Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Office - Finally Complete!

Oh hallelujah! My office /craft room / happy place / is now complete! I've been working on it pretty much nonstop since we bought the ranch four years ago. This is how the room looked when we bought the house.





I can't lie. I hated that wall color. It reminded me of poo. Or mud. Or muddy poo. And see those spots on the wall?



I think the dog who lived here hated the wall color too.



The above photo shows our "we'll paint it green phase"-  but every color looked horrible when bounced off of the brown. Thus began a laborious bout of priming. I'm pretty sure that there is a room in Hell where those who are condemned do nothing but prime walls for all eternity. Uggh.

All in all, the room was a dark and moody place with the brown walls and carpet  I can understand having a moody bedroom - which is what this room was to the old owners - but a creative space? No way. It just wasn't going to work. We immediately ripped the carpet up. Underneath was black concrete and it stayed like that for quite some time while we flip-flopped back and forth on a flooring choice. The Mr. and I are flip-floppers.



Here you'll see one of the many tries to get the aqua that only I could see in my mind. Poor Mr.  Kitsch hand-mixed colors over and over until he created the color that was in my head. I bet we tried two dozen colors in that room with a brief detour into the world of corals and peaches before coming full-circle to attempt the magical aqua again.  And I'll never forget pulling up the thousands of carpet strip nails and staples out of that concrete. Mister Kitsch used real tools but I swore that a fork was the best method. Until it went straight through my knee.

But sooner or later, we did get the perfect aqua and had some hardwood floors put down. Since then it's been a long and drawn-out process to dress up the aqua box of a room - and kind of a challenge to save up for and wait on the right pieces - but it's finally done!




Here is the desk that I got in South Carolina for thirty dollars. It's an old teacher's or lab desk and it's super heavy and has great, deep drawers.  One of them was stamped with the name of an insurance company in my hometown which made me pretty happy because both my Grandfather and Dad used to hawk the insurance back in the day. I'm pretty sure that whoever sat at this desk spent a lot of time cursing my kinfolk from the rival insurance company for completely kicking their butt in sales! 
 
Yes, this is where the magic happens.
 

Except there would normally be a box of Cheez-Its there to the left of the computer. Or a cat sitting in that bowl. And a computer mouse. I hid that because it's ugly. Staging for photos is hard work and sometimes makes no sense. I'm not one of those people who is going to pretend like my house is always clean and my kids are never sassy. Well, not for long anyway. I have no idea what's in that left drawer. There, I said it. 

Here is the light fixture that I got for three bucks.



Something about it reminds me of the circus. Mister Kitsch did some rewiring for me. It was probably fine without but I recommend this with most old lights. I kept the old color intact because well, I generally just like to leave things in their original state. You can gather from that statement that I am either a purist...or just lazy. Take your pick. 

That desk and the light meant that the room was finally done. Thank you thrifting and Jesus. 

Last year, we saved  to get these glass cabinets from IKEA and it was a pretty happy day when they came. They were horrible to put together but once they were done, let me tell you - I shoved so much stuff in those babies! I can't lie - when the doors are opened, the smell of old books and cans of ancient floor wax wafts out. 


Thanks to the kitties most everything in my house has to be behind glass.
You know what though? It means less dusting so I'm totally in!


Part of the shelves are designated to a collection that I am strangely obsessed with. Old packaging!


You'll also see that this is where Mr. "I'm driving a penis" Squirrel went to live.

Most people are surprised when they come into my house that I don't have tons of stuff everywhere considering that I do love tackiness and have "Kitsch" in my name. I think for the most part, I reserve the largest part of it for this one room - which is now at full capacity. Hmm....where can we put more shelves? 

Here is my crafting table. We got this at Habitat for Humanity for a steal. 


Sometimes Mr. Kitsch likes to sit there and pretend like I'm interviewing him for a job.
 
Hey to Mishka on the windowsill! We got her in the backyard. She was a neighborhood feral when we moved here and it took two years to get her to trust us. Now she's sitting fat and wondering why she waited so long. 

My friend Karen made those pretty curtains for me from some old cloth that she found in Canada. I love the combo of red and aqua so knew immediately that it was the fabric that I wanted in the room.



This side of the room is pretty lackluster but finally saving up for that murphy bed was a huge victory. It meant that half of the room wasn't taken up by a guest bed that hardly ever got used. Murphy beds aren't cheap and if you're on a budget like us, they take quite some time to save up for but let me tell you - if you're sharing your creative space with a bed, it's totally worth the effort! I could go my entire life without looking at another lumpy futon or space-wasting guest bed.

Mr. Kitsch found these guys on the side of the road. 

 

And here is where I keep all of my crafting supplies, found granny crafts and paper ephemera. 



Hello Mr. Kitten Pants, you adorable moody-butt cat, you!


