I’ve already shared the plans for two spaces we’ll be working on this winter and spring (the guest room and studio) and today, I’m sharing the plans for my home office.

This is a space made up of a mix of pieces, most of which were brought from our last house and my former studio.  I bought the shelf second-hand off craigslist almost a year ago and the small table used for my printer at a flea market.  While it all looks good, I’ve realized I don’t have the kind of storage and function I really need in a home office.

I found myself increasingly frustrated with the workflow in my office that I finally sat down and made a wish list of things would address the issues…

  • Larger desk surface, so I can have my larger monitor and a couple of “working piles” out and still have free desk space. I like to make piles of action items.
  • File drawers to organize paperwork and make it easier to access documents when I need them.
  • Closed storage & more storage.  The room doesn’t have a closet and stuff that should be in my office is in the hall coat closet and the living room.  I’d like to have it all in the room where it belongs.
  • Comfortable & adjustable desk chair.  Especially with my current shoulder issues, I’m realizing that my vintage chair paired with my vintage desk doesn’t provide the best ergonomic set-up.  I find myself taking my computer to the kitchen table or island when I should be more comfortable sitting at my desk.

 I have to confess that I’ve always been resistant to having “office furniture” in my home and I know that’s completely impractical when trying to furnish a home office.  There are also some beautiful options out there these days that don’t look like laminate cubicle furniture.  So, for the past few months, I’ve been trolling craigslist and the internet to see what I could find.

I’ll be moving the old bookshelf, which I think was originally a hutch top, to my studio to pair with the hardware cabinet.  I think they’ll work well married as one large piece.  I’ll be bringing in a much taller bookcase that will fill the height of the room better and offer some closed storage.

I’m replacing the vintage teacher’s desk with an L-shaped executive desk with file drawers and over double the work surface area.  I love that this one has the “modern amenities”, but has traditional lines.

Based on the measurements, it’ll fit perfectly in this corner, facing the door.  I liked facing the window, but that configuration creates a lot of dead space in the room and awkward corners.  I think repositioning the desk will fix that.

And this adjustable and more supportive desk chair already arrived this week…

Sadly, I am most likely going to sell the antique farmhouse hutch, since it doesn’t work as well in this house as it did our last house.  It’s one of my favorite pieces, but it doesn’t look as special against these higher ceilings and traditional design elements.  It needs to be in a cottage or a farmhouse to really shine.

I’m going to move the oak hutch from the studio to replace it, but only use the bottom part of it as a printer stand.  The oak should tie in nicely with the wood of the new desk.  And I’ll find something cool to do with the top half.

Of course, I’ll share the details of the process and show the room turns out…

As full disclosure, I am partnering with Birch Lane on this project.  This specific post is not a part of that partnership, but the items I linked to and featured today will be.  The cool thing about this, though, is that I had all of these pieces in my cart on Birch Lane’s website and I was already saving up some money as well as my credit card bonus points cash reward to buy them.    So, their e-mail for this new campaign came at a perfect time and I can naturally share about pieces I was planning to buy anyway!


  1. Amy

    Marian, I just love your office and the mix of antique pieces, but I also look forward to the changes you’re proposing. That new desk is so you but I wonder if it’s enough. It only has two filing drawers. I know you’ll have more closed storage in the bookcase but it’s nice to have all those papers in one spot. Have you considered installing a bank of file cabinets under the windows? Wall to wall with one area open to accommodate the chair. I speak from experience having switched out two desks before I inherited a behemoth. I mean it was huge and it fit well in the room. I never thought I’d need or use all that space. How wrong I was! LOL. I know whatever you do will be gorgeous.

  2. Lee Ann

    A home office is so tricky! It should be pretty but practical. You are certainly starting right by thinking through what you need. My “office” is a desk specially built into a custom bookcase in our living room. I love the way it looks but after about two months, I realized it was definitely not enough space. I’m always putting piles on the floor and taking my computer to the dining room table to work! One consideration about your desk placement … that room looks like a LOT of light comes into the windows. I’ve found at work that I have to move my computer screen so it does not face the window, otherwise there’s a terrible glare on the screen. Just something I wanted to pass along …

  3. Kaye L Thornton

    WOW, I love it! I love ALL of it!! I enjoy seeing you part with things that are so beloved such as your cane chair and hutch; it encourages me to re-think a few things in my office. I’m always afraid I will regret getting rid of a special piece or that I won’t find just the right thing, but watching you do it gives me hope and encouragement. I completely agree with you about “office furniture” hence, I have continued to choose aesthetics over ergonomics! However, this post has me moving outside of my comfort zone so thank you for that Marion!

  4. Mary in VA

    I love this new desk, it fits with your “look” and offers the space and storage you need in a desk.

