Office Ideas


I’m just browsing House and Home for some ideas about what to do on the walls of my home office.

I like the pinboard on the far wall, though I think I’d like something larger, and off the desk surface itself.

I definitely want storage above the desk.  I like the look of floating shelves, but I’m concerned that I wouldn’t actually be able to put much real weight on them without them coming right off the wall even if they’re anchored to the studs.  Perhaps open cabinets might fit the bill…

Here, well, who wouldn’t love that much storage??


Project List


I’ve been making slow home improvements over the past few months, and I feel as though I’ve got all these ideas rattling around in my head for the future, and it helps me to put it all down on “paper.”


  • new desk Yay!!
  • new chair
  • floor covering
  • above the desk plan….shelves?  Tackboard?  Other?

Living Room:

  • round shaggy rug Yay!!
  • upholster chair – yes, I HAVE narrowed down those many fabric choices!
  • end table
  • overhead lamp
  • wall shelving

Master Bedroom:

  • new bed linens Yay!!
  • accent pillows and/or blanket
  • window treatments
  • bedside table
  • bedside lighting
  • end of bed linen storage bench
  • low profile ceiling fan with light

Guest Room:

(apparently I have no photos of this room…)

  • low profile ceiling fan with light
  • window treatments


(use your imagination here as well…)

  • re-hang newly stained handrail
  • figure out method to make stairs less slippery
  • window treatment
  • wall decor


  • non-broken faucet

Whew….long list, and I think the most boring item is going to win the race.  Yep, our kitchen faucet is broken.  Again.  How does this happen?  The faucet that came with our house when we purchased it about 2.5 years ago immediately developed a pinhole that sprayed water from the side.  We performed a very classy fix involving duct tape until we replaced our cast iron sink with a used stainless model that came with a faucet.  A faucet which now does not fully turn off without great force and precision on the handle.  Sigh.  So this time, we’re not messing around.  The next as yet un-purchased faucet will be top of the line – isn’t this sort of thing supposed to go out of style before it wears out?

Office Progress


I’ve been talking about this room…well, a little bit.  Like here, here, here and here, lol.  And finally, I’ve made a move!  I’ve been stalking Craigslist somewhat obsessively for about a month, but I’ve been thinking about doing something, anything in this room since we moved in.  I’ve mentioned how disorganized and inefficient and claustrophobic this room has made me feel.  I’ve never shown it to you.  Because it looks awful.  But for the sake of progress, here is how it looked yesterday.

Shudder.  What a hodge podge.  Now, the corner desk itself is not bad.  If you aren’t us – people who like and need to spread. things. out.  I was constantly driven crazy by feeling like I couldn’t set anything next to me while I was typing.  And all that crap, er…important paperwork on the white drafting table?  That’s my husband’s “filing system.”  It’s next to the full paper tray I bought him specifically for filing lol.  Also, please make note of the wall calendar on the left.  Yep, that’s a Twilight calendar, and my husband received it for Christmas last year from Santa.  Haha.  He highly dislikes it, and is very lucky that I didn’t make him hang it at his work office!

Aaaanyway, like I said, I’ve been looking for the perfect Craigslist table to refinish, and it was so not working.  Everything was too small, too big, too expensive, sold out from under me, etc.  I considered getting something built, but by this point I was consumed and didn’t think I could handle the waiting, not to mention the potential high cost of construction.  So I was visiting a friend last weekend in Chicago, and we found ourselves at the blue behemoth, Ikea.  And lo and behold, I came full circle back to an inspiration from my first post about this saga, the Melltorp table.

The price, $70 for the biggest one, was right on, as I really didn’t want to spend more than $100.  The color is unobtrusive, the style is simple, and it miraculously fit into a VW Jetta after a bit of coaxing, so it came home with me and went up IMMEDIATELY.  If I couldn’t stand the clutter in the office, I couldn’t handle the clutter plus boxes.

And here we are today!

It’s so very unfinished, but I feel better already!  Our crappy plastic drawers even feel a little better as they sort of blend into the legs.  I wonder if it’s worth it to try spray painting the also crappy filing drawers, as I doubt they’re up for replacement in the near future.  Items whose future is less certain…That lovely chair, complete with 3 year old hole in the back (moving incident – we even have a patch kit, but the hole remains!) and the rug, which came with the husband and I’ve never liked.  Also up for design, the vertical space.  I’d love to have almost nothing living on the desk aside from a little light and the laptop!  Therefore, some sort of shelving will happen up there, and I’m considering a large pinboard for some visual interest.  Time will tell!

