How To Incorporate a Home Office into Your Living Room

In case you’ve been living under a giant pile of work lately {raise hands!} and happened to miss it, our uber-talented Editorial Director, Bianca, was just featured in the latest issue of Rue Magazine! And not just any ole’ issue, it’s the Anniversary Issue – the biggest of the year! I couldn’t be more excited to show you some snaps of her crazy hot home office space — it’s just the right amount of moody glamour and much-needed function; proof positive that you don’t even need a “real office” to achieve a similar look. Bianca’s going to take it away! Just own the envy and take notes! – Erin

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Not everyone has the luxury of having a dedicated room for an office, right? Myself included. My office is actually my living room and admittedly, it was tricky trying to figure out how much “office” to incorporate into the space I veg out the most. You may remember the previous layout of the room here. The “office” was tucked away in a corner on purpose. I didn’t want it to be a focal point because really, who wants to stare at their desk more than they have to??

It worked for a while, but it really wasn’t ideal for me being shoved in front of a closet.  So I moved the desk against my main gallery wall and boom, the room changed- for the better! The white desk popped off the dark wall and by clearing the paperwork, leaning some artwork and placing pretty objects on my desk, it camouflaged it enough- making it a highlight of the space without taking away from the purpose of the room.

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Objects and magazines are always rotating on the surfaces of things. My coffee table already doesn’t look like this- in fact, a lot of things are different! I’m always picking up something new to add to my home. I think it’s so necessary for my sanity- to change things around. It keeps things from getting stale. I just bought this crystal candle that I’m obsessed with, this decor book called The Chamber of Curiosity and this throw- like I need ANOTHER one!

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One of my favorite areas of the room is the bar area. It sits atop a dresser that holds dvd’s and computer cables. I added drawer pulls from West Elm to make it look a little more fancy! It’s a real mix of high and low. I’ve found all of my barware at thrift stores and painted the framed piece myself. Everything sits pretty next to my favorite pair of Regina Andrew alabaster lamps- my ultimate splurge! And just in case you were wondering, here are the most common questions that I get regarding my space:

> Dark paint color? Benjamin Moore Nightfall, 3 coats

> Art piece above my sofa? I painted it! Email me for commission prices and look out for prints coming soon!

> Are the black chairs velvet? Linen? They’re wool and pinstripe and ever-ee-thing!!

Be sure to read the full story in Rue’s Anniversary Issue here and another behind-the-scenes interview on what my day really looks like – including my fave music, artists, must-haves and go-to websites- here.

 

original photography for Rue Magazine by Aubrie Pick 

 

We’ve Got Big, Major, Epic News Today!

Isn’t it funny how so many things come full circle? When I started this little ole blog {closing in on eight years ago!!}, it was all to chronicle the renovation and design of the first home I ever called my very own – a teeny tiny condo in Seattle {#34 of course!}. But as life has a tendency to do, things took a sharp left turn shortly after I purchased #34 and I didn’t manage to do a dang thing to it. Well I did remove the watermelon pink striped wallpaper, but that’s as far as things ever got. We actually sold the condo last year {as you may remember} and while I was happy to see it go, I also felt disappointed that I never got to see the project come to fruition.

Well I’m thrilled to announce that I’m finally going to get my chance to design my dream home, but this time, in a very big way because WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!

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Yup – we’re going to live there! I can still hardly believe it!!! Holy-begeezus you guys, this amazing, classic, historic Victorian is our house. It feels unbelievable for all kinds of reasons, but right now it’s still not quite real because we haven’t actually moved in. While it may look rather fabulous from the outside, we discovered a house that is a totally insane, over-the-top, and a major fixer-upper. To repair what’s broken or damaged, make needed improvements and update the space to make it conducive to modern life, we have to make a pretty dang extensive renovation. Needless to say, it’s going to be a little while before we officially call our new house, home. So what do we have to work with? Well, I’m so glad you asked!

The house has a lot of amazing things to love. Fabulous details like huge bay windows, dramatic high ceilings, period crown molding and fireplaces in nearly every room! However, it was a little hard to appreciate those details at first sight as they currently look like this…

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Built in 1870, the house has only had three owners – well four now. But the last inhabitants took liberties with their design choices. Very questionable liberties. Every room in the house is painted in colors I don’t think I’ve ever seen anywhere. Certainly not in any home. The dining room above, for example, features pale peach walls and a ceiling painted in what you might describe as magenta. It’s almost impossible to actually give the color a name. The fireplaces have lovely features – like a 2×4 as a mantel! And those chandeliers are a beautiful form of some sort of 1970s plastic. Now that’s classy. You may say, but Erin, the floors look interesting at least. They would be, if they weren’t a laminate. At least those really spectacular pocket doors dividing the dining and living rooms make up for it because they still open and close – even after 140 years!

But of course, everyone says kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Again, that wasn’t exactly true in this case. This is currently our “kitchen.”

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The photos above don’t even do the kitchen situation justice. In case you can’t tell, there aren’t any permanent shelves in there. Nor counter tops. Nor any built-in appliances. Everything is just free standing or rigged up on the wall. The first time I stepped into the room was…a little mind boggling to say the least. And the bathrooms – well they’re just as special. This is the “master bath.” It can be described simply: as a formica museum!

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As you can see, we have our work cut out for us {and this is really only the half of it!}! And I couldn’t be happier. I finally have the blank slate I’ve always dreamed of. I’m sure I’m more than a little naive about what we’re really in for – but I promise we’re going to share everything we learn with you! From the fun of creating mood boards and setting a design direction to the brass tacks of how to pick a contractor, shop for slab counter tops or select the perfect shade of white paint {I’m on the hunt – anyone have a current fave?!}, we’re planning on taking you all along for the ride – however long that might be. We hope you’re just as excited as we are!

 

The Color that Will Spring You Right Into Fall

We’re all too familar with the standard Fall uniform: black, tan, navy and maybe even a touch of cream for excitement {sarcasm fully intended}. But even if you’re a total color-phobe, we’re here to assure you, you can add color to your fall wardrobe – especially if it’s this lush moody mossy emerald green!

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Sure, a closet full of neutrals is a very wise investment. When you stick with a uniform you’re suddenly able to mix and match with ease, you’re likely to wear pieces more often and can keep your closet edited down {my current fashion life-goal!}. But every once in awhile it’s fun to throw in a curve ball and this season I’m all about this crazy cool green hue! More sultry than your standard emerald, but more luscious than the old-school forrest green, it’s actually rather difficult to put your finger on what makes it so perfect. One line called it Woodland Green – I think that gets close. It’s like the deepest, richest green of a pine tree. Regardless, I love how perfectly it would pair with black, with brown – even navy!

If you’re still not totally convinced, why not test it out with a little nail polish {they call the color Shutter.}? Or if you want to keep things understated {and hidden!} how about switching up your lingere!?

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I think my favorite option is that super cute handbag. It’s nice to give your standard black bag a break every now and then! What do you think? Would you add a new hue to your fall look?

GET YOUR SHOP ON:

> Phillip Lim for Nars Nail Polish
> Topshop Satin Bra
> Ojai Garden Pot
> Marlowe Dome Satchel

image 1 via Nordstrom // 2 + 7 via Emma’s Design Blogg // 3 via Once Wed photography by Ali Harper // 4 via Artek // 5 via // 6 via Blog Milk Blog