Thursday, October 8, 2015

my dreamy hand-me-down summer office

I'm spending one of my last days working out here in my summer office. It's getting cold. The leaves are starting to change ever so slowly. Before long my little space heater won't be able to keep up with the cold that creeps thru these un-insulated walls and old single pane windows. I'm going to miss all this light and inspiration. {sigh......}

Last spring I moved my office out into our 3 seasons room. Like most things I do, it was done on a whim in the middle of doing dishes or folding clothes. It wasn't planned. I got an idea and started dragging furniture around. And that's what I love most about it. At that point, I had a big shaggy rug a friend had given me, an old desk from yet another friend, a broken folding chair I used as my desk chair, and my computer. And then over the summer, as I sat and dreamed and worked in this new space, the room slowly became something fabulous. 

I found an old table at a resale shop that I bought thinking one day we'll have a dining room...until then, it's my space to sketch and pile things. Then I scored hand me down sofas. One of which now sits across my desk. It's the perfect place for the hubby or kids to plop down and stare at me. And believe me, the kids pile on that thing regularly and beg me to stop working. {ha} 

It may not be the "normal" office set up, but I think that's what makes it so fabulous. It's ours. It's what works for us, and it came together thru hand-me-downs and garage sales and my quirky design on a whim ideas. The two light fixtures are both from garage sales, one $2, the other $20. The wing back chair is from Craigslist. Also only $20. I bought it planning to paint the fabric, but have since fell in love with the soft pink. I did end up painting the legs white, and it might be my most favorite piece of furniture in this whole house. The only new items in this office are the pillows and throws, and I bought those at Tuesday Morning (another cheap-o discount type store).

I share the prices of these finds just in case you look at these pictures and see $$$ I spent a lot of money. The most I spent was on the table, it was $120...but totally worth it.

This is the 3 Seasons Room when we first moved in.
I have dreams of painting the fireplace and the paneling (of course). And those drapes...they came with the house when we bought it :)

This is what the space looked like before it became my office. 
What a mess!

This is the room the day I moved my desk in.
You can see I'm still using the old broken folding chair as my desk chair.

My craigslist wing back chair BEFORE
**it might scream nursing home but just wait**

My craigslist wing back chair AFTER
**just painted the legs and added some pillow bling**
the dining room table I'm using as a desk. i just looooove it.
It seems pointless do the work of moving furniture and styling a room only to get to enjoy it for a season. But it's refreshing for me in so many ways. I think sometimes we need to look at our work from a new angle to get new and refreshing ideas. I was actually introduced to this concept at a design seminar years ago (at Steelcase, I think). They told us that if we were stuck on an idea, that our brain could dig deeper and reach into other untapped areas for stimuli if we introduced it to a new environment while designing. The basic message was...step away from your desk, your conference table, whatever... and go draw and sketch and design in a different place altogether. Not one your brain is used to. And preferably NOT at a desk. ? It's probably one of the best little nuggets of wisdom I've came across as far as designing goes. I can't tell you how many rooms and spaces have come together while sketching in my yard on a blanket. 

Switching spaces and moving rooms is like therapy for my design soul. As much as I love what this office has become out here...I'm looking forward to a new view to keep the creativity brewing.

Here are some more photos of my dreamy hand-me-down summer office :)

a glued together acanthus leaf. why not?
i got this at a design swap {for free}.

my favorite books, sharpies, wood chunks I drew on, and a glass cloche from a garage sale. design doesn't have to be expensive.
my desk is never this clean, i promise.
the clock is from meijer! and the white box and bin are from target. i borrowed these items from other rooms in my house...which is a great way to re-think a room my friends. grab items from other rooms and they might just come alive in your new space. oh, and the wire bin is another garage sale find.

here is the other sofa in my make-shift office.
this is where kids climb and read and color and snack.

or where they wear one shoe and their sister's skirt around their neck. but whatever.
good times and snacks are had in this room while Momma works.

cans and twigs and stacks of books.

my table top decor consists of chunks of wood, a beer bottle with yarn glued to it and white milk vases from Goodwill.

i made 50 or so of these "trays" you see hanging here for my sister-in-laws baby shower.
{we used them to serve soup cute}
but now I've added some chalk paint and use them as message boards in my office.
and finally, find a way to incorporate art. it can be art you make...and it doesn't have to be perfect!  or hung on a wall either. it adds a little whimsy and meaning to your space.
Is my office perfect? No way. But it's coming together, slowly...just like so many of the good things in life do.