Mr. E’s Office After

August 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

After about a month of planning and tinkering, we declared Mr. E’s office done. The main focus for the makeover was pragmatism: the office has to work for an absent-minded academic. If the looks of the room could be improved, that was a bonus; all other considerations took second place. It’s his space, and it has to work for him.

Only furniture and accessories we already had were used for this makeover. First, we brought up the rug from the breakfast area. Two rugs side by side look better in proportion; using just one made it look like a shrunken rug. We got these rugs right after getting married when we were living (carless) in New York City. They were reasonably cheap and delivered to our door. I wouldn’t make the same choice now. One day I will probably want to replace them; they will do for now, though. (And yes, Mr. E has been and will be consulted, as always.)

E Office East After2

Two benches from the living room moved upstairs as well. They make a window seat of sorts, plus offer more storage. I removed the curtains from the bathroom doorway for washing and liked the open views so much that I never rehung them. Instead, I extended two of the green panels with a blue scrap (to match the mostly blue rugs) and hung them flanking the window.

E Office South After

We also rearranged the rest of the furniture a bit. Two mantle-top bookcases from Staples now flank the Ikea Smådal glass-door case on the north wall; the latter used to stand alone. The smaller bookcase moved next to the desk, which sidled down the wall. Lastly, we brought in Mr. E’s great-great-grandmother’s rocking chair.

E Office North After

One hitch, though: moving the glass-door bookcase exposed a sizable expanse of white wall, so that the artwork felt inadequate for the space. Have a look:

E Office West After Temp

See the ginormous white hole on the left? To create more balance, I brought in a tall, open storage unit and topped it with plants and a standing photo frame.

Here’s the final configuration:

E Office West After

It’s definitely better. Still, I may well want to play around with the wall art at a later point to improve it further.

The artwork consists of photos of Roman metalwork, a pencil drawing by Mr. E, and a poster of ancient Roman settlements along Hadrian’s Wall done in the style of a metro map in the greater Newcastle area. Since the poster is from Europe, it doesn’t quite fit in the American frame. There was an awkward, bothersome gap between the poster and the frame on the top and bottom. To get rid of it, I embellished the poster with a strip of rectilinear meander (Greek key) on the top and the bottom.

Embellishing a poster

I picked colors from the poster and made small samples, then let Mr. E select a combination he liked. Since I can’t figure out how to get our printer reproduce certain colors faithfully, I used my colored pencils to fill the meander strips. It’s a very quick process, especially while watching something on tv or listening something.

Here are some before and afters, since they’re so much fun:

Office, east wall

Office, south wall

The east and south walls, above, didn’t really change all that much. The north and west walls, below, are where you’ll see the biggest changes.

Office, north wall

Office, west wall

We only used things we had, except curtain clips, which we were completely out of. Here’s the tally for the “new” things in the room:

  • 2nd rug: already owned
  • 2 benches: already owned (Ikea Molger)
  • Rocking chair: already owned
  • Open shelving: already owned (Ikea Molger)
  • 2 curtain panels: already owned
  • Curtain extensions: scraps
  • Curtain clips: $4.99 (Ikea Dignitet)
  • Plants, art & art supplies (color pencils, paper): already owned

Total: $4.99 (plus tax)

I find the room so much more open and expansive after moving all the large book cases on one wall. I sure hope Mr. E likes it, too!

(Note: I do not not publish sponsored content, or accept gifts or discounts to write about products. Blog posts are based on my personal opinion.)

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