What do you do when you’ve organized every closet in your own home, cleaning it inch-by-inch inside and out? You head to your husband’s office and get to work! More than seven years ago my husband moved to the US from Ireland, sat down at an empty desk and started working as the COO of publishing company Ambassador International. He didn’t change anything in the office. He didn’t even open most of his desk drawers to see what was inside. The book border, the fake plants– it was horrible! Take a look:
Here’s a tour of the transformation:
Tim’s desk ended up being our favorite feature in the makeover. He really liked the size of it and we didn’t have room in the budget for a new one so we painted the sides off-white using paint we found in our basement at home and stained the top in a very dark stain. The total cost of the project was $10. The chairs were pulled from another room in his office and I think they go so well with the new space!
This is the view if you are sitting at Tim’s desk. We finished the ugly filing cabinet in the exact same way as the desk. The verse is Romans 12:12 and we used paint we already had, a 40% off canvas from Michael’s and a tube of blue paint we got for $1.
Here’s a closer shot of the filing cabinet. Tim literally had never opened some of these drawers in the seven years he’s had the job! The two lamps came from Ikea, $20 a pop. The little silhouette is our dog Milo done by a local artist.
We also hung some white floating shelves, another Ikea find, and styled them with old books and framed photos of New York City from an old calendar. We also painted some bookends he had with that same $1 blue paint.
We left his ugly bookshelves pretty much the same. We did put black and white contact paper on the back of them in a chevron pattern. Then we styled them with accessories like these cool West Elm plates we got on clearance for $2.97 each. These shelves hold every book ever published by Ambassador International over the last 30+ years.
This was our biggest “splurge” for the room. I found this cute little cream couch on Craigslist. She was asking $75 but we talked her down to $50. It fit perfectly in the back of our car! I made the pillows using leftover fabric from Sam’s nursery. The rug was only $20 at Ikea and covers a big stain on the carpet very well!
On either side of the window we hung two of these “book” shelves. We got the idea from the Charlotte West Elm store and since we have no problem getting our hands on free books this project only cost as much as the brackets which were a couple of bucks at Home Depot. The little letter plates were also on clearance at West Elm for $2.97 each.
Tim absolutely loves his new office. And sometimes I even work from there too, sitting on the couch. In all we spent about $250 which included paint, the couch, a rug, three vases, two lamps, two floating shelves, a pencil cup, about a dozen fun plates, a canvas, wall brackets and renting a carpet cleaner. We had a blast doing it and I feel great knowing my husband has an inviting, stylish setting to spend his work hours.