Office Makeover: The Big Reveal :)

Oooo eeee this post is a pathetically long time coming. I blame the office never being QUITE clean enough for after photos but today I made it happen 🙂

Almost a year ago (yeech!) I took these “before” photos and asked my fabulous friend Sarah (who had helped us re-design our living room) for some help with ideas.

As with almost all before photos I didn’t tidy, I didn’t clean, I just snapped away. Looking back I can’t believe we lived in this cluttered space for so long (3 1/2 years!!) but I guess life gets in the way and you get used to it… it looks terrible to me!
Every time I walked in the door this is what I saw – a chocker block bookshelf and a tangle of Jeff’s computer stuff – not so calming!

Strider is always curious as to what I’m up to

Although I can’t say my side was too much better – a jumble of shelves and wall art (closer view of the bulletin board can be found here)

All together it was just crazy

Once we got a newer cable system the TV no longer worked so that went out on the curb and was picked up within the hour (one of the benefits of living on a semi main road)

The closet doors hid a lot of clutter and also I didn’t really have a place to store my gear (those two black bags piled on top of each other).

Oy – it was a big hot mess!

Then life happened and we decided to re-do the bedroom and make that a priority. So the office sat and as my quiet winter slow season drew to a close I decided I couldn’t work for another year in the cluttered office and wanted to make it a priority.
So one Sunday (maybe mid February? Can’t even remember) we pulled the doors off of the office and got to it- cleaning out, giving away, moving, shifting, etc. Of course as these things do it got worse before it got better
I sent this picture to my Mom along with some others of the office painted and she exclaimed that she couldn’t believe I lived in such disarray.
Come on, Mom – give me a little credit 🙂 This was when we were in the midst of sorting books and moving the bookcase so it only lasted about an hour (a very stressful hour!!)


We painted one Sunday in late March after I realized it was the last full weekend day we would have at home for a loooooong time and thankfully at the end had help from our cousin Sarah who was picking up her doogles (it’s a rule in our house that we always have to have doggie guests when painting….it makes things more interesting!)

And so now……the big reveal 🙂
The wall color is Benjamin Moore for Pottery Barn’s Manchester Tan (HC-81) and we chose it because at that point I was planning to make valances for the two windows (not convinced that is going to happen anymore) and since I didn’t have a fabric picked out I wanted something neutral.
After painting it took a while to decide which artwork to decorate with but when a canvas sale came along I finally bit the bullet and made some decisions.
The photo on the back wall is one my Brother took of me for his project “Today” – it’s me walking with Strider and Sage in Vermont. You can see a larger version HERE
The photo hanging above Jeff’s desk is one of my favorites – taken last spring during a trip to Pennsylvania
Jeff tidied up his desk area by hiding most of the cords behind his hard drive and stacking them on top of each other – a HUGE improvement

We originally planned to build a shelf in the closet and stash my gear bags in there (and the dog bed underneath) but then decided that the bookshelf was better in there so my gear went on the table that used to house the TV and the doggie condo (an ENORMOUS dog bed that Jeff got me for Christmas a few years ago) is still within view….but we like it that way 🙂

My side of the room also got tidied. I used to store my filing boxes next to my desk but after cleaning off the shelves I made room on the bottom shelf further de-cluttering things.

The photo above my desk I took in 2006 on a very quiet morning at the lake. It always makes me feel calm and peaceful so I thought it was an appropriate thing to look at for most of my day 🙂
The paintings to the right used to hang in the living room but we thought they fit perfectly here – they were gifts for our wedding from friends and were painted by Vermont artist Anna Vreman – we love the colors and brightness

We ended up leaving the door off the closet for easier access but hung a fabric panel that Sarah gave me to make it look tidier. I believe the fabric is from the Dwell line and I’m pretty sure it’s still available at Jo-Ann’s (or at least it was a few months ago)

The print that hangs above the DVDs (the one thing I still don’t love but we didn’t have another place for them….thankfully for the most part Jeff has stopped adding to his collection!!) was a gift from a friend in Italy during our honeymoon there – happy memories 🙂

And the stuff that still remains when you open the curtain – putting the bookshelf in there made a huge difference to opening the room up and we almost never access most of the stuff in the closet – there just isn’t another place to store it. A hanging shoe bag is peeking out from the right side and some extra gear also lives here

Sage decided to join the party at this point 🙂

So there you have it – our new souped up office – no more pink and purple butterflies 🙂

It’s a very simple and serene space and just feels a lot tidier and more open than what we started with.