my campaign for an office redux

When Devin and his dad started working on the garage renovation, I had a chat with him about our office.  You see, the last thing we actually use that room for is as an office.  It’s become more like a dumping ground for odds and ends that we can’t find any other place in the house to store.  It’s the room where we throw things when we clean up the house and whose door we always keep shut when we have guests over.  In short, it’s wasted space that we don’t utilize.  Even when I work from home, I set my laptop up on our dining room table instead because the office just feels cold and uninviting to me…definitely not a room I’d want to spend an entire day in.

So we agreed that once the garage was finished, a lot of the junk that resides in the office now would be either purged or relocated to a new (and organized!) space in the garage….and then I could redo the office however I’d like to make it an inviting space to get my productive juices flowing.

This was the office last year.

Not much has changed from these photos today, except that there are now two birch colored floating shelves from Ikea above the bigger desk in the first photo that display some of Devin’s prized vintage pressed steel Tonka trucks (every man is a kid at heart right?).  Oh, well that and there are PILES and PILES of stuff on the desks and on the floor right now.  You really don’t want to see it.  Trust.

The wheels are in motion now for the office makeover, and we’re moving full speed ahead.  I’m happy with the wall and trim color in the room so the paint color is about the only thing staying.  Everything else you see?  The glass-topped industrial desks?  Old ratty office chair?  Say buh-bye.

I have visions of a light and bright filled room with pops of blue.  If you’d like to check out my inspiration board on Pinterest for the office, you can take a gander here: Office Facelift.

As for the major pieces of furniture that will be replacing the glass and steel, I found this yellow horizontally stacking filing cabinet at an estate sale about six months ago.

Each row of three drawers is stacked on top of each other, which makes it easy to transport, but also versatile in that I can change the height whenever I want.  The old labels inside the drawers read “The Globe-Wernicke Co. Cincinnati.”  Some internet researching leads me to believe that the file cabinet is from the 1950s or early 1960s since the company stopped operating under that name in 1963.  For being over 40 years old, it’s in fairly good shape.  Just a few dents here and there, and all of the hardware is intact except for two pulls (which I’ll need to find replacements for).  Really the worst part about it is the awful paint job the previous owner did.  The original color was the green gray you see where the pulls would be.  What you can’t see from the photos are all of the ripples and countless drip marks in the yellow paint. They didn’t bother taping off the hardware either so a bunch of the pulls have yellow paint on them too.

Ah well, I love a good challenge.  This poor filing cabinet sat in Devin’s family’s workshop for months gathering dust until finally we brought it home last weekend and started working on it.  The rainy weather this week has put a bit of a damper (ah ha I kill me) on the cabinet makeover, but it’s almost there and hopefully I’ll be able to show you the result in the next couple of days.

As for the desk, I scored the deal of a century when I spied an amazing campaign style desk and dresser on Craigslist.  FOR FREE.  FREE. FREE.  I almost peed my pants when the owner called me back telling me they were still available and could I come by the next day at noon to pick them up?  You can imagine how my conversation with Devin went, but if you can’t it went a little something like this:

Christine:  Baaabeee?  (ever so sweetly)

Devin: Whatever it is, no.

Christine: Awww come on, you don’t even know what I was going to ask!

Devin: Okay, what is it?

Christine: Can I borrow your truck tomorrow?

Devin: (laughter)

Christine: Please?  PLEASE?! I finally found the desk I’m looking for and it’s FREE and even has a matching dresser.  I NEED THIS DESK.  (pointed look at Devin)

Devin:  You’re crazy babe.  Are you serious?

Christine: (mopey silence)

Devin:  OKAY, okay.  You better be careful driving my truck. (It should be noted that Devin of course would have gone with me if he hadn’t been working that day.)

So off I went the next morning across the bay to pick up my desk and dresser.  I loved them even more in person.  I felt all kick ass independent woman for going all by myself and loading them onto the truck and covering them up with sheets all by myself.  Until it started to rain.  Hard.  Then as I was driving back over the Bay Bridge at a crawling 35 mph, the wind gusts started making the dresser rattle pretty precariously and I prayed silently over and over again “please don’t let the dresser fly out of the back of the truck, please don’t let the dresser fly out of the back of the truck.”

Thankfully, the desk and dresser made it back in one piece.

I cannot WAIT to get my hands on these babies.  Especially when I’ve seen how utterly beautiful they can turn out with some wood filler, paint and some polish.

Like Centsational Girl’s kelly green campaign desk:

Or Wildwood Creek’s beautiful blue campaign style dresser:

As excited as I am about my precccioussses, I do have one small problem.

The hardware on the filing cabinet is brushed nickel.  The hardware on the campaign furniture is brass plate.  I love the look of the brass on the campaign furniture, especially against the blue above, which is the color I’m leaning towards.  However, I also love the look of the brushed nickel against the heirloom white that we painted the filing cabinet.  I’d hate to have to change either one for all pieces to be consistent.

Does it matter if I have two different hardware finishes in one room?  Am I committing some sort of interior decor faux pas?

I’m leaning towards “no it doesn’t matter because it’s my room and I’ll do what I want”…but I suppose I won’t really know until I see them all together.

Regardless, there’s finally movement on the office redux, and no one’s more excited about it than me. 🙂



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14 thoughts on “my campaign for an office redux

  1. Personally I don’t think there’s a need to keep the hardware the same color for this kind of room. My rule of thumb is that same color woods and hardwares applies to “social” rooms but not private rooms.

    • Interesting perspective about the social rooms vs private rooms..thanks! Our living room/dining room area has all sorts of wood going on so I’ll have to revisit that at some point haha.

  2. Have different hardware! Plus, if after it’s in the room and you don’t like it, it’s easier to change hardware colors/finishes than to take the whole piece out and repaint it:) I also love Centsational’s green desk, I’ve been showing my husband for a while, but he keeps saying that he doesn’t like green. Oh well, back to navy. I cant wait to see what you do with these, amazing! And you found them on Craigslist? For free? If I ever need anything I’m hiring you to source it for me:)


    • Yes, on craigslist! I think I just got super lucky because the owner didn’t know what they had. They didn’t list them as “campaign” style otherwise I’m sure they would’ve been snatched up right away. It was just under “wood desk and dresser” haha. But hey, I’d totally source things for you…it’s fun 🙂

    • Yes, very true that worse comes worse at least it won’t be hard to change the finish on one or the other. I will definitely just give it a go and see how I like them all together.

  3. I say go for the different hardware. Some pieces just work better with one finish over the other…worst case, you can always change it later!

  4. Pingback: before & after: stackable filing cabinet | park house love

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reading all of your comments makes me happy. thanks so much for taking the time to post your feedback!

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