Home Office Mood Board

I suspect there aren’t many of us who can decorate completely according to our own tastes, without considering other household members.

Having (more or less) finished the master bedroom, the next room on my list is our dismal home office. It’s where we spend a huge amount of time and, as with many work spaces, was thrown together in a hurry when we bought the house, with function coming waaaay ahead of form. And since Beloved Husband is the techie genius in our marriage – not to mention major payer of our mortgage – his bits and pieces (by which I mean server, firewall, Cat 6 cabling and other gizmos which would look totally at home on the International Space Station) are pretty much ruling the roost.

A more sensible wife would abandon ship and go stake her claim on a little work area somewhere else in the house (probably making it look like this, pictured right). But since I actually really like hanging out with him (yeah, soppy), I decided to attempt to construct an office which works for both of us, meeting his requirements for practicality as well as mine for attractiveness.

He adores his rather ugly Ikea desk and won’t part with it because it’s height-adjustable and a perfect size. Fair enough. I’m in love with cubes so I’m sneaking some of those in somewhere, probably with a gazillion baskets to hide his electronic necessities. Happily, we both seem to think maps would provide a good style starting point and I’m hoping a very muted, neutral color scheme won’t spook him too much.

Here’s roughly what I’ve come up with:

Likely purchases at Ikea:
Galant Desk
, $160; Expedit Bookcase, $70; Drawer unit on casters, $160; Newspaper rack; Vase, $30; Clock, $5.99
And other items I may sneak in there when he’s in a good mood:
Poetry Rug – HomeDecorators.com
, $429; File Storage Ottoman – Ballard Designs, $239; Map – National Geographic Store, $5.99; Office Chair – Target, $50; Missoni Home Erode Cushion, $102; Silver Ocean Globe, $45; Origami Platinum Fabric – Calico Corners; Signature Pattern Binders – Russell and Hazel

In true Struggler style, you’ll be amused to know that after three-and-a-half days of exhausting weekend effort, the paint is complete. That’s all. No stylish new furniture, clever accessories, oversize maps or nifty window treatments. Just the walls.

At this point I could refer you to Young House Love, who assure me it’s perfectly possible for one person to paint a room in about 4 hours (leaving time to complete the rest of the decor and get a manicure before lunch). But I’m feeling quite inadequate enough, without you all heading off to worship at the altar of YHL before leaving a comment here.

So, please share, if you have to take someone else’s taste into account, what’s the biggest point of contention? And how long did it take you, the last time you painted a smallish bedroom? Just please don’t say 4 hours. :)

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19 Responses to Home Office Mood Board

  1. Ana - Toil and Trouble says:

    ok, painting a room does NOT take 4 hours. We have painted SO many rooms in this house, and I don't think any of them took 4 hours with the two of us. That's not even enough time for primer to go on, dry, and the second coat to go on. Lies!!

  2. Centsational Girl says:

    I love what you've pulled together, it will work for both of you in a stylish and functional way! For me, painting a smallish room (10 x 10) takes at least 6 hours with all the prep work, cutting in around the ceiling and baseboards, then rolling the walls. That is if you do only one coat. Add another 2 hours for a second coat. But I do like the Ben brand paint by BM for one coat coverage.


  3. The Buzz says:

    Love how you were able to incorporate his tastes into yours! My husbands things went the way of the dumpster and now our home office went the way of the tween boy who no longer wanted to share his space with his younger brother. Oh, well!

  4. GB says:

    I love the mood board.

    I'm not going to be able to offer up any (sane) advice on decorating around hubby's tastes (I usually sulk and tantrum till he gives in… :( –wouldn't advise you to take that route!!) Will be watching this space for suggestions thrown in by other mature adults tho'.

  5. Bromeliad says:

    I know nothing about paint but just laughed my face off at your post.

    I agree the desk is not thrilling. What about an adjustable one, e.g JCPenney's Studio Metal Adjustable Desk with Stool(the url was too long to share)?

  6. nell ann says:

    Your moodboard is great — and I love the map and neutral color scheme. Excellent choices. My hubband swears he doesn't care … until five minutes before I'm finished and then blurts, "hmmmph", or, what he did last week: So I put these chairs on Craig's List." "Oh, and I was just starting to like them." (After 4.5 years.) Ugh. Silly menfolk.

  7. nell ann says:

    Your moodboard is great — and I love the map and neutral color scheme. Excellent choices. My hubband swears he doesn't care … until five minutes before I'm finished and then blurts, "hmmmph", or, what he did last week: So I put these chairs on Craig's List." "Oh, and I was just starting to like them." (After 4.5 years.) Ugh. Silly menfolk.

  8. claudia b says:

    I LOVE that rug! And maps are awesome, I have a map of Paris framed on my side of the bedroom.

    Luckily both hubs and I are odd folk, we like lots of color – so we have some common ground :D

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  10. Melissa says:

    Go maps! Go maps!! Go Maps!!!

    I have a thing for maps. ;)

  11. Struggler says:

    Sorry about the deleted comments; for some reason this post attracted the spammers big time.
    I left the one about Gap in Australia as it was sorta borderline :)

  12. Savvy Gal says:

    It took me about 4 hours to paint a bedroom. It is all the preparation to tape off windows, door, primer, and 2 coats….. it will just pass like that once you start. : )

  13. Kari says:

    You are such a sweet spouse, and it sounds like you are totally respectful of what your BH would like.

    I love the cubes! I keep thinking of my dad's office while I was growing up. To put it delicately, he is challenged in the organization department, and tends to dump things in unmarked bins, boxes, or bags. How nice to have it all out in the open (as long as he can keep it neat!)

    As for me, I'll happily take that blue/white office, thank you very much!

  14. Kari says:

    Oh – and in response to your comment on my blog, I am not much of a planner either, even for future seasons. The reason I'm able to think about fall clothes is because we have had a COLD and alternately rainy summer, and we're already in full-blown fall weather. Ugh!

  15. lucy@fourwallsandaroof says:

    Hmm, I think I have painted a room in 4 hours – BUT that is just 4 hours of painting, not all the prep work. And it was only done quickly because, while I was painting, my husband was holding the baby and it was in my interests to get it done fast!

    Anyway, at least it's done and you can focus on the fun stuff.

    By the way, that's some crazy spam there – looks like it's been through a Google translator! Or someone's had too many margeritas…

  16. Semi Expat says:

    Good luck with the office renovation/makeover am sure it will be wonderful if it's anything like the master bedroom makeover! x

  17. sherry says:

    Love the office plan….can't wait to see the finished product. Nothing gives greater instant gratification than to paint a room, but sadly it does take about a day, when you factor in all the steps: pick the color, buy the paint and supplies, prep the room, paint and then clean up!

  18. Leigha says:

    Oh, lovely! I cannot wait to see more.

  19. Carmie, the Single Nester says:

    I really need to redo my office which is now a spare room/closet/office. Ick. Not very creative.

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