LOVECATS! I’ve got exciting news!
Well, I’m not sure it’s really that exciting to you, but I am OVER THE MOON about this!
Just yesterday, I signed a lease and got the keys to this adorable little mountain a-frame to use as my new office space and I can’t wait to get in and start making it my own!
Since selling my house last year, I’ve had no real office space in the new house and even though I truly love the house we’re in, not having an office space is killing my productivity and is quite literally DRIVING ME CRAZY!
For reference, my old office space (in my old house) was close to 600sq feet and included a walk-in closet and bathroom. I had a desk to work at with plenty of shelving and DIY storage, a table for DIYs and projects, my entire wardrobe for quick style reference, a bathroom for beauty routines, etc. and an entire sitting area for photo shoots. I know this probably sounds silly but for the work I do, it was all necessary and made work/life so much easier. Also, if my office was a mess due to multiple projects in the works, it was all contained in that one space.
Currently I’m using 4 areas of the house to work. I’m literally running back and forth from room to room, up and down stairs, just to get things done and it has definitely affected my workflow and productivity.
I started with a tiny little space off of the garage, which is more like a hallway than a room and I seriously tried to make it work… but it did not work. It’s somewhere on my Insta-stories highlights but I never shared here… and actually, I should because even though it doesn’t entirely work for all my needs, it turned out cute and is the home to all my office stuff, DIY supplies and tools, along with everything I need to sell (which is so much and I haven’t even gotten to it!).
Eventually I set up a desk in our master bedroom for my main computer but wanted to keep it as clean and un-cluttered as possible, which is almost entirely impossible and eventually my printer ended up in there and a bunch of other stuff as well. When I need to do a DIY project, I’m at the kitchen table and most days I end up working at the dining room table on my laptop. So yeah, this last year and half has been really challenging work-wise and I think it has definitely affected me negatively.
I’ve been thinking about looking for an office space since we moved in May/June 2019 but was also thinking about buying a house in the coming year so I wanted to hold off. With the housing market in a literal panic at the moment and prices in the area skyrocketing, I’ve decided to wait it out for a bit just to see what happens.
So here’s how it happened…
A few weeks ago Chad saw a different building he thought could work as office space for both of us (not only for my work, but also for Dogwood work for both of us and for his other business as an electrician/contractor – we have many jobs, lol) but when we looked into the space for rental it was already in use. So I drove up to this OTHER little a-frame office space that has had a for lease sign over the front door for what seems like a little over a year and I pulled up to it to take a photo to call the number and inquire… as I turned around to pull out, I saw THIS ADORABLE LITTLE A-FRAME in the opposite corner that had a little tiny FOR RENT sign on it and promptly drove across the street to check it out. I swear I drive on this street almost daily and I had never seen this cute little place!
When I met with the landlord and went to see it I realized it wouldn’t be big enough for both Chad and I to share, but it was PERFECT for just me. Yes, I felt a little bad about that, but I also got SO EXCITED about the idea of having an actual office space to go to and work at where everything would be in one place again! Well, everything but my clothes, they’re staying home 😉
Even when I worked at the art gallery – (remember my LEG UP shots? lol) and before I started …love Maegan, I’ve worked from home on some level, in some way or another. Before all of this I was a freelance graphic and web designer, so I’ve literally had a home office and worked out of my home (aside from the gallery and Dogwood when I’m there) since I was about 20 years old. THAT’S 24 YEARS! And honestly, I love working from home. I’m good at it… but it’s time to get out again, wear all the cute clothes hanging in my closet and get back to work!
Anyway… here are a bunch of before shots, the way it looks NOW and a little commentary on what I might be doing to each area below the photos.
This is the front entrance you can see in the photos above, but from the inside. I love the double doors and windows that allow so much light in, but I will definitely be hanging curtains (probably my blush curtains from my old office) or something for privacy.
Overall though I want a warmer, cozier vibe than my last office even though I’ll be using some of the same furniture, it will have a completely different look.
The front entrance has this cute little cubby in the corner that will be perfect for a coat rack and to act as an entryway.
