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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the flea market and the hollywood regency chairs

A few Sundays ago, Devin and I hit up the Alemany Flea Market to scope out the goods.  I don’t know about you, but flea markets and I have a longstanding love affair.  It’s always satisfying when I find something off of my wishlist, which that weekend consisted of:

  • Various vintage pyrex pieces
  • Milk glass vases
  • Bar cart
  • Vintage wood window
  • Birdcage
  • Chairs for the living room and master bedroom
  • Desk to makeover for the office

Obviously I wasn’t expecting to find ALL of these items in one go, but it’s a rotating list of things I collect, pieces for the wedding and odds and ends for the house.

It should be noted that more often than not, I come home with something that ISN’T on my list…but at the moment I see it, I just HAVE to have it and how can I NOT at such a STEAL.  Right?  RIGHT?!

On this particular trip, we’d already been halfway through the whole thing and I still hadn’t found anything so I was pretty bummed out. UNTIL.  I saw them.  THE CHAIRS.  The hollywood regency chairs that I’ve been trolling Craigslist for, drooling over on home design websites, watching on ebay, lusting after for our living room and master bedroom.  Not only that, they were a matched pair!

I fought not to let my excitement show (Haggling Tip #1: never let them see how much you really want it).  I walked up and casually started giving the chairs a once over.  They were in pretty good shape over all, though the flattened cushions needed replacing and the battered blue velvet fabric needed reupholstering.  I asked the guy how much he wanted for them, and he said $175 for the pair.  What the WHAT?!  Now I know some people would actually pay that much for them in an antique store, and I’ve seen similar chairs on ebay go for around that price and even more, but I was still crushed.  Out of my budget, I thought.  No way he’d let me haggle him down to half that price.

Then Devin walked over with that “oh no what is she bringing home NOW” look on his face, and as I showed him the chairs he started shaking his head.  “Nope.  Sorry babe.  I don’t see them looking good in our house.”  If you haven’t already noticed, this is a recurring theme around these parts.  Devin disagreeing with me, then me eventually proving him wrong.  Heh.

I ignored his headshaking and just went out on a limb.  “I’ll give you $80 for the pair”…and the guy said “okay…I really don’t want to have to lug these home again.  You can have ’em for $80.”


I looked at Devin again, puppy dog eyes, eyelashes batting….and he STILL shook his head.  “No, babe…you’re crazy.  Sorry.”

To which I retorted, “YOU HAVE NO VISION!” and stomped away.  Because I’m a five year old.

We left the flea to run other errands, but obviously at this point I was NOT pleasant company to be around.  I couldn’t believe I walked away from those chairs.  SIGH.

That afternoon, after three hours of my dejected sighs and mumbling and grumbling, Devin caved.  “Okay.  Let’s go see if they’re still there.  I want you to be happy.”  I expected they’d be long gone by then, but we hightailed it back to the flea market and THEY WERE STILL THERE.  If that didn’t shout THESE CHAIRS ARE MEANT TO BE YOURS then I don’t know what would.

The guy laughed when he saw me.  “I couldn’t believe you’d walk away from these chairs!  Some folks are refinishing these babies and selling them at the Antiques Faire for over $300!”  (He wasn’t lying.  I’ve seen them there.)

THEN when I went to pay for them, I realized I only had $73 on me, which I feebly handed to the guy.  He just laughed and said “Ohhh just take ’em will ya?”  At which point I gave him a huge hug and picked one of them up to take back to the truck.  As we walked away, he asked Devin, “So what made you change your mind?”  To which he replied, “Well…I figured it would be cheaper to make her happy.”


How amazing are these chairs??  I can’t wait to get my hands on them.  🙂

Not surprisingly, when we got home and I put one in its future spot in the living room, replacing the rocking chair, Devin took a step back and said, “You know what?  You’re right.  That looks good there.  It’ll be even better when they’re repainted and have new cushions.  Sorry I doubted you babe.”




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homegoods, camping in the rain and my first 5k

This past Friday afternoon, I took a trip to Mecca, also known as HomeGoods.  Because really, can you think of a better way to start the weekend?  Like most trips I take there, I didn’t really have anything specific in mind that I wanted or needed.  Though also like most trips I take there, I left with something that I hadn’t realized I needed beforehand, but I couldn’t leave without.

If you don’t already know, I love quatrefoil patterned ANYTHING.  I also love the color gray.  So when I saw these Cynthia Rowley towels, I just couldn’t pass them up.

For anyone interested, they came in other colors too (cream, light green, maybe orange? if I remember right).

Then on the way home, I decided to stop at our local Salvation Army just in case there were any inexpensive pieces of furniture in need of a makeover.  As if I don’t already have enough projects to work on!  When I pulled up, what did I see sitting on the sidewalk in front of the store, but this super ugly little table marked “$5.00 As Is.”

I looked it over and everything seemed to be in decent shape, and it’s fairly heavy so no particle board on this baby.  As I expected, the second I brought it home, Devin declared “there is no place for that table in this house.”  Ha.  We’ll see.  The second I laid eyes on it, a variety of “after” images flashed through my head.  Especially since I’d recently read this post of Ashley’s where she made over a similar looking table.

Admittedly, I sort of agree with Devin that the style wouldn’t really fit in our home, but that wasn’t about to stop me from buying it and making it over anyway because FIVE DOLLAR TABLE HELLO.  We’ll see how it turns out, then at that point, I’ll decide where its permanent home should be.

On Saturday we headed down to Santa Cruz with the dogs to camp overnight in preparation for the She.Is.Beautiful 5K that I was running on Sunday morning. While I was excited for my first race, the gloomy, rainy weather really did its best to bring us down.  We spent most of Saturday trying to stay out of the rain and exploring the Aptos/Capitola/Santa Cruz area where we stumbled upon an adorable store called Warmth Company.  Look at this place and tell me you don’t want every single thing in there.

While many things were overpriced in my opinion, there were some accessories that weren’t too bad, and we ended up leaving with this Dash & Albert rug that’s perfect for our entryway.

I love the colors, and it makes a really nice impression when you first walk in the front door…so much more so than the drab beige rug we had there previously.

Afterwards, we finally headed back to the New Brighton State Beach campground and set up shop for the night.  While the circumstances weren’t ideal (muddy dog paws, wet pants, rain rain RAIN), we made the most of it.  At 3AM I woke up to the rain POUNDING on the roof of our van (more on the RallyWagon in a future post!) and prayed that PLEASEGODLETTHERAINSTOPBY8AM because the thought of running in that torrential downpour really bummed me out.

Lo, someone up there listened because when we woke up the next morning the rain had stopped!  It was a beautiful course, along the ocean the entire time, and I ended up coming in at 29:37…five whole minutes faster than my goal time!

Please forgive the facial expression…I have no idea.

On that note, here’s to another week!