Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

Office/sewing room in a hurry! Before, progress, and design - and affordable office chairs

A common dynamic over here is I am usually really gung-ho about projects and decorating, and Jason is usually more reasonable and realistic about what we can get done without going crazy. It's tough for me with a million things to do in this house to get it feeling "done" enough for now... but understandably tough on him when I always want us to work! Poor guy.

Sooooo, when Jason suggested we get the office/sewing room ready in the next week (before he starts back at physical therapy school and wants a dedicated study space), I jumped on the idea!

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I was thinking we'd just put our old drop-leaf table up there and I'd pull out my sewing machine when needed, and we'd figure out what kind of storage we need there later. But Jason wants it to be nice, sooner, with plenty of desk space for both of us.

Office inspirations

We're planning to deck it out with a whole wall of IKEA desks, but I want it to look beautiful, too. I immediately put together some mood boards and ideas for a couple of IKEA desk options. I went to my Offices pinboard and found a few inspirations...

That one's my favorite. Also like these:

What do they all have in common? Well, black and white (most offices do, right?) but used intentionally. Some gold, oriental rugs. I pointed these commonalities out to Jason and he said that sounded like everything else in our house. Oh, well.

So my design ideas. Well, we're pretty much set on either the Alex desk system (except with a white top) or the Klimpen. We want to fill the whole back wall, so we'll do two desk tops attached onto three cabinet units. I wish we could do built-in cabinets above, but this room is only temporarily our office; someday we'll move Otto up to this bedroom and move the desk downstairs, so it needs to be versatile-ly decorated.

Quick and dirty moodboards

Here are my design ideas. I loooove that first image and I think it's closest to my style, but I also think it's a little modern for this house. Nevertheless, here's my favorite moodboard based on it. (I could have done a dark red oriental rug like this one, but I fell in love with this rug (and cannot believe the price on that site) and it all clicked in my head. The light fixture is this one from IKEA (I was thinking I would paint the inside of it gold) and I linked two similar chairs in the image below.

But, like I said, we do have a more traditional house and vibe going right now... so I looked back to the Klimpen which is a really nice grey. Again we would get three drawer units and connect the tops, but you get the idea.

I suggested we maybe could move our living room rug up to the office and get a new one in the living room like we've been planning... Jason suggested that was probably a good idea, rather than spending even more money upstairs for now. Sigh. So these next mood boards use our existing tan rug, not that cool tribal print one... but more traditional which is what I said I wanted.

This one uses this light from IKEA.

It's not meshing quite yet... no black, white, or red like my inspirations. So I tried a hybrid. Jason likes the wood top, but we also have oak floors and wood window trim... I think I'm talking myself into the grey cabinets. Too bad cause I love this grey chair and it's so affordable!

Still feeling a little boring... but that's all before we add art or any other accents.

Before and progress pictures

Here's the room "before"! It's a nice, simple bedroom. Low-ish ceiling because it's in the 2nd floor dormer of our steeply sloped roof house.

It was a kids' bedroom, complete with built-in twin beds and a train track around the ceiling. (It was not easy to remove all those track pieces--flat head screws and long bolts.)

We gave away the bunk beds, rug, and bulletin boards (covered in tie dye fabric) for free on Facebook Marketplace. We removed all the track pieces, filled the holes, and primed the walls (and painted the ceiling--it's the same paint/primer, Sherwin Williams Promar 700). That's as far as we had gotten when I took these pictures.

7 cute affordable office chairs

FINALLY, I figured I should share the results of my frenzied research for cute office furniture. I actually found the chair from my fave inspo pic above!, plus several others.

Shop the rugs and chairs I'm considering here!

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