Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Perfect Home Office + Man Den

In a perfect world, I would have a sophisticated home office with elegant built-ins, muted colors and a big, overstuffed chair perfect for cuddling up with a book and some coffee.

But my dreams were dashed one day when I returned home from work to find my darling husband covered in crayon-box-blue paint - and sporting the biggest grin on his face. He was so excited to have picked out the color and painted the room himself, that I couldn't bear to cover it up with my Pottery Barn inspired color palette.

We joke about it now, and it really does make me smile every time I go in there. He staked his claim early on that this is his "man room," which just so happens to double as our miniature home office. I get the rest of the house, so I had to give him this. Well, until it's time for baby number two at least :)

Here are a few things I've done to put a decorative touch on this playful room, while still keeping functionality in mind.

Right above our desk, I hung an old curtain rod to store our office essentials within arms reach. I hate having clutter on the actual desk itself, so getting these pencil cups up off of the workspace was my goal. I spent $6 on six pencil cups from the Dollar Tree, and got a packet of "S" hooks from the hardware store. I just looped them through the holes, and it couldn't be easier!

This is what it looks like from the front. I'm kind of obsessed with hanging paper lanterns, so I hung one in the corner instead of a desk lamp. Again, I am always looking for ways to utilize vertical space in our small house because things get very cramped very easily! The photo boards are old frames with the glass removed, mats painted tan, frames painted black, and some cork (purchased from the hardware store) inserted from behind. You can't tell because they're full of pictures (which I love!), but they are pretty nifty DIY cork boards.

My hubby has a pretty extensive hat collection (he went through a phase), but he never wears them and they were just taking up space in the closet. So I just staple-gunned some scrap canvas fabric above the window (instead of a traditional valance), and hammered nails at two different heights to make a little hat display. I think it's pretty creative and fun for a boy's room!

Here's a view from the front on. We have a plain black futon in the lower left, so just ignore that because it's not that pretty. I might attempt to make some DIY pillow covers and pretty it up with a few pillows and a throw blanket. The drapes are actually cloth shower curtains from Target, that I staple-gunned to the wall to look like they're gathered at the top. I was kind of going for the "wall panel" look here, with a graphic design to break up the big blue sea. The "curtains" and the window take up this entire wall, making it the focal point when you walk into the room.

This side of the room still needs a little love, but it's my hubby's favorite part of the whole house! I'm sure it's our neighbors' least favorite part of our house though. Inside the closet, we have a file cabinet and storage rack filled with labeled plastic storage containers for all of our stuff. Obviously, Todd's drum set takes up a lot of space in this room, so I had to do something music-related to decorate. You can only see three, but I actually have four posters of his favorite musicians lining the wall. I'm not big on posters in a grown-up room, but I think if you go black&white and hang them nicely, it doesn't look too bad. I need to do something about his LA Kings banner though!

Well that is our home office + man den combo room! I should mention it is also known as "The Beat Laboratory," so you can only imagine what kind of noises come out of there.

What I learned from decorating and organizing this space is, it's important to be flexible and consider your spouse's wants and needs when developing a design plan. Men are very funny creatures ... they may act like they don't care, but certain things mean a lot to them! Even though it's not what I originally envisioned, I'll gladly take this crayon-box-blue room as long as it still suits my needs and makes my hubby happy :)

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