I've alluded to this once or twice but I am not the most pulled together of bloggers. Major props for those who have a new weekly post or a set schedule for their entries- teach me your ways. Instead, I thrive on sporadic posts at varied intervals written between changing diapers and watching (and occasionally performing) Moana. Such is life. But as we wrap up our newest project, I feel compelled to share what we've accomplished over here at the house-in-progress.
My studio/our office is looking super duper fly. Like, really really ridiculously good-looking.
I went back recently and looked at the before pics and I can't even believe how far this room has come. When we bought our dump it was a carpeted, wood-paneled, drop ceiling hot mess. It was, as Addie would say, yucky. It desperately needed some loving.
So with a vague vision (and nary a plan) we gutted the room. The carpet came up only to reveal a hideous yellow and gray linoleum floor. Against everyone else's better judgement, my optimistic self started ripping that sucker up. I so desperately wanted there to be hardwood floor underneath. AND THERE IT WAS. But there were so many other *fun* surprises for us to unearth too. Behind the paneled walls were remnants of red linoleum tile; many many years ago this was the original kitchen. And when the drop ceiling came down, so did the rest of the ACTUAL ceiling. Oh, and Aaron found a rat skeleton in the walls. What.
It took a good bit of work just to make this room a blank slate. Should you so choose, you can click back to my post from last June here to see a few more demo pics. As I mentioned earlier, we had almost no direction for this space at the onset. It was going to be a combo office/studio space but that was about all we knew. The room really came together in stages as we cobbled together a bunch of random free/cheap furniture.
The one thing I knew I wanted in this space was a checkerboard floor. I loved the look and I felt like a creative space was the perfect place for a dramatic floor. Pinterest told me this would be an easy endeavor. Simply tape out the pattern, paint, and voila!
I spent a combined 9 HOURS taping and painting the floors a natural and black checkerboard. My knees felt like they were going to fall off. I wanted to burn everything to the ground. AND it was so worth it. I love how it turned out. Ten out of ten would do again (complaining and all).
As I was gathering my thoughts to write this, I realized that this space cost next to nothing to finish.
What's your secret?? (asked no one ever).
Well, let me tell you... the secret is secondhand.
What started out as a frustrating reality has now become a challenge of sorts. Our limited budget prevents us from shelling out big (or average) bucks for anything flashy and new. Instead, we try our darnedest to repurpose either what we have or what we can get secondhand. Not only does that bode well for the budget, it's also eco-friendly. But that is a soapbox for a different day. Because of our perspective on furnishings, each of the three major areas in this room ended up being finished with stuff that came to us pre-loved.
My workspace is centered around a table that's nearly a family heirloom at this point. Once upon a time, this wooden IKEA table was my parent's dining table. My mom had white-washed it herself to match with her kitchen decor. Nearly three decades later, this table is going strong. I’ve noticed that sometimes IKEA gets flack for selling a lot of cheap, flat packed, fight inducing, furniture that will fall apart way faster than it went together. While that may be true for some of their PRODVCTS, this particular table has stood the test of time. It's been a dining table, a kids craft table, served a second round as a dining table, and now it lives as my work table.
This little project worked out magically. These upper cabinets were given to us and fit perfectly into the nook in the wall. Aaron added a top and some shelves between the two so that it felt like one unified piece. The shelving on top came out of another set of cabinets in the house. This little area provides much needed art supply storage & adds visual interest to the room. They've only been in for a few months so I'm still fussing with them to find the best storage arrangement.
The Office Space
Neither Aaron or I have a need for a traditional office space. We don't do a lot on the computer nor do we have work that requires being routinely seated at a desk. But we're still adults and we still needed a spot where we could sit and do adult things, like budgeting and watching YouTube videos.
The desk was a freebie I scored the night before bulk trash day. It was dubbed "Frankendesk" as we cut, stapled, reframed, and added bits to make it better fit our space. The top was formerly a wooden folding table top. It came our way courtesy of our next door neighbors. We enclosed the keyboard slide to make a junk drawer and completely redid the drawers on the right. Aaron built new drawers and added an extra 7 inches of depth to each one! I think the soft close file drawer is our favorite part of the desk. Soft close drawers are the height of luxury.
The shelves on top were our take on the IKEA Billy Bookcase Hack. We scored two Billy's on Craigslist for less than half the retail price. The backing was replaced with sturdier masonite and then the whole unit was painted to match the rest of the room. It is 100% an upgrade from the folding card table that was previously our desk.
Somewhere along the way, this room developed its own artsy-fartsy vibe. I love sitting in here and look forward to working in this quirky little spot.
Is it finished? No.
Is there still a skeleton in the wall? Also no, thank the good Lord.
It still desperately needs crown moulding and base board. But finishing touches aside, it is miles away the hot mess that it once was. I'll leave you with this fun little recap: a concise before/during/after gallery of the whole room.
Following along on Instagram? Look for #HessFixerUpper