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Let’s Get Busy~Office Reveal

This project has been waiting a long time..years…to come together. What started out as a half-hearted joke turned into a full week of both of us putting in hours to clean, paint, construct, move, and detail. But the results are so worth it.

This has been the spare/junk/hide all the things/Great Matter/etc. room ever since we moved in a few years ago. Every summer, I go about trying to sort all the stuff and make the junk look attractive enough but we both hated the room and yet we both used it for a variety of purposes. It has a perfect window for photography so I used one corner with a TV tray and a board over it. Under the tray were bags of props scattered about. One half of a wall had a plastic shelf for miscellaneous teacher stuff plus the office-type things we used. One wall had a built-by-Stephen unit that has an old (never used because it is UGLY) countertop piece. Once accent wall had miscellaneous camping stuff we used once a year for our trips out West. Anyway, the conversation started like this:

S: “I really wish we (he always said WE..never just ‘YOU’) would clean that crap room up again. We finally got the other room into a spare bedroom but that other one is just terrible.”

Me: “Let me turn it into my girl cave and I’ll keep it clean.” I breezed that thought outloud while distractedly looking through a cookbook.

S: “DEAL!”

Me: (wait…what?) “I’m serious. Paint, remove all the junk, donate it or use it, and let me go to Home Depot. BY MYSELF. I also want 2 shelves/rails for pictures. And maybe some other stuff. I want a place for every push pin and ribbon and staple”

S: “I’ll even love your colors as long as it’s something not too crazy that we can’t resell the whole house”

Me: ……maybe……

Keep in mind, he was no longer using the room since he built his entire separate building outside in the backyard. I should have thought of this 3 years ago.

And here we are, a few weeks later.


Photography corner and desk stuff in filing cabinets.


Plastic shelf with teacher stuff.


To the right of the corner is my TV tray with photography stuff all over.


The Big Picture

I wanted to get 4 uses out of a small room, but I wanted those spaces to be organized, functional, but all flow together. It was a tall order,  but I think I pulled it off with my own touch for how I wanted to design the room.

When I thought about how I was going to best use my time in that room, I thought about what I love to do. I love the thought “Do what you love. Love what you do”. And I’m very blessed to have a job that follows those ideas. However..that job is not just a job. I needed a space for my work with teaching and lesson planning and arts/crafts creating. My TEACH area is first most important.

My next area is a READ area. I have this beautiful all-wood bookshelf from when I was very young. It was hand built and it will last forever. I grew up with books all around me. My closest ties to my grandmother include hours reading books or working with her side-by-side in a old funky used bookstore. I needed a place for my bookshelf, but I needed it organized and clean.

I am a photographer. I will break my leg tripping over stuff trying to get a plate full of food to that wobbly TV tray so I can get that last bit of sunset glow seconds before that glow turns to blue. Food photographers, you know what I’m talking about. I would rather take a good picture than re-create or heavily edit a bad one. Obviously I needed a clear path to a sturdy area and I needed easy access to my props, chargers, and extra lenses. I needed a CAPTURE space.

Last, I’m a runner. And I needed to get the medals/bibs/mementos out of the drawers and glove compartments and race bags. I finally figured out what to do with them. I also wanted a vision board. I always had a bulletin board that held ideas, sayings, scribbles on napkins, pages torn out of magazines, etc. At school, I still have and use my vision board by my desk. I wanted one for running and CrossFit. I had my RUN space all planned out.

As far as design goes, I’m really loving the chalkboard theme. I see it everywhere and I’m instantly drawn ( pun intended) to the old historical menu easels and window ads. I love the look of chalkboard. I even redesigned my blog header around it. I know I’ll probably change it next year, as I usually do, but I’m really enjoying the versatility and pop of black on my labels. I really love to use vintage country accents with galvanized buckets, natural grapevine, mason jars, chalk boards/slates, famer baskets, etc. I really am an old soul to my core and I gravitate to the style of my roots. However, I love to update vintage with color. I chose water colors. I used a sea foam/aqua/mint (I can clearly see the pigments in my wall color) with an aquamarine/not-quite-but-almost Tiffany blue and then added navy as my darker accent to blend with the black chalkboard.

And after many trips to Home Depot, here is the finished room.


My TEACH space. Those baskets have teaching materials. The sets of books belong to both of us from when we were toddlers. Those were dear to my heart. The cubes under the seating bench hold art supplies.


The bookshelf, now clearly defined and organized. And finally, a fantastic STURDY place for my hot plate of stir fry. I have my backdrop boards behind the shelf. The bottom baskets hold chargers, flashes, cords, cards, external lighting and softbox materials. I need two more to hold my fabrics and extra lens boxes. The middle box is holding my Timbuk2 Snoop insert that once fit in my bag. I now carry a backpack so this was a perfect fit to hold my most-used lenses for food photography. I love having my lights and umbrella always available and my tabletop softbox is always plugged in and ready when that afternoon light turns harsh blue.


My RUN space, medals and bibs speak to me. As in..”these didn’t come to you without hard work”.


This desk is my pride and joy. I even kept the ugly countertop because I like it with my colors. And, contact paper on that will never be fully waterproof.


Here are the two filing cabinets that we painted. And this is night lighting.


I’ll have some project posts coming up soon and how a trip through the thrift store can have big results!

This space is where all the other areas come together: Blogging…and paying bills. But that’s not as much fun as blogging Winking smile

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Thursday 24th of April 2014

I love this makeover and especially the wall color. I am currently brainstorming ideas to revamp my office space and I may try to find one of those shelves for myself.

Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

Thursday 24th of April 2014

looks awesome!!