Archive of ‘Office’ category

Home Office – Surprise Floor!

So you know when you tell your hubby an idea when he is really engulfed in something else and he doesn’t want anything to do with the idea (at the time).  Yeah that happened here.  So when Matt was building the desk, I brought up the idea of tearing up the carpet since we knew there was wood floors underneath, although we had no idea what condition they were in.  Rightfully so, Matt said he wanted to “finish one thing”, so we continued on with the desk project, and once it was in, it did look awesome, but those floors were just calling my name.  I brought it up again and Matt told me the order of operations was not ideal.  I calmly reminded him that I ACTUALLY did bring it up earlier :)  Ohhh the small wins.  Anywho, he was a good trooper of pulling up the carpet around the desk legs which revealed our awesome wood floors that were in really good condition!!  We will have to re-level the desk, but until I pick a rug we have little tufts of carpet to level it from it’s “original floor” (order of operations fail).  But just a few hours of pulling up tack strips, nails, staples, and cleaning, and ta-da!  Pretty psyched how it turned out!

Oh, and if you noticed we have a curtain!  First one in the house (which now makes me feel a little behind on the rest of the house!?) But it was a steal at Home Goods!  While the color palette is pretty neutral right now I’m excited to start accessorizing and adding some color.  Next up, the hunt for a rug!

Lewis is so excited too he had to photobomb.

Home Office - Surprise Floor! | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

Home Office - Surprise Floor! | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

Home Office - Surprise Floor! | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

Home Office - Surprise Floor! | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

Home Office - Surprise Floor! | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

Home Office – DIY Desk

Home Office – DIY Desk | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

The desk is in!  A very exciting and big step forward (we’ve been maneuvering our way around the massive desk in the garage for weeks now).  Matt did SUCH an amazing job being a teach-yourself-carpenter in progress.  Here are some details on what we’ve done so far and our next steps.

Home Office - DIY Desk | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

The “Desktop”:  Making big boards out of little boards
This is a saying my Dad (who is a carpenter) always says (mostly when he is cutting wood, then making “little boards out of big boards”).  Anywho, we went to Home Depot to pick out our material of choice for the desk and came across common board.  Now, here is what sold us on this type of wood:

1) Price
Each 10′ x 10″ x 3/4″ piece of common board was about $7.  At this price, we felt pretty good about our first crack at making a DIY countertop with the kreg jig.

2) Look
I liked the natural grain and look of the wood.  Unlike Doug wood, it didn’t have any weird red undertones and it looked like it would take to stain nicely if we decided to go down that path.

To create the countertop, Matt took each board and kreg screwed holes to attach it to the next board.  Then, he used wood glue and clamps to make a nice tight fit and to get rid of the seams.  Then, he sanded.  A lot.  Like a lot a lot.  But it was totally worth the time.  The seams melted away like magic and when you run your hand over the top, you can’t tell or feel at all where the separate boards are (such a proud wifey moment!).  Then, he ripped more common board down to make it into the trim to match.  He 45-ed the edges for a nice finished look (again, so proud.)

We attached a cleat to the wall and then attached the long section of the “T” that fit in the wall to the cleat (which actually turned out to be pretty sturdy).  Then, we used the legs and blocks to help support the corners.  Finally, we attached the island of the “T” (which I got to screw in, laying on the floor while Matt hulk-hogan style held it together), and again put the legs for corner support.

The Legs
Oh yeah, these guys?  Well, we ripped ‘em off an old table from Craigslist.  Scraped off a bunch of “gunk” for lack of a better term, primed, and painted them.  To attach them to the desk, we needed some more height, so we used another block and drilled a hole into it to attach the legs to the desk.  I think they do the perfect job of bringing a little character and rustic to our desk system. :)

Home Office - DIY Desk | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

 
Poly/Sealing
Now, I thought once I had made the decision to keep the desk natural that the decision work was done.  Ha!  Nope, welcome our world/introduction to polyurithane/lacquer.  Now, we could have done some research, but we just kind of dove right in.  We had purchased the oil-based high gloss lacquer for another project, an outdoor bar cart that had to be super durable since we plan to keep it on our deck.  We have a gallon of it with a lot left, so initially we though we’d use it on the desk.  LUCKILY, we tested it.  Blech!  Did not like at all. The oil-based lacquer although super durable, gave the pretty, raw, rustic wood a yellow/shiny coat that totally changed it’s look.  Strike 1-nope.  Second try was a water-based poly in a satin finish.  LOVED the look.  But we tested our test piece with a cold glass of water to see if the seal would hold up to a water ring…results weren’t that great.  :(  Finally, we tried an oil-based satin poly, and the smell almost killed Matt (OK, that may be a stretch, but for some reason it really did smell awful).  That was still too shiny for me and the layer didn’t go on very evenly.  Despite our test, we are going with the water-based satin sealer, we will just be doing a lot of layers, and then using coasters (like, I will be a coaster natzi).  Then again, I’m not all about keeping everything in prestine condition.  I like to live in my spaces and not have them be showroom ready.  That’s just us.  Keepin’ it real.

