We’ve made a few small updates to the office / bonus room over the last while and I realized I hadn’t really blogged about them, so this post is a bit of a mish-mash to bring you up to speed!
We’ve made some big changes since I last shared the progress on our office/bonus room space .
Mainly this – the addition of a murphy bed!
Back in the Fall I shared our vision for the large bonus room located on our top floor. Our plan was to transform it into an office/guest room. We also wanted space for a craft table and room to set up a games table if needed.
Here is the mood board from that post.
Earlier this week I shared our guest room makeover. We had guests from England staying with us in April and needed two sleeping quarters. So, the murphy bed addition became a priority for the first part of this year.
Here is the room sketch (shared here) that shows our layout plan for the room.
And here is a pic of the room from way back in the early Fall shortly after we moved in. Basically boxes and storage at that point but with a wall ‘bump out’ that had major murphy bed potential. I will pause for a moment to see if you can guess which space I am talking about.
Okay, so now that we have that sorted, we chose our murphy bed. We did a lot of research but kept coming back to styles that Costco sold. All of the reviews were good and the price seemed pretty decent for what was available. After measuring our wall, we decided to go for this configuration.
One of the main reasons we chose this option was that the shelving portion came with a cord/wire grommet. Our main phone jack is on this wall so this allowed us to keep it there and saved the trouble of rerouting it to another location. We liked the idea of the extra storage as well and the open shelving to break up what could be a dense wall of ‘closets’ otherwise. When closed, the bed looks like a large armoire or cabinet and runs along the same wall as our existing double closet in the office.
Of course I was itching to make the shelves look pretty.
I styled them pretty simply using most of what I had on hand.
Does this photo give away the fact that I am short-ish? 5′ 3″ problems Y’all. Look up, way up.
The next shelf holds other items I already had, a green candle, tin pot, pear tea light holder, owl paper weight (which I think is older than I am since I’ve had it for as long as I can remember – seriously, I had it in my childhood. I wonder if my parents even know I have it. I think it’s theirs.) and a photo that I took when we visited England in 2008. Ah, such good memories. This was a pub we stopped to have a drink at after going for a walk through a really cool nature reserve called Burnham Beeches (say that five times fast).
But, I digress.
Looking at the shelves that are more my, um, stature, we have this.
A stack of books topped with a decorative plate/platter…
… and a Wifi sign for guests.
I’ve made this a free printable download if you’d like one as well.
Simply click here to access it.
On the bottom shelf we have our phone, another faux ikea plant and pot, another little tray and some random green ‘ball’. I have no idea where I got it but I’ve found a surprising number of uses for it. (weird).
There is also another England photo tucked back there. This one was from our lunch stop after touring Windsor Castle. Memoriiiieees…
The hanging sign reads “Dedicated To Life, Liberty, Food, Drink and Other Less Serious Matters”. Amazeballs.
(I added that last word. It was my reaction to the awesomeness).
BUT, I digress again.
The bedding was a birthday present. It is this one here (Bjornloka from Ikea).
And, like I mentioned in the guest room post, I like to have fresh towels and a guest basket out to make our visitors feel extra special… and welcome.
I always like to customize the gift basket (versus having just a generic one) for who is staying. I put two waters out if it is more than one person, kids toothpaste and toothbrushes if there are kids etc. It’s the little things that make guests feel like you are really glad they are staying with you (I think).
So, there we are! And how does the bed work? Well, take a peek…
(note: the .gif is absent of guest because apparently having a tripod with a camera on it in the corner of the ‘bedroom’ is frowned upon when entertaining. Ask me how I know.)
I joke. I joke.
Stay in touch and follow along…
Last month I left you with our progress on the double desk in our office/bonus room. At that point it was looking like this:
The desk was complete but in need of stain (if you are new to this blog you may wish to catch up on the vision for this space here).
Well, wait no more. Ta da!
We went with a nice rich brown that was deep, but not too dark. Here is how we did it…
First, I taped around the wood desk top along the walls and cabinets. The desk is fixed to the wall so I could not pull it out.
Then, I gave the desk a thorough light sanding (220 grit sandpaper) and followed that with a tack cloth to pick up all the dust.
Next, I did a coat of wood conditioner. Wood conditioner is great for prepping your surface to receive the stain uniformly. I used Miniwax Water based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. I chose the water based product because it has less fumes and clean up is easier.
I applied the wood conditioner with a brush and used a rag to rub it in and pick up the excess conditioner. After it dried I did another light sand and followed again with a tack cloth.
