DIY DIVA
DIY diva

The I-don’t-like-calling-it-a-study-because-it-reminds-me-of-school Space

July 11, 2011 | 14 Comments | Memorial House, Office
DIY diva

I have this love/hate relationship with school. I don’t love sitting in classrooms, but I don’t seem to be able to stop myself from going back. After my undergrad I took a few years off and then went back on nights and weekends for my MBA, after that I took a few years off and then went back on evenings for my builders license, and since I’m in a school-downswing right now, I don’t like using the “s” word in case my brain gets any funny ideas about needing some other kind of degree.

If those ideas should occur, however, at least I’ll have more room to spread out in the not-study. The unstudy. The slacker room. I like that term, I think we should rename this one: Slacker Room.

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Because of that awesome door, this may be the hardest room in the house to take pictures of. Also because of the light from that door I felt justified in going dark with the color. Also, I like the area I use the computer to be cozy instead of bright.

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(This is yet another unconventional use of the dining room chairs, since this house no longer contains a dining room. Eventually that is supposed to be a media cabinet/shelving area.)

The color, if you’re wondering, is Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy.

And you can get just a hint of the texture on the walls in these pictures.

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I am planning to build a desk in here, but for now I’ve moved in the old door-turned-desk that I made years ago (here’s how) before I stepped up my furniture building game. It used to reside in the Slacker Room in my old house (but that one could probably legitimately be called a Study) which coincidentally was also a dark blue. This time I used a less saturated color, however, since the overall color scheme in this house won’t be as vibrant.

Also, generally speaking I don’t buy Benjamin Moore paint because its Benjamin Moore, I buy it because John’s Color Concepts is the best paint store I’ve ever been in as far as service and advice goes, and that’s what they sell. However, there’s something to say about their SuperSpec paint which did a flawless job with this dark blue in two coats. In the old office it was no fewer than four coats plus spot covering some areas.

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Now clearly the room is looking a little sparse. When all is said and done I expect to be seeing more wood and metal accents without quite as much wall. I was also expecting some salvaged barn beams up on the ceiling, but that’s a later project.

Here are some of the accents I’m looking at for the Slacker Room:

Desk Lighting

OR

I can’t decide which of these lights from World Market I like better, but I’m leaning towards the more angular version.

Floor covering

OR

Eventually there will be wide plank walnut throughout the livingroom and study, but until then (and afterward, since I expect it to be a highly trafficked area) I’m thinking of a natural fiber rug. I don’t know if I like the clean or tasseled look the best. I’m also not sure if I want more of a runner down the middle (out of the way of the desk chair) or something that covers more space.

Desk chair

Speaking of desk chairs, I used to see a lot more of these wood “bankers chairs” which seem like a much more comfortable option than the chairs I’ve been using for the last year. The only one I can find these days is this Pottery Barn version, and I can’t quite pull the trigger on the price (or color) even though I sit at the computer for a lot of the hours I should be sleeping.

Accessories

While it’s unlikely I’m going to DIY the lamp, chair, or rug in the near future, here are some smaller accents I might try to take on myself.

Okay, well, we’ll see about that last one.

I’m pondering away over my future desk plans as well. Putting the old desk in temporarily has been a huge help in figuring out the dimensions and layout of the new piece.

While I’m planning out the space, tell me, what organization item is a must-have for you in your home office?

 

DIY diva

    Comments

  • Andrea


    Just FYI – I see those old bankers chairs on our Craigslist (Northern CO) every now and then. Usually, I will see nothing for a couple of months, and two or three at the same time. Always less than $100.
    I built a long desk out of a closet door (a mix of Ana White and Young House Love) and was going to put two mismatched old wood chairs like that, but ended up finding two matched ones (used, not old) instead.
    I don’t know if you are close enough to a CL location, but I thought I would throw it out there. Love the way everything is coming together!

  • Joseph


    I think the best way of organizing any space is to use drawers. I made a microwave counter for our kitchen some time ago, and at that time I used doors and shelves to store things. Well, part of that was kitchen towels and the like, and it’s nothing but a pain in the neck. Whenever you want to put in clean towels, you must carefully remove the old, put the cleanest to the bottom of the pile and then carefully restack everything. Oh, say, guess how often we kept up THAT regimen!

