Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Office Re-Design - Grey and Yellow, Grey and Yellow, Grey and Yellow

Ever since we moved into our house almost four years ago, I have never liked our office. It has been a mish-mash of furniture. Lack of seating. Artwork didn't really go with anything. No style. It was never a room I enjoyed being in. Did I mention it is just to the left of our front entrance and one of the first rooms people see? Yuck! Here are some before pictures. I'm kicking myself for using my 50mm portrait lens. Ridiculous - I couldn't get a decent shot of the whole room. Oh well.

This is the left side of the office. Pictures and... a whole lot of nothing.

This is in the center of the room on the wall directly in front of you. I fell in love with this Louis Comfort Tiffany mosaic when I saw it in 1999 at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art. I had to purchase the print. Then I paid $100 to have it framed. Don't you love the turquoise matting (ugh!). Now, I want to re-paint the frame and change out the mat hoping I can attempt to breathe some new life into it. Wish me luck. For now, it is hanging out in the closet.

Here's our desk and a file cabinet behind it. Yep, I told you - a whole lot of nothing.

Bill and I discussed many different options and honestly, we couldn't always agree. I kept being drawn to the furniture options at Ikea. He wasn't too hip on that idea worrying it wouldn't be high-quality and wouldn't hold up. We talked about some custom-built furniture, but never really wanted to pull the trigger due to the expense. Given Bill's recent carpentry skills and interest, we finally decided he would build cabinets himself and we would just purchase a desk.

I did find a great desk at Ikea and Bill was willing to go take a look. Bill, Marcie and I both took an early afternoon off one Thursday and headed up to the store with our favorite baby shopper figuring it would be a good time with less crowds. Not only did they have the Liatorp desk, but they had the matching cabinets. Ooooh, I hadn't seen those before! Much of it was solid wood and the lumber alone would have cost more than what the Ikea option offered. Plus, it just so happened to fit perfectly in the room (three inches to spare total). We were very excited!

First, we removed everything from the room. Bye-bye old desk, chair, file cabinet, artwork and photos. The cabinets and desk were put together (that took Bill five straight hours) and brought in (thanks for the help, Corey!!). It fit the room perfectly and honestly, looks like a built-in! Then, it came down to the details!

It all started with Nate Berkus. I watched a lot of Nate while at home on maternity leave, rocking away the hours with my newborn. I gained lots of style and DIY ideas from Nate and crew. (Little known fact: one of his regulars on the show is Elyse Luray, historian and appraiser. A smart and elegant lady with a beautiful name!).  OK, back to my point. One of Nate's favorite color combinations was grey and yellow. I thought a lot about those colors over the months and knew eventually that is what I wanted to do with the office. I had just subscribed to Pinterest and created a style board for Office Ideas. Let me just say, if you are looking at decorating a room start to finish - Pinterest is the way to go! (PS: let me know if you need an invite to Pinterest! You will just LOVE it).

Here it is - the new and improved office!


Desk and Cabinets: Here is a link to the office furniture (except the TV stand). It is Liatorp and really well-made. We love it. We are thinking of adding a glass top to the desk for added protection.

Bulletin Board: I have seen several of these DIY bulletin boards on blogs lately, but when I saw this one in yellow, I just knew we had to do it! I had one spare frame, but it wasn't quite big enough. Marcie suggested purchasing molding and have Bill make one so we could make it whatever size we wanted. He was totally up to the challenge. (PS: My husband becoming so handy is so much more romantic that flowers and candy - I just love it!) The trim was pretty inexpensive at Lowe's and a co-worker gave us the chicken wire. We got some bright yellow spray paint for the trim. I hadn't intended for Bill to spray the chicken wire too, but it actually turned out great! I love when accidents work out better than your original plan! We're using bamboo clothes pins to attach photos and notes. It turned out so well - Bill did an amazing job!


