The Study…A Before & After

Hey, there, Good Lookin’!  Can I interest you in a B & A today?  Just don’t try any funny business because I’m wielding really, really sharp pencils.  Okay, I’d love to show you around our new study/office/homeschool room.  Follow me!

The beforsies.  Get a tissue if you need it.

And, the after.  Now give me the tissue.

I no longer loathe this room.  In fact, I LOVE it now.  We all do–and find ourselves hanging out in here together.  This is the room where I work, blog, and homeschool.  Now that we are homeschooling two kids this school year, it feels like we are doing this for reals now–unlike the last two years that just felt like practice homeschool.  It was absolutely imperative that the room have a cheerful turnaround and function much more efficiently.    If it didn’t, I was going to lose my mind.

I wanted two computer stations and one workstation that could support two children and a teacher at a time.

I also wanted flexibility with the workstation by orienting it where three sides could be utilized.

That is Dearie, our homeschool mascot.

And it needed to function like a traditional school room so that a child or two could sit at the desk and face a marker board, when necessary.

I went to IKEA with these ideas yet still vague on how I would carry it out.  After meandering their office department, I configured a few inexpensive Vika tabletops and bases into a T desk.  The green desk is the Vika pine slab painted Benjamin Moore Clover Green (2034-10).

I bought the long pine slab and a shorter one to make the waterfall edge on the front.  An IKEA magnet board attached to the front makes a nice spot to practice phonics with magnetic letters.

The green top sits right on top of the white laminate tabletops and is secured to the back wall–thanks to Chris.

I used three different bases for the tables–one with a door for a computer tower, one with an open shelf, and one with drawers.  This keeps me much more organized and clutter out of sight.  (Do you have a slight addiction to these white melamine trays?  I have four.)

I am so happy now to have my own little work corner with a file cabinet within reach.  I had been using little accordion envelopes stuffed under my desk.  That is no way to operate.  I have a place for all my stuff!  Do you see the painting?

I couldn’t stand looking at those dark, vacant windows peering out into the garage any longer (I had such issues with this room!).

Throwing up some big canvases to cover up the windows seemed like a good idea…until I was painting five coats of paint on each triangle.  But I love that expanse of light and color now instead of sad little windows.  The daybed is perfect for read alouds or as an overflow guest room.

If you are in your 30s, I guarantee you had a yarn ship of this design in your house growing up.  On clearance at Urban Outfitters.

There is storage deluxe in our Mengel Module piece.

Do you remember how it needed love?

Isn’t he gorgeous now?  I will tell my secrets in another post…

I decided to do a gallery wall with art I already had–photography from my friend Rachael, an abstract painting done by my son when he was three, drawings and a painted heart by my daughter, a painting by my Aunt Rita circa 1983 of a brunette schoolgirl, a shell tray that was a wedding gift from a longtime friend who bought it in the South Pacific, and a yellow bird–a hostess gift from Nester.  Uh, it wasn’t yellow when she gave it to me, and I felt bad changing it until I realized, “She’s the Nester…everything she owns has been painted 583 times…or is it 584?  Anyway, she’ll be proud.”

My oldest son went through an obsessive magna doodle phase as a toddler.  He drew this amazing composition of the alphabet when he was three.  I loved it so much that I made it into a painting three years ago.

Remember these chairs?  It really was genius to flip-flop the vinyl and tapestry on each chair.  I mean, really brilliant.  But sometimes you get all brains and no beauty.

But how do you like them now?  Smart and beautiful!  Fabric from Lewis & Sheron.  Rug from FLOR.

Of course now that the room is all done, it seems like it was as easy as…

Letters cut from scrap wood in our garage and painted gold.

Thank you to Chris for helping to put the pieces together and building a frame for the marker board.  And, thank you to this guy.
He is an IKEA-putting-together lovefool.  Thank you for not balking with each IKEA flat box I carried home.  And they say you aren’t handy.  I scoff at them!

So here I am in my new and improved study, tapping away at the letters and constructing strings of verbal magic for you each day.  But, it is here that I reveal a dirty little secret…I have a repulsively filthy pinkie on my right hand–apparently.  What in the world, MacDaddy?  Why is the colon/semicolon key so dirty?


Well, I hope it was worth the wait.  I know it was worth the work for me.  There is a new happy attitude in the air here…and check out Design Refuge for their before and after challenge!

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  1. Really awesome makeover! I love your use of color and white. There is plenty of modern mixed in with vintage-inspired finds. Thank you for sharing this! I know your kids love it too!

  2. valentina says:

    Hello!!! it was really nice what you did with the space!! I have a question did you make the canvas that cover the windows? or you bought it? I love it!!! thank you

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