Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

March 17, 2014

A Good Look for the Office Nook


I have this weird history with my home office: no matter where I've lived, I've never been completely satisfied with the decor.  The townhouse office had a lot of black and dark brown and was never lively enough, even after I added more colourful artwork above Hubby's DIY desk.  My office in our apartment before that had moss green curtains and a hodge-podge of bland furniture.  In the lakehouse I am determined to create a bright and chipper office space that keeps up with the rest of the decor.  Painting the office closet a sentimental shade of turquoise was definitely a step in the right (bright?) direction.  It made me crave more colour.  After painting the new nook, Hubs and I added a white shelf but it looked so out of place, so it got a coat of turquoise paint too.  Much better!  Everything is better turquoise.



Given space constraints, I had to choose between keeping the bi-fold closet doors and opting for a four-by-four Ikea Exedit, or ditching the bi-fold doors and getting a larger five-by-five Expedit.  Because we collapsed two Expedits worth of books into one, I knew a five-by-five was a must.  Plus I knew that I had options: I could try a sliding barn door, a chic curtain, or remove the doors entirely and create a little nook.  I chose nook.  I loved the office nook in the townhouse because it made the small room feel more spacious. 

Townhouse office closet turned nook
The lakehouse office is even smaller, so this extra bit of space for an easily accessible filing cabinet, some artwork and a cute little makeshift bench is excellent.  The trunk is home to greeting cards, stamps, printer paper, extra file folders, spare notebooks and a whole host of other office supplies.


I was looking all over town for some cute storage bins for the shelf, but then I remembered my raspberry pink, super cheap Ikea boxes from our basement Expedit in the townhouse.  I'm not sure how long they will last with more frequent use, but they are a great way to keep things organized - and out of sight - for now.

One of two Expedit bookcases in the townhouse
I added the pale pink pillows from the basement, as well as my embroidered pillow.  Some art makes the nook even more colourful, and a turquoise bulletin board will soon be added for more function.  I toss paper clips and odds and sods into my pink McCoy planter collection.




It's not done yet: I also have plans to paint the filing cabinet.  I'm torn between the same colour as the nook so it blends in, or a super pale blush pink Annie Sloan chalk paint.  I'd love to hold off until warmer weather so I can use the paint sprayer, but I'm itching to give it a facelift. 



Now you've had a look at my little office nook!  More photos of the office are headed your way.  You already spotted that I swapped my dark Expedit(s) for a white one, and it's starting to look goooood . . . . 

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18 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! The challenge has been editing my stuff so it fits nicely in open storage but it's been good to purge.

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    1. Thanks! Yes!! Happy is such a good word. I want a happy space, because I log so many hours in here a day.

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  3. Two things:

    I LOVE the nook, and if we can afford the storage space in our next place (my big raise on Friday means we can FINALLY buy a house!!!) I will definitely do the same.

    Also: one of the funniest conversations among our guests at a party was when one guest realized our tall, skinny Crate & Barrel bookcase is arranged in rainbow order (a gorgeous ombre effect: top shelf red to yellow, next shelf green, next shelf white, next shelf blue...) too. The guys were simply in hysterics over this system---buy, hey, it's books we've read that we've not re-reading any time soon... plus I am a visual person so I am more likely to remember a book by its cover!!

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    1. HUGE congrats on getting a big raise!! That is seriously awesome. I'm so excited for you that this means you can buy a house. I hope you find a real gem! Looking at houses can be so much fun.

      It's funny, when I was around 20 I bought my first Expedit - actually two - for all of my textbooks and childhood books and favorite novels. I had it arranged by colour because the rainbow order really soothed my chaotic mind. But then a couple of years later I started reading design blogs and people who commented on rainbow coloured books implied those people weren't avid readers, that they were just using books as decor pieces. I changed and went to a "scholarly thematic order" which I thought was more suitable for a geek like me. Since then, I have always struggled with making my bookcases look appealing. I've spent countless hours rearranging them. With this new one I broke down (late one night) and re-arranged them by colour. Oh my, does it ever look amazing. Like you, I keep books for reference. Any novels I plan to read are in a box on my nightstand and normally I pass them on when I'm done. I've paired down my books substantially so there aren't too many and I know where they all are. I am finally, FINALLY, ten years later, as happy with my Expedit bookcase as I was with my very first one. There's a valuable lesson in here for me about not giving a damn about the opinion of judgmental people, lol. As if the way someone organizes their books says anything about how bookish they are. I'm sure your bookcase looks stunning and it sounds like it makes you happy!!

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  4. Love the space - I crave organization here and I'm still working on finding a place for everything here almost a year after moving in! I've always arranged my books by color too, had a similar crisis when I found it was sneered upon, and adapted to a less rainbow, more complimentary shades effect :) Your bookshelves look so pretty!

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    1. I ran into a neighbour last night who told me that four years later she still wasn't totally unpacked! So you and I are doing just fine :)
      Your new bookcases were looking sharp in your post about them. Love how your office is shaping up, and that beautiful copper accented desk is such a statement!

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  5. I'm glad your cute candleholders have returned after being so maligned by the puffin-hating real estate agent. :)

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    1. Haha, she was a puffin-hater. It's funny you remembered! I love them so much (Hubby's aunt made them) so they have a top spot on my Expedit with other treasures. Happy they made the journey safe and sound :)

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  6. That is such a great use of space and I love the color combinations you used! :)

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

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    1. Thanks!! Now I need to commit to a colour for the filing cabinet re-do.

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  7. Where did you get your gorgeous file boxes?

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    1. The pink ones on the shelf? They are from Ikea, a few years back. They have the smaller ones online, but I couldn't find the bigger ones. Maybe check your store?
      http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/40224319/

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  8. I love turquoise too! And I love the colour of the filing cabinet now- it makes the space look happy!

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    1. Yay for turquoise :)
      You really like the filing cabinet as-is? Hmmmm. I didn't think there would be any votes for keeping it . . .

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  9. I agree with Jo! I love the filing cabinet as is, it makes the space so inviting, friendly and energetic. It'll make you actually want to spend time working there. I love the whole color scheme in your little nook. I'm jealous!!

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    1. That's good to hear, because leaving it as-is is much easier, lol. Luckily, the maple veneer finish still looks nice, even after a long move. Thanks so much for your kinds words! There's a painting beside the nook, above my desk (I haven't shared pictures yet - soon), that is aqua, raspberry, white, pale pink and green, and it kind of ties together all the pink and aqua. I really need to share more of my office, but it's always such a mess!

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