Friday, 8 November 2013

Tearing it down and building it back up

My bedroom is a very modest thing. It is rather small ~ only 10'4" by 9'9". One window only 28" wide but a good 52" tall. And one electrical outlet.

Why only one outlet? I can't imagine, even back in the mid 1950s when the house was built, that one outlet would be sufficient for any room larger than a bathroom.

But it's how my house was built. Both bedrooms have only one outlet each.

At least the bedroom I sleep in had a closet. The other one doesn't even have that.
But given that it is used as my computer room, a closet isn't really necessary.

The one in my bedroom was virtually microscopic.

You'll notice I keep saying 'was'... because it is no more. Last weekend, Maart and I closed it off. I had removed all the furniture other than the bed from the room. Having a lingerie chest (6 drawers high), a chest of (5) drawers and an armoire in there, along with the bed and a nightstand, meant it was pretty crowded.

So here's the plan: build a closet the full length of one wall and eliminate all the furniture other than the bed. Smaller floor area but should be more useful space with a closet that will have ample hanging space, shelves and 2 dozen wire basket-drawers from Ikea.

So Maart and I pulled out the closet door and trim, all the baseboards and the door frame. We also tore out the wall to wall carpet and foam underlay (which was firmly attached to the floor with at least 5000 staples!) to expose the horrible and rather elderly adhesive floor tiles that are supposed to look like parquet flooring.

We crawled around on the floor, prying up all the staples and their associated bits of foam. (Which, by the way, make the absolute best cat toys as far as Lila is concerned! She's a hoot to watch, flinging those tiny bits around.) My back was killing me by the time that was done.

All the demolition detritus was subsequently chucked into my truck and hauled to the dump. We put up a few scrap pieces of drywall over the former closet, as it now opened directly into the kitchen and I was not going to be wakened by one big hairy cat whose name starts with L standing on my chest, purring and kneading me with her claws, all the while head butting my nose and licking my eyelids.

That's just downright rude, and she doesn't understand the term "WTF?!?!? Get OFF of me, you Damn Cat!!!"

We then died for the evening and lounged around trying to recover from all that. The next day we went out and bought wood studs and drywall to cover the door sized hole properly.

So here's the plan: All the cracks in the walls from the house settling over the years, plus nails from things being hung, plus the new chunk of wall, will be repaired with mud and tape. Following that being completed, the entire room will be painted with primer. I will be going from the same crap green that the living room was to a pale creamy colour called "goat cheese", with all the trim white. I'll have to install new baseboards and door frame. The window frame can stay as is, just with fresh white paint.

I need an electrician to come and move the existing outlet, as its current position will see it living inside the new closet. Not very convenient, as you can well imagine. I also need two new outlets installed on the wall where the bed has moved. The phone jack needs to be moved as well, as it is also in the designated closet space, but I can do that myself.

The pink metal mini blind that's on the window is leaving, as is the green floral valance. Both are remnants of the previous owner. I am sure someone at the local thrift shop will delight in the acquisition of these items. I have a cocoa brown cellular (room darkening) shade to take their place and it will fit right inside the window frame.

The nightstand is being replace by several small shelves on either side of the bed. I have ordered a pair of rock salt lamps to act as ambiance lighting. If I really need to see what I am doing, the ceiling fixture gives the room a good bright glare. I am considering replacing that light/fan thing (cheap little white thing that it is) with one of those ceiling fixtures that looks like large woven bamboo leaves with lights in the centre.

The floor will be covered with some kind of laminate that will be accessible in the future for the rest of the main floor. Since I can't afford real hardwood, nor can I afford to buy flooring for the whole main floor all at once, it has to be something that is consistently carried in one of the local stores.

Once all that is done, then the closet hardware installation will take place. I am doing a combination of a Rubbermaid closet organizer with the wire basket towers from Ikea. It should be more than sufficient to replace all the chests of drawers previously cluttering up the room. The finishing touch will be mirrored sliding doors along the entire wall. Wall to wall and floor to ceiling.

