Posts Tagged ‘Home Office’

Look at that glorious site: a young professional, hard at work and looking oh so dashing in his new office chair. My husband may or may not have deleted this photo so I wouldn’t post it, but that’s beside the point. We finally purchased a new chair for our home office and I think this picture speaks volumes for how much this chair was needed. Just look at that comfort and pleasant working environment!

As you all are well aware, our previous office chair was a piece o’ crap – to put it mildly. Since my husband is now a full-time work-from-home type, we took the plunge and purchased a much nicer chair to support his back and derriere for the long work week. After much consideration, we decided that this office chair was the perfect mix of classic design and affordability. We decided to put a bit more money into this purchase since it is something that will hopefully last a very long time, due to its quality and design.

Just look at those sweet chrome details! We opted not to add the sleek chrome arms on at this point since Scott is a “lounge worker” – meaning, he likes to prop his legs up and sit in all sorts of awkward positions all day. The beauty of this chair is that it looks just dandy with or without the arms – bonus!

My favorite detail of this chair is the horizontal bar along the back, that closely mimics the classic Eames design. Plus its easy to move the chair around without getting greasy fingers on the snazzy leatha.

So our winter project is still going well into Spring and we’re not quite to the finish line yet. But this chair puts us just a few yards out of the finish line and we’re super excited with the end result. Scott said “it’s so comfortable” after his first day, so I consider that a win win. Thoughts on the new chair?

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You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to pick out an office chair, would you? Well, turns out it is. Incredibly difficult. I’m so indecisive I could just bite my tongue off (why those two things correlate, I do not know). Turns out my indecisive dilemma is now kicked into high gear, because it’s time to actually hunker down and purchase an office chair. I’ve been contemplating this purchase for some time now, but there was never a huge rush. Sure, our current office chair is an Office Depot $5.99 special, but it still works. And up until recently, the hubs only worked from home on occasion, so his bum was fine for the few hours he endured at home each week.

Fast forward to today, and we have urgent reasons to purchase a new office chair. Like, NOW. My husband (because he’s such a model employee) was recently bequeathed a mini bonus and he decided that he would like to use that money towards a new office chair – a man after my own heart. Plus, he’s applying for a work-from-home program, which means that our home office will actually become a real, work office for him most days of the week. So, his bum needs a nicer chair. Like, NOW.

We’ve come to a (pretty confident) consensus that we’d like a white, leather, knock-off style office chair. Don’t judge – if I could buy the real Eames and Saarinen products, I tooootally would. We shopped around town today, but couldn’t find anything that quite fit our budget. There are lots options online, but it’s tough to purchase something you’ll be sitting on all day if you can’t take it for a test drive. Oh, and there’s the matter of looks. What exactly do we want?

There is this Eames style chair (that OhBrooke also posted about recently) and many others like it that are my obvious first choice. It’s classic, simple and timeless – plus the upholstery won’t sag like other chairs with a more padded seat. But that’s Scott’s concern – will this be comfortable enough?

This one is another classic knockoff, but with a bit more cushy for the tushy. I like the looks of this one as well (albeit a bit more bulky looking) but I am concerned with how the padding will wear overtime – since it is a knock off, after all. I have to get on my designer soap box real quick and say don’t underestimate the insanely overpriced classic pieces that you’ll find at places like DWR. They may be more costly than pieces from big box doors, but they’re classics for a reason. They’re unlike any other piece of furniture you’ll find (because they’re simply the first of their kind) and their design and construction is seriously impeccable. Now, if only we all had a million dollars lying around to buy these sorts of things… off soap box, moving on.

I also spotted this little gem over at CB2. It’s much less than the other options out there, but it might just be a bit too modern looking for my home. Plus, Scott is ultimately looking for an armless chair, so I’m hoping some of the other options have arms that we can remove.

Any thoughts? Opinions? A big “I don’t care just pick a darn chair” remarks? All comments are welcome, seriously. I need some help… for the sake of my tongue.

