Office makeover: stick a fork in it

When we started this office redecorating scheme back in May, I really wasn’t sure how long it would take. I had visions of doing the painting overnight, putting together the bookcase and painting Doug’s old dresser in the morning, spending the following day on curtains and lighting and calling it done four days later. Ha ha!

Of course that’s not realistic, no matter what those home renovation shows say. Though we did manage to DIY almost the whole thing plus we spent less than $500!
As a reminder, here’s what we started with. Messy, huh?
And here’s where we’ve ended up.
All in all, it took about a month. What really happened is that it took us about a week to try out paint samples and get the room painted
We got the bookcase put together pretty soon after.
We had to wait a few days to get the electrician in to hang our pendant light and make the switch work. This kind of stalled progress for a while and since it was alternately hot and humid and cold and rainy, I had to wait on the outdoor painting projects.
So I made curtains and added some trim to the shade.
Finally, the weather cleared up enough last week to get Doug’s childhood dresser painted
And then this weekend we were able to sneak in a little spray painting time. First, I re-sprayed the lamp I had previously painted green. It made sense when we thought the room would be navy and white, but once we added the orange accent, it really looked wrong. Also, I’d been dying to add pom pom trim to something so the lamp shade got that treatment. I just used hot glue again like with the grosgrain above so it wasn’t any sort of special process. 
I’m also pondering painting the shade since the natural linen is creamier than I’d like, but I haven’t figured that out yet. Good idea? Bad idea? Time will tell. I’m definitely in love with the orange pom poms though. I have another roll too. Dangerous. Orange pom poms for everything!
The other spray painting project was yet another rolling cart, this time for us. You may recall that I painted an old iron tea cart yellow last month. That went off to its new home this weekend via Craigslist. 
I don’t have a good before picture of the cart, which is sort of inexcusable because it sat around for so long before I did anything with it! It was black with a kind of subtle mid century cross-hatch pattern in white and grey. I liked it as is, but it had some rust patches on the shelves so it was going to need paint. I took advantage of the fact that this vintage Cosco cart (purchased from the INOVA Fairfax thrift store back in December for $5) is held together with screws, making a two-tone color scheme possible.
First I primed the whole cart with Rustoleum Rust Remover, then I took it all apart and sprayed the handles and shelves separately. Then I let it dry for 24 hours and put it all back together.
The main reason for the cart is that I am perpetually in need of extra storage for items in my Etsy store. I have a set of shelves in the living room and there is a shelf in the office closet that houses items that have already been boxed, but I really needed a permanent staging area for items that I haven’t photographed or listed or boxed yet.
All in all, I’d say this is a pretty major improvement.
As for my checklist, well, some of the items I have listed here are just going to have to wait, but I’m going to call the space 95% complete.
  • declutter the space so we can see what we’re working with
  • knock out a few projects that are in the way (take apart the radio, sell or donate the old games and childhood memorabilia, figure out what to do with a big box of old trophies)
  • paint the walls, trim & ceiling
  • bring in different shelving, sell off current mismatched shelving
  • paint the “tool shed” and the cart
  • hang some curtains 
  • hang art on the walls (I’m getting one other piece framed so it will take a couple weeks to get that back) Here’s an update about the art.
  • install a new light fixture
  • do something about the awful mirrored closet doors
  • add accessories And the accessories.
  • add an area rug
I still would like to find a great rug for the space, but that just hasn’t happened. The one I’d selected turned out to have some unexpected colors that I wasn’t enamored of. And after searching Overstock, Rugs USA, Crate & Barrel, CB2, West Elm, IKEA, JC Penney, Target and even Lowes, Home Depot and all the discount sites (Joss & Main, One King’s Lane, Fab) and stores (Home Goods, Marshalls), I still haven’t found anything I’m totally happy with. 
As for accessorizing, I pulled out a few things I had laying about and purchased a few new things, but I’m forever moving accessories around so I doubt that will ever be “done”.
Finally, there is one big thing on the list that, as the room evolved, I ultimately decided not to do anything about at all: those ugly mirrored closet doors.
As I put pieces into place, especially once I got the cart set up, the mirrored doors started to look a little less offensive. The gold trim around the mirrors started to look intentional instead of outdated. And while I would never put in mirrored closet doors if I were say, building a house, I guess I proved to myself that it is possible to work around them. I do reserve the right to change my mind.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a budget break-down for the whole project too!
So what do you think? How did it turn out?

Linking Up To:

The Shabby Nest

If It's Not Baroque
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0 thoughts on “Office makeover: stick a fork in it

  1. Wow, this looks fantastic!! And I LOVE the cart – two tone was such a great idea! I'll have to keep my eye out for more of these in thrift stores. I didn't know INOVA Fairfax had a thrift store – thanks for the tip. I'll have to make a trip soon.

  2. I was happy to be able to include my husband's favorite color (orange) in such a fun way. It's not a color that works just anywhere, ya know? Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thanks, it took some guts to paint the walls that dark navy color. I had a momentary freak-out just before I bought the paint. I can only credit the new Young House Love forums people for giving me the gumption to follow through with it and I'm SO glad we did. It was such a dramatic transformation. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. Thanks so much Lauren! I went ahead and shared over at your link party. I just love your home! It's totally different than what we've done, but I just love unique spaces!

  5. Thanks for stopping by! The color is Old Navy by Benjamin Moore. It's in a different fan deck than the "Classic Colors" one I have at home so definitely check out all your options before you commit. Some were really, really wrong!

  6. Alison, I love it!! The curtains and the wall color are my absolute favorite! I'm doing navy and orange in my laundry room … well, it's now more of a coral than orange, but I still love the combo. And my hubby went to Auburn, so it's sentimental, too. 🙂 But you did a great job on your makeover! You wanna come help me with my next room? 🙂

  7. Love your draperies!!! I would have never thought of looking at JCP, but after looking at yours I went to their site and found two pairs of hot pink trellis draperies on sale for $34 a window!!

  8. I know! Isn't it amazing? That whole Jonathan Adler collection at JC Penney is just great. I've had my eye on several other things. If they're on sale now, I might just have to go snap some of them up! Thanks for the tip!

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