Friday, October 5, 2012

Vintage Home Office {31 Days of Moodboards}

It's my birthday. And in honor of my birthday I'm sharing a kinda scary dream with you. Not the wake-up-sweating kind, but the daydreaming, intimidating kind. And it's scary to know you want something and not know how to do it, and it's scary to put my dreams and ideas out there. But they say that's a step in making them a reality, so here goes.

I'd like to be an interior designer, work out of my home, and help people create beautiful spaces in their homes. On a budget. With an emphasis in doing-it-yourself.

There, I said it.

When I was a little girl I became enthralled with Egypt after my Grandma took a trip there. I think I was 6. She brought me a book about mummies and pyramids and I decided I wanted to be an anthropologist. I had that dream for several years but sometime around 7th grade I had to do a paper on a career I was interested in. This was back before the internet was the thing, so research included encyclopedias and trips to the library and taking notes by hand with a pencil!  In my research, I discovered that anthropologists spent most of their time outside digging in the dirt in all kinds of weather with few discoveries for their efforts! 

So my career goals shifted. Nurse? No--too much blood. And sick people scare me. They might die!!! How about a missionary? Lots of travel, exotic locations, homesickness, inconveniences and BUGS. Nope. Not gonna happen. Perhaps a travel agent! Help other people fly to exotic locations and deal with the bugs and get access to great flight deals and vacation opportunities! Meh. Too much time in the office. 

That's when my parents bought a 1960's ranch style house and renovated it. It wasn't extensive or expensive, in fact my brother and I were at our grandparent's most of the time. We left a dirty, ugly, stinky house and came back to a new, clean, pretty one! And I loved my new bedroom! It was white with blue bedding and blue fluffy curtains and a matching poofy valance and a floral wallpaper boarder and a set of furniture with a white-washed finish! Hello 1990!

This trip down memory lane all to make a point is getting long. Suffice it to say, throughout high school I wasn't really sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, but an interior designer sounded really cool. I couldn't convince myself that it was a real career, though, and when we took our college-visitation tours as high school seniors, a friend and I listed "journalism" under our majors on the questionnaire. They stuck us with the "education" people and gave us a tour of the Ed building, not the English or Business Departments. 

You know what's funny about that? We're both teachers. Last I knew, that friend was a high school English teacher and I have a master's in Educational Leadership and 7 years of teaching under my belt. 

So, to turn this conversation and my heart back to interior design, it's just something I've always liked. I'm not saying I'm particularly talented. I don't know the real rules for stuff, I don't know fancy names of things, I certainly don't keep track of fabric designers. I just put what I like together and try to make sure everything has a purpose--either functional or pretty or both! 

Which finally leads me to tell you a little about the design plan above. (I was tired of scrolling up to remember, it was so long ago that I saw it!) The goal for such a space would be not only to provide a place to work and keep work-related things, but to provide a place to meet with clients. I'm picturing a large space, like a front living room in those 1990 track homes that no one uses cuz they're all back in the kitchen-slash-family room in the back of the house. Or a formal dining room that really could moonlight as a dining room with a few switches and a little time cramming things in closets organizing. 

This Vintage Home Office is a melody of grays, deep red and pale aqua. It includes several large pieces of furniture to divide the space into zones as well as provide storage. The room would include a work area (aqua desk, chalkboard), a meeting area (pedestal table), a waiting area (white settee and red side table), and storage (hutch, card catalog, bookcase with glass doors). The different zones would each be anchored by a unique rug. The fabric swatches at the bottom include material for curtains and pillows as well as inspiration for area rugs. 

As always, I see many do-it-yourself projects here: refinishing and painting furniture, sewing fabric for curtains or pillows, and making old things work as decor or storage--like the chalkboard or old map. 

So there you have it. A dream and a design plan. And lots of random information about me! Yeah, good thing it's my birthday, right? 

What dreams do you have? Have you thought lately about the crazy ideas you had as a little kid? Are you doing what makes you happy? 

Hope you enjoyed Day 5 of my 31 Day Series! I'm on a mini-vacation and will be updating the "Moodboards" tab on my blog soon! Thanks for stopping by--your comments are like birthday presents to me! Ha!


  1. Happy birthday, Ellie! And I love the color combos in that mood board, very pretty!

  2. Me too! Me too! The problem is, my dream changes quarterly. (or monthly?) A writer, a designer, a graphic designer, a photographer, a furniture refinisher, a home decor shop owner, a social media consultant, a writer again, a decorator again, a general contractor....i just can't decide!!! What combines them all? BLOGGING!! :)

    Your mood boards are seriously impressive. I would hire you in an instant! Where is that big hutch from? I need one like that.

    And now I'm off to see the stars and stripes bedroom because my boys will be sharing again someday. :)



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