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You thought that I gave up on my winter project, didn’t you? Well, the reality is that projects in the real world take time and money, so you betcha we’re taking our sweet time with this one. We’re slowly piecing the office together, which gives me time to over think things and work my little brain through an abundance of ideas – which is both good and bad. One of the items that we knew had to be remedied in this home office, though, was storage. With my husband working from a home a good bit of the time, this office had to not only cater to his everyday needs, but also needed to store a plethora of crafting items, cameras, guitars and our over abundance of wires. We stuck with our initial idea of buying an Expedit storage unit from Ikea because of the slammin’ price and oodles of storage space.

This storage cabinet gave us the flexibility in storage that this home office needed. We bought two cabinet doors to house miscellaneous craft and photography gear, and also snagged some baskets from Target to house our printer paper, blank CDs and other office accoutrements. The cabinet also allows us to have simple book-case style storage and even space to display picture frames/art and have a long counter for layout space. Really, it’s downright perfect for the office.

The Expedit cabinet doors come with this simple silver hardware. It’s all fine and dandy, but I wanted to jazz things up a bit and use this opportunity to bring in some more color/texture with our cabinet knobs. We picked up these funky knobs from Anthropologie a while back, and they make all the difference in turning a standard Ikea cabinet into something more custom to our home.

I’m still debating on putting legs on this cabinet to make it feel like a more substantial furniture piece, but for now this cabinet is suiting us just fine. We’re still working on finishing touches in the office (artwork, draperies, etc.) and the perfect desk chair, but our storage needs have dramatically changed since the Expedit cabinet joined our family. Now the massive amount of wires and piles of paper have a place to stay out of view – which makes Audrey a very happy lady. Stay tuned for more office details in the (hopefully near) future!

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Ok, ok…. so I barely manage to blog once a week and then how do I repay you? I hit you up for votes so I can win something totally awesome. Yeah, that’s how I roll. I’m a terrible person and I love you all for humoring me on a regular basis.

So here’s the deal. A furniture supplier that I work with on a regular basis (whom also awarded me my womb chair) is having a contest to win the new Generation chair by Knoll. This chair may look like a regular office chair, but really, it’s a slice of pure ergonomic heaven. Honestly. I’ve never been more excited about a chair in my life, and that’s really saying something. They challenged designers in Charlotte to take a creative picture incorporating the chair – so what did I do? Exploited my pup, of course! Don’t judge me for my lack of creativity – I’m hoping that cuteness bodes well with designers in the area. :)

I’m dying to win this chair for our home office since my lovely husband has to sit in a very unfortunate chair every other day at present time. If you take the time to vote for me, I promise I’ll repay you in cookies and sunshine… and possibly more frequent blog posts.

Please send an email to vote059@cbi-nc.com or simply visit http://cbigenerationcontest.com/, go to Review Pictures and vote for Charlie, photo number 59. I’ve heard a rumor that you can only vote 5 times from each computer, but come on people, let’s beat the system! Thank you thank you and here’s to hopes of an un-sore back and happy behind for my husband in the near future!

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Yesterday morning I sprung up out of bed way before my alarm with tons of ideas brewing in my head. Does this ever happen to you? My best creative thoughts come when I’d least like them to (i.e. when I’m asleep). One was for an idea I’m brewing up for a christmas gift (which will be revealed at a later date, if all goes well) and the other was for curtains for our home office. Now, why 5:00 am and striped curtains seem to be a winning combo, I’ll never know. But I’ve been saving some images of striped curtains recently and think these just might be the ticket for our office curtain dilemma.

These striped curtains from Little Green Notebook started my striped obsession, and the search for further curtains of the same.

