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bedroom – before and after

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We got over the distractions of dirt and newspapers and set to work cleaning, painting, and sanding with a vengeance, knowing that we had to live here in 3 very short weeks.

- floor almost scraped clean of lino and newspapers

Lucky for us, we started to learn firsthand the true and overwhelming nature of maritime generosity when a steady stream of brand new friends showed up to help.  For my birthday, Sam organized a surprise crack team of stealth painting friends (thank you Andrew, Neal, and Nick) to whip the bedroom into shape seemingly overnight (well, when I was in class):

we have somewhere to sleep!

Best birthday present EVER.

The floor I actually did later – when I had my own incredible crack team come to help: the amazing Len (who actually had a job painting professionally but then came over after work everyday to do more painting for free), the incredible Jerra (who once took the back door key so she could come and finish what she’s started when I wasn’t even able to be there), the dedicated Lorraine, mentioned last post, and the fabulous Nate (who still hasn’t managed to escape the endless-ness of this reno and was down in the basement shifting broken concrete just last week). Greatest team a girl could ask for, even if they were often intoxicated.  Never ever underestimate the power of pizza and beer.  That could actually be ‘Renovation tip number 2’.

After scraping off the lino and old newspapers we rented a sander and set to work.  Sanding the floors wasn’t as dramatic as I would have hoped, and as I was too cheap to rent the edging machine to do the corners, those had to be done by hand – ugh.  I had always, always wanted painted black floorboards though, so that was never in doubt.  People freaked out a bit – there’s a lot of purists out there about wood being wood colour – but the floorboards were so stained and with a lot of old dark red paint on them that I probably would have had to sand them for a week.  Black paint covered the problems and appealed to my aesthetic – what’s not to love?  Painting them was hands down the single most satisfying task I’ve done during this reno.

Not so satisfying was watching them dry.  That shit took forever.  I only had 48 hrs before we moved in and it was not enough.  The photo above looks perfect, but that was before the furniture was moved in and pushed along the floor taking the paint with it.  Oh the pain! – the actual physical cringing pain of watching your ‘new’ floor get ruined!

I just pretend now that I wanted it that way; the scuffs and old red paint showing through just add character...

So here’s what it looks like now:

These are our most favourite awesome pillowcases from artist Miranda July that we got at the ICA in London.  We switch them up so no one has to dream of fraudulence every night.

I have to confess, I was a little annoyed to find the exact pillowcases in my recent issue of East Coast Living – particularly as they are in a much fancier house (and actually look like they’ve been ironed -oops) with a much more extensive art collection and better quality photography.  I’m just jealous obviously.  But really, I know they’re an edition of 1000, but what are the chances of 2 sets making their way to the Canadian Maritimes?

‘Looking up from below’ is a piece by Eldon Garnet purchased from Christopher Cutts Gallery in Toronto, back when we were high flyin’ art world folks and not crack house renovating unemployed students.  Oh well…onwards and upwards!  At least we still have the art.

Speaking of, you can see another piece here that the artist Sadko Hadzihasanovic did of us for his ‘Kissing’ series:

And finally, here is a somewhat embarrassing series of photos of the bedroom that also reveal our pretty mortifying ‘closet’ system, the beloved ‘corner of wires’ (if anyone has a solution to this I’d love to hear it), and the ‘we’re not really sure what to do with the fireplace’ stalemate.  I was going to edit these all fancy-like so it looks like our life is magazine perfect, but that’s not how I roll (and Sam told me I was being obsessive/crazy).

And if you wonder why I don’t seem to have many clothes (the above is both mine and Sam’s), that’s thanks to DHL, who manged to lose my entire wardrobe last year en-route from the Isle of Man to London (which isn’t that far).  No apology, no compensation, no nothing.  I digress…(though if anyone from DHL is reading this, my bag is a blue duffle, from Mountain Equipment Co-op, also contains my tripod and sketchbook, and I would really like it back).

'chair makes lame attempt to disguise plaster fireplace mess'

phone, internet, AND cable wires all have to live in the corner

*for those care about such things, the wall colours are Benjamin Moore Province Blue and Oxford White.  The floor is Benjamin Moore porch and floor paint, I think in something boring like ‘Black’


9 responses »

  1. what about the blinds on the windows? are those the ordered ones?

    • nope – those are just off the shelf ones from Kent (a Nova Scotian Home Depot type store). They cut them to size for you and are super cheap. Curtains are Umbra. I spent an entire afternoon looking for curtain fabric bugging the ladies at Bellissimo:
      before we gave up and decided the wall colour and pillowcases were pretty much ‘un-matchable’.

      Kitchen blind is custom, and the ones in the living and dining room that I will post in the coming weeks…

  2. Magazine-worthy bedroom, for sure! And that’s coming from someone who has looked at way too many bedrooms lately, as we’re doing the stupid reno thing too.

    I really like that blue wall color – may use something like that in my bath. And where did you get the bookshelf headboard? We’ve been talking about doing that too.

    Fireplace – Definitely think you need something tall & vertical above it. What about putting a rocky/beachy kind of scene inside it? Really big rocks and a vase of beach grasses and some real driftwood that looks like something creative. Of course, if it actually works, the grass and the wood would burn. Easy kindling!

    • Thanks Rose! Bed is from Sears – so glamorous! But it works.

      Yes, vertical over the fireplace would make more sense. We got the photo as a group of 3 at auction and basically had no where else to put it while we were drywalling elsewhere!

      I do want to eventually bust through the fireplace and put something there (and I like the idea of rocks, if not an actual fire – which would be totally glorious), but I’m afraid of what I might find behind that plaster. I’m not sure if the chimney (which is definitely there as it runs down into the basement) opens out into a proper fireplace opening, or if it was for a wood stove. I was hoping to just cover the plaster with something like tile, but it’s too flimsy to support anything like that, so I may just cut a board to size to cover it until we can dedicate some time to making a huge mess in the bedroom! I’ll keep you posted! It was covered with fake plastic bricks before if you can believe it, so even the ugliness there now is an improvement!

  3. Elaine J Eddington

    How did you paint the floors? Roller, brush, sprayer? They are magnificent and I’d like to do something similar house-wide. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Thanks Elaine! I used a brush around the edges and then a roller. Unbelievably satisfying. But I cannot stress enough how important it is to let them dry – well beyond the time indicated!

  4. Hi. I know this is an old blog post but I’m wanting that floor effect in one of my rooms and was wondering if you can remember what paint (or even what kind of paint) you used?? Thank you in advance.


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