Our latest room renovation project – the home office

In February, we decided to renovate the home office. This has been a long time coming. In 2016 (two years after we moved in), we invested by installing recessed lights in the office. That was a huge improvement, because all we had in there was a tall floor lamp.

The last night before gutting and painting

Other than that, we hadn’t done much in the room. Honestly, we had higher priorities in the rest of the house. Year after year, looking at that stained raggedy 1998 carpet, the green paint, the old shades, I really had enough. Now that we had the main areas updated with a new color scheme and lighting, we could focus on the home office. We had no idea the pandemic would radically alter our working arrangements, so the timing worked out well.

In February, we completely emptied out the office. We had Worldwide Flooring come in to rip out the old carpet and put down the new engineered wood flooring. We decided to use the same flooring as what we had selected for the Lounge in 2017. I do love that flooring. I don’t know if we’ll use it in the rest of the main floor (probably not), but the home office is a contained space.

Soon after the flooring was installed, I had our painters come into paint the walls and ceiling. We took a long time to agree on a color scheme and paint color. Go dark, go light, go green, go blue, go grey… it was crazy. Ultimately, after weeks of visiting websites and gathering paint color cards, and renting out an arena for a cage-fighting match (she won because she fights dirty), we agreed to go with the same blue we used in our master bedroom. I like that blue a lot, so why not use it again?

The office with old layout, brand new blinds

Since February, I kept the same layout, and didn’t hang up any paintings or wall decor. Couldn’t decide on ultimate layout, so I was in analysis paralysis mode. Sometime in October, I decided to switch things around, move the desk around, and that started a cascade of ideas for us. I hung up our various diplomas, certificates, and awards. We put up some wall decor. We ordered a colorful abstract canvas print, and some cycling themed prints from the UK. We ordered and installed new blinds, and hung up the prior shelving.

In terms of tech gear, I bought new Logi 2.1 speakers, as the old Logitech 5.1 system was getting flaky and overkill for what I needed. There’s no need for 5.1 speakers in my day-to-day. I used to play more PC games that offered 5.1, but now I only play on the PS4 when I have time. I also replaced my getting-flaky Logitech MX mouse with a brand new MX Master 3.

We also got some furniture. We picked out a new armless couch with small footprint from Target. Looking through all these office design sites, I thought it would smart to set up a seating area. I kinda want a footstool or ottoman, so that’s TBD.

Cooper’s Office Furniture

My old Staples office chair armrests were wearing out (i.e. ripped), so after much debating and research, I read about these office furniture warehouses that obtain commercial office furniture from companies shutting down their offices locations.

I found an office furniture warehouse out called Cooper’s Office Furniture in Flemington NJ. One afternoon, I drove out there, and picked up a a “new-to-me” Steelcase Leap v2 office chair for under $400. Works great, very comfortable. The place looked sketchy on the outside, but it was a large warehouse with furniture all over the place.

Last week, I got an old dusty docking station working, and now I’ve been able to get my laptop to work with all dual 24″ monitors and Logitech peripherals — keyboard, mouse, and my C920 1080p webcam. My trusty Dell Ultrasharp 24″ monitors unfortunately don’t support HDMI or DisplayPort, so I bought DVI-DisplayPort adapters to plug into the docking station. I’m still trying to get a brand new docking station approved. For now, huzzah!

Ready to see the home office in its near final form?

The home office is almost done. I’m still planning to get a tall plant for the window area, and a table (from IKEA?) for projects (and an articulating table lamp), and maybe some more wall shelves to store books and little decorative items. I’ll try to get this done early next year. So far, I gotta say the place is looking brilliant.

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