It is full of windows but unheated and so is very cold in winter - we'll be leaving the door between this room and the rest of the house closed all winter to prevent the cold from cooling down the whole house. The windows are two single panes, so that doesn't help, but right now, redoing windows in this room is probably the least of our worries!
Anyways, I'm finally ready to "reveal" it! (Basically means that I got around to finishing all the projects and taking some photos!)
The blinds are all a really good quality thicker style white venetian blind, that we think are worth a bit of money, so happy to have had those included in the house.
The wooden bookcase (photo further down) was bought for $5 at the Habitat for Humanity bookstore - see the "before" photo below - boy was it garish! I didn't want to repaint it, because it was really chipping off. So I had the (somewhat regrettable) bright idea to strip it - which ended up taking a very long time and made me go through 2 cans of stripper. I'm not over the moon with how it turned out but I definitely like it better than the original! I also have NO IDEA what was up with the cage-thing on top of the bookshelf. The only thing we could come up with is a stuffed animal holder? It is still sitting in the basement awaiting an idea for repurposing.
I learned a lot from doing it - I learned that next time, when they suggest wood conditioner is important before staining, I'll believe them! (In the store, there was a piece of wood that showed with wood conditioner before staining and without - and parts of the bookshelf are exactly as the without sample).
I also learned that wood filler, even though it says "stainable" is not really stainable - it does not stain the same as the surrounding wood. The bookshelf had edging on the front lip of the shelf and I filled the little holes and now all of those patches are slightly lighter than the wood around. Likely would've been better off leaving them as tiny nail holes.
Overall though, I'm happy with the room! It looks a bit crowded (that striped chair is probably not the right thing for that corner) but it works for me for now. The gray colour is not something I would've chosen but I definitely like it despite that (and it is definitely "in" - I see it in all kinds of different design images) and same with the white trim.
I think the next big project (this was not really a big project, just a bunch of small ones) is a brand new bathroom in the basement - we've been hacking away at the plans/ideas/budget for this for a while now and I think we've come up with a pretty great plan. Executing it will be a different matter, but boy will we be excited to have a shower and a second toilet in this house!