Sunday, April 22, 2012

Reno Update: A study nook and a bookcase corner.

I'm currently working my way towards a Bachelor of Business. So far, for the last 4 and a bit years, the study and assignment work have taken place in various locations around our small home - at the dining table, on the couch, on our bed, at my sewing desk, sitting on the floor... But, for the final 9 weeks of said degree, I'll be working in our new study nook. Better late than never, right?

In the midst of looking for renovation inspiration, we were looking for a way we could better use the space under our stairs, to make it more useful and nicer to look at. Here's the jumbled mess beforehand:

(Oh my, I'd forgotten how bad it was!)

I'd brought up several ideas with R, such as a collection built in storage boxes, but he didn't like any of them.

Then, I found a picture via Pinterest that showed a study nook under a staircase. It didn't exactly offer the storage solution I was looking for, but R loved the concept. As a fan of Ikea Expedit furniture, I knew they made a desk that connected to a bookcase/wall unit, and we decided it would be perfect for our space, giving us storage space as well as the desk.

Before we could make the study nook a reality, we needed to decide what we were going to do with our books. We decided to keep the blue bookcase (which, incidentally, is also an Ikea item, that my parents bought years ago), but update it and paint it black. Its new home would be the landing at the top of the stairs. Here's the landing space before:

One busy weekend I cleaned up and cleared the landing, painted the walls and architraves white, painted the bookcase black, and R helped me move it into place. I let the enamel paint dry for almost a week, but I wasn't convinced that it was completely set, so I used baking paper as shelf-liners so the books wouldn't stick. I loaded up the books, added a few decoratey-items to the top, and voila! (The light was updated at the same time as the kitchen electrical work was done.)

During the reno process, we were keeping an eye on the Expedit furniture (and how it would fit into our budget), and one Sunday morning we noticed that Ikea had introduced a new range of colours and finishes - none of which were what we wanted, plus they were more expensive. Worried that they would discontinue the one we wanted, we were there straight after church to battle the crowds and secure our items (none of which was actually any drama). Thankfully the flat-packed boxes didn't take up too much space in our dining/storage/mess room, although the car ride home was a bit squishy.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we were ready to get going with our next 'room' renovation. We cleared out the mess, R painted the walls white and gave the floor a good vacuum, then we set to work building out Ikea furniture.

I loaded most of the stuff back in (the rest will be donated to charity, thrown out or stored elsewhere), and when I'm done with uni the whole lot with be sorted through. Here's the finished product:

We're a bit proud of ourselves really. It was a really easy solution that will work really well, and didn't cost much. All we need now is a better lamp and a proper office chair. The longer term plan is to move the desktop computer here and put a 'real' TV in front of the couch, but for the time being we're happy with this arrangement.

Well, I better go and use the study nook for it's intended purpose then!