The Rich Life On a Budget

A Room of My Own: Redecorated Home Office

For going on three years now, I have been writing from the comfort of my bedroom. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that, it’s not the ideal situation for me.
With notepads, lap top, iPad, pens, and a calendar strewn across the bed and a tangled mess of cords lying about on the floor, my bedroom is not the peaceful sanctuary I would like it to be. It’s a cluttered mess and a tripping hazard.
While staring at the ceiling one sleepless night, my mind wandering every which way, I had an idea.
You see our office, which would be more aptly named “the junk room”, is my least favorite room in the house. It’s where misfit furniture, home decor pieces, unread books, exercise equipment and even an unused bed go to collect dust.
My late night idea was to convert the “office/junk room” into a space for writing, thereby making my bedroom the peaceful and relaxing place it’s meant to be.
Saturday morning, I woke up early and got right to work. I wish I’d taken a photo before I started tearing it apart but I didn’t remember until things had already begun being dismantled.Trust me when I tell you that the office didn’t look much better than this. Dreadful.
That bed! It was my biggest pet peeve. It was odd to sit at that desk with a giant mattress staring down at you.
The bed was the first thing to go. The two chairs against the wall were put back where they belong, around our dining table. Boxes were moved to the garage or tossed, books were culled, the exercise ball was placed in the closet along with my weights, a roller and mats.
The initial idea was to make it a space for both Tori, my stepdaughter, and me to use. But she had a better idea. She moved the corner computer desk to her room so now she has her own study space. And we put my great-grandmother’s bureau, a piece I can’t bring myself to part with, in her closet, giving her much more drawer space.Suddenly it became MY room!
Once everything I wanted out was out, it was time to bring things in. Instead of shopping for new stuff, I shopped my house! I didn’t buy a single thing to create my room.
I took the two extra chairs from our formal dining room and placed them next to my desk, then added a French-themed, silk hand-embroidered pillow I had been storing in the linen closet to one…
Notice the Yorkie in Paris painting above the chair?
It was a gift from the Suburban Princess. I adore it!
and a leopard throw, also from the linen closet, to the other.
A friend gave me this beautiful mirrored sconce several years ago and I could never find the right place for it…until now. I was keeping it in a cabinet in the spare room all this time.
Tori took our rather utilitarian looking pen holder and personalized it for me by tying the ribbons I ordered from Royal Ribbons around it.
This funky lamp has been in my family since I was a kid. I moved it from our living room. The black shade is a little harsh for this room, but I’m okay with it for now.
It’s important that I always have water nearby or I’m certain to forget to drink it throughout the day. The “A” cup was last year’s hand-painted Mother’s Day gift from Tori. It says, in tiny writing around the rim, “Happy Mother’s Day, Smomma! Je t’aime”. So sweet.
I framed a photo that my husband took of the French Pavilion after our 2008 trip to Versailles and hung it in our hallway. Now it sits on my desk.
Never would I have guessed how important this image would be to me.
Several years ago, I was completely smitten by all things Paris. I started collecting, among other French things, Paris landmark figurines and decorated our bedroom with them.When my collection started getting a little out of control and my obsession with Paris settled down, I decided to pack them up and store them away until I could decide their fate.
Now they pepper my new room. I didn’t realize how much I missed them!

An Arc du Triomphe box sits on my desk.

One group of Eiffel Towers found a home in the bookcase, next to a very old piano chair that I also plucked from the living room.

If I buy anything, it will be a mirror for this wall. And perhaps an area rug.
Another Eiffel Tower group sits in and on a glass keepsake table that used to be in our bedroom.

This is the current state of my work area. Let’s see if I can keep it this neat.

Now I have a room of my own, filled with things I love.

And I have room for visitors if you’d like to come by for a cup of tea or glass of champagne.
My special room would not be complete without my favorite co-workers around to keep me company.  Daisy and Coco wanted to stay put in the bedroom but I lured them into the new room with heating pads. Hopefully, once it warms up they will still want to come hang out with me.
Thankfully, I had lots of furniture and accessories from which to choose from. Had I not, I would have shopped my local thrift stores to decorate and furnish my room. A project like this does not have to cost a lot if you shop your house and don’t mind secondhand things.I am so very fortunate to have this space in our home to use. I wish I had thought of doing this years ago!

