Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Nest: Spring Cleaning & Workspace Update

Spring took its sweet time arriving, but I was already itching back in March to take on some spring cleaning. Back in February Ler and I made some improvements to our odd little kitchen, and we wanted to take a similar approach to our living and work spaces. Again, we wanted to live with what we had for a while and evaluate how we were actually using our space.

I'm about honesty. This what our living room and linen closets were looking like. Just a twee mussy and inefficient.

The workspace. It wasn't horrendous, but it felt stuffy. When we moved in we used furniture we already had and a few hand-me-downs to set up shop. Perhaps the biggest challenge for our apartment is the limited number and odd placement of outlets, and this room has only one. Our initial layout did not provide enough space for both of us to work and was a bit cramped for practicing bass. I kept hitting the light fixture with my scroll, or stabbing something with a bow. Frustrating to say the least.  In addition to being unattractive, the lantern light didn't really illuminate the whole room. It made a spot on the center of the floor more fitting for an interrogation scene. Ler and I sat down and made our list of priorities for the room:

1. A slimmer work surface to open up the space.
2. A sharable work space, perhaps a double wide desk?
3. Improved storage.
4. Better lighting.

More after the jump.

 Sorting. Beginning of donation pile.
Before making any purchases, we unloaded all of the closets and drawers to sift through our belongings. It always looks like a hot mess at this point, but it put into perspective how much stuff (useful or useless) we had. It made it easier for us to pack up boxes and bags for donation (4 paper grocery bags + a pile of too-large-to-bag items for donation + 2 bags for recycling to be exact).

Exfoliating the useless junk helped create some breathing room in the closets. We had cleared out enough space to store a string bass in the corner! I put a hook on the inside of the door for hanging my case on- giving more space in the office.  Some things went right back to where they had been, while others found new homes. Is it super dorky that I'm excited about my yoga shelf and candle shelf? Perhaps, but it makes me stupidly content.

After the closet revamp we focused our attention on the workspace. Here is what it is looking like these days. Simple, clean and functional. Exactly what we wanted. Of course there are still additional updates to be made- like replacing the plastic blinds. I detest cleaning them and they are unattractive, but I digress. More details about our upgrades below.

1. We replaced (we = my super handy Dad) the ineffective lantern light fixture with a fixture we found on sale at Menards. It actually distributes light around the room, unlike the old one. We liked the clean lines and slight hint at mid-century design. It is also hung higher, so I don't smack into it anymore.
2. After many thrift store stops and much interwebs hunting, Ler and I decided on the Besta Burs desk from IKEA. It was exactly what we were looking for: double wide, narrow (less than 16" deep), roomy drawers, clean lines AND it came in high gloss white. Total win.
3. Also from IKEA we replaced the 2 x 2 Expedit bookshelf with a 2 x 4 in high gloss white. The drawer inserts provide the perfect amount of storage. One is presently empty!
4. The desk chairs are from our dining table. Since it is just the two of us, it works well to have two chairs at the dining table and two at the desk. We can simply move them when we host dinner guests.
5. After rolling up the rug we decided we liked the room better without one. It feels more open (and one less thing to vacuum!).
6. Most of the old work space furniture found a new purpose in the apartment. More on that in a later post.

What changes have you made to your nest lately?

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