    On other hand, when I made an armoire for our bedroom, which turned out to be mine (hey, the first project was a walk-in closet for the wife, so she was set!), I made a total of ten drawers. Several are divided drawers, and whenever we put in clean underwear, we simply lift out the stack with one hand, drop in the clean with the other, then return the stack. Nice and neat and orderly, and it just takes a few seconds to keep it that way.

    I did like your idea of a bulletin board, and when I remodel my study (I LOVE that word!!!), I may well incorporate something like that to help me keep track of new blog ideas. But divided drawers will be very much a part of whatever I do, and they are my recommendation for your Slacker Room.

    • Kit


      I totally agree on the drawers. When taking stock of my old kitchen I realized we never used the cupbords, always the drawers, which is why I’ve got an all-drawer kitchen now. I love the idea of divided drawers!

  • Snowlet


    1) A great big desk. Oversized is good
    2) Good task lighting
    3) Comfortable chair
    4) A couch and throw to slack in while I read or hide from the world. (This also allows me to make the office into a guest space when I need to)
    5) My cats, showing me how good slacking is done!
    6) A box or basket to give some sort order to the drifts of paper that live in my office
    7) A non ugly filing cabinet (economical ones don’t exist–a chimera)

  • Jessie


    I use a dish rack to hold papers, envelopes, etc. and the pens/scissors go in the silverware drainer. It’s the same as this one http://media.dwell.com/images/314*314/Stainless-Steel-Compact-Dish-Rack-by-The-Container-Store.jpg

    Boxes and magazine files to hold stuff. The boxes in particular are great, I don’t like looking at various cords and USB devices so they tuck away when not in use. Mason jars are good for little things like thumbtacks, rubber bands, paperclips.

    The slacker room is looking great, btw. :)

  • hjc


    You could call it the Bat Cave, or the Blogspot, or the Diva Den…well maybe Slacker Room is best. Slouch Hall?

    It is going to be a very cool space, whatever you call it. I love the angular lamp, the non-fringed rug (bigger, not a runner) and that metal cabinet is amazing. It would bring a whole new skill set to your already bristling diy arsenal if you actually made one.

    Our office is a mess, but it’s the spot where my husband runs his business, the boys do their homework and gaming, and I do whatever it is that I do (slack?). I do enjoy my son’s fish tank though – very contemplative and soothing (except for the rope fish – EEK! Swimming snakes!). I have recently added several large plants which brought an unexpectedly nice feel to the space. It is a comfortable place to hang out, despite its small size and general messiness.

    • Kit


      Oh, I’m totally calling it the bat cave now, lol.

  • runtymom


    It looks quite lovely actually. I too like a dark room for watching tv and working on the computer. I tried the tv in the living room over fireplace and after two years admitted utter failure. Moved the big boy upstairs into a smaller, sloped ceiling room and painted it fresh brew (also benjamin moore) and it is wonderful.
    But I digress. I like the color selection for your slacker room and the accessories should really make it look sharp. Where is the wall hanging basket from if I may ask? Daughters home could use one like right now to hold her 10,000 pieces of mail and paper that seem to breed on her dine table…

    • Kit


      The magazine holder is from Pottery Barn. If you click on the picture it should take you right to the product page on their website. I think with a little soldiering and some chicken wire, that would be pretty easy to make though!

  • Bronwyn


    For the banker’s chair, try an office furniture surplus shop, especially one that gets its stuff from old government offices. That’s where I’ve seen them. It may be banged up and need refinishing, but it will probably be very solid high-quality wood.

  • K.D.


    What a great space! Perfect colour.

  • Robin @ 3 Acres & 3000 sf


    The wall color is beautiful! I think switching the window to a door was a great idea. I’m liking the angular lamp, the rug without the tassels, and the bigger rug instead of the runner.

  • Guerrina


    Love the whole room! Will be interesting to see how you merge your 2 desk ideas! I vote for no fringe after having fringe wrap around & jam my vacume cleaner one too many times!

  • Kristel T.M.


    Love that color! I always need a filing cabinet,
    a dry erase board, calendar and a clock. I would pick the rug without the tassels. Only because I would have to straighten them every time I walked by and that would drive me nuts! Can’t wait to see how this room turns out!

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