I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have the office done. And by done, I mean fully functional, yet sparse. When I look at these photos I think, "hmmmm, that looks a little... empty?" and then I remember that that was exactly the plan. I needed a space that was not trying to attack me.
There are like six best parts* about this office, but the first one is that during the rework process, we gained a guest room. Before, the way the furniture was positioned, this room felt tiny and there was no space for an air mattress to be set up when our family and friends visited. Because of this, our poor guests were sleeping in the middle of the living room. It worked, but it was lame. Now, in the center of the office there is totally enough space to blow up our queen sized air mattress plus plenty of privacy. If we'd done nothing else in here, I would be thrilled that we gained extra space for guests.
The second best part is for sure the wall of countertop and storage. My dad and I build the cabinets (they are three Ikea BESTAS) and added two long pieces of stained wood (from Lowe's) on top. I came up with 100 plans for this wall. Originally, I was going to have actual kitchen cabinets (base and top mounted) installed from Ikea. But the pricing was nuts and at the end of the day, did it really make sense to have full cabinetry in my office? Not really.
So, based on the success of our DIY media cabinet, I decided to use the BESTA system again, this time going with the taller version and mounting them on the wall. I wish I could say this was such an easy project, but the opposite is true. It's SO HARD to get three cabinets mounted into studs and while lining up perfectly on a not perfectly straight wall. I cannot emphasize this enough. We also had some drilling issues, in that we drilled into an electrical wire, blew the power in half the house, smelled smoke and ended up making an emergency call to an electrician at 9pm on a Saturday night. The electrician was able to save the day, but it was (obviously) a costly mistake. For awhile there, things were looking pretty hairy but thankfully, no one was injured in the hanging of these cabinets and they look so rad. I can't get over having all that hidden storage, but the best part (by far) is the top space to work and spread out. Thank you, thank you, Dad for your help and perseverance. Worth it.
I struggled on the desk plan for a long time. Whenever I reach a decorating stalemate, I play my favorite game "if money was no object, I'd pick..." This is helpful because it helps think outside the box and focus on what's important size and style wise without worrying about the money. (I always assume once I know what I am acutally looking for, I'll be able to A) build it, B) find it somewhere else or C) save for it.)
The biggest issue was that I needed something long enough for both Paul and I to sit at (that's his computer on the left) plus something I could store our file cabinets under. I knew I was in trouble when I still couldn't find anything in the $2000 price range and so I decided to go with something very inexpensive (and maybe temporary). I bought a piece of wood at Lowe's that was 96" long and 20 inches wide and stuck it on top of the file cabinets. It's long enough and (surprisingly!) deep enough and cost $35. It's also TOTALLY working for us. Not the sturdiest piece of furniture in the world (obviously) but the only things we sit on it are our computers and printers. We plan on getting some heavy-duty Velcro and securing the top to the cabinets before Ellerie can pull herself up just to make this set-up more child-proof.
I took the mirrored doors off the closet to give me a bit more accessible storage and demo-ed out the built in shelf that existed inside.Then I added some Ikea IVAR shelving that miraculously fit perfectly. These shelves hold books, fabric and albums. I love that they're adjustable and the price (again) was right.
My old desk (that we built out of an Ikea countertop and hairpin legs from here) got turned into my sewing table (plus paper cutter station). Cannot describe how happy I am that the sewing machine has it's own area and there is plenty of space to spread out around it. I hung up my pegboard to hold some sewing tools and thread.
The plants and the rocking chair were outsourced from other rooms. Ellerie and I actually end up sitting in that chair more now than we did before so that's rad. The basket will hold blankets and Ellerie toys (having a basket in each room for kiddo stuff is key to keeping the clutter maintained). Those hanging planters are these. Love them.
The art was pretty much adopted from other rooms too. That giant canvas was something I painted right before Ellerie was born and it adds just enough color to my white and wood room. The clipboards all over the place are there to hold random things (I use them similar to bulletin boards). I'll be talking more about that post-it note board and mounted air plant soon in future posts. The camera art print came from 20x200, the Be Brave is from Ampersand Shop and the Do You Best pennant is by three potato four. The hanging lamp is West Elm.
I ended up going with Travertine instead of wood for the floor and I am thrilled that it matches the rest of the house. I hate carpet, espeically in rooms where I am trying to roll a chair and am constantly dropping bits of thread and tiny embelishments. I am so glad that we were able to get the carpet out of this room.
Annnnd, that's the space. Open. Airy. Clean. Inspiring. I am so excited to start fresh in this office in 2014. I have some awesome things planned for the new year and cannot wait to get to work.
*part three is the Travertine floor, part four are the hanging plants, part five is the open fabric storage and part six is that it's done and we can focus on the backyard/the master bedroom now.