Declutter and wasted space and a story....

This is how it started. I needed a desk area and there was NO PLACE to put one. Stand in middle of each room and turn slowly...where can a desk go? ARRGGHHH no where to go! But wait...what if I rip out some bookshelves and give myself 10 inches of depth so the desk would not stick out so far? AH HA moment. Where is my sledge hammer? And thus the "desk nook" commenced:

Those damn shelves were secured with 64 huge 6" nails when six 3" screws would have been fine. (WHY people go so completely overboard securing something is so DIY.  Don't do that. ) I painted that area pink and shoved a desk in there. But the nook was just too small....

So I demoed out more shelves secured by 72 six inch nails, painted the entire nook another color I cannot remember. GREAT...but then...There was a whole series of events I have no pictures of. The desk drawer broke. The wood split and the metal runners were ready to fall out. And it was HELL to get the unnamed retailer to take it back. I finally told them my burly, dirty, take-no-shit, contractor friends were going to park the pick up truck right in front of the store (which is smack dab in the center of a major shopping "square" downtown with billions of tourist and shoppers all over the streets), carry the BROKEN desk to the middle of the very busy store, set it down and complain how the unnamed store would not take back THEIR DEFECTIVE desk. (In other words make a big scene). The next day, unnamed retailer sent out their guys to pick up the desk and I got a full credit.  I mean really, WHAT has happened to the term "Customer Service"? Never mind. That would be an endless rant. So lets leap ahead....
Hi Tweety! Tweety is the Bird
I got a mirrored desk which was sold as a vanity. Then the entire house flooded from a busted supply line to the dishwasher, I went into a deep funk and after 3 months of repairs the nook looked like this and stayed that way for over a year growing into a big mess....

Big Mess
This desktop is too small (duh), I needed more space and a de-cluttered and cleared desk. I wanted "stuff" off the center area of the desk.  So I did this first...

Cut a bigger desktop from plywood with a jigsaw including "wings" to fill in the wasted space on the sides. And increased the depth. The desk base now sits five inches from the wall. Then paint....

I knew I wanted peacock blue
The desktop is painted and here I am trying to figure out the rest of the colors. See the clamp light on the bookshelf above? No more lamp taking up space on the desk. And the one- quarter-round white piece sitting on the desk? Well four of those (cut from one round small tabletop from HD) became..... (I am sure the excitement is killing you..)

4 new quarter-round shelves. The yellow framed "bulletin board" is a stretched canvas covered with rolled cork board then covered with white fabric. The frame happened to fit perfectly. White trim around the desktop makes for a clean edge. The fabric defines the middle space and the color relates to the desk top.
Hi Pooh! (Pooh, age 10 in Paris. If you do not know who Pooh is see "about me")
Yellow grosgrain trim borders the fabric and the white vertical thing in the corner hides the lamp cord (hard to see that but it is there)

The shelves were installed using small pieces of wood for support. The white brocade metal containers (from CS) are held up with magnets onto a metal strip (I love all this new magnetic stuff)

note that fabric goes to the floor giving the area a full background
See the small cart on the right tucked under the wing? This holds a file container on top for bills and additional storage containers on the bottom shelves (also from CS). It easily rolls in and out. PLEASE NOTE: This is not styled for that magazine "look".  These are personal items which remind me of trips, the Pooh and things I love. And my books will never be "color" organized. Don't get me wrong, I love the look but my books are organized by topic so I can locate what I am looking for. I bet you have a desk area. Have you ever "redone" it? And how? Let me know!


  1. Amazing transformation! I love your ghost chair plus que posh mirrored desk! The palette of peackoc blue + citron yellow is delicious! Congrats! One more time... you did it! You rock Cat! XoXo

  2. what a lovely redo, and i just read the 'about me' -- how delightful. thanks for sharing!

  3. Awesome! Such great touches. I love seeing spaces in real life like you have here. I want to know how people really live! I would kill for book shelves like that!

  4. Love your creativity and all the great colours and patterns that you used :-) Enlarging your mirrored desk with the piece of plywood was genius. Now you have the best of both world - the sparkle & glam of the mirror and a good-sized desk surface in gorgeous peacock blue :-)

    I turned a small room in our basement into my office. It has a lot of DIY projects and inexpensive finds from Ikea and HomeSense. If you'd like to check it out, here's the link to my blog post about it:

    BTW, I discovered your blog via Marcus Design :-)

  5. Fabulous blog...awesome post...will be following you now. I am so Inspird by DIYers

  6. Amazing! I just read about your redo on Marcus Design and then after I picked my jaw up off the ground, I thought I would pop in and say hi! So glad that I did!

  7. Okay new favourite blog alert! I am in total love with this project you took on, down to every last detail...this is the nicest office nook I think I've seen!!

  8. I love seeing the progression on this nook project and the finished space is amazing from where you started. Congrats and thanks for sharing

  9. You certainly went through a lot, but the results are fabulous. I'd love working at that desk surrounded by books.

  10. Unbelievable! How ingenius that was.....I love your blog...came over from marcus Design. Can't wait to see more.

  11. What a fantastic idea, you are certainly good at thinking "outside the box". I am very inspired.
    Love your blog & I am now a new follower!

  12. Ingenius! Really love how you overcame each obstacle in such a classy fashion. Sometimes one more bump in the road and the whole project is "this close" to being aborted but...hanging in there paid off for you. It looks great!

  13. Oh what an amazing transformation! I love how you used colors and pattern in this space, so fresh and contemporary. The desktop extension is pure genius! And Tweety is a sweetie ;)

    xo Linda

  14. holy sledge!!! I LOVE have you turned lemons into badassness!

    loving your blog!