Sunday, February 21, 2010

Part 2: Creating a Place to Blog, Tablescape, & Brainstorm


Week 2:
The Thank-Goodness-I'm-Making-(Some)-Progress Phase

Each week Metamorphosis Monday is a chance to start over, whether you're reorganizing the flatware drawer or an entire basement. In my case, the job is epic, and I don't think I would persevere without MM's Sunday night deadline.

Despite pulled muscles and self-doubt, somehow I made it to Week 2. Seven days ago, this is what our basement looked like:

These two rooms are open, which makes it difficult to "zone" the areas for function.

We moved the furniture, added the "summer" rug from our bedroom, and vacuumed 2,000 dust bunnies and other unmentionables.

After:

The other end of the room had been a sitting area--but everyone avoided it due to Bandwidth's theory about windows and security.
Before:

After:


You can read about Part I of the basement make-over HERE. While cleaning, I encountered a profusion of spider webs and ladybugs; the insects inspired a bugs and frogs tablescape.

Of course, rooms are not like fairy tales. They don't live happily ever after. They change as we change...and they need care. Dust bunnies pile up, puppies get into mischief, and ceiling tiles collapse. Because households are always on the verge of some kind of something (be it good or bad), I need a quiet place where I can write and brainstorm, where I'm surrounded by little things that mean the world to me.




Big Lots had a 20% off sale, and I found Martha Stewart Living ribbon in the $1 bin (see above)and a folding screen. They only had one screen, but I knew exactly what I could do with it, so Dr. G and I lugged it home.

Now we have a moveable "wall" that allows light yet creates a private zone.

Not a lot of space is needed for creativity--just a corner of a room will work beautifully--but we do need an imaginary door.

It can be hard to find. Once you find it, it's even harder to make it work. A screen is an old solution for artists and writers. Its function isn't to shield you; rather it's a sign to your subsconscious that it's time to work, and it's also a subtle reminder to others that you are concentrating.

When you're finished, move the wall--that should be easy because writing can be harder than moving mountains. Finding time to write is the biggest challenge.


Now you see it, now you don't. We moved the "wall" as a divider between the dining area and the study.

After all that work, we worked up an appetite, so we recharged our batteries with green tea cupcakes. You can find the recipe HERE.



So, now I'm on the lookout for another screen. It's hit-or-miss at Big Lots, but that's part of the fun.

Stay tuned for next week's adventure. Company's coming, and a celebration dinner is being planned for my sweet mother. She is the dish expert, so I'm hoping she can offer advice about the dish storage area.

To see 100s of before-and-after projects,visit Susan at BNOTP.

53 comments:

  1. I'm so impressed with your progress & I agree, the MM deadline most likely had a hand in pushing you toward this week's fabulous progress report! Love the screen & good luck with the hunt for another one. ☺

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  2. That after picture of the dining area looks like it's straight out of a magazine! GORGEOUS!

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  4. It's really coming together, Michael. The screen is a perfect solution. Lucky you found it at Big Lots so you must have gotten a good deal too. I can't wait to see more...Christine

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  5. artistic inspiration...no doubt it, whatsoever :)

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  6. We went past a Big Lots today and I asked my husband what it was. He said he didn't know and kept going. Typical man.

    xoxo
    Jane

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  7. Michael, I am so envious of that lovely space! Just today I was bemoaning a lack of ME space- I REALLY need a dish and linen room!
    xoxo Pattie

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  8. Michael, I'm still envious of your basement space. This is all so lovely. I'd want to spend hours in this space. I'm in awe of that wonderful light flooding in through those windows. Thanks for sharing this process.

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  9. Great job! Love the screen....thanks for sharing....Pat H

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  10. Evening, Dear Golllum Michale Lee! Oh, I'm having so much fun seeing what you're doing in the basement. It looks so awesome! I love the screen you found at Big Lots! I have a similar one - I took off the shutters from the windows in our living room and dining room when we moved into our house and found some piano hinges and made my own.
    Too bad for me though, I don't have the beautifulness to sit behind it like you.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  11. Oh thank-you, thank-you for the inspiration! My husband and I are both wont to blog, read, write, study, and combine all our interests in hosting dinner parties with those we love...with my husband as the chef ( he's very good) and myself as the one woman decorating, prep, and clean-up crew. Your blog has offered me much inspiration and encouragement, and just plain joy~

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  12. Looks so beautiful and serene...I love it! You've done so much in 7 days ~ can you please come and help me?

    Thanks so much for sharing ~

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  13. It is amazing what you have done, it all looks WONDERFUL! What a joy to have a seperate space for tablescaping!!!! Be still my heart! I am SOOOO anxious to see the new dish closet/room!!!! XO, Pinky

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  14. It all looks beautiful! You would never think it was a basement, it's so bright and airy!

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  15. I can't get over how "well rounded" you are! You can do everything. Go girl,this gal is proud of you.

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  16. Looks lovely, MLee. I still remember helping you accessorize that space, along withe Demi, via the internet. Hope you and yours are well and enjoying a touch of spring this weekend...before the next cold front!

    Thanks for the sweet comment on AtticMag on my home tour.
    xoxo
    Allison

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  17. What a perfect writing place! You've inspired me to create one for myself as well...and I actually have a space to use...just needed a little inspiration and the beautiful photos definitely did the trick! Thank you so much for sharing! You truly are a woman of many talents!

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  18. What a great transformation. Both spaces look beautiful and I can't believe you got all of that done in just 7 days! It's truly lovely!

    Kat :)

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  19. I really think your space turned out beautifully. I started working in my dish room today. Ugh...spiders there too. My room won't be pretty...more like a big storage closet. You have created a wonderful space that not only is functional, it is inviting. Love it!

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  20. Wonderful transformation. I have a whole room upstairs that is all mine and its a jumbled mess...I'd love to take inspiration from you and make it a space that I can enjoy being creative in.

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  21. Wow! You are moving right along on this project. The room(s) look so pretty. The screen is the perfect solution. I think your Big Lots must get better stuff than the one were I shop. Your sitting area looks so inviting. Maybe I'll just come live in your basement. I would keep the dust bunnies cleared out. laurie

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  22. Love your new creative space! Would love to have a space like that.

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  23. I love that screen! We recently finished our basement and the windows are small. Shutters are so expensive.
    I am looking for something like that we could cut down, leave larger than the window and make a sill underneath to give the illusion of a bigger window. And it could be opened to let the little light we get in.I am looking but not finding!

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  24. So pretty and restful. I love the arrangement and the furniture, but I especially love that painting above your couch. It instantly transported me! I hope the space makes you feel like being creative.

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  25. Holy cow, it's beautiful! It really does look like something out of a magazine, as someone commented earlier. Love it!

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  26. Your space has really come together beautifully. Restful, functional and beautiful which is what you were going for...mission accomplished

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  27. What a beautiful area you created...
    Some of my colleagues at school just love Big Lots... it's on the other side of town for me... but I think it's time for me to visit there! What great finds there are to discover!
    Super job, Michael Lee ~ Enjoy!
    *Maria

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  28. I am amazed at the changes you can make...I can look at things for a very long, long time and never think of how an area can be revamped. "Someday, that side of my brain will engage." ...she says hopefully.

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  29. This Jersey girl says, "A-Frickin-Mazing!" and as I mentioned, I made reference to your new "blog spot" in Mondays post... Linking back to this post! :D

    Great job! keep it up girl! And BTW: Read something and thought of you today: a new use for COFFEE FILTERS: use in between dishes when stacking for storage.

    Hopefully you can find some kind of low cabinet to keep your dishes stacked in (easy to get to and see)

    Keep the FOCUS!
    :D Lynda
    http://nyclq-focalpoint.blogspot.com/

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  30. Brilliant! Positively brilliant! You are such a great inspiration, Michael. I'm heading over to BL today to hunt for some ribbon. Who knows...I may bring home a screen, too. :p

    I'm really enjoying this make over process of yours & I would gladly come help you move stuff if I were just a little closer.

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  31. Wow, your basement looks fabulous! Love all the little touches. The screen not only is functional, it looks great too. Love it when that happens. I also love it that your basement has light. So many are dark and dreary. What a wonderful spot to work and enjoy.

    Christi @ A Southern Life

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  32. Wow, this is comning together so nicely. I love the room divider; used them in the work, craft room and love them. I am so excited to see it all when mother arrives.

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  33. Hi
    Of corse i'll vist you again at Foodie Friday
    XoXo
    Oliver

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  34. I love Big Lots! You have done a remarkable job. TFS

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  35. Absolutely gorgeous! All of it! I love the addition of the screen, too.

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  36. The screen makes a perfect refuge! Isn't the truth..we always live on the verge of something? Thank goodness :) The basemant is turning into a real showplace. I really love that rug and chair! Love the animal prints!

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  37. I absolutely love what you're doing with this area! Oh, what I'd give for that much window light. I spend my time in what I refer to as the garden room, for it was once a patio. But there are no windows, and thus little light. I can't wait to see next week's addition.
    Brenda

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  38. Well now, I just love everything, but the addition of the starfish, shells and sand dollars made it just perfect in my book!

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  39. HI Michael! Oh how I love that FEISTY little personality of yours that shines through on your posts, your cooking and your redecorating! I am still in awe of your bedroom but absolutely loved the basement turn around. I know what you mean about deadlines...I've finished more projects since I started blogging. Procrastination is a thing of the past....big smile...well almost! Love to see your projects in motion!
    Have a blessed day and may your muscles heal before next Sunday's deadline! HAHAHAHA.
    BLESSINGS,
    Debbie

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  40. I love the way your basement is shaping up. It looks cozy with the screen there. We've got a screen between our dining and "morning" room.

    By the way, I emailed you but wasn't sure if you got it. The dove bowls are in.

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  41. You have really inspired me to keep working on our basement area. This is so beautiful.

    Bets wishes,
    Natasha.

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  42. What a beautiful transformation of two lovely spaces. Just beautiful.

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  43. Well I think your basement doesn't look like any basement I've seen before. It looks like a model home! Just lovely.

    I'm going to Big Lots tomorrow to see if we have those screens too. I've been looking for over a year for something just like it. Never once did I think to look at Big Lots.

    Hugs,
    Joanne

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  44. So gorgeous. I love the way you have left the walls neutral, creating a blank canvas for all the beautiful blues, greens and browns you have added. The screen is genius. But what I love the most is the inspiring way in which you describe how you put it all together (including your precious treasures), pulled muscles and all, but so worth it, the results are truly awesome. Kathy.

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  45. Ahhh lovely, so very lovely. Rich layered and interesting. Thanks for coming by. I am a new follower too!

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  46. How I love a cozy corner to set and look at books. You have made the basement a haven for blog work and the best part, you can leave it until the next tablescape!

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  47. What an impact the zone change has made! The cozy factor remains critical through these winter months, and the whole switcharoo looks lovely!

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  48. Those rooms are beautiful...the colors are so serene and comforting. One of the best things that comes from reading blogs is the new Information, and Bandwith's theory is new to me....very interesting.
    ♥, Susan

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  49. Those rooms are beautiful...the colors are so serene and comforting. One of the best things that comes from reading blogs is the new Information, and Bandwith's theory is new to me....very interesting.
    ♥, Susan

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  50. Absolutely lovely. You have so many charming ideas. Thank you!

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  51. Woot woot! It looks fabulous, Michael! I love love love the screen!!!

    Justine :o )

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  52. I just luv me some BIG LOTS...they always have such awesome stuff...your screens are just perfect! I'm sooooo jealous of your basement...I don't have one(: Come by and check out my GIVEAWAY and new Thrifty party...I think you might like it!

    Blessings,
    Linda

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