office table update

This is my Ikea office desk. I've had it for about 10 years and it has lasted me through two homes. It's made of pressed fiberboard and has a white melamine coating. It has been a practical and efficient desk but its time has come HouseandHome-Office-EmmaReddington-SIP-Fall11

It's long, narrow shape has made it the perfect work space in my tiny office. However if you look closely you might notice that it has a slight bend in the middle.  It also is quite scratched up. My dream has always been to have a desk that stretches the entire length of the room with adequate storage underneath. I always thought I was going to have to get something custom made until I see these photographs from prop stylist and store owner Hilary Robertson.



This could be my doppelganger office - black chalkboard walls, old wood floor, low side window, narrow room. I love it! And take a look at that desk. It looks like it has been constructed out of an old table base (I imagine there is another one at the other end) and a wood plank top. Easy and beautiful!

hilary_robertsondesk2Here's another look. I think I could make this! All I have to do is find two table bases and a wood top. I'm thinking I could even use some Ikea Numerar oak butcher block so the table is sturdy and even. What do you think?

hilary_robertson3Of course, while I was looking through Hilary Robertson's site I also found this image. I never thought of putting my desk sideways and building storage up the wall. If I did this I think I would have to lose my metro shelving on the opposite wall but those file folders could be relocated on to the shelving wall and I would gain a bit more room on that side.

If it was your office what would you do? One long desk or this L shaped solution with vertical storage?

Photo Credits:
1 - Per Kristiansen
2-5 - Hilary Robertson



the office - happily ever after

The first thing I'm going to admit this Monday morning is that it is hard to do house projects in the middle of summer! It seems fundamentally wrong to be inside on a warm, sunny day painting walls and hanging lights but that's what I was doing. (I kept hearing my mother's voice in the back of my head saying, "go outside and play, it's beautiful outside.") But the truth of the matter is that I couldn't live with the chaos that was our half finished office. I needed to find a place for everything and get organized. I'm one of those people that can't concentrate or think straight until everything is in order. So I made it my task this weekend to get the office up and running.

The main change was wallpapering and painting the wall, changing the light fixture, getting better storage boxes, and redecorating (for lack of a better word).

Just so we all remember what it use to look like, here is the before:

And the after:

I'm so happy with the way the painted anaglypta wallpaper turned out. Not only did it hide all the cracks in the old plaster wall but it gave the room some personality and depth. You'll see that one of my recently purchased chairs also found a new home. I thought it worked well with the Leran pendant light and Flata basket from Ikea. I also added a simple twine line to which I can add clothespins for inspiration images and ideas.

And remember this balancing act:

It is now better organized and less liable to collapse under its own weight!

I received so many helpful and wonderful suggestions about what I could do with my office. At some point (maybe in the middle of winter) I'd like to tackle some of them (a new blind, some pin up boards for the wall, and maybe even some new shelving) but for now this will have to do. Oh, and my dream to have a room of my own...well let's just say I got to call the shots on how the room looks. For now, it's still an office for two.

What do you think? Was it worth spending a warm, sunny day inside for?

black & gold

Sometimes inspiration comes from the funniest of places like the back of a coaster. On Saturday, Myles and I spent our first night alone from Henry since he was born (that's 18 months, if you're counting). We decided to be tourists in our own city. We booked into a hotel downtown and wandered the streets of Toronto way past our usual bedtime. Around 11:30 pm, we sat down for dinner at a Japanese izakaya called Guu. Words can't really describe the frenetic energy this place has. Incredible.

On our table were two Sapporo beer coasters. They had the most amazing black and gold patterns on them.

I was so inspired by the look that I dedicated this post to black and gold images. I'm even thinking of adding some gold to our black bathroom. I think the combination works so well together. Enjoy!

via Bloesem

via Bloesem

via Bloesem

Roland Bello

Simon Watson

Simon Watson

Gentl & Hyers

Francois Halard

Martyn Thompson

weekend project

My husband thinks I'm crazy. Nothing gets me more excited than buying a new can of paint. What is a chore to him is a world of possibilities to me. My recent love affair with black walls got me thinking that our kitchen could use an update. The kitchen is the one room in our house that is entirely modern which is to say that it has no original features or mouldings. Up until now it has been all white with some hits of orange and green. I've always felt that the kitchen didn't really flow with the rest of the house.

Then one night it came to me....paint one wall black and remove the green elements (three cabinets and two lights). This would bring the black colour through the house from the front door, up the hallway, back to the kitchen. The black also really makes the white elements pop.

In the pictures, the green cabinets are still in place. I haven't had a chance to update them yet. I also have to decide on some new lights. I'm considering a few different types at the moment. I'll keep you updated. Here are the before and afters.