April 2, 2012

Renovating my new apartment is taking a while.

Then again, anyone who has had renovations, no matter how minor, realize that it takes time to get things done.

In November, I got the keys to my new place.  I had already seen the place about a week prior, and at the time, decided that I wanted to make the place look nice.  I had about a month to make reparations before I was ‘ordered’ to vacate my [now] previous residence.

I wanted to do something amazing… something that would say, “… this is my home… this is me…”  The first step, was to prepare the place for the work ahead.  I knew that it was going to take time.  I knew that my free time was going to be non-existent.  My schedule changed somewhat.  Classes… class preparation… Facebook play time… packing up… renovating new place.  Oh, and sleep.

The first step in the renovation process, was to get rid of the wallpaper that surrounded the apartment. It was old, dirty, starting to peel away from the wall in places… it needed to go.  Tearing off wallpaper is kind of therapeutic. It’s a mindless task, not requiring a lot of thinking.  As there was nothing in the apartment at the time, it was actually kind of easy.  Tear it down, drop it on the floor.  Once all the paper off the wall, clean it up, sweep the floor, and begin the next step.

I had also decided to keep a ‘photo journey’ of the renovations in progress.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken a picture before the work began, but I did start with this one:

All the wallpaper off the walls, swept into a big pile until bagged for garbage.  The first line for the paint encircles the main room.  No stopping now.  I should also say that during this whole process of renovating, I have had the help of my friend, Gary, in Canada.  We chat on Skype almost daily.  We look through pictures from the internet, for ideas on what to do.  After looking over several ideas, I had decided on this:

Apartment inspiration

I wasn’t too keen on the green in this picture, but then again, it was not necessary to use exact colours.  I liked the idea.  I thought it would look nice.  And the basic simplicity made it a favourable design.  All the pictures of the renovations are also contained in an album on my Facebook account.

After about 2 weeks, this was the end product of my vision:

A little bit of touch-up here and there, but otherwise, the room was basically finished… for now.  I had a vision, and the result was, in a word, incredible.  I did it.  The next room to work on, was the office.  The office has a built in desk.  I decided to keep the desk, but it did need a bit of paint to make it look nice.  One of the walls also had a ‘false’ wall installed to make all the walls appear smooth.  It was also covered in wallpaper.  Again, down came the paper, and the false wall.

My initial design for the ‘false wall’ (once prepared) was this:

I wanted the office to be bright, colourful, and inspirational.  This is where I spend a good deal of time in lesson planning.  It’s also where I spend my mornings having my coffee, and basically waking up.  I figured a brightly coloured room would do just that.  Kind of a cheerful way to greet the day.  Once the wallpaper was torn down, and the ‘false wall’ taken off, this is what remained:

All these wood slats had been nailed into the cement wall.  I tried to remove one of these slats, but after having chunks of cement being ripped out of the wall, I decided to try to work this into the design.  My original plan had to change.  I tried a few options, such as paint-filled balloons thrown at the wall, splashing paint on the walls, and a couple of other silly notions, until another option presented itself.  Just paint each section different colours (since I already had the paint), and paint the slats black.  The final look:

Okay, so it is not exactly as the original design, but close enough.  Besides, it was a lot easier to accomplish this and make it work than the original.  That would have taken a lot longer to accomplish.  The opposite wall has the built-in desk, and so it too was painted in the same fashion – block colours with black trim.

The third and final room needing a bit of a change was the room I call the “Art Room”.  This room is where I will do all my art works.  During the year, I have art projects that I do for my schools.  One of the largest projects each year, is the design and creation of pinatas.  Each pinata I create takes about 50-75 hours to complete.  I need space and a place that, when things get messy, is not going to be a problem.  This room needed something inspirational as well.

Two preparatory steps needed to happen.  The crappy flooring needed to be taken out.  Once removed, the floor was cleaned as best as possible.  Then, the room was painted completely white.  It already had been white, but, over time, was looking terrible.  Then an idea hit me.  Why not create something wild.  My idea was this:

Art Room inspiration


I liked the chaotic look.  The various colours.  The fact that there are no squares.  Each shape is different.  The first step was to tape off all the various sections.  There was no measuring, no making sure each part was even or level… just taping off sections.

Second, paint in each of the sections with varying colours.  I decided, rather than buy any more paint, to use the same colours that I had already used in the apartment to date.  After painting, the tape removed, and the final outcome was:

All this work took just about 4 weeks to complete, from start to finish.  Although at my move in time, the renovating was not completely done, the major work was finished.  There were still touch-ups and further designing to do.  The remainder of the work could be accomplished without too much hassle.  I would be able to work around my furniture.

Phase I, Part I finished.  Part II will follow…

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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