Studio Room

Formerly known as guest bedroom.  The room was completed last weekend and is now being utilized as designed.

So the first thing was finding a chair for the desk.  I had a desk planned out – moderately cheap Ikea – and wanted a decent chair.  I ended up with this one, which seems more and more of an oddity the more I consider it.

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All of the furniture was moved out to the garage for planned pickup by Salvation Army.  And then I had to get the desk from Ikea.  I was comparing the desk options to what I already had in my main office and the desk top I wanted was a little smaller than my existing one.  That memory is important and led to my first mistake.

At Ikea, I was just trying to be quick about the purchase and after finding out where the items were found in the warehouse, I went and grabbed the pieces.  The desk top was 55″, which is smaller than my desk, which is 63″.  I also bought the coordinating desk frame and rushed them home.  I built the table right away and when it was complete, something felt really off about teh finished product.

It was too small.  I measured it again.  Yes, it is 55″.  I measured my office desk.  Yes, 63″.  I looked online at Ikea’s catalog.  Oh.  The desk top I should have purchased was 62″, still smaller than my office desk.  So, I suddenly had a backup desk for the room.  That’s not too bad, because it was actually part of the eventual plan to have a craft desk in the room.  It just happened sooner than expected.

Back to Ikea to purchase the right size desk.  At checkout, I planned to pay cash and when the two pieces were rung up, it was more than I expected.  How do I keep screwing this up?  So I split the payment between cash and card, rushed the items home and built them up.  Now I had the right size desk.

And later, I reviewed the receipt from Ikea and it turns out the cashier rung up two desk frames instead of a frame and a desktop, which explained the extra $50.  Lesson learned.

So anyway, I had all the pieces.  Along with the desk, I had purchased new studio monitors and also a power strip to switch everything off and on at once.  With everything in place, this is the result.

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Chairs. Just Chairs.

A couple posts ago, I mentioned that I was looking for a high-quality chair for what will become my studio room.  Elsewhere, I discussed the aggravation in finding a suitable chair in the flood of garbage on the Internet.  The result of all of this has been a bit of capitulation on multiple fronts.

Primarily, since we’re talking about the studio room, I have decided I don’t require a top-grain leather office chair for this.  Comfort is still important, but since it’s going to be a low-utilization piece of furniture, I can let it slide.  I based part of my decision on my history.  Way back when, I used kitchen chairs as desk chairs.  They were comfortable and they worked absolutely fine.  So I opened my options up and went shopping.

And that’s the second bit.  Internet shopping is good for some stuff, but not really for furniture.  Not only for the fact you have to experience what you’re buying, but when you’re buying a single chair, you can find some interesting options in clearance areas of furniture stores.  One-offs, singletons, scratch-and-dents.  While I love and put a priority on quality, I do love a good bargain, and I like rescuing things, too.

Yesterday, I visited a furniture store I’d never been to before.  I assumed it was all fancy, formal stuff and I wouldn’t find anything, but it never hurts to look.  I used to love just browsing stores, but COVID sort of put a damper on that activity.  Anyway, in this store, they sold Stressless chairs and once again, I am astounded that anyone purchases those things.  I can’t see spending over $3k on a chair when you can get a sofa for 1/3 the price. 

But anyway, I did make it to the clearance section: a room with no AC, on the top floor in the corner of the building with half the ceiling lights turned off.  (If they were trying some sort of dissuasive psyche tactics on shoppers, they went way overboard.)  In the farthest corner of the room, there was a chair with no matching anything around it.  It was white wood and cloth, but was as basic as it could be and it sort of drew me in.  They gave me a quote of $100 for it and I left it for consideration.  Today, I think I’m going to move on it.

But yesterday, I didn’t have my mind made up.  I stopped at another store (actually 3 other stores, but the others were fruitless) and found a decent top-grain leather office chair that wasn’t obnoxious.  I looked at the price tag and was only mildly shocked.  It was on sale, $50 off!  Sale price: $850.

