A Place to Call My Own

When Marc and I moved into our house three years ago my brother moved in with us, and took over the third bedroom while he was going to school.  And for the first year it meant that the second bedroom became my office.  Then along came Anique, and my office moved itself downstairs to the dining room.  Where it has resided for the last year.

When my brother moved out a few months ago, we decided that it was time for me to have a more permanent office setup.

The original room was not exactly inspiring,  pea green ceiling, cracked plaster and the awful standard uplight fixture that wasn't exactly great for work lighting.  Also, blinds.  Vertical blinds.  I hate vertical blinds.

Since this was really the first room in the house that we could fully empty out while renovating, we also decided this would be the first room that we would attempt to strip the paint off the baseboards, trim and doors.  

Although I'm not in love with the board and batten feature around the room I decided to keep it as removing the boards would have caused a lot of damage to the plaster in the room.  And really, there were only so many battles I was going to fight on this room.  In order to make the best of the board and batten I decided to create wallpaper out of fabric and place it between the board and batten to create panels of colour.   Because the office is quite small doing every panel in fabric would be overwhelming, so we opted to draw the focus to the south wall where my office desk will eventually find it's home.

So off I ran to Fabricland, where I happened upon this wonderful modern floral fabric that was slightly reminiscent of Marimekko.  I loved it instantly.

Using fabric as wallpaper was incredibly easy, a mixture of cornstarch and water provided the "glue" and after a little bit of trial and error I found the easiest way to get my fabric on the wall.

I cut each panel, and then pinned the fabric in place.  Starting from top to bottom and from the middle to the edges I used a stiff paintbrush in order to spread the cornstarch across the fabric, until the fabric was saturated.  We let the fabric dry and then simply trimmed the edges of the fabric with an Exacto blade.  

We also replaced the original light fixture with the 24" Brasa Pendant from Ikea, which gives me great light and has a fantastic sleek modern look.  I wanted the lighting in this room to really stand out and provide a central point of focus.

For some unknown reason the hardwood in the office was stained a much darker colour than the rest of the house.  The wood was also not in great shape with many scratches and large chunks of wood missing.  Replacing the wood with the same style of wood was impossible, and repairing the floors would have taken weeks.  The quick fix was a cute clearance wool rug for $50, which adds some warmth during the winters and lightens the overall effect of the darker wood floor.

We also decided to try minimize the battens and lighten the entire room by painting the battens and the ceiling the same colour.

I've been so happy with the transformation of the moulding and trim since we stripped all the paint off.  There is just so much more life in the room now.  As you can see, we aren't totally finished yet, but it made more sense to us to wait until the summer or fall to take the windows and doors out of the frames so that we can do a proper job.

Also, many many thanks to my mother and father in law, as well as my brother and sister in law who spent a great many hours helping Marc and I strip paint off of this one small room.  Only a few hundred more feet to go!

It may not look like much yet, but my sewing closet is going to be fantastic and decorative in the coming months, updates will be ongoing!

We also have finally had a chance to start working on my office desk. Why didn't I just buy a desk, you might be asking?  Well, because I'm picky, and designy, and kind of a total perfectionist.   I spent months and couldn't find one desk that I loved, so instead I'm making one out of reclaimed barn wood.  Anique and I have been working very hard as of late in order to get the desktop ready.

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