Style That Item: A Much-Needed Desk Update


This edition of Style That Item focuses on how to turn my rather boring desk area into something much more stylish. With my husband being so close to finishing up his MBA, our desk area doesn't need to be dedicated to his workspace anymore. He can be a rather messy lad, so I never put much effort into styling this space since I knew my efforts would more than likely be unraveled by him all too quickly. Now it can be a lot more stylish, while still being functional. Most everything needs to stay in this space; we just need to bring the pretty... big time!

Here's how the space currently looks. I would apologize for the crummy iPhone photo, but honestly the subject of the photo just isn't nice enough for me to bust out our actual camera to take a picture.
Yeah, nothing stylish about this space. Enough said.

Now let's take a gander at prettier images! My inspiration is found here from Better Homes and Garden and another view is here as well. I've loved this desk space for awhile now. Pinterest tells me that I pinned the image on the left 50 weeks ago. 50 weeks and still going strong as my first choice for desk inspiration?! I think that means we're in for the long haul. To me it's the perfect embodiment of well-styled organization and character, two things that my current space is totally lacking. I also love the symmetry of the main storage space. I'm really into symmetry with design. Symmetry = perfection. That's design according to Kerry for you, friends.

The process to transform my space into the one above began with lots of interweb browsing for the perfect elements. My first search was for some beautifully textured baskets. I want to take the random odds and ends that sit on our shelves and store them away. Bringing the Pretty, Step One. We all know that baskets can be crazy expensive, so I tried to keep them all under $16 since I'll need quite a few of them.
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My next search zeroed in on file boxes. We currently have two orange ones that we use, but I don't feel that the orange ties in nicely with the new look I'm seeking. Luckily I found some very inexpensive ones in colors that will coordinate better. I'm really in love with numero uno because it has navy and white gingham fabric lining the inside. So cute!
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I think one of my favorite parts of the inspiration photo is the wall-mounted lighting. Not only does it look pretty and classy, but we really do need some additional lighting in our space; the overhead can lighting just doesn't cut it sometimes. Number two is my favorite, but it's definitely a bit pricey when multiplied times two {gotta keep the symmetry going}. We could also benefit from a desk lamp. I really love the tree, but I am worried that it won't give us as much desktop light as we need since it seems to just cast a warm glow. 
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Now comes the super fun part of the search: Accessorizing! This is my favoritest of favorite parts because it's where I can add quirky, whimsical pieces that make me happy and that make the space feel like my own...and Dalles' too; I can't forget him! He'll still use the space of course, but he doesn't get a kick out of these things quite like I do. My intention is to use the gold bowl and the acorn containers to house our office supplies {paperclips, erasers, and the like}. The acorns are actually votive holders and come complete with votives, so I'll have to do some wax extraction to make their fulfillment of my purposes happen. I've seen the geometric fox in person and it is so cute. I can't believe I walked out of Target without purchasing him. I also am on a kick of having fresh flowers and plants in my home at all times; it just makes the room feel so much more welcoming. Plus, I'm dying over the lines of that terrarium. 
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Finally, the walls need a little TLC. I discovered this print earlier this week and I love it. I need it on my wall as a reminder to live in the moment, and to not hesitate to do those things that I tend put on the back-burner. No more procrastinating, peeps. I'm also really in love with that chair in the inspiration image, but the ones I've found {one at Target and one at UO} are just too short to accommodate our desk height. I think using the fabric to create a magnet board {I've heard cookie sheets make great makeshift magnet boards, so my plan is to cover a cookie sheet with the fabric} or a fabric covered cork board would be an inexpensive way to bring this fabric into the space.
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Let's take another look at my inspiration photos before I share with you how I plan to organize everything, and reveal my final picks from all of my interwebs browsing above.

First up is the wall space above the top shelf and the top shelf areas. These lamps are the clear winner in the lighting battle. They're just perfect. I plan to search through my dad's collection of old family photos to find classic black and white ones to put in the frames. While the inspiration photo has a clock, I just can't justify the need for one. Between the computer, our phones, the iPad, and the TV, the clock isn't needed. I'd much rather replace it with a good reminder about how to spend my time. The top shelf will house some magazine file holders and baskets for our odds and ends that don't need to be accessed on a daily basis.

Second up is the middle shelf, which isn't curved in reality. I'm just not a talented graphic design person. My plan is to definitely use the baskets, but I may just place books in the middle instead of using the magazine file boxes. I don't want to turn the space into something that feels too sterile, and I just really love books as decor.

The desktop accessories all made it to my final wishlist. They all make me happy. And a happy Kerry = a productive Kerry. I opted for the darker lamp because it's classic and would give us the light that we really need.

That rounds out my potential plans for our desk makeover! I'd love to hear what you think!


Amy Shaughnessy at: November 8, 2012 at 9:36 AM said...

I love this post. I bet you will turn that space into something awesome. My 'desk' is currently the bar in our kitchen. Not good.


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phiphis blog at: November 8, 2012 at 8:00 PM said...

this space will look amazing once you're done with it. i struggle with baskets because i'm visual. if it's in a basket, i forget it's there.

xox P

Lisa - respect the shoes at: November 9, 2012 at 2:07 PM said...

Wow, OK, girl, you need to come to my house and "pimp" my office. I've just got a couple of desks, shelves and baskets all from Ikea or Target and it all just kind of looks like clutter now that I've filled it all with Stuff.

Maigen at: November 10, 2012 at 6:55 PM said...

List of loves:

linen hatboxes
the sconces you chose
gold bowl {genius!}
tall white & silver lamp {#6}
acorn jars
using the time quote in place of a clock! :)
b/w family photos
the blue ikat

It's going to look SO GREAT!!


Kerry at: November 12, 2012 at 5:16 PM said...

Thanks, Amy! I hope I can pull it together and give it some style finally!

Lisa, I'd love to come pimp your office!!

Thanks, M!


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