Mar 14, 2011

Office overhaul

Hello there! Hope y'all had a good weekend (yes, I said y'all, and I'm from Maine. Deal with it.). We had our first overnight guests this weekend, our niece and nephew, who are eight and 12, and we had a blast. We ate mac and cheese with hot dogs in it, did some coloring, played some video games and laughed while watching Megamind. The kids didn't want to leave the next morning, so I'd say we did a-okay!

Since we bought our house about four months ago, we've tackled a good deal of painting projects and gotten a few rooms feeling like home -- the living room, the bedroom, the kitchen, the hallway. And while we're still working on fully furnishing/accessorizing these rooms, deciding what we really need and making do with what we have until we figure it out, we've realized there's one room that really needs our attention: the office.

And no, not just because it's pink -- although the hubs really hates the pink, which to be fair is actually a fairly pleasing shade. It's because we don't have a desk, or appropriate office storage, or anything really conducive to being productive. While I mostly use my laptop, the hubs is frequently using the desktop to pay bills, do online research, plan out his next batch of beer (as I mentioned before, he home brews), etc. And this tiny surface, with no drawers or storage, just ain't cutting it.

(That fabric underneath was my attempt to hide the ugly mess of cables. It hasn't held up to my husband, though -- the glue has already started to come undone. Sigh.)

A two-drawer file cabinet holds the printer, but that file cabinet is chock full. 

And though cleaning it out and organizing it would make some more room, it's become apparent we need some more file storage for all our important papers. This tiny file cabinet is also ugly. We stupidly used packing tape to hold the drawers closed when we moved, and now the tape won't come off without taking the fake wood veneer off with it. Awesome.

Here's another look at this hot mess. And actually, this is pretty good, because most of the time there's a pile of paper three inches deep over the entire thing.

Our shelves that hold the office supplies are so embarrassing-looking that they've been relegated to the closet. This arrangement gets no points for attractiveness or usefulness. Eek.

So, we started shopping around for a desk -- nothing too expensive, but with enough surface and storage space to get some serious work done. We first checked out Ikea, but soon discovered that anything we liked wasn't available at the closest store to us -- that closest store being three hours hours away, no less.

Our search finally gave us this, from a Staples store only 10 miles away. Score!

Two built-in file cabinets would keep us organized, and a keyboard tray leaves more flat space to spread out the bills. Double score! I also liked the black, and thought some new knobs would jazz it up. 

But we didn't pull the trigger yet, because we the hubs realized it would be much easier to paint the room before putting together a giant desk. Uh, duh.

Almost before we moved in, I knew what I wanted our office to look like. Something a little modern and masculine, with clean lines and lots of high-contrast black and white art. And I knew I wanted lots of storage and shelving to help keep us organized, but that would also hold some personal and pretty items to keep us inspired.

Early inspiration for this room came from these posters, which I first saw in an Apartment Therapy home tour and then spotted in Michelle from Three Men and a Lady's bathroom. I loved their slight cheekiness and the way their nautical theme tied in with the other coastal elements in our home. Plus, they also relate to my husband's job. I dropped some not-so-subtle hints to the hubs and got two of my own prints for my birthday, from this Etsy seller. I also got the letter L. (If I had I, I could spell I L U, like I Love You. Awww...)

So, with those posters and a chunky black desk in mind, I started thinking about the rest of the room and scoured the Web for some inspiration photos.

I love these shelves and the patterned curtains.

I love this easy-to-reach, massive corkboard.

And I really want shelves above the desk or on the wall to the left of it to keep office supplies within reach, but off the desk.


Real Simple


I love the gray with the orange! Keeps it from being sterile.
Living Etc.

The styling of this bookcase makes me swoon.

Source unknown

And here's the mood board I made. I'm a novice at this, so please excuse. :)
I'm loving this gray paint for the walls -- Natural Gray by Behr.

I'd like to switch out our current ceiling fan for the CB2 Eden pendant, and this metallic table lamp from Target would add a little shine. The open bookshelf from Target is a little modern, and would look great with some fun turquoise accessories. To go along with my code flag art, I'd love to have a rope mirror, and I want to attempt to make one using Nate Berkus' directions. 

The graphic Waverly fabric would make great curtains, and the coral reef fabric ties in with the turquoise accents and the nautical theme. And I'd love to have an ottoman in a damask print, like the fabric I used to hide the computer cords, to add a little feminine touch. There's a lot of gray, black and white going on, so I want to make sure to add color with office accessories, like turquoise and yellow file folders or baskets.

What do you all (I resisted the y'all!) think? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I'm planning to get going on this project later this week, starting with the paint (again, duh!). I've already bought a sample of Natural Gray to slap on the wall and see how it looks -- love those little $3 samples. I'll show you how it looks later this week!

Annnnd...still working on that entryway. Here's a little peek at what's goin' on.

Happy Monday!


Geo said...


Im a newbie to your blog, but wanted to say i really like the moodbaord you made and think it will look fab!

Geo x

Mindy @ Heart Maine Home said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and the nice words, Geo! This is our first major room redo, so I'm nervous to see how it'll come out. Fingers crossed!