Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Officially a Mess

My little 10 x 10 office has changed a lot in the 9 years we've had our house. Like all our other rooms, it's improved as we've had the time, skills, and money to put into it.

The first incarnation was a truly regrettable combination of purple walls, plastic fiber optic flowers, and enough clutter to make even a hardened hoarder beg for mercy:

Look, kitties!
Please, pay no attention to everything else.

Fortunately, this is the only photographic evidence that exists of my deep, personal design shame. The fact that I am now sharing it with all of you is evidence of my deep, personal sadomasochistic streak.

The next incarnation was inspired by Animator's Palette, my favorite themed restaurant on board the Disney cruise ships:

Photo from wdwinfo.com

source

So basically black and white all over, with tons of art and brightly colored doo-dads strewn about. (All of the art in Animator's Palette turns to color during dessert.)

This was the largest, most time-consuming renovation we'd done in our house up 'til that point, as we tried several different configurations - and even ceilings! - only to rip them out and start over again. That might have had something to do with the fact that I can't decide if I like something until I see it. And the fact that John is incredibly patient. Maybe.

Anyway, after far too many months, we finally had this:

Custom ceiling, cabinetry which uses picture frames for doors, bench seating, disguised closets and bookshelves, and, oh yes, a wrap-around desk that occupied a quarter of the room, all made by John - with a teensy bit of help from me.


Here's a better shot of the ceiling:

I have to rave about these ceiling tiles for a second: they're made of lightweight foam, and simply glue over existing popcorn ceilings! Fo' realz. Easy, oh-so-gorgeous, and there were actually several great patterns to choose from. (I have a girlier pattern with vines in my closet.)

[Note: It's been years since I ordered these, but I'm pretty sure Ceiling Tiles By Us is the site I used.]

With a 10 x 10 room, you have to get creative with storage. John made me this pull-out cabinet/drawer/thingy for all my ribbon:

To make one yourself, hang a piece of wood off a drawer's slider track inside an existing cabinet. Then attach wire shelves & paper towel holders to either side, and use a short piece of PVC pipe (or an old paper towel roll) to hang your spools of ribbon.

Next to the ribbon cabinet is this little gem:

It's a tiny hidden closet, which takes advantage of the dead space in the corner. The door slides inward to open, and inside I store wrapping paper, shoes, and dresses.

Here it is later, covered with art:

The frames on the door are attached with Velcro, so I can remove them and change out the art - which I do pretty often. The frames on the cubbies are on hinges, and open to the left.

That green cushion was soon replaced by a custom black-and-white checkered one, but I can't find a good photo of it. Here's the seat, though:



So, why I am showing you all this? Other than to embarrass myself? (I have better taste now, I swear! Remember my dining room!) Well, it's because my office is currently undergoing Renovation #3.

Yep, after five or so years the clutter and color chaos has gotten a little overwhelming - plus the floor was shot - so I decided to keep all the bones of the room but redo and streamline everything else. We've been at it about a week. And by "we," I mean John. John's been at it about a week. I've just been camping out in my new dining room workspace and assuring everyone who sees our front room that no, we are NOT having a yard sale tomorrow.

Ok, so it's a little messy around here.

Ok, a lot.

***
Hey, wanna see some progress shots?

Oooof course you do.


I feel this may need some explanation.

Ok, see, what's happening here is John's putting down wood flooring, which has to be glued, and he's using blue painter's tape to keep the boards together while the glue dries. The flooring guys told us we could install it right over the stick-down linoleum, so...uh...we are.

Finished!

The wood is the darkest we could find: almost black. The walls are actually just primed right now, but we tinted the primer the color I'm thinking of using just to try it out: a kind of teal-ish robin's egg blue. What do you guys think? I'm hoping it will go with most of the art I want to display, and also lighten up the room.

Here's something John added back during the dining room remodel:

When John made the cabinet of wonders in the dining room, he actually freed up about 16 inches of space in the wall to inset THIS cabinet in. If you look closely at my first pic of this room, you can see there was a cabinet here before, but it stuck out about 4 inches. This one is flush with the wall, AND [drumroll, please] it has all this, too:

Woot woot!

