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Kelvin's office before and after

A small room off the dining room serves as my husband's office. Originally a bedroom, it is a strange "landlocked" room with windows opening onto other rooms, a consequence of alterations over the years. We think it was the maid's room when the house was first built. Here are some blurry shots I snapped on our second inspection of the house before we bought it. It's a difficult room to photograph because of its size. I have labelled them "before" just in case you didn't realise ;) The furniture naturally belongs to the previous owner.

After we painted it a couple of years ago (Murabond Faraway, same as the dining room) it basically became a dumping room for Kelvin's computer and any other electrical equipment. A desk, a chair, a small bed for when people came to stay and rolls of cables and strange unidentified pluggy inny things (that's a technical term). We found an old metal coke sign from 1964 for $50 in a salvage yard and with the help of a friend and very strong bolts we hung it on the wall. The only picture I ever took had a green egg chair strategically placed underneath, then cropped to hide the mess.

Years passed and nothing happened. We kept finding things for the room. Kept promising to do something about it but never did. Until a couple of weeks ago. The break through came when we decided to ditch the double bed we had jammed in there and make it a dedicated office. A couple of months back I found a beautiful brown leather couch in a thrift store for, wait for it, $70. No scuffs, no tears, no stains. Real leather and down filled cushions. Score! It lived for a while in the living room but as lovely as it looked it was too small to stretch out on (don't you know that is all a man wants in a living room couch) and it was as slippery as hell. A few seconds after sitting on it you felt yourself gliding down the cushions towards the floor. The very high arms and back I had admired in the shop also meant there was no way you could rest your arms comfortably and reaching for anything on a side table required major contortion. This was probably why it was donated to the thrift store in the first place. We dragged it into the office and at last it had found its perfect home.

Kelvin loves to collect as much as I do and some of his special objects found their way into the room. Model boats and tribal spears, whisky jugs and Boys Own Manuals, old motor racing posters as well as quirky bits and pieces. Once again everything is thrifted, found in secondhand shops or on eBay. The only splurge was the kilim bought before we moved in. There is still a bit to do. We are thinking of changing the industrial pendant light (not in shot) and I still have to wrangle all the computer cables into something neat and tidy. That's the reason why there is no full on shot of the desk. Nothing changes. I still strategically shoot or crop :)

Reader Comments (13)

It's beautiful! I like the art and turtle shell leaned against the wall. Also, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who puts all my junk where the camera won't see it.

24 Oct 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I love the cozy artistic vibe of the room. I especially love how the room came together with all thrifted items! Amazing.

24 Oct 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLani

Thanks Jessica! You know my husband picked the art and turtle shell up the other day and asked me when I was going to hang them up on the wall. They just don't get it do they :)

24 Oct 2013 | Registered Commentermidcenturyjo

Thanks Lani! I love the thrill of the hunt that comes from thrifting and the fact that the room builds up a real personality if everything isn't bought from retail chain stores.

24 Oct 2013 | Registered Commentermidcenturyjo

It looks wonderfully cosy! I love the bedpan/urinal on the bookshelf! An artistic placement for something you'd rarely (if ever) see in an office ;)

25 Oct 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

What exquisite taste you have, and might I say, it's an enormous relief to find a blogger that doesn't want to paint everything white and call it 'style'. Bravo!

4 Nov 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMimi

Thanks Cheryl! Thankfully my husband has never used it ;)

4 Nov 2013 | Registered Commentermidcenturyjo

Thanks Mimi! I love white too but it gets dirty so quickly. Besides I love being able to paint the walls any colour I want seeing I own the house. When we rented I never had that luxury!

4 Nov 2013 | Registered Commentermidcenturyjo

Hi Joe! His office looks great, but I'm curious. Why keep a sofa that is uncomfortable? It does look great in the office, though. But knowing it's largely unfunctional drives me crazy - does it drive you crazy? Please tell me at least that Mikey uses it.

14 Nov 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpeggyp

Peggy it's not as useless as I make out :) It's uncomfortable to lie on or spread out on but nice, polite, upright sitting is fine. Most people would assume that nice, polite ,upright sitting is what you would do in a living room but my husband uses couches to spread out on or lie down on to watch TV. So he didn't like the "new" couch. It works fine in his office because he actually works in there. No TV, no lying down or at least I don't think so :)

14 Nov 2013 | Registered Commentermidcenturyjo

I LOVE this room! It has a definite masculine vibe but it's so my style and I would happily work for hours in here. If only my kids would leave me alone. Whose idea was it to have these kids, anyway? (I ask my husband as he drools over your office space).

18 Nov 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZandra

i love how you used a drum as a side table!

8 Jan 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjane

i've been looking for a leather lounge like that. but to find one in the thrift store for that ridiculous amount!? the room looks so nicely curated

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