Takin’ Care of Business

I just hired a private investigator to find out what I do all day. I mean I am one damn busy girl, but sometimes, at the end of a long one, I look back and realize I can’t formulate what that day added up to. One thing was for certain, I’d been striving to provide services to the ‘outside world’, whilst slighting my own ecosystem that was in need of attention.

For my personal home office, it had been years since the last good organization binge. However, this time I knew it was going to take more than just tidying up to make it feel like a place where I could be productive and creative. It needed a full “gutting”, top to bottom, but I didn’t want to break the bank to do so! We crunched some numbers, set a budget, and concluded that new flooring, some fresh paint, a feature wall, and of course a new “happy piece”, would give me that inspiration that was so needed!

The Purge…and not the kind from that movie series. All good remodels require some thoughtful house cleaning. What stays, what remains, and then precisely how the winners will all go back into place. The before and afters are always my favorite part of any update.

The stacks of donations, trash, and “how did I accumulate this much shit?”


Prep work – Ten years ago when we built this house, I loved this vintage-style wallpaper. Today though, I was ready for a fresh update.

I simply adore anything that has a pop of wood. The wallpaper was prepped with a coat of dark paint, then covered with various stained & painted wood planks. I chose a unique criss-cross pattern to in an effort to make it a true ‘statement’ wall.


The mirror dates back to the Aesthetic Era, circa 1882, and was a true find at an estate sale of a former antiques dealer. It takes center stage on the statement wall, no need for back up singers here.

The “happy piece” – Charmed at first sight, this vintage tufted sofa had me at hey there! The price tag had me falling in love as well at $260! I knew it would be perfectly framed on the feature wall. Don’t you just adore the original wood frame? It’s complimented by a mid century modern lamp and side table, all of which were found at a favorite haunt in downtown Kansas City, Urban Mining Vintage.

A bamboo hutch that I scored via an online auction now serves as storage for office supplies.

The rustic flooring came from an old barn in Missouri, reclaimed by a company called, appropriately, The Barnwood Company. I wanted to keep the integrity of the original wood, so a simple coat of Sanding Sealer was applied after installation, no stain here!

The sheepskin rug is from a downtown estate sale and the precious little mini-dachshund…well he’s straight from heaven!

Also using reclaimed wood, my hubby created a beautiful top for my working desk out of 100 yr-old cypress that was harvested from Longview Farms during a barn pick. Affixed upon an antique iron table base, it’s the perfect foundation for productivity.

My credenza was looking tired, so I gave the top a couple coats of a slate gray paint, added some modern gold accents, and new drawer pulls.


The walls are painted a fresh, creamy background in order to bring calm to the space. It also allows special finds to take center stage. These watercolor paintings were purchased from an estate sale in Hyde Park. The artist hosted gatherings with her girlfriends well into her eighties, where they’d socialize in her attic studio and create beautiful works of art. The antique wooded bowl, already sliced in two, was found at a barn sale.

Tip for the day: hide unsightly modems by cutting out the pages of an old book and simply wrap around equipment.

From trash to treasure – This office went into full-on Holy Cow mode! Like ‘I wanna be so damn productive’ mode! Now the bookshelves have a purpose, with each unit hosting material pertaining to a particular subject. Design, cooking, aviation, fiction & non-fiction, it’s all within reach. The antique door was found at an architectural salvage shop in KC when we originally built the house. It says I’m the Plant Foreman and that’s pretty accurate!

Antique sewing drawers salvaged from an original table keep supplies within reach.

Be sure to let your personal style radiate. I happen to be a fan of antique cameras, Audrey Hepburn, all forms of art, the ocean, and travel. You’ll find all those things reflected in the backdrop of my office walls.

Below are teeny-weeny bottles of China glaze from the 1950’s. How do you use it? Beats the heck outta me, but the pops of colors were irresistible!

I’m proud to say I kicked procrastination’s ass and completed the project in about a week. Considering it had been on my ‘to-do’ for quite a while (eh-hem…fall of 2016), that’s not a bad turnaround! But hey, we do the best we can with the days and hours we’re given. Looking forward, I think the guest bedroom is ready for an overhaul…stay dialed in to see what’s next!

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