Our Home Office Ideas

Posted by John on December 13th, 2013

Happy Friday folks! Christmas is less than two weeks away. Hope your shopping and decorating is going well. I have yet to purchase a single item. Pretty par for the course for me though.

Today I wanted to start sharing some of our home office ideas. If you follow our Pinterest home office ideas board, you may have already seen some of these images, but I thought I’d elaborate on the concepts we’re considering. You’ll have some understanding as to why we pinned them.

First a quick update on the floors…. We scheduled the office redo sometime after Christmas. We agreed with some of the comments in our last office post that replacing the floors BEFORE building the built-ins was the smarter idea. Good call, guys. We’ll be bringing you some hardwood floor installation videos hopefully before the new year!

The office improvement project is going to to start with getting together some ideas for the overall look or concept that we’re shooting for. Once we settle on some of the more important ideas like furniture arrangement, we’ll talk about the more specific requirements we have. For example, Lisa wants the computer printer to be hidden inside a cabinet. That’s a pretty specific requirement that we can tackle later once we know what we’re building.

Just wanted to mention that process so you have a better understanding of how we approach more significant home improvement projects. The most important goal I have with our blogging nowadays is to not just share our projects ideas, but to pass along the skills and experiences we’ve picked up along the way. After this office series is over, you should have a much better understanding of how to start your own major room renovation from early ideas to the final paint stroke. We’re kicking that process off today with this ideas post.

Let’s dive in…

Here is a preliminary list of office design ideas that we like. We’re focusing on the orientation of the office furniture here. It’s the biggest decision we’ll have to make up front. Keep in mind that not all of these options are compatible and some may get discarded. We’ll narrow down our choices later and come up with a firm list of requirements from which we can design our finished space.

1. Built-ins.


This is our bread and butter. The far wall will definitely have built-ins with some sort of desk in the center. We’re going to stick with inset shaker doors, but I’m going to add a couple twists. I’ll share more of the specific cabinet designs when we get to that later on down the road.

2. Separate Desk


Ideally, we’d love for this space to have two desks. Not sure how we’re going to pull this off yet. One option is a separate desk in the center of the room facing out. We both love the look of a darker desk and countertop for that matter. I would love to take a swing at building one of these too. Looks like fun.

3. Side by Side Desks

side by side desk

Instead of a separate desk, we could always make the built-in desk option wider to accommodate two workstations. This would be the easiest to build since I would just be making a built-in and no separate unit. Although, if we skip the detached desk, then we’d need to figure out what to do with the added empty space in the center of the room.

4. Desk Peninsula

facing desks

This is a cool option. Bit of a hybrid solution to the question of desk location. It’s both built-in and separate. While I like it, I know Lisa wants a crafting station someplace in here and I don’t think she’ll have enough desktop space if we’re both sharing the same counter.

5. Coffered Ceiling

coffered ceiling

In addition to our furniture choices, we’re also considering a coffered ceiling. It adds some character and would be a helpful trial run for when I eventually attempt it in our family room and kitchen.

So what do you think of these options? Is there any in particular that catches your eye? What desk orientation do you like best? What do you think works the best?

Wondering if the options that look the best are also the options that actually WORK the best.

Posted in DIY Projects,Ideas. Tagged in ,,

DIY Garage Project Inspiration from Hometalk

Posted by John on June 11th, 2013


If you’ve been following some of our more recent posts, you know that we’re trying to get our garage in tip-top shape. We’re still looking for some smart storage and organization solutions and I’ve been stalking the garage related posts on Hometalk. You can see what ideas I’ve clipped to my ‘DIY Garage Projects’ board by clicking on the graphic.

There are a ton of DIY and home improvement projects on Hometalk and if you’re not yet a regular reader, I encourage you to check it out.

Posted in Garage and Tools,Ideas. Tagged in ,

Garage Organization Ideas

Posted by John on June 4th, 2013

When work on a major home improvement project finishes up around here, we’re usually left with one space that looks pretty sharp.. and one space filled with scrap wood, empty boxes and tools that haven’t made their way back to their proper place.  Those sacrificial spaces are typically the basement and the garage.  Now since Lisa almost never goes into the basement (out of fear of our basement) and we’re in the garage everyday, you can guess where my priorities will be focused for our next project.

Now, we’ve already done a little bit of work in here over the last couple years like our shoe organizer and the painting, but there’s still quite a bit left on our to-do list.  I’ve already started cleaning the place up and added a few organizational pieces, like these towel hooks re-purposed for our flip flops.

flip flop hooks

Lisa’s also been pinning some garage ideas.  Here’s what we’re thinking about.

Pegboards:garage pegboards

(via Martha Stewart)

I think a nice pegboard above our workbench would be help me keep my work area clean… for longer periods of time anyway.

Additional shelves and hooks:
 photo Garagemonkeybarstorage001.jpg

(via Garage Monkey)

I’ve got a golf bag I need to get up off the floor and we have a couple strollers we’ll probably want to hang somewhere.

Contrast Paint:

(via Houzz)

I like the idea of adding some paint to give the garage a little character.  Nothing over the top, but we’ll see.

