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As promised: I’ve finally worked out the design plan for the upstairs office.

office space 2015

When I first moved into the house (back in 2010), the original design plan for the room was to create a calming, serene craft space to store most of my crap craft supplies in. It’s strange to think that at the time, I assumed that this blog was going to mostly be about decorating and small DIY projects. And then I fell in love with a miter saw, and the rest is history.

empty room

Two years and a number of projects later (painting the room, building the desk), I decided to apply for grad school and began using the room as a study space. This prompted the room’s new nickname, the “study-o” (study + craft studio… get it?); but as functional as it was, there was still something missing. Attitude.

corner desk

Soon after, the room felt like it wasn’t sophisticated enough. But instead of switching out the furniture I’d just built, I reworked the desk area and painted half of the walls a deeper, more serious shade of navy blue. The other half was color matched to the other white accessories in the room, which helped keep the room from turning into cave, as it has only one window in the opposite corner. I also added a few more decorative DIY projects to the space, like my gold leaf map and an Ikea desk lamp hack.

gold arm lamp

With so many other (dustier and grimier) projects going on around the house, decorating the room dropped off the priority list for what I assumed was only going to be temporary. And then it was suddenly 2015, I’ve graduated, began working from home, and the room is basically the same way it was at the beginning of 2013. Oops.

Thanks to a New Year’s resolution, I realized that when working from home – and more accurately, from every room in the house – it gets a little tricky to separate work from the rest of your life when the computer is never more than a few feet away. In many ways, working from home is awesome. But after the lines began to blur too much for me to feel truly rested during “down time”, I moved the laptop back into the office to reside permanently. So far, my new rule has been working fantastically well, save for one issue: I’ve rediscovered that this room is far from the productive space I really need.

Less than two weeks after establishing my new resolution, I’ve already whipped up a plan to get this room into shape, which is what you can spy in the mood board above. It’s got a large mix of neutrals for the room to feel functional and clean, but also some texture to keep things cozy – one of my favorite design tips!

[Tweet “Color isn’t the only way to add visual interest to a room! Mix things up with texture, too.”]

A few notes on the plan and the items selected:

Storage is a priority, but after turning back to my Office Space pin board on Pinterest, I noticed that most of the rooms I pinned had unexpected storage solutions beyond those of the typical built-in (Word to the wise: the ability to see a common theme in your style is one of the best things you can glean from your pin boards. For more tips on what you should really be using Pinterest for, check out this post.). My office area is the smallest bedroom in the house’s floor plan, so adding a bookshelf (or several) that are more open, like the leaning bookcase pictured, seemed like the best option to go with. It also gives me more flexibility in case I need to switch up the room’s function (hey, it’s happened before!).

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Another thing I noticed from my pins was the overwhelming number of desks with Eames chairs. I was honestly surprised to realize I pinned so many, since they’ve never really looked all that comfortable to me. I guess somewhere in my subconscious, I must think these are what offices are supposed to have. For my room’s design, I picked a black version with wooden legs, for no other reason than the metal leg versions remind me of a spider (hehe).

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I added the rug and the black and white Waverly fabric to the room a while ago, so the main things I still need to hunt down still are the ceiling light fixture (inspired by this post, but I can’t seem to find an exact match, and the hexagonal versions I have spotted everywhere are much less appealing) and a suitable accent table to pair with the Ikea POÄNG chair (recently picked up after a recommendation from Simple Stylings on Instagram – it’s just as comfy as she says it is!). I have a plan for the light, so stay tuned for that.

The office design has really picked up some momentum this week, but I’ll have to wait for a few of my orders to be delivered before I can show you how the room’s progressing. Perhaps this is the key to getting every room in the house finished; I just force myself to sit in it for two weeks without hope of escape, and shit gets done.

Product sources, from L to R – Paint: Benjamin Moore Hale Navy & white (custom match) | Ceiling light: source unknown | Desk lamp: Ikea Hack (DIY Project) | Organizational storage boxes: KVARNVIK, Ikea | Leaning bookcase: Urban Outfitters | Sheepskin: Ikea | Fabric: Waverly “Strands” | Desk chair: Design Within Reach | Accent table: World Market | Chair: POÄNG, Ikea | Rug: Joss & Main

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    1. That’s a very cute light, but I’m looking for something with more of a triangle rather than pentagon shape. Plus, I LOVE the milky glass used in the inspiration pic. I think I’ve figured out how I’m going to make it happen, so stay tuned!

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing how your office comes out. It’s so hard to separate work from home with those lines being blurred more than they have ever been (I now get work emails on my personal cell). Having a space just for work is so important. It’s closing that door that is hard.

  2. I love these designs! I am working on my office right now and I really like these ideas! Thanks!