This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission if you buy the products from these links (at no extra cost to you), but we only recommend products we would use ourselves. For more information, click here to see our disclosures.
Okay…I think I have officially lost my mind! I decided on the spur of the moment (as in last week) that I would join the One Room Challenge held by Linda at Calling it Home, and make over my home office. In case you’re not familiar with the One Room Challenge, it’s a semi-annual event where a whole lot of crazy people…oh sorry, I mean bloggers…(like me) make over a room in 6 weeks…and let you see the progress (or lack thereof) every week. Be sure to check back every Thursday for the updates…and please check out the makeovers of the featured design bloggers as well as all of the other guest participants.
So this is week 1…the week when we need to get our plan together. Fortunately for me, I have been thinking about doing this home office for so long that the plan came together pretty quickly. So here goes…
My home office is a place where I spend a lot of time. I work from home for my day job…in my home office. And I work from home to write and maintain this blog…in my home office. And I do some of the smaller DIY projects…in my home office. But somehow I have not been able to get my home office to be the kind of inspiring room that I love to work in. So I figured I would take this opportunity to whip it into shape…and with such a short time to do it in, I will be forced to get it done quickly!
My home office is the bonus room, over the garage…the only room in my house that you have to go upstairs to get to (which actually works very well for a home office since it’s separate from the rest of the house…almost like “commuting” to work). A few months back I re-did the stairway leading up to my office (you can see that post here), so now I actually enjoy the “commute” (walking up the stairs), but the room that I end up in needs some help!
For any of you who have been here before and might be asking yourself why I’m re-doing my home office again…this is a different room than the “library” that I made over a couple of months ago…even I don’t get tired of rooms that fast :) The “library” is where I like to read, watch TV or surf the net when I’m not “really” working. The home office that I’m re-doing over the next 6 weeks is the one where most of the 9-to-5 work happens. And I know, I probably work too much if I need 2 offices for one person.
The “Before” Room
In case you haven’t seen any of my other room makeovers, I should warn you now that I live in a builder-grade house…which I bought brand new, so everything worked, but it was very beige and very boring…no architectural details at all! And I am just not a beige person. This is what the room looked like when I first bought the house.
When I moved in I painted it to get rid of the beige, moved in some hand-me-down furniture and that was about it. It’s been a few years and I’m finally getting around to updating it!
The To Do List
As I always do when I’m starting a room makeover, the first thing I did was make a list of all of things that didn’t work in the current room…as well as the things that work and need to stay.
At a high level, I want to have an office space, a seating area, and a work space. So here’s the breakdown of what needs to be in the room to make this happen:
- Large desk surface – big enough to fit 2 monitors, and with a keyboard tray that is at the correct level to be comfortable
- Room for a laptop and a desktop computer, and somewhere to hide all of the related cords
- Storage for pencils, pens, rulers and erasers
- Organized storage for party supplies, sewing supplies and fabric
- Designated spots for my office electronics – a paperwork scanner, an image scanner, a shredder, a very large printer and a fax machine
- A new desk chair
- Good lighting for both the office space and the work space
- Wood floors
- At least one chair for sitting
- Book shelves
- Work table for my sewing machine, die cutter and other crafts
- Have I said more storage?
- A pet bed (I never work alone!)
- A new area rug
- A way to camouflage the air conditioner
- New window treatments
My Fabric Inspiration
The “lead off” pattern for my design is this piece of embroidered fabric with leopard print and an Asian scene. I had a piece of it covering the bulletin board in my original room (you can see a bit of it in one of the “before” pictures), and I love it!
The leopard print ties in with the leopard print carpet on the stairs coming into the room.
Speaking of the stairway, when I was re-decorating it, my intention was also to re-do the office…so I had started down that path. I painted most of the office a blush pink color (Farrow and Ball’s Middleton Pink). I really love the color, so I will be finishing the rest of the office with this…yes, including painting over the trellis!
In the meantime, I have also replaced the wall to wall carpet with dark stained bamboo flooring. Another choice I love, so it will be staying, too! One less thing to do during this very short 6 week timeframe!
So based on all of this, I decided to go with Pink, Ivory and Black as the main colors in my room…and I will add an accent color on the cool side of the color wheel, but just haven’t decided which one yet (either the blue or green from the fabric).
My Design Inspirations
With my fabric inspiration chosen, I went to look for some rooms that I could get some design inspiration from. All I have to say is thank goodness for Pinterest! It is so much faster to find lots of great ideas than it used to be. I created a Pinterest board for my office (you can see it here) and went to town pinning images that I liked. My philosophy is to pin anything that I’m even remotely interested in, then look at everything together on the board, and delete all of the things that I change my mind on. Then I’m left with a much smaller list of things that I might actually want to do.
I’ll warn you now…I’m not a “follow a style” type of person…I go more with the “if you like it, it will go” philosophy of decorating, so don’t be surprised by the wide variety of styles in these pictures.
I love this idea from Rachel Roy (shown on One Kings Lane) to use a dining room table as a desk. It provides a large surface with lots of leg room underneath so you have room to work from any side. And I also love the cowhide rug…I have wanted one of those for ages and never had anywhere to put one…this may be my chance!
This wall unit from Amie Corley Interiors provides open and closed storage and lots of drawer space…and painting the insides of the shelves a bright color makes them much more fun!
I love the bold pink, white and black design from Kelly Wearstler (in Architectural Digest)…and those funky chairs are awesome!
Moldings on the wall add dimension to what could otherwise be a boring, flat wall space (and in my case, might help distract from the popcorn on the ceiling). I might even add some gold highlights like this inspirational picture from Laurel Bern’s site. I also like the weathered look of the wood…
Finally, it would be great if I could have my desk by the window so that I could look out when I’m working. Although my window isn’t nearly this big, I would like to have a bench under it like they have in this picture from Jennifer Pacca Interiors.
The Floor Plan
Here’s the floor plan that I have come up with so far. I actually did manage to get all of the functional areas in…there’s the desk area, the work table area, a couple of chairs and lots of storage! Now the trick will be getting it all done in the next 6 weeks!
Have comments or questions on Week 1 of the One Room Challenge – Plan For a Home Office Makeover? Tell us in the section below.