Our house is 90 years old. The place has character. It also has the telltale signs of old homes. PartnerA and I have been fixing the place up room by room since we moved in three years ago. So far, one of the by-and-large untouched rooms has been the third bedroom, which we jokingly refer to as “The Cat Room”. After all, it’s little more than a play room for our brood of mismatched felines and some office furniture left over from our college days.
With Bingo on the way, though, I decided to make Bingo’s bedroom my big project. So as PartnerA has been working at creating a mini-human, I’ve been working at creating a livable space of the third bedroom. Like Bingo, now at 19 weeks and one day gestation, Bingo’s room is coming along slowly but surely!
Removed all old furniture, sold some on Craigslist and donated the rest; tossed out cat toys, swept up cat fur, scrubbed out cat pee, etc. etc. etc.; sanded down the walls and ceiling, spackled the walls and ceiling, sanded down the walls and ceiling again; sawed through mysterious metal dowel rooted firmly into the ceiling; used wood filler to reconstruct window and door frames, caulked window, installed cordless blinds, thought to self, ‘Is that asbestos up there?’, decided not to pursue; carried four 10.5′ lengths of quarter round home from hardware store on a public transit bus, earned wrath of every passenger on board, installed quarter round around perimeter of room to cover gaps between baseboards and floorboards; primed walls, ceiling, door, and trim (twice); carefully debated the perfect shade of white (Behr’s ‘Day Spa’), painted walls, ceiling, door, and trim (twice); re-set recessed outlets so flush with drywall, installed new outlet plates; removed very very very old light switch and wired in a shiny new switch complete with shiny new switch plate, was pleasantly surprised to find that the light was still functional post-rewiring, managed not to electrocute myself in the process; painstakingly cleaned decades-old light fixture covered in decades of paint layers topped with decades of dirt, spray painted light fixture (twice), attempted to install new shade, realized shade fitting was irregular size not purchasable new, spent weeks searching secondhand stores, found irregular size shade for 80-cents, installed said shade; replaced ancient door handle (also covered in old paint and dirt) with new door handle; replaced floor register; removed paint from floor, scrubbed the floor, rubbed olive oil and vinegar into the wood, washed the floor with Pledge to rid room of vinegar smell.
One month later, voila! An empty white room! Success!