Office Makeover – Before and After

You all know that I love a good “before and after” and I know that you do too!  

(Before I start sharing the pictures with you, I want to apologize in advance for the before pictures.  The angles are horrible.  I took them with my smartphone’s camera, before I even decided to share them on the blog.  Also, you will notice some strategically placed squares that hide private info.)

Office Organization

A couple of weeks ago, my friend asked me to help her fix up her office space at work.  Her husband owns an automobile business and she was helping her husband with the office work…except, the office didn’t work.  The men thought that the office was perfect.  They thought that it didn’t need a thing changed.  Why mess with perfection?

The thing is that perfection looked like this…

Office remodel

and this…

Office Organization

These men were so dedicated to the sales, maintenance and growth of the business, that the back office space was just not top priority.  The store front was beautiful and we needed to make the back office match.

With the help of IKEA, a screwdriver, and lots of good conversation, my friend and I embarked on a mission.  To prove the men wrong To make the office beautiful.  To create a space that was welcoming and practical.

We started by painting the walls with a color called “Cloudy Day” by Sherwin Williams.  We painted the moldings white.  We also purchased white IKEA furniture that would be easy to clean and to customize.

Here is the “after” picture of the wall pictured above.

Office organization

We chose open cubicles in the bookshelf for binders and we installed drawers in other cubicles for office supplies.  The idea was to leave out the practical and pretty and put away the practical and unsightly.

We purchased new filing cabinets, a desk, and the lamp from IKEA.  I found the clock at Target.

Office OrganizationOf course, we had to add a little “pretty”, while keeping in mind that the office had to remain somewhat masculine.  There went all my washi tape dreams…

We decorated with modern, inexpensive IKEA plants, like this one.

Office Organization

And this one that I found at Target.  It was kind of short for the cubicle, so I lifted it with a car part.  I am not even sure what it is, but I loved the end result.

Office Organization

I love decorating with practical items, such as these little IKEA buckets that hold all the pens and pencils.

Office Organization

So one more time…We went from this,

Office remodel

To this,

Office Organization

The men at the office LOVED it and even asked for their own coffee station on top of the new cabinet.  No one misses the dark furniture and my friend is a happy camper.

With a little bit of paint, some new furniture pieces and a lot of focus, any space can be transformed.  It’s important to feel comfortable where you work.  Maybe you can’t transform your whole office, but you can transform an area.  Anything to help you laugh while you work.  Actually, don’t laugh, just smile, abrupt laughter could scare co-workers.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and please share with me what is your favorite thing about your workspace.  Is it wall color, your desk, accessories, or your comfy chair?

Until next time,

Maria

 

 

Design Corner – Tray Chic

I am starting a new section of the blog, titled: Decorate.

I am not a professional designer, but in my head, I totally am.  In that part of my head, I am also a skilled ballerina, so I don’t know if that tarnishes my credibility as a designer somewhat.

I love design books and design blogs, and I am constantly moving things around in my own home, until they are “just right”. I figured I would share some of the things that inspire me to not only organize my home, but decorate it.

Every couple of weeks, I will give a new decor suggestion. They will be easy to implement and hopefully will inspire you to continue adding touches to your home, so that your home feels like you.  So that your home makes you feel how you want to feel.

This week I will share one of my favorite decorating ideas…using trays to decorate, cradle, and anchor miscellaneous items.

Traditionally, trays are used for serving food items, coffee and tea.  I keep my nicer, sturdier trays for this purpose.

Decorating with trays

But I also use them all over the house.

Starting with the coffee table in our living room.

This is actually a cake platter from Ballard Designs, that I inverted to use as a tray.  It is perfect for this small table.

Decorating with trays

In the dining room, I have a gray, narrow ottoman (Target clearance…yay!) that is nice on its own, but needed some jazzing up.

Decorating with trays

This gold croco-embossed tray was perfect to anchor the plant that sits on the ottoman.

When you have a soft surface, such as an ottoman, adding a hard element, such as a tray or a stack of books can add structure and interest to an otherwise boring piece of furniture.

I also love the gray and gold contrast.

Decorating with trays

In the family room I have an enormous tray that I found at ZGallerie (also clearance).  It is also croco-embossed.

I should have named this post “The Clearance Crocodile”.  I see a running theme…

Trays are great for tables with miscellaneous items that may not go together.  Once they are on a tray, they look organized and somehow tied together.

This is a great idea if you collect perfumes or figurines.  If they are on a tray, they will look more like a cohesive collection, and more visually appealing.

Decorating with Trays

Lastly, on the kitchen table we have a tray that corrals our vitamins, napkins and ceramic trivets.  When I need to clear the table, I simply lift the tray, instead of all the items one-by-one.

Decorating with Trays

Trays can do more than carry a tea service, they can add beauty and function to a space.

So I encourage you to dust off the trays that you have tucked away in the garage, or in the very back of the china cabinet.

If you already use trays, please share with me how.  I love to hear from you!

I hope you enjoyed this new section of the blog!

In a few days, we will return to the Kitchen Organizing Series but for now, I hope that you enjoy your weekend, your family, your home.

– Maria