The Office/Guest Room Combo

Okay, so remember that one time I was redoing my office very slowly? The thing about doing things slowly is that often times the whole plan changes in the slowness. I’m alright with that, but it does take some flexibility and imagination. My tiny little office was a really great space for what I needed it to be, but the more we talked about our washer and dryer being in the garage and how very much neither of us felt excited about that, the more we considered combining the Guest Room/Office. Finally, after some help from Josh’s brother, we decided to eventually pull up the carpet in the teeniest room in our house and convert it into a laundry room – Hallelu-jah!

Just so you know what I was working with, here’s the before:

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The problem at this point was that I’d already bought the paint for my office. What do you do with that? You just make the guest bedroom work with your original plan. I picked white. Not even kidding. Plain Jane, Benjamin Moore Simply White. We live in a split level and the downstairs windows, as you will soon see, are tee-niney. Natural light is limited at best. In an effort to make this space – my space – as light, breezy, and flexible as possible, I sprung for white. I’ve never painted a wall white in my life. It goes against every fiber of my being. Even as I put it on the walls, I still felt really unsure about my decision. In the end I really love the freedom it gives me. I can play with furniture and accessory color freely and not have to to worry about anything clashing!

The thing about living debt free and on a single income AND really appreciating pretty things is that you are forced to DIY your life away. Sometimes I get so tired of doing it that way. Everything takes twice as long. Nothing looks entirely professional BUT it’s all done in love and care and intentionality. PLUS it forces me to use things that I already have to make a space spectacular. I’ll tell you more as we move through the pics, but that’s the basis of how it all came to be.

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The view from the door. Notice there is no mattress yet. Eventually there will be white, gold, and probably some teal or purple-y accents adorning a fully paid for mattress and box springs, but for now isn’t that $20 Craigslist find metal bed frame really great?! As for the Roman shades…sheesh. I made them myself…obviously. I bought $7/piece panels on clearance at the Hob Lob, took the old blinds down, and followed this tutorial. I didn’t account for the lining on the big window over there and therefore the top layer of fabric sags. I’ll have to go back and make sure the fabric glue soaks in well, but until then it’ll just look…bless its heart.

photo 2Eventually I want to put a warm wood dresser here to store office goodies and provide a space for our guests to put their clothes. Probably with an indoor plant and a giant mirror on top. For now, Marilee’s beanbag chair that has a rip in it and is waiting to be mended will hold its place. Also, notice the little pixie in the bed frame.

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This pretty little number – frame and all – helped mold the color choices for the room. My sweet mother-in-law let us go through her storage room and pick out any goodies we’d like to have. This one, dripping with Southern charm, caught my attention immediately. It was also the gift her brother bought her to take to Brazil as a reminder of home. How fitting!

photo 1Another thing that happens when budget is limited – you become a pro at making what you have work for you. These “night stand shelves” are about ten years old – originally purchased from Wal-Mart when I was college. Then they lived in our garage for a lot of years housing dust and spiders and Josh’s tools. Then I cleaned them off and brought them into the tiny office because storage was needed. Now they’ve been painted the purple color that I cannot seem to get enough of – primarily because we had some left over from our foyer and it worked with the color scheme of the room.

photo 3 Lamps on Clearance at Target. Art work provided by Adelle Catharine.

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photo 5 And this is my wall. The chalkboard wall of my dreams. The sheep painting is from my sister bear. Remember I talked about it in the original office post? And the portrait is me – well, is a Parisian artist’s very generous rendition of me. It’s been sitting in a tube since 2004. It makes me smile and brings back so many memories. The red chair is an old hand-me-down that has sort of become an old friend to me. It’s not really anything I would ever pick out in a store, but I love it all the same because of the things we’ve experienced together. photo 4 I really love special little touches that have character – like this sweet little cat lamp – an old man reading to a little fellow. Such a whimsical, fun little touch – thank you, Gran!

photo 3So, this is what it looks like to do things all yourself, unprofessionally, and slowly. A lot of mess-ups that live on indefinitely, a bed-less frame, and guests headed our way this weekend. Someday, though, it will be complete, and I will love it more with every addition. I have learned so much in the absence of instant gratification.

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