Guest Room Upgrades

In the ever-present battle to create storage opportunities in our two-bedroom townhouse, there was a clear winner and a clear loser.  First, the unfortunate furniture item known as the black storage cube:

Can you even see him back there? While the storage cube was useful in our old apartment, we really needed to make the best use of storage space possible in our house.  All that wall space above the cube shelves was wasted.  Plus, I have really gone down a path of strongly disliking black furniture.

Enter my good friend Hemnes.  Dan is not a huge fan of Ikea furniture, given that most of their pieces are made of particle board rather than wood.  As a woodworker, he has standards.  Lucky for me, the Hemnes bookshelf is solid wood and it’s not too expensive at $149.  We obviously chose the white stain, but they have black-brown and gray-brown options as well.

The Ikea saga began on Fourth of July weekend when we traveled with our friends Janice and Sean (hi guys!) to pick up this beautiful bookcase.  Little did I know that it would be too big to fit into our mid-size Ford Fusion.  Let’s just say a mini-meltdown occurred, followed by my quest to buy another bookshelf online THAT DAY.  Alas, the Hemnes was by far our best option for the best prices, so we borrowed my sister-in-law’s Jeep a few weeks later and brought it home.

The Hemnes came with L-shaped brackets which Dan screwed into the wall to keep the shelf from tipping over.  This was especially important since the floor is carpeted.  The bookshelf took the place of our storage cube and provided a little room to put some art next to it. That framed poster is one of my all-time favorite quotes from Omar, a character on the HBO show The Wire.  I purchased it from the Wire Poster Project, a nonprofit organization which benefits the Baltimore Urban Debate League. They have so much fantastic Wire-inspired art and it goes to a good cause.

Now, the room was looking like quite a mess before we put up the bookshelf. You might remember that my sewing machine desk once occupied the same wall.  In a moment of inspiration (this was a long time coming, by the way), I finally realized how we could maximize our space.

Behold: the his and hers desk wall I’ve been dreaming of.  I know it’s not much right now, but it’s is a work in progress, people.  The dream is to one day have a set up like this or this with some shared space but still able to customize the wall to our own individual tastes.  It’s definitely an improvement over our previous layout, which I would describe as confused between being an office or being a guest room.

Last but not least, we moved our handy dandy filing cabinet (by the way, another free furniture find) underneath the window and next to our guest bed.  I’m planning to clear out the top drawer when guests stay over so they can use it for any clothes they might bring.  I also brought in a funky red tray from Target for overnight belongings like a phone or even some toiletries.

I’m beginning to smell several furniture makeovers in this room, but for now it’s baby steps. Maybe next post I’ll share how we decorated our bookshelf… and why we’re not exactly your typical DIY blogging couple.



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