  5. Ginger Lindsay

    I just noticed you have the same lighting as in your guest room . Where are they from?
    Love them!

  6. Heidi

    Will the desk work for your husband? Remember previous post where you said he couldn’t fit his knees under his! Love the plans for your office. Can’t wait to see it and looking forward to your creative flair on the dresser top

    • Marian Parsons

      He can’t fit his legs under that one, either! I was considering trying to use it my studio, but I will most likely end up selling it.

  7. Heidi

    Isn’t it always the way! I too am trying to be practical so thank you for the inspiration.

    I try to think that it is destined for someone else and when I let go of a piece the space allows something better to enter my life

  8. Karen

    Is it possible to use the Oak Hutch as is and simply put the printer below inside the cabinet doors?

    • Kathie B

      I love this idea Karen. I wonder if it will work with Marian’s plans? I’m going to try it in my office. Thanks.

      • Karen

        Thank you for your kind words. I’m happy to know you may try this. 😀

  9. mary m

    Lovely. Your new desk would be a sewers delight especially if one has a sewing machine and a serger. Everything that you touch turns to gold……M

  10. JaneS

    Could you put the top of the oak hutch on the desk? I also think you might need more file drawers. It all looks lovely.

  11. Connie Grimes

    Follow all your posts; very beneficial in guiding me in my decorating style. I would very much like to know your source for your crystal chandaliers as I have been shopping for one with the same look but with no success yet. Thanks for your help.

  12. Marlene Stephenson

    The plan sounds great and i know that you have an idea of your need so here’s to a smooth transition for you.

  13. Debbie NIsson

    I have a very similar chair in my home office and I absolutely love it. In fact, I probably sit for too long because it is so comfortable. The plan looks great!

  14. Gina

    Love the rug you have in your office, is it one of yours? Please let us know if it is or what it is and where we could find it. All the changes are so exciting. Thanks for any information.

  15. phyllis

    I love the look of your new desk as it will complement your established style. I’m hoping you will sketch out a floor plan for those of us who cannot visualize your space without reference to doors and windows. I’m sure it will be lovely.
    Let me know when you plan to sell the hutch. I’ve always loved it!
    Good luck with your continued renovations. They are so well thought out and such an inspiration to me.

  16. Elizabeth St

    I love to see how you tweak a room so it better fits your functional and design needs. It’s also helpful to watch the creativity you use in repurposing favorite pieces that aren’t working where they are.

    Many of us struggle with needing more file space. A solution I like for myself, so far, is a simple e-system base on Notes. Non-digital things may be Included by taking a photo of them and assigning a category.

  17. Indigo

    Keep in mind when arranging a desk and how you’ll be sitting…it’s bad ‘Feng Shui ‘ to sit at a desk with your back to the entry door.

  18. Shelia P.

    Hi Marian! I hate to see you get rid of that beautiful hutch/bookcase but I know your needs have changed. Something I use in my office /art studio is a big old heavy wooden drafting table. It’s great for painting and sketching. I got it from one of the countries shipbuilding offices when my partners office closed down. Just something you might think about trying to find. It’d be great for when you’re done working and want to get a little sketching done. They’re huge so I can keep carousels with my paints in them, my water jar and tons of containers full of brushes on the top. Just a thought. I know whatever you choose it’s going to look fabulous and I can’t wait for the big reveal! Have a great day! 😁

  19. Debbie V.

    What’s going to happen to the cute little blue table that you are currently using for your printer?

  20. MaryLisa

    I have that exact chair x2 one for me and one for my husband’s desk. It’s in blue and it’s so comfortable. I’m realizing just what works and what doesn’t since my floors were finished. Looking forward to seeing your changes .

  21. Elyce

    You will love having a chair with support. I was using a dining table as my desk and like you could not get the arms of the office chair under the desk so I was always hunched over and my shoulders always ached from propping on my elbows. I painted my desk Navy blue and the drawers white. It is a typical 500 pound government issued desk. Totally functional and now beautiful. I have been looking for a white chair but I really want arms. Would love to know what you think about your new chair.

  22. Patti

    I love that you are putting your comfort and practical needs at the top of the wish list but doing it within your style and taste! It all looks beautiful.

  23. Elaine

    My solution for making a home office homey but practical has been to use two eight-drawer lingerie dressers (tall and narrow). Each drawer is a separate project and contains whatever two or three dimensional objects relate to it. When I want to work on that project, I take the entire drawer to my desk. I installed library card-catalog style combination labels and drawer-pulls so I can see what’s in each drawer and revise them when a given project is either complete or its paperwork goes to long term storage. This system satisfies my tendency to have a “piling” system instead of a “filing” system and enables me to clean up quickly. It’s also an easy way to corral small pesky paper like receipts until they can be addressed. Food for thought.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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