It’s Week 2 of the One Room Challenge!! Hooray! Spoiler alert, this is probably going to be the least exciting week for us as far as progress photos go. I kind of just jumped into this challenge head first when the ORC kicked off last week, so this week was all about the preparation and a little more planning before I can really get down to it, so the room still just looks like this:
Despite not looking very impressive, I’m happy to have the room prepped and ready to dig into the exciting stuff over the next 4 weeks, and I’ll have the whole weekend to make some headway for Week 3!
The Week 2 TO DO LIST:
-clear out the mess!
-demo the weird bulkhead that used to be above the vanity (but serves no real purpose)
-remove all the derelict plumbing from it’s past life as a bathroom
-re-work the electric (we need to move the light from the bulkhead to the middle of the room, and I want to add a light on the outside of the deck doors while that wall is semi-open)
-choose paint colors for walls and stain color for the floors
-choose the flooring and pattern (oh herringbone, I would love to have you in my life….)
-spackle and paint ceiling
-start sourcing materials/furnishings
So, clearing this place out was pretty easy, we just moved most of the mess to more appropriate areas (tools to the garage, random sports equipment/winter coats/gear we use once every 5 years to the “utility room”…which has a whole host of it’s own issues). The couch presented a bit of a “where do we store this big ol’ thang?” conundrum, especially since it won’t fit through either my closet or the entryway door very easily (if at all). In the end we decided the laziest route was the best route: we’ll just leave her there and cover her up/move her around/put her outside for a bit of sun if we really need to. Maybe not the best option ever (she’s already getting a bit dusty), but it’ll work!
Taking down the bulkhead was easy-peasy… patching the drywall will be the fun part, which I will leave for hubs to do when he gets back from his drill days (isn’t he the luckiest? haha) . I then got to take a nice trip to the sauna attic to try to move the electric for the light from the bulkhead area to the center of the room. I knew I was in trouble when I tried my normal trick of punching a few pilot holes through the ceiling (where the new light box will go so I can find it up in the attic)…. it didn’t work out so well. I just couldn’t get through. Turns out, they just went over the lathe and plaster ceiling with sheetrock at some point. So, that light box is on hold momentarily while I wait for a second opinion from Mike on the best way to go about installing that one- he’s got a few more tricks up his sleeve than I do with all the electric work he’s done on our various projects. I also ran some wire from an existing outlet on the exterior wall both directly outside for an outlet on the deck, and up through the open wall area next to the deck doors for an outside light. Now the electric is ready to go for outside before we close up that inside wall. One thing to note: when adding electric to existing circuits, I always kick it back to the old science classes, and do some quick calculations to make sure I won’t start tripping breakers. Who remembers this guy:
volts x amps = watts
Who knew I’d actually use that ol’ formula? Anyway, this 20 amp breaker doesn’t have a ton on it, and it’s mostly lights (which are now pretty energy-efficient with low-wattage LEDs) and outlets that don’t get a ton of use (and therefore aren’t likely to have anything crazy watttage-wise plugged into them). The new outside light won’t use much either, and the outlet out there will be used for led-string lights and sometimes a speaker/ipad, which is pretty low-energy as well. So, if I did my math right and didn’t miss anything crazy on there, we should be good (fingers crossed!).
Taking out the plumbing was another fairly easy task, but I did have to make some bigger holes in the sheetrock to get to some of it. Oh well, it’s not like we don’t have pleeeenty of patching to do in here already!
I spackled and painted the ceiling next. This was definitely something I’ve learned to get out of the way BEFORE anything nice goes in (including wall color)…. for the life of me I cannot paint a ceiling without it going everywhere. So, while the place is a mess anyway, why not just add some ceiling paint all over everything too? Since the ceiling had been painted gray to match the walls in the master bath, we needed to change it up to match the new color scheme I toyed with the idea of something bold, but with a dark color going on the wall we decided to just stick with white… white always works, and since I clearly hate painting ceilings, it’s the most reasonable choice for the long-term.
That brings me to which dark color for the wall. After grabbing approximately one million paint samples, we got it down to 23…. (I know, not really “down to” a reasonable number yet!). Those sat out for a day and night to go through all the lighting variations in the house, and Mike and I would periodically walk by, stare at them, and mark the ones that called to us (ok, this was mostly me, and Mike only when I dragged him in there and forced him to pick some colors, haha). In the end we have 2 finalists that I really like for different reasons, one is more of an eggplant/almost black, the other more of a super-dark teal. The eggplant would complement the furnishings and finishes for a more neutral look, while the teal would add some bolder contrast. Samples were purchased and we’ll live with some swatches on the walls for a few days to see which one wins out!
We’ve been back and forth a few times on the flooring. There’s original hardwood under all the gunk, but that gunk 1) is going to be a giant pain in the rear to remove, and 2) has a chance of having asbestos in it. And of course there’s no guarantee on the state of things even if we did go through the removal process- some areas look to be in pretty rough shape, and there’s definitely some water damage in spots. So, to err on the safe side we’ll going over the top to seal all that back up. We’ve patched in a little bit of flooring in other areas of the house already, so we could continue with the same look as the rest of the home to try to keep things consistent. Another option, because this floor isn’t connected to the hardwood in the rest of the house at all (we put cedar floors in my closet, and tile in the entryway) is to do something different in here. Some friends of ours DIY-ed their kitchen floors with just regular old 1x8s to restore it to the historic wide-plank look, and we’ve always admired them. I also have a serious obsession with the herringbone pattern in some hardwood floors, so I saw an opportunity here. After some thought, discussion, and awkwardly making patterns on the floor in the middle of Lowe’s, the current plan is to go with 1x6s in a diagonal herrringbone pattern. Since the scale of the room is so small the 1×6 width works nicely for a wide-plank look, and after looking over some herringbone and chevron pattern ideas, the diagonal stood out as the easiest. Since it uses square cuts, it’ll serve to minimize waste and I won’t have to worry about all of those 45 degree angles (lazy wins again!). We’re going to go with a darker, more brown/less reddish stain for these floors. Eventually, when we re-finish the floors in the rest of the house I plan to go a similar route- so eventually the stain color will tie the floors together, while the office retains it’s own unique pattern (a nice, subtle way to set this small space apart!).
Last but definitely not least, the fun part: shopping! I’ve been looking around both online and in local stores, taking notes on prices/options, and getting some great inspiration and ideas along the way. I wish I had triple the room size to fit all of the amazing pieces I’ve been finding, but alas, I’ll have to keep it together and pare my list down quite a bit! I’ll wait until next week to really start deciding/ordering, so we can get a little more done and I can get a better feel for things, but it’s been so fun to imagine various finishes and furnishings in the space!