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Monday, January 10, 2011

Makeover Monday~ The Office Saga Continues…

Here is a gorgeous balloon backed chair that recently received a fresh face.

desk 073

It came to me looking a bit different with a dated olive green hue.

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After quite a bit of sanding, wood filler and several coats of paint she was breathing a sigh of relief. Next came upholstery in a nice, new, white linen fabric. Here she is shown with her detachable seat cover that can be thrown in the wash.

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So why is the chair in front of a desk? Well, this is my work desk. I’ve never actually shown this space on the blog before. Everything works just fine. But I have never loved the chair and I would love to get rid of the plastic mat. (Yes, there will be artwork once I find it.)

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I was thinking that I might just say goodbye to the banker chair and bring this beauty in. Is it an improvement or should she go to the Long Beach flea market this weekend? (Don’t even get me started on the blasted cords. My tech guy ~3 guesses who it is ;) says there is nothing he can do.)

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Alright, alright you can quit trying to hit the enlarge button . I will show you what is on top of my desk. Besides my hp printer, and dell computer there is an old glass compote that holds a few measuring tapes (tools of my trade) a jump drive (contains most of my CAD drawings) and favorite photos of my kidlets. There is also a silver egg cup which contains my business cards (moo), an antique crystal desk set given to me by Grandma Jingles which holds paper clips, my calligraphy pens/nibs and an ink pot that is currently empty until I can get across town to the specialized stationary store.  The silver pitcher holds a magnifying glass, a letter opener and I will just admit to you now that I am pretty persnickety about my pens. It seems to be a genetic trait as my pen collection includes my Papa Jack’s favorite that he used as a banker, my Grandma Jingles gold pen she used as a nurse and a personal gem that Mr. DĂ©cor gave me. Oh and of course notepaper and a calculator to help with measurements when I am planning a space. 

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Let’s continue on to another dilemma I am currently trying to tackle. The window in my office is an ongoing battle. It used to have full length linen Pottery Barn drapes hanging from the rod but they just seemed to overwhelm the space.  I think at times design decisions are even harder for designers to make in their own homes because they know everything that is available~ so please, help me!

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The wall has a slight angle and the adjoining wall contains a small entertainment center. The wall opposite the desk has the hutch I redid and on the remaining wall are the wingback chairs. Yes, it does seem like a lot for one room, but it needs to stay as is.

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So, back to the window. I would love some feedback. What would you do?

Also, should I switch out the chair?



Inspire Me Heather said...

Love the chair! For the window I say something silky & feminine (maybe a print with fringe on it too??) and pulled back to the side without the hutch - towards your desk.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said... I live in the same HOT region as you do, I prefer long THICK curtains....only because of the keeping the heat out factor! LOL! I have blinds and curtains in every room of the house. :):):):):):):):) But I really LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE what you did with that chair! It is BEAUTIFUL! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):) said...


Thank you for sharing your personal space where all the magic happens (no, not your bedroom!) I think you know best and are the most qualified to answer your own questions but here is my humble opinion; I would not sell the beautiful chair you just saved. (Are there going to be issues sliding your chair in and away from your desk that the banker chair doesn't pose?} I write, create, so my office is a room with a view. Have you considered shutters or something that lets the light? I have no doubt whatever you decide will be exquisite.

Your Friend,

Custom Comforts said...

What a lovely office!!! My office is small and has wall to wall furniture in it, but it works and I think it is very cozy. I have half shutters and a small valance on my window so I can open them to look out while I'm working. Plantation shutters would be REALLY nice. I have them in the living room and love them and I make custom window treatments, so that shows you how nice they are. Expensive, but they look it too and don't overpower the room. Just a cute valance would give you a hit of color too. Just a few ideas from a person who sews a lot.

Custom Comforts said...

Forgot the chair. Personally I'd go with which ever one is easier on your back and most comfortable. Looks don't mean anything if you ache after getting up.

cityfarmer said...

you're keeping, right .. say yes!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I feel unqualified on the window, I either have no coverings on mine of plain white curtains. I'm a lover of white, which is why I adore your new chair (though I even liked the green paint). I have changed chairs at my desk many times but finally went back to the original because in this case, I decided comfort was the most important thing for me. Your desk is so tidy and organized, I fear mine might give you a heart attack!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Love the chair, Laura! I might keep it if it works for you at your desk. What about a swag and jabot type treatment for your window? For the wires, I believe that Home Depot or Lowes carries those tube like things that contain cords. I haven't used them myself, but I have seen them.

