One Room Challenge: Week Four

If you’re new around here, two years ago my husband and I purchased our first house: a 1940’s Colonial located in a very cute coastal Connecticut town. We’ve been tackling remodeling the house room by room, where we’re always looking for ways to add equal parts function and character into our house. Make sure to catch up on our One Room Challenge™ progress from past weeks (week one, week two, week three).

Well this was quite the big week! It really feels like we took a huge leap forward, which is starting to get me so excited that this will soon be my master bedroom! We accomplished so much, but because everything was so visually transformative, it was less painful to work until midnight each night because we were so excited to see the improved space again the next morning in natural light. That feeling of seeing the work you’ve accomplished make such a big impact is truly what keeps us motivated on this journey to remodel our home.

Let’s jump in.

Installed our new windows

During the inspection phase when buying our house, it came up that the window in the bedroom (now closet) was rotted out and needed to be replaced or repaired. We received some money towards it and put off tackling it for two years. During the winter we would put film over it to keep cool air out, so janky, I know. So, we knew going into this project that a window covered in plastic film would probably need to be addressed.

I reached out to some carpenters about fixing the window, but didn’t find the right person. So, we explored the new window options on the market that might match this window closely and offer some of the upgraded efficiency of modern windows.

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What I haven’t yet mentioned is that clearly the other window in the bedroom had at some point also rotted, and had been replaced with a vinyl window that was not the best fit for the house. Not only was the window too small for the opening, it didn’t match any of the other windows in the house visually and the grille pattern was all wrong.

This sealed the deal for me that it was an opportunity to replace both windows so that I wouldn’t wake up every morning glaring at the vinyl window. Plus, if we were going to ever replace the windows, this was the time when all the trimwork has been removed and the walls hadn’t yet been touched.

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After a few visits to our local home improvement store and to a windows-focused shop, we found the best match for the space. Sadly, they had to be custom made because our space between the two studs was about 1 inch too narrow for the stock option. So, we resolved to paying for expensive custom windows, knowing that it was the best choice for our house. We ended up going with Marvin Integrity with a wood interior. They only have a few minor differences from the windows we currently have in the rest of the house, so I’m very happy with the decision. Plus, they make the room so much quieter, which is a great win in the bedroom. In an effort to be transparent, because hopefully it’s helpful if you’re in the same situation, the two windows totaled $2.5K together.

So, once the windows arrived, we strategized how to install them. Since there’s a roof on the outside where the windows were being installed, we knew it was feasible for Cory and I to install them ourselves. We’d never done this before, but we did a ton of research, gathered supplies and didn’t set any expectations for how long the process would take. It’s when tackling a new project like this that I realize how much our skill set has grown with our experience – both removing each window and then replacing them went super smoothly with only a few moments that required some problem solving. If we had tackled this project a few years ago, I know this would have been a big, challenging project, but now, it took us a few hours and the only real anxiety was related to replacing a window while 20+ feet above the ground.

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Yes, that’s a giant hole in our house.

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So much better.

And then in the bedroom, we went from this:

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To this hole

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To this new window.

Knowing that we were going to be painting the windows, we saved some money by getting the interior of the windows unprimed and unpainted. I’m already breathing a sigh of relief with the improvement in the space visually and that we’ve brought back some of the original character. Almost every room we do includes a splurge or two that completely improve the visuals and function of the space, and these windows were definitely that splurge in this project.

Installed Metrie Trimwork

We’re so happy to be working with our friends at Metrie again on our trimwork for this project (as in our master bathroom). The baseboards and crown moulding are the same as in the bathroom and come from the Fashion Forward collection – the profiles on both are the perfect balance between a streamlined modern and a classic traditionalist aesthetic. In the bedroom we also installed a chair rail, which we selected to be a very close match to the chair rail in our hallway. Where possible, it’s best to keep the style of your trimwork consistent throughout your home.

Installed Metrie casing and baseboards

Once the window was in, we were guns blazing on installing the Metrie casing. We had a lot of openings to install the casing around: four doorways and three windows. We used the same Fashion Forward casing as in the Master Bathroom and the transformation was immediate. I will never get over the impact trimwork can have on finishing a space. It covers up all those not 100% perfect edges and completely makes a space look professional, when done right.

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Next up were the baseboards in the bedroom. Again, we used the same Fashion Forward style as in the bathroom. The key to good trimwork in a room is scale and proportion. We went with the 5.5” baseboard which is perfect with our 8’ ceilings. Any bigger and we would have overwhelmed the room.

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How much more complete does the space look already?

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Installed Metrie chair rail + panel moulding

I didn’t want the guest room to have a trim detail on the walls but the master bedroom to not, since it’s such a great way to add character, interest and elevate the room. But, I also knew I wanted a wallpaper moment and I’m personally not a huge fan of a single accent wall, in most scenarios. So, I landed on panel moulding below a chair rail, but to keep it from looking too traditional dining room, the trim will be painted blue.

For the panel moulding, we found Metrie’s new Option{M} collection to be SO helpful, especially because we could pick our style (New Traditionalist, of course) and then look at the options that were appropriately scaled for standard height ceilings. Proportion is everything when it comes to trimwork, and there are so many different directions you can take your trimwork in, so it’s incredible to have such a tight curated selection of gorgeous trim that all works well together.

