Welcome to week 2 of the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge! This week we tackled one of the bigger projects in this nursery: the hanging chair. I also added the rug I picked out, and solved a major cord safety/aesthetic issue.
Check out week 1 if you need a refresher on my plans for the room.
If you’ve just arrived at DIY in PDX via the One Room Challenge blog, welcome! I’m Rachel, and I blog about everything DIY, from fixing up my old house, to making accessories and decor, to growing plants and cooking. But I’m currently working on my most ambitious DIY project yet: By the end of the Spring 2019 ORC I’ll have given birth to my first child. So I’ll be creating a nursery for our new little one.
In case you’re wondering, today is my due date, but I’m still pregnant as of this (Wednesday) morning. Even though I know that due dates are just estimates, and first babies are more likely to be late, the waiting and uncertainty is really hard. I’m so ready to meet this little girl (and be done being pregnant)! But I’m trying to practice patience, and distract myself with this room makeover. So let’s get to it.
The Hanging Chair
While I showed a modern rattan hanging chair in my plans last week, I’m actually using a vintage one. I have very fond childhood memories of playing in this one in my paternal grandparents’ Michigan mid-century modern home. When my grandmother died in 2017, no one else in the family wanted the chair, so even though I already have another vintage hanging chair (inspired by my memories of this one), and didn’t have any idea what I’d do with this one, I agreed to take it.
My grandparents moved to the Arizona desert in the late ’90s, where this chair lived in the bright sunshine and dry air for nearly 20 years. So it’s not surprising that the rattan was parched when I got it. I googled for tips on how to restore dry rattan, but I didn’t find much, so I just figured it out as I went along.
Step one was to wash it down, and let it dry completely. I used Murphy’s Oil Soap because it’s formulated to clean wood. It definitely left the rattan looking better, but still dry.
At this point I also did a little repair work on the chair. Though the cross-pieces are actually held together with tiny nails, there are “ties” at each junction, and the glue on several of these had dried up and given out. So I glued a bunch of them back in place with wood glue, using binder clips and clamps to hold them in place while the glue dried.
The next step took forever, but made a big difference. Steven and I wiped down every inch of the chair with this beeswax wood polish and conditioner. You can see the difference in the photo below, where the lighter part in the middle is the section we hadn’t done yet. The wood really soaked up the conditioner.
The last step was hanging the chair. Normally I would have done this myself, but climbing on a ladder to reach 9-foot ceilings while pregnant isn’t the best idea in the world. So all credit goes to Steven for this part!
To hang the chair, we screwed this heavy-duty lag screw eye into a ceiling joist, then used a 5/16-inch chain quick link to attach the chair. Unlike modern hanging chairs, this one came with an attached chain, but obviously it was way too short. So I bought two feet of chain, and some quick links to attach it.
This is where we made a small mistake, which I’ll share in case it’ll prevent anyone from making the same one. We were trying to figure out how long to make the additional chain, so we attached it and sat in the chair to figure out the ideal height. But since we were just testing it, we didn’t close the small quick link. And when we did go to close it after cutting the chain to the correct length, the quick link had gotten pulled out of shape by having weight put on it while it was open. We had extra links, so it was no big deal, but the lesson here is always close quick links before putting weight on them!
The other progress this week was on the cord front. Remember this mess? It’s the internet set-up for the whole house. This is our cable modem, wireless router, and cables that run out the window and back in through a basement window so that we can have corded internet down there.
And of course there are no power outlet nearby. It’s like when they added electricity to this 107-year-old house they had no idea how many outlets we’d need! Maybe someday we’ll get an electrician to add more, but until then we’ve figured out how to make do.
So the first thing I did was relocate the cable modem and router to the closet, inside that door on the right. Even though I already have a million extension cords (#oldhouseproblems) I had to buy this 20-foot grounded extension cord. Much better already though, right?
While I could maybe just hide the cord behind furniture in other rooms, in here the cord is a child safety issue. Leaving it unsecured wasn’t really an option.
So even though I know this wall will mainly be covered with furniture, I used a couple of packs of this half-round cord concealer to hide and secure my cords above the baseboard.
The cord covers were easy to cut to size by hand with a hacksaw. They stick to the wall with adhesive on the back, and I bought connector pieces to attach them at the corners. I’d definitely use this kind of cord concealer again.
There are still some stray cables in the corner, but I painted them white, they’ll be hidden behind a curtain, and they don’t pose any electrical danger, so I’m not worried about them for the moment. (Eventually they may need to be further secured against destruction by a toddler, though.)
As you might also have noticed, the rug is down! I really like it, though I’m wondering if maybe it’s a bit too big for the room. This is the 8×10 size, but I was worried that the 5×8 would be too small. I figured too big would be better than too small, and I think it’ll look good once all the furniture is in the room. What do you think?