Each door now holds my Star Trek book collection, leaving the rest of the cabinet free for other books and fabrics and junk n' stuff. It still needs handles (I bought antique door knobs for those) and *hopefully* will also have the doorknockers from Labyrinth on the fronts. I still need the knocker guy with the ring through his ears, though - anyone have one they want to sell me? [Bambi eyes] Puh-leeease? I've been searching Ebay for months and months, but haven't had any luck. :(

One other major structural change:

John demo'd the bench seat (we didn't use it much) and we plan to replace it with another work space. Trouble is, I can't figure out what to use for the desktop! Wood, probably, but then what color should we stain or paint it? I don't want more black, white scuffs too easily, and it'd be silly to make it the same color as the walls. Sooo...thoughts? Suggestions?

Well, I have to end now, because John is installing trim and the resulting gun-shot-like bangs from the nail gun are wreaking havoc on my nerves. [twitch] I'm fine. [twitch] Really.

Now, where are those earplugs?


122 comments:

  1. what about a desk color like red? do a search for red + aqua and see how it looks.

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  2. wow you guys are busy! or, John is. :D

    I suggest a nice, flat chocolate brown. it goes sooo well with most colors and is nice and rich. my two cents.

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  3. it's looking good - john is really talented. as for the desktop, i'm loving the green of that pillow!

    would love to see how the picture frames on hinges work on your cubes. i have an ikea expedit and had seen where someone had used magnetic cabinet latches to keep frames in place, but i love the idea of hinges.

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  4. Wow! Carpenter John is Uh-May-Zing!!! WOW! WOW! WOW! :)

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  5. this is so beautiful; I wish I had your style (& motivation, & supportive construction worker)!

    Just some thoughts for the work-surface; glass is terrific for gluing against, because you can clean it with a razor blade if you have to.
    Though I'm not certain that's something you do often enough to need it?

    And for color, a bolder shade of the wall color could be fun, or something in a contrasting tone, like copper.

    Not sure if those two suggestions go together at all. :)

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  6. OMG You two are the coolest! I would so love to do the things you do with your office. Mine looks very much like your first pic. lol And I don't have the creativity or ability to make such cool changes. Some day, I will have money and PAY someone to do it for me. Um, I don't suppose John can be hired? ;)

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  7. Jen...love the office reno! I have a suggestion for your additional desk space...what if you did a sea glass or mosaic desk top? Poor a concrete slab however thick you want it, then smash up old tiles or find sea glass and do a mosaic over the top. I've ALWAYS wanted a sea glass table or work space in my house, but don't have the time (I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old and my husband is active duty Air Force). Good luck with your project! I hope this suggestion helps spark others if this one's not to your liking. :)

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  8. Look for a granite remnant at a countertop store. -Amy in TN

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  9. I love the scaled back version you are doing of the office! We just re-did our office and though the space is the size of a small 1/2 bath, we got tons of shelves and two computer stations with a stack of drawers to separate. I went with a fresh 'Scottish Isle' green on the walls. I still have to put up the framed photos and sticky "When I think of Home..." words, but it feels so much larger without the boring beige!

    Shelley in So. IL

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  10. John is a wonderful man. i bet he could make squishing 4 females, a male, and a cat into 940 sq feet (with one bathroom - 4 females) not as miserable as it is now. And has been. For 5 years.

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  11. Have you considered glass for your new work surface? With nothing underneath.

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  12. I totally heart your office, both the animator palette and the new blue goodness! Seriously great job on the book shelf. Want to come down South and build some for my office? No help on the desk but the room looks fab....are you keeping the ceiling?

    Lovin' the Alice prints!

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  13. I love the black and white style! I can understand wanting to change though after a couple of years with it. I can't wait to see the new style.

    As for the desk maybe wood but in a lighter tone? I have heard its okay to mix up wood tones in a room.

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  14. Hmm, something that compliments teal, white and almost black... fuchsia? purple? green? I dug the black and white motif, but it did seem a bit busy for a work space.

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  15. tiny purple elphantAugust 10, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    love the floors! When i saw the books, i thought that they looked like star trek books and then i scrolled down and read that they were! go me!
    Im a new-ish fan to star trek. Can you lock me into your cabinet of of star trek books please!

