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One Room Challenge Week 4: Power Tools and Mini Project Progress

Today's post has a little bit of something for everyone... there's power tools and crowbars, pretty fabric and paint involved. It's Week 4 of the One Room Challenge and we've got 4 weeks to go. This is crunch time and there's a million things to get done.

If you're new to Rambling Renovators, welcome! My name is  Jennifer. I'm an e-Designer and social media strategist and I've been writing this blog since 2007. I live with my husband and daughter in Toronto, Canada in a centre-plan, colonial style house that we've infused with the fresh traditional style we love. We DIY all our renovations and have a fondness for architectural details, built-ins, and classic decor. 

Catch up on Week 1 - Week 2 - Week 3

Last we left this room, the fireplace had just been framed out. With the electrical work and the chase for the wiring complete and the cement board in place ready to receive the tile, we could move on to closing up this fireplace.

Our plan was to clad this fireplace in shiplap. We had just enough boards left over from our craft room renovation to cover it. Using shiplap on the fireplace would tie the basement living space and adjacent craft room together and provide continuity. The shiplap was extra wide, about 11", and the scale would also have the benefit or providing a dramatic, modern focal point.

And that's just what we got! Here's the view looking into the room. You'll notice that the wall on the left which we extended in Week 2 has closed this view in slightly, but it is still open and wide. The fireplace draws your eye now whereas before, you only noticed it because of the dated stonework.

Tile will go on after we paint the room and fireplace. Onto other things!

Sean also spent some time on this trouble zone, the stairwell. First step was to remove the plastic wrapped metal handrail. Those handrails always remind me of dated, dingy basements with brown walls and shag carpet so we were happy to get rid of those bad vibes.

There's a bit of prep work that needs to happen before a new handrail can go in. Sean has already installed new drywall on the knee wall (the triangular wall on the right). He's removed the old shoe rail and will replace it with a new wider piece, ready to receive new balusters. We'll see if we can make this happen... with some restrictions still in place in Toronto due to Covid-19, sourcing and getting contractors into your home has become a longer and more difficult process.

And here's Sean with yet another power tool! This one was most exciting. Let me explain what's going on: Sean is standing in our laundry room. To his left is our laundry room sink and the water supply lines. On the other side of the concrete wall is the basement living area and specifically, the kitchenette zone. In order to get water to the kitchenette sink, Sean had to bore through the concrete wall to get the water supply into that room.

He'll have to run the plumbing pipes from the laundry sink, along the wall, through the hole, through the wall on the other side, and into the cabinets - all the while ensuring that the pipes will be high enough to work with the kitchenette sink, but on a downward slope towards the laundry sink so that the water flows without impediment.

Sounds easy, right? But I have faith he can do it, even though he hasn't done anything like this before, ha!

Meanwhile, I've been hunkered down with the sewing machine and working with these gorgeous fabrics to create some pretty textiles for the room:

These fabrics are from Calico and I am very excited to bring them into the room.  You can see that I'm going for a textured, natural coastal feel in the colours of sand and sea. I was very drawn to these linens with a nubby texture in stripes and modern plaids.

From left to right: Tonya Floral Ralph Lauren Midnight, Wauwinet Plaid - Linen 16 DuneMaui - 50 IndigoWauwinet Plaid - Linen 1 IvoryQuidnet Stripe - Linen 15 MarinaMadaket Plaid - Linen 1 Ivory

Fabrics contribute greatly to how a room feels and I want this room to feel casual yet still tailored. I think these fabrics offer that mix! Here's a peek at what I've made so far:

I've had this vision to have an oversized lumbar pillow on the sofa. If you caught my Instagram Stories, you saw the disaster that was me using an old down-filled floor pillow to provide the filling for this new pillow. Feathers were EVERYWHERE but I'd say it was worth it because I love how this pillow turned out.

I also made these reversible pillows with zippers (I used this tutorial). Of course, I filled them with my favourite faux down inserts. They look perfectly plump and welcoming. But there's no time to rest... lots more to do around here!

One other quick and satisfying project was giving our existing coffee table a makeover. I sanded down the wood top and applied a whitewash using 1 part Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Grey and 2 parts water. The end result reminds me of driftwood and will work so well in this coastal inspired space.

Catch up with the rest of the Featured Designers and see what they've been up to:

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