Saturday, July 10, 2010

I found the BEFORE pictures!

Just like on the infomercial, I'm really excited about this!  Because some of my biggest work happened in our downstairs area before I started on this blog and now I get to show it off...

If it can be called showing off to display how horrendous things were before.  
  • Believe it or not, I took these pictures to show this area to an organiser for student host families.  Do I blame her for refusing us?  Why was she even polite?  In my defense, had anything come of it, I would have made exactly these improvements.  The real hangup was the lack of a wall and door enclosure to the bed area.  If anyone knows an easy way to ventilate a room surrounded by concrete wall and ground, post now!
All right (deep breath).  Here we go.

That's not too horrible, for a downstairs area...after all, we have had guests here on a regular basis.

And in fact, the after shot isn't a huge improvement.  Lots has changed but it's not much less crowded.  Gotta love the new mirror - bargain ex-dresser mirror from our local charity shop and installed by handy dandy DH!  And the actual working desk area.

So, in our before shot across from that futon bed.....things are getting worse!

Well, you have to tidy extra furniture somewhere...right?  Right?  Of course you do.

And now?  This is so great...we discovered there was a wall back there.  To help convince you this really is the same space, on the far left of both, you can see the edge of our large food storage pantry.  That sucker ain't movin'!

The dresser behind SuperTorchMan there and the hamper on top are empty!  And the tall brown cupboard is now completely hidden behind the big pantry when you walk into the room - same storage area, less visual clutter.

Now, for Super Uber before picture of the rest of the downstairs area (ooooh, I can't look, it's too scary)!

Did I say the downstairs area?  Sorry, I meant the disaster area.  I'm so glad I have an after shot coming... 

What a difference! It's like day and night!  OK, it is day and night, but that's not important right now.  We have rediscovered the floor...and walls...and bits that restore the roomy quality of the room, while losing that je ne sais quoi, junk pile decor we had going before. 

Of course, I got rid of loads of stuff during this transformation.  but I also did some thinking.  We had cleared the space for the desk (invisibly holding up towers of boxes in disaster shot) to go across from the bed and be a desk. Then I clicked:  perhaps it's not the best feng shui to build my Great Wall of Boxes or even the new Lesser Wall of Boxes in direct line of sight of the door to this room...which is also the first room on view when visitors enter the lobby of our house.  I couldn't hurry them up the stairs before they saw our shame.

Now Wall of Boxes is invisible unless you step into the room - which most visitors won't.  They do see the kiddy art tables in artful disarray most of the time, but at least that's now against the wall instead of halfway across the floor.

The amazing thing is, I didn't really think we had a major problem before I started on it.  Even though it wasn't really out of sight, I had put it out of my mind because we have a sizeable house and this isn't our living space.  But the feeling of accomplishment?  Priceless...

What about you - any hidey holes in your sanctum of peace that you're pretending don't exist?


  1. That's a great improvement. No room for clutter hidey holes at my house :)

  2. Thanks! Ever since DH and I moved in together, we've always had more room than we really needed. And humans obey Boyle's law at least as well as gases do.

    If it were just me, I would like to try to downsize the house. I think I've already mentioned a few times that I would like to use some of this extra real estate to generate income. I know I'm making good progress!