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  16. Your husband is very handy. You're very lucky to have one that is so willing to remodel the house like that. I really like the checkered look that the office had before. I'm looking forward to seeing the end result of the new remodel.

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  17. What about a nice granite or marble-look counter top? Like for the kitchen? http://www.marble.com/materials/marble I'm rather partial to page 2 Tinos Green for some reason...

    Or do a tile mosici type thing from odds or broken tiles?

    Of course, you can get the same look as the marble by using peel and stick tiles over a wood top. I've found single tiles for sale in the dollar type stores, but I'm sure you can fine singles elsewhere too... I say singles, because you can get a couple diffrent colors or styles and form a mosaic that way.

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  18. @ Karen M - the picture frame cabinet doors are super easy: just get a frame with a thick enough edge to screw a hinge onto, and then attach it to a cabinet or cubby slightly smaller than the frame. We used two hinges each, and they hold up great.

    @ Sylph & Dennis - glass! Hey, that's an idea! Ooh, and *copper*. Mmmm, I love copper. Maybe if I leafed the underside of a glass top with copper leaf? Hm...

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  19. Ooh! LOVE the blue. Suggestion for desk top: a pretty, birch color (I'm refering to the "birch effect" type color used by Ikea, for an example) if you're wanting it stream-lined and Zen-like. I see someone else has suggested red and that's a gorgeous combo too. Either would look fab. And tell John great job from a random blog stalker! He's really good at all the carpentry stuff!

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  20. For the desk-top, I'd suggest a dark blue that compliments it (not quite navy, but near that). Then put down plexiglass overtop, but don't attach it permanently. That way you can lift it up and put pictures and art underneath, and change up the workspace like you changed out the art in the cabinet frames.

    Plus plexiglass makes for a great surface to do crafts on.

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  21. Maybe stain it the same color as your floor?

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  22. What about covering the top of the table with the same stuff that's on the floor, then paint the front/outside edge the same shade as the walls? Or like, a lighter shade.

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  23. Red. Because I love the sky blue/red combo. Oh, and put a couple coats of good lacquer on it to prevent pesky scuffs. (And cat claw marks)
    You guys are totally inspiring!

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  24. Oh Jen. Oh my. I look at your Star Trek book collection and tears, literal tears!, came to my eyes. Knowing there are other girl geeks out there like me makes me feel, well, not alone anymore!

    By the way, fabulous room! I loved that lack and white decor but can see why you'd want a do over. It would be a tad overwhelming after a while.

    Also, I now hold you personally responsible for my new steam punk obsession.

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  25. Don't know what you want your door kocker to look like but see if this link works:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-LABYRINTH-Door-Knocker-14-tall-/280538015004?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0

    Good Luck! I'll keep looking!

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  26. I love the wall color you are considering, that shade of blue is my fave.
    Please please tell me where you got the pics of the fairies!!? I have a punch of pics from what is obviously the same artist saved on my computer for a few years now but I have no idea who the artist is or how to get them. When I saw the first one with the big red heart I flipped!

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  27. How about pictures decoupaged onto a piece of wood...that way you can make it fit all of your interests...I did this with an old typing table that my school was getting rid of (I'm a teacher) and it looks really cool. I get compliments on it all the time. I also used a little bit of stain here and there to make it look "aged". Scrapbooking pages and stickers and whatnot of gears and stuff could make it look steampunky.

    By the way, I love both of your blogs. I read both of them voraciously, and often find myself referencing them to others. You rock!

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  28. Ooh! I'm in love with your bookshelves-inside-the-cabinet! What a great secret stash of geeky goodness.

    Also, the ceiling treatment rocks. I'm going over to look at their website now.

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  29. Maybe repurpose and old door, attach it to the wall, and paint it a dark coral?

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  30. Red or orange. It would look awesome with the light blue.

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  31. Thank you thank you thank you for the link to those celing tiles. I hate our popcorn celings. Of corse now we're moving but our new house will be like a blank canvas.

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  32. Well the complementary color for Aqua is orange ( http://www.worqx.com/color/complements.htm ) which might make a great pop in the room. I loved the black and white simplicity of the room. Now that I have a house, I had best get up to your decorating speed, ne? I need to figure out what to do with my office. It is time to find some inspiration for that location.

