House Tour: Emily and Todd's Office

Next up is Emily’s office! I wish I had an antique filing cabinet like hers to keep all my little office supplies organized! Looks great. Come back tomorrow for Emily and Todd’s adorable boys’ rooms. I’m ALWAYS getting questions about how to make little boy’s room fun and functional and cute (but not girly). (Spoiler…

Next up is Emily’s office! I wish I had an antique filing cabinet like hers to keep all my little office supplies organized! Looks great.

Come back tomorrow for Emily and Todd’s adorable boys’ rooms. I’m ALWAYS getting questions about how to make little boy’s room fun and functional and cute (but not girly). (Spoiler alert: Emily nailed it)Here’s Emily on her office projects and decor. And thanks again to JJ Horton Photography for the images!

“The day after we moved into our house a huge parsons table appeared on Craigslist for $60. The desk anchored the room and helped us come up with a layout so the office can have multiple functions including play room, sewing room, and guest room.

“We bought the book shelf from a Pottery Barn outlet the first year we were married. It has been an incredibly useful piece as you can see. The top shelf has all of my cooking and sewing books while the second shelf is lined with baskets for additional storage.

“The third has a nine-drawer piece from Ikea that we painted and added silver label plates to for all of my sewing notions. This sits next to all of my binders filled with home décor ideas, articles, recipes, etc. The next holds our color printer and sewing machine. The bottom shelf has two huge fabric covered baskets that hold all of my fabrics.

“We painted the parsons desk a pale mint and the console a peacock blue. The chair we found at TJMaxx, I love the velvet and silver nailhead.

“To the right of the computer is a large tray given to us from my mom. She got it at Anthropologie on sale for $10 a few years ago. It holds a couple of special art books, a painted elephant that was a Father’s Day present from our now three year old, an antique lamp from my parents, etc.

“On the other side is an antique wooden planter that my mom gave to me. We use it to hold mail, pens, etc. In front of that is a special piece of art very dear to me resting on a vintage wooden easel (found on ebay). My brother Jeff painted this picture of me reading a book on a family trip to Belize. I had gotten sun burned pretty bad but still wanted to enjoy the sun so I set up a reading station under the balcony so only my feet were out in the sun. My family thought it was funny and took a picture. A couple of years later my oldest brother surprised me with this painting during his first year of dental school. You can’t see in the picture but next to my feet is a pair of tiny frog feet, he’s a funny guy and is the one I can attribute my love of James C. Christensen to. There are a million things I am so grateful to my parents for and one of them, which is very small in the grand scheme, is a love of art. They filled their home with art and filled our rooms with art. For big events like graduations, 16th birthdays, we were given a new piece of art. And what’s really incredible is that my parents let us take our art with us when we left home.

“Across from the desk is an antique filing cabinet that my parents gave to us years ago. My dad has a slight obsession with antiques like these and has had them all restored. Surprisingly, this little piece is also very useful. It holds almost all of our office supplies/cords/chargers/batteries/computer paper, etc.

“I found the blue console for $40 during my first trip of many to the Raleigh Flea Market. I think the guy thought I was nuts for wanting it but obviously I didn’t say anything. I originally planned on putting it under the T.V. in the living room but the shape didn’t work so off it went to the office. On a snowy day when everything shut down in Raleigh, because that’s what you do in the South when it snows an inch (no joke), I spent seven hours sanding that console.

“I was so close to giving up! It was the first piece I ever bought and painted, and not knowing anything about paint at the time, I bought a piece that was covered in oil paint. Not smart. But we painted it blue, added some wonderful pulls from Anthropologie and ebay, and now it could easily be my favorite piece in the whole house.

“We also made new doors, thanks to my wonderful husband, who I think we’ll now start calling by his first name, Todd. Behind those doors is more fabric, of course. :) Under the console are baskets, one with Lego Duplos and the other with wooden blocks that my father in law makes for all of his grandchildren. The labels on all of the baskets are dollar frames I found at Joanns in the checkout line that we painted turquoise and painted the glass with chalkboard paint. Word to the wise, when you do these little projects make extras because you never know when you might add more baskets and it’s annoying to repeat.

