Office/Nursery Progress

We’ve got LESS than a month before we welcome this new little one into our world. There’s a TON we have left to do, not gonna lie. I’m working on sub plans for my maternity leave and generally trying to get a jump on things at work while juggling the usual tasks, trying to get ahead of any writing work I’d like to accomplish pre-baby, and, well, generally getting ready for the baby — name picking, analyzing what we may still need, etc.

But, one area that we’re trying the “slow and steady wins the race” motto out is our office/nursery; our “offisery,” if you will. It doesn’t need to be done immediately since the baby will be in our room with us for the first month or two (or more), but we realize that we won’t have the time to do it after the little one arrives. Plus, ticking things off of our “to do” list is always enjoyable.

So, most nights, we’ve been doing something *small* in the space. We started with a buttload of books, which we packed up except for the ones we always like to have available. (I’m talking about YOU, two copies of “Little Women”…you!) So, after finally emptying an entire 6-foot-tall bookshelf, we dragged that sucker down to the basement. Let’s call it additional storage, although we all know the cats prefer the term “jungle gym.”

Then, after vacuuming up a lifetime’s worth of dust, it was time to assemble our version of a changing table. As you may (or may not) remember, we repainted a free dresser to use for Hadman’s changing area when he was a baby. This time, we’re using one of the more heavy duty “cube storage” units from Target. It’s definitely thicker than the usual flimsy ones, so I feel more comfortable using this to support the little one. We also grabbed some feet to attach in case the height wouldn’t work and, of course, a few of the nicer cube boxes to up the fanciness quotient. If cube storage could be called “fancy.”

So, what’s left? Well, we already moved my desk out and the crib in, tossed down a big, fluffy, natural wool rug that I got from Rugs USA (seriously, cheapest high-quality rugs ever), and purged/boxed up tons of stuff we don’t need access to. Here’s where we’re left:

– Obviously, um, declutter more. Lots of random pieces hanging around. And an extra chair. We’re still discussing the fate of the cat tree (yes, that ratty, scratched-up thing that my husband seems as attached to as any of the cats) and whether or not he can foresake the ugly office chair for a comfy, fits-an-office-AND-nursery-decor alternative. And, yes, we’ll be saying “see you in the next house!” to much of the comic art on the walls, which Dave’s been super good about. I just want to leave him with SOMETHING of his own…that doesn’t involve violent crime-fighting. Because, y’know, babies.

– Switch out some new wall art (which will involve some touch-up painting, ugh). I’m thinking of grabbing some canvases and a gold paint pen to do some DIY art, and I already picked up a bunch of swatches that I’ve ironed and chopped into fabric tassels for a wall hanging. But, yeah. Art.

– Floating shelves to the rescue. This is one of those “if we have the time/energy” things, but the floating shelves in Hadley’s room and our bathroom (seriously, how have I never showed you guys a final reveal for that space?!) are amazing, so we may do something similar above the changing area in this room. Plus, it’ll give us some more options for combining decor styles and a little extra storage. But, again, it’s not a “must-have” right now.

– Bring in the baby stuff! (sing to the Muppet Show theme song) “It’s time to strip the diapers, it’s time to clean the clothes!” So, I’ll be utilizing under-crib storage, which I’m in love with, for the “next sizes”, but otherwise keeping the newborn and 0-3 stuff at-hand as best as possible.

What do you guys think? I know we’re fighting an uphill battle with the color, ugly as heck rug, and, well, general officity (can that be a word? It should be) of it all, but this is FAR better than we were even a month ago. 🙂

Getting On Track

After a downer of a, well, week, I’m…well, I’m still pretty down, but am trying my best to get through it. All will work out. It has to. 🙂

So, to feel that I have SOME control in life, I decided to do a little (very little) bit of organizing. Sometimes anything larger seems too daunting. But this I could handle.

We purchased these wall organizers from Target awhile ago. Like, before we were married. I knew I loved their design and neutral palette, but didn’t quite know what to do with them. Today, inspiration struck. I drilled 4 screws into the wall with all my might – seriously, our walls are like cement – and hung them up.

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 Now, I have one system for my current theater goings-on and another for my important bills ‘n things. In a huge confession of personal flaw, I must say that while I pay my bills (mostly) on time, I’m horrible at keeping them organized and getting them filed away. So, this system will not only keep them from stacking up on my desk, but will remind me “oh, yeah, that’s getting way too full…time to file.” Or, at least, that’s what I’m telling myself. 😉

The bottom section of the “personal bills” container is for current “must pay” bills – a visual to give me that good kind of stress that says “Hey, stupid, pay this.” The larger back part is for stuff that has to be filed.

