Do you guys have a room in your house that you've completely given up on and has just become a hidden place for all of your crap? That was this room. This spare room used to be what I affectionally called "Ted's room" (yes, Ted is our cat, who you will see modeling/getting in the way but still being cute here). It was an amalgamation of cleaning supplies, work gear, a ton of paper, books we don't read but aren't cool enough to pretend we do by putting them on a real shelf, and stuff I simply didn't know where to put but didn't want to get rid of. It was a room I did not enter unless it was to get something that was too ugly to be in another room (re: vacuum cleaner), and one that I had to frantically de-clutter and de-cat hair the three times of year we have guests.
Now, holy crap. Look at this place. It is a place I want to work in — a place that feels inspiring and bright. I don't hate it — I love it. I find excuses just to walk in this room. Its completion was inspired by some spray paint, a few weeks where my husband was away so I didn't have to answer the question, "Why did you buy a bunch of pink spray paint?" and, as always, Pantone.
Here's the deal with this room — it serves a lot of functions. My husband and I live in a relatively small apartment (around 900 sq. ft), and while that would be plenty of room for only two people, it seems to be not so decently-sized when you live in a country where closets do not exist. Therefore, rooms that are not your bedroom or a main living space get designated as closets, because where else are you going to put all your paperwork, all your cleaning supplies and appliances, your coats, your craft supplies, and anything else you don't immediately need? Yeah, it poses a problem.
The few things I needed this room to be were 1) a spare room for when we do have guests, because we do live in a pretty cool foreign country that people want to visit, 2) a space to store cleaning supplies, tools and craft supplies (all the work gear somehow disappeared into the garage. Don't ask me how, but coffee helped) and 3), maaaaybe a work space because working on the couch is fine, but not when there's a TV there.
Since we already had a spare bed, my first task was to figure out how to store all these cleaning supplies (vacuums, brooms, mops) and tools but not have them showing. When we moved in, we had some very oppressive-looking wardrobes that we were given, which I guess are supposed to be a replacement for closets. Spoiler alert: They're not. They're big and brown and ugly, and you can sort of see one in the before pictures below. They're also terrible for storing anything that's not a coat, which I did not need much storage room for. So they had to go.
One way I decided to solve this problem of needing to store so many things that I did want to see was to put up a half-curtain with shelves lining the wall. I lined the top part of the wall with pine wood shelves and pink-spray painted brackets, and then used the IKEA ALGOT system on the lower part, which would be hidden by a curtain (which I also bought at IKEA). However, I left half of the wall shelf-less behind the curtain so I could store upright vacuums, brooms and other tall things, but still hide them behind the fabric. On the shelves go my tools, cat litter, laundry baskets and other unsightly things. Problem solved!
The rest of the room went together pretty organically. Paper and crafts were stored in a side table I already had, which the printer went on top of. I added a ton of pink spray paint to a bookcase I already owned (also from IKEA), and set it next to my favorite blue writing desk, purchased second-hand, that I've had for ages but haven't sat at in forever.
My wrapping paper smartly went into a basket I bought — and I'm pretty proud of this one, because I have a ton of cute wrapping paper but could not find a container long enough to roll them under the bed. And then everything went up on the walls, including my beloved postcard collection, which started when I was traveling in college and too poor to afford souvenirs, but still wanted to brag about all the cool places I was going. The finishing touch was a brightly-colored rug I found at a thrift store for a steal of 15€, which I could not be more obsessed with.
And there we have it! An office makeover with some new curtains, thrifted items and a few coats of paint. I've never been a big fan of white walls, but with all this fun pink & blue, how could you say this space isn't colorful? I'll be pumping out blog posts in this space, that's for sure!
Photos and text © Katie Currid, 2016. All rights reserved.