It wasn’t until I found these curtains and a super helpful tutorial that I really started to ponder the idea of stripes in our office. I love a good, graphic print and what’s better than a bold stripe? Oh, and horizontal and thick stripes for this girl – I’d like to avoid any traditional vertical stripes in this office because, frankly, it’s just not my style. I have a hard time finding the right fabric most of the time, so I’m seriously considering a DIY approach for these puppies. Now’s where my lovely readers come in to play.

Here is a very rough sketch of some ideas I’m considering for the office window treatments. I’d love to bring in the mustardy yellow that’s in the lamp shade and reupholstered chair, but I’m not sure if that would be too drastic on two windows (4 panels). I love the tone on tone of a light gray and a white, but maybe I need Option 3 to bring a little bit of both colors into the room. Option 3 may be a bit more traditional, so I’m a bit hesitant about that one. Just to refresh your memory, the curtains would be going in this lovely hole that we call the office:

Care to share your thoughts on the curtain options? I’m not 100% on the striped look (when am I ever 100% on anything house related?) but I’d love to hear what the blog world thinks and hopefully help in my decision-making. Poll time – go!

Un-tagged images yoinked from Apartment Therapy and Smitten Design.

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Winter Project

This past weekend, while driving around town running some errands, my husband said something to me that almost made me look forward to the dreaded winter season. “Let’s do a winter project”. I paused, smiled, and thought my husband must really get me. I’m a self-proclaimed winter hater, so this little idea thrown up by my one and only was music to my ears. It didn’t take much discussing for us to decide that our home office needed a bit of a pick me up. I admit, the office hasn’t been featured very often on this blog because, well, it’s heinous. It’s basically a mishmash of random furniture pieces that had to go somewhere, so they ended up in the office. Take a look at our disaster that is in desperate need of a winter makeover.

Oh, the horror. Yes internet, you have now gotten a glimpse into our sad little office that we close the door to when guests come over. The old school table I refinished (ie tried to salvage) sadly sits in the corner, but doesn’t provide any efficient storage. And the wires. Oh goodness gracious, the wires. They are the bane of my existence.

The other side of the office is even more sad, if you can believe it. We have some wall space that isn’t being utilized to its full potential, and some hand-me-down storage that just isn’t making the cut. So what to do? Enter, our winter project idea collage.

Scott and I love the rich browns we have rocking in this space, but this room needs some colors to brighten things up a bit. Also, Scott works from home about 3 days a week and spends all day in this room, so the organization needs to be pumped up. I’m not completely sold on this collage, but it’s at least a good starting point while we work our way to a more functional and pleasing home office.

The desk, rug and side chair are existing, as well as our lovely Crate and Barrel ladder bookshelf. We’re planning to toss the old green table, as well as the cheapo college bookshelf to free up the room for some more useful storage solutions. We’ll reposition some items in the room to make the space work better, as well as add an Expedit storage unit from Ikea to form a credenza of sorts, with tons of useful storage within. We’ll even customize it with some door inserts, metal legs and some colorful knobs to take it from building standard to super snazzy.

Scott is in desperate need of an office chair that can house his tushy for an 8 hour day. I’ve been eyeing this one from CB2 for quite some time, so I think we may need to make it a member of our household. We’ll also bring in some color/pattern through window treatments – I’m not 100% sold on these particular ones, but I want something that will coordinate, as well as play off of, our newly redone side chair.

Thoughts? Comments? Any other items that we desperately need to make this office an organizational haven? Share the goods, people!

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Meet my sad little chair. Old girl has been with me since college, when I found her at a flea market and slapped some royal blue paint and cheap-o yellow fabric on her seat. Since neither of these colors plays a big part in my current abode, I felt the need to give her some new clothes and dress her up a bit so she didn’t feel out of place next to our new bed or the womb chair. Her current state was pretty embarrassing, right? So I took a screw driver and some pliers and went to work.

The demolition of the chair fabric was probably the hardest part, but once I got started it went along pretty quickly. I made sure to keep the fabric in one piece so I could use it as a template for the new seat fabric, once I gave this girl a fresh coat of white paint.

