The Little Home Office That Could


sometimes people ask me where i blog from, well the answer is i blog from my newly completed little home office. when we bought our house, the space which is now our office, was used as a small spare bedroom for visiting  out of town guests by the previous owner. since right now it's just the two of us sharing this home, and we have more bedrooms than we could need at the moment, we decided  to turn this small space into a working library/home office. after a bit of brainstorming and strategic pinning we came up with the best design plan for what we envisioned for this area. before you renovate or redo any room, it's important to ask yourself what you need out of the space and assess what you want will make this area unique to you. what "things" will you need to house there? what's function does this room serve? how often will it be used? do you want a comfortable casual space, or a more formal one? it's important to plan properly in order to save yourself  the extra hard earned pocket money, and the heart ache to redo it.
for us the answers quickly came down to maximum storage and function. we both do a lot of work from home so we definitely needed enough surface desk space that we could both easily spread out paperwork. secondly we needed to effectively store office supplies and keep all my art supplies within reach. we then came to realize that we have a TON of books that we needed to still unpack (after a year of having them in boxes). clearly in the modern age of kobo's and online readers, we still cannot pry ourselves away from good old hardcopy books. lastly, photography is a huge passion of mine (which you can see more of here), so we wanted a place to store reference books, old photographs,  albums and camera equipment all together.

much like the "pinspiration" images above, we agreed on creating a cozy dark space, with deep rich tones and library inspired wall-to-wall shelving. as a finished space we wanted it to feel an inviting place to work

to give you some background, here is the room before ....
and here is what it looks like today!

i LOVE how this turned out. the room immediately looks so much bigger than before. after a bit of back and forth with the furniture placement, we finally figured out that the L-shaped layout of desks was the configuration that maximized the best working surface space. by also mixing Ikea Expedit and Ikea Billy shelving with the Rubbermaid track shelving for it not only create a healthy balance of visual depth and interest, but it also quickly increased our storage space and achieved the library look we were after. much the opposite of what you might think, ceiling to floor shelving in a small space can actually increase the visual height and width of a room. the trick is just to keep the shelving to two or three walls.  if you can't use shelving, stack diploma's or a series of framed abstract art above a desk up to draw the eye up towards the ceiling and around the room. in this office we wanted to go with a dark and cozy feeling which is why we painted the walls light and used a blended mix of warm wood tones and dark brown/black to off set the colourful books and objects that adorn the shelves. as a helpful tip create the look of a bigger space in a small room, paint shelving in a tone the same or similar to that of your wall colour. now that this room is finally organized, I love coming into this office and working in this space. in fact, i the day we brought home the small succulent plants for the office was the day this room officially finally felt finished to me!
now every time we go in our library home office, we feel organized, at ease and ready for business.

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