Monday, March 26, 2012

The Runaway Room

Among the myriad of things I fret about in the middle of the night is the shed in my backyard.  It's silly, I know, but it drives me crazy that this wonderful space sits back there as a sacrifice to my hoarder tendencies and goes completely to waste.  It bothers me even more when I see and envy a beautiful garden cottage spread in a magazine.

I had this shed built the spring I was pregnant with Sara-Grace.  That would be 2001.  The upstairs (which I will show you later after it's been "prettified" too) has hosted a few sleep-overs and been the setting for several sisterly battles for possession.  The original plan for the downstairs was to use the back third for storage (from the flowered curtain back) and the front portion for play.  It wasn't long before junk got thrown in to protect if from rain and then the whole mess just snowballed from there.

When I took the daybed out of the master bedroom a couple of weeks ago, it landed in the upstairs hall.  Which wasn't fun because you had to crawl around it to get to the bedroom.  So I started racking my brain for a place to use it.  My mother bought it in an antique store in Tahlequah, Oklahoma in the late 1980's.  It was on the porch at the lake house for about a decade and then spent 16 years in my bedroom for wandering kids or pets to use when necessary.  Getting rid of it wasn't an option.  It's family.

Then a vision came to me (again) of the shed transformed into a thing of beauty instead of a rat's nest.  I probably should have been doing something else last weekend (like maybe take the kids on a day trip for Spring Break?) but I have learned to follow my muse -- that's the only way anything big ever gets done and, in the end, any mess cleaned up is better quality of life for the girls, right?  Blessedly, the girls' dad took them fishing (twice) so they didn't just sit around the house and rot for the WHOLE Spring Break.  Whew!

Here is the horrific up-close "before" shot of what the shed looked like at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning:


By 10 a.m., it looked like this:

That seemed easy enough!  We won't talk about what the YARD looks like now.  But it will get sorted out -- hopefully before the next rain!

This was my first stab at a decor:

I always have a leaning toward the 1940's era and have tons of vintage florals.  This would have been a great place to exercise that passion.  But it just didn't work.  Back to the drawing board!

My first priority was "pretty".  My second priority was to work in as many pieces of furniture that I needed to store as possible.  That meant: the day bed, the green velvet chair, the green storage bench, the kitchen farm table, the little garden side table, and the little bookcase. 

Keep in mind that this project was done exclusively with stuff I already have and totally FREE (except for the cost of a $1.39 2 liter of Cherry Dr. Pepper to keep my happy while I worked!).  So, I dug around in my belongings for inspiration and direction. 

The color scheme finally revealed itself:  white with touches of green.  It all spun off of the green floral pillow sham that I've had for YEARS but never used (I'm SO glad I didn't make myself get rid of it on the logic that I'd never used it!)  I LOVE the evolution of such projects.  Really, I have very little control. These things have a life of their own.  It's like a big puzzle and things have to find their rightful places.  In the end, it's never what I planned in the beginning but, usually, it's BETTER!

Of course, I haven't taken the "perfect" photo yet.  But here is a pretty representative photo of it mostly done:

Please mentally remove the vacuum cleaner in the lower left corner and the junk in the bookcase and replace it (in your mental image) with the below shot of the future magazine-storage use of the bookcase.  I'm thinking this bookcase will hold about 300 magazines in blissful, orderly beauty.

And here's a better but less-inclusive view:

So now my poor neglected shed, that was once a place to run away FROM, is now a place I want to run away TO!  I'm sure the kids and the cats will discover it soon and then I may have to fight for it again -- but at least I won't be fighting junk just to get in the door!

I have a more detailed tour planned for you but I think enough is enough for today.  Tune in tomorrow for more details!


  1. I want to run away and live in your runaway room!

  2. Anytime, my dear! I'll leave the light on for you.

  3. I adore this. I need this. If you find a free shed....

  4. also, don't know why I can't get to the pink bike post, but I will tell you shine up the silver fenders, use crumpled aluminum foil. Works like a dream.