Well dear readers, here we are. In the time it takes a baboon to gestate its young, we have turned the most unloved room in our house – a room whose door we kept firmly closed for most of the last two years (the better to contain its horrors) – into my favorite place in the house.
If you’re new here and looking to get caught up, you can read more about the inspiration and process of the whole remodel here.
This is where we started:
Last week, prompted by a desire to fill this room only with things I love, I did a ruthless culling of my books. I cut my collection almost in half (which I thought would feel like amputating a limb, but instead just felt liberating and joyful). It’s interesting to run my eye over the remaining books and think about why they made the cut and the answer, for almost all of them, is nostalgia. But those are musings for another time.
Having fewer books meant there was extra space on the shelves, and I had fun going through the house and picking some of my favorite items to display. The little portrait of Jane Eyre came from Etsy seller Isabella Di Sclafani. I love her quirky portraits and this one, though it is beautiful quality, is just a $1.00 postcard.
I sorted the books in a way that’s logical to me: loosely by genre, author and color. The only casualty of my system is an arrangement of hardbacks – grouped because of their vintage cloth covers rather than their content – that includes both the 1941 children’s horse story ‘My Friend Flicka’ and a collection of erotica by Anais Nin. It cracks me up every time I see it and it’s kind of awkwardly perfect. Perfectly awkward.
As we mentioned in Monday’s post, neither Mera nor I are strangers to the bit of quirk lent by animal decor. As I placed yet another bird on the shelves I could hear Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen manically advising me to put a bird on it. Which I obligingly did, again and again.
The window seat has become my absolute favorite spot in our house. I am inordinately proud of the striped cushion – representing my first box cushion, my first piping (I don’t know what I was so scared of – it’s easy!), my first hidden zipper, a fair amount of cursing, and many, many ripped seams. Seriously, the construction of this room has already become kind of a blur, but the day I spent on that cushion is etched in sharp relief.
You may remember that I originally planned to do a roman shade for the windows, but even after months of searching I couldn’t seem to find a fabric or design that I loved enough to have filling that big space. Everything seemed too heavy, and I worried it would look like a great, grumpy brow scowling down from atop the windows. Just as I was losing hope we put together our portiere post, and I found myself really inspired by the relaxed, bohemian vibe of the cafe-clipped curtains in many of the photos. I found this beautiful French cotton print at L’Etoffe, a fabric store that recently opened up in our area. I don’t think I realized quite how dire it was to have JoAnn fabric as my only shopping option until this alternative universe of fine cloths and inspiring prints arrived – and now I’m in heaven.
The daybed has a trundle underneath which rolls out, pops up, and forms a very comfortable king size bed. It’s a close second to the window seat as my favorite place to lounge (the same two places that are, perhaps not coincidentally, also Fat Bunny’s favorite places to lounge).
The murmuration of starlings print is from this Etsy seller, and the lucite table is my most exciting recent thrift store score. The white coverlet and macrame pillow both came from a garage sale (and both cleaned up perfectly with a little bleach), and the other pillows – except the green one, which I made with more pretty fabric from L’Etoffe – are from Ikea.
My mom traded me the desk (I painted the legs black) for one of our tables, the brass lamp and Herman Miller chair are from Craigslist, the pillow was a gift from Mera, and the oil painting bulletin board is DIY.
The Paul McCobb chair got a quick update with a piece of gingham fabric from the thrift store (I left the hand-printed cover on underneath the new fabric).
I’m always interested in how much renovations cost, so I thought I would share a rough budget breakdown. We didn’t keep a careful record, so these are estimates, but I think it’s pretty close. I always think doing things ourselves means it’s going to be cheap and, though it’s certainly cheaper than hiring someone else to do it, man do the materials still add up.
Hickory wood floors from Lumber Liquidators: $500 (though we have some left over to get the hallway started)
Building materials (wood for the built-ins, trim, drywall): $400
Benjamin Moore paint: about $150
Light fixture: $40 at Ikea
Fabric for the curtains and fabric and foam for the window seat: about $120
Decor (Ikea pillows and Etsy art): around $100, though I had gift cards to both places.
Miscellanea (paint rollers, some electrical supplies, hardware, and other things I’m forgetting): about $100
The furniture and lamps in this room are all vintage and mostly from thrift stores, yard sales and Craigslist (and a lot of it I owned before we started planning this room). The big ticket item was the trundle bed, which was $100 on Craigslist and then we splurged on two new, good quality mattresses so that our guests (and Fat Bunny) would be comfortable – which added another $250. All told, we probably came in just around $1600 for the whole renovation. An amount which, when I compare the baboon butt of the ‘before’ with the adorable baby baboon of the ‘after,’ seems worth every penny.
From DO NOT ENTER:
Thank you so much for following along on this looooooong process! It has been really fun to share the inspiration, tribulations and – ultimately – triumph with you here on the blog. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments!