Sunday, 10 August 2014

… Keeping It Simple …

When we innocently spoke of giving the spare room a makeover, little did we know the chaos that would ensue.  The room was stripped bare which meant the whole of the rest of the house was, well, to put it mildly – a mess.  But, as the saying goes – you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, so we soldiered on.

And now it is finished – well, except for a few tweaks – everything has been stowed away – anything surplus to our needs has been dumped – no junk has been allowed back in the room – we have been brutal –and I am determined to keep it that way (famous last words). I’ll show you a few ‘before’ and ‘after’  shots.

“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.”  - Steve Maraboli

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Before – shelves piled high – prior to this picture being taken a lot of unread and unwanted books were taken to charity book shops – this is what was left.

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After – a bit more organised

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Before – old carpet disposed of – it had seen better days and was in the room when we moved in thirty years ago – a change was definitely needed, we could have just painted the floorboards but the room was terribly echoey and felt cold without a carpet.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers

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After – new carpet laid (colour Damson but more like French Blue).  I love the freshness of blue and white colour schemes.  The walls were painted in Moonlight which is white with a hint of blue.

“One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.” – Francis Jourdain

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Before – stuff brought out of hiding ready to be sorted through and moved out of the room

“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.” - Charles Dudley Warner

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– a new work bench installed (computer out of action) the concrete patch you can see was where the old fireplace used to be – removed by the people who lived in the house before – shame really it would have made a nice feature

“When you have cleared all of your clutter, you can be of greater service to those around you.” – Michael B. Kitson

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After – new computer desk all the accroutrements and wires hidden away – instead of a huge brown office desk that was hideous – a new, more comfortable, chair is on its way.

“Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify.” - Henry David Thoreau

The old wardrobe has ended up in the ‘man’ shed filled with husbands things that  ‘might come in useful’ and replaced with

“The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are.”  – Mother Teresa

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No junk or mess to be seen, storage boxes neatly packed and living under the bed  – I’m sure I will never be able to find anything now it is so neat.  Even with all the upheaval it was well worth doing – I now have plenty of space to work on projects - clear surfaces and  no clutter - just keeping it simple.  The way I like it.

“He who hoards much loses much”– Laotse

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No need now for any embarrassment when visitors stay – a nice work place cum studio cum office cum bedroom cum bloggers retreat.  I have waited a loooooong  time for this moment.  Now – which room shall we start on next!

‘Til next time … remember

“Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. If you have them, you have to take care of them!” – Peace Pilgrim

56 comments:

  1. I absolutely love the blue and white. I'm leaning towards a Scandi palette myself. The quotes throughout the post are great too. Enjoy your new space.

    Jean x

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    1. I can hardly drag myself out of the room at the moment - trouble is it makes the rest of the house look tatty now.

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  2. It looks beautiful, and I like the colour of the carpet a lot. Blue and white is a lovely fresh combination. I hope that you enjoy using the room, and that your guests do too! xx

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    1. I am so pleased with the overall effect it is very calming.

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  3. It's looking really great now, a lovely place to work (or blog!) and well worth all the effort.

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    1. Thanks Jessica - I was doubtful when I saw what needed doing - but yes in the end it was worth it.

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  4. It is uncomfortably hot today and I've been working in the garden. I have an overwhelming desire to lay down on the bed in your beautiful, cool, serene, blue and white room.

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    1. I have taken one or two naps in there myself - unfortunately not because of the heat - but because I was dog-tired.

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  5. What a great feeling when a job is completed to your satisfaction - even worth going through all the upheaval.
    It is all looking very smart in blue and white, a welcome retreat, and a lovely place for your guests.

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    1. I shall enjoy spending time in there now - before I just shut my eyes against all that needed doing.

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  6. LOL. No such thing as 'innocently' discussing a room makeover Oh, it is lovely! Smart indeed!

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  7. Your new room looks absolutely stunning!!!! Every detail is just perfect.....and that desk tucked in under the shelves...ah!!! I can just picture sitting there! What a heavenly retreat you have created! And yes simplifying is so very important! I feel so much better when we have just what we need and use and the rest can be passed on! A job well done friend...the transformation is unbelievable!! Now go and enjoy it!!! Happy week to you pal!!! Nicole xoxo

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    1. I am loving the room too - no excuses for not getting on with things now saying I don't have space.

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  8. Our whole house needs that makeover..... next year maybe!

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    1. Good luck with that - a bit daunting though.

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  9. Blue and white, my favourite colours too. Your room is transformed in a quiet, neatly spot, exactly what you (we) need and your guests will enjoy to stay there too. The quotes are great too, but........I have such a room and It's full of books which I can say all have been read, the shelves above my desk are messy and on my desk it's more mess. From time tot time I cleean and make it tidy, but within a few weeks it's the same again,
    help... I wonder if a make-over should be of any help.

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    1. I am enjoying it looking pristine but I'm sure it won't last - I must make myself keep it tidy.

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  10. Hello Elaine,

    What a transformation. Simplification is far easier said than done but you have achieved a wonderfully pared down look which still retains a feeling of comfort and well being. Lucky the guests who get to stay!

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    1. It is hard to get rid of stuff - especially when it is kept for sentimental reasons - I may regret getting rid of so much but it is too late now.

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  11. Looks absolutely gorgeous, and I love the colours. And it's so nice to clear unwanted stuff out, isn't it.
    We're in the middle of that 'everywhere else it's a mess process', as we've just cleared out my daughter's room in order to start renovating. xxx

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    1. Good luck with your renovating - I am sure it will be worth it in the end - it's just the inbetween time that is the worst.

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  12. It does feel good to declutter doesn't it?

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    1. It really does - I should do it more often.

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  13. it looks gorgeous - so fresh and airy. Worth the hassle and upheaval :-)

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  14. A great post Elaine.
    Your new room looks just perfect.
    I like the colors that you have chosen.
    I so agree.. the less we have the easier life is.
    waiting to see the rest of the rooms.
    Happy Monday
    valxx

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    1. Thanks Val - just two more rooms to tackle and we're done.

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  15. Keeping it simple always sounds so easy but rarely is so well done on succeeding. It now all looks really good, and I like the colours. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty. It is hard to simplify and takes a lot of courage to pare things down but bit by bit we're getting there.

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  16. Oh wow! What a difference, I bet you are thrilled with it, it looks lovely, that desk is brilliant and I love the colour of the carpet. It is great once it's all done and put back isn't it?
    I love those quotes, simpler is easier but somehow I always seem to have clutter everywhere!xxx

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    1. Thanks Snowbird. It's hard to keep on top of things - especially when there are so many other things demanding attention.

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  17. Oh Elaine - this is a lovely room...I like the blue and white theme too...can I come stay? Isn't it surprising how much a person can accumulate over the years. I know I just redid three rooms at the same time (never again- I will be like you and do one at a time)! Hope you are enjoying your office/studio/bedroom now - maybe you will just have to curl up and take a nap there too!! Have a great day.

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    1. You were very brave to tackle all your decorating at once - I have already tested it by taking a nap! Yes it is surprising just how stuff accumulates but as I get older I just want to get rid of it all and live in a bright clear space.

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  18. You will enjoy your room so much. There is a flea market that we used to visit. I loved it's ad on the radio: a place for the over stuffed to sell to the under stuffed. We certainly are over stuffed here. We loaded the back of my little SUV with old paint that I will take to town tomorrow to get rid of. Loved the quotations, especially Will Rogers and Thoreau.

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    1. We have been doing the same thing - I mean, why do we keep old paint cans when the paint inside goes hard anyway. I think that saying is great - the charity shops have done well out of me through clearing out this room - and there have been so many trips to the recycling depot. The de-cluttering continues.

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  19. That looks good - I really should have a de-clutter session. I actually took three boxes of pots and punnets, three hoes and a spade to the Salvation Army today so that was a start.

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    1. Each year I take hundreds of plant pots to the recycling - they seem to multiply overnight.

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  20. Wow! Bravo to you! I can just imagine you working away on your blog in your new, crisp and clean and organized space !!

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    1. It is a joy Jayne - no excuse for not blogging now!

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  21. I think you're absolutely right in the approach to take everything out and only put back what you really really want. Well done and very prettily, too.

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    1. Thanks - it is a case of being strong minded and ruthless - not something I am very good at - but I am getting better.

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  22. Lovely room Elaine. I really love that clock!

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  23. Thank you for your kind comment on my blog and for following me. You have made my day.. Love the spare room make over. I have two spare rooms now the children have flown the nest.......xx

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    1. Thanks Linda - I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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  24. Ah that feeling of clean, organized, and tidy...there is nothing like it. We loved our little condo after we staged it for sale....almost enough not to move up here. But not quite, lol. Now we live cleaner, and simpler, everything has it's place, and there is less stuff everywhere.

    Your room is darling, beautiful and I bet it inspires you to create!

    Jen

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    1. Thanks Jen. I am sure it will - I just can't keep out of the room now - it keeps pulling me back in - when winter finally arrives I can see myself spending many a happy hour whiling the time away being creative.

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  25. now that`s what I call a make over hard work but surely worth the effort

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  26. What a great makeover Elaine! It looks really clean and fresh. Glad you kept a lot of your books though, I always think a house isn't a home unless there are lots of books :-) .

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  27. Thanks Paula - you are so right about books - but my collection had got a little out of hand.

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  28. We did a remodel like this last fall. I'm still loving the lack of clutter. We got rid of so much stuff we never used anyway. Your room looks cozy and inviting. I love the Mother Teresa quote. To answer you question, moose are very dangerous. They tend to be crotchety and will charge and stamp you if they feel even slightly threatened.

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    1. Thanks Barb - I didn't know this about moose - they always look such placid creatures - now, if I ever come across one, I'll know to keep out of its way.

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  29. I meant to comment here when I first read about this lovely renovated room! I think I would name it "Serenity" ~ such an inviting space! Well done :)

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    1. Thanks Glo - it certainly does feel serene.

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