Ashley's Office

UPGRADES (& DOWNGRADES) IN THE OFFICE

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me mention my love for this dining table at World Market that would make a killer desk..

There are so many things I loved about it. The iron legs, real-wood plank table top, the depth and, of course, the fact it was marked down from $329 to $260. It was THE desk I’ve been looking for. About ten minutes after this photo was posted, I asked them to hold one for me so Greg could go by later and pick it up in the SUV (there was only 1 in stock!). A few hours later, the old desk was listed on Craigslist (we ended up selling for $225 – which just about paid for the new one!) and the new desk was in place…

I love it. Every time I walk by my office, I have a need to say “hi”. I love working at it too. It makes me feel more creative, haha. My monitor is 30″ and the lamp is a pretty big lamp, so the desk may look a little smaller than it actually is. The monstrosity that is my computer tower is on it’s way out the window. I just pulled the trigger on a new MacBook Pro last night, so bye bye tower and messy wires! In other words, ignore the ugly thing on the other side of the desk and the nest of wires surrounding it. I’m keeping the monitor to be able to convert the laptop to a desktop workstation when ever I feel like working on a big screen, though. So, that’s staying put.

I love the vast amount of workspace – so much more than my last desk! I added the lamp (which may or may not be switched out for another one down the road), a little potted faux plant (from Ikea), a blue tray (from Target) and essentials like pens, Sharpies and paper tape.

Before you start judging that I have a poster on the wall held up with tacks, let me explain! The poster was originally hung in my college dorm room and I’ve been saving it for years to hang somewhere in my house. Not only does it bring back ridiculously fun memories, but it’s only the best movie ever with three of my all-time favorite people (Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, and William Holden). If you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing and look it up on Netflix. I’m planning on getting it framed, but until I decide on a particular frame/mat, I wanted to hang it to get a feel for what it would look like on the wall. The poster itself has extra-wide borders, and the tacks are in the corners, way away from the artwork, so we’re all good. I really love the colors, and I think it really pops against the wall color. It will also tie in with the rest of the room once it’s all put together. As for the rest of the room…

What’s funny is the fact that I’ve never had a definite plan for this room – which is SO unlike me. So far, I’ve just been collecting what I like/need (like THE desk and the Martha Stewart storage furniture) and crossing my fingers I can bring it all together. So that’s where I am now: bringing it all together.

My thoughts are if I change out the white wooden hardware on the storage pieces for some weathered oil-rubbed bronze hardware, that will tie them in with the legs of the desk. My next plan of action is to add some panel curtains to the window. As for some color, I bought some “fabric” that I love. Fabric is in “quotes” because it’s actually a shower curtain – but it doesn’t look like a shower curtain – promise! I’m not losing my mind.

Do you hear that? That’s my family all over the country laughing hysterically because they know I have no business using a sewing machine. It ties in nicely with the cabinets, coral chairs, Sabrina poster and the Ikat pattern is a tad rustic(ish). I bought three to give me enough “fabric” to go from floor to ceiling. I’ve actually had them for a few months, but I’ve been nervous about doing anything with them, afraid I’ll mess them up. Here’s hoping that since I’ve posted about it now, I’ll suck it up and actually get around to doing it.

 Since my new desk doesn’t have drawers, I’m in dire need of a Shop Assistant. Expedit translated means “shop assistant”. I learned that from Benita Larsson, organizing extraordinaire, herself. Functionally, an Expedit would work wonders for me. Design-wise, I can’t decide. I keep going back and forth. I like the idea of rustic meets modern meets a little bit of old school but this one has me completely stumped. If we do decide on the Expedit, here’s how the layout of the room would go…

And to give you a reference, here’s what the room looks like right now…

The addition would add some height to the room, and I’d have a place to store all of my papers and office supplies, and I could use it to display things like my antique camera collection. So, what do you guys think? Yay or Nay on the Expidit? Should I be planning another trip to Ikea or shopping around for something else?

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55 Comments

  • Reply
    Amanda C.
    October 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Maybe this is my lack of imagination, but I would have never guessed the table on that website would look so good in a room. I love the warmth it brings to your office – looks great!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    October 3, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Nay on the Expedit! They’re so ubiquitous.

