Downsizing – Spare Bedroom 1: Library

The summer of 2017 was officially the start of Phase 2 of our fixer-upper.  This means we had saved enough money to conquer partial bathroom renovations, master closet makeover, a cooling vent and insulation for the garage (I didn’t really get this but Jeff thought it was a priority) and doing something with the two spare bedrooms.  After a year and a half everything had found a place but it wasn’t organized in a way that felt like home.  This was especially true in these two bedrooms which were filled with a hodge podge of what we had brought with us and most of it was oversized for this house which made the rooms seem smaller than they were.

It took me a little while but with some strategic thinking I began to list what I’d like to use each of these rooms for which helped me envision what would be needed to make that happen.

Bedroom 1 which measures 11′ x 9’10” was to have 3 purposes:  a place to hold books and read (aka – the library),  exercise and to sew. 

This is how the library portion of the room came about.  I love books and often read a favorite more than once.  There is something soothing in tangible pages to flip through, being able to mark the margins and turn down the corner when something touches my heart.  Yes – I have an iPad and think it is wonderful, especially for travel, but I don’t ever want to live in a house without my favorites:  A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg, Adventures in Prayer by Catherine Marshall, Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, The 10 Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley, Live Carefully by Jerry Traylor, Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George and so many more.

We had brought two bookshelves with us – one was ours and the other had belonged to our daughter.  They were different woods and heights but when we first moved in they had the most important quality,  providing a place to remove books from moving boxes and store.

I began to dream about furnishing these rooms with a focus on function and price.  I didn’t need brand new and when my friend, Angie, introduced me to Facebook Marketplace, I found a resource that fit those goals.  As I found a few pieces for other parts of the house and learned how to use chalk paint, my confidence grew.  Soon I was ready to move the mismatched bookshelves out and begin my search for matching bookshelves.  Fortunately for me someone else was ready to say goodbye to two Broyhill units for $200.00. 

It is fun getting something new (well, new to me) but it also means some effort is required because the bookshelves that were there now needed to be emptied and moved to make room for the new.   In a very short time I went from organized to chaos.  This is often the point in a project where I ask myself “What was I thinking?”

One of our bookshelves we sold on Facebook Marketplace for $35.00.  The other bookshelf which was sturdy, well made and solid wood still had some life in it and soon I was placing two coats of white chalk paint and later distressing before a clear coat of wax was buffed in. As if I hadn’t created a mess already, I decide to add painting to the mix. There are times it is good that Jeff is at work.  

Here it is in its new home in the den waiting for the wax to dry before books are placed on shelves.  I am happy to say it now holds a variety of books, including my cookbooks.

I need to give a big shout out to my dad who is always available to pick me or my husband up in his truck as I procure another treasure.  My son-in-law, Josh, has also come over to move some of the heavier pieces.  It takes a village to make a house a home.

Finally, the bookshelves were picked up, dusted and vacuumed (let’s just say they came from a house with cats) and it was time to move the bookshelves in.  Not shown in this picture but new brushed nickel knobs replaced the bronze ones.  The shelves have lighting and are 19″ deep which allows for a nice display.

One of the last pieces for this room, has been the chair.  I wanted a comfortable chair for reading and hand sewing.  I found this one on Offered Up (another site to look for treasures) for $50.00.  It had recently been recovered in gray  and fit into the corner.  

I will be showing completed pictures of the room after I have shared the different sections.

What was Jeff doing while I tackled the room?  This guy is such a hard worker and is as committed to making this house our home as much as I am.  He replaced all our baseboards – so much work but what a difference this has made.

Coming up next – Spare Bedroom 1 – Exercise

Related Posts

Downsizing and Our Kitchen Makeover

What’s In My Library

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Makeover – Part 3 – Rehearsal Dinner

Part 3 of this series was going to be more about the backyard but I decided to take a break from the outside and bring you inside for the rehearsal dinner.  Mason jars, burlap and a sign that says Happy Ever After graced the window sill.  If you missed earlier posts in this series, they can be found    Part 1 – The Wall       Part 2 – Front Yard

Happily Ever After

When working on a event to celebrate a special occasion, it is always helpful to do a quiet study of the people you are honoring.   It this situation, I had quite a few ideas of their likes and dislikes by what they had chosen already for their wedding.  

Our son had requested a special bbq place he likes for the ordering the smoked brisket, turkey and beans; and the invite for the rehearsal dinner had a burlap, bbq look so I ran with that theme and began gathering from around my house, shopping on Amazon and a little shopping here and there:

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Soon my dining room table became my staging area.  One of favorites things used were two old quilts a friend had given me. 

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One of the quilts was used on our dining table as a table covering with a picture of the couple in a frame.  Include others in helping.  It creates memories, allows others to give and honestly at this point, the extra help is valuable.  

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My mom worked diligently on the tags for the hair towel wraps the girls in the bridal party were receiving, as well as other projects.  

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My aunt used her expert needle work skills sewing buttons on the towel wraps and also assisted on other projects to get ready for festivities.  These two women saved me hours of work.  While they worked on their projects, 

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I was baking easy cheesy drop biscuits (recipe will be posted soon) and …..

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making potato salad and …..

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combining a Kale salad and …..

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brought out the Monster Cookies from the freezer for dessert.  Tip:  The cookies were baked and frozen a couple of weeks earlier.  Tip:  Think about what you can do ahead. 

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Here is a picture of the beverage center.  We used the small cooler as our ice chest.  We also had a cooler in the backyard with bottled beverages.

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The 2nd quilt was used in the dessert area.  Boxes of different heights under the quilt created a fun display.

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All the fresh flowers were purchased for $15.00 from our local Safeway store.  The cookbook under the picture was handed down from my grandmother and it reminded me of her on this important evening. 

The evening was a success as we all ate, visited and laughed in anticipation of the wedding the next day.

One more picture…

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Lessons Learned

  1.  Study those you will be honoring.  Find what delights their hearts.  
  2. Stay within a budget
  3. Repurpose what you have in your home or borrow.
  4. Ask others for help 
  5. Do what you can ahead 
  6. Inspiration will often come a closer to the event.  Trust it will all come together.
  7. Decide what you will wear ahead of time and have it clean and ready to throw on – the day will be busy.
  8. Have your house professionally cleaned.
  9. Have FUN!

Have you hosted a wedding at your home?  Please share any tips you may have for those that may be planning this in their future.

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