The house we live in is technically a three bedroom, but really only two of the bedrooms are usable. The third bedroom, which has a half-bath and is therefore great for guests, is more like a glorified hallway. None of the walls are usable thanks to an old radiator, a door to the garage, a closet, another closet, and a stairwell.
When we moved in, B created and built a makeshift desk to go over the radiator so that we'd have a place for the computer that was away from the chaos of the house and would provide a good place for him to study. But even if the room is away from the rest of the house, it's still in a house with a toddler, a tv, and a very tempting kitchen. As a result, B did nearly all of his studying at the library last year.
Since the office was no longer being used as an office, and since we have almost no storage space, it quickly became a holding area for stuff that needs to be squished into the garage once we rearrange a few things to make room for these boxes.
And then I saw this post over on Oh Happy Day (I'm all about them this week, it would seem). She and her husband live in a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco with two children. TWO. The kids share a closet that they converted into a bedroom. As you can imagine, you have to be kind of a space ninja under those living conditions, so when I ran across her post on her living room office, bells went off.
I sent the link to B - who, I'm quite certain, never reads about 90% of the links I send him - and he immediately responded with OHMYGOD WE HAVE TO DO THIS IN OUR HOUSE!!!!! IT WOULD FIX EVERYTHING!!
So we talked about it and how we actually did have the perfect living room for it, but finding an affordable cabinet would be the biggest problem. I showed him the Ikea piece that they used on the blog post and told him that maybe we could just peruse Craigslist for a few months to see if we could find anything similar. Then B pulled some furniture magic out of his ass and found the EXACT Ikea cabinet on Albany Craigslist that night. Albany is nowhere near an Ikea and is a pretty small city, so to find that cabinet was design karma, obviously.
We decided we were going to paint it a kind of... drum roll please... muted lime green. To which my father responded wow, that sounds absolutely awful. Ha! I love the straight shooters.
But here's the thing... house items are expensive and no one has the money to redecorate every few years, so we all pick the safe choices. Black will go with everything, it will look so modern and classy, blah, blah. All true. But both of us got really sick of safe design choices and just wanted something bold and fun and interesting. Enter lime green.
Our curtains and couch pillows and paintings are a cranberry color and there are about 4 small places in the living room where a grassy, lime green comes into play. And the two colors go together really well, so we just decided to go for it. What the hell. Life is short, paint it lime.
So B worked his ass of for four days - disassemble, sand, wipe, prime, paint, paint, dry, reassemble, get into house. And it's awesome. The defining characteristic for things in the house these days is can it keep the stuff out of sight? As a result, Charlotte's toys are in a closed leather ottoman and 3 storage bins, so that at the end of the day when every toy is covering the living room floor, it can be cleaned up in about 5 minutes. And now our office and any of the bills and catalogs and to do lists and calendars can now be closed nicely behind to big limey doors.
*The paintings on the wall were part of the aisle decorations at our wedding. I delegated the entire task to the ever creative and talented Giovanina and told her to just come up with something pretty. So she and her dad cut down birch branches, filed points on the bottom so they would stick in the ground, and then hung the paintings on either side of the aisle for the first six rows. It was awesome.