Sometimes you have to live with a pet before you give it a name. Don’t you think? You have to give them the time to show their personality, see how they are going to behave, and really get it right. And then there are those times, you just know right off the bat what you’re going to name them and for the rest of their life you think “I couldn’t have picked a more perfect name.” I think that rooms are the same way.
Sometimes, I can walk into a space and know exactly how I would design it down to the very last detail. That’s what happened with my living room and dining room. I knew from the moment that I saw the apartment where the carpets would go, how the furniture would be arranged, even the color palette. And then there are rooms that puzzle me. Rooms that I need to live with for a while, addressing the flow and the character of the space, questioning how I live in the rest of the space and how that room could best be used full time.
That’s precisely what my second bedroom was: a real puzzle! For most people it’s not hard, a second bedroom means a guest room. Throw a bed and some lovely bedding in there and you’re done. But that’s not what I needed. I don’t entertain company that needs a place to stay. Any of my friends visiting from out of town are more likely to get a hotel simply out of the need for privacy and comfort, so then what does this 100-square-foot room become?
Here it is standard issue. Blah carpet, plastic mini-blinds, a basic box. What do you do? An office? Well, I tried that. A desk, some bookshelves, and even a few tables and the dog crate all sort of squished up against the walls, not at all inviting, and the door was constantly closed to the room. It was ugly, not inspiring for me to work in, and more than that, it wasn’t a space I wanted anyone to see. I essentially had a sign on the door that read: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.“
When I stopped the usage of it as an office space, it became a seize interested in whatever and the whole lot; chairs I had offered with the goal of reupholstering but never did, boxes I idea I ought to use again, 5 rolls of 24" wide bubble wrap I got on sale and had no place to shop at the Cross Bottle studio, you name it – it was in there. The handiest motive I changed into inside the room for longer than five-mins become to get the puppies from their crate, in which they sleep.
I would walk in with laser-like focus, refusing to look around the room. Door knob, crate handle, and door knob again. I finally had enough, and I began to treat myself as I would a client. I sat down and created a list of things I’d like the room to be: beautiful, welcoming, useful, clean, comfortable, an extension of the living and dining room. Then I wrote down what I needed the room to have: atelevision, the dog crate, a place for an infrequent guest to sleep, chair(s), more light, art.
Before I knew it, I had a quick tough drawing of what I concept might paintings:
Rough, and scattered with notes, but I could see this working. Of course, it’s easy to draw anything you want on paper, at some point you have to establish a realistic budget, and possibly start to narrow the expectations. What could I spend on this?The answer: not a lot. I wanted everything to have a beautiful, pulled together feeling, but I couldn’t afford to spend what I spent on my living room to get it. So, I rolled up my sleeves and I pulled everything out of the room, and started a massive sell off of things: chairs, desks, books, blue and white Chinoiserie ginger jars … everything had to go. I pulled up the carpet that came standard issue with the apartment, and put down the same wood-look plank vinyl that went in the living and dining room. Then I ordered an 8×8 seagrass rug, and built the custom daybed/sofa that would extend from wall to wall, just about 10 feet. Having the 10″ memory foam mattress made wasn’t easy (or cheap) – but soon I had enough of the room finished to drop this little teaser on instagram:
Here you could see the daybed/couch with pillows and the wall sconces behind. This became previous to any of the finished cushion covers or the again cushions being measured, made, and established. I chose to use a bigger foam for the mattress due to the fact I wanted this to be a snug and handy mattress for my very infrequent overnight guests. Since it’s been finished, I’ve absolutely napped here more than as soon as, and this weekend – the room gets it’s first traveler!
Once the returned cushions have been mounted, and artwork become hung, I put out this photograph:
Now you acquire to peer greater of the pieces of the room. The coloring changed into VERY just like the living room, as have been most of the substances. I had selected velvet, linen, and cashmere on throw pillows, however made the decision to go together with less expensive pre-washed bull denim on the daybed/couch. While it still wasn’t an altogether cheaper piece to construct/assemble, doing it with this cloth made it much less of a drain on the price range.
