Ashley's Office


This weekend, Greg and I had four projects on our “To Do List”. All of which had to do with or needed to be done outdoors. What did Mother Nature decide to do? Rain… and rain, and rain, and rain, and rain.

So rather than complaining about how I was supposed to be sharing our patio project with you today, I’m going to turn lemons into lemonade and use this post as my sounding board for one of the most neglected rooms in the house to date: my office.

Even though I have yet to do anything in the area of decorating, I spend A LOT of time in my office. It’s where I write blogs, edit photos, write emails, work on projects, package orders from our store, oh, and Bentley hangs out in there too. To date, this room has undergone three phases.

Phase 1: The day we closed on the house, the office (which was a dining room to the previous owners) looked like this:

Phase 2: After removing the chair rail, taking down the light fixture, painting, refinishing the floors, and moving in the furniture, the office looked like this:

Phase 3: Now before I show you what the office looks like now, please note the following:

  • I am fully aware that it looks disjointed, lacks style and not to mention color.
  • The artwork isn’t hung (just leaning against the wall). If that wasn’t bad enough, both of the large pieces are currently in “college dorm poster frames”.
  • The furniture placement is… well, who knows what it is.
  • Yes, that’s a Sonic Route 44 on the desk. Diet Dr. Pepper is my fuel.

The major thing I’m having issue with at the moment is the furniture placement. I’ve tried it about four different ways and so far this seems to be the most functional set up. Yet, still, the office is not as functional as I feel it can be. Most likely, the main reason why I’ve been having a problem is the furniture itself. We first bought the furniture for my and Greg’s cozy (fancy word for “small”) office in our apartment. At the time, it was the perfect setup for us. However, for this room, it’s not very functional. So we’re planning on Craigslisting pretty much every piece (except the chairs) and upgrading to pieces lighter in color and more suitable for my mega storage needs.

I don’t want to go out and simply buy a furniture set because I’d much rather collect the room piece by piece until it’s just right – like Goldilock’s porridge. I’ve been working in the office as is for months and we’ve got nothing but time. So I’ve decided to go about the office transformation in zones. Everyone loves a good zoned room right? The first zone we’re going to start with this wall:

At the moment, nothing is going well for this wall. I know the desk can’t go on here so ideally, I’d like to find storage solutions that will be able to store a plethora of randomness such as ridiculous amounts of paper, two printers (one big boy and one little guy), extra ink, packaging supplies, and craft supplies (I have an unhealthy collection of markers). I also need a space to keep our inventory of art prints when we get them in from our “printer guy”.

Trying to think everything through, I ended up sketching out this idea:

Please don’t hate on my lack of “drawing” skills.

Here’s the breakdown of my sketch:

  • To the left of the window, my dream piece of storage furniture will include glass door shelf storage and flat storage (long, skinny drawers for art prints).
  • The window will be adorned with panel curtains, mounted near the ceiling to give the room height.
  • Under the window will be a storage ottoman. Not only will this be a great place to store extra printer paper and ink cartridges, but Bentley would love a spot to lounge, nap, and hang out where he can also keep an eye on things outside. He’ll think it was all his idea.
  • To the right of the window will be another storage piece with the lamp and the “big boy” printer on top. As for the little printer (which I barely use), Greg said he could put it in his office and rig it so when I need to print to that printer, I can do so over the network (ah, perks of being married to a geek).
  • Hanging above will be a gigantic inspiration board – which is something I’ve been dying to have in my office since day one.
  • I also like the idea of adding a rug to the room for a layer of warmth and coziness.

Armed with my plan, the obvious choice is to start with choosing furniture so I started searching online for storage furniture options. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Hemnes Glass-door Cabinet by Ikea 2. Craft Space Storage Cabinet by Martha Stewart Living 3. Eight-Drawer Flat-File Cabinet by Martha Stewart Living 4. Edland Linen Cabinet by Ikea.

