Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Office: The Big Reveal

I'm not entirely sure that today's post perfectly qualifies to participate in Emily's linkup, but the reality is that I never do anything around here without trying to work with what I have.  And I'm guessing that is the case for you as well.
Before / After
January 2011 / February 2013

Notes and Details:
  • Look how the morning sun shines in on my workstation!
  • Cords are a fact of hardworking offices, though exposing them feels a bit like forgetting to shave your legs before date-night. Oh, well.
  • The chairs are garage sale and Craigslist finds fixed up with spray paint and fabric remnants.
  • The chalkboard was the only piece I purchased for the gallery wall.  Everything else came from around our house and most of it had never been hung.
  • The map above the couch (currently hung with sticky-tac) will either stay and get framed or be replaced by another painting from my Grandmother.
  • I bought the blanket basket in a little shop at Niagara on the Lake last fall.  It was love at first sight and a steal of a deal at $12 (or something).
  • If we had a long-term commitment to this house, I would request a wall-mounted, swing-arm lamp above that little grey (consignment store) table on the right side of the couch.  I think it would offset the visual weight of the bookcase on the left and it would be very handy.  Of course, David is always itching to use his mad electrical skillz around the house so...
  • Thankful for my dear mother, who helped me alter a PB outlet slipcover. IDHTBPTBB.
  • Waiting for the right pillow fabric, in the meantime green linen works just fine!
  • The leather ottoman was another impulsive, inexpensive find at an estate sale last summer. I love it because it's almost not my style.  That's character and quirkiness that you can't find at Target, ladies.  And it's stuffed with fabric scraps.
  • The pleated valance is Java Ikat from  For awhile I thought it might be too trendy, but after living with the sample pinned to the wall for a few weeks, it just seemed like the right choice.  It also helps that it was less than $10 per yard and I can always refashion it into something else down the road.  A little bravery really does pay off!

  • The walls are Sherwin Williams Lattice grey... same as our kitchen and master bedroom, since I had left-over paint.
  • That ficus tree has a throw rug wrapped around it and sneakily held together with safety pins.
  • I sewed the striped ottoman slipcover last fall. It's one of those storage ones from Ikea and it holds my in-progress sewing projects. See all those gathers? No, I've never used gathering tape. Craziness, I know.
  • The sisal rug is from RugsUSA during their 60% off Thanksgiving sale.  The price was good, but the service... what service?  I know a lot of people have good things to say about RugsUSA, but I will definitely hesitate before shopping there again.
  • Lastly... that view of the gallery wall above the desk?  Sometimes I just sit and look at it.  I love it so much, I don't even notice the flaws.  Shucks, I hardly even notice the mauve and hunter green marbled matting.
They say that the art of creativity is working with what you have, so go forth, friends! Sew, paint, refashion, repurpose, borrow from another room- use what you already have to make your home more beautiful and comfortable!
ps.  I've always wanted to title a post "Something, something Reveal".  haha. It's a total joke because "reveal" insinuates that it's actually complete.  And nothing around here ever is.


  1. Your office looks great. I wish you would come hang art at my house. I despise that chore, so it goes undone. Awesome ottoman also.

  2. Your office is beautiful. What a terrific makeover. I love the little yellow foot stool and the new desk area looks amazing with the new chairs and that wall collage. WOW!

    Katja @ Shift Ctrl Art

  3. Thank you for stopping by my site. Being neighborly, I came right over to visit your house, too. I LOVE YOUR OFFICE! I am in the process of redoing our desk space, too - your gallery wall is gorgeous. I love all of your little touches (and your ottoman!). Your creativity is definitely shining through and it's fabulous! I can't wait to look around the rest of your blog.

  4. I think it 100% qualifies for the link party! Ha!

    This looks fantastic. I completely love that gallery wall behind your work area. Beautiful job. Thanks for linking up!

  5. Thanks so much for your comment on my blog, Katie. I was just on my way over to yours when I saw your message. I love, love your gallery wall. Your entire office is so bright and inviting.

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  6. Hi katie, I am visiting from the link up party. I love your new office. That desk is just perfect and your mis matched gallery wall is exactly my style.;)

    Great work!!!


  7. Looks awesome! Love the "gallery wall" style work center & map wall hanging!

  8. I love your office makeover! It really makes a huge difference, doesn't it? Way to go- your own ORC! Thanks for stopping by to give your sweet comments. I really appreciate it so much. Take care, and happy decorating!
    xo Nancy

  9. This room is awesome! Love the gallery wall especially


  10. looks great. I am a big fan of the gallery wall! :)

  11. Wow, what a change! I love the whole change in tone and the gallery wall is brillant!

  12. Hi, could I ask where you purchased the center white drawers/file cabinets? we've been looking for something just like this for a long time! Thank you!

    1. Hello! We had a local cabinet shop build the desk system to fit the space. If you're looking to purchase something similar, I would check Pottery Barn or Ballard Designs. Good luck!

  13. Love your workstation! Beautiful!


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