NOTE: Please forgive the quality of these photos; they were taken before I knew the first thing about taking cellphone pictures!!
This is the first of two posts about creating a home office from a bedroom. This post, Part 1, describes the process I went through to empty the room, remove the wallpaper, professionally install shutters, and paint the ceiling and the walls. Part 2 chronicles how I put the office together, using furniture purchased on Craigslist as well as well as some of my family heirlooms. (Note: Please excuse the quality of the photos; I don’t think I realized at the time that I would put them on a blog. Needless to say, my photography skills were nil.)
For the 7 years that my mother, Sailor and I lived together, this was her bedroom. She passed away in December of 2011 after 3 years of steadily declining health. While she was still alive, though, she would ask me what I would do with her room after she was gone. (If nothing else, my Mother was pragmatic!) I answered dutifully, if with lukewarm enthusiasm, that I would probably create a home office of some kind. She seemed to think that was a good idea….
In the months following her passing, I gave away or sold some of the bedroom furniture to friends, family, or co-workers. What remained, (and what I will keep forever), is a small, simple mahogany dresser, my grandmother’s Tambour desk and a painting that my great-grandmother willed to my mother.
After she passed, though, it took me 3 years before I could even begin to think about changing her room. In those years following her passing, the room became a “just put it in there” room, and it filled up steadily with an assortment of stuff. When I finally felt ready to start, the first step was to edit, purge, and donate as much as possible. The next phase was to pack and organize our seasonal decorations. (This actually led to our whole system of organizing our seasonal decorations, which you can read about here: How to Store Christmas Decorations)
Clearing everything out
But finally, the room was sufficiently cleared out to allow me to start the renovation process, beginning with the wallpaper.
Removing the wallpaper
The first step was to remove the wallpaper from 3 of the walls. My process eventually evolved into using a wallpaper scoring tool to score the wallpaper and then spraying the wallpaper with a mixture of hot water and Downey Fabric Softener. I would then periodically spray again with a mix of hot water and vinegar, and scrap and peel (and sometimes I swore).
I took a week-long vacation from work, which included my birthday, to give myself as much time as I needed. But I was truly excited about this room coming together, so it was a very rewarding way to spend both my vacation and my birthday!
Painting the walls
After scrapping the walls, adding the shutters (professionally installed), and putting down two coats of primer, I was ready to paint. (Below is a photo of my cat, Lucy, doing a quality inspection of my work!)
An article in the December 2008 issue of Better Homes & Garden showcased a room renovation by Stephen St. Onge. The wall color was a lovely soft, pale green called “Mountain Haze” by Behr. On my “paint candidates” wall below, Mountain Haze is the first color on the far left, top row. It is a very soft, pale green with undertones of gray in it which I find very soothing and calming
I also painted the ceiling with Sherwin Williams Arizona White, which is the paint color of all our ceilings, crown molding, and baseboards.
Phase 1 Completion
Even with the vacation week I spent in March removing the wallpaper, it took me 5 months until Part 1 was complete. But I had such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when I finally finished….in August! Clearly, some weekends were more productive than others!
This is the first of two posts about turning a bedroom into an office. To continue reading about this, please read How I Created a Home Office from a Bedroom, Part 2 of 2. Part 2 describes the process of adding furniture, curtain panels, and my solution for how to ‘hide’ my laser printer, while still keeping it easily accessible.
From our home to yours!
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