The Littlest House – Wherein I lay floors, hang ceiling fixtures and paint… and paint some more.

Looks like it has been more than a full month since I’ve last posted an update on how my renovation is going so it’s time for an update!

If you’re new around here, this is what’s been going down:

I bought a rickety old house, built in the 30′s, in November 2008. I was broke then and I’m still broke now but I’m slowly making improvements and fixing things that BADLY need fixing. The foundation underneath the porch on one side of the house had partially collapsed  and the corner of the porch was resting on the edge of a concrete pad that happened to be laying there functioning as one ginormous doorstep. This needed fixing ASAP.

The porch was demolished, a new addition was built, drywall was hung and then I was left to install a floor, do a lot of painting, add trim and in short… finish the room that was just built onto my house.

I knew that I wanted to keep with the character of the home, but also make things look more modern and clean. With that in mind I started looking for ways to finish the space.

It was my fathers suggestion to add a tile pad by the door, I agreed and he installed a small tile pad using leftover tile that I also used in the kitchen, in a cool grey colour.


For the rest of the flooring I picked the same laminate in this room as in the adjacent living-room for a seamless look. I went with 10mm laminate because that’s what I laid in the living room (in lieu of finishing the original pine board underneath, I laid overtop, leaving the option open in the future) and it’s been great for easy cleanup. I also got a good portion of the flooring at 25% off the sale price (which was 10% off) by negotiating to buy all the open and damaged boxes on display.

I laid the floor myself, it didn’t actually take me very long to do! The main thing to remember is to stagger the planks so you don’t get lines in the floor. Where every second row of planks ends and starts at the same spot – it looks funny.

bulk of the flooring in

After that I decided to hang this great chandelier that I found at Home Depot for $20 a few years ago. It’s been sitting in my cluttered sunroom for the past 3 years… but no matter. I installed a dimmer so when I get my bed moved in I can dim the lights… and sexy time, YEAH.

i have always wanted one!

I added the ceiling medallion because 1) I cut the hole in the drywall too big and 2) I’ve always wanted one , as well as a chandelier and a dimmer. Three in one!

From there I decided I wanted to paint at least three of the walls in the same cream colour as the rest of the house. It just works with all the original trim and it’s very neutral so it’s easier on the eyes for future renters or for a future buyer.. I also happen to have a 5 gallon pail of it that I got as a mis-tint and it works with the floor I chose… bonus? I thought so! I wasn’t sure yet on what colour to pick for the feature wall.

Also, fyi: you should paint BEFORE laying the floor. I got all the walls and ceiling primed and painted once before laying the floor, I’m now carefully finishing the last coat of paint by using dropcloths, not the smartest move.

I went with cream on three walls and a moody grey on the wall that will have my desk/mini-office. I’ll explain in a bit how I ended up with the grey.

Igore the mess please!

As you can see, I still need another coat of grey:

Going in reverse order – floor, trim, then paint?

After the fiasco with 9 coats of paint on my front door I learned that to paint with red you need the right primer, I used a moody, warm grey primer that I had custom tinted to prime my back door and then still had a good 3/4 left of the can. After seeing the paint and testing a small patch  of the grey primer on the wall in the new bedroom I loved it and decided to do the whole wall with it.  Cost: $0, bonus!

Since this room has LOTS of windows and doors; one each in two walls, one door to the living room and one french door to the backyard where there will be a future deck, I wasn’t sure what to do about the whole privacy thing… I added simple blinds to the two windows for now and used a curtain rod and a shower curtain I wasn’t using on the back door:

Nothing is better than free!

The curtain is a bit short unfortunately but it does the trick for now. I’m considering sowing a band of fabric on the bottom if I can find something that won’t look odd.

And that’s where things stand today, I’m hoping to tackle the remaining paint-work this week. I start my courses again this week and with winter I’ll be quite busy at work so it will be good to get this done and out of the way. As well, it will be nice to finally move my bed into the room and start using this as a proper bedroom (with desk). 🙂 Have you tackled any home renovation projects over the holidays?

 PS: You can find more about The Littlest House progress so far on The Littlest House page. Go check it out!

11 thoughts on “The Littlest House – Wherein I lay floors, hang ceiling fixtures and paint… and paint some more.

  1. See, I was thinking that the curtain was just the right length! It covers all of the window and doesn't drag on the floor… but I have cats, so maybe that last bit is only important to folks with furballs (the animate ones and their inevitable leavings) in the house. 🙂

  2. I really like your work. The tile entrance is a nice touch, and looks sharp. We gutted our master bath over the winter break, and just primed the ceiling this afternoon. Hopefully it will be done in a few weeks. Thankfully my wife is doing most of the work, she loves home remodelling projects of any magnitude.

  3. Nice work on the renovation, I'm impressed! I spent a good couple of years renovating my house and am finally getting to where I want it to be. It is hard work, but it is worth it in the end. Hope it continues to go well!

  4. I am loving the new look. You like the same colours as us- earth tones. Keep up the good work. The house is going to look amazing when you are all finished.

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