New Job, New Desk and New DIY Decor

In my post last week I mentioned that 2018 started with a big change for me at work.  I’ve been promoted to a new position within the same department and as part of that transition I got to move to a bigger desk.  I had decorated a bit at my old desk, but the space was awkward and limited so I didn’t do much beyond organizing my office supplies.  The new desk has much more room and is a bit more private so I had a lot more to work with.

Here’s how the space looked just before I moved over.  It was a total blank slate.  And here’s how it looks now!

It’s still a cubicle, but it’s cozy.  And since I spend a big chunk of time here every week I’m glad that it makes me comfortable and reflects my style.  Things started with a plan to organize my office supplies.  I’d picked up some pieces from the Joanna Gaines spring line at Target, but they ended up not working out for what I wanted.  So I went the old DIY route.  I had this little metal caddy for a while.  I picked it up from the Target dollar zone probably 2 summers ago for use out on the deck, but it never left the cabinet since it came home so it needed a new purpose.  It was just the right size and layout to store my note pads, pens and markers.  But I wasn’t crazy about the color in this space when I tested it out with my other supplies.

So I did what any good DIYer does, I broke out the spray paint for another desk caddy revamp.  My first thought was white, and I had a can of chalk paint in the garage.  I taped off the handle to protect it and got to spraying.  It took several coats to cover the teal color and once it did, I wasn’t loving it.

So I dug in the paint cabinet again and found black.  It’s my new go-to farmhouse style color and I figured it would work well with the frames I already had at my previous desk.  There were a few spots that crackled or bubbled since the first coats were a chalk paint but in good farmhouse style it adds to the character.  Here it is finished and all loaded up.

I did keep the fun shaped paper clips from Hearth and Hand because having goat shaped paperclips is just awesome.  I had originally planned to have them in the small dish you saw above, but it was too small and they spilled out easily.  So I decided to DIY another solution.  I pulled an old small canning jar out of the cabinet – oddly the same cabinet the caddy had been stored in – and since I’d used up all the black on the caddy I painted the ring top with ORB so it coordinates.  Now it’s the perfect way to store all my cutie paper clips.

There was a little cubby area in the back corner of the desk which lent it self to being the perfect spot for all my supplies.  Here’s how I originally set it up.

I decided to move the paper clip jar over by my business cards so it was more visually balanced and turn my little Scotch doggie tape dispenser toward the caddy.  This just felt better so I kept it this way.

I had this fun cast iron card holder from my craft show booths and since it doesn’t get use most of the year I decided to bring it in to the office so I can see it every day.  I think it was originally meant to hold bars of soap but it’s the perfect size for business cards.

I snagged a letter board on EBay for $20 with shipping and put that off to the side near the phone as you saw above.  I plan to share inspirational messages each week to help motivate our team.  I flanked the board with an IKEA plant I already had and the seasonal winter bird decor I’d gotten for each of the desks in the office back at Christmas.

I placed the lamp from my old desk in the other corner behind the monitors.  I already had the verse print from our trip to Hawaii when we visited a friend’s shop there, but I found a nice frame for it and placed the books I’m reading for professional development next to it.

If you’re wondering what’s on the other side of that big white area behind the monitors, it’s this pretty mural of a local mountain range.  It’s a nice piece of art to enjoy every time I walk toward my desk.

Above the back corner was a little shelf, where I display my awards and a faux succulent from my previous desk.  I hung my version of van Gogh’s Starry Night (my fave painting) that I did at a paint night event a while back on the back wall for a bit of color.  I also traded out the heavy wood inbox tray for the black wire one I’d brought in for my old desk, since it coordinated better with my other black accents and reduced the visual clutter a bit.

So here’s my home away from home during the week.  It’s cozy and welcoming, but still professional.  My coworkers have enjoyed seeing the space come together and now look forward to the weekly inspiration on my little message board!

I also DIYed some items for the gal filling my old position, which I’ll share soon! 🙂

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Wall-to-Wall Work Space!

Hi everyone!  The hubs and I were so busy working on projects last week that I didn’t get a chance to write about any of them, so this week I’ll be playing catch up and have a lot to share!  Up first is the biggest project, our wall-to-wall desk in the office!

