We are halfway through this challenge (eek!). And while I still have a ways to go, things are really starting to take shape. Fabric and accessories are arriving daily and it's feeling a bit like christmas with all of these packages. This week I want to go into a little more detail about the good, the bad and the ugly with this project so far.
Without a doubt, the furniture item I've put the most thought into with this space is my desk chair. I really wanted something special; faux leather roller chairs need not apply. I was originally leaning towards a very light, soft, feminine pink chair in keeping with my overall color scheme. But after I painted the room such a vibrant color, all of the softer blush shades started to look a little washed out. I still wanted pink (I think it is a totally boss move to have a pink desk chair) so I decided to match the boldness of the room and go for a much brighter jewel tone shade. In addition to thinking about the color, I also wanted the style of the chair to feel a little bit more residential than your typical office chair, since this is of course a home office. After looking at approximately 578,946,385 different options, I finally settled on the perfect one. I knew it was meant to be when I saw it was named the "Kate" chair. It arrived this week and I am in love!
While getting some of the furniture has been exciting, I would be remiss if I didn't discuss the challenges I've been facing with this space. There are three main "issues" I've been dealing with since the beginning and I think I've finally started to come up with some solutions.
Challenge One: Size vs. Need. This is an objectively small space and to make matters even more complicated, I need this space to be multi-functional. The primary focus of this room will be my office, but this room was originally designed as a dressing room off of the master and I will also be using this space for some of my hanging clothes and shoes. My goal is to make this space beautiful and functional to serve this duel purpose. As many of you know, my background is in the fashion Industry so I am used to working around clothes. Even though things will be a tight squeeze I am happy with the idea of combining these spaces. Call me crazy, but since my job as a decorator involves picking out colors, textures and prints, I actually like the idea of being surrounded in a space by different colors, textures and prints. And while making this all work in 130 sq feet is a challenge, I am both a former New Yorker and a child of the 80's so small space Tetris is my jam. Challenge accepted.
Challenge Two: Budget. This room is being designed on a shoestring. After moving from a small apartment to a (moderately) large home we have spent A LOT on furniture already this year. As much as I would love beautiful bespoke pieces lining my entire office, it just isn't in the cards for this space right now. My solution will be to get creative on my splurge versus save pieces. I will be incorporating some luxe pieces I already own with some thriftier finds (and some literally thrifted finds). I'm doing most of the labor for this space on my own. I saved a huge amount by painting the room myself last week. I'm also going to do a DIY window treatment projects that I'll walk you through next week. Refer back to earlier statement about being a former New Yorker, let's just say I'm resourceful!
Challenge Three: Layout. Saying this room in an awkward space is a kind way to describe it. I live in a 1919 dutch colonial and while having a 100 year old house means that it is filled with so much charm, it also means we get our fair share of quirks. This room is an example of the latter. It's part of the master suite and so even though it is a small space, it has 2 doors in it; one that leads to the bedroom and the other to the bath. This adds a bit of a design challenge because it cuts the room off and I don't want to block either door. Since this is a dutch colonial, one of the walls has a slanted ceiling which makes the room feel even smaller. The room also has two windows (neither being standard size), a long radiator, 3 sconces, and one wall that juts out with a column where the chimney from the fireplace below passes through. And while I'm almost always a fan of built-ins, this room has a a bookshelf that is only 8 inches deep. Those are a lot of obstacles for a little space! After thinking long and hard about these challenges, I've decided to break the room off into two sections. The first will be dedicated as a working space. I'll place the desk under the slanted ceiling to help naturally bring your eye down. The desk area is also adjacent to the bookshelf, which I'll use for small item storage and display. Because it is such a small built-in I didn't want to highlight it as a design feature the way I typically would with a larger piece. I ended up painting it the same color as the walls so it adds functionality, but isn't jarring to look at.
While these obstacles are really putting the "challenge" in the ORC, I'm still really optimistic about the overall design plan. It's been so much fun seeing this room start to take shape over the past 3 weeks, and I can't wait to see the full transformation in a few more.