Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Spring 2019 ORC: Week 4 {The One Where I Pull Back the Curtain On The Decision Making Process, Agonize Over Materials, And Need to Pivot The Plans AGAIN}

Or is it One Step Forward, Two Steps back? The bigger elements of the room are finally settling into place still in flux. I love reading about other people’s decision making process and trials and errors and I’m going to guess if you are here, you do too. Get psyched, there was a lot of all of those things in the past week! (P.S. I tend to write posts, then go home to take pics, and realize my entire posts need to change fairly often. I left in a lot of my original text so you can see how quickly things changed this week!)

If you’ve landed here from the One Room Challenge, Welcome! We’re currently working on our second home, a gloriously 80’s contemporary, located in Upstate NY. She just needs a little TLC to bring her back to her former glory. If you’d like to see some of our past work, start here.
Need a refresher? Week 1 ~ Week 2 ~ Week 3 ~ Week 4 ~ Week 5 ~ Week 6

The Feature Wall of Plant Shelves

Of course what I liked about our VITTSJO was that it had glass shelving, and in my mind, this helped give sunlight down through all the shelves. I took a DEEP dive into the world of acrylic (Plexiglass) a few weeks back. I’m here to tell you friends, it gets expensive FAST and quickly realized it wasn’t in the cards for us to spend so much (think $150-$500!) to get anything that would be thick enough to withstand the weight of dirt, plants, containers and water. You want to put some mini cactus on a short acrylic shelf in front of a window? Go for it. You want to load up a several feet span with heavy planters and other random tchotckes? Probably not the smartest/safest idea.

I looked at tempered glass next (much stronger and cheaper) and though there was quite the variety in pre-cut shelves at Home Depot, I just wasn’t into the glass bracket options. Plus, glass just scares me in general (anyone else have broken glass stress dreams? Just me?) and I just don’t need that in my life.

Ok, so what other options are out there with pre-made shelves? What color combination did I want?

Black shelves, brass brackets?  Gorgeous, but a lot of contrast, maybe too much contrast with everything else in this room.

White shelves, brass brackets? Less contrast, but still pretty, and definitely fits well with our home.

Wooden shelves, black brackets? Too rustic for our house.

White shelves, black brackets. I like black (I lived with the Ikea Vittsjo for months here!), it is very grounding in a room. With everything else going on, maybe this is the winner?

Then came my next rabbit hole. Can you tell I like to realllllly vet ideas before I make purchases? And sometimes even my vetting is not enough (recall the stencil and glitter paint let down from last week). Do we buy pre-made shelving and brackets? Should we buy wood and paint? At the end of the day, I knew I wanted something narrow (6-8 inches wide) but long (36-44 inches) to cover a lot of the wall without interfering with whoever gets lucky enough to sit right in front of this wall (the husband, usually).  I found these laminate shelves at Home Depot for less than $6 and these simple and modern brackets for less than $8 a piece!! Done and done. Employing the KISS mentality here.

Or Maybe Not?

Then, after I wrote this post, I went home on Tuesday after work to install the shelves with my husband. MUCH to my surprise, we realized…there are no studs in the wall where I had planned for these to go! We have pocket doors here that we honestly never open – and apparently it’s pretty common to not install studs in walls with pocket doors. It’s not that I exactly forgot we had pocket doors, it’s just that I assumed after the gap (the door is about 24 inches) the studs would start and continue on until they met the exterior wall/windows.

I wanted to cry. This wall gets alllll the sun and was essentially going to be my feature wall of plants. I’m doing some serious online searching today to look for something that can attach to the wall (the whole plan was to get the shelving out of the way here and give us back some floor space for maneuvering around the table).

My problem is that I already have decent sized (heavy) plants that need bright sun, and dammit I really think I need to hit studs to handle the weight.

Mandi (she’s also a featured participant this year!)  is basically the queen at living walls so I went directly to her archives:

Wooden Dowel Plant Holders:

Modern Test Tube Propagation Planters:

Wood and Leather Trellis Plant Wall:

All of these pots/tubes are on the small side, but it definitely has my brain cranking.  I’ve got a week-ish to brainstorm!

