Monday, March 22, 2010

The Evolution of a Scrap Room

My scrap room has been over two years in the making to get to where it is today.  Here's a glimpse at where it came from:

In January of 2008 my room looked like this.  Yikes! All of the cabinets that were ripped out for the kitchen remodel were stacked in the middle of the room. I had big plans to use all of those cabinets to create a fully functional scrap space, but we had no place to put them! (At the time, the garage was full of other remodeling stuff).

I was running a part-time scrapbook consulting business from this room as well, so my desk doubled for business and scrap space - no wonder I never scrapped at home!

The business involved vending at crops and trade shows, which meant having inventory and display stuff - like the gridwall you can see on the far left. This *ahem* "lovely" cabinet from Home Depot housed most of the paper inventory in various boxes and bins. And years of use and abuse meant it was quite literally falling apart.

My family HATED this room and the constant mess.  Did I mention that this happens to be our living room? The first room anyone sees when they walk in the house?  It certainly wasn't pretty, but it was a tax write-off!

I spent most of 2008 slowly phasing out my business and reducing inventory.  The kitchen cabinets were moved out to the garage for painting and I lost use of my parking spot for months. 

Fast forward to January of 2009.  I had officially closed my scrapbooking business and was now using the desk for scrapbooking. I could occasionally find surfaces!  Notice the change in materials on the bulletin board. But don't look under the desk - I still had way too much stuff!  This was the area slated to become base and wall cabinets once everything was painted and ready to go.  The folding tables would be moved out.

I rearranged the room so the hideous cabinet was no longer between the windows - but over on the side wall. It now housed the dregs of my inventory, as well as a lot of equipment like multiple sizzix machines and towers full of dies. I had every intention of ultimately removing the cabinet once the repurposed kitchen cabinets were ready to be put in place.  I did a MAJOR stash reduction and took tons of stuff to sell at a scrapbook yard sale at a crop I attend every January.

Moved the shelving unit into the corner and brought down the glider rocker from the girls' room. This rocker was bought before the birth of my first child and has rocked all my babies over time.  Huge sentimental value factor.  And it is next to a window so it made a good little reading area.  All those empty cropper hopper paper bins? Used to house paper inventory.  I was slowly but surely weeding things out.

Moving around the room from the rocker, I moved my sewing desk into the area between the windows.  (it had been in the corner and quite buried so that it was fairly useless).

And the kitchen cabinets?  Were eventually painted and moved back into the prior dining room (now slated to become an office). It was about this same time that Jay told me he wasn't thrilled with the idea of repurposing the cabinets for my scrap room.  Why?  Well... because the scrap room is actually our living room, he thought it would look odd to have cabinets hung there. And he didn't want to do anything permanent that would affect resale value (although we have no intention to move).  So I went back to the drawing board and the cabinets sat stacked in the "office" for months.

I drew up a new layout, came up with a color scheme, went out and bought fabric to make drapes and bought paint for the room.  I had a concept that I was sooooo ready to put into action!  The idea was that the room colors would be my happy colors (green and blue) but in elegant, soothing shades, and that ultimately it would be more of a "scrap retreat" and be inviting even if it couldn't be a formal living room.

Getting a photo of the paint swatches and fabric to come out even close to actual color was challenging, but I think this is close:

 It is Benjamin Moore paints and the wall color (on the right) is called "Truffle" and reminds me of sand.  The green, which pushes toward olive, appears in the drapes and in numerous accessories throughout the room.  The chocolate brown and very odd shade of blue are just accent colors and appear in the drapery fabric and some of the other fabrics I used.  I bought the paint and the fabric and then it sat.
In August 2009, I bought this bench from Pottery Barn and created my own cushion cover and throw pillows to go on it.  Then bench holds (for the most part) completed scrapbooks and photo albums. (Although most of the ones in the center section are actually empty!).  Ashley loves the window seat we've created, quite obviously, just for her.

By September, I was tired of waiting and threatened to paint the room myself.  Jay is a real stickler about HOW to paint, so he got involved.  First everything got covered so the ceiling could be painted.  BTW - our home is 22 years old and this room still had the original builder's grade eggshell paint.  Yuck.

Never throw away old sheets!

Next up, all the walls were painted in the Truffle color and all the trim was painted bright white. We did the painting with all the furniture pushed into the middle of the room.  We got this far and decided that the 22 year old mauve carpeting just wasn't doing it for us anymore.  So EVERYTHING got hauled out of the room.  The pantry cabinet was put out for bulk trash.  I took multiple van loads of stuff to Good Will.  And I still had scrapbook stuff lining my hallway, covering every open surface in the sunroom, and stacked up in the garage - I lost my parking space - again!

Carpeting was chosen and installed.  This view is looking back toward the front door from inside the room.  The carpet is earth-friendly; made from corn instead of petroleum products and very soft.  I've never had anything this light on the floor before!

Moving back in and putting on the finishing touches has been a slow process.  But here is my room now:

As you walk into the room from the hallway, this is to your left and faces the front of the house.  There is my sewing desk in between the windows which now have hand-made drapes to replace those ugly lace sheers.  Check out the new lamp on the desk! And I finally hung the family portrait that has been framed and waiting since 2007(?).

