Working the workspace...

Picking up where I've left off regarding my office, there isn't much to show. Im a bit stuck on what to do in here. As Ive mentioned, its a very small room. I want it to be stylish and functional. And since its my office and it doesn't really have any interesting architectural details, I'm feeling a little more free with the style. That said, Im quite constrained on the budget. Anyone want to lend a hand?

In search of some economical choices, I found myself thinking of that mecca of cheap furniture, Ikea.

So this weekend we ventured to the new controversial Ikea that just opened in Red Hook, Bklyn. middle_ikea_brooklynbridge
I considered just buying everything right there - desk, chair, storage piece, rug, etc.. On further consideration, I didn't want to go too hog wild with purchases because Im concerned about space layout and I didn't want to waste money buying pieces that might not fit or work. So I sacrificed instant gratification with a more patient approach. I'm starting with a desk and working from there.

I had spotted this desk on a prior trip.
Ikea Desk Vika Finntorp
I liked how they paired the cabriole legs with the industrial material. I liked that it came in two sizes so I could choose the scaled down version to work with the small room. I liked the price at a sweet $140. It had a little oomph and I like oomph :)
Ok, now onto the layout. I a little bit stuck since in a very poor decision making moment on my part, I allowed the internet & phone lines to be installed on the left side of the room. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have put them on the right side which would have given me more layout options. But Monday morning quarterbacking will do me no good now. (In my defense, I was sort of overwelmed with a thousand of these tiny decisions at the time so I'm giving myself a pass on this one). Im nuts when it comes to seeing wires tacked along the wall so I don't want to do that here. So my two options for desk placement are: a) pushing the desk up against the left wall long ways or b) pushing the short end of the desk against the left wall so the bulk of the desk juts out. I went with option b for now. What do you think?

While I was at Ikea, I stopped to make an inspection of this bad boy.
trollsta sideboard
I liked the look. Its a bit large at 72 inches but its less than 30 inches high so that should help keep it from being overwelming. Im thinking it *might* work along the right side wall for storage inside and display on top. Is it too much?

And yes, that is a totally trashy brown paper + masking tape window treatment you see. Isn't it fabulous? NOT! It gets really sunny in here so I needed something to block the sun from melting me. Its also an odd size window so I can't just buy any old thing and tack it up there. Once again, I'm stumped.

Once the large pieces are in, I have some fun accessories all ready to go in including a crystal desk lamp, a chanel poster, a postcard rack, etc..
bigChanelBlkBluballard corkboardDSC_0245

So to recap, what else needs to be done in here?
a) decide on layout
b) office chair
c) storage piece
d) rug
e) window treatment

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  1. Go wireless on your Internet connection and maybe run an extension cord along the baseboards...just an idea.
    I really love looking at your home and seeing how you're renovating everything!

  2. I like the credenza and I like the desk, but I think that together they are a little too much of the same thing (ornate design rendered in flat, modern materials) -- you run the risk of getting a "showroom" look. Instead of the credenza, I would think about either using something much older and made of natural material (i.e. wood) OR going with something very sleek and simple (like a row of IKEA upper kitchen cabinets mounted low on the wall). Just as long as you get some contrast, since the desk is so stylized.

  3. I confess I've eyed that curvy-legged stainless table on recent trips to IKEA. It looks great in your room in the option B layout. The long low black console also caught my eye, but it is very large and somewhat light absorbing. I wonder if you might tire of its drama. I like the idea of a sleek bank of shelving or drawer storage along your long wall. I'm sure you'll make it work. You always do.

  4. The desk is so nice, perfect. I want a post card holder , I always think black is great especially with those walls, I love the long low credenza its perfect for the room.
    I like where the desk is but it looks like the credenza on the right wall would make for a tight squeeze.
    You can get another plain roman shade for the window, if you find a fabric that you like you can simpley glue it right onto the shade fabric , its just as hard a ironing out a rectangle, just a thought....I like to cover romans with nicer fabrics, much more cost effective than getting a custom shade made.

  5. Since my wireless router is in the basement, the signal up 3 floors isn't strong enough to use consistently. It wouldn't matter anyway since I have other cords that need to be run anyway.

    FYI: The sideboard doesn't look quite so dramatic in person as it does in the advertisement. The legs are pretty subtle b/c they are low to the ground. But its hard to know how much this small room can handle.