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  33. You could do a white desk, but just cover it with some glass or a piece of that clear plastic stuff (my DH knows what it's really called, as I'm sure John does too). Or copper, then cover it with the glass or plastic stuff.

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  34. Oh, Animator's Palette! That was my absolute FAVORITE when I cruised on the Magic! It was one of the most amazing things my 7-year-old eyes had ever seen!

    ...Maybe MY office could use some renovation!

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  35. Love it! Before and after! My workspace is also the laundry room/storage room/sewing room/office/pet room/second entry to our house, and I just finished reorganizing it, but didn't have the funds to actually paint or anything like that.
    For the desktop: Just because you've been doing so much with pennies lately, I thought of this immediately. http://www.flickr.com/photos/67212010@N00/sets/72157622180326264/ They put pennies over their countertop and then poured a two part epoxy resin over the top of it. You could put just about anything in there that you wanted, though. I've seen tabletops with photographs and seashells embedded inside, other mementos from just about anything. You could steampunk it out and put some gears inside... I could go on and on, but I won't bore you. I think at this point, I'm suggesting it to you so you can try it because I can't!
    John is awesome. I wish my hubby was handy like that. ;-)

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  36. I'm thinking a dark wood frame with an inset covered in faux leather for the desk. You could probably get a scrap from the fabric store for cheap.

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  37. You guys are my heroes. Somehow seeing you getting all crafty and awesome with your house makes me feel like my house is improving just by internet association.

    Soon I'm going to be redoing our finished basement into a playroom for my twin toddlers. One wall I'm going to paint into a blackboard--any suggestions from anyone on colors/patterns? They make so many cool shades of blackboard paint these days.

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  38. @ Marie, if you mean the fairy with the strawberry - which I think you do - that's Lindsey Cormier. Unfortunately she only did a few in that style, though - which is why I kick myself every day for not snatching up the other originals I saw years ago on ebay!

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  39. @ Samantha - Oooh, I like the penny counter! We actually used bar-top epoxy to make my current desk, although it just has a painted design and stretched tulle under it. I'm definitely leaning towards copper for the smaller desktop, though, so I'll be ruminating on the penny idea. :D Thanks!

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  40. OMG, Jasmine' art! You have so much of it, that is awesome! I just have one of her little ACEOs (a ladybug, <3 it). I used to run into her and Matt back when I lived in Celebration (I live in Orlando proper these days)... I remember you are in Orlando too, so I hope you guys have had a chance to meet (and now I am wondering if she is a Cake Wrecks fan).

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  41. Showed this link to a friend of mine and she suggested Brushed Stainless for the tabletop. vb

    p.s. I loved the b/w room...I loved that restaurant on the Disney ship, but, I look forward to seeing the remodel.

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  42. I immediately thought red or orange, and I see a lot of others have suggested it too. I think it'd be great.

    LOVE both the b/w and current versions of your office, btw. You have my dream office.

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  43. i would just like to know where i can get me a john? my husbano sorta went nutso after i painted the living room for the third time. seriously. how do you know you can live with the color until after you've actually lived with the color? would you be willing to rent his skillz by the hour? ;)

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  44. 1) Is John available for rental?! What a great guy to do all that hard work for you!

    2) Suggestion for the desk color: find a piece of artwork that you LOOOOOVE that will go in the office, one that has the blue color in it you've already chosen for the walls. Pick another color out of that piece to paint the desk AND other accents in the room. It will make the space pop while still looking pulled together.

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  45. @ Victoria S - Heh, good eye! Yep, My whole office door is covered in Jasmine's (aka Strangling, for those of you wondering) art. I have a few larger prints, too, but no originals. YET.

    We've met her and Mat a few times now - they're awesome - and yes, they know CW. They also have their own signed book. :)

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  46. I'd go with a darker shade of the wall color.

    And I love your cabinets. I have some nice ones in my crafts room too, but I have the tendency to just shove all the junk in and create a huge mess :(

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  47. from one crafty girl to another...i have found a smooth surface is the best for work stations. enter the gloriousness that is resin epoxy! check out these two ideas...
    #1 (crave, covet, love!)
    http://www.craftycrafty.tv/2008/05/transform_an_old_table_with_bu.html
    or
    #2 (love these ideas)
    http://www.mozdesigns.com/tabletops.html

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  48. Paint the new workspace metallic - silver or bronze or something! Or do a stainless steel desktop!

