In this post, I am also going to talk a little bit about decorating the bonus room built ins and what I think makes for attractive and practical open shelf decorating! I will also go over some of the recent changes we made.
The built-in bookshelves / window seat. This thing was a monster! It took about a year, if not more to complete. I love how it turned out and it is something I will really miss about this house. It gave me TONS of storage, a comfy seat to look out the window onto an awesome view (that I did not use nearly enough), and a way to display a bunch of my random stuff.
The seat cushion for the window seat was a big dilemma. I searched high and low for an affordable option for it. The foam that you buy online was super expensive- the cheapest I could find for the 8 feet by 2 feet that we needed was about $150. I found a good deal at a fabric store that is about an hour away. So, I bought that. It was still over $100. Scott mentioned it to his dad. His dad said, "no no no. I know a guy who will do it much cheaper than that." Scott's dad knows lots of "guys who will do it cheaper." The only problem with these guys are that they usually live at least 120 miles away and they take their sweet time. And that is just fine with us! We were in no hurry. It had already taken us a year to get to the window seat. So, we made the call. The guy is an upholstery guy up in the furniture mecca, High Point, NC. Scott dropped off the fabric we had bought for the window seat and for four pillows we wanted him to make. About 3 months later we had an absolutely perfect window seat cushion cover and four lovely pillows. We returned the foam we had bought at the fabric store. The whole deal (foam, cover, 4 pillows and stuffing) ended up costing us about $150. Not too shabby!
Here is a closer look at the cushion.
1. Take a look at what you want to display. I pull out my huge boxes full of things that might be display-worthy one day and go through those. This time I was looking for anything blue, orange or white; or things that I could spray paint those colors. I also pulled out some of Cora's prettiest toys that I wouldn't mind having on display. I also pulled out my most used books and my prettiest books.
2. Group things together by subject, size, theme, color, etc.
3. Play around with it. Try to make spaces feel even. I used some of my paintings as well as some cardboard that I wrapped in fabric to make the background more interesting and a bit lighter. It also helped to make the height of each shelf box feel more even.
4. Play around with it again.
5. And again.
6. Maybe you will love it so much that you may never stop rearranging your shelves and that is just fine!
I really wanted to have somewhat practical yet still attractive items displayed. The problem with having toys on display was that one of Cora's favorite things to play with is the picnic basket, which is on the top shelf of the bookcase. She is constantly running over to it saying, "bas, bas, bas" meaning "please get the picnic basket down for me. So, the basket ends up spending a lot more time on the floor than it does on the shelf. In the future, I will try to keep the toys displayed up high that I don't want her to play with all the time (like puzzles or anything that has a million pieces to clean up.
Here are some close-ups of the shelves:
Changes we made to the room before putting it on the market:
We took down lots of photos and paintings, repositioning a couch, we turned a coffee table turned into a media center, we added a busted TV, replaced the peachy color with brown, and we moved Cora's kitchen and chairs up. Cora's dollhouse got a temporary home in the bonus room too. ps I got that dollhouse at a consignment sale for $5. Craziness, right? It is Cora's favorite thing in the whole world to play with.
Here are all of the lovely steps that made the Funky Retro Bonus Room the lovely place it is today:
The Bonus Room Chronicles Introduction Post
Step 1: Move in. Paint the walls. Put up curtains. Put up art. Paint orange design. Paint polka dots.
Step 2: Put up wire display.
Step 3: Put up wall of frames.
Step 4: Move furniture around. Get rid of TV. Add bed.
Step 6: Change out the bifold doors