Guys, the study is finally functional, photographed, and ready to meet people. But before we get this party started, I need to get a few things off my chest: 1) The before pictures hurt me. Pain. When I look at them I make the same sound as the grape lady in this video. 2) This project took me literally forever. I started in August. Besides being very very picky about the chair, I have no excuse. 3) It’s like sometimes, you don’t have a third thing. But you need one to round out the list.
I guess we’ve gotta start at the beginning. (FYI, the full source list is at the bottom of the post.)
^::weeps softly:: When we moved in to this apartment, we knew that we’d use this as a kind of a den/lounge area. One major reason for that is that we already had the couch and bookshelves from our previous apartment (we had bought a larger couch and credenza for the living room instead.) I apparently have the opposite of ADD, and was only able to focus on one space at a time. I spent the majority of my time working on the living room, then the bedroom, and was pretty happy to walk right past this space and let it be Matt’s dude-zone.
So, I spent the better part of the first year of living here on other spaces. I wasn’t super worried about making any changes in here, especially since we weren’t sure that we’d be re-signing our lease. Howevuh. Once we decided we were staying, a little switch flipped. As a reminder, I work from home. Working at the kitchen island/on the couch/at coffee shops was fine for the first year, but when we re-signed, a little angel on my shoulder placed a tiny dunce cap on my head, smacked me on the forehead, and said, “HEY! Remember how your apartment has a study? Maybe you should…work in it.”
Matt was totally on board, and agreed that we could make this space dual-purpose. A chill zone for him and a work space for me. What, like it’s hard?
Matt and I talked about layout and how we’d want the study to function. We agreed it’d actually be best if the room could have three purposes (…trial purpose? What’s the 3 version of dual purpose?): 1) lounge/TV 2) workspace and 3) storage. We used painter’s tape to outline the dimensions of the desk I was eyeing on the floor, to make sure we’d have enough mobility around it. In doing that, we realized that the storage cabinet in the entryway would fit perfectly next to the desk, and the bookshelves were a great fit for the entryway. This time, I didn’t need a tiny angel to smack me on the forehead. I did it myself. (You can see the bookshelves in their new spot in the entryway in this post.)
Beyond the boring logistical stuff, there was decor to think about. I created the mood board up above and wrote a post on the design inspiration for the study — you can find it here.
I think this might be called burying the lead, which is apparently frowned upon. Don’t let me stop you from getting to the after pics.
Storage! Lounge spot! Workspace!
No shortage of light in here, which is awesome. Unless you are Matt and you are trying to play video games, in which case those light-blocking curtains from Ikea work very well.
Desk slash storage slash TV console. Thank you, Ikea, for the billionth time, for making my dreams come true and not requiring that I take out a line of credit to attain them. We split the desk storage — half for my work stuff, and half for Matt’s computer stuff. Same with the storage cabinet — it’s about half my craft stuff and random decor/tchotchkes and half video games and speakers and Rock Band guitars. Sometimes I think why on EARTH are we using storage space for this fake electronic video game guitar, and then I picture Matt going through my tchotchke basket and being like “Do we *need* to make space for this 5″ x 12″ silver bird?” and I just have no mental rebuttal for that. Balance, yall.
That little ottoman doubles as storage and a place to put our footz when we’re lounginz. And hello perfect comfortable yet stylish desk chair, that could really be an occasional chair in the corner of any room in the future, that is the prettiest cognac leather, that was a crazy online Black Friday deal that just seemed like fate and made it ruhl easy to pull the trigger. Again, I say, “Hello.” And also, “How you doin?”
Still loving my copper grid wall inspiration board — the DIY is here, if you missed it. That little white box with the cork top holds a power strip and is reason # 1,087,94,735 I’m glad that Ikea exists. A plant, candle, task lamp, and a couple of boxes to corral my Sharpie pens (the obsession is REAL) are about all I need access to on a regular basis.
The storage cabinet got a couple fresh coats of white paint before we moved it in here. That plus copper spray paint on the handles and this cabinet is a whole new lady. I added a mirror on top that we already had to bounce some of that light around, and some pretty succulents in some new pink pots.
We added a couple of new mudcloth pillows, and some more plants (this is becoming my M.O.), but that’s really it for the “lounge” side of the room. I really love the simple palette, and can’t help but think of my idol Dwight Schrute’s comment, “Michael always says ‘K-I-S-S. Keep it simple, stupid.’ Great advice. Hurts my feelings every time.”
Here are some possible things that the curtains in the entryway are for: 1) privacy for the occasional overnight guest 2) for me to dramatically close behind me as I leave the room with a flourish 3) to make blog pictures look prettier 4) for Finn to blatantly ignore and walk right through despite the intentions of #1.
It’s the simplest, easiest update and for some reason it took me a solid 6 months to fully finish. Either way, we’re so happy with where it is now. It’s been awesome to have a dedicated workspace, and I’m glad we didn’t have to sacrifice any other function to gain that one. It was a fun challenge to squeeze three different uses into this one room — I just wish we had done it sooner! Anything you’ve been putting off lately?
- Desk top
- Desk legs (3 total)
- Desk drawers
- Copper grid wall inspiration board
- Desktop cord storage box with cork top
- White pitcher/flower vase
- Lamp (similar)
- Desk chair (in Saddle)
- Antlers (thrifted)
- Grey wool storage ottoman (similar)
- Storage cabinet (Craigslisted)
- Parsons mirror (similar)
- Pink plant pots
- Couch (similar)
- Mudcloth pillows
- Striped blanket
- Standing lamp (similar)
- Table lamp with concrete and copper base (sold out)
- Patchwork side table (Craigslisted)
- Olive curtains (similar)
- Laptop table