The end. If it seems like this post is ending abruptly, that’s because it is. This is about as far as my mind has wrapped around this room. One day at a time. One day at a time… Right?

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  • Reply
    August 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I can’t wait to see it when it’s done.
    Love the Sonic Route 44 on the desk!
    I love their Cherry Limeades!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      Greg likes Cherry Limeades too! That’s his “fuel”, haha.

  • Reply
    Mia L
    August 15, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    How smart is Martha Stewart! She thinks of EVERYTHING!

  • Reply
    Ashley J
    August 15, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    My office is the room we’re working on now. I’ve been dying for an inspiration board too! Question: I am in LOVE with the Lucy + Desi print. Wherever did you get it?

    • Reply
      August 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks! I love it too! Being that it’s Apple AND I Love Lucy in the same print, it’s probably my favorite thing we own, haha.

      It’s an original print of the Think Different ad campaign Apple launched in the late 90’s. If you are looking for an original, this site is a good place to start ( You can also find reproductions and different sizes on eBay. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Love the idea for the wall!! I have been thinking about those two Ikea cabinets myself for our dining room. While I love the style I’m unsure of how they will look in person – we live about two hours away from the closest Ikea. If you sneak over to Ikea please let me know how the quality of the two look!

  • Reply
    Karen Day
    August 15, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Your floors and paint colors are gorgeous! Very rich and beautiful. I would suggest looking at HomeGoods for storage under the window. They always seem to have ottomans that are unique. I really like the Martha furniture. I was unaware she had started a craft/office line. From one Diet Dr. Pepper fan to another, can’t wait to see the finished product.

  • Reply
    Terrie Shaun
    August 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Ummmm…you wouldn’t want to see the sketches I’ve drawn for my husband of things I want to do to our house. Yours look pretty dang good if you ask me!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I love your drawing!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I like number 2. And number 3. Those darn thin drawers get me every time.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Ashley, at risk of sounding sappy, I have got to say that I am so inspired by you! I LOVE that you had the guts to start your store! And I really enjoy the new ‘schedule’ for the blog!I love checking in to see what you and Greg are up to– thanks for the inspiration and the entertainment!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

      Wow, thank you so much Sarah! Your comment made my day. Seriously, thank you : )

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ MaterialsNeeded
    August 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I just posted about starting my office makeover today too! And I love the color of those chairs, they go great with the wall color. Do you plan on putting any doors up? Or are you just leaving it open?

    • Reply
      August 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      That’s been a topic of discussion around here lately. We aren’t totally sure yet, but IF we do, we’ll probably install glass double doors so it won’t completely close it off from the living/dining room.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Have you thought of a built-in window seat between the storage units that you want to put in? I just love a window seat!! And you can obviously have it open for additional storage.

  • Reply
    Lindsey (One Sweet World)
    August 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I think it looks great! And so neat and clean…you should see our office. I love the wall color + black furniture + bright chairs. I know you’re looking to get rid of the dark colors, but I kinda like it!

  • Reply
    Jessica @ Decor Adventures
    August 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    At first I thought to put the 2 smaller cabinets on the back wall with the desk with the secretary in the middle and the other desk more in the middle of the room, but I like how you have the side wall set up.

    You could always put those cabinets on that back wall if you get something new.

    I do like the paint color with the white and black pieces, it works well.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I am loving it so far!! Can’t wait. Arg – the Martha stuff is awesome – I want to have it all 🙂

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I vote for the Hemnes Glass-door Cabinet and the Eight-Drawer Flat-File Cabinet. Can’t wait to see it all finished.

  • Reply
    June 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Love it! I’m currently changing a maroon room into an office as well. What is the name and brand of the grey paint you used?

    • Reply
      June 18, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Thanks! It’s Restoration Hardware’s Slate in Subtle Velvet finish.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Where did you get your beautiful chairs from?

    • Reply
      March 14, 2014 at 8:07 am

      They’re from HomeGoods – might want to check Overstock as well.

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