The Evolution of a Room: The Extra Bedroom

I was looking through some old pictures on my computer & I came across some before & afters of the extra bedroom in our old townhome. It was just so interesting to see the progression of the room over the 3 and a half years we lived there. [Warning: these come from my pre-design-obsessed days so please bear with me!!! ;) ] Here is what it looked like when we first moved in. (I painted it white because it was a terrible brown-beige):

It was my office and also the room we cared about least. At the time I was working for my family business (a company that manufactures locomotive components) doing PR. I put the chaise lounge we already had in there and we purchased a little black desk with a hutch on top from Luckett's for around $270. The rest of the things were trash-picked, garage-sale items or thrift store finds that we just sort of would come accross. The mirror below, was given to me by a friend of my grandmother's, an award-winning teen author (Bebe Faas Rice) and I painted over the blue wood for white. It was inset with black glass. (That now too is painted)

Here's the black desk & hutch we found. I wasn't in love with it but was in dire need of a desk & it was sturdy & I liked the lines (and price!!). I filled it with moss balls (leftover from our wedding) and other accessories to be switched in & out on a whim.

I used 1 iron rod with white panels to save on not having to buy 2 panels & because it also saved space. (The chair seriously KILLS me now but I found it to be taken out for trash & didn't have one so I quickly brought it in & painted it white :) ... I LOVE trash-picking.

After living there for a bit... and not being happy with the room, I decided it was time to actually do something with it. I chose this gray-beige and used blue accents with greenery. It was an odd color-combo but it worked. I loved the jolts of blue and it gave me some place to put the blue items I owned that didn't work anywhere else. I actually found a lot of comfort in the room as it was in this stage. It had an earthy quality & was sunny enough to handle such a thick color.

I used this folding table (below) as an extra workspace for projects. I recovered the seat of the file cabinet bench (ikea) in a blue & white stripe because I was in a serious nautical mood. (Notice the striped pillow on the chaise too--- I couldn't find large enough stripes in a fabric I liked so I cut strips of blue fabric & sewed it together with a natural twill.) I had plans of replacing the handles on the closet door to a nickel but we never got there. :)

Below are some of the blue bottles I'd accumulated. I like pretty little things in window sills in the warmer months. It just reminds me of simpler times for some reason. My grandmother often has a little vase of flowers on the window sill in her kitchen.. maybe that's why???

And here's the chaise lounge with (a much skinnier!!!) Ashby:

Below is one of my mushrooms prints ($1!!) scored from Goodwill. (I lost them over this Christmas when I hid them away to put up my feather wreath & have now forgotten where I stashed them!! arg!!) hahaha I love the white against the walls and also the little glass knobs on the drapery tiebacks.
And finally, when the little addition came to our family, the room was once again transformed. By this time I had my business up and running and had a much clearer vision for the room:
I won't go into much detail about the nursery since I've posted on it before & if you're interested you can read all about it here. But as you can see, the chaise stayed, as did my striped pillow. I stuck with coastal (STILL not over it ;) and the baby got a ship painting & a porthole mirror.

One thing I want you to check out is the carpeting change. We originially ripped out the old carpeting (it was yuck!!) an attempted to sand down the plywood & stained it with an ebony stain. I know how crazy that sounds but I saw it in a resturant & it totally worked. (And we were really trying not to spend!!!) Well, it didn't work for my house. Our dog is white & the floors never looked clean!!! Anyway, we recarpeted and I LOVE this carpet. (Shaw's "sisal touch" in fawn) It looks very much like sisal but is a fairly soft burber.

Anyway, I just thought it was so interesting (and funny!! :) to see how rooms evolve and how we evolve as decorators/ homeowners. I think it's really important for people to be okay with not having it all completed at once. In the real world we often have tight budgets & can't have it all right away so it's vital that we learn to work with what we've got. It's also important to spend wisely & really get to know yourself and your style before you start spending. Fortunately I didn't have a budget for decorating when I first started out or I could have done some serious damage!! eeeeek

I hope everyone had a great weekend & just a quick update on the house--- they have verbally said they will accept our offer but haven't signed the papers yet. (what is going on?!!)




alice said...

It is fun (and sometimes funny) to see how we progress over time with our taste... what a stylish room you created for your baby!

I totally agree that sometimes its best NOT to be able to do it all at once... It can take living in a place for a while to really discover what you want from it. I am so glad I didn't have the budget to do it all at once at my house, or I'd have some major regrets right now!!!

Catherine@Simply Natural said...

Love seeing the evolution of your room and your tastes. I still keep old tear sheets from magazines even when I no longer love them because I like seeing how my taste has evolved and refined itself over time.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they sign the papers! They are really stringing this out aren't they? Let's hope they get decisive very soon and you can move into your new home and weave your Lauren magic.

GracefulElegance said...

I am moving in with my boyfriend in May to an apartment he just bought. I am so overwhelmed with trying to envision how we will decorate before we even move in and I think I do need to heed your advice and just take things slow! Great post!

LindsB said...

Hey Lauren, welcome home! I hope you had a nice weekend at the wedding.

I love seeing the progress and evolution of your office. Its so funny to look back at pictures and see how things have changed. I should do a post on my family room, it sure has changed ALOT.

from the right bank said...

Oh my God, could those sellers just get on with it already??

This is a fun post. I love seeing how rooms evolve. And you are so right about not needing to have everything all at once. I wasted a lot of money when I started out because I didn't realize that. I'm learning to be more patient now . . .

Bethany said...

So true! Thanks for posting about real life - it is really hard to go slowly but what other option do we have, right? I think the room looks great! I hope you get your house.

Michelle said...

I love a home that looks like it has evolved. Like many designers, my house takes a backseat to my work, but is evolving VERY slowly. I like having a couple of really old items in any space.

I hope you get your new exciting!

Velvet and Linen said...

You really do have pure style, Lauren.
It is interesting how homes evolve as our families' needs change.
I am off to look at your nursery post.
Great job!


High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

I love seeing how a room evolves. Especially because in my head a room is never finished. I'm constantly making changes. I loved seeing it go through all it's stages. My favorite has to be Christen's room. So serene and baby appropiate, but it doesn't scream nursery. I love it!

Sorry to hear that you were sick. I hope you felt better during the wedding.

Oh exciting that the house people now want the offer, but come on people they need to sign the papers!!!

Keep me posted. My fingers are crossed for you!

Haven and Home said...

What a fun post, loved seeing the progression!

Patricia Gray said...

What a beautiful transformation of this room. Thanks for sharing your process.

smitten design said...

Thanks for the tour. You made such an accurate point about getting to know our style and our rooms before we set off to decorate them. When we moved into our home someone told me to "listen to the house and it will tell you what to do" (How hippie!) but it has been so true.
Thanks again.

DesignTies said...

I knew you'd love the trulli!! I thought of you as soon as I saw the creamy white interiors :-)

It was fun watching how your guest room evolved :-) I like that you figured out a way to get the wide stripes that you wanted. Goes to show you that if you really want something, you can figure out how to get it :-) Unless it's the lottery jackpot -- haven't been able to figure that one out yet ;-)

Come on people, sign the house papers!!!

Kelly @ DesignTies

pve design said...

A home and a life is always evolving and always growing. Thanks for sharing yours with us. I still love looking back and seeing our metal folding chairs. There is something to be said for working towards changes and seeing how things grow, and change and mature.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I can not tell you how many times I come to know that going slow was a blessing... thanks

Jessica said...

Its looking fine, you can find more Chaise Lounges here…..