Creative Act XXII — Interior Design

With the summer & puppy job over, I found a wonderful rental in Sooke [about 45 km west of Victoria] — a mobile home on 1/2 acre on the ocean.  What’s really great is the landlord is fine with me painting & ‘improving’ the place — any future plans they have for the property means razing this place & building a new home.

Since getting the keys the last week of Sept., I’ve been in heaven developing a colour scheme, buying paint [quite an exciting event by itself], painting ceilings, walls & trim, as well as designing furniture — morphing a dull, brown, old throwaway into a fresh, bright, cozy home.

It’s been great touring the thrift shops & online ads for used furniture — picked up a rocker & a recliner for $60, two little brass bookcases for $5 ea, a mirror for $4, a chair on rollers for $15, a huge CD tower for $6, & a washer & dryer for $50.  Wow, that’s a lot of stuff for 145 bucks!

The whole time my creativity has been blossoming with stained glass ideas — shelves for the washroom; panels for the bed frame, tops for bedside tables; as well as windows galore — the porch is mega feet of window frames with plastic instead of glass that are just begging to be filled with colour.

It’s a special thrill for me to decorate & renovate on a limited budget — got two beautiful 6′ Philodendrons from Home Depot for $15 each, then picked up two pots at Wal-Mart for only $6.97 each.  Used dirt from the yard so, for less than $50 we have two gorgeous trees in our living room.  Now, that’s a deal!

Of course, the point of do-it-yourself [DIY] projects is to save on labour costs.  Sure, it may take me a couple of months to get this whole place totally painted [man, do you know how long it takes to do trim?] but it’s only cost about $200 so far [maybe another $100 of paint still needed].

I really don’t know what it would cost for a professional but I’m sure it would be quite a few hundred on top of the paint — maybe even close to $1,000.  Oh yeah, there’d be their markup on the paint too!  [Okay, another addition to my never-ending to-do list–>obtain paint estimate.]

Painting the ceiling & walls has definitely made the biggest difference.  The ceilings were a grubby yellow that I painted a really light blue in a flat finish [used ceiling paint which is a bit thicker — still got speckles on my glasses, hee hee] but they look white against the darker blue walls.

I didn’t prime the walls even though they were wood wallboard — just washed them down & put on a nice blue in eggshell finish.  But, wait a minute, the walls look kinda green against the blue kitchen floor!

So, off to RONA again to get the paint for the 2nd coat — this time change the colour to have less green in it & I got the “Platinum” finish which has a little more gloss to it than the eggshell, but not as much as the semi-gloss finish.  Now, we’ve got the right blue.  And boy, I really like the smooth finish — kinda like satin.

1st blue–> 2nd blue–>

So, next step is ivory semi-gloss on the kitchen cabinets & trim around the windows.  Yeah, I know I could have hired a professional but really, this is much more fun!

Vanessa Dawne Studio of Design


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