Even with this picture though, the room was not finished. It needed window treatments, and I still had to fashion some sort of beautiful cover for the dog crate. For a room that’s only 10×10, it presented a lot of hurdles. But, now I’m done! (For now, anyway.) And I think I’ve got some pretty nice photos of the space to show you. So, without further ado, let’s take a look around my very small, but very cozy media/guest/reading room.
Another take a look at the earlier than …
As you can see from the before pictures of the room, it has windows. This one, which the daybed backs into, is completed in a beautiful off-white linen roman color, and bamboo roman colour behind for texture. This is clearly the same linen used in my residing room and dining room for the curtains.
Seat cushions for the William Sonoma wicker chairs ($125 for the pair on Facebook Marketplace) are going to be upgraded to an HD foam so that they’ll be more comfortable for television watching and then covered in a print, which I also plan to use for pleated shades for the wall sconces. Eventually.
A 2d shot of the room with out the messy pillow styling and e-book at the daybed (despite the fact that, to be sincere, it frequently seems less like this, and more like the first percent. Books everywhere, pillows on the floor and a blanket all willy-nilly.
The ottoman is Thomasville ($95 on Craigslist) and I added turned feet with brass casters that I found on eBay for a more tailored, sophisticated look.
The massive brass candlesticks were found at an antique store in Sanborn, NY. I kept the art here in the same black and white or sepia tone that you’ll find in the living and dining room, and the wall color is the same SW Dover White throughout. Some of the art was purchased in Jacksonville, Florida. Other pieces were purchased from the private collection of the art broker I used for the fine art in the dining room. African violets planted in terracotta pots sit in blue and white bowls.
I used inexpensive bull denim (about $12/yard) for the daybed cover and pillows, and had everything professionally sewn by my incredible work room. If you’re in the Western New York area and you need anything completed, please reach out to me and I’ll share her information with you.
A lot of people have asked me on Instagram how I am keeping the white fabric clean with the dogs. (I love this photo of Louna, she looks like she wants to know, too!) Because I live in an apartment, I have to leash up the dogs every single time we go for a walk. It gives me the opportunity to wipe off their little paws a little easier when we get in. (I know a lot of you are lucky enough to open up the back door and let them free!) I also swear by Oxiclean White Revive. It’s an ABSOLUTE MUST if you have white slips, sheets, or cotton/linen upholstery.
The table beneath the tv has a custom cover in rich chocolate linen, banded with a double row of braided jute tape, but it also does double duty. The dog crate is under there! When Arlo and Louna aren’t curled up in their crate asleep, this custom cover keeps the room looking neat, tidy and beautiful.
One of my favourite matters about this room is all of the texture. Though there is not a whole lot pattern taking place, there is a TON of textural variety.
The little plaster table was an antique store find ($35), and I’m so happy that I picked it up when I did. I think that it looks lovely here.
A higher view of that crate cover. The television is held on the wall, however of path in an condominium, I’m not going to go through the fee of getting those cords ran down via a chase in the wall. So, the add-ons do an good enough task of hiding vital cords for now, until I find an alternative. This window is completed with curtains within the linen, at the side of a roman shade and the bamboo blinds. A grasscloth tray sits at the ottoman, glass coasters stacked for drinks.
Pillows at the daybed are a mix of the white denim that the relaxation of the daybed is protected in, chocolate mohair, and camel coloured velvet. The throws are herringbone, tan and white cotton. I bought eight matching blankets for film nights whilst every body needs a touch comfortable curl up.
Moving out of the space and into the living room, you can see how this room relates to the rest of the living and entertaining spaces. Just off of the living room through a small hallway, this media room has a nice flow, in and out of the adjacent rooms. (In case you’re wondering, the door here is now ALWAYS open.)
Thanks for coming alongside on the excursion, I desire you want what I’ve completed with the area. We’ll sneak out quietly. Louna is within the center of her favourite show on Hulu, "Fixer Upper". I suppose she want’s to go live on the Gaines’ farm in Waco, Texas. That, or she thinks I must get a few shiplap.