I got the cabinet at the Tennessee Antique Mall. Talk about heavy! Mr. Kitsch painted it for me.
The trays up top represent two of my favorite things: holidays that revolve around food - and Mammoth Cave. Ooh! You know what would be fun? A holiday meal in a cave




Once again, I cram a lot of stuff behind glass. I've always thought that things look less junky behind glass. Don't correct me if I'm wrong! Let me happily live awash in the misconception. 




I say that if you're in a space that you don't love, don't let it get you down.  Sometimes, it takes a while to get just what you want and the wait is a hard one. Trust me when I say that I am the most impatient person in the world! My room isn't everyone's cup of tea but it's definitely what I'd hoped for at the end. A place where I can look around and get cheered up when sad - or inspired when in a rut. And obviously somewhere that I can store all of the things that I drag home because I know that I'd be even happier and inspired if they are around me. 
 
This concludes the before-and-after tour of my office. Thanks for stopping by! Now where did I put those Cheez-Its?

Until next time,
x's and o's,
Eartha

62 comments:

KIMMIE JONES said...

It looks amazing! Thank goodness you waited to find the perfect light fixture because that one is a winner...but I am a sucker for things that are mint or apple green. I love the space and am so glad mr. squirrel driving a penis has finally found himself a habitat.

Lisa said...

IT LOOKS SO GOOD! Oh man! IT LOOKS GORGEOUS!Your teacher's desk is a knockout, the color is perfect, and I'm actually obsessed with how you display your knick knacks while maintaining this sleek, "spacious" kind of look to the room. Ugh. I am so calling you over for design advice when I one day tackle my own office. YA DONE GOOD, KID! :)

Marty said...

Fabulous! I'd be thrilled with it too! I love that you've incorporated so many elements that mean a lot to you...it shows. I really love the crafting table, and the two chairs. So COOL all around!

Mollie D said...

Love it!

DearHelenHartman said...

I am so jealous I want to run to Home Depot and buy buckets of paint. But I already have buckets I haven't used yet. So cool, so clean, so cute!

Rob and Monica said...

I did not like the poo..it looks great!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IS THAT A MR ROGERS RECORD!!!

Pam Kueber said...

Woo to the Hoo! Awesome!!!!

And the squirrel who's driving a penis? heheheeheheheeh

Pam Kueber said...

Oh and pray tell: Where did you get the Murphy bed? I need to see that !!!

Lauren- Old Red Boots said...

What a beautiful room! I'm totally jealous. I'm just starting to think about how I would like to redo my office/craft space/closet but I have no idea where to begin. I have an idea of what paint I want, but like you, I have a feeling I'll have to go through a whole bunch of tries.

I'm jealous!

Abigail Grotke said...

I've been looking for a desk for awhile and that one looks perfect! Can you replicate it for me? Pretty please?

This room looks great. I'm househunting and so inspired and excited about having a fresh space for all of my books!

Steven Keylon said...

Howdy, Sugar Booger! This is spectacular as only Miss Eartha Mae Kitsch can do spectacular. Congratulations!

Signed,

Your long lost twin brother.

Gail Dedrick said...

Love, love, love, love it.

Barbara said...

If I fly you out to CA, will you design my house? Cuz I will.

Love this!!

Trina44 said...

I absolutely love it Eartha. That is one of the many charms of your house, so meticulously clean and organized, so envious.

LLADYBIRD said...

AMAAAAAZING!!! I'm coming over to steal this room - yes, the entire room. It's totally cool, I drive a pick-up truck ;)

thesmallviking said...

AMAZING. it makes me want to go home and get busy on mine (8 years in the semi-making)!

Jamie@OwlReally.com said...

I LOVE IT! I'm so inspired! We will probably end up in a ranch this go-around and I love what you've done with this room and it gives me hope for my future craft/guest room! Please tell us where the Murphy bed is from!! :)

Dakota said...

WOW, this has to be the cutest office space I have ever seen!!! Really great colors and great pieces! The glass cabinets are just brilliant; I may have to steal that idea for my own junk. (Definitely a wise idea for those of us with adventurous pets, too ;)

Also totally in love with your roadside Easter bunnies :)

larajanepark said...

Wow! This is fantastic!

LaurenT said...

Yay! What a fantastic room...I just love it. You know what else I love? Hearing someone talk about "saving up" for things that they want. Maybe that's because I'm old? Anyway, it looks amazing and I especially admire the collections behind glass--very fun, and cat-proof!

Mad Maine said...

Love it. I adore glass cabinets myself, and I have the same ones as yours as well as some other vintage glass cabinets. Cuts down on dust and must for sure.
I am inspired now.

Kylie said...

