Category Archives: DIY

Meet petite Vika Veine – IKEA

Affordable and space saving Vika Veine desk by IKEA.

Available in Brown-Black or White.

Convenient access to cables and plugs.

I get excited when mass manufacturers decide to provide accessible, clean design to the public. Grant it, IKEA is a rare breed with Swedish roots, which can hardly be coined as a “mass player.” But, considering it’s sheer volume of products and mass appeal, I appreciate their consideration of space-challenged dwellers living in urban neighborhoods. So if you’re in New York, or just happen to have a rather tight space, take note. The Vika Veine desk is a small workspace (measures 39″ wide by 24″ deep) that opens up to provide access to a felt board full of pockets and space for paperwork. Thanks to the mechanism of the pop-up hood, a channel opening provides access to power outlets and for hiding those messy cables. It’s a smart feature and one that is rarely seen with such minimal flair. You can be working and easily hide everything by closing the top. Furthermore, you have a clean worksurface in a split second.

The best part, the price is only $99 USD (not including the legs).

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Write Wall – IdeaPaint

IdeaPaint turns your wall into a dry erase board!

Available in a solvent or water-base paint

Ever get in trouble for writing on the walls as a kid? I did. Perhaps it was a degenerate gene that connected me to my graffiti-making cousins or it was an artistic need to exert some creative expression. Whatever it was, I masked my bedroom walls long before it was popular to do so in conference rooms for the business world. Now, thanks to the wonders of science, you have another option besides chalkboard paint for similar applications. IdeaPaint, founded by three Babson College graduates, creates a high-performance solvent-base and a home-friendly water-base paint that transforms your walls into an effective dry erase board. For commercial and corporate needs, 50 sf of surface paint is available in an array of neutral colors starting at $175 USD. For smaller home projects, the water-based solution is available for 20 sf of coverage for $30. Keep in mind, 20 sf will yield an area that is 5′ x 4′. If opting for this option, I suggest buying cheap molding to create a frame effect for the designated area. The last thing you want is to go outside “the lines” and truly ruin your traditional walls. Consider this a lesson learned from my youth.

Visit IdeaPaint for their great site full of…well, ideas.

Set within a color backdrop, a small amount goes a long way.

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Inspiration – A.T.’s House Tour

Apartment Therapy gives you a tour of a home in Hemet, CA

One might not think of Hemet, California as a source for great style, but Morgan and Jeremy have taken Palm Springs flair to their Riverside County outpost. What I like most of their home office is the use of existing built-ins and updating it with new pulls and fresh paint. You can never go wrong with all white, especially when you can anchor the space with great, eclectic art. See the whole house at Apartment Therapy.

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More Inspiration – A.T’s Get The Look

Apartment Therapy's series of DIY home office. Get this look! Photo: Jill Slater

Short and sweet, or should I say suite. This example comes once again from Apartment Therapy’s Get The Look with their recommendation for dealing with tight spaces. What’s perfect about this one is the minimalistic aesthetic accomplished by the all-white palette. Doesn’t it look more like a hotel room? So many of my friends always complain about their business travel, but I love it. I especially love the short-term living in chic boutique hotels. Now, taking the cue from a corporate room, making your bedroom just as clean is the way I like to live.  Don’t forget the night cap chocolates for the nightstand. Catch the details at Apartment Therapy.

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Inspired? DIY Home Office

The "before" - a pantry closet.

The "after" - a small home office

Never say you don’t have the space for your own home office. Valerie and Roger had to convert their second bedroom that was being used as a home office into a nursery. The solution? Convert a small pantry into a dedicated space for the home computer. You may sacrifice storage for other home items, but don’t sacrifice the fun in your design. For more images and info, check out the original story that ran on Design*Sponge.

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Inspiration – Another Home Office

A home office that fits the room.

Situated in a loft space slightly above the main living room, this contemporary desk with chrome legs and a glass top makes for a great compliment to this comfy space full of natural light and rough wood grain accents. Take the inspiration from the outdoors and add just a little to your office to tie it all together. In this case, you have the beach just several yards away and the color of white skies and the natural color of sand is the true inspiration for this organic space.  And with just one signature nautilus shell on the desk, it is the perfect accent for a sophisticated room. Just don’t get distracted if you have real work to do.

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Inspiration – Another Home Office

A very simple home office that you can create yourself.

Seriously, this is one of those simple home offices that looks more expensive than it really is. A simple desk created with two stands and a counter top, all kept in the same material. A basic walnut chair fits with the room but maintains a slight distinguishable look. Add this with a bold graphic rug and neutral paint, plus a window view and you have yourself a serene office for conducting home business. The basic string for clipping pictures and postcards is a brilliant touch. Try it sometime.

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For inspiration – Jen Bilik’s Home Office

Knock Knock founder Jen Bilik's Home Office

Knock Knock! Who’s there? …Not that type of knock knock. Jen Bilik, founder of the publishing house and stationers Knock Knock, has sold her Mar Vista home, but her beautiful DIY projects are kept in tact online at Design*Sponge. Take special note of her home office. This simple to replicate workstation is a great way of adding clean lines and modernity with a bold choice of color. I truly appreciate a straight work desk that allows you to view your computer monitor without a tilt or angle. I’m not of fan of corner placements of computers because of the odd sitting situation – just my preference. The wall-mount Artemide task lights are great as are the random tacked artwork placed above the desk. I hope this provides you some inspiration to be creative with your work place.

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A.T.’s Get The Look

Apartment Therapy's Get The Look - Office Organization

I think the notion of organization is always easier said than done. I’m fairly organized, but the problem I have is easily forgetting where I filed things. It’s an oxymoron for sure. Regardless, the look of being organized is priceless and I’ve been told once or twice that “perception is reality.” I suppose if you believe you’re organized, you WILL be organized. Take a look at Maxwell’s Get The Look on Apartment Therapy. You’ll find how you too can get this structured look for your office needs. I’m completely digging the apothecary jars for your pencils/pens, labels and stuff. Carve out some time for yourself to make your “reality” come true.

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Inspiration – another home office design

Eclectic flair by SF-based designer Martha Angus

Another quick post for inspiration. This modern lacquered white desk is flanked by an ornate stool and art frame. This is a great way to create an eclectic home office that will keep you creative and inspired. Wondering how to get the look? Well, you can find an very affordable version of this desk at West Elm. And as for the ornate decoration, try an antique store. You’ll be amazed at the great finds, but just be patient. It may take several trips to various shops before you find what you’re looking for. As for the mastermind behind this look, visit Martha Angus and her San Francisco studio for more great living designs.

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