First jam session in the newly restored room

Before the seed there comes the thought of bloom.
– E. B. White

Such is the lesson of the middle bedroom.

Twenty-five years ago when we purchased this old 1917 (fixer upper) house it came with lots, I mean – LOTS,  of problems. Problems that we didn’t have the money at the time to fix. One of “the problems” old asphalt roof that leaked and did  some serious water damage to the middle bedroom.

It wasn’t until 2006-2007 that we finally had the time and money to put on a new (metal) roof.  You can read about the roof saga here, herehere, here ,here and here — this last post is worth reading because it talks about who we are and where we are because of choices made

Until then, we lived with a blue tarp covering the whole left side of the house. Of course, not only did we live with a blue tarped roof, we also lived with the unsightly middle room. That room was certainly an eyesore and a disorganized mess ( thanks to friends always giving us books, yarn and fabric) The middle bedroom became like a storage unit serving no real purpose but to store “stuff.”  That room left us fit to be tied.

We all knew this room needed some serious help, but Jordanne was the one who kept the most faith of us both. Faith that one day we’d find the time to fix it up. Year after year, she would go into that black hole of a room and whip that mess into shape – boy, did it give her grief! Slowly and oh, how slowly, the mess was sorted out into a decent order.

Me, well, I have to admit I oftentimes throw up my hands in despair.  The room was a disaster! So much stuff, no place to put it and, oh, that horribly  huge water mark and peeling paint – yuck!   It was a room that we didn’t like friends to see, but then again why should folks judge you from appearances?   This was definitely a room that tried tested character.   In fact, the whole house and yard is a testament to hard work and the DIY spirit.

Overtime, we were lucky to get some second hand furniture and even a sewing machine so we put it in the room with plans on one day transforming it to a multi purpose craft/music/library den

A lesson in all this: It sometimes takes years to see a vision fulfilled. After the seed is planted, it takes time to bear fruit. It doesn’t happen overnight. And it takes faith that it will produce after all.

Just as 2010 was coming to a close,  the time had come for the eyesore to be transformed.  With not much work to be done in the garden, Justin got on board which really helped us gals.  Couldn’t have done it without his help.  Thanks buddy!

After over a decade, within a few days, the room has had its cracks filled, peeling paint scraped and a new coat of paint.

Like kids in a candy shop, we are bugged eyed with creative ideas.   Like to use the room for knitting gatherings and now we (and others) can easily access our library of books so perhaps we can have reading or lending thing going. Lots of ideas/plans that’s for sure.

There’s still lots of organizing to do – yarns, fabrics and sewing notions.  Not to mention need to scrap up the hideous linoleum because there’s beautiful wood floors underneath – just takes some time and lots of elbow grease!

So as I sit on the sofa knitting a few rounds on a prayer blanket for a friend with the soft afternoon sun glowing across the freshly painted walls, I remind myself that it can take a couple days to transform a room but character is built over a lifetime.

Definitely a real life lesson in patience, perseverance and faith.

Water damage that happened many years ago

Cracks and peeling paint

After scraping the walls, on goes the primer

Furniture gets pushed into the middle of the room

First coat of paint

Done but still lots of organizing to do.

Second hand desk, chair, lamp and sewing machine

Sofa was free, found on the side of the road.

Table, mirror and vase second hand. Nice and cozy


  1. Nebraska Dave says:

    I can truly identify with the years of fixing required. I too have a rain leak damage in the kitchen ceiling that is on the list to be repaired but will be extremely messy. Taking down a section of the ceiling with insulation that will fall will be a real trial. The leak is not from the roof leaking instead from the way the furnace flue is vented which causes condensation that drips down on the ceil from the attic above. The correction of that issue is another story. Maybe this will be the year to fix the ceiling or maybe not.

    Have a great day in your newly recovered middle bedroom.

  2. ~Monica says:

    Such a great reminder. I am a single mom and own my own worn-down 1940’s house on a 1/4 acre lot. Slowly but surely, I’m getting to things I want done (over the holidays, with help, I now have two extra spaces in my house that are cleared out of clutter and are now functional! YAY!) It is amazing how when the overwhelming feeling goes away and you just go for it, you can get it all done over the course of a few days. It’s the ‘getting there’ part that is hard. Timing is everything!

    Thanks for sharing such inspiration : )

    Victoria, BC Canada

  3. Monica says:

    p.s. congratulations on your beautiful new room!!!!

  4. Colleen says:

    This room is lovely! The colors are so very warm and inviting. Second hand furnishings and such give a room a very definate character that is not found in new, mass produced, same as your neighbor mechandise. I am so glad your giving it all new life! I hope you get plenty of time this winter to thoroughly enjoy the effort that you so lovingly put into this space. ~Colleen~

  5. Mark says:

    i can relate! my house was built in 1906 and was a student rental for more than 20 years before i bought it 11 years ago. i have done so much: roof, paint, new foundation, insulation, double-pane windows, etc. but STILL there’s so much more to do. but it’s so nice to see the result, like your room there, beautiful! keep up the good work!

  6. Jennifer says:

    We have lived in our home for 11years now, we often have a saying to describe our poor little house. “This house a tribute to Walt Disney, everything in it has been Micky Moused back together!” So don’t despare, you guys have always done amazing things and I am always inspired by you and your family.
    Back to making pumkin cinnamon rolls. Have a great day, the room looks wonderful!

  7. girlgroupgirl says:

    We also purchased a fixer upper and it took us 10 years to do the major work. Our kitchen was a nasty mess for all that time. My family did not understand, but it took so much time to gather supplies and materials because we tried to do the kindest renovation for the environment as would fit with our needs. Sometimes I would get frustrated, but hey, not everything can be done on my timetable! But like you, the “right time” is the time that things seem to be the best. Waiting made things go more smoothly, and we had plenty of room for our side of the road finds! I think your room looks lovely, beautiful job.

    My biggest tip for hiding things is “fake closets”. Since you visited I made a few! Any nook or area beside a book shelf works great. I used a pair of curtains, an old set of shelves and one of those spring loaded cheap curtain rods. It’s pretty self explanatory but it really hides bins of the plastic coverings for my winter garden, plastic bins of fabrics, sewing patterns, winter and or summer clothing and boots….and I put it in the guest room and it looks lovely! The curtains add a bright touch of color and make it homey.

  8. Heather :) :) :) says:

    Yeah!!! Glad everything is fixed and looking beautiful!!! Now it won’t stop the room from filling up with cool crafty stuff 🙂 🙂 But now you won ‘t have to worry about water damage!!! That’s a lesson on patience for sure!! The end result is gorgeous !!! Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather 🙂

  9. Bethany says:

    I can relate! We also have a 1917 bungalow fixer-upper. We bought ours 3 1/2 years ago, and there are many times that I just have to remind myself that it’s a work in progress, and to just enjoy what we’ve managed to get done so far! The room looks beautiful!

  10. kitsapFG says:

    That turned out beautiful and was worth the wait. It is fun to see the blank palette that a newly available room provides – so many options and ideas!

  11. Ms. Smoochy says:

    I am so inspired. Lovely post, and lovely room. I love your paint choice. This is the time of year for these projects, huh? We are in the thick of painting discussions these days too. And here I was frustrated that we’ve lived in this house two years and haven’t found time to paint. This is good perspective. Life is still sweet even when the walls of your home aren’t perfect.

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