Office Makeover: Part 1


Talk about a boring room... 
I realize this is a gross generalization, but I feel pretty confident in saying it nonetheless: Everyone, no matter how much they love to decorate, design and organize, has areas of "Sweet Moses, do I NOT want to deal with this."

My office, for example, is one of the rooms that, for months now, I have avoided at all costs.  During our move-in, the office was the I-have-no-idea-where-this-goes room, and, while some things eventually made their ways to where they needed to be, many things just kinda stayed there in a giant pile.  And frankly, the room in and of itself was not terribly exciting.  It's tiny, and oddly shaped, making it difficult to furnish.  It sports gorgeous apartment-grade carpet and colorless walls and is accessorized with strangely placed outlets and an off center window.  So mainly, I just kinda pretended it didn't exist and worked on more fun areas.  Until now.

  I recently acquired a small side table that I made-over to use as my printer stand (Read about that here).  And, surprisingly, it was all the inspiration I needed.  The lovely sea-glass green of the printer table top was enough to give me a bouncing off point.  I liked that the colors themselves were masculine and classic, but the shades were updated and fresh. Along with the minty-green and black, I added a suede brown and a bright white to the color palette.  Keeping with the classics, I decided to use the room to feature some of our favorite hobbies: travel, music, art, theater and reading.

To begin with, I painted the window-wall a fawn color and kept the rest of the walls white. A quick trip to a few Ross stores and I found some celadon curtains with pewter grommets on clearance for $7 (Woot!).  They're translucent enough to keep the room feeling light (with a small room, light is your friend!), but a deep enough color to add some pizazz. (Yep, I said pizazz).

The next step was organization. Our office serves not only as a place that my husband and I work and edit, but also where I craft, wrap presents, and work on all kinds of projects (that, invariably, I abandon halfway through, leaving the mess in my wake).  This means lots of stuff.  Without a proper place for all of it, the room kinda just winds up looking like the Junk Lady from The Labyrinth.  

I already had some black Ikea storage boxes and magazine holders, but a quick trip back to the Land of Some-Assembly-Required, and I was able to supplement what I already had with some coordinating mint-green storage containers.  Each one was carefully sorted and labeled (cds, dvds, cords, printer paper, folders, etc) and filled.

Ikea also provided me with one of my favorite additions: a system of wall-mounted rods with coordinating baskets and buckets.  They're narrow enough to fit between the two bookcases flanking the printer and cute enough to allow me to leave my supplies out in view. 

Once I had a PLACE for everything, styling the office became much more fun. 

One of my favorite framed pieces - a wedding gift from some very thoughtful friends - was the perfect size, shape and color scheme to top off my Ikea wall storage.

Two Airplane prints give a nod to my husbands love of aviation and add the old-world feel I was looking for.

My antique, leather topped desk (a $100 purchase from Craigslist) was looking a little a worse for the wear inside. Black and white shelf-liner covered the drawers quite nicely (sooo much easier than trying to scrape off old stickers), and a quick once over with some black paint gave me the neat and tidy border I wanted.  My file folders got a good sort, and anything that was old but couldn't yet be thrown away (taxes, for example) went into a separate file box that slipped discreetly onto the shelf under the printer.

Other changes that were made: Wrapping paper (too pretty to put away!) got it's own tagged metal basket.  My computer monitor got shifted to a corner so that the window view could still be appreciated.  A beautiful sea-glass jar with rafia twine sits in front of the black file box on the printer stand.

There's still a lot I want to do (I have all kinds of ideas for the nook in the room that currently holds the tufted leather chair for reading), but I feel pretty good about the start I've made.  At least I'm not terribly concerned about David Bowie showing up and installing some trippy muppets in the room, anymore. I feel like that's a solid step in the right direction. 

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  1. I LOVE the wall organizer, it is so cuter and stylish but still super functional. My kind of thing to use. It looks great so far!

    Emily- Our house now a home

    1. Thank you!! I love it too! Ikea is one of those places where you go in saying "I just need this ONE THING" and walk out with a cart load. :) Thanks for stopping by!!

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  3. That's great information. Thanks for sharing this blog. I did a search and found your blog and glowing review. It's been a big help! Thanx!

    1. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to drop me a note! I'm glad you found it helpful. I actually wound up moving my office and combining it with my guest room and talk about that here: If you take some time to check it out I'd love to hear your thoughts!!

  4. I really thought you did a fantastic job on this! I am trying to find some inspiration for my own "home office" and thought I might get a few ideas from this post.

    1. Hey Kristine - thank you so much!! (And sorry for the delay in response time - I had some trouble signing in for some reason)
      I actually wound up having to merge my office and guest room to make room for a nursery... not as easy as it sounds! IN case you're interested in what the combined rooms look like, you can follow the progress here
      Best of luck and I'd love to see your results when you're through!!


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