This project, for a home business office in St. Louis Park, was a challenge and a pleasure!
It was done in a little more than a month’s time, on a $1,000 materials budget, and as a surprise for one of its occupants!
Linden Hills Florist co-owner Anne Schultz wanted to redo this office as a surprise for her Mom, Susanne, with whom she runs the business. The plan was to get this all finished while Susanne was out of town for 10 days.
Susanne had NO idea this was in the works.
Stealth was called for! (You can find more about the paint and fabric choices here, from an earlier post!)
Here’s the basement office, “before” — Anne and Susanne run the their floral business out of studio space, so they took over a basement room at Anne’s as an office. It was a mad jumble, not only of their stuff, but also the detritus that Anne’s family had crammed into storage.
The first item to be addressed was lighting. Ordinarily, we would have removed the textured ceiling, too, but the budget did not stretch to that. A fresh coat of paint and an updated fixture with three times the wattage was a major improvement.
The old office had a desk for one. This new desk — a fabricated top from Home Depot and set atop three scavenged filing cabinets — provided room for two. A new, textured area rug grounded the space, and a pair of Ikea lamps provided task lighting.
A tiny window screamed “basement.” Before, a vintage desk was used as a tabletop to store vases, and a closet, right, was covered with a castoff purple drapery panel (Behind it was a closet stuffed with junk.)
A spot right inside the doorway housed filing cabinets and a jumble of loose paperwork.
This bookcase replaced all of that. The case was the only piece of furniture retained from the room’s previous furnishings. It holds file boxes in gray and purple, and photos of LHF client work.
The small window was disguised with a floor-length panel, set partially to the left of the window, to give the illusion of a larger opening.
By removing the vintage desk, we created a space for a table from Anne’s garage (painted the same neutral gray-beige as the walls) where Anne and Susanne could meet with potential clients as needed, or enjoy a coffee break away from their desks.
Love this fabric, “Sangria,” for the vibrancy it brought to this space!
This is the closet area, before. While placing a curtain panel near the window, I removed the one that hung over the closet.
By removing the rod and adding adjustable shelving, Anne and Susanne can move the shelves as needed for whatever vases and stock they have on hand at any given time. Open storage also encourages them to keep the shelves neat and tidy!
This is the “before” wall to the left of the door. It is where the black bookcase previously stood, along with a lineup of pieces that served mainly as a resting space for clutter.
Now the wall is home to an oversize fabric “inspiration” board. This board was designed to hang vertically, but Anne was sure her Mom would prefer a horizontal presentation. She was right! I had also chosen a larger, more ornate moulding, but Anne knew her mother would like a cleaner, less fussy look. My photo skills are sub par; the moulding is plum gloss enamel and contrasts nicely with the hot pink fabric.
The paint color was chosen to match the existing carpet, and the fabrics and accents were chosen in Susanne’s favorite bright colors: purple, pink, lime green and orange. The filing cabinets were free castoffs in perfect condition, courtesy of the Richfield Chamber of Commerce, which was remodeling its offices.
They were perfect for our needs. By supporting the desktop, they replaced the existing rickety black file cabinets and provided even more storage.
Glossy plum enamel dressed up the clipboards for daily orders, as well as the LHF letters from the store’s old workroom, now redeployed on the office door. Decorative paper provided colorful labels for the gray Ikea storage boxes.
Mindful of the budget, we used chairs on hand for this project. Two of these for the desk…
…and two of these, for the client consult area.
Orange pieces from West Elm provided a pop of color; the plum file boxes were ordered online.
This budget-conscious red0 scored a lot of impact for a relatively small price: it brought in more light without needing to create an egress window or recessing can lights, both of which would have been great, but costlier, solutions.
Lark Nest is a fan of small changes that score big improvements!