DiYVR: Home Improvement Open Thread


DIY is best when not done by yourself. Or, you know, when you can learn from your friends. Let’s talk about what we’re doing on the home improvement front, shall we?

Painting the Dresser

Chez Werker, we’re the kind of DIYers who get a day’s notice about adopting a baby and decide a week later that it makes perfect sense to remodel the basement. (Kid needs a room near our room, see, and our bungalow has but one bedroom on the main floor. So we’re moving to the basement, where there are two bedrooms right across from each other.)

In a selfish attempt not to feel alone in this kind of behaviour, I thought I’d start an open thread where we can chat about the home-improvement projects we’re doing ourselves. And don’t hold back! Sharing is caring. Tell how you’re doing what you’re doing and where you’ve found the best supplies. I’d love to learn some tips and tricks about supplies in the city and fun projects to do, and I’m certain I’m not alone in that.

Ok, I’ll start. We’ve gotten help from friends and a contractor-friend to replace the dirty wall-to-wall carpeting with a laminate floor, and in painting over the hideous cave colours on the walls with nice, bright neutrals. Here are some of the more interesting, or at least smaller-scale, DIY projects we’ve done or plan to do:

Lee Valley Hardware has lots of hardware.

  • We made a new bed (where by “we” I mean I wasn’t involved at all). Our old bed had a gorgeous log headboard and footboard, but the logs were bulky and we need room for a bassinet in our bedroom now. So right after the baby came, my partner and his brother made us a platform bed with drawers underneath for storage and room under he foot of the bed for the dog. They used plywood and MDF from Dunbar Lumber and Home Depot, and they painted the whole shebang white.
  • Our new bedroom has room for furniture beyond the IKEA Pax wardrobe our tiny old room could fit, and we spent some time looking at furniture online, poking through thrift stores and browsing antique stores on Main St. In the end, though, we’ve decided to reclaim my 34-year-old childhood furniture from other uses. After a light sanding, a couple coats of primer, some water-borne oil paint stuff from Benjamin Moore, and new handles and knobs from Lee Valley, they’re not exactly like new, but they’re newly white and tomorrow we’ll have someplace to put our clothes.
  • I’m desperate to fashion some sort of a (not-bulky) headboard for the new bed. Maybe something out of upholstered ceiling tiles, or maybe I’ll use some of that textured, paintable wallpaper on a piece of plywood (I saw some at Home Depot the other day). My partner thinks this is a dumb idea, so first I need to convince him it’ll look outstanding. (It’ll look outstanding.)
  • Our old bedroom will be a combo guest room and crafts studio. One of the first things I’ll do when I finalize where the furniture will live is make some of these using spent formula canisters. I’ll fill them with yarn, fabric and maybe some other pretties. I’m giddy just thinking about it.
  • I’m going to try to make it to a class at Spool of Thread so I can learn to make fabric boxes to keep stuff organized in.

Ok, go!

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I'm a writer, editor, blogger, crochet book author and tinkerer who loves thunderstorms, good books, sushi and wants to learn how to snowboard. I run the Mighty Ugly project, too. I moved to Vancouver in 2002, and I think it's awesome.