Monday, August 1, 2011

guest post: Sara Gray

Hi friends!

I'm Sara Gray, and I'm thrilled to be filling in for a post while Olivia's out of town this week. I'm a wedding photographer in Portland and I also run a fun little company called MarryThis! When I'm not eating, sleeping and breathing all things wedding, I do have a normal life and I love to read shelter blogs (like Olivia's!) to get inspiration for how to make my home a pretty and inviting place.

My husband and I love to collect books, but ever since we moved in together our books have been continually crammed onto one bookshelf. This was becoming a problem for me, because it was right in the middle of our living room becoming quite the eyesore. Gathering up all my DIY strength, I decided to go in a new direction and create a reading nook for our apartment. Here comes the play-by-play (and the before picture):

First, we have an enormous master bedroom. It feels like we could do laps on roller skates, it's so big. Our king size bed barely takes up enough room to have a presence. So I decided some of that empty bedroom space would be a good spot for my new reading nook. I knew I needed more bookshelf space (and just planned to double what I had, the very simple Billy bookcase from IKEA). Now I needed a chair, a place to snuggle up with a good book. But I didn't have a big budget.

I found my chair at an estate sale for $14. I couldn't even bring it in my house when I got it home, it smelled so funky. But it has a great midcentury shape, so I shopped for new fabric and foam batting and stripped it down to the wood (huge props to my mom, who had the know-how to make this happen). In the end, we recovered it in dark gray wool, which I happen to think looks super classy. It's also really comfortable since all the padding in it is new. Full disclosure: After the new fabric and stuffing, the chair's total cost was about $115.

The final step in my reading nook was to accessorize, especially since I had all this newfound space on the bookshelves. It was a pretty simple answer. Eric and I love to travel and we collect things when we do. So I turned it into a place we could store some travel photos and momentos. We have a white globe, a jar of water from the Irish sea, photos of us in Copenhagen and Reykjavik and a book that one of our Spanish conversation buddies from Argentina wrote. I love the collection because when I look across from the bed, I can see where we've been and look forward to our next adventure.

When the project was said and done, I was thrilled. It's so nice to have a quiet place to sit and read, but it's mellow enough that it it still appropriate for the bedroom. I hope you enjoyed my little project! Thanks, Olivia, for having me as a guest on your blog!

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