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  49. http://cgi.ebay.com/New-LABYRINTH-Door-Knocker-14-tall-/280538015004?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0 Viola. Found on the first search of ebay. Lol. You're welcome. ^_^

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  50. why NOT have the desk the same color as the wall? seems like it would blend in & look less cluttery, somehow.

    my husband would be so useful if he could build things.

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  51. @ kirazi - Heh - oops, I guess I should have mentioned: almost all of the Labyrinth knockers on ebay are the ones made of fabric/plush, although I see that auction doesn't mention what it's made of. The one I'm looking for was sold at Hot Topic years ago, and is made of plaster.

    The killer is that I think they sold for less than $10 at the time. Grrr...

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  52. Hi,
    I love that color of the wall and the floor. And I love really geeky 8 bit wall tattoo. Like this
    Super Mario wall tattoo
    I would make your the wall behind your desk look like an old fashioned game and make the grass green bottom of it extend to your desk. I would love to have such a desk. Or make it look like a tetris game really colorfull and at the wall you can add some falling bricks (if made of wood they could be used as mini shelves). That wouldn't bee very expensive - maybe it cost al lot of time and nerves to color the desk. I made a small box in the tetris theme if think the idea is cool and you neen a little instruction i'd like to help you.

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  53. I hope the ceiling tiles are staying! They're too gorgeous to lose.

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  54. You are one of the luckiest women on the planet.

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  55. You guys are SO creative!!My "office" right now is a desk next to the kitchen. Plus the kids like to dump all of their stuff on it.

    I love the cabinets! And I love how you incorporated all the art work, I need to do something like that.

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  56. re: color...

    I found this neato little color wheel online (http://www.ficml.org/jemimap/style/color/wheel.html) You can hover your mouse over the wheel until you find the color that is closest to what you have on your walls now, then if you want to find a complementary color to that color, just pull your mouse directly across the wheel & click on a color/shade you think you like. It'll display directly below the color you first picked. I thought it might be a cool way to experiment with different combinations for your desktop. (You could go with a brick red or something along those lines.)

    Lookin' good! :)

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  57. Okay, I must be a total geek...because even before reading the caption on that second-to-last photo, I knew that those were Star Trek books. :-)

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  58. Looks amazing! I think for the desktop you should go with a type of stainless steel. You can probably find something that works at Home Depot, Lowe's or some custom cabinet/kitchen shop. Shouldn't cost too much, plus it's durable and will look awesome with the wall color and floors! Good luck!

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  59. Please, can I borrow John???? I promise I'll take care of him and will return him to you unmolested!

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  60. Thanks for the look into your space! I love seeing people's creative spaces. You should check out a magazine called "Where women create" and "Studios" magazine (by Cloth Paper Scissors) for some awesome ideas.

    I say go with a kitchen benchtop type surface for your desktop - like granite or something. Something hard wearing that wont scratch, but can be easily wiped down.

    But you gotta get rid of that "mental hospital blue" colour on the walls! Go for something cream, and Steampunk the hell out of that room like you did with the dining room!! :)

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  61. How about the same color wood as the floor? The other thing would be a wood shade just a hair lighter. My dining room table is a deep walnut and my floors (when I finish them ^_^) are going to be the same color as yours. I love the combo.

    And as my glasses are brown and teal....I adore your blueish color and dark brown!

    I don't even want to tackle my office yet, I have way to much to do on the rest of my house, lol. So it's the same color as it was when we had a friend living with us pre-kiddos (6 years ago 0-0) yellow with pale purple texture rolled over it. yeah.......I should so get that taken care of.

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  62. Totally off subject, but as a self-professed crazy cat girl I have to say both of your cats are absolutely beautiful!

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  63. LOVE that ceiling - I hope it's staying.

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  64. Oh wow--is John for rent? Cause I've got these rooms...

    I can't wait to see the finished pics, cause the in-progress already looks great.

    Oh, and thanks for the ceiling tiles link--I have horrid ceilings, so I'm hoping I can find something there I like.

