We bought a century brick home up north last summer and I have been slowly (emphasis on the slowly) working at making it our own. We actually rented the house during ski season for the last four years and were quite fond of it. When the opportunity came up to buy it we jumped on it! I have spent countless evenings over the last few years imagining what I would do if it were ours. Fortunately it came fully furnished and so we were able to enjoy it right away.
Fully furnished also means someone else’s taste is all around you. It has been so exciting to be able to make changes to the place and watch it become what I knew it could be. Since we are only up on the weekends about half the time (off ski season) it hasn’t given me much time to work on it. I do thoroughly enjoy the moments I can work on it.
The first thing I attacked was the small TV room on the main floor. I figured it was small and contained (and had bad holly hobby wallpaper) and so could easily be updated over the course of a week. A week was all the time I had before we headed off on our family vacation.
The plan was to remove the wallpaper (walls and ceiling), repair the old plaster walls, prime and paint. For some reason, I had visions of having it all done in a couple of days – no problem! Ha – famous last words. I rented a steamer for 24 hours to help remove the wallpaper. Thanks to 3 layers of wallpaper dating back to the 50’s (the newlyweds signed and dated the plaster before the original wallpaper went up) I spent about 20 hours continuously scraping at those walls and ceiling. That room was steamier than a sauna!
Once I had returned the steamer it was time to hit the plaster repair. This room had a lot of cracks – I quickly realized that was the reason for the wallpaper. Plastering the walls wasn’t so bad until I had to sand. I have now learned that you don’t want to be overly generous with the mud. I was plastering and sanding over the course of 2 solid days. My arms were DYING.
After a rest day of hiking and caving with my oldest daughter and her friend I was ready to start priming. Thankfully, I had invested in a pole and so I was able to get the room, including the 9½ foot ceilings, done in a few hours. It looked so good in white.
I had decided that since it is a small, darker room, used only for movie viewing, it made more sense for it to be a really dark colour. I have always loved Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore – it’s a very dark, warm grey – and so that was the colour the room was to be.
After four coats, my masterpiece was done! Well, the shell at least. I had also planned on pulling up the carpet but sadly the hardwood didn’t carry into that room and so I decided to leave the carpet for now. Thankfully it is pretty neutral and works in the room. To hide all of my messy paint spills (remember – I thought I was removing the carpet), I picked up a great area carpet from West Elm. Not being a fan of the tassels, my son and I untied them, cut them down, and then retied them and so you can’t even see them anymore.
The sofa was an old comfortable sofa we had in the city and I had it recovered in some heavy grey linen. It’s perfect in the room – the comfiest movie sofa.
The coffee table is one that came with the house but it works for now. I have some plans for a new one that includes a DIY (sort of) but haven’t had the time to execute it yet.
There is also a plan for a gallery wall behind the sofa but that can wait for a rainy day. Considering it’s -27 C with wind chill today – it may be awhile…