Friday, August 19, 2011

The Big Reveal: My New Office

When I found out that I was going to be working from home pretty much full time I knew that I would need a dedicated office space (versus my previous "work from couch" option when I used to WFH 1-2 days a month). In a pinch, we threw a vintage table that's been floating around various rooms in our house into the office that already housed Alan's desk, moved one of the leather chairs out, and called it a day.

After working with that table-as-desk for a couple of months I realized that it simply wasn't going to work. We looked high and low for other options, but nothing every really made sense. Some things I liked but they were $$$. Other items that were cheap were hideous. For awhile we talked about making a desk from a door and a piece of custom-cut glass but knowing how slow it takes us to finish projects around this joint I quickly vetoed that option. During this time we went to Ikea a couple of times and instead of looking at desks, we looked at dining room tables. Each time I kept coming back to one that was an opaque glass top with chrome legs. We finally decided to bite the bullet and get it. When we went back to purchase it we were stoked to find that it was being discontinued so it was even cheaper than the price we'd seen before. Score! So for a couple of weeks we had that table in the small green office at the from of our house. It was cramped. It was messy. And I felt unhappy when I was working in there. For someone that spends around 8 hours a day in one room, that's a terrible way to work.

Unfortunately we live in a small house that is around 1550 square feet so it's not like I had many options when it came to where my office could be (clarification: I say "small" not because I find it particularly small but by the rest of America's standards it is. Truthfully, I think our house lives large, but we don't have many extra rooms). I suppose I could have moved into the dining room since that room is huge and we rarely use it. If I had a "sometime" office instead of a full-time office that might have worked. I really didn't want all of my work things out 24/7 in our eating space. Talk about a way to ruin a meal (for the times that we do eat in there)!

Around this time we started cleaning up the house for our yard sale. Alan mentioned that he wanted to sell the double bed in the guest bedroom because "no one ever comes here" (our last guests were my sister and her family at Christmas 2008) and it was just taking up valuable space. It was also turning into a very convenient place for me to throw my clothes, towels, and bedding when they came out of the dryer. After several years of this, things were A MESS.

I'm not proud of these before pictures, but it is what it is.

This exercise in purging gave me a great idea - this room should be my office! I was already fond enough of the paint color that I wouldn't need to do anything but move furniture in and start decorating. So that's what we started doing a couple of weekends ago, and now the room is finished and I'm working from here everyday and loving it.

The only major new purchases for this room were the rug ($187) and the frames (about $80). Everything else we've had anywhere from a few months to several years. I keep trying to get rid of the cat tree but every time I do Dakota takes a new-found interest in it and won't leave the top shelf for days at a time. 

Between the master bedroom refresh and this bedroom-turned-office makeover, we've been pretty busy here at casacaudill. I'm not sure what our next project is, but I think it's probably a ways away.


  1. Love the new office look! But 1550 sq. ft. isn't a small house for two. Ours (after the addition) is about 1350, and my wife and I each have an office space. Helps that we don't have kids, so we can use the other bedrooms as offices. Just sayin' :-)

  2. Hi Gene! I actually think our house is the perfect size for us and our lifestyle, but by everyone else's standards it would be considered small. Truthfully, I think this house could easily accommodate a small family, but since we're not going that route it's nice to be able to have two offices and a large "master" bedroom. 

  3. I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS! The colors, the re-purposing of a less than useful space, the mix of old & new furnishings... 

    Your new window treatments & framed artwork make such a difference.  They really update the room while highlighting the original character of the woodwork. 

    So light & bright...what a fantastic place to work every day!

  4. Stucco - Thanks for the compliment. The room turned out really great for our needs. And I'm really excited that for the most part it was made up of things we already had on hand. We bought the sheers years ago because they were cheap - I never really looked at them but now I love the little polka dot detail in the mesh. It's just perfect for what I wanted in this room. And the framed pictures are so lovely to look at - they're all pictures from our trip to Ireland and so whenever I'm needed a quick respite from what I'm working on I can just look up and go on a quick journey without ever really leaving.

  5. I l.o.v.e. it! Looks beautiful, comfortable, and just a pleasure to work in. Great job.

  6. Thanks Ei-Nyung! The other office just wasn't cutting it for me but working here is now a pleasure.


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