The other container houses recent minutes in the top, large section and miscellaneous theater things (as you see, a script I have to read, among other odds ‘n ends) in the bottom. Since Dave and I are (gasp) officially planning on still being on the board next season (unless we receive a flood of nominations from the floor at our next dinner meeting), I’m encouraged to have things in a normal, orderly, shall-I-say routine spot.

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While I was at it, I finally decided to fling my plan of finding proper frames, and simply nail up our New Year’s Resolution collages. So, here they are: 

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You can’t quite see all of our goals (in visual form) in this picture, which is a good thing – some of them are kinda personal and it’s nice to keep some things private. But, for those wondering, here are the highlights (in no particular order):
– More eco-friendly products, represented by the Tom’s toothpaste and Meyer’s cleaning liquid.
– Kitties! Yep, we found a sketch of a cat, which is strange because we got our second cat shortly after snipping the picture. Aaaand who knows, perhaps we’ll get a third! (I may be going crazy, what do you think?)
– Keeping an open mind.
– More all-natural eating, from more fruits ‘n veggies to making our own salad dressing. The hardest part is using up the numerous dressings we already have on hand, especially after tasting my very own homemade thousand islands…and, recently, my very own homemade thousand islands with homemade mayo. Yes. Yes, I am going crazy, I think…but it’s kinda fun. At least I don’t have relish made from homemade pickles or homemade ketchup. Yet.
– Writing more/tapping into our creative sides.

– Home improvement on a budget!
– Finding happiness, wherever it is and whatever it may mean. 

So, there’s my little corner of our office. It’s starting to match the other walls a little more, even if that may mean “clutter.” To me, it’s “us”. We’ve got a huge movie poster of “The Philadelphia Story”, a crappy painting I did of sleeping Beardslee, some floating shelves, and tons of sketches and we’re-so-proud articles of Dave’s. It may not be 50-50 yet, but eventually the office will belong to both of us…and hopefully turn into one of my favorite places in the house, rather than one of my least faves.

Just Gotta Share…

I should be getting showered, visiting my parents and mentally prepping for the second night of our show…but Dave’s been inspired to put together a $16 clearance bookshelf for our office. So, while I give him the occasional hand putting together the pressboard-can’t-believe-how-cheap-o-it-is-but-will-serve-its-purpose-for-now monstrosity, I thought I’d share with you guys an inspiration for our FUTURE office.

This space has given us many a headache. We’ve currently got one 5-shelf bookshelf, 3 very random desks (which Dave likes because they’re “ecclectic” — I’ve come to dislike all of them, but agree that we need to keep the good-quality rustic one for any future children), and a mess. The room is also awkwardly-shaped, with one wall being half of a slanted ceiling (sharing the roofline) and the other side giving us a strange angled…conundrum. Just…weird. We’ve splattered the walls with tons of mismatched art (from newspaper articles Dave wrote to cartoon films to my Philadelphia Story poster), but it just doesn’t feel like anything more than a mismatch.

So, after lots of thought, we’re still not positive what to do with it. We hardly use the space because it just doesn’t work for our needs. But, I’ve got some ideas…once again, thanks to my favorite blog, Young House Love.

They do a house crashing series, showing some truly inspirational homes and spaces to drool over, and the fact that this one wasn’t the largest of houses helps our situation. Here’s the link for their “House Crashing: Stunning In Sydney” post, but I’ll be sharing a couple of pictures that I think will help us in our office organizing journey. (Giving props now: I don’t own these, they’re from YHL! Hoping they don’t mind.)

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This picture shows a very simple office. Doesn’t seem like much, but I’m in love with it. I’m actually thinking of making a wall-length desk using another method shown on YHL (utilizing inexpensive doors…yup), but their use of sawhorses is awesome. However, what I’m really grooving on in this shot is the above storage. To accompany the wall-length desk idea, I’m thinking that wall-length shelving (using all the vertical space available — which, honestly, isn’t THAT much thanks to the pitched ceiling) would give us tons more storage and decorating options; very clean, very useful…and I want to figure out an inexpensive way to do it.
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Another possibility for added storage is through the use of even more shelving, but in a different format. See, we really do own a lot of frickin’ books…and other (pardon) crap. If this shelving can keep kiddie stuff in order, just think what it can do for us grown-ups! (Although, admittedly, we’ve got so much random paraphernalia, it might not look too different from what you’re seeing.)

So, there are just a couple of ideas that will hopefully help to transform our third bedroom’s “boring, cluttered office” status to a “more modern, clean, actually-wanna-spend-time-there” place. Oh, and I KNOW there’s some hardwood hiding under this carpet (which may not even HAVE to be refinished — the other two bedrooms are livable with the hardwood that we uncovered), so that’ll add a completely different dimension, too.