We have been blessed with a baby who has been sleeping through the night since she was a month old, and who takes consistent and fairly long naps every day. So because of that and because I’m no longer working outside the home, I really needed a project. Our downstairs study/guest room was in desperate need of a makeover; it was the only room left with a different trim color than the rest of the house, did not have a light switch, the wall color was awful and way too dark, the windows were in terrible shape, and the furniture just… bad. It seemed like a good room to take on as a nap time project!
I started off in September last year by restoring the two windows. Working in the basement, I used my “silent paint remover,” a tool that uses infrared heat to remove paint from wood – no yucky chemicals needed – to get all the paint off the frames. Paired with a good sanding, it does a fantastic job and I love my SPR! Once the frames were all stripped and sanded, I ordered new glass panes from the local glass store as well as glaze from Advanced Repair Technology. I already had a caulk gun from restoring the mudroom windows a few years ago. I inserted the glass and glazed the windows, which is easily the most fun part of window work! The final step of the process was to paint the frames – Classic Ivory on the insides and Rockwood Green (both from Sherwin-Williams) on the outside. Voila! It may sound a bit odd, but I genuinely enjoy doing this. And the best part is that it all happens down in the basement – very non-intrusive to our everyday life.
Once the windows were done, I (with help from Chuck and the boys) cleared the room out. We gave away our old tan sofa sleeper which was AWFUL to sleep on and really too big anyway. We had a big chest of drawers that only aided in accumulating useless junk – this is now in the workshop in which I don’t care if there’s clutter. We kept the rest of the furniture (a desk, filing cabinet, and bookshelf) and added a twin day bed. We already had a box spring and mattress and our neighbor let us have a frame that she wasn’t using anymore – so we didn’t actually have to buy any new furniture at all!
While Chuck was away traveling for work, I painted the radiator, desk and filing cabinet. Love how all three came out! When Chuck returned, we worked together to install a light switch in the room. There used to be a big ugly ceiling fan with pull strings, so now with a regular light fixture it feels soooo much more open and spacious! We had to cut two holes, one in the ceiling and one in the wall, to be able to run the wires. This made for some extra work having to mud and sand repair the holes, but that is okay. It’s so worth having a switch!
By January it was finally time to paint – walls, trim and ceiling. Having painted almost every room in the house at least once, and not to mention the entire exterior, I have become somewhat of a master and this one small room was a breeze. It came out super nice too I must say, and I can tell that I’m getting more experienced. The only thing I’m a tiny bit bummed about is that the wall color that I picked (SW Chelsea Mauve) looks almost identical to the mudroom’s Queen Anne Lilac. I had expected it to be closer to beige/gray than purple. OH WELL.
The final stage entailed my #1 favorite activity: to decorate! It’s a shame that this is the quickest part of the process… Izzy and I took a trip to Target to get some new throw pillows for the daybed, a lovely table lamp, and some other decorations. I made an inspiration display out of our plain old cork board. I hung two paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe I found laying around. Chuck set up the computer and printer. We moved our dear robot vacuum, Sheldon, into the room. Here are some photos of the end result – enjoy:
I must say I’m very, very happy with how it came out! It’s a huge relief that our house guests will no longer have to stay in that ugly, cluttered dungeon it used to be… It’s also really cool to have some additional space downstairs where one can sit and read a book or do a Sudoku puzzle. I find myself hanging out in here a lot while the boys watch Battlestar Galactica.
It’s the greatest feeling to have a project be completed! Now to take a little break from house projects and enjoy my family who will be visiting later in the month. But once it warms up outside we are going to tackle the next big challenge – adding an above ground swimming pool to the yard! Wish us luck and stay tuned!