My Office :: In Transition, Sad and Junky


My office looks like the bottom of my purse.

Full of cast offs, forgotten junk and with dirty unchewed pieces of gum floating around.

If you are new here, my office is a little building attached to the back of or barn. The barn and office sit about 50 yards away from our house.  Two years ago we bought a 12 acre property that used to be a working sawmill. This was the sawmill office.

Here’s what it looked like when we bought the place.


Remember my cute kitchen reveal last year? A few weeks after that my parents moved in this little 400 square foot space for 6 months while they renovated a fixer upper.

After they moved out, I  knew I wanted to make some changes but wasn’t sure what I wanted.

So it’s been sitting empty for months, slowly accumulating junk, but it’s still worth sharing where it is today.

My hope for the space was to use it as an office, but also as a guest room and when we have events at the Barn we use the kitchen to spread out cupcakes and hold ice and drinks. Also, the bathroom in the office is the main bathroom in the barn.

My crazy dream was to have a queen size bed for when a couple came, but to also have a twin bed in case two friends came who didn’t want to share a bed.

Even though it’s a disaster, you can see, we’ve got a twin bed and a queen bed in the space, now it’s time for the fun part, furniture placement, moving out the junk and cleaning.


I bought a daybed/sofa that holds a twin mattress (remember this post?)


We put a Queen size canopy bed in the corner where there was once two mismatched twin beds.

I wanted a canopy bed for this space so I could hang drapes around the bed for privacy and to separate the bed from the refrigerator. I’ll show you how the bed turned out next week!



I couldn’t find a photo of this wall from the past few months–so here’s one as we were switching out the massive wood stove for a smaller one…

wood stove

The changes I’m planning on making to this space in the next month or so:

  • moving the wood stove to free up an entire extra wall (already done!)
  • removing a dresser to make room for a writing desk
  • creating more of a private space around the queen bed
  • adding more counter space in the kitchen, now that I know how we really use it
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  1. Girl, you amaze me! It would be easy for me to look at that space and to think that your list of things couldn’t be done. YOU look at it and see all the possibilities! I’d like to develop your kind of vision.

    Or, as John Ortberg would say, “I’d like to live in your time zone.” ;)

    • It’s a blessing and a curse! Sometimes I believe I am crazy for seeing too much potential, it’s exhausting! But, I’m happy to report I took these photos a few weeks ago, and we are well on our way to getting this little space all in working order!

  2. so much potential…excited to see how you work that space!!!

  3. Having been in that room, I can’t believe those two beds fit in there! Again, you continue to amaze me with your moving around of furniture. I’ve had every thing in the same spot for 6 years….

  4. I love that sofa/daybed!! So pretty and functional!

  5. So excited to see how this space comes together. I love that little kitchen! I’m sure it’s so useful!

  6. Jennifer Lujan says:

    If i had the space that you do to hold all of those treasures I would never let them go! lol! I love the canopy bed!!!! And I’m not ordering a daybed sofa for my house! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Baileywife @ Irishman acres says:

    Put a tv out there and I could live quite happily! Just tell me when!:) ~Kim

  8. What a unique space to have at your fingertips! I can’t wait to see how al the projects you have planned for this space turn out. It already looks 110% better than it did in the before pics :) Great work!

  9. Gail Hunter says:

    You do such a wonderful job of making each space you tackle uniquely your own. Looking forward to seeing your progress!

    I remember seeing the “before” pics of your parents’ fixer-upper. Did I miss the final tour?

  10. I love that cute little kitchen! I can’t wait to see how you pull all this together. I have a similar issue with our basement. I want it to be cozy for a guest + workable office + fun hangout. I know it is possible. I just need to keep trying stuff until it feels right. Thanks for inspiring me!

  11. Alicia Damron says:

    Ooh, I love these type posts…they’re my fav-o-rite! Can’t wait to see the follow up :)

  12. I love to see a new space coming together! I think your office is looking great and will end up being such a wonderful, light, welcoming space. I am a new visitor to your blog … I just read your entire book last evening! Loved it.

  13. I love that you share in-progress photos and the plans and ideas you have for spaces and places! It keeps things real for those of us who are not professionals – professional decorators, professional bloggers, professional photographers, professional home-makers. Somehow it makes me feel that your idea of things not having to be perfect to be beautiful more personal to me and ring truer than if we only saw staged photos of spaces and places. It gives me the courage to share where I am and accept it – even embrace it! In fact, I did so today in my own post about sadness and junkiness:

  14. That pallet is just begging to be a Something…somewhere, not necessarily in your office.
    I am curious to know if you are planning to install more counters, or have something that can be set up/put away. I think I would prefer the latter, for flexibility in a space that is taking on such different roles at different times.

  15. Nester, your office is neither sad nor junky. It’s a promise waiting to be fulfilled.

  16. Your place isn’t sad, I agree. It just needs some work to look cozy & comfortable. Looking forward to seeing what you’ve done!

  17. Thanks for THIS post. We have recently moved into our “fixer upper”. The kitchen is currently gutted and half the floors torn out. Things are piled everywhere so they can be out of the way of the current area being worked on. I keep thinking of you and breathing in all that you have taught us through this place. I make sure my couch and bed are dressed everyday because those are really the only two spots that can feel “put together”. They bring me a slice of peace in the chaos.

  18. Love the way you placed those plates on that wall with the other art things going on….looks funky cool!! Is that a thing? Funky cool?? It’s 1:30 in the morning and I’m being weird. But seriously…can’t wait to see the end results.

  19. Hahaha, as soon as I saw your post I was thinking this will be us soon enough. Our daughter is moving out month end and already the place is upside down. Gee can’t wait to start all the moving things around from room to room and re-organizing. I hope I can find my office after that. :D

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