One Month, One Room, $100 – The Conclusion

So, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you might remember this

My office before

and this… and finally this.  That was back in March of last year.  I’m sorry I left you hanging.  Still, I thought you might like to see the final result. Read the rest of this entry »

One Month, One Room, $100 – My Office, Week #3

This week the task is PLAN!

For those of us who work from home, you know our offices are often the space that we spend the most time in (at least awake time), and usually the messiest and most neglected too. It’s strange how that happens. We keep our shared spaces as neat and tidy as our lives will allow, but our personal and work spaces become cluttered and crowded. I am as guilty of this as anyone.

So, when I set about revamping my office, the first thing that had to happen was purging it, and then a thorough cleaning. This took a little longer than expected, due to my being sick at the beginning of the month, but things are well underway now. The next stage of my little office revamp is to plan out what I want to do. That is definitely the fun part! Here is a peek at what’s inspired me:

This image, seen on elements of style, shows the beginnings of what I’m planning for my color scheme. Because I work a lot with color, it helps not to have bright colors on the walls which might reflect on the paint chips and fabric swatches I’m looking at. However, I didn’t want to have just plain white walls, if for no other reason than the trim is already an off white. A nice deep gray wall, like you see in this room, is just the ticket. However this room is a little too formal for my taste.

Now this office is a bit more like it. While none of the elements for my office are exactly like this (except for the floor), the colors, textures, and general quirkiness are right up my alley. No wonder, because I found the image on a favorite blog called The Steampunk Home.  Just the place for quirky.  The one thing it’s really lacking is that little touch of femininity. Read the rest of this entry »

One Month, One Room, $100 – My Office, Week #2 (and a half)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

I’m writing this while wearing my favorite old Pogues concert tee, so I’m green in more ways than one today!

This week’s goal is Clean!

When last I showed you a peek of my very messy office, I told you that I would be purging it that week. However, an upper respiratory infection put the kibosh on that for a bit. So yesterday, my intrepid intern Gina helped me get caught up in the purging AND cleaning department.

See, we’re making some progress.

Purging is going well, although the desk and filing cabinets are still waiting for their new homes. There are several piles of things to be sold in a garage sale or donated to Goodwill, and mountains of old paperwork are awaiting scanning, shredding, or enshrining as needed.

The cleaning effort involved much vacuuming, mopping, wiping of surfaces, and general decluttering. Of course, this is what’s going to happen with each and every room that I work on this year, so I thought I would use my cleaning post each month as an opportunity to spotlight one specific area of “green” cleaning.

Today, I thought I would share with you my favorite book on non-toxic household “recipes”, Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living, by Annie Berthold – Bond. This book is not just on cleaning your home, it also has natural formulas for everything from skin care to pest control.  Lot’s of them.  I love it!

Since one of the things I want to do in this room is let in more of the beautiful natural light, I thought it would be a good idea to thoroughly clean the windows. However, we weren’t able to get to that yesterday, so tomorrow’s the day, and I’m going to try the “super-duper dirty window cleaner” from “Better Basics”. I’ll let you know if it works. Meanwhile, here’s the formula if you want to try it yourself:

1/4 teaspoon washing soda
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
2 cups club soda

Dissolve the washing soda in hot water, then pour into a spray bottle. Add liquid soap and club soda. Shake well, then spray windows and wipe clean.

Next week I’ll begin the planning process. That’s when things should really get fun!

If you want to get caught up on what this is all about, you can read the original Week #1 post here.

One Month, One Room, $100 – My Office, Week #1

I’ve set myself a little challenge today. Actually I set myself this challenge back in January, but as you might know, life got in the way. Now it’s March 1st, I’m no longer on my “death bed”, so I’m rarin’ to go. Here’s the plan…

I’m going to take one room in my house, and spend one whole month focusing only on it, each and every month this year. Well, okay, I’ll be taking care of some dustbunnies in other rooms occasionally, but I’m really going to give one specific room the “designer treatment”. To make it more of a challenge, and keep the focus on sustainability too, I am setting myself a spending limit of $100. That way, I can’t run out and buy a bunch of new staff just to fill space. That budget is going to force me to focus on things like painting, making things by hand, searching for fleamarket finds, and using things I already own.  Like I said, it’s going to be a challenge!

Last week, full of excitement  for all my ideas, I diplomatically asked my husband which room HE thought I should start with. Embarrassingly enough, he immediately suggested my office. I had to give it to him, it IS a disaster.

See what I mean?

In my defense, during the holidays and my subsequent illness, my office became the convenient dumping ground for everything that didn’t have a home. It has become so bad, that I find myself doing most of my computer work at our dining room table, or on the sofa, because there’s so little room to maneuver in the office.  My poor intern couldn’t even use my desk to do research at the other day, and had to crouch over her laptop sitting in an armchair in the other room.  Embarrassing!

So, here’s the goal for week #1 -

Purge! Before I can do anything else, I need to get rid of what’s already there. In the case of my office, that’s a lot of stuff. Especially because I’m going to use this as an opportunity to get rid of the furniture I had at my other office, and bring in some antique and vintage pieces I already own. More on that part when I get to the design stage (week #3).

So I have until next Wednesday to figure out what I’m going to do with all this stuff. Some will go to Goodwill, some may get sold on Craigslist, and some will go to friends and family if they want it (hey, just because I don’t want the extra clutter doesn’t mean someone else might not – right?).

I am electing you, my dear readers, as my accountability partners in this. If I don’t get all this junk cleared out by next Wednesday, I expect you to give me plenty of grief.  Got that?

Now – wish me luck!