Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't Stress, Creatively Hide That Mess!

A very important thing to keep in mind when decorating is that beauty has to include functionality and sometimes functionality inspires the beauty.  This was the case with that darn elliptical machine that I barely used.  I wanted the functionality of being able to exercise at home, but the machine is hardly beautiful, so I got creative and designed a pretty way to hide the machine.  Let me explain. 

I got this idea to use curtains to drape around the machine.  Sitting on the couch, just looking around the room, I would just see pretty fabric hanging. But, when it was time to use the darn thing, I would be able to pull the curtains back, pull the machine out slightly from the wall and be able to jump on it and exercise my little heart out.  In my previous post, A Bedroom Fit For A Queen, I talked about the curtain room divider I devised.  I decided to use the same curtains for the exercise machine enclosure.  I also stored my suitcases in this area.  I got a fancy federal valance that went with the pattern which was called Serenity Paisely by Croscill.  I purchased them from Bed, Bath and Beyond, as usual.  The federal valance was perfect because it made a great shape due to the pleating and folds.  I hung the valance from the ceiling by pre-drilling holes, inserting screw anchors and then using curved hooks. I attached the valance to the curved hooks using very small clip on curtain rings.  I then used three panels of the Serenity Paisley and using safety pins, of all things, I attached the panels to the hanging valance.  One panel on the left, one on the right and the third in the middle to slightly cover the other two.  I installed a curtain hold back on the wall, so that I could sweep the three panels over to the holdback and get the curtains out of the way completely.  In my last two posts, I talked about the other half of my apartment for the most part, here is the other half of my old apartment.  Please excuse the mess, I was making my way over to that side and besides Rome wasn't built in a day.  On the right you will see the built-ins I re-purposed, see my previous two posts for more detail. Next to the built-ins, you will see the curtain storage area of which I have been describing.  A close-up pending.  On the left side you will see the red computer armoire and my new study area, which I will talk about shortly.  Straight ahead is the tiny kitchen and the long hallway where my closets were and the bathroom and the front door. Note my lovely track lighting and my tiny disco ball!  On the wall between the kitchen and the hallway, I was planning on getting or making a very small fireplace mantel (because I just love fireplace mantels!)  You can see the cardboard box I was using to see how the mantel would fit.  You can also see my red Harmony Rocket electric guitar from the 1950's, thanks to my friend Sheala!  And you can also see the canvas fabric covering the upper built-ins on the left, another crafty way to hide open storage.  Way down the hall, you can almost make out my coveted painted cabinet (Future Post Alert).

Because I just have to, here are pictures of my old really old tiny kitchen.
I did say old, didn't I? Old, Old, Old!

Walk in, turn to the left, turn to the right, you have now seen the whole kitchen. 
Fun times... but I digress.  Here is a close up of the curtain enclosure.

Believe it or not, those curtains are covering a 6 foot long elliptical machine.  Pretty though, isn't it? I wish I had a picture of the curtains pulled back, but I don't.  You would never know that the panels and valance are connected by safety pins!  Okay, moving on to the computer area.  Remember in my older post, I had a huge L shaped desk on the other side of the room?  Well, that was too big and not pretty enough for my new design.  I found this computer armoire from Home Decorators, www.homedecorators.com.  It was a bit hard to put together by myself, but I managed it. I also got a matching tall three drawer file cabinet.  I would watch out for buying file cabinets online because the file drawers  didn't open all the way and the hanging file orientation for letter size was sideways.  Anyway, just make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.  I also picked up a side table to match the armoire and the filing cabinet.  Another way to hide the clutter, close the doors.

Okay, so you can't see the file cabinet which was on the right and I apparently never took a picture of it.  I got all these pretty storage boxes and put my pens and supplies in them to keep them looking good. For example, I had a box with my computer's software CDs.  Decorative boxes really do the trick.  

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

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