Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Sow's Ear

This weekend, Mark and I moved his business into a different office-- into an actual office building as his business has always been in our house.  It is a small office space in a beautiful historic building in our city, but the interior is not what I would call um, stylish.  Mark was totally not concerned that his office space was, oh I don't know what word to use, wait yes I do, UGLY; he travels all the time, spends very little time inside his office anyway, and was quite content to move his desk, his chair, his computer and his client files into the homely little spot and call it a day.  Well that's not how I roll.  After spending a quarter of a century with me, he should know this, right?

He did not want to spend ANY MONEY!!!  NO MONEY!!! NO MONEY!!! In addition, this move was a hasty one--the space became available and we had to grab it and get set up before Mark leaves town for a month.  So I was forced to use ONLY WHAT I HAD, IN ITS CURRENT CONDITION (no time to reupholster, paint, etc) to transform this dump, I mean office suite, into a pleasant professional work space.

He's cute, so I did it.

I dug thru the attic, thru the basement, stripped his current home office and made a couple of trips to Mom's warehouse in north Arkansas and with the exception of window coverings, we are set!  I will not pretend this is a perfect silk purse.  There are lots of things that I would do differently with a nice budget and a wonderful, large, well-equipped space.  It is, however, a great example of using what you have and adapting, improvising, and overcoming some design challenges.  I hope you enjoy the before and after photos!

BEFORE:  This is the front office, the glass doors lead to the hallway/elevator area

AFTER:  Antique desk, salvaged wooden guest chair, trout prints, lamp and inexpensive ceramic horse from the basement.  

BEFORE:  The front office, view from the entry--I'm not exactly sure what the niche space on the left is or was supposed to be, It could use some shelving and/or cabinetry, but remember we couldn't spend any money--NO MONEY, NO MONEY!!!!  And since I didn't have a big naked David sculpture, I had to think about it  The space behind the louvered doors is full of wiring and some lower cabinets

AFTER:  Barbara A. Wood's "The Violinist" print (which I still LOVE) and a couple of flanking gold medallion prints were substantial enough to fill the wall that faces the hallway

AFTER:  Original abstract by local artist Jeannene Vowell adds some color to the front office, and a Nest Blue Garden candle makes the whole place smell heavenly!!

AFTER:  And then there's that wacky niche--it will just have to be until we can have some shelving and cabinetry work added.  I have a super bad feeling that when I am not in this office every day there will be junk stacked here, paper boxes, printers, etc.  But that's ok--eventually maybe we can get some doors:)

BEFORE:  This is the larger office, look at that light fixture!  There are two of them in this space, I kind of like them!  
BEFORE:  Opposite view of the larger office, note the wet carpet, that's a small air conditioner issue that we feel certain will be addressed later this week (hahahaha)

AFTER:  All kinds of treasures from our attic and basement, including our first breakfast room keeping table that Mark is using as a desk now and the host chairs from our very first dining room when we lived in NLR so long ago!  

AFTER:  small round table from our old friend Wayne Hogan and antique chairs my precious Betsy Pickle left me when she moved to DC create a conference area


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