The Office Chair


Remember how I was considering one of these?

They live at Pottery Barn, and go for about $400.  Yeah….not happening.

And then the Craigslist gods smiled on me, and I snagged this for $25!

It’s from Sheboygan Chair Company, which is extra cool for me as that was a local company in Wisconsin until it was sold in 1952.  Which means my chair is really old, and I get an extra little thrill of it not being completely off the shelf from a chain retailer.  There’s nothing wrong with that, as I’ve made the case for it before, but I do like having a mix of old and new.

I think my plan will be a very, very dark stain and probably a chair pad and lumbar pillow to help wean my husband off the old executive chair and to give me a place to start accessorizing and adding new colors and pattern!


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!

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…

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!

Fingers Crossed…


…that this guy is coming home with me to live in my office!

I’m at the always scary phase of a craigslist purchase where I want to make a little lower offer than asking price while not losing the opportunity, as well as coordinating transportation.  This 6′-6″ table plus six chairs (that I don’t really need – I may reupholster one or two and re-sell the rest) are NOT fitting in my Corolla.  🙂

Desk Alternative


This morning I came downstairs and noticed the laptop on the dining room table.  Again.  This totally bugs me, but I get it, because our office is Un. Useable.  We have a bitty corner desk, next to which is a file cabinet, next to which is a drafting table, under which is a little plastic drawer tower so you can’t fit your legs under and oh my goodness it makes me cringe just to think of it!  Any time we need to spread out papers, or look at something side by side, we set up in the dining room….with its big expanse of flat work surface….(!)  (That was an idea happening)  Why not just get another dining table, and use it as a desk!!  I’ve been toying with starting over and getting a bigger desk, but bigger desks just never seem BIG enough!

I mentioned this to my husband and he looked at me like I was crazy.  A DINING table in the OFFICE?  But, but….you can’t do that!  And I thought, well I’ll just show him how awesome it could be!  (Yes, there is still the issue of where does the printer go, but come on, we’re architects.  Surely we can think of something!)

source  How cool to build in little cubbies to shove stuff!


source  both of these last ones feature the Ikea Melltorp table, with moveable storage units below.  This is EXACTLY what I mean, and at $70 for the big one, the price isn’t too shabby either!



source  I just love the well worn wood here

source  Look how much you can spread out!  And that’s not even a huge table – it’s just deeper than all those puny little office sized desks.

source  I’m sort of lusting after the worn in look of this table.  Perhaps this is an opportunity to try out that milk paint thing??





source  She just set her printer on a corner.  We could do that!  Currently we have two printers, but we could probably consolidate to one and just let it live on the table.

I’ve even gone so far as to find some potentials on my local craigslist.

I think they have serious refinishing potential, and they’re all under $100!  The ones pictured with chairs even come with them, and who doesn’t occassionally need to pull up an extra chair.  It’s weird to make your dad pull up a too tall barstool.  Trust me.

So, I’m pretty much sold.  What do you think?  Would you do table as desk?