If you write a blog, where do you do your writing?
If you don’t, do you have a home office?
Or a space to be creative, read, exercise, meditate or just a room that you can call your own?
XO,
Adrienne

 

55 thoughts on “A Room of My Own: Redecorated Home Office

  1. hostess of the humble bungalow

    Very impressive Adrienne!
    Love that you found a space just for you.
    I love your French theme here and can see you sipping a glass of bubbly while relaxing and pondering your next post!
    I write at my kitchen table although I do have a hobby room for painting and it has plenty of room to set up my laptop and such but I like sitting bedside the window looking out at the birds, racoons and squirrels as they frolic outdoors.

  2. Adrienne Shubin

    @hostess of the humble bungalow Thanks, Hostess!
    I have tried other rooms in the past – dining room, kitchen area – but always ended up in the bedroom.
    Now, I have no reason to not want to write in my new room!
    Definitely a strong French theme going on. It was a little much for my husband, all that Frenchiness, but this room is perfect for it. Drags one’s attention away from the not-so-attractive copier and office chair.
    I would love to have a lower window in this room that I could look out. I was just outside and saw two beautiful blue birds flying around the yard collecting things to presumably build a nest.

  3. Adrienne Shubin

    @lovesjetlag Good idea but I am not sure where I would put it unless I moved the dogs’ beds and the keepsake table – which is doable. The wall directly behind me is a closet. So no room for a couch there. It would be really lovely to have a small couch or even an oversized chair to cosy up in. Thank you for the idea. I will mull it over and see what I might find!

  4. Pam @ over50feeling40

    How much fun…it looks wonderful..I particularly love the Eiffel Tower bud vase! I currently write from a desk in my bedroom, but I would love to have a room of my own! My desk looks out over this wonderful little patio which goes out of French Doors in my bedroom, so it is not too bad. I would just love to have a whole room! You did a great job!

  5. Mademoiselle Poirot

    How fantastic to have your very own space to write in – jealous! :-) I think it’s great that you’ve “shopped your house” instead of rushing out to buy lots of new stuff. We so often forget the lovely things we already own… Have a lovely evening xo

  6. Kathy

    Wow – it looks so fantastic and so you. Julie is absolutely right about the lamp shade – I can’t even imagine another color on that lamp. When I was an interior designer, every room (even a room done in all blue and white) had a touch of red, and a touch of black. Made everything more sophisticated. We do have a home office, but it’s my husband’s. I have a great art studio, and part of it is a sitting area, where I go just relax when I’m not painting – so, sort of like a room of my own. I think all the French touches looks so great together there too – much better than in your master bedroom. Great job and I do hope that chair gets more comfortable for you.

  7. Sulky Kitten

    Brilliant idea, and a great job Adrienne. I have my own little lair that I retire to – the only thing missing is padded walls. I love that lamp and all your bits and pieces. Of course Daisy and Coco are the cutest little things in it!

  8. Michelle

    I love it, especially all the Parisian items. It’s so you. I’m happy to read you enjoy it.

    Since I live alone, my whole apartment is really me, but I could rework my desk/office area and make it habit of blogging from there… I’ll give it some thought. Right now, I blog cozy on the couch, in my living room.

    Michelle

  9. Heather Lindstrom

    I am so excited for you to have created such cozy and inspiring space for you to create. Being a lover of Paris I think your theme is simply perfect. Since we are empty nesters now I took over the back room/excercise space for my office when I started blogging. Actually I started in the den in a black computer armoire but soon realized that was not inspiring. I love the light and the view in my office. It also doubles as ‘headquarters’ for my Stylemindchic Boutique so I’m still in the process of getting the closet set to store inventory~it spills over sometimes. Especially when I’m doing photo shoots of products etc. I feel infinitely more inspired and creative now that I have my own space and I know you will too Adrienne. Congrats on creatively making space!
    xx, Heather

  10. Adrienne Shubin

    @Kathy I think the black is a nice touch after all – I had to look at it more objectively. I took that lamp to a local lamp shop a few years ago and looked at dozens of shades before deciding on black. So I sort of know already that it’s the best color for that lamp.
    You are so fortunate to have your lovely studio. I have never asked you where it is. Is it attached to your home or is it off-site?
    It would be nice to have something off-site so I would not be tempted to return to my room – yes, that happens.
    The chair treated me well today. I think the adjustments I made helped – I hope!
    xoxo, A

  11. Adrienne Shubin

    @Sulky Kitten Padded walls would be nice addition. Does your lair have a scratching post?
    Aren’t my little co-workers adorable? They didn’t come and sit with me today – kind of sad. It’s like they prefer the comfort of the bedroom over my company. Maybe it’s time to keep a bowl of smelly treats on the desk to lure them in.
    Gosh, do I sound pathetic or what??