    It’s not the modern element that I object to as much as the fact that you can’t adjust the shelves OR the width of the cubbies. What if you want to store something that doesn’t fit in a cubby? I think cubbies are fine for display but limiting for a major workhorse piece of storage furniture.

  • Reply
    Lindsey d.
    October 3, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I LOVE those shower curtains. I pinned them months ago to use as window treatments in my boyfriend’s house. I should probably go ahead and buy them soon.

    • Reply
      Beth
      October 3, 2012 at 11:36 am

      Where did you find this shower curtain? I have been on the hunt for months…there are so many ugly ones out there!!!

      • Reply
        Ashley
        October 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

        World Market, though it’s been popping in and out of stock for the last few months. They don’t have it at the moment, but they have a lot of other great designs. I promise I don’t work for them, haha.

  • Reply
    Gretchen
    October 3, 2012 at 11:26 am

    LOVE the color on your walls… the perfect gray. What color is it?!?!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 3, 2012 at 11:29 am

      Thanks! It’s Restoration Hardware’s Slate – one of my favorites!

  • Reply
    Caroline @ Between Your Ears
    October 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I can definitely picture the white Expedit on the back wall with some dark wooden and chalkboard tags on them. The color and texture of the baskets would compliment the wooden desk, don’t you think?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 3, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Yeah, if the Expedit comes in, I’m definitely thinking dark tags and labeled baskets ; )

  • Reply
    Christina @ Homemade Ocean
    October 3, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I love love love the chair and the fabric!

    PLEASE tell me your desk gets cluttered though….mine is always a mess! Right now yours looks beautiful 🙂

    Im Jealous!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 3, 2012 at 11:36 am

      With my old desk, it would be cluttered pretty much every day. But since I’ve had this one, it’s been clean and tidy, haha!

  • Reply
    Staci @ My Friend Staci
    October 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Personally, I love the Expedit (bought three of the small two-by-two ones for my new place). I can see where the commenter above is coming from–it does seem like a person sees them EVERYWHERE. However, that wasn’t a good enough reason to keep me from buying one. I think you would knock it out of the park with canvas or wicker baskets inside them to keep things looking clean.

  • Reply
    Ashley S
    October 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    No judging from me on the poster. I held onto a poster for 13 years before finally framing and matting it. I went to Hobby Lobby and they had this fantastic rustic frame. They did a great job and it was really reasonable – $50 for frame (half off), mat, acid-free backing.
    Here’s a link to the frame:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=902756536893&set=a.590544542233.2133634.39203320&type=3&theater

  • Reply
    Rachel
    October 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Whats your Instragram username?!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      7thHouseBlog : )

  • Reply
    Chris
    October 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Total score on the desk! Love it. And I’d vote yes for the Expedit. You can’t go wrong there and can use it a million other ways if it doesn’t work for the office.

  • Reply
    Ofelia, from México City
    October 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    The desk is amazing! My vote is for expedit, go for it!

  • Reply
    Erin {Home Everyday}
    October 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    This is looking so gorgeous. The colors in that fabric are so lively, modern, and beautiful. The desk is perfect, and the set up with the lamp looks really nice. I absolutely LOVE the original Sabrina. William Holden is so dreamy.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    October 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Love the room so far! Definitely go for the Expedit. I have one, and it is great.

  • Reply
    Christy
    October 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I love your style! My vote is YES TO EXPEDIT. I have one of those big ones and I seriously think it is the best thing since sliced bread 😉

  • Reply
    Amanda
    October 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Yes, definitely yes to the Expidit! It will be a great focal point on that back wall that you’ll see from the door. I think it’ll have a similar feel to Greg’s office without being too matchy matchy. I also think that not being able to move the shelves is an positive… random shelves can get a cluttered look quickly. I also love that 3 magazine file boxes fit perfectly in each cube… these are super functional and still look tidy.

  • Reply
    Christin
    October 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    1) Love the Sabrina poster. I haven’t seen it yet but it’s in my queue to watch!
    2) I really like the Expidit. It would be really cool to get some baskets to use in some of the cubbies, maybe even hang some curtains around it to draw closed or just have gathered to each side.
    3) LOVE the desk!!