Now that will make the room appear much larger!

And speaking of building, Maart and I are still continuing along really well. We are going to Las Vegas later on this month for a 5 day get-away. We've got a concert lined up (Michael Bublé), and have plans to catch a Circe de Soleil performance as well as some time spent behind the barrel of a gun or two at a shooting range. Neither of us is much into gambling, but getting away for a bit and just doing whatever we want will be a welcome change! We've got a room with a Strip view so we'll be able to catch the pirates' show whenever we want. He's a good man, my Maart. He treats me well and has become very special to me.


  1. I think you both deserve a holiday after all that lot!
    I am moving next year so I will be rummaging in your archives for DIY tips.

    1. By the time you move, I might have more DIY projects done. ;-) Feel free to rummage away, but remember... I'm not an expert!

  2. *blinks*

    Wow. You really enjoy this stuff. Good on you. You can come finish my flat if you like. It'll be a good break after your own DIY and hanging out in Vegas.

    I'm really pleased to hear you're having fun with Maart. Good male company is a joy, especially if it's drama-free.

    Enjoy lovely. Can't wait to see the pix of your new bedroom.

    1. I *do* enjoy this stuff! I find working gets in the way of my DIY time and annoys me to no end that completion times gets extended because I have to feed my bank account.

      We are both looking forward to Vegas! And yes, so far, everything with Maart has been drama-free. Just the way we both like it.

  3. Excellent renovation project, especially having an electrician add those new circuits! I'm also looking forward to pix.

    Enjoy the Vegas trip. If you're so inclined, touring the inside of Hoover Dam is really cool

    1. The electrician I have used in the past (son of a friend) can't do what I need right now as he's busy with his regular job and completely rewiring a friend's house. :-( So I have to find someone else to do that.

      I've done the Hoover Dam tour (years ago) and really enjoyed it. Maart has not, so it is something we may do when we're there.

  4. As the owner of a 133 year old farm house, I know what you mean about lack of closets! We put antique wardrobes and plenty of dresser space in two bedrooms. There was one small bedroom off the master bedroom, probably a nursery at one time. When we saw it, childless wonders that we are, we yelled, "Walk in closet!" in unison. ;) So it's half walk in closet, with a section housing me and the computer for an office. I'll get a real office some day...for now this will do.

    Glad Maart is a keeper and kind to you too! Reminds me of the time, at the age of 12, I told Dad, "I'm going to marry a man like you." As he puffed up with pride, I added, "You know. The kinda guy who can fix stuff and work on cars." He still grinned. And I did marry that kinda guy.

    Michael Buble?! Ah, perhaps one of the nicest things Canada has ever shared with us. Sigh once for me, will ya?

    1. I'd love a small room for a walk-in closet! Oh wait... that's my bedroom. What I'm doing will work just as well.

      Maart is a great guy and he's done tons of renos as well. Not really much of a mechanical guy, but great with the reno stuff. He is more than willing to help me with all this, which I totally appreciate.

      Yeah, Michael Bublé is something, eh? While he's good looking, I actually like his music a lot and having seen him on tv, know he puts on one helluva great stage show. And that's what I am looking forward to.

  5. 6 drawers of lingerie you say eh? :¬)


    1. Actually, my 'real' lingerie was in the other chest of drawers! I needed a larger space...

      The drawers on this one are tiny. I use three of them just for socks! My winter woolly ones take up a whole drawer. ;-)


    2. You just couldn't leave me with my own image could ya? :¬)


  6. ... all I understood was lingerie, rubbermaid (eh?) and something the cat does - the rest may involve handwork and such, so I let it to You my lovely and all the nice people who understand what you are talking about. Las Vegas on the other hand ... would be my ruin.

    1. Rubbermaid is a company that makes closet organizers and other storage items like plastic containers. Vegas will be fun! and we are both really looking forward to it! You'd have a hoot there, Mago. We don't gamble so losing our shirts isn't a worry. ;-)


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