Your study is beautiful. Well worth all that trial and error over the paint colour. It pays to get it right, and you've certainly done that.
I have the same aqua Christmas tray (and another different version in red) I love them too.
(I'm in Australia, funny how something you've got pops up in someone's home on the other side of the world!)
I like the classy way you display your kitsch too btw, mine is all in storage in our shed. Probably never to see the light of day...

Rob and Monica said...

The room looks so beautiful and the smile on the pink bunny's face in the last picture proves it!!!!

Holly Hall said...

Sweet Jesus on a bike! I love everything about it! You nailed the aqua.

SusieQT said...

Love it! Everything is so great- really digging the product packaging department.

Welcome to DeluxeVille said...

Looks awesome! And thanks for reminding me that sometimes good things are worth the wait!

MaryD

Dolly the Bird said...

Whoa. That lamp. Whoa.
And the desk is killer, chick. Well done!

Rae - Say It Aint So said...

it looks so great! i LOOOVE that ceiling lamp! And i think you are on to something with the glass thing. it looks more intentional, like a museum display or something, instead of just clutter. i wish i could say people were surprised by my lack of clutter, but they usually just ask me why i have so much stuff! haha!

Anonymous said...

Really beautiful job!

Mick said...

Looks absolutely wonderful! Aqua/Turquoise paired with vivid reds is one of my favorite color combos! Looks like it was well worth the wait, I'm hoping my renovation will be someday too!

MySpecialAgent said...

Oh the aqua and red! It's a beautiful room!

What Remains Now said...

Eartha...Your room is super fabulous. So beautiful. You should submit your room to magazines. Where Women Create is waiting for you.

cheshirecat666 said...

Dude...oh my God,it looks AWESOME!! You know how I feel about shelves covered with cool crap. Love it all,great job

linda h said...

Is that a Lamb cakepan? My Aunt Demetra always baked a Lamb cake for Easter.

Straight Talking Mama! said...

That room is truly fab, your collection is awesome, LOVE!

Karen S said...

Your room looks fab! And happy. Love the wall color, curtains and ceiling light.

Betty Crafter said...

Perfection! I absolutely love it. I wish you many creative epiphanies in your new space!

Van said...

Damn girl, I looove the final look. It's so organized and bright. I especially love the pro details like the sconce you installed above the desk. Gonna keep coming back to drool over this for inspiration to keep my apartment clean ;) Sharing this on Twitter now!

Jen said...

Yes! This! This is exactly the kind of second bedroom I've wanted, with space for desks AND crafts AND a sleeping place for guests ( but only when guests are actually present).

I have to say, I think the paint color and light fixture are my two favorite things. The cheerfully shaped edge on that fixture makes me smile, and the wall color is perfect. Mr. Kitsch done good!

I've wanted those exact IKEA cabinets since Keith moved in. I hemmed and hawed over whether I'd leave the glass as is or line the doors with cool patterned fabric to hide all our stuff. Your stuff is so pretty, now I think no fabric is the better choice.

Finally, I want to compliment you on your restraint. I HATE rooms that look like a junk store threw up on them. You've corralled your collections into cohesive, attractive displays and left plenty of open space to let the eye rest. It's fun but calming. And it looks clean!

I can't say enough nice things, but I'll stop gushing now. I love this room!

<3 jen @ librarian tells all

Stacy @ Stacyverb said...

What a great room! Red and aqua together make my heart go pittypat. The sleekish of the furniture makes the room look modern but still retro. LOVE IT.

mrs. bissonette said...

I'm always torn between my love of clutter and stuff and my desire for spare, sleek, minimalist spaces. This room accommodates both impulses perfectly. You are my number-one inspiration now.

Also, I have that turkey platter. My husband is from former Yugoslavia and I collect enamelware from there. Is that where yours is from? I thought I would only use it on Thanksgiving but turns out it has 101 uses.

linda h said...

Also my craftroom walls are yellow-green, but my accent colors are aqua and red. One of our bed considerations is a wall-bed from Techline. I think you have convinced me that is the way to go.

Tasha said...

Okay I'm seriously ready to move into your office!! I just love everything about it. LOVE. Well worth the wait for some of the things, it's just hits a wonderful balance of calm and kitsch.

Jessica said...

I just LOVE it! Very tidy but interesting at the same time. Love your wall color and curtains together - a beautiful combo! I wanna come over and craft!!

sherree said...

I love it!!!! Everything looks great. I just drooled over the photo of what's inside your white cabinet. Great job.

Danielle said...

i can't even DESCRIBE how AMAZING this looks!! CONGRATS on such a beautiful space. you and Mr. Kitsch are just *good*. What great taste! i envy all of your vintage pieces.. even more? the glass door ikea cabinets!! that is exactly what i thought.. no dusting! ha! : ) i need.

Zakniteh said...

Those before and after shots are fantastic. Know what else is fantastic? Your room. Looooove it! <3

sugarshellandbutterknife said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!! I would spend all of my time there. It's such a great space.