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  65. Wow! Your John is such a sweetie. My Jon is grumpy with me because I want to repaint the kitchen after only two years. Maybe I'll show him this post and point out that "at least I don't want to completely remodel a room for the 2nd time in like 5 years". Do you think that would work? :)

    Oh, and I love the ceiling tiles. I am so tired of my popcorn ceilings...definitely inspired after seeing those tiles!

    Thanks for the inspiration and motivation!

    :) Kirsten

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  66. Your husband looooooooves you. That's all there is to say.

    Oh and as a suggestion for the color for the desk (where the bench seat used to be) I would go with a shade of yellow or orange. I think it would look beautiful next to the blue. Look at the orange books in your bookcase next to the wall. It pops! Just a suggestion

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  67. I found this, Jen:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280538015004&rvr_id=123190406299&crlp=1_263602_263622&UA=WXF%3F&GUID=6171236a12a0a0e2024408d4fe8852f0&itemid=280538015004&ff4=263602_263622

    And actually, the desktop painted the same color as the walls would be cool - it would look like the stuff on your desk was "floating."

    Christy's idea of red occurred to me, too - my kitchen is decorated in chocolate brown, teal & red. The walls are brown, the cupboards are teal, and since I took the doors off, the red dishware inside looks amazing against the teal.

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  68. How about a spare piece of marble for the desktop? Might be able to find one at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in your area or a local stone place.

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  69. First - CAT NAMES?????? They are beautiful! Desk color? Try a light shell pink or pale silver.
    Does John travel to do handy man work like that???? I have a office/craft room in deperate need of his work!

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  70. One can never go wrong with a fabulous shade of yellow with your blue. May I suggest a goldenrod or dandelion yellow? Good ol' Martha has a paint color called "pencil" that my craft room currently is (but I call it the "magic school bus room")that goes lovely with the aqua in my kitchen...

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  71. Pain the desk white and then use Mod Poge to create a custom fun desk top. Then, cover you art work with a sheet of glass or plexiglass. Voila! Easy to clean and then you can change the design of the desktop whenever you feel like a small change.

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  72. *sigh* When I want a project such as this done around the house, my husband (who is a sucker for reality TV in the vein of home improvement-type shows) goes and watches some HGTV or DIY channel, and after a while, he seems to feel something real has been accomplished. That is why a nail gun is on my own Christmas list this year. Could use more help with the heavy lifting around here, though.

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  73. Thanks for the ceiling tile hookup. I hate my popcorn ceilings with a passion.

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  74. Wow!! Such wonderful style you have! Love you blog.

    Shawna Erback
    www.shawnaerback.com

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  75. I think you need these: http://www.spritestitch.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/smb2filingcabinet.jpg

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  76. Wow! How great is that. What about a stone or faux stone desktop? Some shiney granite would be a great surface to work on.
    I have given away most of my Star Trek books, but I had a ton of them. Being a trekker from way back, I spent many hours with them when we only had 1 series in reruns and no movies...

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  77. Suggestions for your desk:

    1) Use some of the wood flooring on a piece of plywood. This way you carry the floor up, and when the desk is empty, it looks as if it's not there.

    2) A picture frame (probably custom) would be fun because you could slide art under the glass and use it to display more things, but it would be good for crafts, too. Nothing would roll off, the glass top would be good for crafting and cleans easily.

    3) If you don't want to use it for a "flat" surface, wrap plywood in a thin metal like the metal used in the back of pickup trucks. Or for a "flat" surface, you can get copper sheeting relatively inexpensively. Copper goes with everything.

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  78. I agree with another post on the glass idea. You could probably get a custom piece rather cheaply and bonus! you could etch the bottom/underside with your Dremel or get decals that would show through. Since it is smaller area, it would be great for those project items that are messy (like glue).

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  79. Jen~~

    Love the color scheme. Aquamarine and shiny new copper are two of my favorite colors. Luckily, they go well together! For the desk, though you've gotten many wonderful ideas already, I'd like to suggest the traditional roll top, stained to match the floor or painted to match a shiny new penny and tricked out in all its potential steam punk glory.

    Whatever you choose, I'm sure it'll be fabulous as previous posts indicate. Continued success to you and to John!