For this paint job, I decided to forgo my paintbrush, and pick up some semi-gloss white spray paint from my local hardware store. With the little details on the legs and the canning on the barrel back, spray paint was the way to go. Just be sure to do this outdoors in a well ventilated area and away from anything that you might not want bits of white paint to get on (including yourself, or your dog).

After my paint dried, I laid out my new fabric (I decided to go with a different pattern than I originally thought, still from Calico Corners – this one was much more “me” in hindsight) and placed my old seat fabric down as a template. I bought a whole yard of this new fabric so I could be sure I got the right gray-to-chartreuse ratio to my liking. Once I cut all the way around my old seat fabric, I made little slits in the fabric where the chair legs would go. This way, I could lay the fabric on the chair and cut my way around the leg holes as I went. I felt that if I cut the pattern exactly how the old seat fabric was, it wouldn’t fit exactly the same and I would be short on fabric. That’s just my luck.

Once I finagled the fabric around the legs and shape of the seat, I started nailing it into place, starting at the parts that were the loosest and hardest to get taught. Believe it or not, I got this tip from my husband, who helped a friend upholster a seat cushion on this boat – who knew? I pulled the fabric down pretty tight at each nail spot, and worked my way around the chair – a few nails at each chair leg, and then at the leg diagonal to that, and so forth. I learned it was best to not start nailing at one space and work your way all around clockwise, since you’re constantly pulling and tweaking to make sure the seat is tight. After my nailing was completed and I had used a screw driver to help me really jam those suckers in there, I cut off the excess fabric and hot glued my trim piece over the nail heads.

And voila! After a couple of afternoons worth of work, my sad chair had its much needed facelift. I love how the new fabric is basically different shades of neutral gray, but with a few great pops of yellowy greens. Along with the white paint, it was the fresh start that my old chair certainly needed.

Plus, with one yard of fabric only putting me back $17.00 (on sale!), a trim piece for $3.00 and $3.00 for spray paint, this project was not even 25 buckaroos. A new chair would have put me back at least $100, so I’m pretty happy with my little weekend makeover. What do you think?

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Chair Maybe Makeover

I’ve been a bit uninspired lately when it comes to home decor projects. Maybe it’s the great weather we’ve been having or the fact that our house is almost to a point where I can stand it’s incomplete state. I said almost. There is always a project brewing in my crazy head, and one of those is salvaging a little chair I’ve had for quite some time. Sure, I could buy a new chair that better fits our needs, but what would be the fun in that?

Here’s our sad little chair, filling the void of our newly acquired office corner. It has a curved, canned back with an upholstered seat (the picture isn’t the best, but I don’t feel like getting off of the couch to take another one – yay for lazy Saturday!). I’ve had this chair since sophomore year of college, when I moved into a white on white apartment and had the urge to pop some color into the space in my early decorating days. I make a bedskirt and pillow, all in bright golds, greens and turquoise, and paired them with this cheapo chair my Mom and I found at an antique store. We painted it royal blue and threw on some gold fabric to go with my uber colorful new bedding. That would have made quite a nice little blog post, eh? Anywho, this chair no longer fits into our decor and I’d like to make it a bit more 2009. I recently stumbled upon this picture on a blog called Made By Girl and got really excited. Like when you figure out the solution to a problem that’s been bothering you for months. Of course I should paint my chair white and add a modern fabric. It’s so obvious!

So during our lazy Saturday (which turned into a day of Panera and getting new cell phones), I popped into Calico Corners to see if I could find some inspiration. And by golly, I just may have.

This picture is a bit off from reality, but let me paint you a pretty little picture. The print is fairly large scale, so I would just get a little taste of the yellow. The gray is a nice cool color and the white in the leaves is actually super white so the fabric has a lot of yummy contrast. The little bit of yellow will also go nicely with the yellow lamp shade I made for this room. Thoughts? Scott’s out of town next weekend so I’m sure I’ll need a project to keep myself preoccupied. :) Any other awesome fabrics I should consider?

