New life for an old room / by Suzanne


Some things depreciate with time. Houses, for example, unless properly cared for, fall into a state of disrepair. 

Our house is 120 years old. When we bought it 14 years ago we noticed the floor in the room at the back was slightly sloped. It was strange to see water in a glass, sitting on a table, resting at an angle. 

Although the sunniest room in our home - it faces south and catches all the afternoon sun - it’s rather chilly in the winter, especially the floor. That’s because it doesn’t sit on a foundation. 

Despite its quirks and deficiencies, we managed to live in and enjoy this room until it became obvious its flaws could no longer be ignored. Indeed some investigation revealed wood was rotting and something needed to be done.


Rather than tear it down we opted to correct and repair. We set out to level the floor and remove any rotting wood. The exterior was then newly shingled. 

We also installed a new door and upgraded windows (newly configured). 

As for the floor, ceramic tiles that look like wooden planks are heated from underneath when the temperature drops. Our toes need never be cold again. 


I gave the room a fresh coat of paint - a blush colour I’ve been eager to try. 

Rather than buy new furniture right away or invest in re-upholstering, we are making do with what we have elsewhere in our home and garage.

Furniture with fabric ravaged by cat claws is now disguised. I stitched a slip cover (very challenging!) for an old tub chair and draped the chaise longue with painter’s canvas.

I also used painter’s canvas (which I dyed years ago) to make the curtains and lined them with white cotton bed sheets.  It surprised me to see how perfectly they match the wall colour, as if I somehow knew.


Even the light fixture is a hand-me-down from another room in the house, which we previously spruced up with new lighting. 

Look out the windows and you will notice a yard that needs some love and attention too, which is next on our agenda.