For the stain, I tested a water based stain (on a scrap piece of wood) but was not happy with the results. In the end I went with a oil based version as I liked the finished product better. I chose Varathane Ultimate Wood Stain in Chocolate.
To apply, I used a foam brush and applied quickly in sections. Then I followed with a rag to rub it in and pick up the excess stain. You can use a brush or rag to apply but I opted for a foam brush because I could just throw it away when done. I hate cleaning brushes after they have been used with an oil based product. Blech.
I only needed one coat of the stain, so once that was dry I applied my first coat of polyurethane. The poly protects the surface and helps seal in the stain.
For the poly, I went with Miniwax Oil-modified Polyurethane.
I brushed the poly on in thin coats. Since I didn’t need to follow with a cloth to rub in and pick up excess (as in the previous steps) it went quickly. After the first coat dried, I again sanded and used my tack cloth. Then I did a second coat of poly.
Once that was dry, I removed my frog tape. Oh, and luckily I had the foresight to tape UNDER the holes that were drilled for cords. Just to, you know, catch any wayward stain (cough cough). Phew…
And here it is all conditioned, stained and poly’d up!
I love how the stain really brings out the grain (hey, that rhymes!)
And the black desk grommet – meow. Looking good kid.
Now I just need to load it all up and get busy. Oh, and get chairs. Maybe that should be one of the first things I do at the desk. Chairs. Look for chairs…
Stay in touch and follow along…
I’m sure most of us can sympathize recognize this…
The inevitable stack-o-papers-on-the-counter that comes with school, kids, running a household etc. The papers seem to come in faster then they go out (5, 10, 15 a day!) yet some just have to stick around for reference, information or sentimental reasons.
I. hate. clutter.
So, I organized. Awhhh yeah! My favourite word (oh wait, there is “wine” and “coffee” in the dictionary too). Okay, so maybe my third favourite word. Anyway, now the pile-o-clutter looks like this.
To achieve this calmness, I first separated the stack-o-chaos into piles. The point of this was to see what categories I could lump them into.
I came up with:
1) “Reference” (for things like recycling schedules, Chace’s school notices etc)
2) “For Review” (notices about programs I may want to check out, forms I have to read still etc)
3) “Action Required” (forms I need to fill out such as book order forms, field trip forms etc) and
4) “Projects” (ALL the paperwork that comes home from Chace’s day – spelling, art, poems etc.).
A note about the “projects” folder: when that folder gets full I take the paperwork up to our office where it gets placed in a larger box. Once a year I go through the box and save the best pieces or my/Chace’s favourites. I recycle the rest (will he miss a piece of paper with an orange crayon line across it when he’s 20?). In the end I am left with one large manilla envelope for each year filled with all of the papers I’ve kept for that period.
Then, I bought the Ikea Kvissle magazine rack to corral my piles. This unit was perfect because it was a) sturdy since it’s metal, b) customizable – you can use only one or all five (I used four as mentioned), c) inexpensive – who doesn’t love that? And d) white – clean and pretty – my fave. Also, since it’s metal you can attach things to it using magnets too if desired.
The file compartments attach together easily by simply sliding in and latching together in the back.
I used these Martha Stewart adhesive metal bookplates to label my files, but from what I’ve heard they are hard to get now or discontinued. I don’t know why though because they are awesome! To print the words, I used my label maker (aka my third arm).
To attach the file system to the tile backsplash I simply propped it up and used a few 3M Command picture hanging strips to keep it in place.
Tucked in beside the fridge, I now have a tidy, clutter free system that helps keep me organized.
Do you have any tips and tricks for keeping clutter at bay? I’ve been using this system for awhile now and LOVE it.
Stay in touch and follow along…
Hello friends! Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely holiday and are refreshed and ready to tackle 2016. I know I am.
When I last left you in the office it was looking like this…
At the same time I also shared a vision board and floor plan (direction) for our little “bonus room” to be turned office/games/extra guest room. You can find more details here if you’d like to read more about that.
First on our agenda was completing our custom made double desk along the back wall. I was inspired by desks like the ones below and thought something like them could really work for us.
I am happy to report that we got to gettin’ and have made some progress. It now looks like this!
We have yet to stain the top (obvs) but let me share how we got this far.
First, Chef Kev assembled the four bases. All are from the Ikea Alex line. The two end units are these and the two middle ones are these.
Lucky for us, one of Chef Kev’s buddies is a carpenter. Score! So naturally I turned to him and
begged/pleaded asked nicely if he could help us out. Other than giving him the dimensions and showing him some images of what I had in mind, I stayed out of his way. He’s the pro after all.
Adam (the buddy) brought the desk top over in two pieces (she’s a biggin’). And she’s oak (well a veneer anyway) for those wondering.
