Our first winter in our house was telling of a lot of things. First, our attic is happily insulated (but the walls of G’s room were not). We added blow-in insulation when we moved in. However, we also found out that above our normal-height drywall ceilings, there are 9-10 ft original plaster ceilings. The huge attic is above that. That extra ceiling adds a nice layer of insulation. So, our heating/cooling bills are low, although, I would have loved the 9-10 foot ceiling! But I don’t blame the previous owner for leaving it there instead of taking it down and re-doing it. After working with plaster in the bathroom, I’ve realized what a mess it is.
For our future renovations, we’ve just added drywall over the old plaster. That way, we don’t disturb any possible original lead paint, we have less garbage, and it’s a whole lot less work! We’re not the first ones to do this either, I’ve read online about other people doing the same thing.
For G’s room, we actually HAD to remove some of the plaster, because we realized that it had ZERO insulation. That’s right, none. Just the exterior walls, plaster, and lathe. To keep waste and dust low, Husband just took the plaster off at the top and the bottom of the wall, then pushed insulation down into in wall, pulling it out the bottom.
I actually don’t have any pictures of this process. I think at the time it just felt like just another drywall picture, so why bother. It’s not very interesting.
Here are pictures of G’s room before:
Not in bad shape, but not cute, and very cold. You can’t tell by the picture, but it’s paneling over plaster. The paneling is painted yellow. The carpet is green, and in decent shape, but… it’s green. And the fan. Oh my word, old fans hang down SO low (her’s was just one of three in our house). I’m not that tall, and I always felt like I was just inches away from hitting my head on the light.
Ah! But underneath that green carpet… beautiful, original wood floors. Not in perfect shape, but useable! All I did was add some varnish to make it more walkable (the old varnish was almost worn completely gone). And since we try to limit VOCs here, I picked out a zero VOC varnish that has held up great (learn more here!)—after all, it is my little girl’s room, and she’s still growing.
This is the rest of her room. I couldn’t bring myself to buy curtains when we moved in because I wasn’t sure how we would decorate in the future… so I covered her windows with blankets. This is embarrassing to even show you, but it was always meant as a temporary fix! And actually, it kept the room a bit warmer in the winter.
So, after all the paneling and trim came down, the drywall went up. (Too boring of a process to even take pictures). Then, it was time to paint. I learned a little something about paint this time around. I knew I wanted green, but I wanted it to be a grey-green– something calm. And while the outcome is still a calm green, it’s a whole lot greener than I anticipated! It’s still cute though. And most important, G really loved it!
Also, now that G was three, it was time for her own bed! My handy husband made her one. It’s tall so we can trundle it later, and each side has a pocket for her books (the girl loves to read!) After he built it (out of 2x4s and 1x4s), we coated it with polyurethane (not VOC free, but this task was done about a month or two before she moved into the room, so I’m hoping most of it off-gassed by then).
The closet was another headache. We had to re-insulate it and drywall the whole thing. It REALLY needed insulation, as we found a little hole in the bottom of it. It’s a bump out, and that little hole made little ice puddle during the winter. Also, the floor wasn’t finished like the rest of the room, so we had to figure out a solution. Because I knew we were going to eventually have new floors, I didn’t want to waste any money on it. My solution? Get as many free carpet samples at the big box stores as possible, and hot glue them to the floor.
Yup. I did it.
Check out my process here:
It really worked too. It’s meant to be a temporary solution, so I’m fine with it. I just want her little toes to be safe when she’s wanting to dress herself.
Last piece to the puzzle… make black-out curtains, add crown (this is the last room we did crown in… it’s just not worth the trouble and money people), and hang some artwork.
And a shout-out to my mother-in-law who lovingly painted all the artwork for G’s room.
Even in these two photos, the green wall looks totally different. The true color looks more like the photo with the animal paintings.
Lastly, part of my project list included a homemade braided rug for her room. I got about halfway finished before Baby E was born, so it’s currently sitting in a box waiting for me. When I do finish, you’ll be the first to know. Here’s a peek:
Ok! G’s room is done.
Enjoy some before and after photos!
It’s about as picked up as I could get it that day. The book pockets in the bed are used daily. The ladder bookshelf fits a lot of books without taking up too much space:
Before – What a shame to cover those large windows!
Blackout shades and blackout curtains in white that can easily open and close, shiny wood floors, and a mattress underneath for those nights when she doesn’t want to be alone. And hopefully when Baby E gets bigger, that will be his bed.
Same toy shelf. Her play kitchen is elsewhere. With her bed frame being so big, we had to shuffle things around a bit. But even with a big bed, the room still feels so much larger than before!
And the closet is finished too, and with all the shelves in there, there’s no need for a dresser in the room:
Two rooms done… more to come!