    ~~Swan

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  80. I wish I had just an ounce of the creativity you have. WOW!!!! Also you've got a GREAT hubby. Where can I find one of those as well?

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  81. I. Am in LUST. For that closet/ bookcase!

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  82. You guys are so creative it makes me SICK (with envy). And I say that with great fondness because I love this site.
    I also really love your idea of putting Velcro on the picture frames so you can change the art frequently. What an inspired idea. Thanks!

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  83. Hi, I'm Kelli. I'm a party pooper. With that said. I LOVE your floors. I love them because they're yours. Mine? Mine look just like yours and I hate them. With a passion that burns with the fire or a thousand suns (or something like that). Dark wood floors suck. They show dust, dirt, water stains, they even show little footprints when your feet are warm right after you take off your shoes but still have on your socks.
    You will hate them and regret them.
    But still love them the way you love your strange uncle that thinks nobody can see him pick his nose.

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  84. Clear glass? Sorty of floaty?

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  85. Okay, so when I win the lottery (which will obviously be ANY MINUTE NOW), can I hire you both to come up and design the sure-to-be-palatial apartment I'm going to buy? Amazing work.

    Cristiane

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  86. The ceiling tiles made me weep with joy (just for a moment.) An idea for the desktop - places that sell marble kitchen tops often have awesome deals on leftover slabs. That would make a bizarro-cool desktop.

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  87. Have you considered bio glass for a work surface? Old wine, beer, soda bottles, etc. are crushed up and fused into a slab. The result is an incredibly strong, really beautiful surface. It comes in a number of colors, and has a really different look to it. (manufactured by coverings etc)

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  88. I need my own John!!! BTW, how about staining 2 sades lighter than the floor?

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  89. I know you like orange (don't you? I seem to remember it from somewhere...), and orange and blue are actually complementary colors, so I suggest, since the walls are a pale, robin's egg blue, you do a sort of pinkish-orangey color.

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  90. I already commented (I suggested a pinkish-orange), but here's a sort of inspiration for the color combo: a bike I've been drooling over for weeks now.

    http://tinyurl.com/36973ht

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  91. LOVE the ceiling and the new closet!! I think a lovely, shell pink or girly pink would be great for the new workspace top. It would go well with the floor and offer a nice contrast to the blue walls. :)

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  92. The dark wood floors make me think of the trunk or branches of a tree, or even dirt (pretty dirt, like earth to plant in or something), and the robbins egg is like the sky. Maybe the desk could be a pale green, about the same intensity as the walls? Like leaves? And there could be green things scattered about like leaves blowing in the wind? OR, it could be an autumn colored desk, like a deep, sophisticated red, or yellow or orange? Like fall leaves.

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  93. If you're going robin egg ish blue, I'd absolutely suggest a chocolate brown, or a rusty orange for the desk. The renovation looks good so far. Now if only I can get started on my bathroom... ugh.

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  94. you have a star trek book collection!?!?!?! have you ever read Uhura's Song? it's a great book. my other favorite is Q-in-law.

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  95. Stainless steel, all the way on the work surface. You can give it hell and still enjoy a really gnarly industrial touch to subtly compliment the steam-punk aesthetic.
    Speaking of which, hammered copper would also rock, but would limit your options for usage to just those things that don't require, you know... flatness.

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  96. Wow! John is a true gem. Great work.

    I know this suggestion doesn't really fit with your current style, but I am so enamored with this stuff I just had to mention it... you are both so creative I bet you can think of cool uses... EL Wire. (electroluminescent wire) it is like teensy flexible neon lights in appearance. It comes in different colors and diameters and with or without a flat tab running the length for easy sewing to projects.

    I intended to build a frosted glass desk and line the back and sides with blue or white EL wire midway down the thickness of the glass top and maybe even routed into the edge.

    It is such pretty, shiny stuff. In the realm of steam punk you could use it to add interior lighting to cool gadgets where the wire is not directly visible, just the glow. Maybe use orange, red or yellow to give a less contemporary glow.

    But really I just want to be one of your cats.

