Welcome to my office, won't you come in?

>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One of the compromises Ed and I had to make when buying our first home last summer was downsizing. We are a family of 5 and had been living quite comfortably in our 4 bedroom, 2 bath, finished basement rental for years. The bonus for us was that renting made it possible for us to live in a highly desirable seaside community. We also had the priviledge of putting our boys into a top notch public school system.

With the housing market as wishy washy as it was last year, we decided the time was right for us to dive in and purchase our first home- but with all 3 of our kids now in the school system, we were committed to staying in the town of Narragansett. Well the market WAS far more affordable than it was prior to 2008 but RI was still faring better than other parts of the country which meant we could buy something, but it wouldn't have everything. Well, we decided on a cute little 3 bedroom, 1 bath ranch with a large but unfinished basement, complete with original 1970s decor, but more on that in another post.

Long story short- one of the things I gave up was my office. Being an artist, the most important thing for me was a studio space- which I do have in the form of my workable, but bare bones basement. A close second on my list of needs was a place to work on my website, Etsy shop, check emails, blog etc.

Fortunately, this house had an open wall in the kitchen which the previous owners occupied with a cool rolling work table as seen on the right side of the photo below (we tried to get them to sell to us but they wouldn't part with it!)

I had a white plastic folding table which I'd purchased a while back to use at cookouts, etc and it fit well into the space, so that and a white metal folding chair became my new "office". Oh yeah- and a primary colors plastic drawer unit confiscated from my oldest son's bedroom. Stylish, eh? The up side is that we have an open concept living area, so I get to watch my kids play while I work. The downside- well, it's plastic table and a metal folding chair in the middle of my kitchen.

On my way through the neighboring village of Wickford on Friday afternoon, I spied a long thin desk in front of an empty storefront (which I've longingly daydreamed about leasing for a studio space and retail shop, but I digress) with a sign taped to it that said "FREE". Well, in case you didn't know, FREE is my favorite word. The rest of the drive home, I imagined all the productive work I'd get done on it things I could do to make it pretty and then the more potential I began to see in it, the more nervous I became that someone else would beat me back to it! From the time I saw it to the time Ed and I got back to pick it up was an hour and 45 minutes. In the pitch dark and freezing cold, we measured it (a few inches too long but I'll make it work!) and loaded it onto the truck bed.

We brought it into the house to be sure I liked the fit before I invested any time in fixing it up and I am pleased with it, it's better than I thought it would be.

Now I just need to decide what colors to paint it... so far I've thought that the legs and drawers could go "stainless steel" with spray paint (since it resides in the kitchen next to my stainless appliances)
and the top could be creamy white (with lots of poly applied so it doesn't get ruined). I've also toyed with the idea of decoupaging the top of it but am not sure how practical that is for a work space- The desk is visible from the living, dining and kitchen areas which have a color scheme of white, turquoise and apple green with wood accents.
Thoughts, ideas and suggestions are welcome! Seriously, please, offer your suggestions so I can stop blogging from a folding table!


CastoCreations January 26, 2010 at 12:24 PM  

My first thought for the table was WHITE! =) At least the top. What a great find. And congrats on your new space.

My goal, if I'm at all successful in the next year or two in my new job, is for hubby and I to either build a new home or buy a home we can live in for years and years with our kid(s). And I MUST have a room for my work/crafts. We need to save a lot more money though. :)

Tara Beaulieu January 26, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

Thanks for your suggestion and good luck with your house plans! Yes, I agree, a crafting space is a MUST! :)

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