Mr. Tiny said...

AWESOME!!! What a perfect space for creativity. You are absolutely right, the glass-front cabinets give your collections a curated, museum-like quality. I bought Sani-White because of the packaging...I love that it's still the same!

Sara In AZ said...

That's it _ I give up on my house search and have now decided I am going to move in with you and live in your office!! That's OK right??? :D

Seriously it looks AMAZING and I love EVERYTHING about it!!! And that light and desk worked out SO perfectly! It's so cool when stuff comes together like that and you find just the right pieces you were looking for! YAY!

Go you! Great job with everything girl and I LOVE that paint color too!!!

goosefairy said...

Beautifully done. Of course this begs the question, what color is the paint? What brand? This is pretty much the color I want for my bedroom. I will CRY if you say it was one of the ones the mister hand mixed!

Ann said...

The room is outstanding. The aqua in your head is the aqua in my head - would you mind telling me what paint/mixture it is? I would love to paint my living room in this exact color.

Eartha Kitsch said...

Thanks everyone SO much for your kind words about my office redo. I loved reading your comments and really appreciate how nice y'all are! : )

Mrs. Bissonette: I'm not sure where the enamelware platter came from but it could be! I bet your collection is beautiful!

Barbara: You have no idea how much I could eat as a houseguest.

goosefairy & Ann: The paint color was a hand mixed one, yes. I'll look and see if there are any codes on the can - like if maybe we had more mixed. It's Sherwin Willams paint, I'm pretty sure. If not, feel free to email me and I'll be happy to mail you a piece of cardboard painted to color match!

Pam: We got the murphy bed at a place in town called "More Space Place" but it looks like there are some other locations around the country. We chose a color of wood that would match the IKEA cabinets and the floors and bought the hardware from Rejuvenation to give them a little Mid-Century punch!

Linda: Don't you just love lamb cakes? I've yet to try to make one with that mold. If you haven't seen them already, I bet you'd LOVE Retro Ruth's posts last year about her lamb cake experiments. She did three or four different posts but here is her final one:

http://www.midcenturymenu.com/2012/04/martha-meade-lamb-cake-eight-days-of-lamb-cakes/

You can also google search "lamb cakes midcentury menu" and get other posts.

One Girl said...

Fabulous makeover!!! What an awesome room. I just love it all.

Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com said...

This is totally awesome, and totally inspiring! We've been in the Hacienda for 8 years and some things we liked at the beginning worked, and now some rooms are in need of a redo. And I agree w/ you - "stuff" looks better behind glass (I had to laugh when you mentioned the lack of dusting too, as lazy Mod B was thinking the same thing!)

Laura said...

I'm late to this party because I've been out of town. I've been spending the evening catching up on blog reading and this is by FAR the best thing I've seen all week. It is so fresh and pretty looking! You did a great job! Obsessive question: What is the container labeled "Viv?" I can't imagine what it would be, but I love the name. It sounds as though it could sparkle your floors, spice your entree, and serve as an anti-depressant, all in one!

Andrea Avery said...

BEEEautiful color. Fantastic all around. And yes, please consider doing a post about the murphy bed. I've been searching for some kind of reasonably priced solution for my small office/spare bedroom, like having my dad build a DIY one from plans bought online. But the one you have is gorgeous. Where did you get it?

Eartha Kitsch said...

One Girl: Thanks so much! : )

Mod Betty: Thanks! Yeah, dusting totally sucks. Uggh....

Laura: Thanks! Viv is a floor wax but I'm with you. I think that it must do everything including making hair shinier and saving lives. It's too cute not to.

Andrea: Thanks! I've heard good things about those kits if your Dad is good with that kind of thing. I bet you could save a lot of money that way too. We got ours at a place in town called "More Space Place" but it looks like there are some other locations around the country. We chose a color of wood that would match the IKEA cabinets and the floors - and bought the hardware from Rejuvenation to give them a little Mid-Century punch! You can get pretty much any color and perks like lighting on the inside or shelves.

Jessica Baker said...

Love your office! Looks wonderful. On another note I found these on shopgoodwill auction site and thought you'd appreciate them :)

http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/5-Vintage-Household-Cans-12838053.html

Tilly Saunders said...

Great wall colour choice. It matches those vintage decors and old packaging collection in your home office. And yes, glass cabinets are uncanny storage spaces.

Alex Quinn said...

I should say you did a great job with the new wall colour of choice! And I surely love your vintage pieces and unique collection. I bet it would be fun working in this office.

SUZY8-TRACK said...

How the heck did I miss this post! Your office looks amazing! Your curtains look amazing against the blue walls and i'm totally digging your $3 light fixture! I may have to check out those Ikea glass cabinets because I hate dusting!