“On top of the console we mixed a couple of pieces of my white milk glass with picture frames. I know the Bose isn’t very pretty but it sounds great and I have to remember it is an office. The yellow lamp was a $5 thrift store find, but the shade is from Target.

“Above the console are two fabric-covered cork bulletin boards. If you decide to do this project, yes it is easy, but one little hint – cut a piece of cardboard to fit the back and staple it to the back. Otherwise, the nail heads poke out. I also recommend spraying some adhesive so the fabric stays in place while you’re putting those nail heads around the border.

“You’ve probably noticed that there are not a lot of cords going on for an office, especially one with an open desk. Todd deserves all the credit on this one. He cleaned up all the cords and stapled them up under the desk and then they go behind the legs and down under the carpet to the computer.

Wall color: BM Harbor Gray
Bookshelf: Pottery Barn outlet, spray painted cream
Court of the Fairies by James C. Christensen: Available at art galleries
Woven Shades: Home Depot, DesignView
Baskets on bookshelf: Target
Chalkboard labels: painted Joanns frames
Nine Drawer Storage Box: Ikea
Fabric Containers: Bed, Bath and Beyond recovered with Amy Butler fabric
Pink Binders: Target
Parsons Table: Craigslist, painted Behr Pensive Sky
Chair: TJ Maxx
Pillow on chair: Anthropologie
Painting on desk: gift
Wooden easel: ebay
Flower pot: Target, Liberty of London
Tray on desk: Anthropologie
Antique children’s chair: flea market
Blue Console: flea market, painted Behr Blue Danube
Console hardware: pulls from Anthropologie and ebay
Statue: gift from husband while he was serving a two year mission in Bolivia
Milk glass: flea market, thrift store
Lamp: thrift store
Polka dot cloth basket: Pottery Barn Kids
Bulletin Board Fabric: Amy Butler Nigella Home Dec
Nailhead: mjtrim

Join the Conversation

0 thoughts on “House Tour: Emily and Todd's Office

  1. WoooHoooo! Two posts in one day! It's like Christmas!!

    This room looks AMAZING! Can't wait to see the rest of Emily's spaces!!

  2. Emily, how do you like those bamboo shades from Home Depot? They look beautiful, but I'm nervous about the quality. I need a lot (about 8!) so the price is too great to overlook!! Especially when comparing with more expensive brands like Smith and Noble.

    Thanks for any advice in advanced!

  3. It's beautiful. I love all of your special pieces and lucky finds. Does it always stay that neat and organized?
    We also have an office/sewing room, and it's just so ugly and mismatched. I sew a lot, so my ironing board (which is extra-wide) is always out in the way. Ugh.

  4. I have a design dilema and I can't find anything on the internet for it. My parents are redoing their basement and there is a kieva in their family room (I googled kieva on the internet and nothing pulled up. Is that not what they're called). I looked for your email address, but couldn't find it so I'm just comenting here. I love to look at your blog. I was hoping you could help me with this. They have cushions on their kieva right now, but they're squares to sit on and lean on and they're always falling off. They're getting new carpet so they want to put the padding underneath the carpet so there won't need to be any cushions. Have you ever decorated a room with a kieva? kiva? keiva? hole in the floor with benches? What would you say to do? Can I send you pictures to look at?

  5. Hi Sheila,

    Thanks for your comment! Unfortunately I'm trying to really cut back on the emails like this. It's a bit like opening the flood gates, if you know what I mean. I write a column here called Dear Jenny, where I post an answer to a question like yours. I have about 300 emails in line before yours though, so it might take a while, sadly, and I'm sure your parents want to get going on this. If you do want to go on the list, my email is jenny@jennykomenda dot com. Honestly though, I've never worked with a sunken seating area like the one you're talking about (I think they're pretty rare). Seems like a custom upholstery job to me? Or at least permanently attaching the loose cushions to the seats. Good luck!

  6. It's so smart to keep toys and play things in a parent's home office! And so beautifully stored! Great job all around!

