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Office, Reinvented

Perhaps to make sense of why the hubs and I are so darn happy with our office in it’s current state, it might make sense to look back. Like, way back. Originally housing a fold out futon, it was meant simply as a guest room and nothing else. The honey wood (and matching pillows, really?) didn’t really scream “us,” but hey, you learn along the way.

Truth is, we were catering our small space for the occasional friend pop-in, and not for us. Call it what you will, but we ultimately rearranged the space to fit our needs, and our needs meant storage (huzzuh to the DIY sideboard), desk space, and shelves for overflow. Here’s how it looked pre flood (and with the added dash of our color-loving-selves):

And of course you remember this look, right? Oy. Other than our often used paint bin (third one down), the towers of tubs, boxes, and kitty carriers were beginning to give us a rash. The door stayed shut for three months, no thanks to the mold infestation in our basement storage unit. Overnight, our office became the bastard room. Sad face.

But. We have a heckuva happy ending. We got our $@*! together. After the now infamous storage renovation (enter victory dance), we were forced to de-clutter. We re-cabled our power cords (dork alert). We schlepped out years of old files and you know what? We filed them. But not without the help of Miss Susan of Jubilee Furniture. A big, whopping thank you to her for setting aside this gem for us:

It’s white! It’s clean! It has three glorious compartments! It was affordable! It goes with our desk, sideboard, and… well, stuff. Those scissors from the cup swap? Stashed. The back log of invoices, titles, and tax documents? Filed.

We have a place for our media. Yeah, we have a media drawer. Whoot! External drives, cd spindles, and music players rejoice. You have a home now. Cables, extensions, and velcro-tie-thingies unite.

And yes, our overstuffed momma quail is holding down our stash of “to dos.” A clean, white (what else?) butler tray contains all those pesky papers in transition. Not ready to file, but not ready to pay up. Don’t those tasks look so much sweeter with a fat, yellow bird holding them down? (Check out where the other two landed right here.)

As for the bigger picture, well, it got a spruce here and there. Our ornate mirror (you may remember from The Vintage Bazaar) finally found a spot to reflect the moody blues in the room, and a beloved mustard chair inherited from my grandma is the perfect place to bother Scott while he trolls the web.

And since our bedroom no longer needed those Flor tiles, they migrated. Much better than the bare hardwood, but oh so office appropriate. The extra punch of color never hurt us, and for those chair-plus-carpet-doubters, can we just take a moment to rave about Fedora tiles? We love you and all your low-profile goodness, Miss Fedora.

Of course our bike storage is there to stay, but we did take down the pesky curtains. I love a white panel as much as the next gal, but the bare, bright windows look pretty snazzy on their own. And nevermind the worry-free feeling of black tire marks on fresh fabric.

There you have it. Our reclaimed space has never felt more productive, not to mention more companion ready with the addition of Grandma’s (awesome) chair. With all our paper affairs in order, you should see my ninja moves while printing and stashing invoices. And I promise that sans curtains, we gained a floorboard (or two). When every inch counts, that’s a feat worth celebrating.

So what do you think? No drastic layout changes, but a slew of simple swaps make all the difference. Our collective brains are no longer scrambling to find our last print out, and not only is it all hidden behind shiny white doors, but it’s organized. And isn’t that the ultimate office goal?

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  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture10.25.10 - 8:08 AM

    The space looks fantastic! I’m so often amazed at how good something from the store looks when it’s cleaned up and put in an organized and beautiful room. Well done! The filing cabinet really is just perfect! I’m so glad.

    Thanks for the wonderful endorsement and thanks for showing us your gorgeous office!ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House10.25.10 - 8:44 AM

    Your office looks great! And I agree, your grandma’s chair is awesome!

