The Great Merge: Combining My Office and Guest Room (Part 2)

The last time I chatted about my office/guest room, I talked about how pleased I was with the way the merge was turning out.  I kept it super low-budget, upped the organization and managed to shove everything into the tight space artfully arrange the necessities of both the office and guest room into the confined quarters available to me. :)  But there were still some miles to go before I could throw up my hands and say "Done!"  (to be fair, that RARELY happens as I view pretty much everything as a work in progress).  

The next big issue for me in the room was the wall on the immediate left as you enter the office/guest room.  It has been a constant headache, ever since we moved in.  The room is fairly narrow to begin with (which means a short wall), and one third of the wall is taken up by the door when it's open.  Another third becomes inaccessible if you need any furniture next to the bed to be accessible (in this case, I have the desk there.)  That leaves (wait for it, all you crazy math fans!) one third in the very center of the wall itself as potential storage space.  Urgh.

In assessing the situation, the only real options were to go up.  I had to make the most of the vertical space, and, perhaps find a way to use the wall space above the desk area for more than just decor.

To make the most of that section of wall, I had decided to relocate the small chest of drawers that had previously stood there to the hall, and move in a tall bookshelf instead.  Ideally, I'd like to buy a shelf that matches the set on the opposite wall at some point (from Ikea's Hemnes series), but for now, I'm working with what I have.

Don't judge. This is the I-haven't-had-any-time-to-deal-with-it "Before Shot."
The bookshelf itself was in desperate need of some re-organization.  A mixture of scrapbooks, albums, photo boxes, art books and various random objects had taken over the open shelving, while the bottom half was stacked with my favorite magazines and reference material along with two of my smaller photography lights.  Not good.

After pulling everything out and purging what I could, I decided that the scrapbooks and albums were really the least necessary (not to mention, least attractive) items and would do well to be tucked away in the lower enclosed portion of the bookcase (Besides, who wants guests finding those achingly bad pictures of you in middle school?).  That left my gi-gundo pile of magazines and reference materials for the top portion.  After sorting them by theme, I used Ikea Kassett magazine files in black and white to neatly file and store them.  Not only did this vastly improve the hoarder-look I had previously been perfecting, it also makes them extremely easy to peruse at a moment's notice. 

I love Ikea's Kassett files for their low price and included hardware!
I found a large, black basket with black and white lining at a Ross Dress for Less for $6.  It's absolutely perfect for corralling my lighting equipment.  A quick shot of spray paint gave my previously tattered blue photo box new life.  The art books and a few of my husbands favorite toys got prime place on the middle shelf for easy access and a bit of personality.

At some point I'll replace this bookcase, but for now...
After getting my Label on, I moved on to the spaces on either side.

Working with the blank space to the right of the bookcase (next to the desk), I thought it best to increase my organizational abilities, if not my actual storage.   I added a wall-mount file holder in black wire and a matching wall-mount hook and basket combo.  The length of the file holder adds additional height to fill the space while the basket adds some width across an otherwise inaccessible area. The file holder received labels for "To Do" items, "File" items, and "Shred" items (which, by the way, can be a very fun activity when you're irritated at the world!).  Currently the long basket is holding only my paper punch and large gold "S" but I plan to make good use of it soon!

A quick DIY project with some old frames garnered me two jazzed up burlap cork-boards that fit perfectly above the hooked basket.  One cork-board borders a small personal wall calendar, while the other is fantastic for sticking reminders, inspiration and pictures.  Practical art- killin' it.  

Finally, I took a gander at the area behind the door.  Our townhome is small so I hate letting any little space go to waste.  Obviously I couldn't do anything that would prevent the door from being opened and I didn't want to stick anything back there that would need to be available on a regular basis ('cause, how annoying would that be?!).  Inspiration struck in the form of my displaced ironing board hanging out in the hallway, waiting to be relegated to some random spot in the house.  A $7 wall hanger from Walmart allowed me to stick the board and all of its accoutrements neatly out of sight and a new sea glass green ironing board cover gave the wall a much needed pop of color.  I love it when a plan comes together! 

In addition to cleaning up the far wall, I added a few small touches to the room that make me smile:

- A swing arm task lamp replaces the small light that was there previously.  I love that the style is incredible classic, but the nickel-plate finish updates the look and brings it more in line with the rest of the room.  The practicality of having a lamp that can adjust to someone reading in bed or someone working at the desk is pretty fab too.  
- Pretty note cards brighten up the desk and keep it from looking too austere.  Who can resist their fun colors?!  Hopefully it'll encourage me to actually USE them (I always mean to...)!
- This little alarm clock is a practical necessity for guests staying over and the time-honored design (get it? time-honored?  I'm hilarious!) is just so darn cute!  (Fair warning: while I find the sound of a ticking clock meditative, some people have the overwhelming urge to pitch the little beast out the window.  You may want to check in with guests before they go to bed). 

As always, I still have a list of things I'd love to get to: possibly adding paint or wallpaper (I swear there must be a brand of apartment paint somewhere that only comes in colors like "2 Week Old Snow" "Pit Stain" and "Gym Socks"), updating the other bedside lamp in the room and adding some fun linens to the bed. 

But things are moving in the right direction!  What do you think of all of the changes?  Do you have any awesome little changes that make you smile every time you look at them?

Alright - time to take my scattered brain back to the nursery for some more work there! 
Have a good week, friends! 

Click Here to Read Part 1!

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