Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Room Of One’s Own, The Photo Essay

Virginia Woolf once wrote that every woman needs a room of one’s own (and money, too, which I heartily agree with). She was talking about what a woman needs to be a successful writer, but most of us take it as a call to arms to have our own space. You know, where we can sit in silent repose and recount our days. Or just read In Touch Weekly in peace.

Because I live alone, all my rooms are my own, and I can recline and repose in each and every one of them. Without being disturbed by husbands or kids or other needless relations.

However, I really don’t use all those rooms I own. I find myself spending most of my time in the dining room (proximity to snacks), the living room (proximity to television), and my bedroom (proximity to sleep). I also spend quality time in both bathrooms, but let’s not dwell on that, shall we?

In order to encourage myself to use at least ONE of my two spare bedrooms for more than a dumping ground for unwanted items, I decided to redo the worst offender. Check out this before pic:

Not very inviting, is it? Or tidy for that matter. And did you notice the pink tutu, stuffed in a bag? Who’s a pretty princess?!?

So I set about organizing the room – putting away the stuff I don’t use into handy boxes, neatly labeled with a Sharpie; shelving the unwanted electronic equipment in the closet; and relocating the suitcases to the office.

Then, I rearranged the VERY FEW pieces of furniture – completely ignoring the rules of feng shui along the way. I also ran over to Ma’s house to steal a bookcase that had been languishing in her garage, unloved and unused. I still need a TV stand – does anyone have one they’d let go for $20 or less?

Next, I went to Target to get a few cheapo pieces of bedding and an extension cord – always needed in a room makeover:

Last, I washed the bedding, and hung my artwork. And here are the results:

The bookcase is holding my summer reading – which will probably take me well into the fall to complete. On top is my Wench’s Mug for the Ren Fest. Those three pictures are Classic Pooh prints – as homage to my Piglet. The jeans hanging on the wall are in the size I hope someday to be again. Hey, they fit me once, it could happen again.

See that picture? Larue’s daughter, TDQ, painted it for me.

So, it’s better, yes? Total cost - $21.27, plus tax. How is that possible? Well, the bed was free, the stools (used here as nightstands) were leftovers from my first apartment, the bookcase was free, the tiny rocking chair is from my misspent youth, and the rest of the bedding was a Christmas gift from my college days.

I know I went $1.27 over the exalted $20 (plus tax), but I think I did pretty well. I still need a TV stand, and I have plans for that bookcase, involving cute IKEA storage boxes and my photos, but all in all the room is done.

Now, oh fearless readers, I have a question for you. What is the cheapest remodeling/redecorating/reorganizing you’ve ever accomplished? What tips do you have for the blogosphere? Here is your chance to brag.


LaRue said...

I believe that would be when I bought Swimmer's entire childhood bedroom set (including wrought iron bed, 1920s dresser and vanity), painted everything in coordinating colors with free paint from Hirschfields (except for one small can of black lacquer) and bought 2 rugs for $15.00 each at Pier 1 for TDQ's room. (I also spent $25 on fabric for curtains, pillows and bedskirt.)

I believe the whole thing cost me $200. Including 4 pieces of furniture. I was happy, indeed.

mia said...

My roommate and I once furnished our place with stuff we got for free or "borrowed" from people who were going overseas. We also snagged a bunch of really funky artwork/decorations free off the curb when some fancy restaurant nearby closed down. I think the only things we purchased were plates and glasses (Crate and Barrel super clearance sale), bedding, some of those metal grid things you use to make storage units, and some cheap fabric my roommate used to make curtains.

mia said...

Oh, I once got a fancy ergonomic desk chair and a bookcase when some office building next to mine was being remodeled. I also got a fancy-schmancy coffee machine with a bunch of bells and whistles from an office that was moving, which I gave to a coffee-addict friend.