As far as the chair, I need to decide on a direction.  I’ve always loved these bankers chairs.  (Note to my parents – I’ll take yours any time you decide you don’t want it anymore!)


source I think something like this upholstered chair would be fun and a little different, while still being comfy.

source I’ve thought these chairs are really cute and fun for a long time, but I don’t know how my very tall husband would feel about such a low backed chair, especially keeping in mind the type of chair he’s used to.

What do you think?  Tell me in the comments!

More Indecision


Maybe I should just go for a patchwork theme?

The rug is a tiny bit of progress though toward the final vision!  It’s from Overstock, and the pets are a big fan of burrowing into it.

Pallet = table?


Still on the search.  Having not great luck.

source I saw this table last week at the Restoration Hardware outlet store.  It’s made of sanded reclaimed wood.  Sadly, it was still way beyond my reach even at outlet pricing!

source Then I saw this table listed on a site for a furniture resale shop I plan to hit this weekend.  It’s a coffee table, and yes, beyond my reach, but it’s made of reclaimed wood…from shipping pallets. Sort of like the kind hanging out in my garage from one project or another.  It’s not really a new thing, and it’s been on my radar as a pretty cool look for some time.  Let me show you what I mean!

source I love the twist on a rustic, cabin feel when used on a small niche of wall.

source Check out Camila’s DIY of this table, also from Restoration Hardware, also from shipping pallets.  She has a great how-to on her site!


And then I found something very intriguing……a full sized table tutorial.

source I would do it a little different if I go this direction…I would forgo the 1×4’s in favor of more closely spacing the slats, and I might even go so far as to fill the gaps before staining or painting.  My husband is afraid of any filler coming out eventually thanks to the computer mouse, but to that I say, “use a mouse pad!”  😉

So I think I’ll do this.  Unless I find the perfect table on Craigslist.  Or if it turns out to be really cost effective to have my friend’s dad build me a table just like the gorgeous one in her dining room.  Yeah…..indecisiveness is a bit of a trait of mine…

Bathroom Inspiration


I got an email question recently wondering what sites would be good to look at for bathroom or kitchen inspiration.   …that’s actually a lot harder for me to answer than you might think!  I mean, I pull inspiration from pretty much everywhere all the time, but when it comes time that I want to gather a bunch of specific images all at once, well, that’s different.  If I’m just looking for general ideas, I dislike going to a certain shop or designer or magazine’s website.  It feels too homogeneous for me.  Instead, I prefer going to a couple of aggregating websites, where you can search spaces by style or room type.  My favorites of late are Ideal Home, Yourchitect, and Houzz.  Why these?  Well, it’s partly because they’re really easy to use and have a ton of different styles…and partly because I wrote it down in a place I’d find it again!  🙂

Just for kicks, here are a bunch of my favorites from those sites for creating a light and airy bathroom space!

source Maybe it’s the weather turning here in Wisconsin, but a fireplace in the bathroom?  Yes please!!

source I love high windows in a bathroom.  They let in all the wonderful natural light without any privacy issues!  Also, floating the vanity like this really opens a small space.

source Don’t have windows?  Cleverly located lighting can have a nice effect.

source Isn’t it amazing how the light flooring, wainscoting and vanities brighten up what had the potential to be a cave-like space?  Proof positive that you don’t have to be afraid of dark, saturated colors in small spaces.  It’s all about balance!

source The window in the shower, glassy light reflecting tiles, full height transparent door – all great ways to increase light in the bathroom.

source Sure, this floor to ceiling glass opening onto a balcony defies that whole “privacy” issue….but for a tub like that…..  🙂

Who didn't have their fingers crossed??


My table sold….and not to me.  I suppose it’s ok…it was a hair more than I wanted to spend, and I really didn’t NEED six chairs.  The hunt continues, and I used the money I would have spent toward another little project.  I guess it just goes to show why I’m leery about recommending vintage or craigslist items for client designs – the price is usually great, but they might not be there when you’re ready to buy.  There’s a little more security in buying stock items – like the fact that there will likely BE a stock item!