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I have saved a video tutorial to my Instagram Story highlights, but a quick synopsis of the steps to install panel moulding:

  1. Plan out how many boxes you’re going to add to your walls – think about how they’re going to interact with outlets, switches, furniture, and the scale of the room.
  2. Decide on how much space you’re going to have surrounding the boxes of panel moulding. I like to keep the same distance consistent around the border (we went with 4” to mirror the trim in our bathroom and hallway)
  3. Decide on the right profile of trim for your space. We went with this one.
  4. Measure everything out and make your cuts. All cuts are going to be 45 degree angles using a miter saw.
  5. Locate your first top section and ensure it’s level and the correct distance from the top and sides. We used a laser level to help with this. Nail this piece into the wall using finish nails and a nail gun.
  6. Bank your second piece, a side piece up against the first piece, ensure it’s level and flush on the outside corner. Nail it in.
  7. Do the same for your remaining two sides of your box.
  8. Use scrap wood cut to the border size as spacers to locate your next side piece on the adjacent box and nail it in.
  9. Then resume steps 6 through 8 on that wall. Start from step 5 for the subsequent wall.
  10. Caulk all your edges and nail holes. We use this caulk and this handly little tool to smooth our caulk.
  11. Sand the caulk to be undetectable when you run your fingers over the trim
  12. And then paint!

One of the biggest game changers in getting the trim up quickly was our new-ish laser level. Seriously, if there’s one tool we wished we’d invested in years earlier, it’s this one. Not needing to balance various levels on every piece of trimwork easily cut down the time to install in half.

Installed Metrie crown moulding

Every time we install crown moulding the process becomes a little bit easier, but this will probably forever be the most difficult trim to install in an old house. We scarcely encounter perfectly square walls, so the cuts are a lot of trial and error, but the process and finished product went smoother than ever before. This time around, we made small sample cuts from scrap crown moulding to use as guides for the adjacent sides to make sure all our cuts were going to be correct. Before making any cuts we ensured we had the right angles for each corner of the room, so our cuts were pretty quick. We had to make some adjustments to ensure a correct fit.

We also installed the shoe moulding, which is something I debated a lot, but I’m so happy we added to the space. Since we have an old house and our floors aren’t perfectly level throughout, adding the shoe moulding caps off the space and really amps up the professional look. It hides the slight variance that’s visible from the bottom of the baseboard to the top of the hardwoods. Make sure to install the shoe moulding about 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch off the floor so you can slide paper under it to paint the trimwork and protect your hardwoods. We used pieces of scrap cardboard to hold the shoe moulding up off the floor when we glued the shoe moulding on. Honestly, trim can work absolute wonders on completing a space.

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Caulked everything

This is the step that I always underestimate in terms of effort. We went through over 10 tubes of caulk and spent so, so many hours caulking, sanding, caulking and sanding. But, it absolutely makes a huge difference in the finished product. Make sure to sand down your caulk and then run your hands over the trimwork to ensure you can’t feel any rough edges.

Prepped the bedroom for paint

We used our compressor to blow all the dust off our walls, but if you don’t have a compressor, make sure to wipe down your walls before priming. We also laid down new builder paper to protect our gorgeous newly refinished floors. They’re dusty in these photos, but once we wipe them down, will return to their gorgeous state. Then we taped and papered off our window panes, electrical outlets and doorways.

Primed the bedroom

Last night, Cory tackled priming the bedroom using a spray gun. I didn’t have a chance to take pictures for this post, but suffice to say it’s starting to look so much more finished. Even though we got pre-primed Metrie trim, it’s still good practice to prime your caulked surfaces, and we hadn’t primed our walls before applying the trimwork, so we primed the whole room.

What’s next?

Tonight we’re going to start painting the trimwork in the room, where we’ve found that using a spray gun requires a lot more prep work, but results in a much easier painting process and a huge improvement in the quality of the paint job, especially when there’s a lot of trimwork involved.
We still have so much to do in order to get this project to the finish line, despite knocking out so much in the past week. And that includes:

  • Painting the bedroom
  • Trimming out the closet
  • Creating drawer fronts
  • Finishing up the window bench
  • Priming and painting the closet
  • Installing the wallpaper in both rooms – we’ve decided to hire this one out and have it scheduled for the last week
  • Sewing a window bench cushion
  • Installing lighting throughout both spaces
  • Painting and installing doors and Emtek hardware
  • Building a bedframe
  • Refinishing our vintage nightstands
  • Installing window treatments
  • Furnishing the space
  • Photographing the room

And, that’s a pretty overwhelming list..

 

Check out progress from my fellow One Room Challenge™ featured designers below!

At Home with Ashley | Brepurposed | Dabito | The English Room | Erin Kestenbaum

Harlow & Thistle | House of Brinson | J & J Design | Kelly Golightly | Linda Holt

Megan Bachmann | Michelle Gage | Mimosa Lane | Murphy Deesign | Vestige Home

Old Home Love | SG Style | Shay Geyer | Sita Montgomery | SMP Living

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens | TM by ORC

ORC fall 2018 Small

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