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  97. Just in case no one has posted this yet, here you go: http://cgi.ebay.com/New-LABYRINTH-Door-Knocker-14-tall-/280538015004?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0

    Now, I can't tell if this is the original doorknocker with the ring in his ears. He looks like he might be, but I haven't seen the movie in a while. Take a look and let me know what you think. It's a "Buy It Now!" listing at $19.95 + $5.95 shipping and they have four. :)

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  98. but...but...I like the purple. *lip trembling*

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  99. As a newish homeowner with popcorn ceilings, I am in AWE of the ceiling tiles. LOVE IT.

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  100. Have you thought about a cement workspace? You can tint it any color and put fun things into the top(like tiles or gems wrapped in plexi). It's not hard to put down and you can get messy while you"re at it. Or John can>

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  101. I like the glass worksurface idea...and if you still wanted a color, you could paint the underside so you still had the glass top but some color as well.
    Personally, though I don't know if it would go with the space, I think a nice blond wood like a pine would look good to contrast the dark floors. Just finish it with a really light stain but basically keep the natural color. So much of your last space was painted that a natural wood might be a nice change.

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  102. peach would be really pretty with that blue!

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  103. maybe find a desk color that contrasts the walls and goes well with the colors in the art you will display

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  104. Jessie&amp;Jessie&amp;LynnAugust 12, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    what about a stainless steel desk? or **ohhhh** a marble or granite or quartz one? i have a desk with a marble top and the marble was CHEAP, since it was actually a kitchen counter on clearance! :)

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  105. Between adding ceiling tiles and layering on new types of flooring, after a few more renovations you're going to have to stoop to enter the room. ;-)

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  106. Do you have any flooring left to top a desk with? You could use the excess flooring and trim an alternating color around the edge - maybe a darker blue or cream?

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  107. I think you should make the top of the new worksurface out of clear plexiglass, and use clear contact paper with the thin blue gridlines on the underside. That way you have handy straight markings but still quasi-clear.

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  108. Lol, your Star Trek book collection is as big as my Star Wars one! This makes me insanely happy.

    Sometimes when people doubt my geek credentials I tell them about my Star Wars books. Shuts 'em right up XD

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  109. Hey!

    I found this site that sells the doorknocker replicas. I don't know what they look like in real-life but they seem pretty authentic. They may not be totally fuctional, but they would be great to have anyway.:>
    The company is in the UK, the link is :http://www.themonstercompany.co.uk/. Hope this helps!

    Enjoy your Sunday and PLEASE come back to CO soon, I missed your Denver appearance.

    Cheers,

    Jen M :>

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  110. stainless steel. almost neutral, but shiny and .... geeky. :-) vb

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  111. I suggest making your desk bright orange, a little jarring perhaps, but it would go so well with the adjacent books :) Thanks BTW for your fab coverage of all the SW stuff, my kids and I LOVE all the pics !!!! We go to Star Wars Weekends @ Disney every 2 yrs, it's a long trip for us from Alaska, where the Air Force currently has us stationed, you make it seem almost like we're there

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  112. I am soooooooo jealous of your book collection! I love reading and I'm always looking for Star Trek books. The room is awesome. I love it.

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  113. Perhaps a color that that is a bit darker than the wall color

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  114. So I am coming across this blog late but, I totally love the cabinet/bookcase. I would love to do the same thing in my family room with an existing closet. Does John have any plans/drawings, etc.?

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  115. Desktop: two layers of safety or heavy usage plate glass, upper thinner than lower. You can leave 'em as is for a clear view of your knees plus the image of your own reflection rushing at you: *headdesk*, or you can slide whatever flat clutter you want to in there. Also usable ( with a 100W lamp + diffuser) as an ad hoc light-table for tracing, working with slides &s/o. Use decent wood like oak for the support rim, or metal.

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  116. /I am thinking silver with green leafs, or maybe bronze with silver gears, or green with silver leafs, or, or, glass with green and silver leafs and bronze gears!!! Sorry, I am NOT helping...let's just stick with the last one, shall we?

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  117. You're amazing~ I stumbled on your tutorial for dime buttons and have been hunting the doming block ever since. (thrifting almost exclusively sometimes requires patience)

    Thank you so much for all the spectacular tutorials! and you had me at steampunk :)

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  118. Is that where you put your penny desk? If not, I suggest dark teal. Or bronze-ish gold-ish copper. Just sayin'.

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