Even though we have been working feverishly in the kitchen and did a bunch of work outside, I have still been plugging away at my downstairs office/Fin's play space. The play space is still a work in progress, but the office part is ready for its big reveal. I've been working from home a couple of days a week for over a month now and I love how this little office (alcove really) projects such happiness and light in a slightly dreary basement.
Let's get to it, shall we?
Here's the before:
And the after:
Pretty big change, if I do say so myself. I loved that this was an empty space to start with, and that I had full license to go in whatever direction I wanted.
Remember the mood board that I whipped up for this room?
Ok, I'll admit it, I veered a little off course. If you squint one eye and tilt your head though it does sort of resemble the mood board, right? The coral is still there and so are the Expedit shelves. When I envisioned this office I had a different piece of art in mind for above the desk, but then I found the bright abstract canvas and was in love. Buy what you love, right? Well, I did. It changed the feel of the office slightly, but I truly love staring at that abstract canvas while I work on boring contracts. And there is a carpet, albeit slightly lighter than what I was originally thinking. And the clock....I found a pretty awesome clock - even better than the one in the fancy mood board.
Time to dig into the details....
I DIYed that quote canvas on the right. It was a craft fail turned redemption. I searched far and wide for a quote that would be suitable for both an office and a little girl's play space, and I think this one fits the bill perfectly (I even had it pinned to my Downstairs Office board on Pinterest). I'll post my step by step creation method next week.
I really wanted to frame in the Expedit cabinets but after much debate, we decided against it. As I've mentioned umpteen times before on this very blog, this is not our forever home. Expedits are totally versatile and I didn't want any potential buyers to think they were built in and would come with the house (although I could part with them if it came down to it). I shopped our house and found a pair of baskets that served double duty by storing rarely used office supplies, while also making the Expedits taller.
The little storage cart is a quick redo and I just added some labels in a pathetic attempt to keep stuff organized. I keep my giant pink blanket on top of it. Since I sit down at the desk for hours some days and it can get pretty cold, I sometimes need a blanket for my legs. Mr. Swell won't be caught dead using it, even though I am sure he gets cold too!
Remember the stencilled desk? It's doing great. I was so worried about it scratching and denting, but there isn't one scratch on it. I do use the gold dipped coasters for my hot mugs of coffee, but water glasses get set on the desk all the time and so far so good.
Let me tell you, I searched and searched and searched for a clock for this room. It couldn't tick as that would drive me nuts, so it took me a while to find the perfect one. I love how modern this one is (even if it takes me a while to tell the time with no numbers...I know I'm not the only one!).
I moved my Prince Frog from outside to inside - he just seemed too classy to be outside. He sits on top of an old Ikea photo organizer and beside one of the jazzed up magazine files.
I had some empty boxes hanging around in our crawl space that were originally for our fancy dishes. I have been saving them since we were married 3 years ago because I just knew one day I would use them. They fit perfect in the Expedit cubbies, so I just hit them with a few coats of chalk board spray paint and labelled them using the nicest writing I could muster. One holds random cords and the other stores photos that I haven't figured out what to do with yet. Thank you Sophie Conran for making such sturdy boxes for your dishes!
Oh Buddha, how I love thee! I think it's fitting that he's sitting on the Mysteries of Mankind book.
Another jazzed up magazine file supports a picture of my Dad from when he was a baby. My Grandma gave it to me and I've wanted to do something with it, but it's such an odd shape and has the photographers pencil marks all over it. It works perfect here as it's out of Fin's reach and has a nice bright background to rest on. No frame required.
My parents brought me back this Sylvester stapler from Las Vegas probably 20 years ago. His nose is so heavy that he tips over all the time, but I can't bear to give him up. I think he's the only stapler I've ever owned. He sits beside a picture of my Grandma from when she was young.
I love that this office is so functional, but also has tonnes of mementos and memories. Although Mr. Swell does sit at the computer occasionally, I really made this space mine. My plan is to carry the colour theme into the play room, but to obviously make it totally kid friendly.
Ready for the nitty gritty? Here's the source list and cost breakdown.
Desk: Ikea Vikka Byske. $99
Desk legs: Ikea Vikka Adils 4 x $4. Sisal rope for wrapping desk legs: Home Depot $6
Desk stencil: The 36th Avenue Shop. Gift
Shelving units: Ikea Expedit 2 x $69
Abstract canvas above desk: Urban Barn. $25
Buddha: Save-on-Foods (of all places!) $14
Clock: HomeSense $20
Carpet: From my Mom as it didn't fit in her new house
Magazine files: Ikea Flyt $3
Rolling cart organizers: Both from Ikea. The one under the desk is from Mr. Swell's single days and the mesh one is from mine. 2 cans of spray paint $10
Quote Canvas: Canvas is from Michael's. $30 (I had a 40% off coupon)
Office Chair: Bought second off of Kijiji $40
The rest of the items are all shopped from our house, so I am considering them free.
Drum roll please.....
Grand total: $395
I'll save you from having to scroll all the way up...here's the before and after again.
Linking to: Funky Junk Interiors