Office Inspiration

I’ve been kicking around the idea of re-doing my office upstairs pretty much since we moved in. Since I work from home 95% of the time, it would make sense to have a home office, right? But what I was working with was pretty depressing. Behold.

These are iPhone photos I took not too long after we moved in. The room now looks like that… only way messier with boxes of wedding stuff and piles of paper. Ugh.

The two basic reasons I haven’t fixed up the office are:
1) I didn’t want to spend the money on new furniture, but my current “desk” (i.e the way too narrow console table I bought from target for $89 6 years ago) didn’t work at all for me. And;
2) I wasn’t convinced I would use it, because I generally kind of like working from the couch.

Then pinterest happened. I saw pictures of home offices like these… and the longing for a real working place at home began.

(none of these were linked back to original sources on pinterest, sorry!)

Not so long after my office-lust began, I happened to be walking Stew through our neighborhood and came across a garage sale. The family was moving to Virginia and wanted to sell all their stuff because they weren’t sure how long it would be before they were set up in a house again. They had the most adorable mid-century desk on sale for…. wait for it…. $10! Check it out.

Love! I knew when I bought it that I wanted to sand out the scratches and give it a fresh coat of paint. I was thinking white. But then I went to Lowes to check out the spray paints (I am still a little shell-shocked from the effort involved in painting our guest bedroom furniture by hand so I thought I’d give spray paint a try)… and somehow I came home with this.

I’m more than a little excited. Unfortunately it has been about 100 degrees here (literally) for weeks on end and so I haven’t wanted to haul this bad boy out to the garage to get my paint on… and thus it has sat lonely in the dining room.

But, while I psyche myself up to paint in the heat, I started thinking about the rest of the office. Which is when I started thinking… do I want THAT office? The room I have set up as the “office” aka repository of random crap is the smallest bedroom in the house. It is 10×10 with one window that faces another house. Bor-ring. I started wondering if my sewing room might be a much better office because it is more spacious and has three windows facing our street. The only problem is, I really love sitting there and looking out the window while I”m sewing, so I didn’t want to give up that room as my sewing room either.

Light bulb moment.

Why not make a combined office/sewing room? It certainly seems big enough! So yesterday afternoon I took all the measurements for my very-weird-shaped-office-slash-sewing-room-to-be and put them into a room planner website. This is what I came up with… the small opening on the bottom left is the door, and the longer opening is the closet.

Here is how the room looks now:

After measuring out the size of the furniture I KNOW I want in the room (the desk, my sewing table, and a nice cushy chair to sit in at my desk), I realized that there isn’t room to keep the futon in there. Which really, is fine. I played around with a bunch of different configurations, but this is the one that seems to work best with the weird nooks of the room.

I would have the desk facing into the room from the corner, with a nice big chair behind it. That way I am facing into the room (which feels more office-y to me) but I can still enjoy the view out the window. I’ll move one of the file cabinets from the current “office” in to sit next to me for files and to put my printer on. The sewing table fits perfectly in the nook near the door, and the small swivel chair I currently use for sewing fits under the table nicely. The storage I have for my sewing stuff now (the two shoe racks I bought at walmart 10(!!) years ago and my roll-y drawers (I think from college? Man I never get rid of stuff) will go into the closet. Eventually I’d like to do some more permanent/prettier storage, but this is a low-budg renovation and hiding the problem works for me, for now.

The only problem I have with this layout right now is wondering if the sewing table is going to feel cramped/too close to the door? I think that might be the sort of thing I just have to live with for a while to see how I feel about it. It certainly isn’t the prettiest set up in the world over there with the plastic table and hand-me-down swivel chair, but I really need a table that big for my cutting mat so I think I can make do and focus on the rest of the office being pretty. Also, does it seem like the rest of the room will be too empty with just a chair, desk, and file cabinet? I really can’t put anything else along the walls because of the closet and needing space to walk around the side of the desk. Thoughts on these topics are greatly appreciated!

As for color scheme, I think I want to paint the room grey. I plan to do my desk teal, and I’m undecided about the file cabinet. Teal? White? Thoughts? I might wait until everything else is done to decide.

One thing I know is that I want to get an pretty, comfy, and upholstered chair for behind the desk. If I’m not super comfy while I’m working up there, I will revert back to the couch and all my effort will be wasted. I like to sit indian-style when I’m sitting up (basically all the time, even in the car I often have one leg under me!) so something with no arms and a wide seat will be most comfy. I really really love the chair in the inspiration photo above:

They sell similar ones at crate and barrel, but they are $1100, PASS. My grand total for this renovation so far has been about $20 (10 for the desk and $10 for the spray paint). I am guessing I’ll need about another $40 in paint for the room, which brings my total up to $60. Since everything else is so cheap, and I don’t foresee needing much else for the office (except curtains, which I could wait a little bit for), I think I’m okay splurging a little for a chair– but not that much. I plan to cruise by Home Goods, some other furniture stores, and keep an eye out on craigslist. I’m hoping to find something for $250 or less.

So, that is the current plan/idea. Thoughts? Suggestions? Am I making a huge mistake? Tell me!


5 thoughts on “Office Inspiration

  1. Hm… there is a PB outlet at Jeffersonville but I can’t remember if they have furniture. Might be worth a drive! No CB outlets in Ohio I don’t think though.

  2. You should look at target’s website for a chair as well, they have some really cute options in your budget.

  3. Long ago I helped my mother redesign her office, and it’s is THE best room in the house now. The energy of it is so bright and welcoming, yet designed for production. Reading your post brought me back there, and I love the schematics you’ve drawn.

    That desk is a steal for 10 dollars. After the room is painted up and beautiful, I bet you’ll be very pleased to sit there and work. Plus, if you need some extra comfort, why not add a sofa? Ebay is full of used sofas, and you can sometimes find a great deal.


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