You may notice a common thread in these photos.. these spaces are immaculately clean.  You could eat off the floor in those garages.  You couldn’t eat off a clean plate in my garage.  We’ve had oil spills, brake fluid spills and paint spills. Keeping it clean will be an adjustment.

Any suggestions?

Posted in Garage and Tools,Ideas. Tagged in ,, ,

2013 To-Do List

Posted by John on January 1st, 2013

Hey everybody!  We’re back.  Hope you all had a happy holiday.  Nothing beats 10 days off from work.  We had a relaxing and enjoyable break, although I wouldn’t complain if I had another 10 days off!  I did manage to catch bronchitis right after Christmas and was OOC for a few days last week.  Thank goodness for Z-Packs.  I was hoping to get loads of stuff around the house done over the holiday, but that didn’t happen.  We started a few things here and there that we’ll bring you up to speed on.  First though, I thought we’d share with you our Blog To-Do list for 2013.

This is a list of projects Lisa and I would really, really like to get done this year.  I’m not going to hold my breath for a few of them, but we’ll see.  Can’t hurt to list them and see what happens.

to do list 2013

I’ll run through these real quick…

1.  You’re going to see a tour of our Master Bedroom real soon.  Prepare to be underwhelmed at how little we’ve done in here.  We’re taking a first step and working on our attached sitting room.  We’re buying a couch, throwing a flat screen on the wall and maybe making some built-ins or buying a shelf.  This is the first series of posts we have for you in 2013.

2.  Custom WordPress Theme… This one is killing me.  I know how to build it, I think.  We still have yet to put ideas to paper and create one.  I’m hoping to knock this out ASAP.  Stay tuned.

3.  See #1.  We need to do something with these spaces.  Badly.

4.  It’s either build a deck or finish the basement.  We’re leaning towards the deck since it makes having summer visitors more enjoyable, but having a finished basement would be sweet.  I could finish a deck in a few weekends and it’s fairly inexpensive.  A basement finish would be a summer long affair and would be a LOT of material $$.

5.  The garage..  ehhhh.  We need shelves and storage.  Can you get a house keeper that just cleans garages?  This space continues to be the Bane to my Batman.

6.  Ah the office.  Our catch all that we’ve been meaning to get to.  I would love to work on this before the spring.  We’re going to rip out the carpet, install hardwood and make some built-in custom cabinets and a desk.  We thought we’d get to this one last year.  Didn’t happen.  Hoping for this year.

7. Not a big project.  I have this gentleman’s chest.  It’s got a lot of stuff in it.  It needs organization.. It’s not very functional… you’ll see.

8.  Lisa has tasked me with improving our pantry.  We have wire mesh shelves and we could probably do something a little more clever.  Apparently she doesn’t like reaching into the closet for chips.  She wants the chips to come to her.

9.  Probably.  Won’t.  Happen.  I want to start a compost bin or pit or pile or whatever you call it.  I want to be able to throw banana peels outside.  I’d really like to grow my own bell peppers and tomatoes.  A couple chickens would be nice too, although I suspect they are against the community rules.

10.  Needs some updating.  Some plants are dying and some are thriving.  Overall, the flower bed needs to be reshaped to make it easier to maintain.

I’m sure some of these will drop off and I can tell you we have a few more that we’re playing close to our vest.  You’ll just have to stick around and see what happens.

What’s on your to-do list for 2013? 

Posted in Blogging,Ideas. Tagged in ,, , , ,

Shoe Storage Ideas and More

Posted by Lisa on November 16th, 2011

If you’re like me you are probably thinking another post on the garage?  Yes, my friends, the garage project is still going on.

One piece of the garage puzzle that is still missing is shoe organization. We need small shelves to keep shoes on in the garage.

So off to Lowe’s I went to see what shelving units they had.

They had some pretty nice indoor shelves.



These are cute, but a little too sophisticated for the garage. Well except for that crooked espresso colored shelf on the right.

They also had large pieces of melamine that you can cut at home.


And a bunch of brackets to choose from.


Pretty easy and affordable, but I wasn’t crazy about having an unfinished side (or two) exposed.

Everything else was the standard wire shelves that are good but I’m concerned about dirt from the bottom of our shoes getting into the shoes below.

SO that means the garage will have to go on without the shoe storage completed. It will be nice to park in the garage again!!

Ok, so enough about the garage. Since you’ve read this long, I figure I’ll throw in some awesome (in my opinion) lampshades I picked up while at Lowe’s.


So excited I saw these! I have jade curtains and I love the quatrefoil design.

Here’s my lampshades in our living room before.


They’re ok and I was planning on covering them to match my curtains. But it’s been over a year so that project is out the window.

Here’s the lamp now.





And as an added bonus here’s the entire living room.


And while I was over there I took a picture of the dining room.


I am so happy I picked up these lampshades! The room is starting to get together. I can’t wait to paint!!

What about you? Any projects that seem to drag on and on – just like our garage?

Posted in Garage and Tools,Home Decor,Ideas. Tagged in ,, ,

Popular Post