Let me interrupt all these travel posts with a quick interior design post, which also relates to travel in a way. I'm just so thrilled that the study room is finally, well 95%, finished. I still have to clear some shelves and hang more frames on the wall. The inspiration for this study room came from a picture similar to the one above. I'm attracted to globes, and the eclectic look of old furniture.
This room gave me so much grief. Not only was it irregularly shaped because part of it was under the stairs, it also had these annoying angled areas where the ceiling meets the wall because of the c-joists used to lay the second floor. I was always so irritated in this room because of all the uneven shadows cast by those angles, but I also didn't want to install a drop ceiling because it would make the room seem smaller than it already was.
Friends of ours who had grade-school kids advised us to create a study area on the ground floor because school bags were going to get heavier as the kids got older, and bringing heavy bags up and down the stairs everyday was going to be a major hassle. That was good input because our kids were still in preschool then and heavy schoolbags weren't part of the planning and designing equation.
So how do we make this room interesting enough so that the kids would be enticed to study?
A year back, I searched the internet and found some inspiration and wrote up this post. Yup, it did take me that long to get my act together. But I have perfect timing--G is now just learning about hemispheres, longitude and latitude in Grade 4, and C is learning about Philippine geography in Grade three.
I made a rough sketch of what I envisioned and hired a carpenter and a painter. I squared off those "cornice angles" into false beams and installed halogen fixtures on a dimmer. Then I closed off the space under the stairs. Oh my, what a major improvement! I was now motivated to add some finishing touches.
I could finally install the world map that was languishing in my bodega. I had ordered the world mural from here, and had it shipped to my forwarder in San Francisco, Manny Espinosa of Bayanihan Cargo. Manny just throws whatever he receives for me into a container that's leaving, and it eventually gets delivered to my house, door-to-door about 3 weeks later. A fabulous service and the reason I'm confident to order things online.
I hovered over the painter while he put up the map, making sure the panels aligned properly. There are three ways to install the map: Asia centered, US centered, and Europe centered. I thought long and hard on this one, and in the end decided to install it US-centered because that would put Europe (my favorite destination) on the upper right part of the wall, where I can easily see it. This puts the Philippines and the rest of Asia to the left of the black office chair.
Unfortunately the map was a bit wide and we had to trim 3 inches off the sides, losing a bit of middle China and Russia. I also had to trim about a half a meter from the top, removing Greenland and other northernmost islands of Canada.
The room was close to what I envisioned! All the desks, chairs, file wagon and crystal cases on top of the girls' desks are from Officebusters, a surplus store of office furniture from Japan. The pink chair was a last-minute addition because it appeared in Officebusters. I'm a big fan of Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!
I closed up that hole under the stairs with cabinet doors, creating a useful storage area, and painted the wall with blackboard paint I got from Home Depot. I installed black egg-shaped cabinet pulls which blend right into the blackboard.
On the right wall is a blown up Philippine map, custom-ordered from EZ Maps which I had mounted on plyboard. I also put up our diplomas and I'm still looking for
The room is finally getting a lot of use. The girls like to hang out here with their friends, even on weekends. For me, I'm now very happy and comfortable in the room. How can I ever be irritated if I'm surrounded by maps, making it easy for me to visualize my next trip?
Look at how a globe is made!