24 March 2010

evolution of room design

thanks to the ikea room designer and photoshop, i've been playing paper dolls with my sister E's bedroom for the past few weeks. the goal is to take her currently chaotic, holding-facility-reminiscent, sometimes cave-like bedroom, get all the unnecessary stuff out (and there will be a lot), and make it a fun, organized, productive space for a 15-year-old freshman girl who's the only kid left in the house.

here's basically what the room looks like now, viewed through the windowed wall at the front of the house, with bookshelves next to a bunkbed along the wall with the door (south), lower bookshelves by her dresser (east), tall dresser between the windows (north), and a closet off in the northwest corner:
except, in real life every non-floor surface (bookshelves, dressers, a shelf above the windows, the not-used-in-five-years top bunk) are covered with stuff, and there are bright colors everywhere--E's blankets, the ceiling (vibrantly sky blue), the north wall (lime green--and i cringingly admit that that was my doing, when i was 15...).

since the goal is to do this as thriftily as possible (< $150 all told), we need to keep as many elements of the room as we can. so, retaining the bed, dresser and original wall paint, here's the first rendition (viewed from the bedroom door, facing north):

in real life, i promise that the green isn't so obnoxious. however...it is a bit of an eyesore. not to mention that taking down the shelf that currently spans the green wall above the windows will leave lots of visible holes and paint damage, so we have to repaint anyway. however, it has the major elements that we'll keep throughout: little to no furniture at eye level, adding a desk, and sticking with the bright, saturated colors that embody E so well.

this second rendition also keeps the original paint job, further reduces the tall furniture by getting rid of a vertical bookshelf, and swaps out the antique dresser (part of a set--keeping them together will get E and our mum more money at their garage sale), while also introducing purple accents. the blue on the closet represents replacing the sliding wood doors with curtains (that i already have, from my dorm days); while the color it adds is nice, the idea was vetoed by our mum because the doors provide the only insulation between the bedroom and the attic. also, while i wasn't keen on using the dresser as a bedside table as well, since it seemed to limit the space, i know E and i know that fewer surfaces will lead toward less clutter. this layout seems to work well, and so for a while i just played with color and accessories more than floorplan.

this change to orange and purple was inspired by the rug (which i am in love with and wish i had a place for in our home and which also conveniently is on clearance at jcpenney's) as well as by a colorguard flag that is mostly orange and copper and purple in color. (our brother gave E the flag a couple christmases ago; it was in the madison scouts drum corps' 2007 or 2008 show, i don't recall which). E really wanted to display it in the room, and thought that between the windows would be a good place. i like the color-striping of orange, purple and silver on neutral walls, but sticking with just these two main colors makes it feel staged, like everything comes in a set, rather than natural. (plus, can you imagine how much work it would be to tape up all of those skinny little pinstripes? ugh.)

this design won't happen, mostly because the piece that is my favorite--the marimekko canvas on the wall over the bed--costs about three times our total "budget" for the room redo. (i say "budget" because, when last it was discussed, the parents weren't interested in putting any money into this project, leaving it all up to fifteen-year-old E, who is saving up for trips to Japan and Australia with dance and band respectively and, though excited about the prospect of a fun room, not willing to part with $150 for it). this was totally just for my taste--i moved out of this very bedroom for good five years ago, but if i were coming back, this is what i'd want it to look like: simple, mature colors, no fussy patterns, and that marimekko daisy print that i've loved for years.

i took a break from this project for a few weeks, came back last night and came up with this (view is from bedroom door). for a feasible room for E, it's easily my favorite thus far. =) the painting on the wall (snagged from etsy here) is a visual stand-in for the colorguard flag, since they have similar colors and proportions. moving the twin bed to a daybed position between the windows really clears up the corner it's always been stuck in. bed risers (also dorm leftovers) will give more storage underneath for E's dance costumes, which have to be stored flat. the teal desk and a dresser next to it [not pictured] i scored for free (yay!). i'm excited about making a plush upholstered "headboard" for the space between the windows, as well as a new cover for the currently rainbow-tie-dyed beanbag. the headboard and beanbag cover would be the same color--i just couldn't decide if i like a coppery-orange or metallic purple better, so i'll leave that decision for E. to top (bottom?) it all off, my favorite bit--and the only really big purchase--is the rug, which ties in all the orange-copper-purple shades and rings in at only $70. =)

so, there you have it! the evolution of my design for my little sister's bedroom. =) i've yet to hear back from E as to what she thinks of this latest development, but like i said, it's my favorite. not to mention the least expensive. =) one last look...

so bright, light, airy and fun!

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