Sunday, June 23, 2013

Office Re-Vamp, Part 2!


Welcome back, all!  Thanks for coming by to see the rest of my updates to Stephen's office.  None of the things I did for this half of the room were nearly as involved as the slipcover I showed you a couple days ago, but they still make a big impact on the room.

The kids were really excited to help me with this makeover, so I let them be involved in the biggest project I did.  We decided to make a book page tree on the window wall of the office, right next to Stephen's desk.  Vintage book pages are an incredibly versatile decorating tool! I've made wreaths and swags out of them, and even Modge Podge them onto canvases for one of the most popular items in my Etsy shop.  Lily and James were pretty psyched about the idea of a tree looking like it was growing up next to Stephen's desk, too.

The first step to making this tree creating a "trunk," which we made from dollar store brown craft paper.  Brace yourselves, this picture was extruded with difficultly from my phone:

Oh, and see that pile of trash all over the desk?  Yeah, that's called "creativity in progress."  Anyway, that's how the tree looked before it had any leaves.  I tried attaching it to the wall with just putty, but that wasn't happening, so it's nailed up there.  The kids got to choose where each branch went, and I think they did a great job!  After the skeleton of the tree was finished, I set to cutting about eleventy billion leaves from a vintage book called The Perrin Writer's Guide and Index to English.  Perfect for Stephen, I thought. :)

To add a little extra visual interest to all the paper leaves, the kids painted a few of them green.  They positively loved this part.

It took a couple tries before I liked the arrangement of the leaves on the tree, but it ended up working really well.  Lily even made a little owl to perch in a hole that I painted in the tree trunk.  As you can see in these pictures, I ended up adding some paint to give the brown craft paper a little more texture.  It looked too flat and very un-barklike before I painted it.

The kids are so proud of our little tree.  They had lots of fun bossing me around about where to put their green leaves, too.

The other major thing we did on this side of the room was to create a bit of a gallery wall behind Stephen's desk.  There are lots of special things in there, so I'll tell you about them individually, but here's a view of that whole area first.

I actually had lots of fun trying to create a masculine look in this room.  I've never really tried to do that before, since I basically just assume that Stephen likes whatever I do.  Ha!  In his office, though, I made a real effort to stick to non-girly stuff.

The main focus of the gallery wall is the wonderful painting Stephen's brother Kyle made for him.  It's a fabulous Texas-y scene of cowboys sitting around their fire late at night.  I love it!

I'm so sorry I couldn't get a better shot of the painting!  It's in the corner of the room and it just doesn't get enough natural light for my little camera to do it justice.  (Sorry, Kyle!) 

All the photographs on this wall are ones Stephen took himself.  Remember the crooked 3x5 photos I mentioned last time?  Well, the two pictures mounted on linen in this gallery wall are a part of that set!  I've actually always really liked those photos (Stephen's had them displayed for as long as I've known him), but they were a bit forlorn in those little black frames that never hung straight.  If you go back up and look at the picture of the tree trunk in its pre-leaf state, you can just see those 2 pictures in their old frames.  Much better now, huh?  The photo in the larger frame is actually one he took while he was in Venice.  That might have been the thing I was most excited for him to see, actually.  He posted it to Facebook while he was there, and I got it printed and framed before he got back!  Booyah!  Several points to me.

The last two items in the gallery wall are projects I did to fill in the space.  To the left of the painting is a slice of a tree branch (from Michael's) that I painted with a couple simple stripes.  I pulled the colors from Kyle's painting, to help unify the grouping.

I love the texture of the bark on that piece.  It's a nice, masculine project that took about 3 minutes to complete, and is a great tie in with the tree we made on the adjoining wall.  Lastly, I embroidered the word "Read" onto my favorite natural linen and left it framed in the embroidery hoop.  This project is actually pulled straight off Etsy.  If you'd like one of your own, here's the shop where you can get one! 

Again, I love how this project turned out.  It's a really simple piece, just like the wood slice, but think it works perfectly for the space.  What with Stephen getting his PhD in English and all. :)

So, with the walls surrounding it complete, I just had to work on the desk itself.  I wish I could have afforded to replace Stephen's big "some assembly required" particle board desk, but that'll have to happen at a later date.  This wasn't a big budget makeover, after all!  In that spirit, the kiddos and I hit the thrift stores and the craft store to find a few accessories.

A while back I put a plant in the office, which Stephen really liked.  Unfortunately, it's no longer with us, so this time I decided to go for a fake one.

Michael's has some of the best faux succulents I've ever seen, and on sale this pair was only $5!  I've had that little copper pot for years, and it made the perfect home for them.  Bonus, they can't die!

My favorite thrifty find by far was this really cool 1952 golf tournament trophy.  Stephen likes to golf when he gets the chance, but mostly we love watching it together.  (Yes, I did just admit that I like to watch golf on TV.  This little guy is a nice reminder for Stephen of one of the ways he's influenced my watching habits.  For better or worse, as they (and we) say.  I'll let you decide which, in this case.)

Isn't he great?  I really, really love the old Bakelite plastic of his stand.  Oh, and did I mention that he cost $.89?  Yeah, less than a dollar.  Thank you, Salvation Army thrift store!  After cleaning off and organizing a bit, the desk was finished.  Here's the view from the chair over towards the closet:

Meh.  Apparently I didn't straighten out the curtains for that shot.  Just ignore that, please.  Anyway, with the updates to the desk area finished, the makeover was complete!  I don't even sorta have a wide angle lens, so the best I can do is these two pictures which show both sides of the room:

What do you think of the whole thing?  I love it!  It's a much more comfortable and functional space now.  Stephen was really happy when he saw it, too.

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out this makeover!  Hope you like the results as much as we do, and I especially hope it gives you some ideas for your own home.

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