Monday, December 1, 2014

45 A Storied Style: Home Office / Guest Room Makeover Part 1

I mentioned last week that I was able to take a few days away to work on a project with my dear friend Grace.  I also gave you a sneaky peek at the outcome of her absolutely stunning room.


Our story is one that I will forever cherish in my heart.  It runs much deeper than working on a room together, however, I am grateful for how this project has brought us even closer together.

I met Grace at a Better Homes & Garden's event in NYC last year in September.  After she introduced herself, we found ourselves chatting for hours!  We instantly clicked and a friendship quickly blossomed.



At the event, Grace briefly told me about her office / guest room.  It was a story similar to many I have heard before, and one I could also relate with.  Her room had fallen to the wayside and had become more of a dumping ground than a useful space she could enjoy.  In fact, no work, crafting or hosting was taking place in her space any longer.  She mentioned that she would love it if I could help her with it someday, and at the time, it felt like a small fantasy of, "yeah, how fun would that be if we could really make that happen?!", when in my mind I had a feeling it never would.  I mean, I had just met this sweet gal and she lived about 1,000 miles south.  Really, what were the chances?

Grace and I continued to stay in touch over the course of the year and before we knew it, another Better Homes & Garden's event was on the horizon.  I initially had planned on heading to NYC with my hubby, but when those plans fell through and I received an email from Grace on the same day, I knew it was meant to be.

Back to New York City we went, this time as roommates.  We chatted, shopped, explored, laughed and spent three blissful days together.  That is when we decided to take the dream we had talked about a year prior, and finally make it a reality.

Grace is a designer in Texas and one I have admired since meeting her.  Her style always tells a story, which gives meaning to her blog name, A Storied Style.   Her old historic home is full of soul and treasures and is a collection of beautiful antiques paired with artwork drawn by her children.  She does a brilliant job of marrying old with new and mixing and matching colors, textures and patterns that most would shy away from.  Having the opportunity to work with her on an organizing project was nothing short of dreamy, and getting to visit someone I now considered to be a very dear friend was downright exciting.

About a month before I was set to head in her direction, I received this photo via text message...


Her room had been cleaned out and everything was being stored in the hallway and in a room across the way.  My eyebrows raised and I wondered if I would be getting ahead of myself by booking my plane ticket.  Yikes!

But wouldn't you know it, that Grace sure made progress!  Less than two weeks later and the next update came through.


Amazing.

See what I mean?  Many would not first select to paint the trim and molding in such a beautiful color, but wow right?  You can see where she found her inspiration in this post here.

And that is about all I knew of the space as I was heading to Texas.  That a gorgeous room would be waiting and that there were some things that would need to be organized.  And when I walked in, I was left speechless because my breath had been taken away.


Grace worked around the clock to begin furnishing the room.  Those sensational wall shelves flanking each side of the desk?  Those were once cold and sterile grey shelves from CB2.  Grace had them lacquered and then she personally gold foiled the frames.  Sure, there were some typical small piles, but the room was already well on its way and I quickly began to wonder what I was there to help with.

Grace was a little nervous for me to see her craft closet, she thought I may just flee back to Wisconsin.  I assured her she was stuck with me for the next few days no matter what.


Raise your hand if you have or have had one of these closets.  See Grace!  You are not alone!  We all have had a closet like this.  Maybe even a few closets like this all at once.  Let's take a moment to celebrate the messy closet.


The rest of her office supplies, including piles of fabric, desk accessories, magazines, wallpaper, ribbon and more gift wrap, were waiting for us in the hall.


Is it weird that I was excited by these piles?  It only took a minute and we were already clearing out the entire closet (including the contents of the built-in cabinets and drawers) and bringing all of the items into the room across the way to begin the sorting process.


And that is what we did.  The entire first day was completely designated to watching Sarah Richardson on TV while spending hours sorting through all of Grace's items.  I gave Grace a box for donate and a box for garbage and she was a trooper at pairing things down; tossing all sorts of goodies into that donate box.  Wine may have helped.

As we sorted, I wrote down categories that were forming and we came up with a storage plan for the closet and desk area.

{ wrapping cart / vintage peg rack (thrifted) / woven baskets / label holders (architectural salvage)  / white shelving / shelving & brackets / acrylic caddy }


First and foremost, the closet was going to get a little white-wash paint treatment to brighten it up a bit.  The built-in cabinets would be lined with woven baskets to conceal all of the miscellaneous crafting materials and clutter, while brass label holders found at a local architectural salvage store would ensure everything is easy to locate in the future.  We also found some beautiful wallpaper in Grace's stash, that we considered adding to the door and drawer faces of the built-ins.