Miss Sandy said...


Why not cover up those cords with the addition of a piece of painted bead board to the back of the desk and a little trim to finish it out, cords can hang behind out of sight or a simple tension rod with a pretty fabric skirt under there to hide the cords. Cords are my nemesis too!

How about a simple shutter tacked across the top of the window for some architectural interest, maybe painted white to capture that light airy feel your room seems to have OR you do have access to those luscious French linens, why not zip up a valance or upholster a cornice?

I am sure whatever you come up with it will be fantastic!

Deanna said...

Laura, Love what you did to the chair.

April said...

Hi Laura,
My opinion likely doesn't count very much, but what I did on my computer "desk" to hide cords was VERY technical--I found a yard of fabric that coordinates with my bedroom and STAPLED it (yes, with a STAPLER)to the back of the desk. Works like a charm, and the cords are easily accessible if you need them to be. :)
As for curtains, the ones you had sounded wonderful. It seems you have a lot going on in the room, so I guess the inclination would be SIMPLE, simple.
That's not much help, is it?

You will figure it out, and we all here in blog land will ooh and aaaah over your final choice.
Both chairs are pretty. Keep whatever is most COMFY for you. I would use the balloon chair at a vanity table, if I had it.
This has gotten long.
Happy Monday.
Can't wait to see what you decided!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

How about some plantation shutters? They can stand on their own without curtains, can be opened to let in light and you can choose a white color to continue yours pretty white theme.
OR how about a linen-like balloon vallance that you can put up and down but won't take up a whole lot of space?
I LOVE the beautiful chair. I think it looks divine with your desk. I have a big black office chair at my desk. I just needed some comfort since I spend so much time in my study. I have a big decorative pilllow I put on my chair when it is not in use. The chair is NOT pretty at all, but it does save my back!
I would just love a functional and pretty alternative. I am longing for a lovely chair like yours! But in my case, function (and back health) over beauty.

Terri said...

I would use the chair with the removable cover. Love that chair! Then I would make a lot of different covers to suit my many moods! As for window coverings... I think you need some texture there...some great fabric in colors that energize you and make you feel productive!


Morning Laura,
Give the chair a try! You can always switch back!
Love the old pens. I have a few from my dad. I should display them on my desk instead of them hidding in a drawer!
I'm a simple curtain gals. I like sheers and lace curtains..

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

Oh, this is just too good to pass up. An interior decorator asking for ideas. Well, it is a little hard cuz I really don't get a "feel" for the room, but with the window the way it is and the TV...I would either do just a valance OR a drape pulled to the left if you love these is because I am good!!!!! if you hate them, don't blame me! I am not a decorator!!!
Have a good week my friend and see you soon!!!

Susan said...

Laura, I would keep the chair if it is comfortable. You need a comfortable chair if you sit at your desk for long periods of time.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

The chair came out beautifully & I think suits you much better--if you can live with the immobility issue.

I personally like to "let the sun shine in". How about just a topper or is that so passe?

ImagiMeri said...

Hi Laura,

I think the window needs a balloon shade, or roman shade with a possible scallop on the bottom (depending on whether you have it raised part way). I also think you should keep the round chair at your desk.....much more feminine, not to mention it looks more comfortable. I'm actually only suggesting this because you can give me the old chair.......LOL, no really, I think the round chair looks better. Hey check my shop or blog, there's new shadowboxes!!!

Big Hugs,

Helen said...

I love the chair make-over! Truly lovely and looks great sitting at your desk, softening the overall look. I also thought of plantation shutters ... and agree the PB drapes might be too much for the room. I had a huge problem in a home I lived in years ago (with the darned cords) and nailed a piece of beadboard painted to match the desk to the back of the desk opening and magically the cords went away!)

Privet and Holly said...

I'm partial to a simple,
fabric roman shade. Would
be pretty in a bold damask
or even in burlap-y linen
with a pretty french design.
I'm partial to the desk
chair that you already have ~
it's a classic. Of course,
YOU are the designer : )!!
Happy Monday,
xx Suzanne

Linda Chapman said...

Keep the chair that is the most comfortable!!

Lorrie said...

What a pretty chair. For the window, what about a roman blind, tailored in a beautiful neutral with some fine detail of braid, ribbon, or lace?