Moving over to the right you see the window seat and the glider rocker, with another new lamp.  (P.S. Four piece lamp set for $39 at Target!). This is the reading area and my whole family uses it now, usually to sit and chat on the phone or look through albums. I still need to recover the cushions on the rocker to match the room, but not sure that is within my abilities.

The side wall features the bookcase (it's a folding one from Staples that I got on sale for $39.) and my latest purchase - that I've been waiting for since October - an Armoire Desk from Pottery Barn Teen. This was my splurge with the last of the income I'd earned from selling off all my scrapbook biz inventory. 
Here's the pic from  the Pottery Barn website with their depiction of  what it would look like filled with teen girl stuff.  I haven't completely outfitted mine yet, but it will hold my portable printer, xyron machines, Zutter bind-it-all and other not-so-pretty but otherwise necessary scrap stuff.

Sitting atop the Armoire is this basket filled with mini-albums. I pulled out the purple ribbon that was in it and replaced it with one from my stash that had colors that matched the room.

And this letter "C" which was given to me by my friend Krystal as a gift. She had wrapped pink and black ribbons on it. I was able to pull from my stash and come up with ribbons in the room's color palette. Click on the image to see larger. Another project inspired by Shimelle's Something From Nothing class!

Continuing around to the right, there is the opening into the office and then my actual scrapbooking area.  The table is repurposed from our old eat-in kitchen.  The Making Memories Embellishment Center was sitting in a box for two years, just waiting for this project to get done.  Jay calls it a spice rack. I think it's apt. The bulletin board has always been in this same spot. We didn't even take the nails out of the wall when we painted! Planning to paint the wood trim green.  The clip it up sits atop a drawer unit that holds punches, excess adhesives, scissors, and other what-not. The shelving unit has been moved to the little piece of wall next to the hallway and fits perfectly there.  Now all the stuff I regularly scrap with is within easy reach and the messiest bit (the shelves) can't be seen from the hallway when you walk in.  I know you can't see under the table from this photo, but you have my word - there is NOTHING under there! There is actually room for feet when I sit!  The table top isn't usually this clean! :)  But I had to make it presentable to share.  Imagine it wit barely any wood surface showing and you'll have a more accurate picture!

Here's a close up of the spice rack with all my embellies! Okay, actually nowhere near all, but a lot of it!
Close up of the shelving unit. All my cardstock, patterned papers, and photo storage binders across the top row. My category drawers, misc. small albums (most not used yet) and my Library of Memories Albums.  Underneath that, the cases hold various projects either in progress or from classes that I never quite finished. Journaling baskets. Photo boxes - half are empty, half are filled with photos. Need to lose the purple and pink - they don't fit with the color scheme!
And last, but not least, a close up of my clip-it-up clearly showing my obsession with Thickers.  But ladies, most of these packages have been opened and partially used! 
I LOVE my room now. It is light, airy, elegant, soothing colors, not overstuffed with stuff.  I still have a bit more paring down to do but even my family seems pleased with the near-final result.  So if you are ever in my neck of the woods, pop on by and I'll give you the personal tour!

Oh, and those kitchen cabinets?  Two sets of base cabinets ended up in the office.  All the rest (after two years of hemming and hawing and repainting and all) were put out for bulk trash.  I finally got my garage space back right before Christmas.


Lee said...

GREEN with envy, have to say the transformation is wonderful! What a GREAT space!!

Unknown said...

That is an amazing transformation, I love it! I can't wait to get come carpet in my scrap area... my tootsies get cold on the tile floor. It looks wonderful... not only just a scrappin' area but a place where your family can hang out. That's awesome! Thanks for sharing... I have more ideas, now, for my continuing scrap room evolution.

Jocelyn said...

I love your room transformation. I always used to read the scraproom makeover pages in scrapping magazines and drool over the gorgeous scrapping spaces people created, I think I am a frustrated renovator deep down.

Now that I am primarily a digi scrapper I have had to rethink my whole scraproom - at least it takes up less space than my old paper scrapping stuff ;)

Lovely space :)

Sian said...

It looks so fresh and pretty, definitely well worth all the wait and hard work. A real transformation! I like the view out of your windows looks peaceful.

scrappyjacky said...

An amazing transformation...I bet you're so pleased with it after all the time getting there.
And the pink and purple boxes are just waiting to be 'altered'!!

humel said...

Wow, that's quite a journey! It looks so gorgeous now, hard to believe it was ever so crammed with assorted 'stuff' :-)

Amy said...

What an incredible transformation! I love the paint colour you chose ... thinking of something similar for our renovation.

Anonymous said...

Several folks have already said it, but what an amazing transformation! It's a beautiful space. I love the color of your walls!

April said...

Love the windowseat scrapbook bookshelf. Brilliant idea!

Anne said...

Hi, Cheri! Creating the perfect scrap space is always an on-going challenge, isn't it? Glad you are happy with your current space! :-)