    We really need a file cabinet like that in our art room/office someday… I’m currently ignoring the stack of paid bills in The Room Where Things Go To Die…ReplyCancel

  • Andrea B10.25.10 - 9:43 AM


    that is all!ReplyCancel

  • Jacquelin Seybert10.25.10 - 10:03 AM

    The office looks great. I envy your mid century chair! It’s fabulous.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda10.25.10 - 10:26 AM

    Great job! That is organization if I’ve ever seen it. My guest room/office is currently the bastard room right now too, sadly. I love how you changed it from full-time guest room into just an office. Did you say before that you have an air mattress for guests that can fit in that room anyway? Love it.ReplyCancel

  • Katie10.25.10 - 10:28 AM

    It looks great! I love the color scheme – that yellow chair just completes it.ReplyCancel

  • Eric @ flavorspaces10.25.10 - 10:38 AM

    it looks great and i love it! so clean, fresh and inspiring. I spent the last few days on a latter painting but haven’t gotten around to posting about it yet.

    on a side note i was wondering how do you take such amazing indoor pictures? all my shots look a bit grainy.. any tips?ReplyCancel

  • Kim10.25.10 - 10:47 AM

    Hi Amanda, you’re right! We do have an air mattress that when blown up, fits just right in between the legs of the desk and our sideboard. And it’s way more comfortable than that old futon!ReplyCancel

  • Kim10.25.10 - 10:52 AM

    Hi Eric,

    Thank you! I shoot with a DSLR camera (an older one by today’s standards, a Nikon D80) and use my tripod. I adjust my ISO anywhere from 200-400 (the “smaller” the number, the less graininess you get) and try to set the aperture to f/5.6 or f/8. By doing so, sometimes the exposure will be as long as 2-3 seconds, but it’s the best way to grab an indoor shot!

    Even if you’re using a point and shoot camera, you can do the same thing by setting your camera on a stable surface if you don’t have a tripod (such as a side table or bar stool) and changing your camera to manual mode. Play with the settings until you get what you’re looking for.

    Hope this helps!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle10.25.10 - 10:59 AM

    Can I just say the clock that you stored in there after the flood….to.die.for! You two really paired everything together nicely, with the Flor squares, yellow on the chair, and parallel blue walls! So jealous!ReplyCancel

  • Kim10.25.10 - 11:14 AM


    We have plans for that clock! We think it’s just as cool as you do, not to mention it was also handed down (along with the mustard chair) from my grandma.ReplyCancel

  • jodi10.25.10 - 11:16 AM

    looks fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • Kim10.25.10 - 11:18 AM


  • RocketGirl10.25.10 - 11:39 AM

    Good gracious. That’s just incredible–I love those mirrors. (And I have to say again: the quail just steals my heart!)ReplyCancel

  • Jillian10.25.10 - 12:33 PM

    Beautiful! We’re starting to reclaim our office too. We just threw away a TON of paper that was just sitting unorganized in a hand me down file cabinet similar to yours (felt so good to do)! And woman, if you don’t tell me about things like your yellow chair and clock, then I am not photographing my green glassware until I’m ready! haha, jk. Love!ReplyCancel

  • Tina10.26.10 - 12:03 PM

    OMG the nerd in me just passed out over the new office. I’m so jealous! We are currently using this huge black 2 sided desk as a tv stand right now and I so want to have an actual office area! So when you’re in there working, please enjoy it for me! Did you ever decide what to do about the green wheel?ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.27.10 - 11:30 AM

      Tina, right now the green wheel is hanging out in our entry area, leaning up against our green wall. Although it’s not serving any other purpose, it sure does look cute! One of these days, we’ll tackle it with one of the fabulous ideas our readers gave us…ReplyCancel

  • […] fail to dissapoint  – they have quite the style and some pretty nifty digs. Their lovely reinvented office inspires me to get my act together and finish mine…some […]ReplyCancel

  • joni1.19.11 - 9:41 AM

    what color of paint did you use? love it!ReplyCancel

  • ML1.29.11 - 3:50 PM

    Love your place!

    What color is the paint in the office?ReplyCancel

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We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

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