The Glitter Paint, Take 3

Friends. I went with my gut last week and purchased this glitter additive. Have I mentioned I’m an accountant? Great with numbers, terrible with spatial awareness. Case in point, I didn’t really do the math in my head to realize that each bag is for 1.5 liters of paint, and that a gallon of paint (I had about 1/3 left, and picked up a quart to be safe, which brought me to about 2/3rds of a gallon) is 3.79 liters. I thought I was getting more than enough when I ordered 2 bags (many reviews said to double up), and quickly realized my mistake on Monday when I was dumping everything together to mix. Monday was supposed to be my big ‘get sh*t done without kids’ day, so I forged ahead and crossed my fingers.

Remember last week and when I said how unsatisfying it is to paint white walls white? Imagine my dismay as I painted white walls white a second time, but expecting to see glitter. I wanted to cry. But I let it dry, and reminded myself that the key tip was to buff it afterwards to reveal ‘5-10% increase in glitter’. My math skills told me 5-10% of 0% is still 0% so I wasn’t feeling too enthusiastic. But before I went to bed I found a dry, stiff sponge and decided to give it a whirl.

IT WORKED! Buffing away the paint revealed the glitter I was hoping for! If I could do it again (I won’t, I’m sick of this at this point Actually, after the whole plant shelf thing Tuesday night, I decided to buy another 2 bags because dammit I need success somewhere in this plan!) I would have definitely purchased 3-4 bags for about a gallon of paint. I’ll tell you next week how 3-4 bags goes with about a gallon of paint (I still have about a quart left that I’m going to saturate). You don’t really see the glitter from across the room, but standing next to the wall, it’s definitely there. And I still have my matte/flat walls that I prefer. I am definitely happy enough with the result and would recommend the Hemway Glitter Additive to anyone else. I reallllly want to believe this stuff is going to work, which is why I’m going to paint for a third time. Full review next week.

Ultimately, I think I lied to myself about how much glitter I wanted in this room. I was afraid of it being too unicorn-tween’s room – and in the end I really do want it to glow. Just goes to show, you can’t have too much glitter.

The Deep Green Velvet Chairs

One thing I didn’t agonize over – my velvet hunter green fabric for our chairs. If you saw my stories you also saw I took the plunge with reupholstering the chairs on Monday. Guys, I’ve never reupholstered anything in my life. For as long as I’ve been blogging, and reading blogs, I am actually quite the chicken-sh*t when it comes to pulling the trigger on doing new things. This is just a gentle reminder to anyone out there that is nervous to try things – just start. Just. Start.

My advice if you’ve never reupholstered is to mentally prepare for adequate prep work. I try to do the annoying stuff first in general in life. Once I had the seats off, I gave the chairs a good scrub, and then applied my favorite wood conditioner.

Next up, I laid out my fabric, cut the pieces to size, and steamed the velvet. When it came to actually stapling everything together, I did the sides first for all of them, and then worked on the PITA corners.

You can see I didn’t bother to remove the old fabric, the seats were comfortable as is,  but this step totally depends on the project. My velvet was definitely thicker than the previous fabric used so the corners were a bit trickier, but remind yourself that no one sees this side! Just trim away excess to get your staples in. I used our Dewalt 5-in-1 with 9/16 mm flat top staples.

I would say I spent 4-ish hours on this which was more than I expected. But that included snacking on Easter candy, searching for our steamer (never found it, used the steam setting on the iron), and taking a coffee break on the deck with my cat while the beeswax soaked in the wood.

The Fun Stuff

Now the fun stuff. Making all the macrame and styling the plants and other tchotches around the room. And figuring out the feature wall and repainting, again. Come back next week for the full budget breakdown. Did anyone host any holiday parties last week? We just had family over so I didn’t really mind that the eat in kitchen was a mini-disaster zone. The dining room sure looked nice though!

We are very close to done need to really crank in here this week – which is good crazy because we have another party next week!

Thank you again to Linda at One Room Challenge.  Spread the love and check out the featured participants other guest participants HERE!  If you are here from the ORC – drop me a comment and let me know where to catch up on your progress too!

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