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Home Office Reveal


I’m sorry for disappearing for a day! It’s so rare for me not to post, but I’ve been working on a special (and very exciting/terrifying) project and it took all of my time yesterday. I’ve been in video-uploading, picture editing, error-receiving purgatory and just didn’t have time to get a post up. I also spent three hours (and a ridiculous sum of money) at the hair salon yesterday. I’ve never had my hair properly and professionally colored and I decided it was finally time. Mary, the miracle worker, swapped out the brassy blonde color-from-a-box for a color closer to my natural shade. It was quite a shock for me, since I’ve been bright blonde my entire life (expect for a brief period when I was the victim of a terrible goth-blackberry color of red.) She colored it a dark blonde and with warm blonde highlights. The base color ended up looking slightly red and it’s really pretty. I still have to do a double-take when I see myself in the mirror, but it’s definitely a change for the better. She also sold me on, what must be, the best shampoo on the planet, because it was so expensive, but I figure if I spend $50 on a gallon of paint, I can spend a little money on my hair. It’s about time, I guess.

Boy, I’m chatty today. Keep me away from my blog for the day and I have to unload the next. Anyway, here’s the long-awaited, five years in the making home office in all of its glorious done-ness.

When we first moved into our house, this was probably the worst room in the house…well, the half bath was really bad, too…  Let’s just say I was not in love with this house when we bought it, but we were on a tight budget and I saw the most potential in this place.   This room was the kitchen in the 1940’s part of the house, but became redundant once the addition and modern kitchen was added onto the back of the house a few years before we purchased it.  Most of the kitchen was removed and what was left was layers of linoleum, plywood patches, a refrigerator with a carpet of dog hair underneath, a gas pipe sticking up out of the floor where the oven used to be and an old ironing board cabinet (behind the fridge.)  The room also had four doorways…one to the new kitchen, one to the basement, one to the hallway and stairwell and one to the dining room.  I think the previous owners were at a total loss as to what to do with this room.  I had some ideas, but even I was a little baffled.  Should we turn it into a breakfast room, since it’s between the kitchen and dining room?  Should it be a playroom?  A craft room?  A mudroom, even though it’s not by the front door?  We finally settled on putting in built-ins that would define the space as a home office and “landing space” for backpacks, purses, coats, etc.  Due to the flow of traffic, it was tough to make freestanding furniture work in this space, so customized built-ins were really the best option.

We had zero budget for renovations when we first moved in, so I started out with an oops can of yellow paint for the walls, painted the pine trim white and just ignored everything else.  We did move the refrigerator to the basement, which was a big improvement immediately.  (A funny little side story to that is my mom and I decided to cut the water line to make it possible to get the fridge out of there.  Well, water spewed everywhere.  We were grabbing pots and bowls and anything that would hold water.  We were both drenched, cracking up and surrounded by vessels of water before we figured out we could crimp off the line.)  My mom later bought me new lighting fixtures and my husband built a radiator cover for the heater in the corner.  A couple of years later, my parents and husband chipped in to get me the hardwood floors for my birthday.  We bought unfinished oak floors to match the rest of the house and then we installed and refinished them ourselves.  If you’ve never read my floor refinishing story and need a good laugh at my expense, check it out.   So, this is what the office looked like a few months ago…

Here’s another before shot of the corner next to the kitchen…

…and what the room looks like now…

…and the other corner before…

…and now…

…and here’s the corner with the fridge…

…and now…


I’m linking this up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s Office Party.

When you’re finished browsing around here, make sure you visit the posts from the Growing Your Blog series.  The topic for yesterday was Monetization with Thrifty Decor Chick and today it’s all about Community and Social Media and Tatertots and Jello.

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  1. Mindi Carwin says:

    Wow, wow, wow! I love it! You did an amazing job! I really love your style and enjoy reading your blog! Thanks so much for all your creative genius!

  2. That’s some lovely space, Marian! Love the nice wood desktop and the big “window to the world.”

    Really like your new hairdo!

  3. Holly McCall says:

    Beautiful reno!! Where, oh where did you find the rad cover material? I would like something like this to switch out my tin punch in a pie safe. :)

  4. Sooo wonderful, Marian! I love all the beadboard and the floors and counter and everything! It was definitely worth the 5 year wait. I just saw you were in Manhattan. Hope you have a grand time! Can’t wait to hear all about it! :)

  5. This. is. STUNNING. It looks like a lovely place to get some work done (or just gaze out the window and dream : )).

    Also headed over and read your floor refinishing post and had a good laugh at your expense. I’m TOTALLY the same way sometimes (both in stubbornness and in my inability to see the easy way to do something until it’s–almost–to late).

    Great job on the office!

  6. looks great! what color is the white you used? is it oil or latex? I like how bright it is….thanks!!

  7. RICK CHARLES says:

    Thanks for sharing the information. By the way I want to put a deck in my house yard. I heard about Rhino Deck .They build deck with safety measurement & provide a perfect place for party. Anyone has tried them. Please let me know.

  8. Love the wood countertop. We are looking to do something like for an office. Did you build that or stain butcher block?

  9. Lindsey says:

    What is this paint color? I love all of your choices!!! My house is a small 1920’s bungalow, and it needs lots of light neutrals to brighten it up.


  10. Lindsey says:

    And one more question….what is the lovely paint color on the walls in your guest room? It is gorgeous!

    Thanks again!


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