Thursday, February 25, 2010

state of the spare room

It's Crappy Camera Picture Day at My Mint Green House!

Seriously, sorry for the quality of these pictures but I knew if I took them with my regular camera they wouldn't get up here for at least a week and I was itching to write about my spare room.

My house has two bedrooms so one is my bedroom and the other, well, I'm not really sure. Originally I called it the Guest Room. After the move, it became the Scary Room because I just dumped everything that didn't have an easy home somewhere else. I've since moved some stuff to the attic and reorganized others so it's not as scary anymore. And so I'm calling it the Spare Room.

There's still too much of an unorganized mess in there so the view as you turn the corner is of the closed door.

I added to the mess when I brought up the ugly bar and my old TV.
Behind you can see unpacked boxes, clothes to donate or sell, a jewelry box my sister gave me that's much too small but too pretty to get rid of, and yes, that's a mini-trampoline in the back. Can't even figure out how to close that sucker so it just sits there unused and unloved.

If you can avoid looking at the TV, this corner is actually the first thing you'd see when walking in the room. My small attempt at organizing the space.

I squeezed all of my books into these two bookcases and added all the tchotchkes that were spread out in my old apartment. Each time I move I like less and less clutter of small, decorative items so I know I'll get around to paring these down as well. But as I moved stuff around, I ended up with boxes and other crap right in front of the bookcases and putting other random stuff there so it's not quite as pretty anymore.

It's a small space. A twin-sized bed would be perfect. A full-sized bed MIGHT fit, but you'd probably have to squeeze your way around it even pushed up against the wall. I want a designated place for guests to sleep and my mom is giving me my childhood bed as soon as I have room for it/a way to transport it. It's just a twin so I guess I should make that "a designated place for one guest."

I also have office-y type stuff. Books, magazines, notebooks, manuals. Pens, resume paper (though I haven't sent one out in over 9 years), mementos from trips. And then there's all the random stuff that's too delicate for the attic.

What to do? Well, I think I figured it out.

I had seen Making It Lovely's office and loved how she used colored boxes against white bookcases.

It looked like a basic Ikea bookcase and that's so in my budget. But I'm not 100% sold on the Expedit. I love the idea of making an entire square a cabinet or a drawer, but not so much that you can't change the height or width of the squares. And the Ikea inserts only come in red, black and white.

Perhaps Billy would be better? 
I saw this picture on Apartment Therapy. Lots of books, colored boxes holding crap, random vases and tchotchkes, a frame or two. Fab.

But I'm not sure I like the randomness of the shelf heights. Or how the boxes overhang an inch or so. It's a little messy and after living with a Scary Room for six months, I'm craving order. So I'm going to measure the space and take a trip to Ikea. I have a feeling I'll end up with Expedit in white with white inserts.

Either way, I'm excited because as soon as I get the bookcases in and stuff in them, this room should be cleared out enough to get the bed in! Yay!


I have curtains!

This makes me wildly excited, though they're darker than what I had in my head. Of course, I can't really articulate what was in my head so here I am with navy velvet curtains.

And here they are closed:

When I was trying to figure out the height, I almost stopped at halfway between the window and crown moldings, but then realized that if I'm going to encourage others to put their curtains all the way, I should do the same. So I did.

Here are the curtains open:

I really need new blinds, even if it's just quality roller blinds instead of these cheap vinyl ones that came with the house. But they work (for the most part) and currently most roller blinds are recalled for faulty parts and I'd rather get them when there's a lot to choose from.

I haven’t hemmed the curtains yet so they pool on the floor.

Not really a fan of this look unless it’s REALLY pooled and the rest of the room is over-the-top fabulous. My room is definitely not over-the-top and I plan on opening and closing the panels a lot so don’t want to have to bother rearranging them every time so they just look messy. Luckily these curtains came with stitch-witchery type stuff so I can just iron them to the right height right where they are. Love it.

The curtains in the picture above are open to the very end of the baseboard heater, but… If I just tuck it around the little shelf left by the previous owners, I’m fully clear of the heating element. No tie-backs required.

And if it’s super cold out (you know, like it is right now), I can puddle the curtains on top of the shelf so the windows are completely covered but I can have the heat on full-blast. Though my house is so chilly, I may get a space heater.

Finally, here’s a shot of my current TV set-up. Yeah, it’s a little sad.

The bookcase is too narrow to fit the narrow stack of DTV converter, DVD player and iPod speaker (and I didn’t want to mess with the back of the bookcase) so I have a beat-up old stool supporting them. My antenna is crappy (new one coming in the mail!) so I have it on another stool so I can move it closer to the window when I want to watch something other than Fox, ABC or CW. Oh – and My20 or whatever that station is calling itself now. That comes in pretty easily, though seldom has anything I want to watch. Fingers crossed that I don't have to resort to cable!

Anyway, this bookcase was in my kitchen holding all of my cookbooks so I just transferred it all out here. Kinda makes sense since this is where I pore through them. My kitchen isn’t conducive to hanging out.

The closet to the right holds my water heater and the back of my fridge. There’s also a very narrow space where I have my ironing board, stepladder and a couple of folding chairs so I need to leave clearance to get inside.

I’m not sure how I feel about the lamp and I need to hang my great-aunt’s quilt on the wall (or some other art), though I’m waiting until I figure out the TV stand so I don’t have to rehang anything. It’s not terribly pretty, but it’s organized and works for now!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Laura came up from Williamsburg a few weekends ago to visit. We went to brunch at Lori's and then out in Annpolis with a large group and then Laura crashed on my couch. She brought muffins and Lori had sent us home with leftover quiche and fruit. I had two eggs, some potatoes and an onion in the fridge so we had brunch! I had opened a bottle of wine on Friday so we finished that off with our meal. Why is it that champagne or bloody marys are perfectly acceptable alcohols at brunch but wine just seems wrong? But hey, it tasted pretty good to us!

The plates are from the same set as the blue plate hanging on my gallery wall. This shot also shows how well-worn my coffee table is. The first year I had it, I used it unfinished. Then I stained it without doing any extensive sandings so all sorts of markings show through. Eventually I plan on doing something to this table to update it for my new apartment. Maybe a coat of paint. Maybe antique-ing of some sort. Still thinking about it.