Tuesday, July 8, 2014

House Makeover: Re-purposing Rooms

If you are like me, you have at least one room in your house that you don't use much.  Possibly it became a storage room or junk room over the years. That's when  I take a hard look at the room.  And the wheels start turning...Could I use the room differently?  Could I re-purpose the room to meet my family's hobbies, interests or lifestyle?

Very comfortable study
When I first moved into this house,  formerly "Mike's house", and now "our home",  I wanted a room of my own for reading, writing and hobbies.

One of our upstairs bedrooms was a storage room for Mike's memorabilia from his family, college days and career.  We agreed this was the best room for my study, and so I got to work packing up the memorabilia in plastic bins to be stored in the basement.

Pottery Barn table as a desk

Wanting a bright, cheery room, I selected a Sherwin Williams Tangerine(SW6640) for three walls and Outgoing Orange(SW6641) for the accent wall.  After I finished painting, we moved in two chairs and a desk from my house.  I added sheer curtains and some favorite art, and voila, I had a newly re-purposed room.

Today I use this room for writing, reading, napping and watching television with my sweetie on cold winter nights.  Mike and I both love hanging out in my study.  It's a cozy oasis!


And as I got settled into our home and retired life, I found time for long-neglected hobbies.  I wanted a space where I could spread out my beads or sewing project.  And if I didn't finish the project for several days, and provided the cats didn't disturb it, it would be waiting for me exactly as I left it.

There was a Jack 'n Jill bathroom adjoining my study and another bedroom.  It was a huge room with two sinks and mirrors and a separate room with toilet and shower.  Basically it was intended to be a shared bath between two bedrooms.

I imagined the early morning light through the huge arch window illuminating my studio, and Mike and I agreed this was the perfect place for hobbies!

I painted the room Sherwin Williams Compatible Cream(6387) which has a soft yellow hue(unfortunately the picture doesn't accurately reflect that). We added honeycomb blinds and drawer storage units from The Container Store.  This is where I store beads, sewing and painting supplies. And the final touch was re purposing my parent's 1960 vintage kitchen table to serve as my work surface.

So now I have a wonderful little alcove for my jewelry, sewing and painting hobbies.  And yes, I've already heard all the jokes about the convenience of having a toilet nearby...

Formal dining room with brass chandelier
And then there was the formal dining room.  It housed Mike's grandmother's beautiful antique dining room set.  A wonderful drop leaf table, 8 chairs, buffet and mirror graced this room.

But our dining and entertaining style is more casual, and we always use the antique oak dining table in the kitchen.  In the past several years, we've only used the formal dining room two or three times.  And as you can tell from this picture, it had become  a storage room for guitars, glassware and even a bread machine.  

One day our friend Melanie saw the guitars in the room and suggested that we re-purpose the room into a music room.  Melanie is an interior designer, and she has a great eye for functionality and design.  She recommended we set up a coffee table and comfy chairs for playing guitar.  She thought that hanging guitars on the wall would serve as artwork.  Mike and I loved the idea!

So this Spring I packed up the glassware and items that were being stored in the buffet.  We then moved the antique dining room set into storage, to be sold later.

New modern light fixture in the music room
First on the list was replacing the horrible brass light fixture.  We found a beautiful modern light fixture on sale at Lowe's, and Mike promptly hung it.  We then donated the brass light fixture to Habitat for Humanity's Re-Store.

We retrieved my square metal and glass coffee table from our storage unit, and it became the centerpiece of the room.

Fabric for our new chairs

We started shopping for chairs for this room.  Our criteria was a comfy chair with low arms so we could easily play guitar.  We wanted small chairs that would not overpower the room, and of course we wanted a reasonable price.

After a lot of shopping, we found the perfect chair.  And we were happy to discover that the chairs were made locally by Best Furniture Company in Indiana.  We picked a fun fabric and placed the order for the chairs.

Sample paint colors with new chair

The chairs arrived about four weeks later, and we set them up in the dining room and began to search for paint colors.  Melanie suggested a darker color on the bottom and lighter color on the top to take advantage of the existing chair rail.

We bought sample paint at the Sherwin Williams store, and tried it out on the walls.  We decided on Sierra Redwood(SW7598)  for the bottom and Interactive Cream(SW6113) for the top.

New music room

And we ABSOLUTELY LOVE how this room turned out.  The only thing left to finish is hanging the guitars on the wall once we purchase hangers.

Mike and I find it so convenient now to pick up a guitar, sit down in a chair and play a few tunes.  If only this new music room would automatically improve my guitar skills...

So, if a room isn't working out for you, or you are tired of all that junk, don't be afraid to change it.    We are quite happy to be making this house our own, with rooms that reflect our personality and hobbies!

Hmm...I wonder what room is next???


No comments:

Post a Comment