Office Makeover: Demo

    

Changing Chaney Office Demo

Usually, we take our time planning and designing any renovations and work on our house.  This was not one of those times.  On Thursday, I texted Josh on a whim, "Do you want to rip up the floors in our second spare room and make an office?"  Like the wonderful husband that he is, he replied, "Sure. Let's start this weekend."  Weekend dates used to consist of going out to dinner, seeing a movie.  Now, they are spent ripping up carpet and covered in paint. And I'm more than OK with that.

Changing Chaney Offce

This room wasn't terrible, but also wasn't functioning as well as we know it can.  This is a picture from the MLS listing.  Since then, we put a twin bed in the corner and a desk on the wall.  It's been alright, but I find that it really has become a sort of dumping ground for random things because it really doesn't have a clear purpose.  We decided that an office space, that could still accommodate a twin bed for visitors, would be ideal.

While the carpet is fine, we've become big fans of laminate flooring and decided that the room would function better if we added them.  This weekend, we cleared the full room out, ripped up all the carpet, pulled out every last staple and tacking strip, and painted the walls.  

Changing Chaney
Changing Chaney

I'm kind of obsessed with it already. It feels SO much brighter-- it's really amazing what a coat of paint can do.  The carpet was also weighing down the space and wasn't doing us any favors. Painting is honestly one of my favorite things to do.  I think it's so relaxing and gratifying.  Josh offered to help, but I really enjoy doing it alone, playing some music, and just zoning out.  I went with Sherwin Williams Alabaster in matte.  This is my first time using a matte finish and I love it, it feels so luxe.  It did require more coats than I normally use, but definitely worth it. I've heard that the scrubability of matte paints has improved drastically, so we'll see. Luckily, since it's an office space, I'm not anticipating needing to clean it as much as a kitchen or bathroom.  

While I'm still finalizing the details of the space, I think I have a pretty clear idea of the final product.  I'm planning on blogging this renovation real time as we go-- so you'll be around for every step.  I haven't done that before, so you'll be along for the ride if (probably when) we have any hiccups....  That's part of this whole journey though, right?  Hope you'll come back next week-- we're planning to have all the floors down!

Completed Photo Ledge and Art Sources

     

Changing Chaney Art Ledge

Last week, I shared a tutorial for our gigantic art ledge.  I'm back today to share the final product, complete with our art sources.   Sticking with some of my favorite affordable art sources, I was able to keep the costs relatively low, but still achieve that collected look that I love.  It took me a while to land on the final pieces for the ledge, but I'm so happy with the final product.

Changing Chaney Art Ledge

From Left to Right....

  • The 8th grade middle school boy in me found this print from Costco just hysterical.  I wanted some text to balance out the images in the other pieces and this script and block letter combo worked great.
  • Another Costco print, I loved the color and the simplicity of this abstract triangle and rectangle image.  I love a black and white combo, and the blush softens the image.
  • Inspired by Rebecca Atwood's book Living with Pattern, I made my own potato print using an old napkin, a potato from the pantry, and navy blue paint.  Framing fabric is a nice change of texture compared to the other pieces on our ledge.
  • The fire escape stair photography is also from Costco and reminds me of my college house in the city.  The angles of the stairs are a nice juxtaposition to the curves of the potato print. 
Changing Chaney Art Ledge

From Left to Right..

  • The last of our Costco prints, the colors in this abstract really complimented the rest of our home.
  • This abstract by Katie Craig on Minted took my breath away.  The colors and the movement are beautiful and I've moved this piece from room to room in our house.
  • I took a to-go bag from the restaurant where Josh and I had our first date and popped it in a frame.  Every time I see this little cowfish, I think about our first date.  The rest is history, as they say!

For frames, I stuck with 3 main frames in different sizes and chunky white mats to give a uniform look.  I varied them horizontally and vertically to keep your eye moving from frame to frame and included two square frames to mix it up a bit more. 