  7. Brava! Well done. Beautiful, very functional and achievable. I'm so inspired. And thanks for the tip regarding the cords. I always thought that decorators cheated by not addressing this unsightly element, but Todd provided a practical solution. Good job!

  8. I love how there is a great mix of family heirlooms and home goods finds! This home feels so liveable. Special but not like a museum. Emily are your kids respectful of your nice pieces? I have two boys as well and am trying to teach them to be gentle with our objet d'art.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this! Emily, you've done a fabulous job! I'll be pinning many of these photos for inspiration in my own home. Although I can't say I'll have as much luck as you in finding deals. Wow!

  10. Emily's home is so beautiful! Is this paint color also in her bedroom? I'm rug shopping so I'm curious, where is the wall to wall carpet from? It's the perfect neutral backdrop :)

  11. Yvette: I highly recommend the bamboo shades for cost and looks but they are horrible quality when it comes to using them. Luckily we don't lower them and they are always in the position you see pictured, so they work for us. We do lower them when we have guests staying over and they are good with occasional use, but not every day.

    Robyn: I am proud to say it does stay pretty organized. I feel your pain with the ironing board. The solution for me was to buy a 5$ table top ironing board from Ikea that stores away in the closet when not in use. My sewing machine gets stored next to the printer on the bookshelf and stays covered and that goes a long way to keep the room from looking like I am always in the midsts of a sewing project (even though I usually am).

  12. Love to see Amy Butler fabrics. They make me happy. So nice to see them used sparingly. Nice job to your friend.
    Also, I purchased that sewing book. I am a pretty accomplished sewer, but I have always been a figure it out by myself kind of gal. I noticed in the past when I purchased curtain books, they always have poor instruction. Can't wait to see if this one pays off and I learn the proper way to do things….many thanks will be owed.

  13. Gosh, it must feel amazing to be this organized. Someday I really hope I know just what it feels like. This office / playroom is beautiful and inspiring. I love that the room accomplishes so much while remaining uncluttered and spacious.

  14. Love it. I, too, have an office/play/sewing/guest space that I'm working on now so this was fun inspiration. But I'm wondering, where does the guest part fit in? I didnt see any type of sleeping spot. We don't want to do an uncomfy sofa bed (since my mom often stays 2 weeks at a time) but I don't just want to plunk a bed down either. Suggestions? Tips? Inspiration images?

  15. Wow! Office is gorgeous and functional–love the blue painted piece. (Kudos on the hidden cords.) However my most favorite thing is that painting done by your "brother in his first year of dental school" What!?! I'm guessing he's one talented dentist and that's why it won out over being an artist because that painting is totally fabulous! I want, I want…frog feet in all my paintings.

    (posting as anonymous because I can't remember my account login!)

  16. I love that antique filing cabinet! And I just bought those same Antropologie pulls (on the fab blue console) for a desk I'm revamping! So happy to see they look so great!

  17. My desk area is so similar to this…I have a white parsons desk and almost the exact same chair, plus a white "ladder" bookshelf! So I love this, of course :)

  18. Carrie – For guests we pull out a queen blow-up mattress. My mom also stays at least for 2 weeks since we live so far away, so for her we have a twin blow-up and two very think piece of memory foam. The twin fits well in front of the bookcase while the queen goes in front of the desk. It obviously gets very crowded so we don't sit at the computer as much when we have guests but that's kind of how it should be. You can't tell from the pictures but there is a bathroom with a huge shower attached to this room. So our guests can have their own bathroom. We have plans to renovate it eventually but it works great. It's where we shower after working in the yard so we don't have to walk all the way upstairs on the carpet in dirty clothes. It's also where our little boy showers after also "working" in the yard.

  19. Very cute big boy bedroom! That plant looks fantastic in the jar. I’m really loving the creative pots people are putting their plants in these days! That blue dresser is super cute! Love the hardware!

  20. completely enjoyed the house tour. thank you for giving us the view.

    also i just love your quote about your
    parents filling your rooms with art and giving gifts of art that you took with you.

    i am truly inspired !!!!

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