    Mounting a low row of cabinets is a great idea but this is a plaster wall and its difficult to mount anything here without putting up supports. Way beyond my DIY level.

    Great idea about using nicer fabric over an existing roman shade but how do I finish the edges of the fabric? I don't sew.

  6. LOVE the wall color and the choice of the desk! For the window shade check out smith & noble. LOTS of fabric options and trim. They are very resonable. I've used them quite a bit.

    What about an old worn french sideboard - with a gustavian paint job? Check out the junk stores - antique stores.

    Your place is SO fabulous!

  7. home decorators has a ton of black credenza/lowboys. Check out the home office section. I also love the verse rug at Its a pattern but in a random script pattern.

  8. I'm drooling, just drooling. Love the table and especially the accessories. Not sure I love the credenza but I trust your always seem to manage to pull it all together.

  9. With your back to the window, you might run into a bit of a glare issue on your laptop.

  10. Horchow also has a really nice black/white damask rug 5x8 for 399.

  11. i love the desk coming out from the wall, lately i have been drawn to pictures of this as well. i hate when everything is pushed up against a wall, its so boring and typical. and i think its a great idea to be looking out the door. as for your window, i think you should get a rod that is longer than your window so that you can put two panels on both sides and make it appear larger. i love the chanel poster and the color of your walls. so chic :) i usually am not a big fan of ikea, but i think the desk is great! im not so sure about the other piece, i am afraid putting too much ikea furniture could get really cheap looking. but its your call, you know design, i can tell by the way the rest of your house is beginning to look!

  12. I like the credenza…I think (hope!) it would work, but not sure if it’s too deep (i.e., would prevent you from getting around the side of the desk easily). Not sure of the scale of the Ikea frame leaning on the floor, but it would make a lovely mirror centered over the credenza…the mirror would sort of pick up the silver of the desk. You already mentioned having a crystal desk lamp but I was thinking you could treat the piece like a “buffet” and bookend tall, slim (silver with black shades?) lamps or mercury glass candlesticks (I don’t care how “out” mercury glass is. I heart it.). ANYWAY…the room looks awesome already. And I love, love the paint color.

  13. I like the desk, nice and simple! The credenza thingie I am less smitten with. I do, however, love the idea of low slung, long storage cabinets. Gives lots of "put away" space and lots of surface area for (a) piles of junk and (b) objets d'art.

    Once I get around to decorating my office, I will be writing just about the same post you just did. I find offices to be the most intimidating rooms for some reason. Mostly I suppose because I am not very good at making functionalilty look as snazzy as they do in the magazines!

    Your place is looking amazing. You must feel so warm and fuzzy when you walk in the door! Well-deserved!

    xoo Terri

  14. Mrs. L-

    I don't really have lots of suggestions, or any for that matter. But I do want to say I ♥♥♥ that desk you chose. So unexpected---loves it!

  15. You have to move the really will give you more options (not walking into the desk). I PROMISE you can do this. Go buy a roll of white cable wire at Home Depot (measure first, it comes in different lengths in packages). Unscrew from your computer. Join it with the end of your new will screw right on. follow it at the top of your baseboard all the way around the room. Use a package of white cable nail-ins for 1.99 at Home depot (see link
    Use your tack hammer and tack it in all the way will blend right in with the white molding. Then put it where you want. 15 minute project costs 25 dollars and is very easy.

  16. Thanks lisa. I know how to run the wires along the baseboard, I just really dislike the look of wires run around the room. Maybe the wire runs don't stand out so much but the part where the wires plug into the wall definitely do. Since Im the only one using the room and that would annoy me, I can't effectively hide it from myself :)

  17. That desk is great! So different from the norm for IKEA.

  18. Have been eyeing your home renovations for weeks now as we go thru a remodel too. Not quite as extensive as yours, however! Am copying many of your ideas for your master bath, and now want to swipe that great paint color in your office. Is it BM Waterfall? I have a daughter who wants her room "turquoise" and I think this might fill the bill.

    And your office, check out Candice Olson's collection of rugs. She has some modern twists in some great colors that would work in your house.

  19. calaura - thanks for stoping by. Yes, thats the color. Its a pretty vibrante teal which should make any little girl pretty happy.

  20. As far as the freyed edge question you have to fold once iron, fold twice iron again , edge is concealed inside, you would just cut a piece of fabric 1" or so larger all around. Easy peesy .


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