Congratulations to any of you who made it through part 1 of "The Great Conservatory Clean-Up" yesterday. For anyone who needs a re-cap, here's the abbreviated story:
The Teen moved bedrooms so he could fit a loveseat into his room. His former bedroom became a dumping ground for anything that either didn't have a home or we didn't feel like organizing and putting away. The loveseat got replaced by a giant beanbag, and was left out in the middle of the floor upstairs. Something needed to be done with the loveseat and the former bedroom, dubbed "The Conservatory," before our 29 guests showed up for Christms.The big holiday gathering was scheduled for the day after Christmas, but we also had my mom, brother and sister-in-law coming over Christmas Eve. Because we were so busy in the month of December, like everyone else, we didn't have time to start getting ready for our guests until December 23, our first day of holiday vacation. If you're like me, your house got totally trashed in December with all the coming and going and shopping and wrapping and cooking and baking. We weren't going to have time to organize The Conservatory before our guests came, so we planned on just shutting the door. And I assumed we'd just move the loveseat to storage in our basement, along with the matching sofa. (We bought them when we were 22, before I knew the horrors of matching furniture.)
Then I remembered how my four-year-old nephew decided to give himself an unguided tour of the upstairs during The Teen's birthday party a month earlier, even venturing into rooms with closed doors. I certainly didn't want him wandering around The Conservatory, or unintentionally opening the door and exposing our mess! I thought I'd be clever and lock the door from the outside, which we could easily unlock later with the skeleton key we have.
But then I thought about the eight boys between the ages of 11 and 16 who would want to hang out upstairs during our big Christmas gathering. Where would they sit? On The Teen's bed and beanbag? On our guest bed? On the floor? Hmm. I had an idea. Why not turn The Conservatory into a den-type space? We had a loveseat that needed a home, plus a coffee table that used to be in the office/den. The teen and pre-teen guys could use it as their hang-out room. After all, they pretty much entertain themselves with handheld electronic devices anyway, right?
But ... there was a heck of a lot of organizing, putting away, and rearranging to do. And we had no time to do it when we had the rest of the house to get ready before our first guests arrived. Then I had another bright idea. We had nowhere to go on Christmas Day, so we could simply shut the door for our first guests on Christmas Eve, then spend Christmas afternoon on a family project. That project being The Great Conservatory Clean-Up. I mean, the holidays are all about family togetherness, right?
My idea was met with a bit of moaning and groaning, but The Mr. acquiesced and The Teen didn't have a choice. It wasn't fun, but we got it done. And it's always easier when you do mundane tasks with a buddy or two!
Remember what the room looked like before? Here's the much better after:
Please keep in mind that the room is decorated with a mishmash of items that are left over from "decorating past." Since The Conservatory is rarely used or seen, it's not worth spending money on. Here's the story on each of the items in the room.
Rocker: We purchased it just before our son, now The Teen, was born. Yes, it's old and hideous. Yes, it was already old and hideous when we bought it. We found it at a resale shop when we were poor soon-to-be-parents, and it was a good price for a rocker/recliner. The Mr. loooooves this chair, doesn't mind its hideous looks, and would sit it in a place of honor in our living room if I left him to his own devices.
Coffee Table and Loveseat: Those are from our first real house. The loveseat and matching sofa lived in the finished basement at our old house. You can probably see the scratches on the top of the coffee table from when The Teen ran Hot Wheels cars across it when he was little. It may get a DIY makeover at some point.
Bookcase: That's a remnant from The Teen's old bedroom.
Chest of Drawers: My father-in-law owns a cabinet business. He had the base and the top left over in this warehouse and put them together for us to use at our first apartment. It's not the prettiest thing, but the drawers slide really well and it's great for storing office and school supplies, so we keep it around.
Artwork Above the Chest of Drawers: Purchased it for and had it hanging in my old work office. Ah, I do miss having an office with a door. I'm in cubicle-land now.
Console Table: This is the only piece of furniture in the room that we actually like. I wish we had a place for it in our living room. It's an antique passed down from family.
Artwork Above the Console Table: Another remnant from The Teen's old bedroom. I like the pops of color and didn't feel like moving them and re-hanging them elsewhere. Hanging artwork in a grid takes some effort to get everything lined up!
What started out as a post about a clean-up project ended up being a house tour post of sorts. Although I won't post this on my blog's House Tour page, because I don't want any visitors to think it represents my current decorating style! I'm just glad The Conservatory is officially cleaned up and at least presentable.
What imposing projects have you tackled recently?