So here’s the final capitulation.  I had budgeted $300 for my “nice” office chair.  Research had shown me that a $300 budget was ridiculously low for the quality I was demanding.  Not that $300 won’t get you quality, don’t mistake me there, it is just not “lifetime” quality, which is what I am seeking.  $800-1200 is pretty much the going rate for a chair that will really last.  And I still don’t buy into the $3k Stressless chairs. 

Adding to all that, finding a style that is agreeable to me, and is not stupid expensive, and is top-grain leather, is definitely a rare find.  To be sure, I’ve looked at every major furniture store online and in person and not found another model that meets those criteria.  So I guess I’ve found my next office chair.

So there’s a $100 chair and a $850 chair added to my list.

Living Room AV

So the plan was to simply go to Ikea and buy a Besta unit and be done with it.  However, it appears that the pandemic has caused a severe inventory problem for Ikea.  Nothing is in stock and no idea when that will be resolved.

Not being interested in waiting longer than I have to, I began looking online for other AV units.  In all the different images, a few caught my eye.  Some had to be discarded because the dimensions wouldn’t work out.  Eventually I settled on one.  And in a strange way, it’s just the right one.  It’s a larger version of the credenza I have in the master bedroom.  Ok.

The delivery came last night and I wasted no time in putting it together and getting everything into it.  By the end of the night, I was able to listen to some music and the cats were jumping around the room.

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Here’s the initial placement with the speakers.

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Then with the components in place.

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Everything now in place.

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And all fired up.

I think I’m going to shift everything just a little to the right to line up the speaker with the end of the wall.  Not sure if I’m going to remove that artwork that’s partially blocked by the TV yet.  Still determining what d├ęcor items to fill in the empty spaces.

Guest Bedroom Redux

The actual title is “Guest Bedroom“.

Since this isn’t the blog for personal ruminations (look elsewhere for that story), this will just focus on the effects of the changes to the house.  And to sum up the changes, I’m getting rid of my guest bedroom.

So, the future plan is to make it another music room.  I have my music room right now, which I term, “the listening room”.  This new room is going to be a studio room for my music equipment and recording.  So maybe I need to rename these rooms “recording” and “playback”.  And with the bathroom situated between them, that should be called “pause”.

Now, on to the plans.  First of all, old furniture needs to go and new furniture needs to come in.  I called a donation center and was told they don’t take mattresses, so I planned on taking the mattress to the dump.  While searching for a moving bag for the mattress, I saw a vacuum bag, which gave me the idea to just compress the mattress and store it.  Maybe at some point in the future I’ll need a guest mattress.  If it’s compressed, no big deal.

But I will need to dispose of the bed frame, which is not good enough to donate, and the dresser and night stand, which can be donated.  They can go with the old TV stand from the living room.  All the other storage units in the room can stay.  And then, it’s time to get new stuff.

I will have my keyboard stand, guitar, and a monitor stand that also holds the recording computer.  That’s what I’m starting with.  What I’m looking forward to is not using a mini keyboard/trackpad on the computer and not having to stand or sit on a hard barstool.  I will get a nice table top where I can have a full keyboard and mouse and room for the mixer and other peripherals.  I’ll get a nice comfortable chair where I can spend an extended period working over song mixes instead of giving up after 30 minutes from body aches.  And I’ll have room to move instead of being crammed into a corner.

Tentative budget:

  • Table: $150
  • Chair: $300 (not going to skimp on this)
  • New studio monitors: $300

The timeframe is two months, tops.  Lotsa pieces coming together right now.  New TV stand arrives tomorrow.  Mattress bag over the weekend.  I can schedule a pickup of the furniture next week, chop up the bed frame for the garbage.  If things work out, I’ll have a small windfall of cash within a month to finance this and much more.

Say goodbye to this mess.

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The speakers in the lower-left will be out in a couple days.  The box on the floor is the new stereo for the living room.  The PC on the left has to stay.  We’ll make that work.  But anyway – progress!

I told myself: The house is yours, you should use all of it.  I listened.