Sunday, August 25, 2013

Castle Tours - The Home Office

Hello, Viewers and Visitors!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we make a right turn, and proceed into the Home Office, where the Home Secretary is busy secreting away his secrets. Careful - don’t trip on that rug!

I wish there had been a “before” picture to show you, but I can’t find a single one where the office figures, even as a background glimpse. So, we will have to rely on a verbal picture: beautifully solid medium lilac walls; along the short wall a guest bed covered in dark red with many pillows; in front of the window a smallish folding table "functioning" as a very makeshift desk – too tall, too narrow, altogether irritating; on the opposite wall a couple of book cases and a tall cabinet. At that point I did the best with what I had, and the budget didn’t go much further. And so it went for a year and a half…

Enter the Home Secretary, with bells and whistles, and life got crowded. We would queue to get to use the desk, and swear at each other for having moved important papers – AGAIN! (actually, the swearing was mainly done by me, I seem to remember); we were cramped and annoyed, and the bed took up many valuable square feet without being much in use. After a few years of this aggravation I had a breakdown: budget or no budget, there had to be a drastic make-over – or homicide.

The first move was to get rid of the bed, against my husband’s fervent objections (which had held me back for a long time, but - no more!), that a proper home must be hospitable and have a guest bed. I certainly agreed with him in principle, but I felt that our daily exasperation was too high a price to pay for a hospitable bed that was only used 2-3 times a year. If that. I tried selling it, but there were no takers, so finally I just dragged the thing down to the curb and left it to its own devices. The worn and sagging book cases went the same way. The cabinet found a new home with a neighbor.

Transformed! Unscrewing all the hardware wasn't
too complicated, and 2-3 coats of spray paint
turned an eyesore into an attraction.
(Of course, you have to remember how
to put it all back together again...)
Then the paint. I didn’t dislike the lilac – au contraire – but I thought the north-west-facing room needed more light since it was now going to be a full-time office. What to choose? I agonized for a long time over this quandary but finally, I selected white. So help me G-d, I don’t know what came over me! I have always regretted it, but to move everything again, and start over – I just don’t have the strength anymore… (It’s not that I don’t like white – I adore it! I would love to have an all-white room, with only a few select whispers of silver mirrors and the palest of pink roses. It is this combination of colors and patterns and stuff against a boring white background that drives me up the wall!) I also took the tall grey filing cabinet that the Home Secretary had brought with him to the nest and spray painted it lime green. A clear improvement!

Then – IKEA to the rescue! Everything was bought there. The room is a veritable IKEA catalog. With a bigger budget, and more patience, I might have wanted to mix it up a bit, with vintage pieces and such, but I was so tired of not having a functional office that I felt it all just had to happen immediately. There was also the issue of square footage to consider – in such a small room (7 x 13 feet), every inch would count, and it all had to fit together like a puzzle.

I spent a long time with my tape measure, the IKEA catalog, and in-store research and comparisons, and finally came up with a shopping list. Many of the items are no longer available since the merchandise changes from time to time, and I don't know all the product names.

This was the shopping list:
Jute rug
Two desks
One filing cabinet (for me)
A small computer cabinet (for my PC - the Home Secretary has a laptop)
"Billy" low book case with doors
"Bestå" storage wall - many, many pieces (drawers were added with time)

And this was the result:
The view from the door end - standing with my back against the green filing cabinet. The slim desks, 
only 24" deep, and the 15"-deep storage wall leave a floor strip that is just wide enough to shove in
a twin-size air mattress for an over-night guest. My new filing cabinet holds the printer, and separates 

the two desks. The chairs we had already, but they also came from IKEA. Obviously!

Now with my back to the Billy cabinet - the view in the opposite direction. It is a tight squeeze,
but the green filing cabinet manages to carry on a precarious existence between the entrance door
(right) and a closet door (left). The jute rug covers most of the dark green floor which looks
nice and shiny in this picture, but - believe me - 
badly needed covering!

The magnetic board above my work space also came from IKEA - originally it was white,
with black caddies - they were also given a treatment with the spray paint cans.
So much better in green and pink!
The lamp base was a vintage gift, for which I found the perfect pink shade.
The Home Secretary's work space is a little more sparse, but I hung his collection of pens and toothbrushes on the curtain wire for amusement. The white curtains have since been replaced
with florals - one for him, and another for me.
This view shows four of the five vertical sections of our Bestå storage wall.
Some drawers have been added over the years, and it houses great amounts of stuff.
The 15" depth lets us line up our
 books in double rows. Much needed!

The room really became amazingly functional and very pleasant and we love spending time in here, in spite of the white walls, ...

This concludes today's chapter of the castle tour - if you are in the mood we'll meet again and explore further... Thank you for your attention!

Regards from Rosebud!

No comments:

Post a Comment