renovating our bonair pop-up camper

Last month we bought a vintage pop-up camper off of Kijiji. The ad seemed like we wouldn’t need to put a lot of work into it, and the pictures were few and shot from afar. After speaking with the owner, she made it seem like we would be able to pick it up and go camping right away! How misleading that all was.

My husband went and bought it on a day off and I stayed home in order to take Remy to a birthday party. It was listed for $2000. He told me not to negotiate a price until he arrived, so I didn’t. When he got there, he said that it needed work. He offered her $1000 and they settled on $1500. When I heard how much he paid for it I thought that she was getting the short end of the stick and I felt a little guilty. Then Geoff came home with the camper, set it up, and I realized that $1500 was a more than generous offer. 

The owner was not truthful about a lot of things. She said there were no leaks when there were leaks, that the fabric was all in good condition when really every cushion was ripped and had holes, that the canvas was in great shape when it wasn’t, and so on. On top of it all, it was missing the sink and faucets, the propane stove was in hideous condition, the furnace didn’t work, and there was no water tank, among other issues.

Above is a “during renovation” photo. In one month, this is what we ended up accomplishing:

– installed new screens

– curtains + hooks

– bedding

– wall plates

– furnace

– fridge

– cabinet knobs

– hinges

– lighting

– plumbing

– propane tanks

– water tank

– door handle

– stove

– sink + faucets

– countertop 

– table

– dinnerware

– rug

– peg shelf

– scraped the ceiling 

– mended the canvas

– ccclllleeeaaaannnneeeeddddd

I’m tired from just recounting and writing all of that! But in all seriousness, it was a lot of work. We certainly could never have just picked it up and gone camping with it. However, it was worth it. We were able to keep her vintage qualities and yet make her new again.

Emory

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acreage renovation: a basement play and rec room

This was a big renovation that we had no intentions of undertaking until a few years down the road. That is, until our basement flooded in December! Once it did, we were left with no other option but to renovate our entire basement- the majority of which is made up by this playroom and recreational room!

We began by having our old laminate flooring, trim, and bottom portion of the drywall removed. My goodness, was it dirty! The smell alone was that of rotten eggs, and there was just so. much. dust. Fans and heaters were set up to completely dry it out, and it was after a few days. Finally, we were able to start picking out new flooring and baseboards!

Initially I wanted to go with carpet so our basement would feel cozier. However, because of our cistern being located in our basement, there is always a threat of it flooding again. If it did, carpet is one of the hardest types of flooring to dry out- so I was advised against it. Laminate also gets instantly destroyed when wet, as we have discovered. Hardwood was not in our price point, so we ended up settling on a vinyl plank glue down floor. That way, if we do have another flood, we can lift up the flooring, dry it out, and glue it back down. How convenient is that?

We had the vinyl professionally installed as well as much larger baseboards. We also hung shiplap panelling on the one wall. We bought new door handles and switch plates. Then we painted, painted, painted. We painted all of the walls, the doors, shiplap, and stairs! It took a very long time, but eventually, we we were done.

I purchased climbing holds for a rock wall off of Amazon, and we spray painted and hung a makeshift ladder that came with my husband’s vanity on the wall. Now the kids have their own wall that they can just climb on!

We also bought pine shelving, a wood rod, and white brackets from Home Depot. This wall is dedicated for all of their toys, since I didn’t want any of them on the floor. The hangers for their costumes are from HomeSense, the wood crates are from Michaels, and the baskets are from JYSK.

One of the hardest items that I had a tough time settling on was a rug for the rec room. It took me months to find the perfect one. I actually purchased a much larger and greyer rug from Rugs USA, but after putting it under the couch, it just didn’t look how I wanted it to. Then a short time ago I went to HomeSense and was determined to come home with a rug that day. I found two that I liked, and so I FaceTimed my husband and we went over which one we thought would look best. It was between this one and a black and white one. I am soooo glad that we settled on the one that we did! It is just so cute and playful, I feel like it nicely ties in the colourful playroom with the more modern rec room.

I also now have a dedicated spot to get work done, and the kids have a crafting area.

That is our basement renovation in a nutshell!

Emory

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covid renovation: farmhouse guest bedroom

Geoffrey and I made a renovation list in 2019, detailing which room we would renovate and when. For instance, this guest bedroom was originally slated to be made-over in the spring of 2021. That was pre-COVID.

At the beginning of our self-isolation, it was still too cold to be outside twice a day. Remy’s preschool and activities were all cancelled, so like the rest of the world, we were expected to be home all 24 hours of the day. With all of this extra time, I knew that I would need a project. One that I could do while being in the basement with the kids while they played. This guest room was the solution.

This is what it looked like before. It wasn’t in that rough of shape. The drywall was exposed in some areas where the paint had been ripped off of the wall. Other than a few blemishes, it seemed like a fairly simple room to spruce up. All it required was some paint, better furniture placement, and for my husband to stop using it as his work closet/filing cabinet.

Because we were supposed to limit the amount of times that we went shopping, we made it our mission to reuse paint, furniture, and decor where we could. Not only did it keep in line with our zero waste mission, but it made it an uniquely Coronavirus renovation. Challenge accepted.

