Rory has posted a question for his 24 hour blog question. I made it this time in order to answer. As my answer was more than a few lines, I decided to blog my answer.
“How much quirky space do you have as opposed to practical functional space in your house/home? Is it enough or too little or are you a minimalist that doesn’t need too much space – practical or quirky anyway?”
When I moved into this house it was a disaster. I knew it needed cosmetic help, but I had no idea how bad it truly was. The house was 20 years old and my family was only the third family to live here.
The fact that it had strange finishes in every room meant I was in for a lot of work. I needed more space than the house offered. After I removed the fake wood and veined mirrors on each side of the fireplace I found flocked red velvet nudes wallpaper underneath. My first “paid” project was to have custom birch shelves built in. I needed the storage for books. After many years (and another bookshelf later) the shelves are decorative on top and store scrapbooks on the bottom.
Each bathroom needed more space so over time I changed the sink cabinets to give me more storage. I had the tiny powder room cabinet updated to a custom cabinet for more space.
After I purchased my home from my ex, I did some major space upgrades. In the dining room, I had a floor to ceiling, wall to wall, oak built-in shelving installed. I designed it to hold my salt and pepper collection, my music box collection, as well as many of my books. I have no idea if the next owner will find it too quirky and take it out, or will love the space.
I needed more closet space immediately. The master bedroom has one, not very large closet in it. By myself, I raised the clothes bar, added a shelf, and built shelves to store more clothes. I built a half bar on one side. I didn’t know about companies that redid closets in the 80s. I didn’t have money to have it done anyway, so I did it myself. I am unsure if the next owner will find it too quirky and will tear it out for a custom job. I ended up raising the rods in every closet. If the next owners are not tall, I imagine they will lower them all.
When I moved in, the attic was filled with junk. Mind you, you had to climb up through a three by three foot opening in the hall closet to get there. We removed old toilets, windshields, tires, and a large crazy assortment of garbage from the attic. When the house became mine I had the entrance changed to a custom door, but the size could not be altered. I had plywood installed (which I pained) and I put up metal shelving units for storage in half the attic. The quirky strange space became usable for many years. Now that I am downsizing it is getting emptier and emptier. Thank goodness.
The space below my stairs is in the garage. It was pretty useless and I wanted to changed that. It was always full of dust. I had cabinet doors installed so the quirky space could be used as a clean storage space. It now houses boxes of gifts for loved ones as I find them.
The guest room closet upstairs was used by the former owner as a CB station. There were antennae in the upper attic and wires everywhere. I removed the wires but left the make-shift countertop in the closet. I changed the quirky space to a table and added shelving for games. The grandkids liked looking through what I had. After cleaning out the closet last year, It is now empty. The downsized collection of games now reside in a small thrift store cabinet I repainted.
I still needed more space for “stuff.” My garage is covered with remnants of carpet. The dogs and grandkids used the space. A car never lived there. I had a storage shed built outside on a side yard a few years ago. The metal one I had before was no longer usable and it leaked. My new shed was filled with gardening items on one side and painting supplies on the other. After purging and cleaning it out, I am happy to say it is now usable quirky space.
I have added usable space to every room in my house. I see them as useful and necessary. Others may see them as quirky and overkill storage. After living here all these years and soring my belongings, I am now working hard to downsize my life. I will never be a minimalist though. It’s not in my genes.