“So, I begrudgingly styled shelves the other day.” – Me

Okay.  I have a confession to make.

Although, I’m obviously a lover of all things home… (*coughcough!*) I do NOT like styling shelves.

No joke.  I really don’t.

It’s the one area of decor that I consistently view as a chore.  Maybe it’s because it takes me forever.  Maybe it’s because I’m picky.  I dunno.  All I can say is that I often look upon those beautifully styled shelves on Pinterest and other blogs with sad, wistful expressions on my face as I think about the hours and hours it’d take me to achieve something remotely close to that.  Seriously…. You never realized that any shelf display that’s ever been posted on this blog took me decades to complete, did you?  And then I realize… wait.  MAYBE those shelf displays took THEM hours, too!!!   It’s quite possible, ya know.   That’s the thing about the internet.   You only have to share the bits that you want to.  You can publish an amazing before and after post and completely glaze over the many weeks and bad language that contributed to that shelf-styling.  I know that I’ve certainly been guilty of that over the past year.  So, here it is.   My admission:

I, Christina Spragins, do not happily style shelves with blissful smiles on my face.   I bribe myself with cookies and force myself to do it with a constant stream of complaints under my breath.

There.  I said it.  I feel better now.

But, and this is a big BUT (I like big ‘Buts’ and I cannot lie…. Oy. Focus, Christina.)… I’m always glad I did it in the end.  It’s like a workout.  I dread it.  Endure it.  Then, strut my stuff like it’s going outta style because I DID IT and survived to tell the tale.

So anyways, after I completed the dining room decor changes described in this post (as seen in this pic)…

…those empty shelves screamed at me.  Repeatedly.   They sounded like those squeaky-voiced ringtones… you know the ones: “Hey! Letme outta ya pocket!”.  Except the message that I got was more like “Hey, I’m NAKED!!! Andnotinagoodway!”   Yep. In case you’re wondering, THAT is the voice of an Ikea Lack shelf.  High-pitched, squeaky, and full of rage.

After weeks of this (told ya… I’m behind on posts), I figured that I’d better get on it.  Obviously, waiting for the shelves to style themselves wasn’t working.  So, it was time to work the magic (Heehee!).

I started by gathering anything that I thought might work in the space.   I collected all the things.  They went on the dining table.   And I began.  I took a few pictures throughout, but honestly, I made so many changes that I missed many stages of shelf-readiness.  The process was a lot of “place an item, step back, place an item, step back”.  I worked on it intermittently throughout the day and continued to play with it throughout the weekend.  I will say that I climbed up and down that chair so frequently that I could barely walk the next day.   You didn’t realize that shelf-styling makes you buff, did you?  Now you know. You are welcome.

Here’s where I started.   I wanted to incorporate dishware since it’s a dining space, so I started there…

I placed larger items first, then started playing around with smaller ones…

I experimented with green, but decided that it didn’t flow with the space.  Plus, that bamboo bowl was drawing my eye right to it, so it had to go.   I tried again and ended up here…

Again, like the yellow bowl, the yellow bike wasn’t working.  It was showboating.  I couldn’t draw my eye away from it.  So, I went more neutral…

It’s not that I hated this one… It was just too busy for the space when I accounted for the painting on the adjoining wall, so I cleared off the top shelf and started again…

I loved the mirror up there.   It doesn’t convey properly in pictures, but the mirror really does a lot for the space in person.  Plus, it pulls out the red tones in the painting on the adjoining wall.    I added a few more touches in the form of a ceramic milk jug and wood car…

But didn’t love the car, so I took it off…

But this felt unbalanced, so I grabbed a few white bowls from the kitchen and a bamboo plant…

And scene.

I was reasonably happy with it for the time being (I’ve since straightened that crooked bamboo)…

Here’s a farther shot…

The flowers on the table totally clash.  I realize this.  But, Joey gave them to me, so I forgive them.  Next up for this space will be painting the table white. Woo-hoo!  I think that’s really going to brighten the space a lot.    Oh yeah, and since I’m admitting that I’m crazy behind on posts, I’ve already modified these shelves again (sort of) for Christmas. They’re more sparkly now.  So, that update is coming soon, too.  Stay tuned…

 

TDC Before and After

From No Man’s Land to Craft room

Hey Ya’ll!  So, last we left off with No Man’s Land (our spare room), I had just stripped and painted the new craft table.  And now, I’m happy to announce that the space has a functional new lay-out.  Woo-hoo!

Let’s recap our journey thus far…   The room began as a veritable Monica Geller Closet, which I then lovingly dubbed “No Man’s Land”.  Because, I mean really.  Just LOOK at it….

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Didn’t it scream “Enter and never return!!”??   It was wrong.  Just so very wrong.   Then, one day, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I cleared it out and organized the dickens out of it.  Which basically transformed it from the Pit of Dispair to a glorified waiting room due to the hodge-podge of leftover furnishings….

And now, it looks a little something like this….

I replaced the generic, ugly light diffuser-thing on the ceiling fixture with a simple white shade for a more streamlined, custom look.   It was an easy switch that involved unscrewing the diffuser and screwing in the shade.   Ignore the table beneath the table.  My little mid-century gem is there temporarily until I can move it into the garage (some crazy stuff is going down in there right now, so I didn’t want to risk this little guy getting scratched up).  I probably should’ve removed him for these shots, but honestly, I’m just now thinking about it.

The table now lends a nice work space for projects…  Aaaaahh, function.  Such a beautiful, beautiful word.  The way the table is situated also allows it to extend easily to accommodate the extra leaves as needed for even more surface space.

To the top of the table, I added a lamp that I already had (would love to change out that shade, though), along with a tray containing books and thrift store sundae glasses filled with sharpies and colored pencils.

In the adjacent corner, I decided to leave the little sitting area that was there before…

I would love to recover that wing-back chair someday.  Mac did an amazing job covering it in the brown microsuede fabric when we moved into our first house, but alas, my love affair with brown has ended.  I’m craving some color and subtle pattern. Something a little more fresh.  The small end table actually came with our coffee table in the living room when we purchased it off Craigslist.  I can’t help but think that it would look super awesome painted a bold color.  One day I’ll get to it, I’m sure.

And just in case any of ya’ll were wondering what ever happened to my chicken-wire-hacked cabinet (don’t lie, I know this question has haunted your dreams), here she blows…

I simply topped it with a “To Do” board that I made by framing some fabric.  I just used dry erase markers on the glass.   I added lamp, a few books, a faux plant… and called it a day.  I also traded out the previous high-water brown curtains for a white grommeted pair that I already owned.   They really add some much needed softness to the room while keeping the space feeling light and bright.

Across the room, I moved my shelf for additional storage…

I would love to paint the walls, switch out the art for something more colorful and inspiring, and make the aforementioned changes to the chair and end table, but honestly, I’m just happy that the room is now a usable space that we aren’t embarrassed to show people.   Total plus in our book.

So, as of now, I officially remove the moniker “No Man’s Land” from this space and replace it with “Craft Room”.  (sniff!)  I thought this day would never come. 🙂

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TDC Before and After