  12. Adrienne Shubin

    @Michelle It’s hard to give up your cozy place. In fact, I am responding to comments from my bedroom because I was feeling lonely in my room – something about it being night time perhaps?
    I really missed all my Paris decorations. They have been boxed up for too long. I am happy to be able to display them again.

  13. Adrienne Shubin

    @Heather Lindstrom I am still adjusting to my new room. It sort of feels like something is missing – something to make it more cozy like a rug or an oversized chair. I’ll have to think about it more.
    That’s great that you have a space for yourself and you business. It’s healthy to keep it all separate from the other areas of your house so it’s not always right in your face. That’s another reason I wanted it out of the bedroom…grabbing my laptop and getting into something was happening too frequently. There is time to work and there is time to relax with your one and only. They shouldn’t overlap if you can help it.

  14. beingFab

    Beautiful!! That is an awesome room makeover – the perfect Valentine’s gift to yourself!! I blog at our desktop which sits in the hall, pretty much the centre of our apartment. It helps me keep an eye on everything, but it is also the place with the most distractions!

  15. Lisa

    Adrienne, I had the same issue last year…so when my college bound son went away to school I make his room my “mom cave”. I love having a room of my own…but I must be honest and say that once a month I have to give it a good shake up because it does get cluttered and out of control as I work on writing research and such.

    I’m happy you have your own little space and I love the cluster of Eiffel towers!

  16. Michelle Roebuck

    Your new space is positively WONDERFUL! I’m so happy for you that you’ve given this passion more space to exist – you’re feeding it what it needs to not only survive, but thrive!!

    I am still carving out little spaces… Some dedicated crafting area in the laundry room, a yoga room in our former formal dining room, a writing & crocheting oasis in our formal front / sitting room. They’re each in different states of creation and some of my larger ideas (wall-sized built-in bookcase and French door enclosures on the sitting room) might be a little further off, but it’s all good. All in its right time.

    Hugs!!

  17. vintagefrenchchic

    This is GREAT! And good for you for carving out your own special space and using what you have to make it yours. I am a HUGE advocate of a woman having her own room/place. Instead of taking over an entire room (which I have considered), I have created little nooks around the house. But probably my best area, and least used, is an area upstairs where I have the cutest desk and built in cabinets. I need to think about making this more my “work” area.

    I love all your French accents and that you placed your desk in front of the window. xo H

  18. spashionistareport

    What an impressive looking room! It’s really beautiful and looks like the ideal place to do some writing. I love all the French-inspired accents. I have an office/studio/workout area where I do the bulk of my writing.

    Spashionista (Alicia)

  19. what's her bucket

    It looks great! One of my favorite things to do is redecorate my house. I always move things around or repurpose things or rooms. I have my own office in our new house and I love it. Every woman should have a sanctuary that she can call her own.

  20. LRS4AMANDA

    Hi Adrienne,

    What a transformation! How nice to have a room of your own now. It definitely looks like you.

    We do have a separate office which I love having.

    We have a spare room off the garage and let me tell you, it is a disaster! Workout equipment, my husband’s teaching crap, boxes of paper belonging to my in-laws, etc. Currently it is just a cement slab because we ripped out the nasty carpet that was in there and the ceiling tiles are down so you see the exposed wood beams. Nice.

    So as you can see, we need to sink some $ into fixing it up. It really bugs me every time I go down there! And I was horrified when my husband showed it to a friend of ours! It is on our project list, hopefully in the next few months we can get started doing something to it!

    Linda
    xo

  21. Adrienne Shubin

    @beingFab So nice to hear from you!
    I am so easily distracted I have to be away from everything. It helps that my desk faces a wall so I can focus on the task at hand.
    I love thinking about my new room that way: a Valentine’s gift to myself. That is just perfect!

  22. Adrienne Shubin

    @Lisa Ha! Mom Cave! Love that term.
    I can already tell that clutter is going to be a problem. II have been on my laptop all day so far – that’s right from 7 to noon, still in my jammies – and my desk is a mess. However….I am getting a ton of work done! It’s a great feeling!

  23. Vannessa@Luxuria

    Wow! it looks fantastic your new office; the kind of place I would want to stay and write all day.
    I do have a small “office” here in my home in London. I Iove sitting in it during the day, but hate the light in the evening; some re-decorating is needed this Spring. I try never to take my laptop into my bedroom. My bedroom is for books + reading (otherwise I would never be off my laptop).

  24. Adrienne Shubin

    @Michelle Roebuck I have to say that doing this is one of the smarter things I have done in a long time. I was so productive today! I was able to check SO much off my list which really takes the stress off.

