I’m going to go ahead and call this one.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane with some before pictures:
And without further ado, here is the new and improved version:
A little better, eh? I still would like to do a few more things in here, but I’m going to stop. If I don’t stop now, I’ll waste money on unnecessary shit, and it’ll end up cluttered and stupid. So let’s stop while we’re ahead, right?
Work first began back in July when my parents came to town with paint brushes in hand. My dad knocked out the walls, baseboards, windows and doors in one weekend. (He also pressure washed the deck… he’s unstoppable.) But with that, the offensive turquoise blue paint was gone. In a classic backward move, I painted the ceiling and crown moulding later.
Aside from the cheapie desk and two small bookcases, all of the furniture in here is new. Before moving to Knoxville we just didn’t have that much stuff. We lived in a tiny, shitty one bedroom apartment. Our “office” was a laptop on the coffee table. It never even entered the realm of possibility to have an entire extra room for office-y things and sitting quietly. Although one exception is the chair, which I had reupholstered. That hand-me-down chair has been with me since 2005, and it’s never looked better than it does here right now.
My favorite part of this room is most definitely the rug (Alvine Ruta from IKEA). I really love these flat weave rugs because they’re casual and durable, usually colorful, and the cat claws don’t do any damage. I did have to spring for a rug pad though, it was slipping around all over the place.
Mostly I just love that this is now an inhabitable room in our house, rather than a cold, under-the-sea blue cave of unpacked boxes. And since it’s a comfortable place you’d actually want to spend time in, it just makes the whole house feel bigger. The light grey on the walls makes the room feel big and bright, even at night.
This was also an exercise in organization. One of the goals was to have a neat place to store books and CDs, where they were still accessible and on display. Done. I’m also insanely happy that I finally organized all of my life’s paperwork into the filing cabinet. And storing the cable modem and wireless router in that box and out of sight insanely satisfying.
Throughout the room there are some other fun small things that I haven’t analyzed to death here already. The plant next to the desk is a Christmas cactus. Say a prayer for it, any houseplant in my charge is at constant risk of an untimely death.
The “small wonder” sign on the shelf is something I’ve had since college. I know it belonged to an old roommate, but I’m not sure if I ever had permission to take it with me when I moved out. There are also 3 blue Ball jars up on the long shelf. One was $1 at a yard sale down the street, and the other two were my grandmother’s.
You might also notice that George Nelson knockoff clock by the door. I don’t know what level of knockoff it really is; “George Nelson” is printed across the front, but it’s clearly a cheap piece of crap. There was a pile of them on clearance at Marshall’s for $14, so what the hell, I got one.
The collage stool was a gift from my crafty sister. And the city scene painting was done by my aunt many years ago. It used to hang at the bottom of the stairs at my grandparents house, and it was always one of my favorites. It reminds me of Dublin.
When all was said and done, I ended up spending more money in here than I had planned. But I’ve come to terms with it. It’s really not that much, I guess. I kept it under a grand. And I think most of the cash was spent on things that are versatile, that I’ll have for many years.
Here’s the breakdown and grand total:
- Chair reupholstery [Charlie Neal, Superior Upholstery]: $180
- Chair upholstery fabric [Hancock’s of Paducah]: $92
- Side table [Pier 1 Imports]: $88
- CD shelving [2x IKEA Benno]: $80
- Paint & supplies [Martha Stewart and Behr from Home Depot]: $60
- Sheer curtain panels and new rods [Target]: $52
- File cabinet [Staples w/ new handles from Lowe’s]: $51
- Desk chair [IKEA Solvar]: $50
- Long shelf supplies and paint [Home Depot]: $32
- Yellow vase and glass hurricane w/ candle [Hobby Lobby]: $30
- Faux leather ottoman [Hobby Hobby]: $30
- 2 poster frames [A.C. Moore]: $30
- Brooklyn print [Ork Posters]: $27
- World Cup radial bracket print [Hyperakt/Kickstarter]: $25
- Sheepskin [IKEA Rens]: $25
- Lamp [IKEA Alvine Parla shade, Hemma base]: $25
- Rug pad [Lowe’s]: $20
- George Nelson clock [Marshall’s]: $14
- File box & desk acessories [Target]: $11
- Christmas cactus [Lowe’s]: $4
- Rug [IKEA Alvine Ruta]: $0 (gift from kind parents, list price $150)
- TOTAL: $926