Friday, May 8, 2009

Before and After

OK...I guess I was a little too anxious to start my project, as I do not have any proper BEFORE pictures showing the entire area. But those of you who have been here, know what a cramped space the kids and I shared for my office and their community play area. But below are a few pictures to give you an idea of the space and the color before the make over.

This picture is what the area looked like when we bought the house, taken on our inspection day. The large bookcase stayed and we filled it to the brim with photo albums, kids books, files and stuff.
Here you can see my mini desk in the background (behind the beautiful family!). With the printer on it, leaving me not much work space.

And another shot of the "toy closet" and book shelf, my desk chair and the kids table.

So, a brief run down of what I did...

1. Husband left town early Monday morning and I decided to complete a project while he was gone. So the first day I purchased everything I would need: paint and rollers. We like to paint, so we have all the tarps and pans, etc., etc...I am all about instant gratification and painting a room gives it to me!
Prior to him leaving though, I moved the majority of toys out of the "toy closet" and into their bedrooms. The toy explosion fallout seemed to be growing exponentially everyday, so I decided to minimize the fallout by moving ground zero to their rooms. The "toy closet" is now my sewing closet :)
2. Started to do a little bit while the kids napped, moved most of the books outside and started clearing out junk.
3. Put the kids to bed and got to work. The first night I painted the dining room area of the room. I got two coats on and one coat of cutting in. Whew. Time to go bed.
4. The next day I finished clearing off the book shelf while the kiddos were napping. But ran into a problem getting the humongous bookcase out into the back yard. (My plan was to cut this bookcase in half...putting the lower two shelves into SO room and then mounting the top three shelves to the wall above my desk.) Well it was bigger than the door going out to the backyard, so I had to call my dad for help. I thought I was going to have to cut it in half to get it out the door, and was afraid to use the circular saw on our dining room floor - I knew it would not end well. Fortunately my dad was thinking more clearly than I was at the moment and suggested we turn it on to its side. WOW, why didn't I think of that! - and to think I care for two children on a regular basis - scary!
5. Put the kiddos to bed and began the arduous task of priming the other side of the room. I primed because of the backside of the fireplace and the stucco, I wanted to make sure the interior paint I was using would cover up the terra cota color. I got the fireplace covered in the primer and the two coats of black paint on the "work space" walls. Yes, that's right, I said black paint!
6. The next day I dropped my kids at preschool and Papa's house and made the 2.5 hour drive one way to the Palo Alto Ikea to get the items I needed for my project. (Yes, tj and crew, THAT Ikea.) The nice thing about IKEA's website is that it can tell you exactly where in the get-it-yourself-warehouse the items that you want are! So you don't have to waste any time going through the showroom. So, I spent about 45 minutes in Ikea getting my items, checked out and drove 2.5 hours back home. But this night I took off. We went to the beach to spend the night with Gabrielle. It was fun and a nice break from painting until 11pm! And, yes, the next day was as freezing as it looks, but it was still the beach and we were there with friends!

7.Thursday night I cut in with primer around the fireplace and wall area and got the first coat of the off-white paint on.
8. Friday night was a long night...Hubby was coming home late Saturday night, so I had a lot to get done. The final coat on the fireplace and adjacent walls (that fireplace was bitch to paint because the surfaces were all so uneven. But I bought my new favorite paint rollers at OSH, they are sponges that were sliced so that they could get into the grooves. I didn't realize I was buying them at the time, I thought I was just getting the regular thick nap roller. But I am extremely happy with my purchase - they rocked!) Anyway, this night was a late one (1am) but the painting was completed!

9. Saturday morning was the day to assemble all of the Ikea items. I put the two desks together and they looked great. So exciting! Then I got the Billy bookcases together. I decided to stop before mounting anything on the walls. I had to make some changes to my list while in Ikea and now everything didn't fit exactly how I had envisioned. So, I decide to wait for EO and to get his opinion on everything thing else. And, I was exhausted! I could barely lift my arms, so there was no way me and the screwdriver were going to be getting along!

EO got home (finally, no thanks to the storm in Chicago) and was happy with the painting (and more happy that he didn't have to do any of it!) He was maybe a little less happy with the fact that I had decided to save us money (happy about that part!) by reusing the existing bookcase, but to cut it down (less happy because project for him!) But he embraced the vision and we got it done and mounted on the wall this week. Plus SO is VERY happy with her new book shelf in her room. And in full disclosure, I did break the garage door in the process of all of this (because I was stupid!), but fortunately for me it was not as bad as I thought it was and EO fixed in a few minutes. Damn, he is handy! Gotta love a man in a tool belt! (but it had made a really loud BANG, so I thought I was screwed!)
So with out further adieu...the AFTER:

I must say, I could not be happier with how it turned out. Even with two of the walls painted black, the area is so much lighter. EO thought it extremely out of character for me to be painting walls white (I am usually the anti-white), but after three years of not being able to decide what color to paint the room, white was the best I could come up with.
The kids have a bigger table now to sit at so they are not on top of each other. And I love sitting at my desk doing WORK! So it could not have turned out much better! Now all I need is a new chair...

1 comment:

tj said...

Looks fabulous. I am always so impressed by how handy you are. We're tinkering with the idea of buying a fixer-upper and I have you upfront and centre as my 'girls can do it too' mantra. I'm not sure how serious we are just yet but we've seen some houses in serious need of make overs. One house barely had walls in one room. Mmmmmm glad we didn't get that one looking back. ANyway well done it really looks like a great work space (and I'm jealous that you have a sewing cupboard!!) Mine is a shelf and a small one at that! Love ya.