Thursday, September 22, 2011

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” -Epicurus

This is my old room. It was TINY! It was located in the basement with a side closet that was more of a storage underneath the stairs. I wish I had more pictures of it, but this is the beginning phase of wanting to show the things I have tried.

Two before pictures:
All four walls were a pale green. It made me feel sick. Just the green of how you feel when you get sea sick is what I thought of. I had asked my landlord if I could paint neutral colors on the walls, and I'd be more then glad to paint it back when I had moved out (she liked the colors enough where I didn't have to paint back, but I did cover the holes I put in the walls and painted over those.)

I was working with a single bed (it was the only size that would fit with enough room to walk around, and I am a small person, so I didn't mind too much. If I were working with a couple or someone who was attached to thier full or queen, I could have made it work.)
I needed to just move my things in quickly so I threw it all in there then took the next two weeks to get it all "zen-ed" out.
I was starting a new life, so I couldn't bring in my old bedding and colors (which were black and red.)
I went out right away to find some colors I liked. The colors are the first thing to go over and decide on. And I do believe, always in a bedroom, that the bed is the focus. I was on a "new move" budget so Wal-Mart was my friend for the bedding. I would love to have better quality and choices from Urban Outfitters or Anthropology, but that's something I can invest in.

My first layout plans. I know they are ghetto looking. I also know there are programs and more accurate ways to figure out a layout to a room. I do like to use my pencil and paper. I do like to open up the creativity part of it more then the logistics and numbers. I know that I will eventually work my way to better technological planning, but this is what works for me now.
I drew up the shape of the room, added furniture that I already had and that maybe I could keep an eye out for. Eventually I used a TV stand from the house that no one was using. I got a corner desk from Staples on sale for $100, and a brown leather chair for $50. I also got from Wal-Mart two side tables with shelves for about $40. I went into Lowe's and grabbed a few sample color swatches to take home before actually getting the paint. Putting them all together and looking at the layout gives you little better idea of what the potentials of the room could be like. If you decide the colors aren't working or something is off, go back and switch a color shade or two, or even all of them, until YOU feel good about your choices. It is your room and your $$, so make it how you want it.

Two after pictures:
1. I hung my longboard and snowboard up on my wall with 2 hooks on each side of the boards. Mine weren't very pretty looking, but you could find some at any hardwear store. This is good storage as well as a good motivator and encourager for the activities you love and the seasons they bring.
2. There was no door to the little closet I had. I layered two shear curtains of different colors (one cream and one tan) that I picked up as singles at Wal-Mart. This kept the "clutter" from the closet (though that was organized as well) from the view being in the room.
3. I went to this awesome fabric store and got scraps of fabric on sale that had brown, tan, cream, and turquoise in the designs. I sewed them to fit the two windows that were in the room. They seperated in the middle so that they could be drawn to both sides of the window. I sewed the two different types together that way because of the limited amount of fabric that was still available. "Make it work!" (Thanks Tim Gunn.)
4. Mirrors create the illusion of a bigger room, as well as letting the light coming in from the windows or lamps in the room bounce off and create more light. I got these three mirrors from the Dollar Store. They are cheap, but they are also just hanging against the wall, and served thier purpose well. Putting the first one that high up on the wall allows the eye to go up that far with it, making it feel like the ceiling is higher then it is.
5. I like pillows, obviously. I like my bed to make me feel like I am in a princess' bed, because, ladies, we are all princesses. I had this white downed comforter from years before, and brought it out from storage when I had to go back to a single bed. The white creates a pop of color off all the neutrals of the walls. I found the accent pillows at Wal-Mart and went off of those colors for the colors of the sheets (one set of burnt orange and one set of brown.) The accent pillows are two different patterns, which is very in now. Stripes and a floral design work well with being feminine but not too girly. Then the pillow covers were red, orange, and brown. Light throws at the end of the bed are always good for cuddling up to read a book or watch a movie without getting in the bed and calling it a day.

 1. I origanally got these hanging paper lanterns for my mom at Peir One, but she was kind enough to let me have them for my new room. I hung them from the ceiling with push-pins. A staple gun would work well, along with the clear, plastic hooks that have adhesive backs.
2. The brown I put on the one far back wall was a Sarsaparilla Brown (which I liked because I had an old Sarsaparilla mirror I hung above my desk, though I dont have a picture for it, from my grandpa.) I chose a dark color despite the small room because I just like dark colors. Makes it feel more intimate I think, and it is followed with the contrasting tan. Dark colors usually take more coats, so be sure to get enough. It is easier to see any color differences or places you missed, so know that when you get a dark color, you are signing up for a few coats.
3. I put the two side tables on each side of the bed. They were good for holding candles and a glass of wine. I like that they had a small surface because then they couldn't get cluttered. The shelves held all my books and magazines. Since I had no other shelf space in my tiny room, this was perfect to store these things. Plus it displays your interests and is out in the open to remind you, "Hey! You haven't read me in a about now?"
4. The tan that I put on the other three walls was "Oops" paint from Lowe's. It was all $6 for a gallon and since the walls were small, it lasted the two coats I needed. I hate plain white walls (unless it is the accent color.)
5. I am a big fan of mixed frames. They are easy to find, paint, and hang in a "cluttered" manner. The ones I have on this wall have been collected over the past few years from Hobby Lobby, the Dollar Store, and Goodwill. If you find a cool design but ugly colored frame, paint it. If you find wierd shapes, grab them, you will always find a place to use them. I have pictures from when I was little, ones I have edited with quotes on them from vacations, of course ones with friends, and my numbers in races I have done. The race numbers keep me motivated to get some more up on the wall. A good way to make sure that even the "cluttered" look is balanced is to get large butcher paper (or even tape papers together) and lay out all your frames and trace them when you find a way that fits them all together. Then put the paper up on the wall and mark the centers of each frame on the wall. Refer to your "map" when hanging the frames.

Lucky for me, there were these two windows in the basement that did let a lot of good light and a nice breeze in. There are basement rooms that feel like a dungeon or warehouse, which are difficult to work with the lighting, but it is still workable and can be manipulated.

That's my first documented room that I started from almost scratch, made my layout, shopped around, did the dirty work, and enjoyed every second in MY quiet oasis. I did have a corner desk with a large mirror, computer, office supplies, etc. (I unfortunantly did not get a picture before I moved out.)

I hope this made sense and helped motivate a few to get cozy in their small spaces...because you need to Love Your Space.

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