  • Reply
    Janise Cookston
    October 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I would vote no on the Expedit. For two reasons (1) From the floor plan, it doesn’t look like the best space planning choice to create that little dead space between the Expedit and your window storage, and with the strong symmetry you’ve already created with the window storage units, I think the asymmetry of the Expedit in the corner will feel forced and unbalanced (2) I think the large white Expedit on the wall behind your awesome desk will distract from the awesomeness of the desk. The desk is a jewel. Show it off. But I think you may distract from it’s awesome by putting it in front of the Expedit that once full of things has the potential to create a lot of visual noise.

    Just my two cents.

  • Reply
    Caitlin @ Desert Domicile
    October 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    LOVE your new desk! Can’t wait to see the rest of the room come together!

  • Reply
    Trista
    October 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I wish we could “downgrade” our computer size. Bought a beautiful mapaign style desk from World Market. Love it, but my husband’s computer cords and speaker cords and gaming cords are all you see when you walk in the room. Then to make matters worse, he decides to build his own computer. That meant buying an empty tower that is basically an extra piece of furniture in the room. So much for ever having a stylish office.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      Oh, I know the feeling! When Greg says, “I think I’m going to build a new computer”, the first word that comes to my mind is “mess”. haha

  • Reply
    jennifer
    October 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Go with the expedit….check this out.
    http://pinterest.com/pin/257971884875662594/

    AWESOME…it’s all how you style it.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      Yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about! : ) Thanks for the link!

  • Reply
    Victoria
    October 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I think you could make the Expedit work because of your design and organization, but I’m worried about the floor plan! It feels like it would be very heavy on the left (window) wall and back wall, and not enough on the other half. Of course, it may feel totally different in person!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Yeah, when I first drew it out, I was thinking the same thing. But the desk is a lot deeper than the little layout I drew – so it might work. A little trial and error might be in the works.

  • Reply
    Naomi
    October 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I love the table! It looks wonderful 🙂

    ♥ Naomi {Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups}

  • Reply
    my honest answer
    October 4, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Wow, it’s looking great! I love the ‘fabric’ too! I’m personally not a fan of the expedit, they are just everywhere. I’m sure you can come up with something more interesting 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashton N.
    October 4, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I love this room! I was wondering where you found your white iPhone case…I haven’t seen many without a design on the sides and I love how “crisp” and clean it looks!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks! Actually, there’s a design on the back of the California state flag symbol, haha. You can find it here, from Urban Outfitters.

  • Reply
    rebecca
    October 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I.die. I MUST have that shower curtain! It’s everything i have been looking for! grey is my favorite color and that coral. I nearly fell out of my chair when you said it was a shower curtain. I hope they get it back in stock soon cause I won’t be satified with anything I find after seeing that.

  • Reply
    Jen
    October 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    That desk is incredible! So happy to see it in your office! It is beautiful and I love the warmth and scale that it brings into the space!

    As far as the Expedit goes, I am on an IKEA strike because I crutch on it too much, however, there is something to be said about the storage an Expedit can provide, and the major versatility factor. Sure, you see them around a lot, but that is because they are a lot of bang for the buck. It all comes down to how they are styled, and knowing your ability to turn everything you touch to gold, I say go for it! 🙂

    xo!
    Jen

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      You are too sweet, Jen! : )

  • Reply
    Suzana
    October 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I say yes on the IKEA shelf. White will look great agianst the gray and with the other white storage stuff in the room. Go for it! You can add baskets for things you do not want to show, those baskets will tie in nicely with your rustic looking desk. IKEA has some nice baskets.

  • Reply
    Kerry
    October 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I think you should try to build shelves out of pallet boards! It would add to the cool rustic vibe.

  • Reply
    alexandra @ sweet betweens [blog]
    October 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I love that new desk! Mostly because my husband + I just purchased a dining room table very similar in style to your World Market find for our desk. We both work from home and use the new table as a desk that perfectly fits us side-by-side with room to spare. Best thing about it, too, is that because we converted the formal sitting room in our Victorian into our office, come holiday party time we can move our monitors and use the desk/table as a buffet for party food!

  • Reply
    Leo Croes
    October 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I like the design of the room and I agree with you that you can add space and roominess with the items you install in a room.

