Monday, November 10, 2014

The Evolution of our Loft Space

It is a truth universally known but rarely spoken that everybody has at least one room in their home that they desperately try to hide from any and all visitors due to its.. let's just call it "lack of appeal".  I try to keep that in mind when I'm drooling over the beautiful blogs out there with their gorgeously clean and decorated rooms.  Don't think we haven't noticed that you've never shared with us what is behind the door to the left of your living room.  

Or maybe I'm just hoping I'm not the only one who lives half her life in a decorated and clean space, 
and the other half in a hot mess express.

Anyway... In my case the forbidden room is the garage, master bathroom, man cave, loft space.  Let me take you through it's many glorious stages.

Here's what the room looked like when we first bought the house in 2011.  Just your average loft space, nothing fancy, but nothing particularly wrong with it either.

We shoved our college furniture left overs up there (No home is complete without a collapsible pink chair, a wobbly desk and orange curtains, amirite?..Luckily I don't have any pictures from this stage, so you're spared the damage to your eyes)  and pretty much ignored the space for a year or so because we were too busy tackling other rooms in our house.  Meanwhile, our dog Ruby decided this was her bathroom, and proceeded to *ahem* "use the facilities" while we were gone to work.  Since we couldn't afford new carpeting, we forked over $200 to have the carpets professionally cleaned and used a gift card that we got as a wedding present to buy a rug from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Then my wonderful husband had the grand idea to buy me a chair from Ikea for my birthday last year, which brought my lovely loft space to this:

I remember being REALLY proud at this stage, even though this was the only thing in there (besides my old ottoman and, of course, the orange curtains).  That tells you something about how bad it must have been before. 

Christmas 2013 rolled around and I managed for the first time to fill it with enough stuff to make it feel like a finished (albeit mismatched) room.  Read more about that here.  I'll wait.

Once the Christmas decorations were put away and my blue chair was back downstairs in its usual spot, this room went back to being not only mismatched, but also mostly empty (although my hubs did get me the second matching chair for Christmas!).  Despite it's unfinished nature, I found myself sitting in that nearly empty room for hours on end curled up with a book. I found the space oddly peaceful and really enjoyed the light that comes through the window at sunset.  This led me to the idea of using the room as a library. Seeing as no library is complete without bookshelves, I began hunting.  It wasn't long and I'd scored these (for free!): 

Aren't they gorgeous in all their 1980's fake wood glory?  

Seriously though, they really are gorgeous now and I'm in love with them:

I just gave them a good sanding and painted them with a semi gloss white paint.  Then I applied gift wrap to the back of them with modge podge because I'm too cheap to invest in actual wall paper. Total cost for these was about $30! One of my favorite furniture redo's to date, although I still really love my secretary. (Side note: If any of you are interested in a post about how I did the wrapping paper backing, let me know!)

After we got these monsters upstairs, I spent a few days rearranging the furniture until I found the best layout.  Then I dug through my closets and came up with some accessories and artwork I could use in the space.  Next I used a gift card to buy some lovely curtains from Target.  Keeping with the library theme, I chose my favorite book quotes and  created my own artwork using picmonkey:

I bought the frame from Goodwill for 99 cents. I'm thinking about spray painting it... wait for it... 
white!  I know your shocked.

Anyway, all this fun stuff brought me to this point:

At this point, I finally began to feel like this room was actually going to work out, but I knew I wasn't quite there yet.  The curtain rod needed to be raised, and that builder grade flush mount light fixture had to go.  I also felt like the ottoman looked too big and bulky, but thought setting a tray and some nice accessories on it would make it feel less imposing and make the entire room feel more finished.  

So we hung this bad boy! You may recall from this list that we purchased this light fixture forever ago with the intention of hanging it above my husband's night stand. After years (yes, you read that right, years) of indecision I decided it wasn't right for that space, but after much deliberation I thought it would work well in my library! 

Here is the finished space! It's amazing what a difference it makes raising the curtain rod 6 inches! You may also noticed that I pulled the chair in the corner out just a few inches. I think it makes the layout flow much better :) 

All in all, I couldn't be happier with the way this space has turned out. I never thought I'd actually get to have a library in my home because it seemed like such a luxury. Here's the cost breakdown and location of where items were purchased:

Curtains: Used a gift card (Target)
Curtain rod: It's really old and I don't remember
Rug: Used a gift card (Bed, Bath and Beyond)
White chairs: Both were gifts (Ikea)
Book shelves: free from a friend (wrapping paper to line the backs and paint approx. $30)
Round side table: free from a friend
Lamp: was a gift (Kirkland's)
Shutters: one from a garage sale, one from an antique store in Houston - total $46
Artwork: It's a Thomas Kincaid, and was a gift 
Light fixture: $149 (Lowe's)
Ottoman: $70 about 4 years ago (Homegoods)
Tray/books/candle on top of ottoman: Total $50 (Homegoods)
Items on bookshelves: most were things I already owned, but the few items I purchased were about $8 from Goodwill and TJ Maxx.
Brown pillows: came with my couch about 5 years ago (Star furniture)
Burlap pillows: $12 each (boutique shop called HeartWorks in College Station, TX)

The total cost for this room was about $365, but since I purchased the light fixture, shutters and ottoman years ago, I only spent about $100 recently to pull it all together! I hope you enjoyed touring my little library, and I hope you come back soon!

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. had me cracking up all throughout this post. Your loft has really come together nicely. It looks great and looks so comfy! did you attach the paper to the bookshelf? I did that once and just used doublesided tape. A little ghetto, but it worked! :-)

    1. Haha, thanks! I'm glad somebody gets my sense of humor! :) I made templates with poster board so that I cut the paper to the right size. Then I attached the wrapping paper to the poster board using modge podge and just inserted them into the shelves where they fit without having to be permanently attached! That way I can switch them out later if I get bored of it!

    2. Much more clever than my technique!

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