    I like that you have little spaces carved out throughout your home for different things. Writing is really my only creative endeavor so I only need one space. But sometimes I like to hide out in the living room, where no one ever goes, and read a book or just sit and think while petting a dog or cat.
    It’s really so important to have space no matter how small or how big it is!

  25. Tamera Beardsley

    Such a lovely post my dear! I want to say once again, how much I adore your blog! I am happy and inspired to see you reclaim your unused space and delighted to see you bring all of your loved Paris treasures together. Before I went to Paris for the first time, this November, I never really got people’s fascination with the city. Well, let’s just say I’m a believer now!!

    Have you read Chris Casson Madden’s – A ROOM OF HER OWN…women’s personal spaces. Your article reminded me of this book, so i found it in my library. I am going to curl up with a glass of wine, my fur blankets, this book and enjoy tonights rain here in Southern California. Thank you my dear… for tonights inspiration!

  26. Adrienne Shubin

    @vintagefrenchchic I have tried writing in the dining room, which is mostly unused, but it was too isolating and not very “me”. This space is all me and it’s pretty cozy. I really would like to add an oversized chair in here though. The office chair gets to my back after awhile.
    It is so nice to have one’s own space…I think it’s great not only for productivity and creativity, but for your own sanity! At least it is for mine. I love the uninterrupted hours of work I can get done. Best decision I have made in a long time!
    xo

  27. Jodie aka Mummaducka'sKaos

    I love it! And tell me, just what are the coworkers roles? I wonder if a tiny Tv or radio or music machine might make it less lonely in there? I would put a tv in there and play old movies on it! But I am such a TV addict. I have it on all the time, just for the background noise mostly. I am able to completely block it out when I am concentrating on something. I don’t really have a specific space. I have a nest on my couch, with comp right in front of me on the coffee table and a side table with the printer and external hard drives on it. I struggle badly in keeping it neat and tidy! Gotta say, I never have anything more than the iPhone in bed. Well sometimes the iPad!,

  28. Adrienne Shubin

    @LRS4AMANDA I think most of us have “that room” that we don’t want anyone to see. Right now, it would have to be the garage because that’s where all the stuff I wanted out of my room went – until the time comes to give it to one of the kids or donate it.
    Hope you guys get a chance to turn that room of yours into something you love.
    xo, A

  29. Nancy Ann

    Love it, love it, love it! I am here in Santa Rosa and have been reading your blog for a year or so. I did a “room of my own” after my son moved out, about four years ago, and I will never not have one. It all started with a leopard print chair I got on sale at Pier One. My “salon” is at the front of the house, with a green view and the sounds of birdies. I write, read, think, chill, stretch and just generally exhale when I go in there. And don’t beat yourself up when you think “I wish I had thought about doing this years ago!” You WERE thinking about it, just on a subtle level. And when the time was right, when the thinking was about done, action followed. And voila! A room of one’s own! Things just have a way of happening when they are supposed to… Maybe the next phase for your space (I love how that word feels like both enclosed and expansive) is dimensionality, texture, color, shine? Paint a wall in a vibrant/relaxing “you” color, hang a tapestry, lay down a rug, maybe some sheer drapes over that window, with a black iron curtain rod with fleur de lis finials!! I don’t have a white wall in my house… but I have a fuschia wall in my bathroom!! Maybe a pretty shawl/scarf as a small topper for the table holding the printer? And remember scent, lighting, sound… It’s all gonna work out. And I also soooo love shopping in my own home!! Bravo Adrienne!! Nancy N.

  30. Val Sparkle

    I do a lot of my initial writing at work when I’m not busy (don’t tell anyone). Then I hone it later on my netbook wherever I happen to be sitting. But I do have a craft room that is pretty chaotic. I have a full-size computer, a borrowed sewing machine, an ironing board, and then I also have craft supplies for beading, wire wrapping, collage, stamping, painting, sewing – and stuff for my Etsy store like packaging and files. I have room for everything, but I would love more shelves so I could have things on display. And I should organize it better,but there’s some freedom is just setting things down all over the place – I never do that in other parts of the house!

  31. kim at northerncalstyle.

    Hi Adrienne, Just catching up on your blog. Loving your new room! It looks great… So fun to see all your collection of Parisian things.

    I also have a spare room I write in. I turned an old bed into a daybed and have a large inspiration board. I still need to paint the walls and I would like a parson’s desk from Ikea or West Elm and a cute chair…Then it will be as a pal says my “girl cave!”

    Love that your little buddies get their spot too!

    xo
    Kim

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