24 Apr 2012

A Pretty Place to Work and Play

The living room is done and we are moving on to.....the office.

Right now we have a very nonfunctional work space.  It's basically just a desk and some other crap thrown into a corner and we call it the 'office'.

desk and office chair

Not very pretty, right?  There is really nothing office-ish about it. It's mostly leftover stuff from both of our single days and it is right next to the TV, which makes it very hard to concentrate when doing important things such as taxes (which I did last week - ugh, they SUCK - maybe next year I'll be rich enough to pay an accountant....come on blog baby...make mama some money! That's another topic for another day....).

Anyhow, we have been working on finishing our basement for the last 2 years (longest and most frustrating project E-V-E-R) and I think we are done enough to move the computer and related accessories into the new office space.  It's a fairly blank canvas right now.

Office Space in Basement 

The walls in the basement are painted Spartan Stone by Behr (sort of a khaki green) and we've already wallpapered the office area in a vinyl grass-cloth.

wall paper 

Mr. Swell hung the ceiling a few weeks ago - so happy to finally have a ceiling as we've been staring at beams and wires for months.  I don't love the hung ceiling but it was the best of our options, and at least it covers the ugliness, so I'm grateful for that.

I am going to start doing some more work from home very soon, so the rush is now on to create a functional space that allows me to be organized, and to actually focus on work when I'm working and not get distracted by the TV (I have a hard time resisting TV, it sucks me in).  We are in need of a new desk and some shelving to store our files and related junk.

Here's the problem though...

We don't have a big house, so unfortunately we can't dedicate this room entirely to office work.  It also needs to function as Fin's playroom and as possibly a guest room down the road (i.e .must contain a pull out couch). I am sure as time goes on and Fin gets better at hucking her toys (I can already assure you that she will do that - it's just her personality) I will find toy odds and ends combined with my work contracts.  So as much as I want the space to be pretty and work inspiring (as if anything can be work inspiring) it needs to also be uber functional.  And it's going to be my goal in life (or at least the next year) to keep this place organized, otherwise I will be spending an hour when I am actually supposed to be working, at just trying to find my contracts!

Since this is going to be mostly a girly domain I think I am going to take the opportunity to introduce a girly colour scheme.  I am waffling between plum and coral, but as of right now I am leaning quite strongly towards the coral.  For the little amount of time that Mr. Swell will spend in there he can suck it up and deal with the coral..  Won't coral be an inspiring colour scheme for him while he shops online for power tools?  Milwaukee red and coral match - at least that is what I tell him.  The rest of our house is very gender neutral - I don't subject him to florals or bright pink walls, so this will be the exception.

I got inspired one night and whipped up a mood board. Doesn't that make me sound like I know what I am doing? "Oh, I'll just make a mood board for that".  I am sure I will still totally fly by the seat of my pants, but the mood board did help me explain my vision to Mr. Swell. And when I come home from work at the end of the day with another brilliant idea for a new project that I must do right this instant, my lovely husband can remind me of this mood board and tell me to harness my new ideas and stick to the plan.

Mood Board-Office

This is strictly for the little nook that will serve as the office.  The play area deserves its own mood board one day in the future (it's ok, I am that good - I can just whip up another one!). The first step in this room is going to be the desk and the shelving, which is all coming from Ikea.  I am trying desperately to find used white Billy Bookcases on Kijiji to cut down the cost significantly but am not having any luck. If anyone has a lead on a couple bookcases please let me know as I would very much like to stop stalking Kijiji for them.  After the desk is done then I get to move on to all of the fun stuff like art work and accessories, which is much more fun than putting together Ikea furniture.


  1. That is going to be such a great work space! I really like the wallpaper you used. I love grasscloth, but I've never used it because of the expense and I've heard that it's very difficult to hang. Is the vinyl version more pocketbook friendly?

    1. Thanks Suzy. The vinyl version is really easy to use and it's pre pasted. I bought mine at Home Depot. I think it was about $30 a roll and we used 5 rolls. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Awesome office space! For creative and professional work, you need flexible work space.

  3. Thanks very much, I appreciate the comment.

  4. That wallpaper is gorgeous! I'm new to your blog and wanted to say I love your blog design. This space will be fantastic - great mood board!

    1. Thank you Tanya! I love the wallpaper too. It's just from home depot but looks so fancy!

  5. Kelly!
    I cant wait to see what you do to it!! I love the grasscloth and the fact that its a multi-functional space. Its going to be AMAZING!!

    Love your guts

  6. Hi Kelly, I love the wallpaper and I particularly love you're going in the girly direction. I also think the coral color will be great. I can’t wait to see the finish result.

  7. What a great dream board you've come up with! Love it. And be sure that I will be following along and getting any tips you share for my office redo through FFA. :)

  8. I'm so jealous! I really wish I had a place to call an office that I could spice up. For some reason I LOVE decorating offices lol I can't wait to see your finished space :)

  9. I am in love with that wallpaper! Love! Can't wait to see what you come up with.

  10. Thank you for all of your lovely comments. We are slowly making progress on the room. I can't wait to finish it, it's really coming together.


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