Grace's previous wrapping cart had seen better days and was literally falling apart when we moved it out.  However, she really loved all of the storage it offered for her gift giving supplies, so a new one was at the top of her wish list.

Not only has Grace been upholstering furniture and sewing window treatments for her own home, she also works with clients on a frequent basis.  That has led to quite the collection of fabrics.  Y'all probably know that my go-to storage solution for almost anything is the Kallax (formerly the Expedit), and it was my first choice for her fabric stash as well.

There was already a rod and shelf in the closet, but those would be removed and two new shelves would be installed instead.  The additional shelving would hold her remaining fabric scraps and samples.

The top of the Kallax would be the perfect surface for Grace's sewing machine and supplies.  To ensure the itty bitty necessities are easy to tote when sewing day rolls around, an acrylic caddy Grace had previously found at HomeGoods was an ideal solution.

The closet was designated to crafting and sewing, while the desk area was going to be set up as Grace's new home office.  Grace really deserved a beautiful place to create designs for her clients and for writing up a blog post to document it all.  I couldn't wait to pick out some glam storage solutions to compliment the new shelving.

{ magazine files / storage boxes / drawer dividers / file boxes / file folders / acrylic drawers / decorative tray / paper trays / acrylic tray }


Although most of Grace's craft supplies were being stored in the nearby closet, there were a few things she uses so often that they needed to be integrated into her workspace.  Majority of the storage solutions selected for Grace's workspace were amazing acrylic pieces.  Acrylic is versatile enough to blend with just about any design style, and is completely timeless which will ensure the investment is loved for many years.  The desk drawers would be lined and drawer dividers would prevent new desk clutter from stirring.  To manage the paperwork for both Grace's clients and her blog work, I selected two file boxes paired with flashy folders.  A decorative tray to hold a stack of stationery and more acrylic storage drawers for all of her business cards, and her workspace was set to be the star of the room.

Now that we had a plan, we couldn't wait to start painting and shopping.  Isn't that the best reward for all of the work and hours of sorting that leads up to that point? 

So stay tuned!  I will be back with another post sharing the results and all of the nitty gritty details.  That's right, not only will you see after photos, you will also get to take a peek inside cabinets and drawers and see how we handled all of the different types of items that we came across during the sorting and purging process.  I am sure I am bias because I know the amount of hours and heart that went into the project, but it is pretty gosh darn good.


You can now find part 2, the reveal, here!

45 comments:

  1. This is so exciting! I can not wait to see more!

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  2. How great is this! It's such a pretty room but a fun story too. Isn't it awesomet to make new friends?! Can't wait to see the finished project! Btw, Sarah Richardson is hands down my fav designer! She and Tommy are just too cool...

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    1. Momma, she is my fave, too! That was Jen and I' "reward" every night - watching some Sarah! :)

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  3. What an amazing makeover!!!
    Love your blog, always great inspiration and great ideas to organize and decorate.
    Perfect for an organize freak like me. :)
    Hugs from Toronto
    claudiapersi.blogspot.ca

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  4. Beautiful. I love the colors and that floral painting is precious.

    http://www.savorthebaking.com

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  5. Very beautiful room. Great makeover:)

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  6. Well if I would have known you were going to be so close to me, I would have shown you all the organization that needs to happen over here...and then I'd put you to work! It looks incredible! Y'all did such a beautiful job! I love Grace!

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  7. This would be such a fun project! I can't wait to see more!

    Sarah
    Sweet Spontaneity

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  8. Stunning colours, beautiful desk - very inspired. You've done a great job here!

    http://highheelsbrownhair.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. Looks great, and of course I'm obsessed with the hanging chair:)

    ~Be Sweet
    Christina at
    SWEET HAUTE
    sweethaute.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Christina, me too! I have always wanted a hanging chair, and I was so pumped to finally get one! And it is SO comfy!

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  10. Lovely! Now I NEED to see the rest :-)

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  11. I am so excited to see this finished project!

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  12. What a gorgeous room...Can't wait to see more. I'm working on a tiny corner in my bedroom to corral the home office stuff. So inspired right now!

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  13. Oh wow, that room is stunning

    Cant wait to see the post about the closet!

    --

    On another topic, I've been wanting to ask you... I've seen that you are now responding to a lot more comments than you used to. Can I ask you why's that?

    I have noticed that in my blog I get a lot fewer comments than before. And I am wondering if you've experienced the same and that's why you are getting back to people now? To maybe encourage them to comment more?

