So you know that pretty space above the garage that we finished out to use as my studio?
Well, we decided to switch things around.
This is the current state of my new office:
A couple of weeks ago, Ryan threw out the idea of switching offices and I was quick to agree with the change.
While I’ve made my work/creative area up in the studio, he worked from the small office in the house right off the entry. Here’s what it has looked like for the past year or so:
When you have two people working from home, it is just part of the deal to regularly check in on how things are working.
For Ryan, working in the house was not working. He often takes meetings from his computer and needs a quiet space in order to be most productive. When the kids are in school, it isn’t a big deal, but once they are home and the afternoon commotion begins, getting anything done is a bit of a challenge with an office right in the middle of it all.
As for me, I actually prefer working in the house. It keeps all my stuff nearby, gives me a place to collect school papers and a calendar for appointments, schedules, running-the-household-type things and means when the kids get home in the afternoon, I can be done with work to hang out with them (aka drive them to their various activities) and Ryan can keep going up in the studio until dinner time.
Ryan having an office not in the house and me having an office in the house just made a lot of sense.
And so, last week we sent the kids off to school (see their adorable first day of school faces here) and we got to work moving everything around.
Once Ryan’s office was totally cleared out, we noticed a terrible smell.
It was a mix of dog + urine + musty and very unpleasant. When we first moved into the house, we smelled this smell but it mostly went away after all of our things were moved in. The previous owners had dogs and the carpet on the main floor is not in great condition, but we’re just living with it until we tear it all up to replace the floors.
This carpet in the office, however, was nasty. It was so stinky! (I don’t know why it didn’t smell when Ryan’s stuff was in the office – maybe just moving things around brought it back up? I don’t know.) Instead of an easy office switch, I decided to give this room a little makeover. I can’t say I’m sad about that :)
First up, the smelly carpet had to go.
I pulled up the carpet and pad, removed all the little staples and took off the baseboard as well. Someday we’ll replace the floors and trim throughout the main floor (we’ve already done the second and third floors) so for the time being, I’m using the subfloor and going baseboard-less.
When I removed the carpet, we did find an area on the floor where there was a patch job and some evidence of water damage. We’re thinking the previous owners fixed a problem, but didn’t let it dry out completely before replacing the carpet and it’s just been holding moisture (and smell!) for too long.
When we moved in, I felt like this house wanted to be moody and so we chose a rich color for the walls in the office and living room and painted all the downstairs trim and kitchen cabinets in a charcoal color … but now I’m totally going back on that decision. I need light.
The office is small and has two big windows that look out on the front porch, but it does not get a ton of natural light. White paint seems to be the best way to brighten up a room, so I took white paint to everything (except the french doors – I’m leaving them dark because I do like that contrast).
The walls, trim and floor got a coat of Kilz white primer to seal and cover the dark paint.
Then I did a coat of flat white on the ceiling, three coats of eggshell on the walls and two coats of semi-gloss on the trim. I painted everything the same color – Shoji White by Sherwin Williams – but in varied sheens.
The floors had a bunch of nail holes and seam lines that I patched with wood putty and then sanded to give a smooth(er) finish before painting.
I was thinking about painting a fun pattern on the floors – maybe stripes or something mimicking cement tile (like I did on our fire place), but here’s the truth:
- All of my office stuff is piled in the living room and entry and I’m getting a bit tired of the mess. I’m ready to move it all in and be done with it.
- I love graphic patterns, but nothing was jumping out at me.
- There are already four different types of flooring on the main floor (two different carpets, wood floors in the entry, tile in the kitchen) and I question if drawing attention to another floor type is the right choice.
- I found a rug that I’m excited to use and I’ll just let it be the pattern.
Instead of a painted pattern, the floors just got two coats of leftover semi-gloss from when I repainted the kitchen cabinets. The color is Anew Gray from Sherwin Williams. It is an alkyd paint formula for cabinets and trim that dries harder, goes on smoother and takes longer to cure, but I’m hoping it will hold up a little better than regular latex paint.
As for the studio, Ryan is happily enjoying having a big, quiet space all to himself.
I think the office switch-a-roo will be a happy arrangement.