Thursday, January 20, 2011

Basement 1 of 3 - The Office

Oh crap, I still have this blog, don't I.  With all of the other Housebloggers starting in on their New Year's resolutions and plans, I figured I better get off my butt and do something.  I actually haven't done too much on the house but I realized at the end of last year, I completed work on the basement and never really blogged what I did.  So, before I start going on with plans for the New Year, I figured I'd bring the blog up to speed.  A good place to start is the flood.  If you don't read the blog often, last summer we had some serious floods that ruined the basement.  Since we use it for living room, play room, and home office, it was devastating.  It is all cleaned and re-finished.  This is the office area during the flood (and after I rifled through everything, trying to salvage any valuables.  I was never happy with the work area.  It didn't "work" and it didn't look so great.  On the bright side, the flood gave me the opportunity to fix this area. 
This is the work area now: new desk and cart, new book case, new floor covering, new cabinet and lighting.  The chair and filing cabinets are old and made it through the flood with no damage.  One key to the new design was to get everything off the floor.  Everything in the basement is up on feet now.  If a flood occurs again, it may mess up the space but hopefully less "stuff" gets ruined.
There are a few new features that make the space "work" as well.  I put in new task lighting under the cabinets to light the desk.  We have 2x4 flourescent lighting in the area but it is ugly and it sucks so this is a big improvement.  I mounted an Ikea cabinet above the desk for additional storage.  I chose an Ikea bookcase and another cabinet in the same finish for other areas of the basement so the furniture no longer has a haphazard appearance.  Below that I now have a tack board to put up important business cards, ongoing projects, etc.  I also have the desk and table, from CB2, on casters so they are easy to move around.  
The casters are great because, since I often need to spread out design drawings, I can bring it to the side and create a nice work area.  The cart also helps hold all of the crap that I used to have stacked on the floor next to the old desk.
The tack board is a metal magnet board from Ikea.  I put up two of them and got some funky magnets at the local office supply store.  By the way, I was surprised at how cool magnets are these days.  I also now have a place to put all of my magnetic poetry for some added inspiration.
Opposite the desk, behind the couch, I put a new bookcase.  It is a sort of console as seen from the living area and acts as a room divider.  I can easily access books and supplies from the office area so it serves well for additional storage.
I chose a series of random black, black & white, and striped magazine holders to make it look a little neater, hiding some of the less attractive stuff I store there.
I am really happy with the new space except for a couple of minor things.  CHORDS!  I have worked very hard to organize and hide chords in the new basement.  There are a couple areas that I have just given up on though.  The chord to the transformer for the over-desk lighiting is one area.  I love that Ikea makes this stuff so it is "typical" and can easily be installed anywhere but it is all a bit bulky and hard to hide.  Short of hard-wiring it, there isn't much I can do so I guess I'll live with it.
Another thing is the Flor.  I love the Flor carpet tile.  I like how it looks and wears.  What I don't like is where the casters of the chair run over it, the tiles separate.  I have tried to re-glue these with more tape and stickers but they keep coming apart.  I may have to flip the sucker over and duct tape the suckers.
In the next few days, I'll hopefully get around to blogging about the living/entertainment area and the play area.  At that point, my procrastination will be complete and I'll have to start attacking some wood upstairs.  


Old House Lover said...

The office looks great! For hiding the wires you could get some wire moulding, it comes in two pieces, the back attaches to the wall and then the front piece snaps on to cover the now inside wire. It can also be painted to match the wall color. An almost no cost, no effort alternative is to paint the wire itself to match whatever it's against.

Chris said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I was thinking of that but still hate the idea of it coming straight down the wall. Maybe it won't look so bad if it gets painted though. I'll update it if I do something.

Jim said...

Nice office! Looks like I have to do some reworks on my office, just couldn't get enough time.

Home Renovation Raleigh NC said...

Nice office i love it and i have changes my office but i want to more changes if i fell free time well nice post.
Thank you for post..

Kristi said...

The guy who owns FLOR lives a few streets away from us. His house is an amazing, beautifully-restored mid-century modern home with the great FLORs. (Pun intended!)

It was on the Christmas house walk this year and was so cool to see.