    I want to add as well, that I’m also a fan of World Market, I think it’s a very underrated store and has many options for a home remodeler.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    October 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Hey Ashley!

    I fell in LOVE with this table as soon as I saw it on your site. I mean, love love. Truly, madly, deeply love. However, there is no World Market where I live. (Sad face.)

    I was making a trip to Ikea this weekend (2 hours away from where I live) so I had to stop by their World Market and see if this table was in stock, which it was! But it was not on sale. It was marked at $330. Well, I figured it never hurts to ask for something, so I asked the manager if there was *any* way they could give me a discount. I mentioned how I had seen on a blog I read that it was recently on sale…and she actually gave me the “Friends and Family” discount of 25% off, so I was able to snag the table for $247.49!!!

    I couldn’t believe. I said YES and immediately took the table. I just bought a house and this dining room table is going to be PERFECT. Thanks so much for your inspiration!! I love your blog! (Like truly, madly, deeply love!)

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 6, 2012 at 3:21 am

      That is so awesome!!! : ) Best story ever! haha

  • Reply
    Kristy
    October 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I would say yes on the expedit. I have one in my office and I love it. It pretty much conquers all my storage needs and as the person said above, its all about how you style it. I was thinking what about adding some L brackets to the corners in a metal that matches the metal legs on your desk. I have seen a lot of people adding those to kitchen cabinets and maybe that would make the expedit blend in with your other items.

  • Reply
    Dominique
    October 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    I LOVE this trasformation. The size of the desk gives you so much work space. World Market is my weakness! But they are so darn pricey! Where can I find those hardwood floors???

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 10, 2012 at 8:31 am

      Thanks! They are red oak stained with Minwax’s Dark Walnut.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Hi there. Love the blog. Been following for quite some time now. I love the “let it all come together organically” approach you’re taking with the offfice. It’s my personal favorite way to design spaces. I do just have one quick suggestion. Why don’t you consider moving your computer desk in front of the window, rather than facing the back wall. I ask that for a couple reasons. 1- to take advantage of a view. I’m not quite sure what the view is out the window, but natural light and looking out is always much more inspiring than staring at a wall. 2-From a purely functional standpoint the glare against the computer will eventually drive you bananas! Facing putward into the light will work in your favor as you are working on the computer. 3-from a design/space planning perspective opening up the back wall gives you the space to truly take advantage of the Expedit shelving (which I totally think you shld go for). I hope it didn’t upset you, but when I saw the picture of the room I immediately thought of these things. I love that “fabric” too. Can’t wait to see it all come together.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 10, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks for your input! It’s neat to hear other perspectives : ) My sketch doesn’t really show it really well, but if we position the desk like in the quick sketch, I’ll actually have a good view out the window and into the dining area.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Hi me, again, sorry…..I’m not quite sure what the exact dimensions of the current desk wall is, but if its large enough, you may even be able to fit 2 of the storage units against the wall. I know it may sound crazy or seem like overkill but one can never have too much storage space, right? Plus with all of the heavier pieces gracing the window wall beefing up the storage could visually and physically balance out both sides of the room. Just another thought……/

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 10, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      Yeah, lots of storage space is awesome! Unfortunately that wall isn’t quite large enough for two units, though.

  • Reply
    Anna
    October 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I think the Expedit will be nice. I like them & they’re a lot cheaper than West Elm’s Parson bookcase (I like that one too). I don’t know if you’ve see this or if it’s too bright of a red, but this rug might work nicely in the space too: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80211664/

    or there’s always the Flokati, which according to Sabrina Soto, you don’t vacuum a Flokati, you shake it out & then rake it. Weird huh?

  • Reply
    Jill
    February 18, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Where is the chair from?? Love it and the whole color scheme!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      February 19, 2013 at 5:45 am

      Thanks! It’s from HomeGoods.

  • Reply
    Riki
    November 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Oh my. I NEED that Sabrina poster! You don’t happen to remember where you got it, do you? I’m probably gonna have to head over to ebay now . . .

    • Reply
      Ashley
      November 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      I’m not sure where I got it (I’ve had it since college!). But make sure you check MovieGoods.com as well! : )

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