Sunday, May 15, 2016

One Room Challenge: A Zen Home Office

The six week #OneRoomChallenge for spring 2016 is officially over! 200+ bloggers participated in this season’s design challenge to tackle one room (or more) and transform it into an intentional space that is as beautiful as it is inspiring. While I started out with high hopes to complete our new master bath this go around, I had to put that project on hold as a result of time and resource coordination issues. But I had a back-up plan ... my home office which has been neglected for years. And even though I attempted this project back in the fall, I never really finished what I started. So today I can finally say that I have made a huge improvement in my every day life just by creating a room of my own that will serve the needs of my home-based creative businesses as well as providing a designated spot to incorporate exercise into my daily routine. 

– Room to work –

– Room to work out –

And to be honest, I wasn’t even planning on adding a space to work out in my office, but once I cleared the unused, unwanted furniture and boxes of clutter, I noticed there was a perfect spot behind my desk to fit an exercise ball, yoga mat and set of weights. I figure if I see it every day, it will be easy to take a break from my computer and get up for even 10 or 20 minutes to do something good for my body. I anticipate that it will be much more enjoyable for me to work out in a room that is free of visual distractions and reminders of obligations. This makeover is a real lesson in less is more. It’s not always what you put into a room that matters, sometimes it’s what you edit out that makes the real difference.

Lighting: Schonbeck Crystal Chandelier
Ceiling: Benjamin Moore China White
Walls: Sherwin Williams Pewter Tankard
Trim: Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan

Framed signed print from designer Jason Wu

Scallop-edged black trash can from Brizo

Brass-trimmed storage chest (side of the road find)

Black, gray, white and acrylic storage boxes

Black Windsor Chair from Bassett Furniture
with animal print pillow from Home Goods

Custom vintage chair purchased at a summer design show
(perfect spot for my sons to sit when they visit my office)

Custom black vinyl covered 8 ft. long office table

Staples: animal print mouse pad
Smith + Noble: linen-style roller shades
The Container Store: storage pieces

Everything in this farmhouse-meets-modern designed room has a place now. I got rid of all the little objects and stacks of paperwork. My new storage system relies on neat and tidy letter size boxes designated for various projects. Lacquered boxes are for odds and ends that I need on hand. I don’t want to see anything until I actually need it. I believe this is going to make for a much more pleasant experience in this space, and it will force me to let go of what I don’t need in the future and be more conscious of removing what does not bring me joy (yes, all learned from the KonMari method!)

Below are some of the details of what remains in my office. There is still some room left for a vision board that I will be working on, but for now, I just have the essentials paired with a few inspiring images from special events in my design life ...

Box of samples for one of my interior design client projects

Framed signed illustrated print from designer Jason Wu

My large format print of New York as seen
from inside Hearst Tower during BlogFest

Narcissus from my backyard garden in Tiffany bud vase
(because a room is not complete without a touch of nature!) 

Thank you once again to Linda Weinstein from Calling it Home for setting forth this design challenge! It’s so motivating to have a shared creative deadline with so many other bloggers who are working towards similar design goals. Check out how they all did by following the links below. And if you have a room in your house that needs finishing, set your calendar for the fall of 2016 and join the fun! You will be glad you did : )

And be sure to look for future One Room Challenge recaps from media sponsor, House Beautiful. They have discovered that the ORC is a great way to capture current design trends, DIY tips and creative inspiration worth sharing with their devoted audience. Search #oneroomchallenge on Instagram for even more! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

One Room Challenge Week 5: Home Office Makeover Sneak Peek!

If you missed my last post, you may be wondering where the master bath project that I was so excited about went! Well, as I explained last week, I had to shift my design schedule around to accommodate my contractor. I hear people complain about this type of situation often, but when you are married to the contractor it’s easy to be more understanding. Working in the trades is not predictable. There are a lot of variables at play. And schedules and resources do not always align. So I have moved my attention to my home office that I have been ignoring since the fall 2015 One Room Challenge. No one to blame for lack of completion of this project but me. So I am back at it with focus and enthusiasm! I saw the acrylic frame above when I was out shopping for a visual merchandising client project recently. I almost gave it to my client, but I liked it so much that I kept it. I have it right where everyone (as in all of my family members) can see it when they enter my space. So far it’s working : )

My office desk is a very cool black vinyl covered custom table. It’s 8 feet long. I inherited it from a creative business associate who made it for the Frette showroom in Boston. They used it to display luxurious bath linens and such. When they were done with it, my friend was asked to remove it. He was about to cut it into pieces and I asked if I could have it for myself. My husband was nice enough to go pick it up for me, and I love having it! My plan is to organize the large surface area to better accommodate my various projects in the works. My first upgrade was my new mouse pad that looks like black alligator skin (found it at Staples). I love how it disappears into the table now. I wish I could hide everything else so easily! I spent all day today moving unwanted clutter out of my office. It’s now in my hallway and working it’s way up the stairs to the third floor. Remember we don’t have an attic since we turned it into our master bedroom, or a usable basement for that matter (it’s a VERY old farmhouse). I sometimes wish I could just get a storage pod delivered to my driveway just to place the stuff I need to sort through until I am ready to tackle it. But I have a feeling I would end up with a colony of pods if I went that route (plus my husband said “absolutely not” when I mentioned my brilliant idea to him). So for now the boxes will remain in the hall till I can get to them. And I promise that I will. Nothing will go back in this room unless I love and need it!

My favorite light is already installed. It is a Schonbeck crystal chandelier that we picked out for our original master bedroom. We have great high ceilings in this house (close to 9 feet) but the new bedroom we built in the attic is not quite as tall. So I decided to keep it where I would enjoy it every day. And I do!

Come back next week for my final reveal. I am really going to try to get it done before the clock strikes midnight on May 12th, the last day of the One Room Challenge. Thank you, Linda, of Calling it Home, for providing this design motivator – it really helps! Check out how motivated everyone else is ...