I’m so thrilled to finally have a home office space that inspires and motivates me. Since it was originally a dumping ground for piles of unpacked boxes, I was relieved when we cobbled together a functioning space last spring, using my old DIY treadle desk and cast-offs from other rooms (like the teal drapes, the maple dresser, and the black arm chair). We even tackled a few small office DIY projects, like turning the office closet into a little turquoise nook, plus
hacking the new white Expedit and building magazine storage bins for it, but we really didn’t give this room the attention it deserved – until now!
Here’s a quick reminder of the “before(s)” (you can see more photos here):
After living with the space for awhile, Hubby and I devised a wishlist for the perfect home office:
- Desk for two
- Hidden cords and simplified tech (no more hulking printer sitting on the desk)
- Minimal office clutter
- Space for Hubby’s great-grandfather’s trunk (there’s NO room elsewhere and it’s special)
- Comfy chair to curl up in and read
- Uplifting color palette
- Design that feels cohesive with the rest of the lakehouse
- Room for a treadmill
Check, check, check! Here’s our home office today:
I can’t even walk down the hall without peeking my head in and smiling, plus working in here is an absolute dream. We still have a few small projects we’ll tackle over the next few months, but I’m loving the new home office! Here’s a closer look at everything we chose:
I’m embarrassed to say that I ordered this turquoise tweed fabric in back in the spring of last year! It’s the perfect turquoise, shot with shimmering cream so it’s a soft hue. Using the same back tab curtain sewing tutorial we used for the original bedroom drapes (and my new green tweed curtains in the master bedroom), Mom and I whipped up a set for the office as well, so both bedrooms have the same style of window treatment now.
With the curtains squared away, next we figured out the ideal desk proportions/measurements we wanted and built a solid walnut waterfall desk with Hubby’s Dad, using solid walnut counter top from Craft-Art.
Remember how I mentioned that the cords will be hidden with our simple desk design? The magic is in that little inset panel of walnut wood we added to the back of the desk. I pulled the desk away from the wall so you can see how we used some screws to affix our power bar back there and then used screw-in hooks to corral the wires. It’s such a simple cable management system, but everything is tucked behind the desk neatly, between the wall and the inset walnut panel, so not a single cord can be seen from the front or side – just the tiny tail of our laptop cords and the lamp cords disappearing behind the desk.
We ran the power bar cord down the leg of the desk and to the left where it plugs into the wall. I have a woven storage basket tucked there so we can collect paper to recycle or burn, and it hides the outlet and plug. As much as I enjoyed my DIY treadle sewing machine base desk, it was a challenge to corral all of the wires, so I just love how all of our cables and junk are completely hidden with this desk.
You might have noticed that I ditched my big monitor and keyboard. I needed those to write a 300+ page dissertation, but I prefer just using my laptop these days. I also no longer need to print hundreds of pages and scan dozens of book chapters, so we gave my old beast of a laser printer to my Dad and bought a sleek wireless color inkjet that I keep off my desk.
I thought about building a little desk organizer but find that I don’t need it – pretty much everything is on my laptop and when I’m furiously making lists (a lot of which I make on my laptop now too), I’ll grab a pretty pen and notebook, which I put away at the end of the day. My brain cannot function with a messy desk, but I spent years with my desk piled high with exams to mark and illegible research notes written on receipts in the middle of the night. A perpetual student until only a few years ago, I’ve dreamed of a clean, uncluttered desk like this for twenty years.
IT FEELS SO GOOD.
We gave my beloved desk chair to my Dad. He bought it for me in high school and it was a custom fabric choice – don’t ask me what I was thinking – so I was sad to see it go, but my Dad was using a really crummy chair in his office so I’m happy he can make use of it now. I really wanted a matching pair for Hubby and I, so we ordered two soft white leather mid-back chairs by Meelano from Wayfair (they come in different colors and also a gold base finish).
I LOVE these chairs so much! They have a much smaller scale that suits the small size of the room. The mid-century inspired design complements the look I’m going for in the lakehouse, plus they tie in the cream leather from the living room. They are really, really comfy, but not as loungey as my old chair (which was comfy enough for me to lose hours watching videos or reading blogs). These days I’m more focused on the task at hand and try to get in and get out of the office efficiently so I can spend less time sitting, which is a health objective of mine. I kind of like that although this chair is fabulous, it doesn’t beckon me to put my feet up and take a nap like my old chair did.
Because they’re light, I appreciate the brushed aluminum handle on the back so we’re not always touching the leather. I love clever design touches like this:
Just in case I decided one day to bring back that ginormous monitor, I wanted really tall desk lamps – but they needed to have a small footprint because our desk is fairly compact. I rounded up a bunch of gorgeous mid-century modern inspired table lamps and was almost ready to order one, but then I found the perfect Stilnovo lamps on Wayfair. These lamps have such a sleek mid-century modern vibe, plus the slim, elegant design and cream finish complement the chairs so well. I’ve always loved the Serge Mouille lamps and these have a similar look, but a much more realistic price. The simple design allows the height to be adjusted quite dramatically:
The Reading Corner:
The office “nook” is going to be the new home of our treadmill and also some vertical storage, so Hubby’s great-grandpa’s trunk needed to find a new home in the office. It’s not my typical mid-century modern style, but it’s super special to Hubby so I really wanted to make room for it. It’s also practical: it houses my new wireless printer plus other office supplies.
Above the trunk I hung a soft abstract painting I made for a magazine feature. When I’m hibernating in January, I might paint something new for that spot.
Beside the trunk I tucked the displaced velvet chair from the living room. It needed a new home, we needed a cozy chair to curl up in… It’s deceptively comfy and I love that if I’m working, Hubby can read a magazine or book in here if he doesn’t need to use his laptop. We’re spending more time together because of the office re-design and I love that. Plus I feel so good that I could use furniture and art that we already had to decorate this corner – my only splurge was the planter!
The corner needed something and when I added this giant, low light loving peace lily, the whole office came to life. I already have one of these planters in the dining room so it helps contribute to that sense of flow and cohesiveness I want to create in the house.
The Ikea Expedit Bookcase
I am still smitten my white Ikea Expedit bookcase – our DIY plywood magazine storage bins and the turquoise Ikea hack are still going strong. My collection of vintage Strawberry Hill Pottery has grown a little, but not much else has changed with the bookshelf. I have a calendar I hang on the left, but I removed it for photos so you can’t see what kind of trouble I get into.
Whew! That’s the tour of our refreshed home office. I used a wide angle lens (so excuse the distorted proportions) to try to capture the room as a whole. This is the view when you walk by the office:
Waterfall Desk: DIY Project
Chairs: Leather Mid-Back Chairs by Meelano from Wayfair
Lamps: Stilnovo from Wayfair
Artwork (above desk): Bert Weir
Artwork (above trunk): DIY Project
Curtains: DIY Project (fabric from U-fab)
Velvet Chair: Vintage Makeover Project
Pillow: BlueBelle Gray from Chapters Indigo
Walnut Planter: Modernica
Bookcase: Ikea Expedit
Magazine Storage: DIY Project
Turquoise Bookcase “Doors”: DIY Project
Ceiling Fixture: Ikea Vanadin
GET THE LOOK:
I couldn’t have put together such a beautiful space without the help of U-Fab, Craft-Art, Wayfair (and, of course, my father-in-law!), so I have to say a huge thank you!! And thank YOU to everyone who reads Dans le Lakehouse, because you motivate and inspire me every day.