« New sponsor | Main | Coddington Design »

Kim's home office

One of the few rooms in my house that is somewhat finished is my home office. Back in May I posted about painting the floors and the frame of the door. Before I began the kitchen renovation I had managed to complete the space with some revamped furnishings and lots of vintage finds. I think it's about time I share the progress.

It's a pretty small room - 10 ft long by 11.5 ft wide, with a 5ft square bathroom in one corner, making the room L-shaped. One part of the L is my office, and the other part is an entrance from the back deck. Here is what it looked like right after I moved in.

It was awful. Pale blue walls, unpainted trim (the entire house had unpainted trim - WHY???), and the hardwood was totally uninspiring. It was a really fun room to redo and since it gets alot of sun I wanted it to be cheerful and bright. First thing I did was paint the floors, trim, walls and ceiling white. My pink laptop should be on the desk in the photos below but it's a cold room in the winter so I've been working on the dining table since the kitchen was completed.

Below is in the left corner as soon as you walk in the room.

I love piles of fabric. I love piles of anything really. Fabric, books, magazines... (the 2 beaded boxes on top of the books hold the ashes of 2 of my cats that have passed away in the last few years)

The desk is an Ikea table top wrapped in vintage retro fabric, and topped with a piece of glass (some photos were taken before the glass was bought). The inspiration board over my desk is made from some trim I found at Home Depot that I spray painted and made into a frame and I nailed a large piece of cork to the wall behind it.

The chair is a vintage Herman Miller Eames that came upholstered in green fabric, that I found at a local antique market for $160. The souvenir pillow cover I found on eBay. It is now in the trash, as Felix, gawd love him, peed all over it. The lamp I found at a local mid-century shop for $40.

Below are some tchotchkes I have on my desk. The grapes I found on eBay, the dog letter holder in Etsy, and the clock I bought several years ago at an antique fair. I write with markers as often as I can.

Next is an armoire I spent alot of time reworking. I found it at a flea market in a town about an hour from here for $159. It was a darkish brown wood (see here), so I dry-brushed it with the teal paint I used in my dressing room. I removed the door and built shelves for the section that you would ordinarily hang clothes in. I bought some vintage wrapping paper on Etsy and mod-podged it to the shelves. It stores my copier/scanner on the bottom shelf, and behind that is my modem/router and all that fun stuff hidden away. Everything you see is either from eBay, Etsy, local vintage shops and an Asian shop in the Byward Market.

I walk through Chinatown and Little Italy on my way home from work. I stopped in a shop in Chinatown one day, found the pot below and another one, and carried them home (HEAVY!). The yellow Eames shell chair I bought on eBay from the same shop where I bought the green lamp. The curtain fabric I found on Etsy, and since I don't sew I used that iron-on tape to make a hem and used curtain clips to attach them to the rod. Easy peasy.

Jo had suggested I paint the frame of the back door yellow, and it is one of my favourite touches in the room. When the kitchen was renovated I tore out the only closet on the main floor, so this back corner is where I stash my outerwear. Below is also a photo I took standing against the window, looking into the (new) kitchen. (I haven't gotten around to painting that little ramp into the office yet).

So that's my office in it's current state. It's an addition to the house and since it's not very well insulated, ideally I'd love to tear it down and rebuild it bigger and properly insulated. I may settle for making the powder room smaller, and building a closet where the coat hooks are (it's currently not wide enough there to have a closet where coats could hang). The powder room is hideous, hence the lack of photos. So there's still work to do. The list somehow seems to keep growing no matter what I get done...

Reader Comments (68)

I'm dying a little bit about the painted deco piece.

However...I do think it fits in the room much better the color you painted it. :)

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbetting_im_not

Kim - what type of paint did you use for the floor to make it look so good.

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarr Fam

Wow, this is one of the most amazing transformations I've ever seen, delighted congratulations. It really looks like a totaly different space, it even looks a different shape. I absolutely love the colours you've used and the way you've used them - I love bright colours against white, and you've really nailed it. I can't wait to see what you do with the rest of your house :D

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenteridontdobeige

Thanks folks!

Carr Fam, I used Benjamin Moore paint, I think it's "Porch and Floor" paint, in gloss or high-gloss. I'm at work but can verify when I get home. I did nothing to the existing floor to prep, and just slapped on 2 coats of it, and no sealer. It's extremely durable paint, and dries SO smooth. I plan to do this to the entire upper floor of my house when I redo the floors.

