design challenge!

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Are you ready for your next challenge? I feel like I'm Clive on Design Star :)

Karin wrote from Utah saying,
"This is our office. It makes me crazy. I would love to get rid of the bench under the window and put 2 small two drawer filing cabinets on each end with a desk top over. I'm not sure what I would use or exactly how that would work. I live in Salt Lake City and that window is the only one we have that faces the mountains so it would be great to have a nice a big work surface and a view too. My goal is a fresh (maybe pops of green) clean looking office. A comfortable place to sit would be nice also. I'd love some input!"

Here is Karin's office now:

First of all, I love that you even have an office, the floors are gorgeous, I love the french doors and all of the natural light! There are two possibilites that I see happening here:

The first is to get rid of the window seat like you were saying and build in a desk under the window along these lines:

pics from Houzz
This would cost a lot more, hopefully you and your husband could do most of the work yourselves, and you would definitely want to think about all the storage you would lose by getting rid of your black desk.

You could look for an inexpensive table on craigslist to use like this one below,
pics from Houzz
and it would be fabulous to put a fabric skirt around it so you would be able to have some storage underneath. You could also be on the lookout for two matching shelves you could paint and use on the wall for storage, which would be much less expensive than built ins.

Or, if you did the desk facing the window and got rid of your black desk, it would free up that wall, and you could add a reading chair,
ikea ektorp chair

and a furniture piece that stored your files like this one below? You could add a lamp on top to make it a cozy reading space with your chair.
2 drawer file cabinet from Home Decorators

I love the idea of filling the wall above the chair and filing table with favorite family pictures and/or quotes like Layla did in her guest room:

Another option would be to keep the window seat, and play it up, and then work with your existing office furniture. Here is a window seat like yours:
pics from Houzz

I would put a rod over the window seat spot and hang some panels (I would just do the sheers), kind of like this:
(pottery barn)
and add a cushion and some yummy pillows, like these from Crate and Barrel (you said green, right?

Okay, I'm having way too much fun with ideas here and have to be on my way, but let's hear yours. Y'all were great last time with your ideas, links to pictures, etc. and look how it turned out! What ideas do you have for Karin's home office?


  1. Hi,
    For some reason I can't see the pic's of Karin's office.. is it me?
    Love your ideas!

  2. No, it's not just you. I can't see Karin's office pics either!
    Melissa, you're such a tease.

  3. Oh, blast! Maybe they're too big...let me try to figure it out.

  4. Pictures are still not loading.
    Both Ikea and JC have desk units where you can add a desktop with file cabinets.

  5. One option - She could use two wood filing cabinets with an old door as the top (Habit for Humanity ReStore has tons), paint them to match (a nice crisp white with the recessed areas of door painted a contrasting color) and then cover the "desk" with glass.

  6. AWESOME ideas! Great display of pictures showing options! (I especially love that office with the pale green walls, chandie,and the red rug . . . Be still my heart!


  7. Thanks Melissa! I love these ideas and especially find that white office inspiring. Can't wait to get started!

  8. What I would do to have my very own day~

  9. Oh, I would keep the window seat & play it up big! With rods & framed panels, lots of pretty pillows, like Melissa mentioned. Great space to work with!

  10. If it was me I would definitely keep the window seat! I'd add lot's of pillows and a deep cushion. If there's room for it I'd put a project table from PB in the middle of the room (lots of work space & you'd still enjoy the view) and then put a nice big wall of shelves and/or cabinets on the wall where her desk is now.
    Link to table here:

  11. I actually love the window seat. If you need more filing space what about adding filing cabinets in the window seat. If you like the look of crisp white you could easily paint your black unit white (although it will take a few coats of paint) and I love the pops of green in the pillows. Cant wait to see what you do.


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