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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)

Thank you r8ermom!

Charlotte, I've seen amazing dark painted hardwood, but I personally much prefer white. While white shows dirt pretty easily, I find dark floors show it even more. My twin sister has espresso coloured hardwood (stained not painted) and when the sunlight shines on the floors, all you can see is dust. White shows dirt but not really dust. That's my $.02.

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Thanks for that advice, I'll stick to the white then, although I am so keen on having cats I'll probably be vaccuuming everyday!

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Stunning and inspiring... but how do you keep the white floors white?

I love the arrangement of beads and buddha on the armoire! The cloissone pot is adorable as well. I can also relate to your love of markers- I have some fine-tipped staedler markers that I adore using whenever possible.

3 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Ripley

Ey-yi-yi!!!!!! Absolutely gorgeous. Love the bright colors, so inspiring:)

OMG!! this is so BEAUTIFUL...! I can't believe what I just saw....the inspiration board...I was just at home depot and Joanne yesterday looking for a frame to place all my mag photos and cutouts over my desk into a frame just like that...how odd. Well now you have REALLY INSPIRED me to keep looking for the right frame .....:)<BR/>GREAT JOB...P.S. where did you get the glass for the top of your desk...? I have been meaning to put wallpaper or some fabric over my white desk...for awhile but couldnt figure where to get a glass...??

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Ramos

Great white floors! I did the same thing, in my kitchen, in my last place. I find floor paint very washable and I didn't find they showed the dirt excessively. As Kim says, dark floors are almost worse. I wanted to say that on Decorno blog, because she's just done her floors dark - it shows every bit of dust and pet hair! I loved the brightness of the white, especially in the Vancouver gloom.

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

what process did you use to paint the deco cabinet? Freaking LOVE it!

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Jen, I ordered the exact size glass I needed from a glass shop, and told them it was a long narrow piece for a desk so they also made sure it was the thickness I needed. I think it was just under $100.

And thanks for the other lovely comments!

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Anon, I dipped just the end of a paint brush in the teal paint, wiped the excess off on a paper towel and then brushed it on in long strokes as straight as I could. Just kept working it until I had just the right amount of coverage. I also tries a bit of red paint in the grooves that you can see on the doors, to emphasize them. That was it. Since the paint was eggshell and I wanted the finish a bit glossier, I quickly went over the whole thing with a coat of clear gloss.

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

STUNNING. This room is absolutely gorgeous Kim! I'm loving the Asian theme running through here to the kitchen. px

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpia

Wonderful colours, fantastic items and totally inspiring workplace. Thanks for sharing it with us.

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatahina

Thanks Pia and Matahina!

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

I absolutely adore your office! So fresh and bright! My mother has unpainted oak trim in her house and I've been BEGGING her to let me paint it for years... perhaps when I re-do her office, I'll "accidentally" paint it...
I have a vintage chiffarobe almost exactly like the one you painted teal. I'm inspired now!

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthevintagechair

Your office is so amazing and inspiring!

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRevolution Malibu

Thanks Revolution Malibu, and thevintagechair, unpainted oak trim = BARF. You really should accidentally paint it. Your mom will thank you for it.

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

I also love the floors *and* I love your use of colour in the office - kinda Bazaar Style-ish. Really fab.


4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks Ksenia! (P.S. Bazaar Style is one of my fav books!!)

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Kim, I adore your office. I love all of the color against the white. I am amazed at your ability to pull together disparate objects into a cohesive whole.

And I adore the armoire! Great job painting it. The vignette with the Buddha and the beads is so cute. And, oh yes, love the yellow frame mood board and the yellow door. Don't yellow and turquoise look great together?

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

Peggy, I have to say that you were a big inspiration for this room, with your love of white and mixing up all sorts of bright colours in your apartment. I thought you'd like my office. :) And yes, I love turquoise/teal and yellow together - there's another combo for your place!

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

I just love the use of collars and the ethnical elements!


4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMy Wonderworld

What a fabulous space you have! I love the use of colour, energy and personality. I'm moving from a 750 square foot apartment to a 4 bedroom house- instead of an armoire I'll have a whole room as an office! Intimidating!

Great blog, I will be by often!

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Canning

happy space kim! i had been looking forward to this... (JO YOUR TURN!!!!)

it's an amazing space. i love that you have plants everywhere :)

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdrey

Thanks My Wonderworld!

Congrats on the house Lisa!

Thanks drey! And I told Jo to post her office too but she says she already did.

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim.

Wow. I'm inspired. I love all the colours you have used. You must feel happy every time you go in there. The Asian stuff is great and the curtains are fabulous.

4 Feb 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

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