Ikea Square Ribba Frame/ Ikea Rectangular Ribba/ 5X7 Gold Frame/ 11X14 Gold Frame

Changing Chaney Art Ledge

This ledge makes a huge impact in person-- it's even bigger than it looks in pictures-- and is a nice alternative to the very popular gallery wall.  I'm definitely enjoying this mix of art, but I also know myself, I might be switching it up in a month!

Affordable Art Sources

  

Changing Chaney

Last week, I showed you our DIY photo ledge.   I've since sourced all of our art for the seven frames it holds.  Seven pieces of art can add up quickly, so today I'm sharing some affordable sources.  Be sure to come back tomorrow to see the full reveal!

Growing up in art classes and frequent trips to museums with my dad, I'm not afraid to spend money on good art.  But, our giant photo ledge required 7 different pieces and one thing I don't like doing is rushing into a decorating decision.  Even worse, art is so personal and finding a piece that speaks to you and your soul can take time.  That said, I was getting sick of looking at the wrapping paper I had temporarily put in the frames. I decided that I would  fill the frames with affordable pieces that I can swap out later if I find something I love and won't feel bad about the money spent.

Affordable Art Sources

Costco Art Prints 

Image availble at Costco 

Image availble at Costco 

The majority of the prints for our ledge I bought from Costco art prints. This is a true hidden gem, especially for a gallery wall or photo ledge when you need multiple images.  You will not believe the selection they have--from abstracts to black and white photography-- there is a wide variety of pieces and sizes to pick from.  The best news?  A 12X18 poster is only $3.99, great quality, and most prints are done the next day. You'll need a Costco membership number, but so many people have them that borrowing someone's number isn't too difficult.  

Minted Fine Art 

Image available at Minted 

Image available at Minted 

A bit more expensive than Costco, Minted has beautiful pieces.  I love shopping at Minted because  my money is supporting independent artists and the prints are limited edition-- so they aren't mass produced and you won't see them everywhere.  I've purchased several prints from Minted and I'm always impressed with the selection, quality and packaging.  

Letters and Mementos 

To-go bags from your favorite restaurant are totally fair game-- and free!

To-go bags from your favorite restaurant are totally fair game-- and free!

Sometimes, the best art is totally free.  My favorite image on our photo ledge is a picture I cut out from a to-go brown paper bag from Cowfish, the restaurant where Josh and I had our first date. I was having dinner there recently with a girlfriend and as I was walking out, I saw someone carrying a brown paper bag with the restaurant's logo stamped on.  I turned right around, asked the hostess for a bag, came home, cut it out, and popped it in a frame. Instant art and it makes me think of such a special night in our lives.  Have a letter or a card that you have hung onto? Frame it!  A postcard, matchbook, stamp-- all are fair game-- and have so much meaning.  

DIY it! 

Changing Chaney

I'm telling you.  You do not have to be an artist to create art.  Let me say it again. You.Do.Not.Need.To.Be.An.Artist.To.Create.Art. I genuinely believe that we are all creative-- think about it, our ancestors all had to be creative, they had to build things and make things to survive, and that, my friends, is pretty creative. We all have it in our blood, some people are just more comfortable with that side of themselves. Don't believe me? Listen to the "On Being" podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert.   Ok. now that my pep talk is out of the way!  A great option for art is to create your own. I certainly couldn't paint a portrait of my handsome husband, but I can find inspiration around me and create something from there.  I've been reading the book Living with Pattern by Rebecca Atwood and I'm totally inspired by her textiles.  With one frame left to be filled on our ledge, I grabbed a potato from our pantry, an old white linen napkin, some navy paint, and I went to town.  The repetition and the variation is interesting and it's something that I created-- not complicated, not expensive, but good for the soul.  Tutorial to come, but you can figure it out on you're own. I promise. You're a smart cookie.  

Art doesn't have to be expensive to be art.  It's anything that feels personal to you, that makes you smile, or makes you think. Above are just a few ideas of how to curate art on a limited budget, but unlimited style.  Come back tomorrow to see which pieces I picked and how they all work together on our ledge.