Saturday, May 27, 2017

The $125 Solution

The current bedroom with new corner cabinet
Your mind begins to play tricks on you about the 7th hour of a 15 hour flight across the Pacific. Tired of movies, reading, music and unable to sleep, you just sit there letting your mind wander.
     One of the conclusions I came to was that I hated my white master bathroom, my ensuite if you will. I wrote about that earlier. However, the other thing that bothered me was how to finish decorating the master bedroom ... in a way that made it more comfortable. You see, my master bedroom is also my office. It has a full bed, an L-shaped desk, 5 drawer highboy dresser, gate leg table in a corner, a ladder bookcase stacked with printers, scanners and slides and negatives in binders, 4-drawer filing cabinet, recliner chair and free standing lamp. A lot of stuff in one room. It easily holds all these objects yet, I wasn't happy with it. Hating the rigidness of the bed, once perpendicular against a wall, I angled it from one corner beneath the window that opened. In a small 1,000 sq. ft. condo every inch counts and sadly, I just have way too much stuff that is slowly getting removed.
     Behind the bed I had placed an old antique chest that was barely higher than the bed with a desk lamp and a place to put books and a place to charge either my phone or tablet. It was OK but because the trunk was behind the bed, wedged against the corner, it created empty space that was open and empty behind it. So, what to do?
The original bedroom with bilious green on two walls, and "old" gold on the others. I hated the colors instantly!
Because it was east facing and got the morning sun, I painted it a darkish
grey that made the white trim pop and was a relaxing color to live with.
     Life, like art, is design ... sometimes intelligent and many times not so intelligent. Since I have been watching people creating small houses on HGTV I am very aware of how to make  space do more than one thing. In fact I have re-done my condo with that in mind. I could have purchased bigger but the guiding force in my purchase was "who was going to clean it?" It would be me with a hairy, shedding Lab!
      An hour or two later as we continued to fly, I hit upon the idea of finding or making a corner table, one that I could put behind the bed filling up that "dead" space, then bringing the old truck to the foot of the bed so I could store sheets, blankets and extra pillows. That would be the perfect solution. I was then determined to visit the plethora of consignment stores in the Coachella Valley and see what I could find when I returned home.
At $400 and more than a little, ugh, 
decorated, I decided to pass this one up. 
I didn't own anything that looked like this, 
left alone or painted!
     It took awhile to find free time (where do the hours go?) but finally I got serious about solving that problem now that the bathroom was taken care of and other pressing matters had come to a conclusion. 
     The first thing I found out in my search was that corner triangle tables or cabinets are about as rare as chicken teeth. Really. I found my first one (right) this week in about the 5th store I visited. It was $450 then reduced to $400 but not my style and wouldn't hold much. Not even using DecoArt's Chalk paint was going to make me like it any more.
     At my next stop, where there is a row of "antique" and decorating stores, I found another corner table for the same price but it had literally two shelves with one barely above the mattress ... and was a bit wobbly. They said they might help me with the price and I said I would keep it in mind (not).
     As I left I thought of my college days when you bought pieces of wood and used bricks to build bookcases. That certainly could become an option if I could get Home Depot or Lowe's to cut me the triangle pieces I needed.

     Finally before calling it a day, I stopped at Cargo Consignments in Rancho Mirage and there, in the back of their store I found what I thought was the perfect piece priced at $145 (left) with a slash through the price. Inquiring, they said it was now $125. It was sturdy enough, had a middle drawer, three usable shelves and even doors below that if I wanted I could store things I rarely used behind the bed. The bed has wheels so .... I took all the measurements, I've learned to carry a measuring tape around with me, and said I would see if it would work at home and fit in my SUV. If I could save a$50 delivery charge, more money for me.

   Once home it seemed to be perfect, even the Mazda seemed big enough. A friend came with me the next day and I bought it and we loaded it up. It was a bit bigger than the cargo space but with some string we got the tailgate tied down, got it home and in the bedroom.
     Looking at it in the cold light of day ... all the lights in the bedroom on, it looked bedraggled. It did go with the gate leg table as the shelves are held in place with spindles that more or less match my Queen Anne gate leg. Like the gate leg, it needed some work, nothing serious but I had to decide, paint or give it first a coat of Liquid Gold.
     I love Liquid Gold because it has a wonderful affinity of bringing back the wood, or as the can says "restores and nourishes the finish." And again, as I poured it on the shelves and using a folded paper towel, the scuffs and scratches seemed in most cases to vanish! About 90 minutes later all the surfaces had been wiped and it actually looked beautiful. Its age and various dings and use made it look antique. I don't think I could have built anything that looked this nice for $125 either.
     The wood was very dry and sucked up its sauce in a few hours. I pulled the bed out, pulled out the trunk, pushed in the new cabinet and adding things once on the trunk and other items to give it some color, once the bed and trunk were in place it seemed that it had always been that way. 
     Us artist types, whether we are really artists or not, are a picky bunch. Color and the placement of things is important to me and many of the artists I know. It may look chaotic to some but it breathes home to us. While I preach to never be afraid to use color, never be afraid to use your space to show or highlight the things that are important to you. Now, within reach are the things I might use in bed and oddly it freed space making a place feel like a home!

Thank you for reading my blog. I invite you to take the time to read earlier blogs where the emphasis here is to explore the ways art and design affects our daily lives ... and always has. I share with you what inspires me with the hope that it will inspire you as well. Comments are always welcomed! Be sure to check my re-opened ETSY store ...

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