Bettyann said...

I can tell you want to keep this beautiful do that..switch out the chairs..I like the idea of simple,white plantation blinds..clean look..

French said...

I love the pretty chair for the desk; while the rolling banker-style chairs are so comfy, I just like the look of a pretty seat! How about a Roman shade for the window, though it's quuite tall, so maybe shutters or levelors like you have? I love the desk display, esp the pens!

The Boston Lady said...

Oh my gosh Laura - I love that banker's chair! I would take the "new girl" to Long Beach (you lucky thing!). Ann

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Laura, I love that new chair, and I am the type who sacrifice function for beauty. If you think it will hold up well and not get saggy in the bottom from daily use, then by all means, use the new chair. Don't sell it. It's far too spiffy, and I think it would look cute anywhere.

The windows? I would go with plantation shutters. I think they have a nice, dressed-up look and will make the space look finished. That's what I would do.


Sheila :-)

Sue said...

I have a fondness for all chairs, so I say go with whichever is most comfortable - love them both! For the window, I'd do a flat (as opposed to hobbled) Roman shade. no fuss, light control...
What I do with my cords is loop them as small as I can and wrap a rubber band around them, then tuck them off to one side or hang them from a cup hook screwed into the back of the desk - not visible, but still accessible.

Mary Catherine said...

The chair is fabulous! I would switch it out. As for the window...what about a valance or pelmet box? Something to add softness to the window without worring about how to angle curtains. I can't wait to see what you do.

Lonely Rivers said...

Just found your blog...lovely! I have a question that will immediately clue you in to the fact that I have big ideas and little knowhow. The chair I want to work on - I can't get the seat off because it is screwed on in four places with a screw top that looks like a square (not something for any of my screwdrivers). I can't find the right tool to get it out. Any ideas?

Leslie @ goodbye, house! HELLO, HOME! said...

Hi Laura!
Love the chair!
Keep it-I think you need to blog on a cushy chair ;)
For a window treatment, I would raise the rod almost to the ceiling and find one panel with a pattern that I loved and pull it to the side-away from the corner hutch.
A roll up blind- bamboo or shutters?
Isn't it fun to read everyone's opinionated opinions?
Whatever you do is sure to be beautiful!
It is harder for us designers, yes! Especially in our own spaces.
Hugs and blessings,

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Laura, that dress rule is the best news I've heard in ages. You just made my day. LOL! I think brides should look demure, too, and not like show girls on parade. ;-)

The kiss? I hadn't realized that. I guess there's a different rule in America because I'm Episcopalian, and we kiss in church. Very interesting, and that explains the kiss on the balcony between Charles and Di.

This is going to be so much fun watching the events unfold with you!


Sheila :-)

Whimsey Creations said...

I'd go with whichever chair is most comfortable! And as for your tech guy - phooey! You can take a piece of quarter inch plywood, put a frame around the inside edges of it, paint it to match the desk, and then just fasten it a few inches in from the opening on the back of the desk. Voila - hidden cords!

Renae Moore said...

I didn't take the time to read all of your comments...but how about a roman shade hung high? Pick a beautiful fabric and have it made. On the chair...sit in both and work for a few hours and see which is the most comfortable. I am in the middle of re-doing my office and a chair is something I will be on the hunt for too.
CORDS...I hate seeing there any way to gather them up and bind together with a giant rubber band and hide behind one side or the other? One of my pet peeves in the mags is when a lamp is put on a table in the middle of the room, never are there's just not real life! I am forever trying to hide them! Good luck, let us know what you decide! Let me know if you want me to send you a pic of the roman shade I had made for my powder room, it butts up next to a corner as your window does.

Jonathan said...

Thank you Mrs. Laura for your Spanish Colonial Interiors segment. It is an immense help to me. It looks to me that you are going for a seashore decor in this room. Because it's a place of work, it has to be somewhat sparse, but it can be comfy, too. The chair has to be more ergonomic. Since there are a lot of modern conveniences, Queen Anne decor is almost out of the equation. The window: Asian roll-up blinds go well with this decor, as well as Asian art. A bit of Polynesia/Hawaii/Japan would compliment, as the sea stars and conch shell attest. Plantation shutters are a definite idea, too. Sky blue accents would make the room pop, and a model of a sail boat, or painting of one would be a plus. :)
God Bless You,