Office Makeover: Go Bold or Go Home

We’ve made great strides on our new office/guestroom, and to be quite honest, I’m still absorbing the drastic changes (woah! chocolate brown). After much debate and after much oogling over these dark brown inspiration rooms, we decided to go bold in (at least a part of) the office.

The to-do list currently includes:

1. Paint guest portion of the room chocolate brown (we opted to not paint the entire room a saturated color since it’s so narrow and might read too dark). The rest of the room will receive a soft tan that matches the new grasscloth wall (see to-do list item #2!).

2. Grasscloth one accent wall in the office area.

3. Carpet mismatched hardwood floors for a cohesive look.

Want a peak in on the painting? Don’t judge yet – once the room is finished in crisp white molding, patterned fabrics adorn the windows and bed, the wall artwork is hung and all of the other decor is added, I know it will look awesome. But right now? It looks like a bear cave. Our guests will be sleeping in a bear cave.

Family and friends reading this? Welcome to our guestroom/bear cave. This is where you’ll be staying.

Here we are finishing the room late at night… when we work best ;). Bonus to family visiting from out of town? Extra painters. My little brother wasn’t anticipating a night of painting but he was game.

If after accessorizing and decorating the space still feels like a cave, we’re considering boxing out the round ceilings or adding a trim (like a picture rail) and white ceiling to lighten it up. Sort of like one of these rooms:

Or, maybe I’ll pull out the paint brush at midnight three months from now, we’ll see.

Since our office has those beautiful original arched walls, there was really no way around not painting the ceiling. Unless we do one of the above. But first we decided to go all out and see how it goes… to be continued!

PS Thank you everyone for your comments! I love and look forward to your thoughts and ideas.

For more Office Makeover posts, check out: finding carpet for the office, chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300, inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.

Office Makeover: Remnant Fever

We have a minor floor issue here in the office/guestroom. Our home is full of 1930s original wood floors that are just beautiful – but when you get to moving walls around like we have, you find all kinds of flooring variations going this way and that. This is a great indicator that the original wood floors were laid after the walls were framed out and not prior to, which is a magical find in some homes.

Here’s how the office looked pre-plaster & paint:

And here’s a close up of those crazy floors. You can tell by the photo that the flooring in the old kitchen was ‘revealed’ after many layers of every kind of laminate (including faux brick and linoleum) were pulled up. The dried yellow glue is still pretty thick.

Since the wood from the old office (what we think was a once-upon-a-time breakfast nook for the old kitchen) doesn’t match the closet wood flooring, and both don’t match the old kitchen flooring, it was clear that, just like the kitchen, we were going to have to improvise. Matching original wood floors from the home would have cost an arm and a leg, so we opted for soft plush carpet.

As soon as we had decided on a nice off-white carpet for the room, we began pricing out big box stores vs. mom and pop shops and came out with a number around $600-800 for the quality of carpet that we were looking for. Alas, this wasn’t in our price range.

Enter remnant city! After searching Craigslist for a contractor looking to sell extra carpet from a job, I came across a giant warehouse full of rolled remnants.

Our perfect-shade-of-white-but-not-too-white carpet for the 9×20′ (such an unusual shape in the carpet world) came out to $240. Carpet padding was an extra $80, carpet tacks $14, and a Craigslist installer a mere $100. That means we spent $434 and saved ourselves $380 for some pretty plush flooring (no pun intended).

Photos of the new digs to come soon! Promise.

For more Office Makeover posts, check out: chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300, inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.

Are you local to San Diego? Check out this remnant store in Miramar: G & G Floor Covering

Coffee Table Photobooks: A Mixbook Review

We’ve been working on painting the office over here and we went for the bold… but it’s not quite finished yet. Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions!

Here’s a little peak though at this year’s Mother’s Day presents for Liv’s Grandmas. I know it’s a couple of months past Mother’s Day but photobooks are the new photo-chronicling method here in the Spenla household and it’s the greatest. I’m working on huge, over-sized hardbound coffee table books for each year (how neat will that be with just a giant ‘2009’, ‘2010’, etc on the front of each) and made smaller versions highlighting Liv (pregnancy through 3 months or so) as a special present.

Here it is displayed at my mom’s house.

Mixbook makes it really easy to assemble a photobook quickly. As an avid Photoshop user, I’m skeptical of the photo editing capabilities of any photobook program, but I’m pleased to say that I happily edited nearly all of the photos for this book right at Mixbook.com. Furthermore, Mixbook allows you to pull photos from your computer or Facebook – so genius. No double downloading necessary.

They offer a range of templates and designs but you can probably predict that I went with all black and a blank slate. I prefer designing my own layouts and it’s rare to find a photobook program that allows you to do that. You have complete control if you want it.

For this book I went with a simple, classy layout – solid black background, one giant 8×8 photo rimmed in white per page, just a bit of text thrown in for context.

After reviewing the program and ordering a book to check out, I’m a huge fan and I will definitely be using the site again. Especially after nabbing one of their awesome GroupOn deals! Use this promo code at Mixbook: PEPPERMX20 for an extra 20% off.

I’m the worst at falling behind on photos and scrapbooking, so I’ve found that it’s easiest to start one of my year-long photobook projects in January and finish pages once a month as that month goes by. Soon I’ll be ordering my giant book for 2010 and it will be a great way to share memories with all of our visitors – and something special for Kev and I to flip through as the years go by. Yeah for helpful organizing solutions!

How do you store and organize your photos?

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