Moving to the left there is a counter with built in cabinets that will work perfectly for office storage because my desk will sit in front of it in some way… I’ve been using the same Ikea expedit desk since 2011 and while I will actually take the black version of it here to use as a DIY storage and workspace, I’m going to buy a new desk for this space. A table may work just as well if the height is right and I’m going to search all the thrift shops first because I’d like something with character.
I’m going to be painting the walls and cabinets and beams and trim as well but not sure about my color scheme yet. Probably in the greytones but maybe not? I actually don’t mind the kind of icy blue that is on the walls now because it reminds me of my last office and will look good with my blush curtains and grey sofa that’s going in, but the walls are inconsistent so I’ll have to paint no matter what.
I’m also going to be removing and upgrading the electrical and lighting… well, Chad is because he’s the pro!
There’s a slider to a back patio/deck down to an exterior space I’m not sure I’ll do anything with just yet, but the possibilities are endless.
Moving to the left you’ll see the hallway entrance (work room, random sink room and bathroom are down there) and the rest of the main space.
This space was previously used as a hair salon so it has some quirky things like scissors embedded into the custom countertops, and a random room with only a sink, but that just adds to it’s character.
I can honestly say though that I had no idea why they decided to randomly add wood in this one area… and then Chad walked in and immediately said well, this used to be an opening… it’s framed as an opening and they closed it off. And then of course I wanted to open it up too! But as I think about it more, it will be nice to keep the mess of my project room hidden from the front room… but I do like the idea of it being one larger space… it definitely has me thinking!
As is, I’m not sure what I’ll do here… Maybe I’ll leave it and just install a huge mirror or maybe make a gallery wall? I’ll have to ponder it for a minute but your ideas are welcome! 🙂
Continuing left and on the left wall as you walk into the main space from the front door is a fireplace flanked by two windows, which I love because it just adds that perfect mountain touch.
This is a horrible photo (below) of the space that will become my project room (behind the wood planked wall). It’s not very big but it’s just left when you walking into the hallway.
I’m planning on removing the door to make it more of an open space and to allow for a little more workspace inside.
And last but not least… I JUST LOVE THIS WOOD FLOORING!!
I adore the wide planks and the distressing and stain. I’m planning on throwing a few rugs down anyway so I didn’t plan on renovating them at all… however, when Chad saw them, he said I MUST redo them because “they’ll look so much better” but I like them I argued… “but they’ll look so much better” but I like them, this went on for a few minutes… So we’ll see. I don’t really want to take the extra time sanding and staining but there is some water damage and splintering in some areas so I do want to make sure they’re safe.
If I owned the place, yes, I would certainly redo the floors and so much more… though as a renter of three buildings now, including Dogwood, Chad and I rarely hold back on renovations (even if they’re out of pocket expenses) especially if they’re going to make a space more beautiful to live in, or in this case, work in. So again, we’ll see.
For now I’ve rented only the bottom floor and the owners are using the upper level as storage… I think the art and books in the upper windows are super funky and cute too, so I’m not touching a thing for now. Eventually, I might rent the upper level as well… we’ll see.
As for the exterior, I’ll probably paint the raw wood above the doors in a white or light grey to match the rest of the building and maybe disguise the AC unit in some way, since it’s not in use. I’d love to add a little fence around the exterior stone entryway so I can bring the dogs and know they’re safe, but for now I’ll just paint and probably add a few potted plants and just make it warm and welcoming and adorable.
I’m hoping to get started in the next few days cleaning and painting and doing some cosmetic updates because I want to get in and settled and working before winter hits and each night up here is getting chillier and chillier.
There are few other businesses in the area, but doesn’t really get foot traffic, which is perfect for productivity and even better, it’s only a 5 minute drive from my house, which will prove even more advantageous when it’s snowing… BUT OMG IT’S GOING TO LOOK SO CUTE IN THE SNOW!
I’m very excited about this new adventure…LIKE CANNOT CONTAIN MYSELF EXCITED! Thank you all for following along my journey for so long 🙂 It feels like it’s been a few lifetimes already.
Happy Friday Lovecats!
* Stay tuned for more New Mountain A-Frame Office posts
* Find my old home office posts here
* Find all my home decor posts here