When I Begged this Handyman for a New Office... {Reveal}

Note: We had so much fun reading and responding to your comments/texts/calls from Monday's blog post. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This post focuses on another part of our lives : fixing up our home. As you'll see, this blog is a pretty eclectic place for us and we hope you like it. (Just so you know, on Friday I'm back with the story that led us to consider adoption).

This girl begged silently that it could be the first house they saw.

That they could love whatever mediocre home they would see and sign all the papers right away.

And by grace, we stepped into this home on a crescent, during our first evening with the agent.

And in the darkness of April, months later, this couple twisted the key into the lock and claimed their first home and hung a homemade wreath on the door.

It's amazing how we loved this home.

With it's old beat up floors and yellow walls... and orange painted trim and orange curtains.

(Please forgive the photo quality from my iPhone).

Before shot... previous owners : 

So we fixed up the hardwood by taking a layer off it's back.

And we painted, of course. I can't help but paint every wall. It must be a condition.

Eventually this room in the corner of our home evolved to this (and please, don't stop reading here) : 

A small home office created with an eclectic array of furniture, that is all so loved, but all show their scars and age.

This girl hunched over her grade school homework at that desk. 

As a child, my handyman stored his things in that black filing cabinet.

While those chairs were apart of my first kitchen dining set... from Kijiji... as I became more adult, less child

The grey Ikea rug is perhaps the youngest of it all, but hardly fits this space

Two years fly by and I'm moved to a home office. So I beg the handyman for a beautiful space... and he gives in to these pleas!

So we re-paint, much to his dismay, because this girl is so over brown.

And we make a desk... using this man's childhood filing cabinet, and another abandoned cabinet from the basement.

Two bruised filing cabinets... black and the other beige... are turned navy blue with white accents, using paint from a can. 

The six-foot-butcher-block, an 'off the truck' item from Home Depot, is drilled into those filing cabinets (from inside the cabinets)... and make up this work space that's just the right size.

A sliding glass door makes up the far wall... with blue, white, and gray Ikea curtains for privacy (or to hide those ugly items on the deck that haven't been discarded/put away).

On the wall to your immediate right is storage. These amazing Ikea cabinets hold everything.

Stored in the left unit are my work things... and to the right is handyman's markers for all his homemade cards. There's lots of extra room for anything that might come with having children.

This sweet, antique rocker is from Grandma who picked it up at a garage sale for $60. I love that.

Here's our magnetic paint wall... which handyman almost swears he will never do again. It took quite a few coats/time/money :

We discovered that earth magnets work best... and at $4 each here at a shop in London, they won't break the bank.

I would love to purchase earth magnets for kids (with animals or letters) that my nephews can play with when they visit... they love magnets.

I'm delighted to show you my handyman's electrical work... I'm sure you've already caught a glimpse

With this old home few rooms have a light installed in the ceiling. We decided to forfeit cutting open the drywall to run wire and instead traded in for this industrial look.

So my handyman installed exposed electrical piping and attached two pendants we purchased from Living Lighting here in London, Ontario (my heart skips a beat... although I was terribly nervous) : 

We love how it turned out. 

And I'm so grateful that this kind man thinks of his bride and installs a dimmer (it's the little things) 

Speaking of little things, we have a few books, a little cactus and two framed photos sitting on our desk.

Here's one of those photos you may recognize from our Mexico vacation

And possibly my favorite photo of my kind man, "gone fishing"... taken when he was just a little one

(I picked up this rustic frame from Winners for just $6).

Below, this map was a discarded poster in my sister's basement and we took it to a photo shop to be mounted. We love how it turned out

And on this small white shelf from Ikea, postcards from trips and our children that we sponsor through Compassion (Samuel from Uganda, Nady from Colombia, Julatip from Thailand) take up residence here : 

We're pleased with how we feel in this space. That's what it's all about for us because we're far from being trendy, or designers, or carpenters... we're just doing small tweaks around this humble place with what we have.

To be honest, I jumped the gun with the reveal. But we were really excited to show this space.

We still need to
  • Frame the magnetic paint "box" with trim
  • Put a shelf above our magnetic board
  • Hem the curtains to floor length
  • Add sheer curtains to our blue/white/gray Ikea curtains
  • Purchase at least a dozen earth magnets (find something my nephews will love)
  • Put up art
  • Buy a rug
  • Consider a more cozy accent chair
  • Purchase knobs for the large Ikea cabinets
  • Purchase additional lighting for the ceiling (near the Ikea cabinets)
  • Find a window cover for the small window
  • Put a protective coat on the butcher block
  • Possibly a protective coat on the filing cabinets

But I'm so glad we : 
  • Painted the walls
  • Painted the ceiling with a fresh white coat
  • Painted the magnetic wall
  • Spray painted the filing cabinets
  • Purchased the butcher block 
  • Hung the curtain rod
  • Purchased Ikea shelf unit and doors for storage
  • Installed exposed lighting/purchased pendants
  • New office chair
  • Installed a new sliding glass door that leads to the deck

How's your 'working-from-home' space? Organized? In need of a tweak?
If you have any questions about how something was done, we'll do our best to answer your questions! We just started this little blog, so we skipped to the reveal and plan to show the how-to/process for new projects around this home!