CPU/ Printer Cabinet: We didn't want the CPU on top of the desk and we weren't super confident there would be enough ventilation in the side cabinet designed to hold it. Bill had the great idea of building a little stand to hold both the CPU with the printer on top. He sprayed it white to match the desk and cabinet and it looks great - blends right in.


Artwork: Did I mention I love Pinterest? I did a search on "free printables" and came up with almost all of the artwork in the room. I had already ordered this print on Etsy, but all the others I scored for free. Pairing them with inexpensive frames makes me one happy girl!

Office Supply Storage: Marcie and I have been pros at flea markets and garage sales recently. We'd talked for a while about the grey/yellow theme. When we saw a ton of silvery storage bins and bookends at a garage sale last month, I snatched them right up - perfect! Plus, I think I only paid a $1.00 for all of them.

Curtains: I almost always start with fabric when thinking of decorating a room. But, this time I did it completely backwards. I chose the fabric last and the curtains were the final touch in the room. I was deciding between a charcoal and white chevron and this great Joel Dewberry floral. I had originally considered ordering the fabric on-line, but Evelyn and I decided we'd venture out and see what we could find. When I saw that Joel Dewberry in person, it just clicked. We went to a few more stores, but within hours we were back to purchase it. Six yards of fabric, a few hours at the sewing machine and ironing board and by the next evening I had finished the curtains and had them hung. I just love them - they really make the room! Thanks to Young House Love for their tips on hanging the rods 12" above and outside of the window. I love the results. I hadn't used my sewing machine since Elyse was born and I have to admit, I was beaming with pride after I hung those curtains. It felt really good!
Chairs: The desk is finished on either side as a room divider. We've always wished we had a second chair in the office. I can't tell you how many times Bill and I are in there together or with a friend perusing on the Internet or looking at a photo slideshow. These Tobias chairs from Ikea were perfect. They were Marcie's suggestion. We really like them - and they are comfortable too. I like how they just disappear and don't stand out like our former clunky, black office chair.

Storage Cabinet: This is the only item in the room that has remained. It is an antiqued cabinet with yellow and turquoise. Turquoise wasn't exactly part of the plan, but somehow it adds a little pop of color that works. I still do dream of painting it (like this one), but so far, Bill says no.

The Little Details

Yellow Owl: I saw this bad boy on Etsy. A bright yellow, retro, ceramic owl. I pondered him for a couple weeks and then snatched him up. He is even more cool in person and perfect for the office.

Found this vase (above) in grey for only $7.99! Paired with the yellow owl = heaven.

Scored this cute little ceramic white owl paperclip holder on Etsy. Simple and sweet.

Marcie found a black B and C for us (they didn't have any Es). Evelyn and I were at Joann Fabrics shortly thereafter and they had wooden letters in the exact same size. A little yellow paint and Elyse gets to stand out as she always will. Our family of initials is complete. Yet, I'm still wondering - can you spray paint leather? I'd love to turn that B and C dark grey!

We also gave makeovers to a variety of decorative and storage items. We picked up some bright yellow spray paint and did makeovers for a pencil holder, "HOPE" sign along with some storage bins and baskets. Bill was a big help with all of the painting. I like how there are now little bits of yellow tucked around the room.

We brought in glassware from the china cabinet including a collection of vases and candlesticks to fill up the rest of the glass door cabinet.

I'm sure we'll continue making little touches to the room. I'm still not sure what to do with the little shelves above the desk. They are intended for CDs, but I'm not so sure about that. I'm also considering make a pennant string for the bulletin board (like here). I still have this rug in the garage - I'm trying to decide if I can make it work. It was only $20, so it was worth a try! Also, the cabinet we saw at Ikea had doors on the right side (on the bottom). We're thinking about whether we should purchase them. What do you think?

All in all, everything worked out as planned. We didn't go over budget by keeping costs down whenever we could. All the DIY work between Bill and me made it all the more meaningful. I am loving the results. That was fun. On to the next project!

1 comment:

Denise said...

Wow this looks awesome! Great job! :)

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