To join the pieces together he used a biscuit joint system along with some hardware which secured the two pieces together on the underside.
Here’s a close up of the biscuit.
Adam flipped the desk top over and got ready to join the two pieces together.
I was in and out of the room as he worked on this getting my little guy ready for bed (and trying not to be an annoying hoverer) but from what I saw, he joined these two parts by using some wood glue and sliding them together.
Oh, and incase you are wondering what the middle darker piece is, it’s a really cool textural detail that he added, which I will show more of later.
Then he secured the two pieces further with a piece of hardware known as a countertop connector. News to me. I had never seen anything like this. Cool.
Then he flipped the whole shebang over.
See the cool middle piece? Doesn’t it add a neat detail? I can’t wait to stain it and really bring out the different grains there.
As well, you can see in the above photo that Adam used a spacer piece and raised the desk top up versus placing it directly on the cabinets. That’s because I had asked for the top to look thick (have some weight to it which balanced the look of the desk against the cabinets) versus it being thin. To create this effect, Adam attached a front strip around the whole top. It makes it look more substantial and offers a nice finished edge too. Win-win!
Here’s a shot of the desk from the underside so that you can see the front lip and how it all relates a bit better…
Then, Adam secured the top to the cabinets by drilling up through the inside of the cabinets into the underside of the wood.
Next, he added some holes for our computer cords. We found the placement we liked the best and Adam used a circle drill bit to make the holes.
We chose dark desk grommets since we’ll be staining the top dark.
One of my favourite parts is that we were able to (pretty much) hide all of our cords! Adam drilled and cut a few holes and openings into the one of the end units.
And now we have a place to hide all our cords, the power bar and internet equipment (except for one piece that needs to be kept on the desk top for proper reception).
I know that this looks messy inside but it was explained to me to leave the wires loose versus tying them up neat and tidy. The tighter they are, the hotter they become. Since it’s not necessary to have them bound, I let them hang out to play with each other. Loosey goosey.
Now you see it…
Now you don’t!
Once again, here is where we are sitting (literally) now…
I will clean up that loose white cord on the right so it’s not so noticeable.
And here’s a better shot of the cool middle detail. It was so unexpected and I love it.
Next stop – staining. I can’t wait!
Stay in touch and follow along…
There are a few areas of our new house that remain unpacked for logistical reasons and our office/craft/bonus room is one of them. As such, it’s taken priority.
On the top floor we have a large room which was labelled as the “bonus room” on our walk through. It is in addition to the three bedrooms but instead of carpeting it has laminate flooring. It has a much different feel than a bedroom and was previously set up as an awkward TV room. Here is how it looked on our first house showing.
As you can see, it is a large room and is flooded with natural light. We thought it would be the perfect spot for our office and a craft/bonus room. It’s a large enough space to hold two ‘zones’.
The desk from our old house didn’t work in this space so I sold it on Craigslist. I sold the old printer station too.
And you may recall these photos from last week when I shared that the room was this current hot mess.
Ah, the sweet smell of transition.
As annoying as this
was is to a neat freak like me, it was actually relatively organized (the boxes were in ‘zones’). But most importantly, we had a plan.
Here is a rough (not to accurate scale but so you get the idea) floor plan for this room.
As you can see, we are going to build a double desk which will run along the back wall. Rounding out the “office” portion of the room we will have a credenza to hold our printer and office supplies. As well, we will have a craft island which will most likely be on wheels so that it can be moved as needed.
The recessed area to your immediate left as you walk into the room is the perfect spot to install a murphy bed. With Chef Kev’s relatives overseas and in other provinces, it is really important to us to have a few extra beds. We want to make sure we can comfortably sleep anyone who is passing through for a visit! Since the craft island will be on wheels, we can move it when the bed is down and in use.
This leaves us with a great open space as well. We see getting a games table and/or using it for some extra crafting or project space.
Here is a mood board showing you the feel of what we are hoping to achieve.
As you can see, I am planning on using a few different tones of wood, and balancing that with white and the light wall colour. I also plan on using blue as an accent shade.
I have started work on our office chairs and let me just tease you – it involves spray paint! Crazy I know, but just wait. The mood board photo is a lighter shade than I have in mind, but I still think that shade is uber pretty.
I also have plans to feature some large art. I took a great beach photo in England last summer and want to blow it up for some bright, large-scale impact.
Chef Kev has been busy assembling our desk bases and as of last night, this is how we were looking.
Needless to say, we still have a LOOOOONG way to go, but things are happening folks!
Stay in touch and follow along…