Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Office - my new writing home (a quick facelift)

One of the hardest parts of our renovation project for me to come to terms with was that it's just not possible for everything to happen at once. I like to get stuck in and get things done, and then sit back (preferably with a bit of cake) and admire my handiwork.

Our new house is a multi-year project. That's a long time between me and my celebratory cake! (I jest; of course I will eat cake before we're done. Obviously. Do you know me at all?)

At the moment we're focusing on getting the kitchen done (and I'll be sharing some of that process here soon), which means we don't have much DIY time for other areas of the house.

This was how our office was shown in the real estate listing. The bed and art are computer
generated. Sadly the curtain is real, but it was one of the first things we dealt to.
We have two upstairs rooms, an office and a guest room/playroom, which are at the bottom of the to-do list. Both have been in use as dumping grounds for tools, not-yet-unpacked boxes and any other random junk we couldn't find a home for.

The office did need some structural work - one of the bearers had rotted out - but we had that sorted out by our builder before we moved in. It still needs some plastering, painting or wallpapering and some new carpet, but it's fairly usable, but I wanted to liven it up a bit to make working it in more enjoyable.

This is a very low-rent makeover - well, actually, it was free - so it's not jaw-dropping... But it shows that spending a few hours finding homes for things and playing furniture tetris can make a big difference. You'll have to squint hard to ignrore the apricot walls, though.

The room is north-facing so gets great sun (the best in the house, at least until we add a new window into the north-facing wall of the lounge), and it's a good size. We (or at least, our builders) have already moved the door into the room, because when we moved in access was through what was the kitchen, and is now our guest bedroom. Not ideal! So now, logically, entry is off the hallway, which not only prevents awkward intrusions on houseguests but also makes the room feel bigger and more welcoming.

The first step in getting the office work-ready was moving all the junk out. We decided that all the tools could go in the downstairs bathroom (currently just a shell of a room, it would be weird otherwise) so I did some rehoming. Some of the baby things that are no longer in use got stored in a less-used cupboard in our bedroom and the sewing stuff stays, because this will be the sewing room too - still need a bit more storage for all the fabric.

Step two was playing with the furniture. I tried the desk in several places, and after a couple of false starts it now just feels right. I like that you instantly understand what the room is for when you walk in. The desk dictated the location of the settee so that was pretty easy.

We're also waiting for a visit from our sparky, which will hopefully provide some extra power, as at the moment there's only one double socket way over by the door.

Because the whole room needs plastering (the walls are covered in pinholes and there are a few cracks from repiling) I was able to put aside my normal paranoia about putting holes in walls... Which is good, because the walls are pretty ugly so I wanted to get some decent coverage.

I put up a noticeboard my sister made for me years ago, some of the awesome cake ladies my aunt drew for our wedding, and then pegged a bunch of photos onto a string. I also put our degrees up because isn't that what you're supposed to do? And at least they cover a bit more of that awful apricot paint.

I'm still on the hunt for a chest of drawers to go beside the desk so I can put away my sewing supplies and have a bit more work surface, and I need a better chair (that's one of our dining chairs, which are fine for dinner but not so nice on the back after a couple of hours' work), but overall I'm pretty pleased with the result... And it certainly looks better than it did in the real estate photos!

Are you happy to wait for things to progress over the fullness of time, or are you impatient like me?

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