Before and After: Home Office Switcheroo

The buffet from underneath the stairs moved into new location.

 I've finally completed my home office switch that I started months ago, after finally finding the right paint color, so I thought it would make a great Metamorphosis Monday project at Between Naps on the Porch.

It can take a while to settle into a house, distilling how you'll really live in it, as opposed to your ideas about how you think you'll do it.  Case in point:  I've lived in the this house about 3 and 1/2 years, and it's taken me that long to sort out the dining room house office situation.  When I moved in, I had just started working for myself, and I pictured hours and hours at my desks, meeting with clients, doing paperwork, etc., so I decided to use the second room in our traditional shotgun (usually used as the dining room) as my home office---it's a much bigger spaced than the other likely candidate---our stair room.  that room, which is right off the kitchen would make a great dining nook....or so I thought.
Here's the original home office--huge exective desk (found abandoned on the street), club chairs and a lateral file.

I found a huge executive desk on the street.  It was in incredible shape--just needed a paint job, well made--lots of drawers.  Perfect I thought.  Unfortunately, it was too big---and became an irrestible landing spot for every piece of debris that entered the house.  Furthermore, I found that while I did spend some time working at home, quite frankly, most of my working time was in the field or in my work area painting--I didn't need that much desk and with a computer, not that much storage.  So I passed the desk on to a friend with a new home and not much furniture, set up an antique round table as a work surface and switched out chairs.
 I liked the way it looked, a lot actually, but the table had too little storage, and was awkward to work on.  Finally, it didn't matter, because though the office wasn't working perfectly, the dining nook was a disaster.  Though it looked okay (through several different paint jobs), it was never comfortable.  It was physically cramped--with one person in the corner at the mercy of dining partners to get in and out.  Further, the ac vent in that room isn't exactly the most efficient, so with a drum shade lighting fixture instead of a ceiling fan, it got really warm and close.  Finally, i gave up, and put the office in the stair-room and the dining room where it traditionally goes (which irritates me cause I want to be different)...and, finally, I feel like it all works.  I'll show the dining room in another post, but I'm going to concentrate on office for now.

Stair room as Dining nook:
You can just make out this buffet to the left of the photo through the door and under the stairs.

The orange stripes.  You can see how tight the space is. 
It looks bigger and brighter, but it was still cramped and hot.
 Stair Room After as Home Office:

The buffet has been moved to old home office.  A metal butler's tray and one of the brown club chairs now occupy its old nook under the stairs.

 Aqua paint (BM 722) now lightens the whole space.  And look--no more stripes.  The tray table provides a landing spot for mail, keys, a lamp for reading, and just what the room needed--a vintage style rotating fan.

The table's mirrored top was broken and one of the silver tips on a leg was missing--so I got it for a steal---$50---I had purchased a perfect one for a client for over $400.  I used tile left over from a friend's project as a free top (okay, I did pay $5 for the foam core board to support it).  A mirror over brightens the space.
The stairs overhead actually make this nook feel really cozy.

For a small space (approx. 12 x 14 sq. feet) with a stair case and two doors---I managed to fit in a lot of furniture--a writing desk with drawers, three bookshelves, a club chair, a tray table, a side table, and an Art Deco china cabinet I use as a pantry (the green room is the kitchen).
I silver leafed the glass so you can't see my canned goods in the pantry.

There was just enough space between the window and the pantry to tuck in a pin up board made from scrapes of other projects (cost--$0).  While the linen photographed as much grayer than the wall, in person, it actually blends in much better.

This is the only real storage I have for books---keeping it edited down to a reasonable amount is a constant struggle for me.

One of the best parts:  except for paint and minor expenses (a small plant, the fan (which was on clearance and futher reduced as a floor model), foam core, it was a free makeover.  I already had all of the the furniture.  It was just in different locations.

I love the new paint color and the layout.  What was a hot cramped space for 4 diners turned about to be a cozy, comfortable space for one or two.  I actually love being in here now, and i find it much easier to concentrate on work now that I'm hidden from the world and can't see what's happening outside on the street.  And, during the move, I've taken the opportunity to purge....It's amazing how much crap you can accumulate without even trying.  Okay, one project down...about 1200 more to go and then I'll be ready for my party on the 28th.   Wish me luck.


Paula said...

Love the new look. Can't wait to see it in person!

h. m. settoon said...

and just think, paula, it will look even better when I accessorize it with a pitcher (or two) of margaritas!