Office Inspiration

Learning your husband is actually semi-equipped to build things (like this or this) is a double edge sword. All of a sudden, I’m looking at every nook and cranny in our house and wondering how/if he could build me up some custom bookshelves or a new window seat or another table. The answer is (mostly) yes, I’m finding, especially if I have enough patience to let him finish the project in peace without me nagging him and bugging him to the point he wants to just – well – not build things anymore. πŸ˜‰ What can I say, I’m just so excited for the final product πŸ˜€


So in our office, which currently looks like this, is a room I’ve been tossing around in my head for a dramatic redo/reno.


One day when I was at my mom and dad’s I was leafing through their newspaper and it had a write up on a local carpenter and one of his projects really caught my eye. It was a dark navy bookcase (pair of bookcases) flanking a window. And I started to drift off while looking at the picture – thinking of this window and this corner of our house.


And I thought to myself – hey! We should build a bookcase with a desk in the middle. Jay built a table for our outside, and I was thinking a similar rusticy type of worn wood would look pretty sweet flanked by some dark and dreamy bookcases. Y’all picking up what I’m putting down? Now bookcases (and the wood required to build them) are not the cheapest DIY, so I think we’re in a holding pattern of saving up some dough for this project, but I’m thinking I’d love a final product that had a look and feel like some of the photos below.



And I love the concept of this (with the built-in desk) but I think I want to go dark on these cabinets, vs white.

Built in Desk


And I love this one, but I think slightly darker cabinets? But that rug. I mean serrriiiously – that rug?! The other night, as I was lying awake in bed specing out this bookcase install in my head I told Jay that I thought we should put wood floors in this room and he only kinda mumbled no, so I think I can sway him on this very important detail.



Our carpet is actually pretty worn out upstairs, with a lot of spots bubbling up from getting stretched out, so we’re kinda at the point where we need to decide to put new carpet down orrrr put in wood floors, and I’m sorta leaning toward the latter. πŸ˜‰


It will mean refinishing our floors upstairs (like we did on this house), but I might just be ok with that! Here is a shot of our hallway when we moved in – prior to paint but still the same floor. Leaves a bit to be desired (too shiny and too orange for my taste!)

Hardwood on stair landing

I figure a few years down the road when H is getting toward double digits and wants his own space, then we could always pop a bed in between the two bookcases vs. a desk. Although, in complete honesty, I may wait until he getting on toward high school before I give up the office because I seriously don’t know what we’d do without this dedicated space for a computer – I love it.

Down the road if we ever convert the space to a bedroom. I’d pop something in that functioned/looked like this gorg photo below. I think the black is a bit too dark, but I do love it in this photo!

black walls in library

Who’s the Boss

AΒ few weeks ago, I had Jay bring up the last of the boxes from our basement and I was delighted to find all our artwork in mystery box #1. Between all our moving around and life re-configuring, I think I forgot that I own artwork – a decent amount of it actually. Remember how I lamented that our house was feeling sorta non-homey, well I thought our artwork hanging would be a good place to start to get things feeling a bit more cozy and lived in.

When you walked into the office before, it was feeling a bit bare. In need of some wall adorning, wouldn’t you agree?

How to Decorate Office

So I mixed and matched and tried to find the prints that would lookΒ best – but everything I found felt too empty in the room, like it just wasn’t taking up enough wall space.

I finally found a grouping of (6) botanicals, which we had in our dinging room in the last house.


I loved the idea of grouping (4) on each side – alas if you do the math, that leaves me two short … bummer dude.

But THEN, I remembered that I had two more, that we had in our loo in the last house. Remember these guys?

Botanical Art Work in Bathroom

So I crossed my fingers and headed over to Michaels, where we purchased the initial (6) frames. It was a generic(ish) white frame, but I obviously needed it to match exactly if I was going to group everything together.

And yaknowwhat?? They had the frames and they were only $5.99 each! Huzzaah!! Now that’s what I call a success πŸ™‚

Inexpensive Frame Locations

While Jay was getting the tools he would need to pop up the prints, I took a quick second to arrange them so he could just grab each one and put it up.

