was BROWN. Everything had to change.

It is the first room off the living area heading down the hall, so I decided to carry the paint colours from there into it as well. Two reasons for that are that I wanted it to flow from one part of the house to the next and more importantly, I had leftover paint. We demolished the wardrobe and pitched it piece by piece out the window. It was not worth saving or trying to repair and it took up nearly a quarter of the space. Despite storage being an issue in this house, it was not really all that necessary in a guest room. It would also allow me to change up the floor plan and move the bed against a different wall so whomever is laying in the bed can enjoy the view out the window from a more comfortable angle. Hmmm, maybe a new place for my siestas!

Guest Room Before

For the record, this photo above here actually looks better than the room did. The doors of the wardrobe were already off when I snapped this beauty and of course you cannot see the dirt in detail. So, once the room was emptied and blinds removed, the work began. It took me a whole day just to prep the walls and fill all the holes from previous hangings and wash it all down with sugar soap and hot water. We took the old ceiling fan down and as it was on its last legs and we decided to economize by moving the old living room fan in there after a sanding and fresh coat of black spray paint. I love it when we can re-use or re-purpose with a good result. The ceiling, walls and trim painting took a few days and once that was done, rather than rip out the old carpet, I decided to see if steam cleaning it would bring it back to life for awhile yet. I actually liked the carpet, a simple camel coloured Berber, a classic really, and I have always liked grey flannel and camel together. It is a great spillover from the fashion world into interior decoration. I also happen to know that it is a great colour for hiding dirt. It had been years since I had hired a steam cleaner and done carpets myself, but it was well worth the effort and the carpet really came up nicely. It was worth saving. My back did not really agree, but she got over it in a couple days.

My next challenge was to try and figure out a way to provide at least some storage. With Ikea nearly 4 hours from here, that was out of the question and the local Bunnings (the Home Depot of Australia) did not have any flat pack wardrobes that I liked. As I was leaving Bunnings, disappointed in their selection, I happened upon a display of metal cabinets that looked sort of like tall narrow school lockers. They had a hanging bar, 3 shelves and were nearly the exact shade of grey of my trim paint. We were going for a bit of an industrial chic look here, so my design radar was activated immediately. I figured if it did not work in the room, it would work in the garage, so it was worth a go. At $129 it was also well within the budget. Between that, a row of hooks on the wall and a small chest of drawers, that should be plenty of stow space for a weekend stay for most visitors.

Tim the tool man here had that locker put together in no time and it snugged into the corner perfectly. The new blinds were sized and mounted, the new/old black ceiling fan installed and the furniture moved back in all by late afternoon Sunday, our self-imposed deadline. While all this was going on, the ex-owner of this house showed up at the front door with a cheque for us as we had overpaid on the rent prior to buying the place. I invited her in to see the progress thus far and she was pretty impressed. We were doing all the things to the place that she had always wanted to do one day. It got me to thinking how that is exactly what happened to my old house in Toronto after we sold it. I was so thrilled to see my old house transformed and now here I was transforming her old house. 

Kind of like dreams being paid forward. I like that.

Guest Room After

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