My home office decor got a refresh recently, though I have to say what started as a small refresh was a large effort! It’s a long post, so you may want to grab your favorite cuppa. Ready? 🙂
Earlier this year, I had the wood flooring replaced on the lower level of my home ~ and not by choice. I will save you the painful details and just say it was a miserable and dirty project. I had to move most everything out of the lower level for the work. When the work was complete, the move back in was a chance to refresh and reset the rooms. Y’all know I love collecting stuff from travels, and I have a major book addiction, so editing down my home office was a real challenge.
I didn’t change any of my home office furniture ~ desk, bookcases, reading chair and ottoman, all many years old but in good condition ~ but I did rework my book shelves and update the lighting. I edited down and donated a ton of books, added fabric pads and rotated some decor to refresh my bookcases.
I expected the process of editing and donating books and saved stuff to be hard ~ and it was. I found I could only work on it a bit at a time to keep from getting overwhelmed on the journey. So many photos and cards and souvenirs ~ and lots of memories ~ but I got through it, and things are more organized now. I will never be a minimalist, but as long as I know “what is what and where”, I’m satisfied!
My desk is just two file cabinets and a top from Crate and Barrel. I did add a center pencil drawer and casters for the file cabinets ~ a couple of little things that improved ease of use. The best thing about my desk is the view!
I love looking out the window at the view, and also seeing the sun stream through and highlight my glass collection. All of the spheres in the cubbies and sea critters on top were either gifts or found on trips ~ so I love the memories, and the colors!
Starfish, jellyfish, sea urchins, dolphin and turtle ~ definitely one collection that I did not change. It is one of my favorites!
This is my favorite reading chair, across from the bookcase wall. I work at my desk at lot, but the chair is also a great working spot. The three-light floor lamp is a throw-back style and works well to light the room depending on time of day/night and where I am sitting. Lots of travel pictures on the walls ~ once again, #notaminimalist!
Here’s a straight on shot of the fabric pads I added to the back of the bookcases. There’s a quick recap of that process at the end of the post. I debated painting the back of the bookcases vs. adding a fabric pad, and color vs. neutral. I did not want something permanent, so paint was out, and there was lots of color in the books and decor, so I went with neutral fabric ~ and I’m happy with the result.
I used a neutral linen-like fabric with a swirly embroidered pattern I found at Hancock Fabrics for $7/yd. At 54″ wide I only needed four yards, so total materials bought for the project ~ fabric, poster board, spray mount ~ was around $30. I used a few things that I had on hand and did not have to buy ~ masking tape and drop cloth material. It was a fair amount of work, but I did one section each day over the course of a week. I was happy to get that part done!
I also created the two framed pictures that are hung on the bookcase fronts ~ at almost no cost. Once I decided to use some of my blue and white ceramic collection on the shelves, I remembered some tear sheets I’d saved from a catalog with blue and white ceramics pieces. I trimmed and mounted the pages on cream card stock in black frames that I snagged on sale at Michael’s. My endless tear sheet file comes in handy once again!
It’s a comfortable room, and though it is definitely land-locked and on the 3rd floor of my building, there is something about it that feels like it should be on a boat. I think it’s all the varnished wood tones that reminds me of a sailboat cabin, though definitely larger!
I like working at my desk in this room that reminds me of a boat ~ especially on a sunny day!
Or it could be these bits of paper that are always in sight. A favorite Mark Twain quote, and the message slip from a fortune cookie ~ yes, it says “boats and water are in your future”. 🙂
So ~ here’s the “before”from earlier this spring, when the floor project was complete and we moved the stuff back in the room. It was slow going editing down from this point. I had to really psych myself up to even start!
And here’s another “after” shot from the same angle. I debated doing some sort of DIY built-in treatment to the top and sides of the bookcase wall, but decided not to go that route at this point ~ though it could be a future option down the road a bit. I did add LED gooseneck lamps at the top to light the shelves ~ without the lights the bookcase wall is really dark. The lighting idea came about when I found the gooseneck lamps on sale at Lowe’s. 🙂 Easiest update ever ~ they just clip in place ~ and the shape and brushed metal finish were a good match to the architect desk lamp and floor lamp I found at Target. And new brushed silver cabinet door pulls to bring it together.
So now, a quick how-to on the fabric pads for the bookcases ~~~
1 ~ I used inexpensive poster board, cut and pieced together, as the pad base. The adjustable shelves in these bookcases pull out, so the pad can slip behind the shelves ~ but the finished pad had to be thin so the shelves would still be flush with the pad in place.
2 ~ Some poster board was too thick and some was too flimsy. This “heavyweight” poster board from Target was the Goldilocks and just right.
3 ~ To give the board a padded feel without added bulk or too much weight, I used a layer of lightweight drop cloth fabric adhered with spray mount.
4 ~ Next I covered the pad with the decorative fabric, again adhered with spray mount, and with about 1.5″ folded over on the back and taped in place.
5 ~ Masking tape to cover all the fabric edges on the back side.
6 ~ Shelves pulled out and the pad slipped in place. A few pieces of foam tape on the top corners to hold it in place.
7 ~ Shelves pushed back against the pad to hold things in place. OK, now rinse and repeat for each of the four bookcases!
So that’s my home office decor refresh! I wanted to share the room as part of the never-ending “edit, donate, simplify and reduce” journey I’m on, and as part of the evolving Bluwatervilla home tour. It’s kind of a blogger thing ~ there has to be a home tour! I’ll share other rooms as I get to them. 🙂 For now I hope you get some ideas from my home office decor, and oh BTW, did you notice the floor in the photos? Because that’s what started the whole thing! Thanks for stopping by y’all ~~~