Arranging Artwork

Although the room definitely still needs some accessorizing, I think the artwork definitely helps to make things look a bit more finished.

If I could actually keep fiddle leaf fig trees alive, one would look splendid in the corner of the office, no? πŸ˜‰

Office Artwork

And another shot of the space, to the right of the computer and desk.

Botanical Art

Since we already had the art and most of the frames on hand, our total cost was around $13, which makes this little momma one happy camper πŸ™‚

One more before:

Decorating Office

and after!

Botanical Art in Office

B-gone Bedroom

Ya know, I’ve learned a few things about myself in our sweet little Ann Arbor abode. First, a 10×10 Master Bedroom is just a bit tight. Second, having a bedroom with a great view of your neighborhood and neighbor’s driveway certainly has it’s advantages, but ya know, that’s not my jam either. Case and point, there is seriously a man that walks his dog in our neighborhood at like 2am, with a spulunking light on. Seriously. How would we know that? Maybe because his light shines right on in to our bedroom without fail as he’s picking up his dogs doo doo. Oye. And third – third is that shiver me timbers, would I like a home office. I’d really like a home office.

After we moved everything out of the bedroom to it’s new, upgraded Master Suite location, we had a pretty empty room and like 24 hours to stage it before sale. Scccrreeeaaaccchh. That’s high time for some crunching!

Moving Out Furniture

Since we knew our timeline for when we’d be having the carpet installed upstairs, I was pretty much scouring craigslist every night in hopes of finding some key pieces to quickly (and cheaply!) fill up this vast empty space. And although I definitely found a few things I really liked, in the end, we had to do some cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater staging and buy some stuff off the shelves, too.

My one solid score, was this beauty of a bookcase.

Adding Crown to Bookcase

Solid wood, great condition. It even had some nice crown detail on the top upping the classy factor.

Solid Wood Bookcase

Now as much as I liked the bookcase, it was a bit orangy in complexion (too much fake and bake), so I sent Jay off with a paint sample and on his lunch break he went out to pick up some greigy goodness to spice this bad boy up.

Two coats of Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist and we had this!

How to Accesorize Bookcase

Nice, right?! Nice enough for some staging! One more craigslist find for this office were these crystally little lamp bases. Add some razzle mcdazzle to the space, right?

Crystal Glass Lamp Base

The rest of it, well, that’s compliments of the fine aisles over at Tar-jay. Given the fact that we literally had one-full day between clearing this room out and LISTING OUR HOUSE, we were under a pretty fine timeline. Ready for some lickety split before and afters?

Here is the before, when we had our bed inside the room.

Small Bedroom Layout

And here is the same angle, after.

Small Home Office

Truth be told, the room feels a bit bare to me, but given our ttiiiiggghhttt timeline – I’m going to go ahead and call it good. Plus, is was so dang nice to have a faux office in the house for a few days. Not going to lie. I pretty much have got it in my head that I need an office in the next house now. #FirstWorldProblems

Now, this office has a few finishing details that never came to be. Whenever I would plop my booty down to type away a blog post on the lap top, I’d stare up at this big old blank abyss up on the wall and think about how much it needed some snazzy new art. It’s missing something, right?

Art Above Desk Area

My favorite area in the room, is to the right of the desk area, near the window. I was a total pouf skeptic before, but man am I sold now! Poufs for everyone! It’s the perfect little thing to pop into the corner to add a bit of color. I was concerned initially that the pouf would sink in too much when you sat on it, like a bean bag, and just collapse in. It actually stays pretty firm though so it’s great for additional seating.

Poof for Seating

I had to save the best for last on my craigslist deals – I’ve been holding out on you πŸ™‚ See this nice slate blue parson’s chair?

World Market Desk Chair

Well one day when I was pursuing craigslist, I found not (1) Parson’s chairs, but 6. Now I knew I didn’t need six parson’s chair, heck with a pending cross country move I didn’t even want (6) chairs. So I did what any logical little lady would do. I kept one, and sold the other 5! πŸ˜€ So that chair there, I basically got paid $85 to keep it πŸ™‚ SCORE.