January Office Project

I have had on my to-do list a fairly large project: redecorating our home office for my own use.   I have been putting it off because I didn't have a clear cut plan or vision in my mind.  Most of what I envisioned would be subject to physically moving the house and that is not an option.  It is because I am such a direct sunlight junkie.  I will move throughout the day following what little sunlight streams directly into our home. It is not that our home is completely dark, it is just that we do not have too many southern facing windows. 

For the past year I have been using a small writing desk in our bedroom.  It was positioned directly in front of our only southern facing window that provides the most light. Much as I loved soaking in the sun, I was becoming increasingly annoyed with having to spread out my papers on the bed and collect them each evening.  I needed a room of my own.

The logical choice was for me to use our family "office": a long-before-we-were-the-home-owners converted garage into a room that has bookshelves, desk, chairs, windows and housed our family computer. Years ago I painted (multiple, multiple times) the dark panelling in order to lighten it up. About ten years ago, we had removed the useless garage door and replaced it with a large window in the front. 

For some reason I was holding back embracing this space due to the sunlight issue.  The room is light just doesn't receive direct sunlight. Also I was having difficulty envisioning a work space.  I needed some inspiration. 

One thing I have found with projects- eventually I do them because to not do them causes too much angst. I was more tired of the daily clean up in the bedroom than the concern of the indirect sunlight.   Plus I became enamored with an eclectic, light, clean, somewhat French looking style and thought perhaps I could decorate this room in this vein.

I use the term decorating very loosely.  For someone who writes and sticks to her lists, I do not plan out creative projects.  I have never followed any type of garden plan, room plan or story board.   I kind of have an idea in my head of what I want the project to look like, but generally by the time I am finished, it has a morphed into something completely different.

The other thing, especially in decorating one has to make a decision as to what to purge and what new things need to be purchased.  I am always trying to work with what I already have- partly to be budget-friendly, partly to be environmentally-friendly and partly because I am too lazy and indecisive.  

So far I like how things have evolved.  I found two chairs at Goodwill.  They are called "Hollywood French Regency chairs" or that was what they were called when I checked with a Google search.  Very 1970's, with dark wood, "caned" sides and crushed light blue velvet fabric. (I thought I had taken a "before" picture but I must not have. Click her to see a similar chair)   

They were really inexpensive yet solid so I thought I would try chalk paint and the how-to-recover upholstery technique I had seen on youtube.  (I am more convinced than ever that those who make the videos leave out a crucial step.)  Of course, once I had removed the old upholstery and saw the remains, it looked nothing like any of the furniture from the videos. I had to make some alternative plans but it worked out. 

I used "Paris Grey" paint for the wood and "cane" parts and a zebra style bluish-grey fabric over the cushions.   I couldn't find any trim I liked (aesthetics + price) so the white trim is cut to size clothesline. With help from my ever patient husband, I was finally able to cover both chairs, move things around in the office and voila, I am enjoying my "new" digs.  

Office Manager: Our one dog likes the new arrangement.  He gets a prime location to check the comings and goings of the neighborhood- especially mail deliveries. 

Office Manager: Our one dog likes the new arrangement.  He gets a prime location to check the comings and goings of the neighborhood- especially mail deliveries. 

Do you have any projects on your to-do list?  Have you ever been inspired by a youtube video?  How did it work out?  Did you finish your project or was it abandoned?  What would it take to get your project done?

 For me, I was thinking too hard about the finished project.  Another thing I have noticed with the youtube presenters- they all seem to be willing to take risks.  It is an "oh, well" attitude: "Oh, well, if this doesn't work out, I 'll just go back to the drawing board."  I had to keep that in mind as I was, once again having to cut another section of the foam cushion to get it to fit.  I just let myself go with it.  Once I did, I finally got a vision and proceeded with my project.