Aug 30, 2012

Office: Move-In to Present

Our office is probably the most "finished" room in our house.  Steve and I spend a lot of time in there, and so do our fur babies, so it made sense for us to really focus our efforts on making the office comfortable and functional sooner rather than later.

The office in our old house was kind of a mess.  My desk was crammed in a little cubby right in front of the window.  Steve's desk took up an entire wall of the room.  All of our furniture was hand-me-down (with lots of warping and chipping particle board) and nothing matched.  We decided that for this house, we wanted a more fair division of space between the two of us but we still wanted something that looked cohesive- we were aiming for "one office" rather than "two offices in one room."  We also knew that we wanted a ton of storage and display space.  Enter Ikea's Expedit series.

The view from the hallway.

Closer view- this photo was taken last winter, before we hung the pictures and switched out my task light.

We used two 4x4 Expedit bookcases and two desk inserts to span one entire wall of our office.  Boxes from Ikea hold everything from office supplies to the current year's records to excess knick-knacks to our router.  The unit did a nice job of making this space look like one office.  And our respective sides of the bookshelf helped us individualize our spaces.

The girly side.

My side's stashed with my favorite books and keepsakes like yearbooks and old Bibles.  I've got task lighting thanks to Ikea, a couple of cheap mirrors, a clock, and some vases (the green one was my grandmother's and the small silver one is from Steve's family).  I've also got some of my little kitsch next to my monitor- a baseball signed by the '89 San Francisco Giants (a gift from my Grandpa Lane), a tiny ceramic cat playing a tiny ceramic piano, a photo of my friend Rebecca and I from a trip to tennis camp in '96, and gifted pins and plaques.  I opted for a chair that looked a little more formal than a typical office chair- it came from Target.

Command Center.

The wall behind my desk helps us keep track of pertinent details.  Obviously, the calendar helps.  The organizer pockets on the left are rigged together with ribbon and hung on an adorable bird hook I found at JoAnn Fabric (here's the tutorial I used for the organizer pockets on Pinterest).  The top left pocket serves as our "inbox."  Things go here that need to be dealt with- bills, coupons, take out menus.  The top right pocket is for my random things that need to be kept track of but that I don't want living on my desk- receipts, paint chips, tickets to upcoming events, that kind of thing.  Steve's got the bottom left pocket for that as well.  And the bottom right pocket holds extra greeting cards that can be used in a pinch.

The manly side.

Steve used his side of the office as an excuse to put up all of the things that I would not let him put anywhere else in the house!  The Corsair poster, framed tattoo drawings (a gift from a friend), a howling wolf statue, vintage binoculars, a wooden gun that his grandfather carved, models of tanks, pictures of his team when he was in the Army, his firefighter hat, a bottle of "Viking Blod" Nordic honeywine.

Since most of our books are in this room, we also wanted a comfortable space to curl up and read.

Book time!

There's a fuzzy blanket hidden in the leather cube, and plenty of continued manliness on the walls.  Steve's Army medals and certificates, his grandparents' vintage rifle, his collection of steins and jugs, and a flag from the USS Arizona.  Steve and I both wish we had a handy place to set a drink near this chair, but there's not much room for that.  Maybe a floating shelf or a C-table one day?

We needed two more things from this room:  room for extra storage and records, and a place for the doggies.  Our dogs want to be close to us wherever we are, and since we knew we'd be spending a lot of time in the office, we wanted a place for them to rest comfortably without being underfoot.  Hence our closet:

Business up top, sleepy snuggles down below.

The icky bi-fold doors were taken down and replaced with a curtain rod to pretty the room up but also allow for maximum air-flow.  We ripped out the wire shelving unit (they were ubiquitous in this house's closets) and Steve built shelving to fit around our doggles' crate.  It works awesome!  We've got all of our records plus several boxes of keepsakes or dog-care items up top, and the dog crate and Tupperware food bin on the bottom.  When we put the dogs up for the night, or when guests come over, we simply close the curtains.

We are really happy with how the functionality and look of this room turned out, and we don't have many other plans for upgrades (Steve's obsession with computer-related hardware aside).  That's fine with us- it's easier for us to unwind in the office because it's finished and it leaves more time to focus our work on the rest of the house!


  1. This room is great! I love the big desk where you each get your own side, genius!

    1. We love the desk configuration, too. His crap's not in my way, my crap's not in his way. And Steve likes that he can peer at me over the top of his computer monitor. Total creeper.

  2. The look of your office says you spend most of your time there. Every portion is full of your belongings. But that’s actually a strategic thing to do. That way, you don’t have to wander around the house if you need something ‘coz you know where to look for it. =)

    Blake Mitchell

    1. It's true. If we're home and we have free time, we're probably in the office playing video games, streaming video, blogging, surfing, or stalking- er, facebooking.