Sunday, August 11, 2013

Front room is finished!

Our house has a little windowed enclosed front porch that is great when the weather is nice - you can see it is the whole width of the house right off the front door - this photo is from just after we bought the house (apparently I haven't taken many photos of my house since?!)

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!)

It was already painted when we bought it by the previous owners (the owners before had it bright bright bright yellow, which is still evident in a few tiny places) and I quite like the colour scheme that it now is (even though normally I wouldn't be a fan of painted wood trim.

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.

In the last few months, all the pieces have come together.

We had the little table set from a friend of my parents - perfect for our family of three for breakfast or dinner on a summer day - much brighter than our regular dining room.

The striped chair in the corner was a $5 auction win a few weeks ago and is in almost perfect condition (price started at $20 and kept dropping and I put 1 bid in at $5 and no one bid against me!). Unfortunately, it looks more comfortable than it actually is and the material feels a bit plasticy, though if your feet are up, it's pretty decent. Heck it's $5 - if I only keep it for a month and sit in it each day, it's earned its keep!

The low green bench was another auction purchase for $2.50 at an auction just after we bought the house. I wrote about it how I changed the cover here which also has a better photo of it.

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.
The only wall space holds a photo taken by a friend in Australia, that I matted in a recycled wood frame. You can also see the big window into the living room, which allows lots of light through.

I've now filled the bookshelf with random books, mostly larger coffee-table style books, and I'm happy with it.

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!