Thursday, April 21, 2016

ORC 3: Seven Steps to Stress

I have a confession to make.

Mom and I started this project a couple of weeks ahead of the One Room Challenge. I am so glad we did--because even with a head start--we're falling behind--and if I wasn't so tired I'd be in a flat out panic.

Here's where we're going:

We've had our challenges.

1. The tile.

At first we selected all grey toned tile. Then, when the fabric arrived, we quickly realised we needed creamy tones instead. We had to go to two different Home Depots to get it. But that was easy.

2. The trim.

Now that we had enough tile to go all the way around the room, we needed to find moulding to trim it out.

On the hunt, I discovered that my Mom and I make decisions very differently. I like to look at every last little thing to see what's out there and to make sure I choose the best of what's available. My Mom, on the other hand, looks only long enough to find something that will do.

We bought the trim doing it her way. It is solid oak.

This is the bottom half of the trim. I'm cutting out a notch to make it fit behind the door casing.

3. The Baseboards.

We need baseboards. I took a very quick run down to Home Depot and came back with sixteen feet for a room which needs fourteen. That's cutting it a bit close, I'd say! But it is sold by the eight foot length--so if we screw up, I'll have to buy eight more feet!

4. The Light Fixture.

I ordered it last week from Lowe's just to see what it would look like in person. It arrived yesterday! I was thrilled! But wouldn't you know it--it is the wrong finish, even though the packing invoice accurately reflects what I thought I was purchasing.

Ugh. Fingers crossed the new one comes just as quickly!

5. The Wallpaper

A paintable vinyl from Martha Stewart that mimics beadboard has turned out to be exceedingly fragile. As we've been struggling to get the trim into that room and on the walls we keep dinging it and it is gouging, badly. It is a nightmare. Mom's already replaced one section. I'm thinking she may want to redo the whole room.

Are we sweating bullets yet?

Nah, This is the easy stuff.

The real challenge is the room. Oh my Gawd.

5. The Room.

The original "backsplash" tile came down easily enough. I made an absolute mess of the wall, but it wasn't anything a little mudding couldn't fix. Mom had to fix a hole left by a plumber underneath the sink, so it was no biggie. (She'd started, but hadn't quite finished when I took my little crowbar to the wall.)

But the ceiling was not properly finished.

Not only did they not bother to enclose the HVAC, but because they decided to install a drop ceiling, they did not bother to tape and mud any of their joints. Those black lines are actually gaps and they go all around the room and get worse above the door. 

There were huge gaps where the ceiling met the walls, so my Mom used sticky mesh dry wall tape to mend it. I suppose it's all right--and a good choice in a situation like this...but it took a lot--and I mean a LOT of mud and spackle to get it covered up. And of course, a lot of sanding which my Mom should not have done. (Her lungs are in bad shape.)

Finally, the walls were ready.

Mom puts the wall paper up.

She measured it and cut it in a spare room, then pasted the back and then carried the sheet into the bathroom and installed it.

But she cannot do any more mudding and sanding and the top half of the walls are a disaster. So, it takes me two days to smooth things out. Mom buys a better mask and sands some more.

6. The Floor and the Baseboards

I enlist my husband's help. In trying to install the second baseboard, we discover that there is a high spot on the floor. It is so high, in fact, that when balanced on the high spot, the baseboard is a good quarter inch off the floor at each end.

My Mother is absolutely livid. First, at the bozos who built her addition twenty-five years ago--and now at the men who installed her brand new vinyl tile floor just before Christmas.

"Did you tell them to level the floor?" I ask.
"But, they're professionals." She says.

(There is also a spot where there was no floor at all and they ignored it and tiled right over it. Normally, it would never be noticed, but I'm in there installing millwork and need to step in that spot from time to time.)

So, my husband, who is recovering from a bout of vertigo which lasted these past three months is on the floor trying to sand down the baseboard. And we start gouging up the wallpaper.

Those green bits of tape on the wall are where we found some studs. Hooray for studs. We don't take them for granted at my Mom's.

It is as awkward as it seems.

7. The Trim.

Oh, I can't even. Suffice it to say, in the seven hours I was at my Mom's yesterday, I cut exactly three pieces of the seven we need to trim out the bottom of the tile. And I hadn't even got to the tricksy angles yet!

Tricksy angles. The tape is there to protect the wallpaper. There is a piece missing as it needed to be replaced. We should have put the baseboards in first, but Mom insisted that wall paper goes in first. That is the spot, too, where there is no subfloor. The vinyl is just sort of floating in mid-air.

This is my fancy wancy set up for cutting notches and curves and whatnot in the trim.

The moulding is clamped to a board which is on top of a plastic drawer unit (for height) and then the board is weighted down by two very heavy books--one on Raphael's paintings, in fact. He played a role in the last ORC!

Lord love a duck.

Good news:

1. We have a mirror.
2. I found a substitute for rub n' buff. Have not tried it yet. Cross your fingers.
3. We have ordered our art from Minted. It is supposed to ship--to ship--April 29th. Across a border.
4. We have a frame from Ikea for one of the pieces. (We wanted another piece of art from them...but...wait for it...they didn't know if they had it or not! The helpful fellow in the yellow shirt said it "might" be in the display area upstairs, in one of the living rooms. I was "welcome" to go have a look. Good grief. It was a Saturday. No. Just no.)

I need more time. (And maybe a valium.)

I am not the only one stressed out. There are my fellow linking participants--more than 200 of them! And then there are the featured designers: just stress with a bigger budget.

If you care to read about the previous weeks, here they are:

ORC 1: Going Insane Again
ORC 2: Hall of Mirrors

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Madeline said...

You are such a sweet person to work on this with your mom! I'm sending you my best vibes you get everything you need and done in time! Also, sometimes things don't get completely finished by the deadline, and that's really ok too. You're still better off than where you started!

Alana in Canada said...

Thank you Madeline. I'd like to meet thedeadline just because there is so much that needs to be done at my Mom's!

Kari @prairiegirlhome said...

Your post gave me a good laugh. I could use a valium as well with the stress of the ORC! You've done a lot so far, sorry about all the hiccups. I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end. Tell me more about this substitute for rub'n'buff? I wanted to try some, is the real thing hard to find here in Canada? I hope your Minted art makes it in time! I absolutely hate ordering things from the States, I never know if it will take a week or 7, lol!

Stacey said...

I would call this some serious team work! All three of you are working hard and it's paying off for you. Keep your inspiration pic in mind and carry on. Please come back to Thoughts of Home on Thursday next week so we can keep up with your progress. :)

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