The decoration and arrangement of personal space has always been a work in progress. I've never been able to afford redoing an entire room at a time, nor did I want to. Shelves, furniture, and other knicknacks were acquired piecemeal and swapped out over time. I have not done any major overhauls until now.

Over the last few weekends, I have been on a mission to make more efficient use of my space. Much of my furniture and equipment carried over from my college days. While they worked really well for the space I had back then, they do not work efficiently with the space and lifestyle now. One particular corner of my room could be put to better use, since things did not fit together very well, leaving awkward patches of empty spaces in between. An old computer cart held many parts for my desktop computer, but because I have a laptop now, I don't use that computer much. To make matters worse, the CPU doesn't fit on the cart, so it takes up even more space right next to it. In the meantime, more books and papers accumulated throughout the years, and I didn't have enough shelves to organize them. Frustration ensued.

I was seriously spurred to action over the Memorial Day weekend, when I went to visit my family and saw the Ikea circular. A couple of pieces of furniture--the Poang chair (which I have always wanted, because it is so comfortable and portable) and a big bookshelf--were hugely discounted, and I could actually get both of them together for less than a hundred bucks. I ran off to Ikea to get them, even though I had no one to help me carry the heavy boxes. I somehow managed to stuff them in my car and drove them home (this time, I had help carrying them indoors).

Once I got everything home, the first thing I did was to get rid of as many old, useless papers as possible; new shelves can only hold so much. After that long process was completed, I finally moved on to assembly. The chair was easy to assemble, but putting together the bookshelf was like a shipbuilding exercise--I had rotate the half-finished bookcase to push the pieces together, and scramble up and down a bench to get to the higher shelves. In the end, all the trouble was worth it, as the bookshelf was everything I needed. It does triple-duty as my nightstand, bookshelf, and counterspace for working. The old nightstand was moved elsewhere in the room, where it was a better fit and continued to hold a lot of things. I got rid of the old rolling computer station altogether and put the chair in its place, while the desktop CPU was put into the problematic corner. The computer keyboard is plunked on top of the CPU instead of taking up desk space. The desktop monitor was placed on top of the bookshelf, but I have arranged the wires in such away that it could be moved off the shelf if I need more counterspace to work with. I LOVE the fact that the counter is bathed in sunlight--I've always wanted a workspace in natural light, but not a desk of the size I needed.

The bookshelf is a workhorse--I have many books and papers crammed in. From an aesthetic standpoint, it would have been nice to have some empty space. Even though it's wishful thinking, I tried to turn a few select shelves into little exhibits of sorts:

(I made this years ago.)

(Empty CD spools turn out to be great for holding bangles.)

(This is actually a tissue holder; the tissue comes out of the top of the volcano. The big plushy thing also is great for concealing a bunch of papers underneath...hehe...)

Another thing that I have desperately needed was a proper desk--the folding table that I have been using has always been too small. A friend of mine is moving and gave me his. It is beyond awesome (the table, not the moving away)--not only is it a lot bigger and sturdier than my old table, the color scheme works with everything else I have. It is tall enough such that I can tuck my rolling cart of crafting materials underneath, thereby saving even more space.

I also used the wall to help free up some floor space. Many of my beads are stored in box of small plastic drawers, which I bought from the Container Store. The color-sorted set-up is something of an objet d'art in of itself, so hanging it up was a no-brainer. It just took me a while to get around to it and find the right place for it. The right place is finally available. It is right at home in the midst of rectangular forms.

This isn't a new decorating idea, but I just love the vintage repro notecards sent to me by a friend. I framed one of them, and left the other sitting next to a bamboo steamer full of necklaces.

It's amazing what wide open spaces does to the psyche. It brightens up my mood, and it feels great to come home and sink into a comfy chair. Today I dressed comfortably to hang out around the house and hammering away at the wall so that the bead drawers could be hung up. I nearly blended in with the neutral-colored furniture and accessories.

[Cris striped tank layered over sheer Nation LTD burnout tank, Park Vogel sheer hoodie, Gap skirt.]


ambika said...

What a great, light space. I love the containers you're standing next to with your papers--are those from the container store, too?

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks! Those came from Ikea roughly 4-5 years ago. They're cardboard, but they're quite sturdy.