A few months ago I walked into my daughter's room and the fun gerbera daisy teenage hot pink and purple seemed a little too youngish for my now collegiate daughter. What if we redecorate her room Shabby Chic? It would be a little more upscale yet forgiveable for needing to be on a strict budget. After I pulled out some inspiration fabric from my fabric stash, I proposed the idea to her and she loved it.
First though, my daughter needed a new bookcase. Not a bookcase to replace her two old ones, but a new bookcase to add to her two old ones. After all she is a college student who is majoring in English. That means books! She is minoring in history. That means more books! Then she wants to pursue her masters so she can teach, which means even more books! I suggested to her that her room would indeed get squeezy (her term from when she was two...and incidentally James and Dolley Madison's term for their parties in Washington DC. So many people attended that they were called squeezes! Who knew my daughter was being so historically accurate? ;)
However, bookcases are expensive. I suggested we use the Christmas gift money from the grandparents, with extra money that we had budgeted for Christmas. She agreed...then I got oh so sick that I slept through December (mostly med induced)....so by her birthday in March I was finally getting around to shopping for the bookcases! Narrowing down the selection to a shabby chic look yielded nothing at the local stores, and only a few on-line. The ones I did find were quite pricey, though one was quite cheap. She initially settled for cheap. I took the measuring tape to her room, where we had already moved furniture and done some editing to make room for the new bookcase. When she saw how little the cheap bookcase was, she understood why it was so cheap...and all it would do would take up space in her small room without holding very many more books that were already crammed into her old bookcases.
One of her old bookcases is already just as little as the cheaper one we found so my daughter knew that wouldn't be productive for her. We bought it quite cheaply as raw wood years ago in San Antonio at the infamous go to store, Garden Ridge Pottery. I am going to repaint it this summer, shabby chic style so stay tuned for that post!
Her other bookcase I trash picked even more years ago when we lived at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas. I saw it on the side of the road, the back was destroyed, but it was in otherwise good shape. I told my husband about it so he drove the van over to pick it up. I will shabby chic that bookcase as well this summer, so stay tuned for that post too!
We looked at the other two options for white bookcases...the direction I decided to go in for her shabby chic room to look nice with her creamy yellow walls and sage green with lavendar roses fabric. The one bookcase was a bit out of budget and required $50 shipping. The last bookcase to consider was white, with a beadboard back panel (swoon), was huge, and was a bit out of budget as well. However, it was an IKEA bookcase and there is an IKEA store 30 miles from us. At this point I was suggesting we use her birthday money from us and from the grandparents to add to her Christmas gift money to buy the bookcase and then to use the balance to do what we could to redo her room...then pick up to do more next Christmas. She agreed.
I also suggested that we check our local second hand stores to see if we could get a good quality bookcase to completely refinish at a cheaper price. She loved that idea, so one Saturday we set out for our treasure hunt!
We went to the local second hand stores but didn't find anything that would work. I told her it was okay to get a wow and then we'd super budget everything else so we drove on to IKEA!
I've never bought anything at IKEA before so it was quite the adventure. Finally we found a salesperson to explain to us how to purchase the bookcase. I won't go into detail since I'm probably the only person in the world who had no idea how this worked, but I'm just saying this is totally nuts and my family and I were glad to get out of that crazy congested place. I posted the following pictures from my phone to facebook and all my friends were laughing because they say they go to IKEA just to have a fun family outing. ????? Um, fun for me and my family is a day in Colonial Williamsburg or a hike in the Blue Ridge. However I am glad the employees were all so wonderful and we survived the shopping! One thing that streamlined the process is that I handed the first employee I found, on the second floor where my husband dragged me, a print out of what I wanted. He cheerfully punched in the code into his computer and gave me a new print out and told us where to go to complete the rest of the shopping adventure on the first floor. It was indeed quite the adventure finding our way, but we finally figured it out!
Wow! That one box is so huge that I was glad I didn't come out on my own to pick this up. There is no way I could have done this on my own. However at this point I was worried that that long, long box (Has anyone ever seen The Long, Long Trailer with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz?) would never fit into the van. I told my daughter we might have to stay behind and let her dad drive this home alone then come back for us. My husband, however, assured me that we would all easily fit in the van.
He was right!
Since we were in the area...and since it was lunch time...we went out for lunch at Bobby's Burger Palace! This was our first time there and what a unique place. We sit at a huge community table. I began to worry because the place was rather full, but some people saw us and were quite friendly. They said we could sit near them. My daughter and I got burgers with queso sauce. It's not spicy at all, but I will say this. That is the best white queso sauce I've tasted since coming to Northern Virginia. All the others I've tasted taste like flour. The food was good. In fact, I was impressed. Most foods I've tasted around here are bland and overcooked. Not here. I got a Southwest Burger and it definitely had flavor. I guess Bobby Flay from Manhatten does know a bit about the Southwest! I'm rather picky about that since I'm from Texas! We'll be back.
Well, we drove home without incident..but the next challenge was getting up the stairs. We have a spiral staircase but somehow my husband figured it out. I still had a severely injured side at the time from all the coughing I did in December, so I wasn't able to help with any lifting or lugging.
Then the next challenge was finding a place to build it. There wasn't much room in my daughter's room, and she needed what little space she had for her college studies. Therefore my husband set up shop in my son's room. He's away at college, so this was a good plan.
Ta da! See how it fills the space? That was my goal. This gal has lots of books with more coming her way. We had to maximize that space the best we could. She even has two more shelves to add whenever she wants.
Another angle...with shots of the "before" photos of the old teenage look. Lots of cute stuff, but a bit little girlie instead of collegiate.
The bookcase is entirely paid for after combining the Christmas and birthday money...with some left over for more wonderful shabby chic-ness! This treasure hunt was a success and her room has been transformed greatly from this photo. Stay tuned!