The Home Office

Office chandelier.

For the first six months we owned our house I was self-employed and worked from home. Now that I’m back to work I am only in the office three days a week so we still need a home office for me.

For reference this is the bedroom we started with:


 A basic white room with old blue carpet, sliding closet doors…


First things first: Dale tore up the carpets and refinished them with his friend Mike.

Office-3Once the floors were completed and we moved in, painting commenced! I had it in my head that I needed to paint the ceiling pink–and I love it! And I wanted gray walls. This was the first gray I selected and it was all wrong for me. The pink and the daylight mixed together to create a pale blue tint that I really didn’t like at all! So it was back to the drawing board–and Sherwin-Williams–to try again. Ugh. I hate repainting.


This is not the best image but it gives you an idea of how much darker I decided to go. Office-5

And this is what I ended up with! It looks darker than it is in this picture because the paint was still wet and the daylight was fading…


The next step was converting the old sliding door closet into a shelving area for office supplies and other goodies. It has added scads of much-needed storage (mostly because I’m a pack rat of craft supplies, paper products, and view-master reels).


And here’s the finished product–filled to the brim and not as tidy as it could be, I know. But it’s a start. This holds all of my clippings from my editorial career, all of my favorite books, some craft supplies, all of my scrapbooks, all of my old journals, and an entire shelf of View-Master reels and viewers. Office-8

I love it! I got the desk at Ikea and it was just what I wanted. Soft lines, not too big so it doesn’t dominate the space and not in the corner like I’m stuck in a cubicle. The chair is a lovely white leather knock-off of the famed Eames Management Chair. I LOVE it. Behind the desk is an ugly, cheap old book case that is filled with reference books. I’m sure it will make its way to the garbage eventually! And, in the corner, is an old View-Master projector table that holds a few trinkets and camera supplies.


I got a dresser from Ikea that matches the desk (in terms of finish). Clearly, I haven’t put anything up on the walls yet because I’m still debating art and placement. Dale also put up some hooks for purses and laptop bags to be organized.

Office-10The view from my desk–I have a window and frilly white curtains.

I also plan to get a cushy chair to put up next to the window so I can read and relax in this room as well as work. As of right now I love how my office is coming together (though I do fear that I’ll consider it a Pinterest Hellscape in 2015).

Family Room Renovation!

Have I mentioned I’m still working on file sizes and photos? Because I am.


So this is what our family room looked like when we moved in! It’s a large, lovely space but with the dark cedar slats and old ceiling fan it looked dated and like an old man’s hunting lodge.


Every great project starts with demolition! Dale pulled all the cedar slats down, put in new insulation and began rebuilding the room with fresh drywall. He also skimmed the ceiling.

construction ceiling 

One of Dale’s favorite finishing touches was taking the old, defunct speakers out of the ceiling, patching the holes with small circles he cut out of drywall and then plastered over.

ceiling before

There’s Dale putting in the final touches!


After the drywall was done, the room was primed with a base white. Monty, our cat, was just excited to be able to access the room and its many windows.


Primed and ready from the original photo view!


Next up, our friend Joe picked out the paints! We were stuck and he got us to move forward with this lovely blue and a dark brown focal wall, a shout-out to the room’s original brown paneling. However, we don’t face the brown wall so the room is crazy bright and cheerful–even on dreary days it seems like we are surrounding by a bright blue border.


Step two–paint!


Finally, we put up all new trim around the room. Dale had to cut custom framing for the over-sized sliding glass doors. All that was left was to paint the  frames themselves. This was a real challenge! I had to paint the trim three times because the basic primer didn’t cover the wood.


So this is the final product: pretty crisp white with blue paint.


It has a long way to go to be finished but the new walls, paint, and trim, along with the simple white curtains, has brightened up the space considerably! We also put up a new ceiling fan that is more our style–and has an actual light unlike the one that was there when we moved in.

Clearly, we’ve yet to finish the floors (sadly no wood floor under the carpet), put up some artwork and finalize the furniture. Baby steps…

Repainted Front Door

While Dale was very busy with remodeling the family room (I’ll post about that later in greater detail), I was consumed with brightening up our sad front door!


This is what it looks like on the day we moved in. The countrified “Welcome” sign, painted a rusty brown to match the exterior.


Another view…


I found the inside view much worse. It was like a black hole for a front door, basically. I wanted to brighten it up a bit and maybe use this paint job as an “audition” for colors I might like to paint the rest of the exterior–the dark rust brown is simply too dark and dreary! So I went to Sherwin-Williams armed with a coupon and a dream…


The first order of business was priming the front door. I took all the metal pieces off the doors (and only put the locks back on because this project took two days). This endeavor made me realize all the walls in our living room/dining room are yellowy and kinda dreary as well (painting those spaces is on the docket).


I ended up painting the door a nice, bright green!


The view from the outside! I really can’t wait to get rid of that awful screen door! I just want a plain glass one that flatters the lines of the house.


And this is what it looked like from the street. I’m a dork.


When I went to come back in, I found our cat, Bela Lugosi, standing next to the front door. He seems to like the paint job! Honestly, he’s probably been the happiest new homeowner we know. He loves everything about the new house!

The neatest thing about this upgrade was that the neighbors really noticed. We have had three people note how much they liked the color and that it made the whole house seem a little brighter.