Seven years ago I picked up, left everything I knew behind in New York and made the switch from working in busy midtown office to working from a poolside home office in San Diego. Upgrade! In theory. I worried that there would be a serious work from home learning curve and wouldn’t it be weird to be so isolated? The reality was that losing the commute, losing the small talk and being able to operate in my own comfortable environment made for great productivity and a very happy me.
Where things have gone awry over the years is my work space. I’ve had three different offices within this home over the years. Our growing family and SoCal house by the beach that wasn’t growing coupled with my husband’s off the cuff decision to work from home for the last year ultimately left me sitting at a desk in the middle of our living room…looking like work at home refugee.
SO when Craig recently moved back into a traditional office I didn’t waste a second lovingly pushing his stuff out of the way and making room for mine. Finally! Home sweet office. Except, it WASN’T. It was a dark, manly Wall Street dude-cave filled with monitors, clunky espresso colored wood and um, junk.
In a whirlwind makeover I spent last weekend transforming my half of the room from this:
Ahhhh….so much better! I kept the hutch that went over the old desk, bought myself a sander, sanded it down and painted it white. I measured the inside of the hutch and brought those measurements to Home Depot where they sell 4′ x 8′ pieces of white pegboard for just under $15. Did you know they will cut just about anything down to size for you free of charge? Yes. Rather than having to call upon my handy neighbor or risk losing a limb I just let a nice man in earmuffs cut it down for me. I grabbed some basic pegboard hardware, gold spray paint and some masks and headed home.
Since the old desk was heavy and closed on the sides for no good reason I decided to donate it and get a new desk at IKEA that was more with the times. I found this IKEA Galant desk for just under $100 and decided I would paint the legs gold. If you’re leery of furniture that requires assembly, let me tell you this piece is like 10 screws or less and pretty much impossible to mess up.
While shopping ALONE (amazing!) I had time to look around and found that I really liked this Roberget swivel chair. It actually matched the Raskog utility cart I already had at home. I added a sheepskin throw to it and suddenly I had an decent looking home office makeover.
Next I embarked upon my journey to paint ALL-the-things gold. It’s seriously a miracle that Kayla and Blake have not been gilded. I had found these cute wire baskets in the dollar spot at Target of all places. They met their gold fate.
While I was poking around the dollar spot I also found these gold and white clipboards and knew I would do something with them. I added some black and white paper bows and they came together nicely.
I hung some fun photos of my family that I had printed from Instagram on a cute photog friendly photo wire and was liking how things were coming together. I used some long hooks to make the baker’s twine I constantly use more accessible. When you’re crafting I think having things in site is super important to keep your creative wheels turning. But something was still missing. I needed something different with more dimension to fill a gap near the top of the pegboard. I actually turned to Instagram and got some great suggestions. Then it hit me.
I settled on black honeycomb paper heart. If you follow my crafting adventures nearly everything I make involves just a few simple things like paper, string and glue. To make it my own I quickly painted some plain white gift tags I had grabbed from Pick Your Plum. A few glue spots attached the gift tags to the heart and then to the peg board. It matched my Hello Splendid logo pretty well and I liked that it felt one of a kind to my home office makeover.
These customizable marquee letters from Heidi Swapp were impossible to pass up. You can do just about anything to them, but I chose to simply line them in black paper and spell out SPLENDID. I’ve seen enough Hello’s in marquee lights to last a lifetime… I like that they are battery operated so they are easy to move around and you can put them anywhere without worrying about a power source.
Next I made a total hypocrite out of myself. For as long as I have known him, Craig has tried to keep
hideous fake artificial plants in the house and I have given him grief and slowly gotten rid of all but one. However I also have a black thumb and can’t possibly care for anything that doesn’t bark, talk or cry. So when I found myself pondering the nice modern looking fake plants in IKEA I knew I would have to prepare to be made fun of.
And YES of course I painted the pots of plants gold. Because I have lost it. If you remember my “you’re such a gem” printable then you know why I have a big jar of these fun rings on my desk. Their long term job is to motivate me to actually take a stab at Etsy store ownership. For now, their job is to look pretty and placate Kayla on her spring break office visits.
And there you have it. What’s black, white and gold all over? An inspiring workspace to call my own. My only regret is not doing this sooner. I’m a novice so if I can do it so can you! We’re slowly but surely updating most of the rooms in our home. I think the living room is next!