We had over half a can of pale green paint leftover from our children’s bedroom, and half a can of of white. I decided to do two walls and the closet in the green and two walls in the white. Even with two coats we would be needing every last drop of paint. I prayed that it would look good, because there was no room for error.

The green looked much better in the guest bedroom than it did in the upstairs bedroom. That was a huge relief. I painted the rest of the bedroom slowly over a matter of weeks, in between playing with the kids and having to wait for when Geoff had time off. After two coats, many touch-ups, and sealing the edges in silicone, I was finally done! 

In keeping with our farmhouse theme, I chose to use the majority of our antiques in the guest bedroom. The bed, armoire, Hudson Bay blanket, and white crate are all vintage items.

We reused the dresser, cowhide rug, braided rug, plant, planter, bedding, and curtains from our other rooms in our home.

I did have to buy a wall sconce and gold curtain rod from Amazon. We also bought a new register and switch plates from Home Depot. Other than that, it was a successful COVID renovation!

Emory

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1st birthday: theme

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Remy’s first birthday is on February 25. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone! To say that I will soon have a toddler is astonishing. 

I went back and forth on whether or not to have a big birthday bash for Remy. Contrary to what it may look like on Hello, Scarlett Blog, I am not one who seeks attention. I’ve never gone to any of my graduations (high school or university), we eloped for our wedding, and I haven’t celebrated my birthday with anyone other than family since I was a teenager. Instinctively, I am against hosting any large event. However, this one isn’t for me, it’s for my daughter. It’s to celebrate her and her life. While she won’t remember it, nor will she pay much attention to her gifts, I want her to look back on it through photographs and to know that we put in the effort to honour her. I also want her to see that she is and was loved by so many people. That is what ultimately changed my mind and made me pro-party.

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Now that I had mentally committed to a party, the issue of where to have it arose. Given that it’s at the end of February, and is still very cold on the Canadian prairies, anything outdoors was out of the question. We were in the midst of home renovations so our house was also out. My next thought was to rent a room in one of our local libraries. I had worked in the public library system for four years, and so I knew that they were great spaces to host birthday parties. After calling my favourite two, one of them had space available. I booked it over the phone, and immediately began brainstorming party themes.

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I can’t remember exactly how I came up with the theme Moonrise Kingdom, but when I did, there was no turning back. Geoffrey and I both love the movie immensely, and Remy’s own room is partly inspired by the woodland and whimsical nature of the Wes Anderson film. After looking up Moonrise Kingdom party photographs on Pinterest, I was hooked. I’m planning on going all in, and creating a room of rich, vintage colours and all things animal and forest-related.

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Additionally, I also plan on dressing like Suzy Bishop. Without realizing it until now, I already have her hairstyle! I want Geoffrey to go as Sam Shakusky, but I probably won’t spring that idea on him until right before the event. ;-)))

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I have a lot of DIYs to create prior to her party. I will be sharing them throughout February up until the day of the event. I hope that you will join me in preparing for birthday, and celebrating Remy turning one year old.

Have a great week!

<3

Emory

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before and after: remy’s room

remys-room-1Hi everyone! Well, like I posted earlier on Instagram- it only took 7 months and 3 houses, but we finally have a room for Remy!

I can’t believe that we went this long without having anywhere to put her things. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I remember going out for supper after my biweekly doctor appointments, and crying in the restaurant every time because I didn’t have a nursery for our baby-to-be. At the time, I felt like such a bad mother. While I hope to never relive that experience of being so pregnant and feeling so unprepared, I also realize that it really wasn’t the end of the world. However, I am so glad that she has a room of her own! Let’s begin the room tour.

before-roomAbove is what her room looked like when we first moved in. The walls were painted beige, and the ceiling had a cloud design on it. There was an old fixture, dirty blinds, and dated switch plates. (Please excuse the mess of boxes, I couldn’t put anything away until her room was painted.)

remys-room-2-2Geoffrey and I chose a basic white, zero VOC paint for her walls and ceiling. After two thick coats, we were ready to set up her room.

remys-room-4remys-room-11A week before Remy was born, I published a post on my nursery envy. The inspiration for Remy’s room largely came from this room. To me, its whimsical nature and somewhat chaotic state is exactly what I think of when I think of a fun and well-loved child’s room. Plus, I’m notorious for hanging crates as shelving. It was a perfect match.

remys-room-6The white rose was Remy’s baptismal flower, and the little black-eyed-Susan was the first flower that Remy ever picked for me.

remys-room-7remys-room-8Remember the post with her crib? It’s a Jenny Lind, and we made a road trip specifically to purchase one.

remys-room-9-2Her sonogram photos were a DIY project that I shared in November of last year.

remys-room-12Rather than buying a new light for her room, we removed the one in the hallway and turned it from brass to silver by spray painting it. We lucked out with the light, since I was having the worst time trying to find one that would suit a little girl’s room. This one even has flowers on it. I think that it’s so cute now.

remys-room-3We still need to replace the carpet with hardwood flooring, and change the colour of the baseboards. However, that will probably be in a few years from now. Until then, Remy (and whomever else may come along) can have the ugly but soft carpet to play on.

<3

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to four (two on earth, one in heaven, and growing another). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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