Mid-way through the makeover

I had an incredibly productive weekend and rocked rearranging my office. I also figured out what I have, what I need, and what I ultimately want the space to look like. While I love old furniture and pieces with a sense of the past, I haven’t chosen any of the furniture that’s currently in my office – it’s all been given to me. That translates into a space that  doesn’t necessarily reflect my own taste, so I’m working to rectify that while maintaining a balance of familiar pieces and carefully chosen new ones.

The big paint reveal:

Blue paint. Very blue. I love it.

Blue paint. Very blue. I love it.

I do love the paint. I will love it more once I get the desk situation sorted out. Lighting, filing, and organization are all dependent on the desk; until I have those, I’m holding off on putting things on the walls. I need to get a desk in here to see how the space will work and what makes sense for me.

The story behind my current desk: my first mother-in-law gave it to me about 12 years ago. She bought it used at a flea market in Colorado in the late 1960’s and painted it the antique-y green you can barely see in the photo. Don’t worry–you’ll get to see more of the desk in future posts as it gets its own makeover. Bernadette suggested that I turn it into a vanity/dressing table – I’ve always wanted one, and the lines of this desk will be wonderful for that. It will go against the wall by the window pictured below – just behind the papa-san’s current location.

The view from the doorway.

The view from the doorway.

I turned one of the bookshelves to make an L and create more a of a separation between work space and my reading/relaxation nook. The sloped roof means there are limited spaces where I can put the shelves…I love them, but sometimes wish they worked better in this house.

These bookshelves came from my dad's parents.

These bookshelves came from my dad’s parents.

The papa-san (actually mama-san, it’s not a huge chair, it only holds one person) is gone. My friend Amy is carting it off to donate it for me. I’m excited to have that out of the office–I want a new comfy chair for reading! I’ve always wanted a leather armchair, but I’m not sure that’s in the budget. We’ll see what I can find.

At some point, I plan to replace the carpet with cork flooring. That’s a bigger project than I’m willing to take on at the moment, though. In the meantime, however, I’ve treated myself to an area rug with a nice print. It will work with the colors in the office, as well as my plans for the vanity. That should arrive soon, I’ll post photos when it gets here.

My grandmother's sewing machine.

My grandmother’s sewing machine.

My grandmother’s sewing machine is going to live with my cousin Becky. As much as I love the machine, I don’t know how to sew and with the current state of upheaval in my life, I’m unlikely to learn any time soon. She’s been sewing for years and will appreciate the machine for its functionality, not just the sentimental attachment to my grandmother.

Overall, I feel like I’ve made good progress in a short time. While I’ve still got a lot of work to do, I’ve got a plan and I’m excited to see everything come together.



Office makeover

Big news–I’ve accepted a new job! Also big news–I’ll be working entirely from home. My new company has no corporate offices; everyone works from home. As part of the transition, I’ve decided to redecorate my home office.

The room is an odd shape that has two little sort of nooks–I’ve been using one for reading and one for my desk. As part of the redesign, I’ve decided to swap them. Some of the drivers behind that decision:

  • Currently, you can see my desk from the hallway. If I move the desk to a place where I can’t see it every time I pass the room, I’m less likely to think about work when I’m not working. It’s a subtle attempt to maintain boundaries or work/life balance.
  • Better lighting. I currently sit by a window on the north side of the house–the other window in my office faces west and will give me more light during the day.
  • Less distracting wall space behind my head. I’ll be spending a lot of time in Skype meetings and video calls and want to make sure that I have a neutral background so the folks I’m talking to can focus on what I’m saying, not trying to figure out what’s on the shelf behind me, or squinting at the window coming out of my head.
My three Petty girls - blonde, brunette, and redhead.

You can see the color here behind my three Petty girls – it’s a deep eggplant, tough to photograph.

The biggest decision right now: paint. I LOVE the purple that I’ve had for years, but it’s just too dark. I want something lighter, brighter, and vivid; something that will energize me. Over the last few years, I’ve grown attached to vibrant greeny-blues. The kind of blues you’d find in vintage bathroom tile or a ’50s Chevy. Something kind of aqua but not too pastel, preferably with a tantalizing tropical sounding name.

Last night I stopped on the way home to collect some paint chips. It’s a competition between Behr’s Jamaican Sea and Bali Bliss right now. I dig the color directly underneath Jamaican Sea on the sample card, Blue Jewel, but I’m concerned that it would be too dark–not a significant improvement over the purple.

Here they are–I’m completely open to feedback. Tell me what you think.

I'm leaning toward Jamaican Sea.

I’m leaning toward Jamaican Sea.