    Thanks!

    xo

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Blanca!

      As far as commenting goes, I don't think that I have made any changes to my comment policy over the years, I still respond just as I always did. If a commenter asks a question or leaves a comment that ignites a response, then I take the time to reply (connecting with all of you is one of the main reasons I have always loved blogging). I think that in general across blogland comments have decreased as the ability to "Like" on Facebook and "Heart" on Instagram and "Pin" on Pinterest has increased. People are going for the instant click vs. taking time to type out a comment. Also, a lot more people read on mobile devices, so commenting isn't always as quick or easy. So I think that it may seem as though I am replying more, because most comments that do get left are questions or items that necessitate a response.

      Long answer to an easy question. :) xoxo!

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    2. Haha, well you are chatty, but I love that.

      And loved your response. Totally makes sense!

      Thanks SO much for taking the time to share your thoughts! Have always admired you and John & Sherry, and now only have you... ;)

      Thanks again!

      xo

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  14. I can't wait to see! Yes, I have a closet like that. :( It is so depressing, I rarely craft anymore because I can't find anything. I'd love to have a friend come help me organise it.

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    1. Jenny, I so feel you. Do you perhaps have a sister or cousin or close friend that would help you? I know that for me, just having someone willing to help me do it was so comforting, and made me feel like what felt insurmountable was possible! You can do it! :)

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  15. Hi Jen!
    I am so in love with this room, that I wanna change mine again (and I did it last year!). You are amazing!

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  16. I am anxiously awaiting more pics! And for today I too will celebrate the messy closet :)

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    1. Sherrie, HA! It is a bit embarrassing to know so many people are seeing it, but I too will celebrate it - and its clean up! :)

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  17. Her starting situation looks similar to my current guest bedroom which we are currently using as an office space. My challenge is storage things that seem to take up a lot of room - books, board games, binders, etc.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to store these not-so-pretty items? I'm fairly limited in space, so I don't think these items can move elsewhere in the house.

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Have you looked into creating a cabinet out of the IKEA BESTA pieces? They are deep enough to hold everything you are mentioning, and more. You can mix and match pieces to fit your space and add doors to conceal the clutter. Pretty hardware will prevent it from feeling to "IKEA" like.

      Bookshelves are another "go to" for me in those types of situations, as they make the most of vertical space and you can add in a few accessories to style them out with everyday essentials.

      Best of luck!

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  18. I love that two of my very favorite bloggers are creating a beautiful space together- this is a total dream collaboration! Can't wait to see the process and results. :o)

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  19. Lovely! I've been wondering: is the Kallax identical to the Expedit? We want to expand on this type of storage but it has to match what we already have!

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    1. I can't promise that they are identical enough that if you paired them side by side, you wouldn't see a difference. However, from what I could tell seeing the new Kallax put together at Grace's home, there is very little noticeable difference, if any.

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    2. What I read is that in the Kallax you cannot shelve LPs, so there has to be some difference in measures...

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  20. oh my goodness!! such a stunning space, I cannot wait to see more!!

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  21. Oh goodness, I'm excited to see the afters!! It's already looking amazing!!

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  22. Um, how abouts I raise two hands! I am in a similar situation...crossing my fingers I can get my studio fixed up. LOVE what she did and I can't wait to see the details of what you did!

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  23. You have a lovely home. That blue is my favourite colour!

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  24. I'm dying!!!!! I can't wait to see...Grace is a lucky duck to have you all to herself, and get your wizard skills!!! xoxoxo

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  25. Can't wait to see more. I love my stationery and never know how to store it. It currently lives in the stationery rubbermaid beneath my bed!

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  26. I am desperate for that green and cream fabric on the window seat cushion! Can you provide any information on it?!?!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anon, I sure can! It is Kelly Wearstler's Imperial Trellis in Kelly Green. This is the indoor/outdoor fabric version that I snagged at a crazy awesome price on Ebay a few years ago. Hope that helps!

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  27. I always love you posts but this one has me on the edge of my seat! can't wait to see the finished product x

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  28. Such a beautiful light room and the plan sounds amazing. I always blame my clutter on the fact I have to share my office with the spare room, be great to see how others are managing it!

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    1. Be encouraged, it IS possible! :) I feel like a changed woman!

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  29. I love those leopard lamp shades. Do you mind sharing the source?

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    1. Hello Iffer,

      The shades were from Ballard Design.

      xoxo!

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  30. Where is the desk from? Love it!

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