The Story of the Study

The Story of the Study

Remember my story about flooding the basement and the mess it made, but also the realization I came to while cleaning and thinking about it later? Well, as we cleaned after the floor dried (I don’t even want to tell you how gross that floor was, y’all. It took a lot of cleaning!) and decided what to get rid of or store better (and off the floor, preferably), Andrew mentioned how much cooler it was downstairs than in the rest of our apartment. Andrew is almost always hot, and if he isn’t, he’s about five seconds away from it at any point in time. He walks outside when it’s slightly warm, and within minutes he’s drenched in sweat. Offhandedly, I mentioned perhaps he should move his office downstairs since it’s always cool. Then, he wouldn’t have to freeze me to be comfortable.

I was joking. He was not. He loved the idea, and soon after we cleaned downstairs and everything put in its new home, I came home from work to find his old office was almost empty.

We spent time the day before deciding what to do with the “pantry” we had in his office (for more on that, see this post) since I hadn’t finished painting the shelves yet in the new pantry that was built. We decided to move the food to the shelves that were already primed, and we could finish the painting in sections so we could keep the food there and be able to finish it. (Guess who still hasn’t finished it? Hint: the person writing this.)

I would have told you his old office was small because it felt small. I was amazed when I came home to find his shelves and desks were no longer there and surprise it’s actually a decent-sized room. He came up with the idea that we should turn his office into my office (or “study”, as I have more recently dubbed it). We decided to put a guest bed in there instead of in the awkward middle bedroom. That room is only accessible by walking through our room, so we could now have a usable guestroom – two for one!

Paneled wall with all it’s retro glory…there was over an inch of an indent where we took out the radiator (I make it sound like I had any part in that. That was all Andrew.)

Have I ever mentioned the paneled wall problem in our house? It must have been re-done in the 70s, and there is no denying it. The kitchen itself has three different colors of paneling in it. One room, the paneling isn’t too bad because it’s light. The office may have been worse than the super dark paneling that was in our bedroom before we painted it and still exists in the middle bedroom. I’ve done a lot of room painting, so I decided to tackle the painting job myself while Andrew helped my brother-in-law start an ice cream shop business that he impulse bought. (Which is another story in and of itself, and yes, it actually happened.)

Starting to paint…painting the paneling is a learned and time consuming skill. The cracks are dark and suck in paint so you have to take a brush down each one to get proper coverage.
Starting on the second coat of primer…
Primer finished!
“Sunset Nude” first coat
Andrew found some leftover drywall from the pantry to fill in the wall. Not perfect, but better.
All painted and trim painted white, too! The door still hasn’t been finished because I am not sure yet what I want to do with it. I think it will stay white, though. Any suggestions for getting paint off of a possible porcelain doorknob? The other side is gorgeous, but the inside has old paint on it.

Two layers of primer and two layers of paint later, the room was transformed. We filled in the hole left after Andrew removed the radiator with some drywall…it’s not the prettiest, but it’s better than a big hole in the wall! Andrew ordered a bed frame off of Amazon that allows for storage under the bed. We moved a dresser I re-did a few years ago that had been in my other room (I have a lot of rooms in this house. I am not spoiled at all.). Amazingly, it matches the colors and feel I was going for in this room as if I did it on purpose.

Pretty much a different room! Notice the poster on the door that says, “Go Away”? It’s accompanied by grumpy cat.

I’m still looking for a desk and chair, so I borrowed a plastic folding table from my parents. Andrew was sweet enough to let me use his rolling desk chair since he custom made his own from an old Miata seat.

I’ve spent hours in Hobby Lobby, The ReStore, and various local antique markets trying to find the rest of the furniture and decorations to complete the room. I’m not one to spend money on things like this, but I decided that if I was going to re-do the room, I would do it wholeheartedly and make it something I love. It’s a lot easier to spend hours on end locked in a place if you enjoy the look and feel of it. I knew if I had a study at this stage of my life, I would not cheapen anything.

I found The Comforter Set online at Kohl’s while I was shopping at Hobby Lobby looking for art that I wanted the room to feel. I found some art with the proper colors and feel, then looked at the bedspreads and realized which one I wanted. It is a lovely pink comforter with three accent pillows, two pillow shams, and a bed skirt to cover the things stored under the bed. Now that I had the pink bedding picked, I bought the first piece of art because of the corresponding and accent colors provided by it. It’s currently sitting on top of the dresser since I haven’t had Andrew put it up yet. I am not totally sure where I want to put it.

The first art I bought and the old dresser that was my father’s growing up that I re-did a few years ago.

When the bedspread showed up, I was thrilled to find gold highlights in the pink, so it goes even better with the “sunset nude” I painted the walls.
I later purchased another piece of art (also from Hobby Lobby. Please don’t hate me) with a gold frame around a painting of a tree. I love nature because it is a calming, focusing place for me, so I decided to go for it. I also haven’t hung that one because there’s more I’d like to do here.

You can sort of see the gold sheen of the comforter
  • I’d still like to find a desk, but I am picky. I want real wood and prefer it to be secondhand if possible (I love real wood furniture, and new just isn’t the same). It can’t be too big, or it won’t fit in the door. I’d like at least one drawer. Also, I must be able to sit cross-legged at it because if you find me at my computer, my legs will be tucked up under me somehow.
  • A comfortable chair to inspire hours of writing and dreaming, not expensive but not cheaply made. Also, must be able to sit cross-legged on it (see above); therefore, arms are not required.
  • A bookshelf, because I have a lot of books and a study sounds like a good place to have a bookshelf, right?
  • The dresser is too high to stick right beside the bed, so a small nightstand would be lovely. Bonus points if it also has a drawer because I have decided that life is better with less clutter, so drawers are the best.
  • Maybe a corner display thing that I have no idea the actual name for (so I googled it, and apparently they’re called a corner cabinet or shelf. Who knew?!). I’d like to cover the visible part of the hole in the wall from the radiator, if possible, and on my adventures to antique shops, I’ve seen them. I think they’re the cutest. (Can I tell y’all a secret? I have no idea how to buy things at that type of place. Why are there no instructions? It’s so stressful. So basically, I go look, but even if I find something, I’d have to be like, “Oh, hey, Andrew? Can you come here and figure out how to buy this thing, so I don’t have a meltdown in the store? Thanks, bye.”)
The tree piece, along with the wolf blanket draped over the chair otherwise it’s cold, my candle from Eden’s Garden, and of course my Calm magnesium drink as mentioned here.

Obviously, I don’t have super high expectations for this room (just kidding, I totally do, and so far, they have been met). It’s been a fun project to give me something to do so I have an excuse for not writing. Except now, other than shopping, there’s nothing to do, so here I am!

This project has the added bonus of decluttering my dining room table, where I used to keep my laptop. I would cringe when anyone entered the room while I was writing, so now Andrew knows if the door is closed, he’s to leave me alone. It also has helped keep the server in the dining room cleared off, and my craft room rarely got used because it was too messy but now it has less mess, so maybe it can get used more.

So now, I have no excuse not to write because I am not currently updating any rooms secretly or flooding basements (I hope). Thank you for following along with me as I am sporadic and writing different things. I’d love to know what you’d like to see more of here, you can let me know in the comments!

One thought on “The Story of the Study

  1. I love this! I think we may be kindred spirits.

    Our house in Markleysburg, PA reminds me of yours with all the various paneling covering the 120-year-old wallpaper-over-plaster walls. Such stories these homes would tell if they could only speak!

    Keep writing! Enjoy your beautiful space!

    – A fellow Hope*Writer

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