I’ve been avoiding the renovations of the second story of my home for nearly three years. ¬†Well, that’s not exactly true; my son, who moved in with me pre-COVID, occupied most of the top floor for the better part of four years. However, I passively resisted doing the work.

While I’ve absolutely enjoyed having him back home, there comes a time when things change. Choosing to relocate to Colorado last summer, my son vacated (o.k. mostly vacated…my closets would argue…) his rental space in my home and moved in with his best friend in Denver.

I did the empty nester’s dance, dancing through the empty spaces as I visualized all the majestic things I would do with these two rooms. My mother, in her infinite wisdom, suggested that I should consider running through the house in my underwear in a liberated display of independent freedom. Sigh…let us gut check this, shall we?

As soon as I opt to Tom-Cruise my way through the house, my feet would find the loose corner of the area rug, pull me to the ground, and leave my dogs in the precarious position of figuring out how to call 911 with their paws. Upon arrival, the emergency squad would certainly giggle as they call it in. No, no, Mother, I will pass on the fly my free-at-fifty-three freak flag, thank you very very much.

O.k.! Back to the reno. In my previous article about renovating my extra bedrooms, I talked about managing the costs. With prices rising on everything from toilet paper (serves the COVID hoarders right; sorry, not sorry) to dog food, consumers have to be more cost-conscious and ensure that every dollar is stretched until it pees pennies.

I wanted to get the best bang for my buck, so I decided that I would paint the walls myself but leave the ceilings, doors, and trim to the experts. Total cost of paint and supplies, roughly $350, an estimated savings of roughly $1k by doing it myself. I opted for high quality, primer included, Sherwin Williams satin finish in a muted white hue. Keeping colors neutral, especially in secondary bedrooms, makes the space appear clean, adaptable, and more attractive to eventual buyers. Decorating with color adds subtle touches that give the room a more colorful life. White wall palettes provide the perfect backdrop.

Because one of the rooms will become my new home office, I wanted to make sure I selected the right one for that use. Having a larger closet for my products, plenty of wall space for cabinets and shelves, as well as sufficient natural lighting from the window made it easy for me to pick the smaller of the two rooms. This bedroom (aka Dutch Moore Living Home Office) is directly across the hall from the upstairs potty, which is equipped with a large, yet unused linen closet that could be used for overflow office supply storage.

The larger bedroom will become the guest room. Located over the garage, in the back of the house, the third, larger, bedroom provides more privacy and sufficient space for luggage in the smaller closet. I will place a small desk in one corner of the room that will serve double duty: vanity and home-away-from-home-office space. Comfortable enough to feel at home, but close enough to my home office that my guests are reminded their stay is temporary. <grin>

In all, I spent roughly 8 hours painting both rooms. The larger room took a bit longer due to the darker gray and red colors from many years ago that still bled through: three coats in the larger room and only two in the smaller one. I took two weeks to complete the effort, doing what I could when I could so that I didn’t stress myself into a corner. No need to cover the carpets; after 17 years, they will be replaced with different surface. I used small, old towels to protect the immediate space under the paint can and supplies, but I let the drippings fall were they may. The floors, I hope, will be completed by summer.

The value-add of this DIY is the time to take space and focus on my own thoughts. Creative endeavors provide not only a physical release of artistic expression, but an emotional and mental wash of thoughts and feelings that may have been pent up due to conflicting priorities. (Trust me, no one wants to bother you when you’re painting a big ass space; they may be asked to help.)

As I ran the roller over the walls, I visualized the placement of my desk and the daybed that will double as both dog bed for the boys and reading space for me. I also looked for best placement of wall hangings, studio lighting, and art. I could see the finished space before I even got started. I can’t wait to pull it all together and share it with you.

While the effort took time out of my evenings and weekends for a couple of weeks, it provided for the relief of winter boredom and an extra dose of physical activity.

When deciding to work from home, the importance of a comfortable, productive, and versatile space cannot be overstated. If you’re going to change your lifestyle to achieve better home-work balance, make sure that the space in which you work, works for you.

More DIY home space news soon!

Ciao for now!





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