Monday, August 4, 2014

The Big Reveal.....Well, Sort Of.......

It's here!  The BIG reveal...... well, sort of.  I had it all planned out right down to the last detail .......and then a few obstacles jumped in my path.  With any project, I know there are going to be obstacles.  I expect them and even try to plan for them.  But this time, I obviously didn't plan well enough.  The obstacles ate up every bit of the extra time I had built into the renovation project timeline.  Much like those DIY'ers on the show "Renovation Realities", I guess I should have built in extra time for those things I had not thought of.  I did, however, succeed in buying the furniture items for the room at great prices either on Craigslist or at garage sales.  The total amount spent will be revealed at the end.

The original piece that spurred this whole renovation was my desk.  My desk for years has been a computer armoire.  It served a great purpose for the occasional computer user, but because I am now spending many an hour in front of the computer, it was making me claustrophobic.

Not only did I have no view, but little view I did have felt like a cave, and the armoire had little to no storage.  I constantly had papers scattered everywhere, making my brain feel somewhat scattered.  I also had no flat surface area to even write anything down.

It became obvious that I had outgrown the part-time usability of the armoire.  I decided I needed something which would allow me to spread out, have some storage space, and even give me the ability to place the desk where I'd have a view out of a window so I wouldn't feel so hemmed in.

Day after day I searched online for the look I wanted.  I spent hours scouring Houzz, Pinterest, Better Homes and Gardens,  and tons of other websites.  I thumbed through magazine after magazine in search of the perfect office/guest room combination.

After an exhaustive search, I finally found the look I wanted with a desk that I had to have............ until I saw the price.  $1,500-$1,800....... before tax and shipping.  ugh.  I was totally deflated.  My husband liked the look I'd decided on though and encouraged me to search Craigslist in the hopes of finding something similar at a more reasonable price.

It took about 2 weeks of non-stop shopping.  One day I clicked on a brand new listing and my jaw dropped.  It was the exact desk I'd fallen in love with.  There it was before me, and for a price that made me wonder if it came with legs and drawers.  I quickly sent an email and the seller responded immediately that it was available and it did indeed have 4 legs and all of the drawers.  I bought it right then and there.  Oh, I was happy, happy, happy!

With that super-win under my belt, I then started shopping for a daybed.  Months passed with no luck.  I was completely frustrated and with hopes dashed, I gave up on renovating the room.  Then a friend emailed and asked if we'd host a couple while they were in town training.

A spark was lit within me again and my energy was renewed.  As I showed renewed interest in completing the project, I shared my budget with my mother.  She scoffed at the price I I had budgeted to for a daybed ....... even at Craigslist prices.  Challenge this redhead and you'll be amazed at how dedicated I can become.  Not only did I find a daybed that mimics the curves of my desk, but I bought it for a pittance of what she thought I'd have to pay.

Another victory was now in the books and was lighting the fire under my feet to get this room finished......... not to mention the rapidly approaching arrival of guests who needed a place to stay. 

With the major pieces for the room purchased, I started by painting the ceiling.  That was much more of a job than I had planned.  I made the B-I-G mistake of picking up paint at a different paint store than I usually use, simply because it was convenient.  The ceiling required 3 coats of paint.  The cheap paint I'd bought was not covering the ceiling and at the rate I was going, it would take 5 coats of paint to cover it evenly.  I finally gave up and went and bought paint at my regular paint store.  Not only had this eaten up 2 additional work days but it also ate up more of my budget than I'd planned for since I had to buy the better paint. 

I learned my lesson and did succeed in a couple of areas with paint:
1)  I bought the better paint for the walls the first time and even spent a lot of time picking out just the right shade.  The result: I absolutely love the wall color.  Could not be happier than I am with that.
2) I somehow was able to get paint between my toes......... with my shoes on.  I still haven't figured that one out since I pretty much lived in my shoes from the moment I got out of bed until I took a shower in the evening.  I'm thinking my dog may have played a prank on me to get even for me not allowing her to romp through the paint trays and decorate the floors of my house with paw prints.

I did run into another unexpected issue: I couldn't find a comforter locally.  Who knew daybed comforters were so hard to find?  I ended up having to order one online and when it arrived (the day before our guests were scheduled to arrive), I discovered the lovely soft shade of blue I was expecting to see, was actually gun-metal gray. Talk about a reality check. Had the comforter been for a bed shaped like one of the US Navy's battleships, it would've been perfect.  Since it was for my woman-cave, it didn't work out so well.

I quickly went through all of the old comforters I had stored away and discovered a white down puffy comforter.  It's not perfect, but it works for now.  And it's soft and cushy to sit on when I want to sneak away and read a book.

I tried really hard not to get too frustrated or panicked with each set back, but the closer to "Reveal Day" I got, the more stressed out I became.  In a house full of half-finished projects, all I wanted was to be able to finally say one room was finished.  For it to be my room was just icing on the cake.

While I don't have the room completely finished at this time, it's close enough that I've decided to show the bits and pieces.  So, without further ado, here are the before, during, and after photos of my newly renovated guest room/office.

The final dollar amount I spent on furnishing the room?
Desk:  $200

Wrought iron daybed:  $85
Bookcase:  $5
Bedside table:  $5
Lamps:  $40
Amount spent on paint and other things:
Ceiling paint: $75
Wall paint: $58
Spray paint (for the bed and bookcase): $32
Acrylic paint for bathroom mirror:  $3.50
Kleenex tissue holder:  $10
Bathroom jewelry tray: $12
Toothbrush holder: $5

Now it's time to decide whether to start on the guest bathroom, since I painted the concreted mosaic mirror frame, or finish the other half of the kitchen.  hmmmm......  Which would you do?

By Christie Bielss

The dark and ugly ceiling color.  This photo makes it look much
brighter than it was.

The ceiling after we scraped the popcorn texture off.
Not sure why it became this golden color, but that was the
true color after scraping.

The ceiling after 2 coats of paint and
the lovely poopy-diaper colored walls.
3 coats of paint later, the ceiling is done.

Priming the walls and you can see a small portion of the junk in this room

My BEAUTIFUL desk!  I LOVE it!

It has a hand-tooled leather top

Yes, I really can be organized and I do like my label maker!

Bought this bed and painted it a metallic brown

Bookcase my wonderful husband painted
Ok, now I know this bathroom mirror isn't in the room, but
it is the guest room bath and I couldn't take the mosaic tile color any more.

With a tube of silver acrylic paint I covered that ugly mosaic.


  1. Well, you showed them didn't you? :D Ceiling looks great, Christie! And though the desk really isn't my style, it really us beautiful. Congrats!

    Finish the kitchen (duh) before you start on anything else. :P

    1. Thanks Mathew! It's really more of a girlie desk, but then it's a girlie room too. LOL! Took your advice and am going with the kitchen. Woo Hoo! It's time to eat off paper plates and use plastic forks!