Monday, March 21, 2011

Da da da dum! Pink Palace/man cave/office/sewing room/respite

The nook for the pullout couch

If I was a major corporation launching a new product, or a movie premier date, I'd be an utter failure. I "finished" my office make-over about a year ago. But it wasn't really finished, and now I realize it'll never be really finished. I tinker. I move stuff around. I get big ideas, and then look at the price, and spend months trying to figure out a cheaper way to do it. 

The "before" pictures of the garage and crawl space

I still haven't solved the problem of the hideous fluorescent lighting situation. I was going to have Roberto put in a skylight, but it was going to be like $600-700, which seemed dumb. There is a light I love at H.D. Buttercup, but it's $450, which seems cuckoo, because you know some guy pulled it out of a defunct machine shop in Poughkeepsie. There was another one that I saw at Anthropologie, but it was $900, and I thought I'd make it myself somehow, but then realized that those blown glass balls are a minimum of $20 a piece, and it looks like it has about 50 of them, so... Finally I saw this one on Design Sponge yesterday, and since I have a bunch of paper lanterns left over from our wedding, I could do it in a snap, and it would basically cost me nothing. We'll see. For now it's a little dark out here, but I like it. It's my pink mood lighting! 

 $900 Anthropologie light

$438 H.D. Buttercup light

So without further ado... This is where I sew, glue gun, hide out, nap, watch disaster movies, and write this blog. I'll start at the ugly beginning. The garage was where he piled all the stuff we didn't have room for in the house. It wasn't sealed, and had bugs, and the floor was always covered in leaves that had blown in. We paid Roberto to put concrete floors in the crawl space under the house, and make plywood walls to create a storage room under there. Now that's the sturdiest part of the house in case of earthquakes. 

With all the stuff out of the garage, we still had to seal up the garage door, and drywall (Thank you Nipper and BG), paint the floors, paint the walls  add some electrical outlets, and move the office furniture down from what is now Jack's room. Moving the pull-out couch is yet another story in our family's history that proves that our handyman is much, much, smarter than we are. 

 I'd love to move the water heater outside, and put a little water closet in this corner, but you know, I'll probably just end up making a macrame decoupaged chamber pot instead

I wanted to have Roberto make the floors that pretty polished concrete like we had in the loft, but he didn't fill me with confidence that he had any idea what I was talking about, just nodding, and saying sure, and something about paint, and I figured I'd just end up putting rugs down anyway, so I painted it white. It's sort of a disaster and shows every speck of dust and dirt. But I did cover it with rugs, 3 of them, because it's COLD! Except for when it's hot, and then it's like an oven. We put a window air conditioner in, because it's also our guest room (the couch folds out), and I am not a monster. 

I painted it two different shades of pink, and left the trim white. Brenda (Jack's nanny) had the brilliant idea of painting the couch nook a darker pink. She should seriously have her own design on a dime show, en espanol... 

So what else? I put the two pottery barn desks back to back to give myself a large workspace for measuring fabric, and letting Jack's fingerpaints dry, while I'm clickety clacking on the computer (exactly what we're doing on this rainy Sunday). 

I had this big wooden board with a frame that we got when our friend Kelly moved out of her apartment. It was in her garage, and she didn't know what it was for, and told me to take it. I didn't know what I'd use it for, but 3 years later, I decided to make it a magnetic board for hanging things in the office. I used that magnetic paint, and covered it with some fabric I got at the Rosebowl Flea Market years and years ago. 

The curtains that hide the washing machine, and the water heater are panels from The Silk Trading company. A few years ago the couple who own it went through a nasty divorce. I wandered in there looking for scraps, and there was a table in the back piled high with single panels for $10 a piece. Some of them still had tags on them. They had ranged from $180 to $350 a panel. I RULE! I bought 12 panels, and still have tons of silk and linen in my fabric closet. 

Also have a use for each and every Liberty of London for Target box that I got last year!

Oh yeah, my fabric closet! When we got Elfa system in our bedroom, we had to figure out what to do with the big Ikea Armoires we'd been using. I gave 3 of them away, and saved the biggest one for the office. Now I have (almost) all my fabric in one place, where I can see it. I also have all my *craft* ( I hate that word) supplies organized behind closed doors. 

For the first time in my life, I don't have a box, or a bag, or a pile of papers, and random detritus piled up in a corner taunting me. I cleaned out my drawers, filed away the good stuff, threw away the bad stuff. I parted ways with tiny scraps of paper that I had moved from Michigan to San Francisco, to Hollywood, to West Hollywood, to Downtown, and finally to here. Like 10,000 pounds of it. 

These are pictures of cute French children's mannequins, I shot in Paris years ago.

I love it out here, and I wish a pink palace garage conversion for all my peeps. I don't know how I lived without it. I'm a very lucky girl. 

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