Home Office Progress

The drapery fabric I ordered from Tonic Living turned out great: placed the order on a Saturday and the package showed up on Tuesday. Janine at Tonic Living rocks!
Well, the picture says it all: other than the drapes, everything else is a big mess. The room has been in Light French Grey, and though we used a very low VOC Para paint, the smell still assaults my sinuses. More updates to come shortly.


Rock Collection in Clarus Glass Display Boxes

A few months ago I picked up these Clarus Glass Display Boxes from Crate and Barrel, and have since been filling them with some of my favorite rocks/crystal geodes. So far the collection is consisted of nine pieces and it’s still growing. I am so glad that now I have a mini Smithsonian in our house, and it makes a great conversation piece.

(click on images to enlarge)
 This is what they look like in the Clarus Display Boxes, still has room to grow.

Home Office Project Update

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am finally posting something “done” instead of putting up another fancy design board to show my “to-do”.

So I ordered this Ikat Dot Grey in 100% Cotton Twill from Tonic Living as drapery fabric. This is a very inexpensive yet high impact piece for the home office — since I’ve chickened out of a bold-color wall, I will need to add some patterns to the room to avoid the yawn.

And in addition to “something blue” typically as part of my theme, I’ve also taken up a “something borrowed” this time. Inspired by Lindsay from Aubrey+Lindsay’s Little House Blog, I took an Ikea Rast dresser from this:

to this:  
Click on the image to enlarge

I am pretty happy with the outcome considering this is my first-ever Ikea hack. Thank you Lindsay for the idea!

My old bookcases will be gone this weekend so we can finally paint the walls. Tons of new furniture still needs to be ordered, delivered and put together. Fingers crossed that everything will go as planned in the next few weeks.

I hate to finish my post with bad news but I was deeply saddened by Jack Layton’s passing. He was Canada’s greatest fighter for small guys and yet he lost his own against cancer. There is no other charismatic political leader in sight in the near future, and for that, Canada should mourn. RIP…Jack Layton.

Home Office Design Plan 2.0

Thanks for those that voted “Go Bold” theme for my upcoming home office project…I was so close to pull the trigger until…I realized the Ikea Expedit bookcase wouldn’t work in the space. Dimension aside (too big to have two flanked the window as originally planned), for those that know me, you will understand that I am too much of an organized freak to display even orderly arranged books and items on open shelves — they have to go behind closed doors.

To refresh your memory, this is the design board 1.0:

And here’s my second attempt of a design plan for my home office, only this time it actually has factored in my personality and habits.

Click on the image to enlarge


  • Bowring Evora lantern.
  • Ikea Malm 4-Drawer dresser.
  • Gallery wall over accent chair (a.k.a. the reading area).
  • Billy bookcase x 3.
  • Dwell Studio cushions by Tonic Living.
  • CB2 Filing Cabinet (double duty as a printer stand).
  • Semikolon boxes.
  • 2 x Ikea Micke desks in white: love the extra desk surface once I put them back-to-back.
  • Antique Windsor chairs (still debating whether to paint them in white).
  • Jonathan Adler Parker ceiling light in Polished Nickel.
  • Sweet William Teal drapes by Tonic Living (still debating whether to go with a pair of plain white drapes with ribbon trims. Any thoughts?)
  • And last but not the least, the Light French Gray paint color-matched in Para paint (sorry Sarah).

I know this plan is so safe that it borderlines boring, but I also following my heart and hopefully my “signature” of a design theme: go neutral with something that’s hard to change (e.g. wall colors), anchor the space with a couple of substantial pieces of furniture, and go freestyle with accents. Oh and always have “something blue”!

Picking a Ceiling Light for the Home Office

Last Friday I decided to revitalize my home office. You can view the design plan here, and I’ve since made some minor changes to the storage.

With this design board in mind, I am now ready to pick a ceiling light. I probably spend more time in this room than any others so it has to be very functional. Here are a few facts that prevent me from going wild on ideas.

  • Our second floor ceiling is only 8.5 feet, so pendant or ceiling mount is pretty much the only way to go without constantly bumping my head against it when I stand up.
  • The ceiling fixture has to be bright enough (but not glaring) and casts no shadow what-so-ever. Therefore, that rules out crystal, capiz shell, feather or any other funky chandeliers along the line.
  • Minimalism and industrial styles might work the best in a clean-lined workspace.

So here are a few options I am thinking. Which one(s) do you like the most?

A. Donut-shaped Glass Light
B. Ikea Brasa

C. Ikea Fillsta

D. Industrial Metal Pendant Light

E. Fabric Shade with Crystal Finial

In one of my previous posts I had mentioned that there’d be another giveaway by a local furniture company. It’s still on but due to summer vacations and hence short of response, the furniture company has decided to postpone it until Sept/Oct time frame.

Take Two: Before and After: Two-Tier End Table

This is what the end table looked like when I first picked it up.
This is what it looked like up to a few weeks ago: after a few coats of Krylon Pewter Gray spray paint. It appeared darker and more blue than I wanted, so I had to change it.
Click on the image to enlarge
This is what the Take Two of the end table transformation: after another few coats of Krylon Satin White, and some craft paper insert.
Click on the image to enlarge

And this is the “craft paper” I used for the insert. No, it’s not prepasted wallpaper — rather it’s more like a wallpaper-sized giant sticker. All I did was to peel off the backing, and stick onto clean and smooth surface. I did use squeegee to push out air bubbles.

What do you all think? Do you like the first or the second transformation better?

New Additions To Our Family

Hoot hoot…we took these adorable owl statues home from Lowes today. The cutest thing about these owls is that no matter which angle we look at them, even from our master bedroom window on the second floor, they appear they are looking right back at us. That puts a smile on my face all the time.
Hurry if you are still looking for outdoor decoration because most retailers have clearance sale now. You snooze, you lose…well, I guess you can wait until next year. 
Click on the image to enlarge