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Wow, definitely a bright and cheerful space now. I love all your daring colours (daring for me anyway). Did you have a hard time painting the trim work? Our house has all contractor-grade brown trim and I DESPISE it. We re going to replace it all eventually with proper mouldings. Until then, I think I will actually start in my home office and paint it white and work my way through the house, at least in the places it seems to annoy me most.

Someone was telling me that the cheap trim is very porous and absorbs paint and you need to do several coats. It looks time-consuming, but I will do mine too!

Great post!

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

you are so freakin' talented!

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

Oh wow, I love this. It's so bright and cheery. I might try making a frame like that. I keep going to car boot sales looking for old frames and having no luck, this idea might work instead.

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynne

Oh my goodness, your office is so bright and cheery. No wonder you're always inspired!
I have a plain old Ikea table and I love how you put fabric over it to dress it up. I may have to try that at some point.

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

The office looks great, so glad I got to see more of it after the small tease that we saw in House and Home!

What kind of paint did you use on your door? Any prep? Such a brilliant idea that I can't believe I've been staring at white metal for months now...


3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

I'm floored. I love what you did. Each of your pictures would fit my blog like a glove. Love love LOVE IT!!!

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commentercorine

Love, love, love, love the floors! How are they keeping up? Scratching? Cleaning? I so want to paint wood floors for my home. The scratching I guess I am not so concerned about as it gives character, but cleaning I do worry about.

Looks fantastic!

Love your home office and especially the table you covered with vintage fabric. Such a great idea! The whole color scheme is fab!

Thanks everyone!

Terry, the trim in my house has a clear stain over it so it required several coats to ensure coverage. If you do a quick primer over it you should only need at most 2 coats of paint.

Lindsay, I think the paint I used on the door was specifically for metal (BM brand). And because of the yellow, I had to buy a quart of primer specific for that colour. And it still took about 5 coats.

ms. less, the floors don't scratch easily at all with that paint. But I find extra cleaning is required FOR SURE when you've got white floors, but it's totally worth it. Although I have 6 cats so my floors could use a cleaning about every half hour. :)

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

wow it looks amazing! thank you kim for sharing this room with us.

i can't wait to have floors in that high gloss paint.

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkaty cavell

I'm always amazed when I see the befores next to the afters how far you have come. I'm sure you can't wait for winter to be over so you can use your bright white office to the full again.

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commentermidcenturyjo

Wow, Kim, your office is so full of color, life, and personality.


3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbandelle

Wow, it looks completely amazing! Love the use of color!

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeautiful Living

Oh Kim, that looks fantastic. The color just pops out at you. I can't even decide which part is my favorite, seriously.

Love it!

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobin from OK

great before and after...i see lots of creativity.

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commentersophia malik

Thanks again everyone!!

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Your house is so colourful! And your office is fantastic. The floors are brilliant! Love the armoire!

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLin

Kim, I love this site, and your office is beautiful!

I hate to beat a dead horse, but could you say just a little more about maintaining the white floors? We're planning to paint the floors of our office & guest room (and we're relatively tidy people), but I'm a little worried about the maintenance. Do the white floors get scuffed easily? Or is it just that they show dust?

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

Thank you Lin!

Brad, I don't think they really scuff any more than any other colour floor. And if you're just doing an office and guest room, then GO FOR IT. Those rooms aren't used as often as say, a kitchen so I wouldn't worry. They for sure show dust easily but keep a Swiffer on hand and you're good to go. Like I said, I've lived with my white office floor for about 8 months now and I'm willing to paint all my bedrooms and upstairs hallway floors white (once I replace the cheap-ass laminate with hardwood).

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Wow! What a fun room. I totally love it...so much eye candy. You've done a terrific job of incorporating lots of color and so many different elements without the room looking chaotic. This will be one post I come back to again and again for inspiration as I make progress on my own home office (currently about 3/4 done). Thank you for sharing your personal space. (r8ermom)

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

This looks amazing! i loooooove the bright splashes of colour and how much the white floor makes the colours pop out. Its absolutely beautiful. I always wondered if white floors were easy to maintain as I'm tossing up between painting my wooden floors white or painting them a really dark colour? any tips?

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.