Skip to main content

Turning my office into a office+guestroom (hasn't been easy)

There's a lot going on in this, huh? There's been a lot going on in my office, too. For instance, my sister up-sized from a twin bed to a full – and I hauled her twin bed up here to use as a spare bed to turn my office into a combined office/guestroom.

I finally got the room just how I wanted it:

Looking in from the living room, you'd see the low bookcases stocked with books and lined with typewriters underneath a lovely gallery wall. To the left of that sat my writing desk and giant bulletin board. On the other side of the room sat the twin-sized guest bed – mostly out of the view from the living room. 

Cotton approved.

Then a couple weeks ago, temps dropped down to an overnight low of freezing. I broke down and turned my heat on that weekend – only to discover that I'd put my bookcases over top of the furnace's main air intake. I mean, I knew it was an air return... but I didn't realize it was thee main air return

The boyfriend enlightened me and suggested that I move the bookcases to free up that air vent for the cooler months. Ugh. 

(BTW: Last winter, this wasn't a problem. My bed was over the air vent, but there was still plenty of air space for the air return to do what it does.)

So last week, I rearranged.

It wasn't pretty. 

You see, rearranging is fun when I have a new idea in mind. It's fun when my creative idea is going to improve things. It's not fun when I have to move the bookcases and typewriters away from where I truly, really love them. (Also, it's a major workout lifting all those books and typewriters.) But I drank a few beers, took frequent breaks to pet and play with my cats, and persevered.

Cotton found the entire process absolutely exhausting.

As you can see, I also have paint to touch up. Note to self: Don't let typewriters scrape the walls.

So I ended up with this:

Since the bookcases were too long to run along this wall horizontally, I turned them on their sides as a sort of headboard for the bed. My typewriters are staggered around where they fit. And the bed takes center stage under the gallery wall – leaving plenty of air space underneath for the pesky air vent. Basically, I loathe this setup. I loathe looking in from the living room and seeing a bed.

My desk is over where the bed was, around the corner and out of sight. I don't hate it there, but I don't love it either. The reason it couldn't go on the gallery wall is that 1) I'd have to take down the pictures to accommodate the bulletin board, 2) I don't want the bulletin board to be the main focus of this wall, which is what you're looking at when you look in from the living room, and 3) there are now outlets close enough to put it there anyway (old house woes). 

I've been considering several options, like getting a daybed frame for the bed. Maybe then it wouldn't be such an eyesore. Or, getting rid of nearly all my books so that I can downsize to just one of those bookcases and still put it under the gallery wall and away from the air vent. Or, buy a new bookcase that has LEGS – a bookcase that can store books and typewriters while also providing empty air space underneath for the air vent.

This option won out:

It's the Threshold Carson Horizontal Bookcase from Target in white. And it's on its way to me.

I love Target's Threshold line. The furniture pieces are pretty easy to put together and of decent quality for the price and material. And since it's a crisp white with adjustable shelves, the piece is versatile if I ever switch rooms around or move to a new place. 

Oh, and it has legs! Beautiful legs! It's long enough to span the air vent and the legs are high enough to give the air return just enough breathing room. Yay, legs!

I plan to put my typewriters in the cubbies if they fit, or line them across the top if they don't. In the the middle section, I'll store books. If they don't fit, I'll have to force myself to do some much needed downsizing. I'll have something across the top regardless. (Putting things on top of furniture keeps the cats off. I'm lucky in that my cats won't walk across something if it looks like too much work. Haha.)

My gray and white, geometric, removable wallpaper from Chasing Paper is still sticky, so I think I'm going to line the back panel of the bookcase with it for another punch of pattern. (You know I love to mix and match patterns!)

My desk will return to the left of the gallery wall. And I'll be able to move the bed back to the short wall around the corner, keeping it out of view from the living room.

I can't wait!

The Lovely Side is on: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram



DIY Cat Barrier for Under $100 (See-Through, Climb-Proof, and Too-Tall-To-Jump)

ICYMI: I gave up Cotton after deciding that after trying so many things, my two adopted cats Dahlia and Cotton were just never going to get along. Long story short: I missed her. And Cotton's back. And Dahlia's not going anywhere. My heart is big enough to keep trying. And my apartment is big enough that if I need to keep them separated long term (or permanently), it can be done. I'm going to write-up a separate post about some of the solutions I've tried, how they worked, who they worked on, and what I'll be trying next. But in this post, I wanted to share the main 'piece de resistance' of having both cats in my apartment: an un-climbable, un-jumpable, see-through barrier to separate Cotton and Dahlia .

Penny's Apartment | Big Bang Theory

Aniela, a lovely reader from Germany, sent me an email requesting advice on recreating the style of Penny's apartment on Big Bang Theory. 

Blair's Room | Gossip Girl Decor

Manhattan's debutante Blair Waldorf happens to be my favorite Gossip Girl character.  Her behavior and feelings vary from snobbish to sensitive, but she always (except for a few rare occasions) looks and acts totally pulled together.  Her luxurious bedroom is fit for a queen---and is as pulled together as her preppy fashion ensembles.