Home Office - DIY Desk | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

Home Office - DIY Desk | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

 EEEeee!!  We are getting closer!  Things to plan next are wall shelving, storage, and colors/ mood board.  Some FUN stuff if you ask me!! :) I’m so excited to be organized and up and running in our space.

Enjoy!

Home Office – The Plan

Layout Reveal of our Home Office – The Plan
Home Office - The Plan | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

Since moving into our new house this past January, we have thus far turned one bedroom into a closet, which is totally amazing and functional for our current lives.  Our house has three bedrooms on the main floor (a big selling feature and something to look for, future home buyers.  It’s very appealing to have the parents room with 2 kids rooms on the same floor!  Future state, future state).  The third bedroom on the main floor is going to be our home office.  Now, is this going to be the forever layout of our home?  Nope.  Is it what we need right NOW and is conducive to our current lifestyle?  Yep.

If there is one thing (ok there may be a few) that drives me nuts, it is having stacks of papers all over the kitchen/living room.  It. Drives. Me. Bonkers.  You can never find anything and it’s a vicious cycle of making piles, moving piles, losing piles, repeat.  Ugh!  Ok, that was my rant.  Anywho, the soon-to-be “office” has become the “dumping ground” (for lack of a better term) for the papers what finally make it out of the whirlwind of the main living area of the house.

When we started to sit down and visualize/plan our office (for the record, this was me on Pinterest + daydreaming, not Matt & I actually sitting down and planning), I decided a few things:

His & Her’s
For Matt & I, his and hers workstations are a must.  We felt like if we had one desk, we would never hang out with each other because one of us would be stuck in the office and the other one in the living room.  When you spend 40-60 hours a week away from home, when you’re here, it’s nice to be together.  Also, Matt works in IT and therefore has a desktop computer with dual monitors, so he takes up a lot of space.  I also JUST got a desktop Mac computer with a HUGE screen (can you tell I’m excited?!) so I need ample desk space as well.

Here is an example from one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, showing the two separate workstations that helped to sell me on this layout:

Home Office - The Plan | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

Island Fever
Knowing that we will both be predominately working on our computers at our workstations, we also wanted some desk space that didn’t fight with the keyboard. We designed the island to be a little wider than the desk where our computers will sit and are still considering our options for storage underneath.  I’m excited to be able to have things out on the desk without feeling overcrowded.

Here is a great example of the “island” effect we are going for (think “T-shaped” desk):

Home Office - The Plan | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

Nice Legs
I fell in love with this photo of a home office desk with bold, character-filled legs (and really, just an overall beautiful home office).  *Swoon!  Now, of course, I found a gross old table on Craigslist (that came from a smoker, no scratch that, a chain smokers home) that had similar legs.  This turned into a beastly project that deserves it’s own post.  But summary is that I knew we would be going for an open, airy design with bold desk legs.  This design also requires us to get creative with storage since we are building the desk like a table, with no real storage built in (rebels!).

Home Office - The Plan | Creative Mess in a Corporate Dress

Things we are still considering:
Built-in-Desk top – wood or white?!  Ahhh I’m going to have to figure this one out soon.  I can’t decide if I should paint the wood table top of the desk white to match the legs, or poly/stain it to give it the wood look.

Desk Chairs – Ok well, we know we need these, but it’s a matter of what we end up with.  Comfort is important, I mean, we don’t want to build this amazing office and then not want to sit here!  I dream of these white desk chairs, but they may be out of our ‘immediate budgetary constraints’.  Boo. We do have some spare chairs (shocking, right?) that I have been wanting to re-do, so those may be an interim solution… stay tuned.

Carpet – Pulling up the carpet (there is hardwood underneath, not sure of the condition though- nothing a rug couldn’t hide, I’m sure- *Can you tell I’m on the “let’s pull it up” team?!).  It’s a gamble, but would be really nice to have hard floors with desk chairs vs. carpet (plus the carpet isn’t in pristine condition).

File Cabinet – We have a hideous (ok that may have been harsh) “regular old” black file cabinet.  Blech.  I need to find some way to spruce it up since we functionally need it (initial thoughts include washi tape or gold spray paint).  Realistically we really need more filing storage, maybe this one could end up hidden in the closet.

Additional Storage – When we moved we realized we have a lot of office stuff (which is SO ironic, because we for sure did not have an office back in the tiny house.  We must have just known in our hearts-of-hearts that we would eventually have one and therefore hoarded office supplies like it was our job.) I foresee us needing a bookcase as well as some shelving above our workstations.  Our printer is wireless so I’m thinking that will go behind us or in the closet.  As I mentioned above with the legs, we will have to see how it looks once it is up to find the most functional and aesthetically pleasing places for storage.

The good news is we are well on our way to another office update soon, the custom T-shaped desk is making progress in the garage!  I’ll keep ya posted as to next steps :)

Enjoy!