Finished

It’s come a long way from the first DIY set-up we did with two filing cabinets and a freebie door when we were in the rental. I started to get a sense of how my dream workspace would function when we expanded the desktop after we moved in to the new house and the recent addition of the industrial style shelves took it up another notch.  Next we stained the raw desktop to match the shelves, which made the desk visually ‘heavy’. Unfortunately, I somehow neglected to take a picture of this stage, but even the hubs agreed that the darker desktop made the entire unit feel a bit big and bulky. Luckily, painting the cabinets was the next step.  To prep, we removed all the hardware and gave the surfaces a light sanding. The hubs taped off the areas around the cabinets and I painted them white. It took a couple of coats, but it definitely brightened the space.

DeskDuringPaint

DeskDuringPaint2

I wasn’t loving the white at first, but decided to live with it for a while before I made any final decisions. A few days later the hubs installed the new hardware we’d purchased to match the pulls on the cabinet nearest the door and that made all the difference. Suddenly I LOVED the white. Maybe I couldn’t see past the displaced clutter before then or maybe I just needed some contrast so they didn’t feel like big white blobs. Whatever it was, I did another happy dance when I saw them together with the white.

Three of the four cabinets went all the way to the floor, but the cabinet nearest the door had legs. Not only did this not match the other cabinets, it was the perfect place for dust bunnies to collect which meant they had to go. The easy option would have been to cut off the legs, but that would have made the cabinet too short, so instead we opted to install molding around the legs. We picked up a plain baseboard molding with a small curve at the top and cut it to size. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite tall enough to cover the entire height of the legs, so we got creative.

Molding
A piece of scrap wood filled the space between the legs, but because the legs stick out from the body of the cabinet a bit, there was a gap between the filler board and the molding. The hubs solved this with a paint stick and some wood filler. Genius! Once everything was painted you’d never notice.

Molding2

FinishedLegs

The hubs also rigged up a shelf for the printer in the middle cabinet. He added a small platform on tracks so it can be pulled out when we need to replace ink cartridges or clear a jam.

FinishedShelf

FinishedShelfOut

Because the space where the shelf was had previously been another drawer there were some odd supports on either side of the interior of the cabinet. Once again the hubs flexed his thinking muscles and came up with a solution. A thin panel attached to the supports made everything flush and quarter round hid the supports from the front.  Luna made sure to inspect his handiwork and apparently approves.

LunaShelf

ShelfPanelCover

ShelfPanelMoldingFinished

I swapped out the blue bag the local shred company provides for a much prettier basket I picked up at Target. The grey material has a bit of white, which plays off the cabinets nicely. I keep the bag tucked behind the basket so I can fill it when I need to take it in, but since we typically use our shred file for fire starter and filler in the fire pit that’s not very often.   This change was also approved by Luna, who loves her new hiding spot. 🙂

LunaBasket

I also stained the cord box so it blends in more with the flooring and is less noticeable. Now that everything is finished, I cleaned up the wires and will soon hide them in a channel that can be painted to match the wall so you’ll never even notice them.  Now that the printer is tucked away, my Silhouette sits in the middle of the desktop and both of us have plenty of room to work.

CordBox

I’m still finessing the accessories on the desktop and shelves, but it’s pretty much done. The top shelf is strictly for photography props (including some room for new items!) and we each took a third of the bottom shelf. The center third is home to models of the planes the hub’s dad flew when he was in the Navy.  On my side, my photography guides and smaller extra gear fit in two decorative storage boxes, which also hide the driveway monitor speaker. Next to that are my books and a basket for a few magazine style guides I keep.

Finished

The hub’s side became home to his cookbooks that had previously lived in the pantry. I gave him a storage box and canister so he could also store all of the cords and miscellaneous gear he wanted to have handy. And that means the tub of “stuff” that has sat on the other side of the room since we moved in is now gone!

Finished2

I’m loving the industrial farmhouse look the whole project has and the storage it provides has created so much space in this room. Now it really functions as an office, craft room and studio with style. And that make me very, very happy!

