Preparing A Guest Room - Part 1
The guest room project had taken over all of my thought processes. As the first step of many towards my minimizing efforts, the act of purging and cleaning had reached a pinnacle of becoming an art form to me...maybe even borderline therapy. Seriously.
As I mentioned in my last post, Seeking Minimalism, the guest room was first on my list of many life simplification tasks. We have family visiting soon and I want to make their stay with us as beautiful as possible.
Planning a minimalist strategy in our guest room, as a first step, was a challenge to not only redefine what we truly need in this space but also how I could enhance the look and feel with a simple, yet elegant, clean style. This room is extremely small compared to what some deem a guest room so it is the ideal project to work minimalism slow and steady for a solid lifestyle change initiative. I figured if I could succeed in this space, the next rooms and projects on the list would be easier to manage.
I began my vision with going through EVERY item in EVERY nook and cranny of this room. I tend to be a "tosser" so this was a chance to see just how far I could take that without feeling guilty. Almost everything purged in this room was boxed up for our small town thrift store in the hopes that someone else may be looking for the exact item I was getting rid of. By donating vs. throwing out, I felt good about the choices I had made. Any items belonging to Mike were boxed up for him to sort through or store as he chose.
Because this room is small and faces a beautiful wooded backyard, I wanted to leave the windows bare of any type of window treatment for now. The white wood trim against the subtle light dusty green walls, frames the outdoor view perfectly.
This room also has a white painted wood floor that I just love. I have always envied rooms with painted wood floors and here was my opportunity to really show it off. The closet doors had been removed awhile ago and the interior was painted in the same white as the trim. For years this closet was the perfect hiding spot for unworn clothing and other random bits of unnecessary stuff. With the doors removed, this provided an opportunity to create "space" that didn't have the storage look....after all, I was NOT looking for storage of all the stuff but due to limited closet space throughout the house it had to be utilized in a unique way.
As promised, the pictures below clearly show where I am starting. These images were taken with my iPhone so although they are not the best, they provide a very clear idea of this project scope....Piles of fabric, a random cupboard that is too big for the room, and a mountain of crafty bits....wayyyyyy too much stuff and a complete chaotic mess...
The first picture is the view upon entering the room. In the second picture, there is a large cupboard type thing placed under the window that was the result of a re-purposing idea gone awry. It is heavy and has no doors but offers shelving and a pegboard backing. The third image, believe it or not, is the bed. and the fourth and final shot is the closet without doors and a VERY cluttered corner.
Right out of the gate my goal was to "gut" this room down to the bare bones. Expose the white painted floor and clean every inch. With my past experience in projects like this, I knew it would get worse during the sort/toss stages before it got better and prepared myself for the task. Bit by bit, box by box, pile by pile, everything was taken out of the room. With this fresh emptiness, I was able to go top to bottom with cleaning, mopping, and scrubbing every inch. I was LOVING the feeling already....
BUT....in the livingroom and hallway, were mountains of sorting to be tended to.,,,
As I had been pulling items out of the room, I was making conscience decisions as to what would be kept. The remaining things had to either fit within two medium size bins (I limited myself with this storage confinement) and the rest boxed up for the thrift store.
This part of the project moved along quite nicely. I had my head in the game and my resolve to minimize was affirmed. Two bins were packed neatly and taken to the lower level utility shelves and the rest was boxed and placed in the garage pending their trip to the thrift store. Fortunately, there was little to throw out so that made the experience even better.
Back into the empty room for refinement steps. There is no overhead lighting in this space so I had decided to use two brushed stainless side lamps on either side of the bed. They currently have light caramel colored shades that will be changed to white....NOT by buying new ones but with re-purposing steps using supplies on hand.
I think the EUREKA moment came with the large cumbersome cupboard. Mike had assured me that if he had to move that again, I should prepare myself for his next heart attack...hmmm....ok babe....I will think of something different and suddenly it dawned on me.....
Here's the deal. Closets are the PERFECT place (at least for me) to turn into "stuff storage" units. Stack crap up on the floor, hang clothes that have no purpose, and deal with doors that won't shut nicely due to the stuff....BUT in this case, no doors - no problem! Knowing there are several things that I would be keeping in this room, they needed a proper home. These things included my sewing machine, my wonderful collection of design and cookbooks, and towels/bedding.
I eye-balled the cupboard, studied the closet, and the three of us had a "come to Jesus" meeting. With the closet completely emptied and cleaned, I removed the pole and hangers. I grabbed hold of the behemoth cupboard and started sliding into the closet. All was going great until, the cupboard top decided to be 1/4" too big for the closet opening. Undeterred, I grabbed the hammer, tapped the top off, and viola, the cupboard slid happily into it's new home. I re-positioned the top back on and we were all happy...including Mike who wasn't really interested in having that heart attack.
The hard part was officially over.
The room was cleaned and organized.... styling/decorating could begin...
Stay tuned for the grand finale ...
Preparing a Guest Room - Part 2!