Check Out My New Home Office

It’s been about 2 months but I’ve finally completed my new home office.  Remember way back when … when I literally just had a room.  No furniture.  No desk.  No lamp.  No file cabinet.  Just some boxes and a bunch of books and papers that were in complete disarray.  What?  A cardboard box isn’t a file cabinet?

She's On Her Toes

Well … not anymore!  Check it all out!

As you’ll recall, I made a trip to IKEA and purchased my desk ($49.99), rug ($139), and desk lamp ($19.99).  I voyaged out one more time to purchase a Vittsjo double shelf ($79.99) and pulled off a pretty spectacular IKEA hack.  After spray painting the shelf the same color as the desk legs, I added some drawer pulls (also purchased at IKEA) to the top, making the shelf look well … like it hadn’t been purchased at IKEA.  In fact, one of my friends thought it came from a pricey local furniture store.  Nope!

She's On Her Toes Home Office 5

Here’s a detail on the top …

She's On Her Toes Home Office 4

But saving money on some things allowed me to spend more on others.  I bought this cool boho chair from a local designer’s showroom—I begged her to sell it to me after spying it in her window while waiting to pick up a pizza—true story.

She's On Her Toes Bulldog Approved

Bulldog approved!

This lamp was purchased locally.

She's On Her Toes Home Office 7

And these vintage file cabinets were literally dug out from under layers and layers of furniture at a shop near my house.

She's On Her Toes Home Office 1

I’m really excited to have such a great work space.  And … I have a lot to do in 2018!  Check out my new business idea One Life Foods Market here.

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year’s.  Let’s make 2018 a year of action and a year of success!

Designing My Ideal Home Office: The Desk

The desk or workspace is arguably THE most important piece of furniture in your home office.  I mean, if you don’t have a good place to sit down and work, then what’s the point?  But the desk is a lot more than where you work, it’s a place where you’ll keep paperwork, office supplies, not to mention the focal point of the room.  So, it seemed like picking out a desk was the place to start when designing my ideal home office …

She's On Her Toes Office Design

Bulldog approved!

I had seen a lot of posts and articles about IKEA hacks, proclaiming simple ways to make the inexpensive more unique and chic.  Since I have some rather pricey selections on my office inspiration board (click here to see my Olioboard inspiration board), like the console, shelf, and upholstered chair and ottoman, it seemed like a good idea to try and save some money on my desk, lamp and rug.  So, I headed out to IKEA to try my luck at saving.

And save I did!  I was able to buy the desk for … $49.99!  That’s $19.99 for the white Linnmon tabletop and then $30.00 for 2 Lerberg trestle legs.  The legs are grey, which actually looked great with the rug I found, but I wanted a chic look of shiny brass.  So, I went to the hardware store and bought some metallic spray paint.  The spray paint and drop cloth were about $15.00.  So, for about $65.00, I’ve got a pretty amazing looking desk.  What do you think?

She's On Her Toes Desk

I also found this Forsa work lamp for $19.99 and the light bulb (sold separately) for $4.99.

She's On Her Toes IKEA Desk Lamp

I was able to purchase this wool rug (IKEA PS 2014, 4 ‘ 2” x 5’ 11’) for $139.  Compared to the desk and the lamp, this was a splurge, but I love the design and the colors.  Even though I don’t have any other pieces of furniture in the room yet, it would be really easy to coordinate grey, beige, pink or teal to match back to this rug.

She's On Her Toes Office IKEA rug

I’m pretty excited about my choices so far.  Now I just have to find a good office chair.  The choices at IKEA, were a little uninspiring.  I’ll let you know next week what I decide!

Designing My Ideal Home Office

One of the biggest transitions that I’ve had to make since giving my managers and my team more responsibility to run my business is that I’m now working from home the majority of the time.  There’s no space for me to have an office at either of my studios and it’s almost impossible to get anything done that requires concentration with all the music and comings and goings of my employees and clients.  Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing everyone.  But if it means that I have to then start working in the evening because I’ve been hanging out, talking and catching up all day, that’s not really ideal.

When I moved into my new house just over a month ago, I was so excited because I was finally going to have a dedicated room for my office.  And I love this space because it’s at the front of the house, so it gets amazing light.  There’s also a great view.

She's On Her Toes

But … what I have is literally just a room.  No furniture.  No desk.  No lamp.  No file cabinet.  Just some boxes and a bunch of books and papers that are in complete disarray.  What?  A cardboard box isn’t a file cabinet?

I’ve got to get some work done!  Where to start?!  Until I made a list of the things I need to get my office functioning, I was totally lost.

Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Desk
  2. Office chair
  3. Desk lamp, other lighting
  4. Book shelf or shelves
  5. Cabinet or console for electronics and other storage
  6. Rug
  7. Small couch or upholstered chair
  8. Printer
  9. Office supplies
  10. Pictures, pillows and other decorations
  11. Plants

Already I’m feeling a little better—basically, I just have to get 11 things and I should be good to go.  Or if I just start with a desk and a chair, I’ll know where to go from there to complete the room.  Um … have you been shopping for furniture lately?  There are like a million choices!!  In every price point.  Online.  In store.  Everywhere.

Uh oh.  I’m overwhelmed again.

Remember all those books on the floor?  Fortunately for me, I came across two of my most favorite design books.

Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home that Makes You Happy ($20.30)

I love this book, and have spent a lot of time re-reading it since I bought my house, because it makes design easy.  It teaches you how to find your own style and inspiration, budget, create a floor plan for each room, research, and make a decorating schedule.  Each room in the home is given a chapter.  The pictures are fabulous.  It’s easy to take inspiration from the book and translate into your decorated space.  What more could you want?!

Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home: Discovering Your Personal Style and Creating a Space You’ll Love ($21.75)

This book takes it one step further to help you define your personal style through art, accessories, texture, color and statement pieces.  What I like about this book is that it really helps you put the room together in a personal way—not like you’re trying to recreate a magazine room.

There’s also a magazine you can subscribe to:

Domino Magazine ($47.99, print or $19.99, Kindle)

Domino used to be an incredible monthly magazine, but it went out of publication (and I was so sad).  Then the editors published two books on home design and they brought the print magazine back for 4 issues a year.  The theme of the books and magazine is that everyone can find their own style and create an amazing space—which is exactly what I need help with!

One of the things that the editors of Domino encourage is creating an inspiration board or keeping picture clippings of rooms, furniture, or colors that inspire you to design a room.  I love this because it is incredibly helpful when shopping to take your inspirational pictures with you to stay focused on your style.

But lugging around pictures or magazine clippings can be a little much.  Have you gone to Olioboard (  It’s a website where you can make design inspiration boards or even design whole rooms or floor plans.  I really liked it because there were pictures of current pieces available for sale—great for when I head out looking for a particular piece of office furniture.  Here’s what I came up with for my home office inspiration board …

Office Inspiration Board


Stay tuned for Thursday’s post … I did a little shopping and got a few things to start my ideal home office design.  Can’t wait to show you my new desk, lamp and rug.

Until then, stay on your toes!