Images courtesy of Calico Corners and Made by Girl. Oh, and me.

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Crate Away

Yesterday was a big day for Charlie. A coming of age event, if you will. We recently purchased a tandem kayak that the pup got to take a spin on, allowing him to spend some quality time with us on the lake for the first time. We also decided to take the plunge and disassemble Charlie’s crate that we’ve had up in the office since he was a wee babe. We’ve slowly been weening him off of the crate during the day when he’s home alone and we think we’ve come to the point where we can trust him enough to never use the crate again. Hallelujah!

The reason I’m doing a happy dance about the crate removal is because it’s SO FREAKIN HUGE. Like, titanic proportions. Our office isn’t the biggest room in the first place, so the metal crate was basically dominating the room. It was super necessary during Charlie’s early development and we were so happy to have it, but now that it’s gone, I can’t wait to tackle a brand new space in the abode.

Here is a very obviously photoshopped before shot of the office corner where Charlie’s sweet pad resided. I was too excited with this clunker’s demise that I wasn’t in true blogger form – and forgot the before shot. The shame! But this doctored version should give you a sense of the square footage that this dog crate used.

And here is the very exciting, but very sad after. Look at the amount of space we now have in our office! I stuck an old side chair from college in the corner for now, but I’m thinking that something big needs to happen in this space. Should we totally rearrange our office to feel more spread out? What about a nice lounge chair and ottoman for some quality hang time while Scott browses the internet? Or, what about a craft corner? This is my personal favorite – a small scale desk top and some storage for all of my letter writing/gift wrapping/DIY craft needs. Thoughts? Weigh in on the newly acquired space!

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Before I started this blog, there were many a project that we attempted (some successful, some not so much) that you’ve yet to experience. Unfortunately for you guys, I didn’t take before and after pictures of every little thing I did, so there is no documentation of my process. Thus, you guys don’t get to experience the riveting details of repairing a garbage disposal or our back door’s weather stripping. There are some projects, though, that I may be able to convey with one after picture and some extremely provocative prose. Or, some semi interesting writing. You be the judge.

Ever since we painted our office a dark army brown/green, I knew that I wanted some poppy yellow accents in there. I’m still in search of some awesome curtains (hey, it may be a semi man cave, but I’m allowed some curtains!) but an easy little touch that I whipped up in an afternoon was a custom yellow lamp shade. Believe it or not, but finding a bright yellow lamp shade is actually incredibly difficult. After months of searching, I decided to pull out my DIY card and take a stab at creating one on my own.

I found a great glass lamp base at Target (for a great price, naturally) and knew that I wanted a nice modern shade to go along with it. I was itching for a sleek drum shade, but had to settle for the next best thing – a semi drum shade. Somehow, I found a semi-drum, semi-bell shade at Target, and the price was just right. I made sure to buy a shade that was paper so I could work my magic and dye the shade just the right shade of yellow.

Say hello that the old standby, RIT dye. Remember these guys from the good ol’ days of 3rd grade tie-dyed tshirts? I figured if I can’t find a yellow lamp shade, I may as well attempt to make one on my own. I thought about covering a shade in fabric, but I didn’t want to take away from the opacity of the shade. I didn’t have the means to completely submerge the lamp shade in a vat of dye, so I poured some dye into a big pasta pot (bowling hot water I might add) and sponged the dye over the lampshade until I reached the correct hue of awesome yellow. Be sure to wear rubber gloves when you deal with this dye – they don’t call it dye for nothing.

And voile! A perfect shade of yellow, all for the cost of a cheap-o paper shade and some $.99 RIT dye. Our new yellow shade is the perfect accent in our man cave/home office, and definitely brightens up our deep wall color. Any home projects you’re dye-ing to share (ooo lame… but I couldn’t resist!)?

images courtesy of Pottery Barn and ritdye.com

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