This post linked to Tatertots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza, Knick of Time’s Vintage Inspiration Party and

TDC Before and After

Our Massive DIY Desk – Part I

From the moment we signed the contract to build our home I envisioned a massive wall-to-wall desk in my office/studio, with enough room for both the hubs and I to have workspace.  But that wasn’t a high priority project, so the DIY desk we fashioned from a freebie door and two filing cabinets while in the rental was serving the same purpose at the new house.  It was certainly functional, but definitely not anything amazing.

DeskBefore

After moving into the house we’d purchased a few other filing cabinets to serve as the bases for the rest of the desk, but they sat collecting dust in the garage for months.  Then, a few weeks ago the hubs decided it was time to make room in the garage get this project rolling and purchased wood for the desktop.  He brought in the other two filing cabinets and then lined up the wood planks to form the top.

DeskSwap

At some point we took the top drawer out of one cabinet and Luna decided that was the perfect hiding spot, at least until she realized it was right at doggy viewing height!  Tequila was very concerned that her kitty was trapped in the cabinet. 🙂

DeskPrep

The hubs had prepped the boards with small biscuits to create joints between the planks.  He also predrilled counter-sunk screws down the length of the boards.  The combination of the biscuit joints and the screws make the entire top a sturdy and solid piece.

DeskBiscuit

DeskScrew

Here’s the new set up!  As you can see the desktop doesn’t go all the way to the wall on the near end, but that leaves room to install the sliding barn doors in the future which will allow me to close off the studio for clients when needed.

DeskCurrent

We still need to add molding around the bottom of the two new cabinets, add a pull-out shelf to the middle cabinet for the printer to sit on, paint all the cabinets white, stain the top and then install shelves above the desk for storage, but for now it’s just nice to have a little extra room for us both to work.  I’ve since found a new chair to replace the camp chair on the hub’s side, thanks to a great deal at Target.  Watch for a post on that soon!

A Studio of My Very Own!

The studio/office is my most anticipated and daydreamed about room in our new home for obvious reasons.  Although the main colors will be the same neutrals found in other rooms of our home, there will be a healthy dose of purple accents throughout the space, including my pretty purple chair I’ve blogged about before.  The plans for this space include a wall-length desk down one side of the room with shelves overhead for storage.  Something like this.

I want enough room for both the hubs and I to have a spot to sit with the printer and Silhouette  in between.  I’d like the printer to live in a cabinet under the desk where we can store paper too.  I plan for the Silhouette to be on the desk top where there will be room to feed material into it.  Here’s the basic concept, made with two wood file cabinets we got on Craigslist right after moving to the mainland for $25 each and a cabinet we will build to house the printer and support the middle of the desk.

Picture 2Because we have more files than the two cabinets can hold as it is, I might add a file storage bench like this one.  It would provide a little bit of extra seating if I have a group of clients and can be moved around as needed or even used as a prop.

Luckily hubby uses a laptop that won’t always be on the desk, so that leaves room for me to spread out with craft projects.  I’m toying with the idea of adding peg board – likely painted purple – on the wall above the desk but below the shelves for storing things up off the desk, keeping the desktop clear.

The other wall will remain mostly bare to accommodate my backdrops for photography sessions.  I may eventually add studio lights to my photography arsenal, but for now the natural light from the window will work just fine. I may finish that wall in pallet wood like this, but that would likely be a project much later down the road.

I’m on the hunt for a large armoire or hutch for the other corner by the door to house my craft supplies like this.  That keeps things behind closed doors, both out of sight and out of reach of any clients’ little hands.  I might add something like this to the side of the armoire for a little extra work space when crafting so I’m not always spread out on the desktop.  The other option is to create something with storage underneath and above a workspace in the center like this.

Large sliding barn doors like these will added at some point to allow us to close off the space when have guests over or I need a little privacy for a boudoir session.  They’d double as a nice backdrop if needed too!  We will have to figure out a way for the doors to fit past the desk and shelves when open, but that should be simple as leaving a gap between the desk and the wall.

So that’s the grand plan to fit a photo studio, craft room and office for two into one room.  Good thing it’s a fairly large one!  🙂