My Kitchen Office Nook: Phase I

I'm so super excited this morning. Last night I came home from work to a home full of light! We {finally} got the electrician here to install lighting in 4 spots around the apartment and I cannot believe the difference it makes! I'll be back with photos once the walls are painted since honestly, the pics just do not do it all justice. But just know that I'm one happy lady :)

Meanwhile, I'm also making a lot of progress on my kitchen office nook. It's only half way there, but I want to share some in progress updates with you since this tiny change has made such a difference in my life!

Ta da!

Please forgive my dark photos. There are no windows near by this area in the apartment, so there's simply no way to get a great photo. I took this one last night and digitally lightened it up a bit. But you get the idea.

Who would have thought that adding a simple white desk and a few other small changes would make such a difference!

Let's get down to some details, shall we?

 

I picked out the Micke desk from Ikea because it was small, not very deep and sleek white. I wanted it to match the kitchen cabinets (which are white laquer) and not take up a ton of space. Luckily the desk was extremely reasonably priced and just the right size. We already owned the red chair (which we lovingly call the Swiss cheese chair), also from Ikea, also reasonably priced, and already matches my red-themed kitchen.

Starting on the left side, I stacked up my unread magazines (I have a lot of work to do in that department!) and set a white Ikea planter on top which holds some paint swatches that I'm considering for various spots in the apartment. You'll also notice my skinny little lamp. This is a super old find from Target that we've had laying around for some time now. I have no idea why I didn't throw it away, but it works great as a simple lamp and doesn't take up much space - a double win!

The main goal of the office nook was to have a spot for my Macbook so that I can blog with ease and not in front of the television while watching Good Morning America. I stacked it on top of a cobalt blue placemat that I snagged at Ikea for a couple of dollars. You'll also notice my computer background image is a throwback Halloween image of the man and me :)

Next to the computer is my DIY dry erase board! I've been wanting to make one for some time now. I simply picked up a large frame, covered the inside with a piece of red fabric and put the fram back together. Voila. A simple and adorable DIY dry erase board. My favorite part of this is that the fabric can easily be changed out whenever I'd like! I can't wait to get a holiday themed fabrice going in there! Oh and the dry erase marker wipes right off with a tissue (or with your finger ;))

Pulling back out a bit, you'll see I also added a pen cup, which consists of another Ikea planter. I filled the bottom with rice and added my dry erase markers, a few pens and a pair of scissors. I love the industrial vibe on this planter - it perfectly complements our loft-style apartment!

So there you have it! My DIY kitchen office nook, in its first phase.

Phase II will consist of painting the wall behind the desk (which will hopefully make all of that white pop!), adding a few other organizational fixtures and hanging some shelves overhead for some open storage options for my extensive cookbook collection as well as my binders which contain all of my files. They are currenly all hiding in the den and are extremely unaccessible there. I can't wait to install them!

Questions of the Day:

Do you ever repurpose things from around your home? I repurposed the little planters, the placemat, the Swiss cheese chair and the lamp!

Do you have a desk for your computer? Or is it a roving machine, as mine used to be?

Creating a Kitchen Office Nook

Last week I told you about my plans to put in a kitchen office nook. While we have a small second bedroom in our apartment, Shaun has his desk in there, plus a couch and some other basic storage (ok, it kind of serves as a giant storage closet for now). Currently, I have no real place to store my Macbook, magazines, mail, paperwork or cookbooks and I'm in dire need of one. We have a small space on one side of the kitchen that could not only use some sprucing up, but could also serve as the perfect spot for my little office nook!

When I pitched my idea to Shaun, he completely agreed that I needed a space for my things and an official desk for blogging and other projects. The nook will go to the left side of the kitchen where we have an empty wall. Currently, that space looks like this:

It's fine, but not exactly the most space-efficient. We barely use the butcher block for what it's worth since we installed a kitchen island (pics to come!) and right now it sloppily holds only a fraction of my cookbooks.

Here's the plan:

Put in a small, sleek desk that will match the white laquered cabinets. I found this MICKE desk from Ikea which is the perfect size and the price is right.

 

Install 2 staggered floating shelves which will house my cookbooks for easy access. I can also use this space for a few photo frames and perhaps a small decorative basket to hold my dish towels and pot holders (which currently reside in the butcher block). I like these white LACK shelves from Ikea for just $19.99 a pop.

Though the desk has some storage, I'd love to install a letter tray or wall letter holder. It's decorative and functional. And that I love. This one from The Container Store is my favorite as of late.

My computer will sit in the middle of the desk, but I'll need some other accessories including an industrial-style desk lamp like this one from CB2.

I also plan to make a DIY dry erase board for blog ideas, notes, grocery lists, etc. I'll keep you in the loop on how I get 'er done, but I already purchased a large Ribba frame from Ikea this weekend which will serve as the base!

Lastly, I'll need a good chair. For now, I'll use a red rolling chair that we already own, and one that will match my red kitchen. I plan to get a better one at some point, but for now, this will do!

So there you have it. My plans for a kitchen office nook. I'm so excited about this! I already have some of the supplies, now it's just a matter of building and hanging. I'll keep you posted as the project rolls around!

Questions of the Day:

Do you have a personal space that's all your own?

What's your favorite part of it?

Any suggestions for my kitchen office nook?

 

Kitchen Confessions, Part I

These are my confessions…

I don’t know what’s worse…the fact that I sing that in my head every time I think about writing this article, or the fact that it’s usually the Gleeked version which includes a mash up of Usher's Confessions and Bon Jovi's It’s My Life. You decide. Vote in the comments.

Anyhow…back to the task at hand. I really do have a confession for you. I am a messy cook. I mean, a messy cook. I'm not sure if it stems from my overall lack of grace or my slight case of ADD which causes me to jump from one task to the next without finishing the first. But either way, my beautiful kitchen, which I like to pretend always looks like this:

too often looks like this...

(I left out the sink of dirty dishes and the full dishwasher). And that's not even the close up shot, of which I will spare you. You see, not only do I tend to sprawl out my cooking utensils and ingredients, but I also mange to cause a small disaster beyond the clutter. You see, cooking has become my passion and I try to exhibit poise and style. But...I don't. I even got the most adorable apron hoping this would help my street cred. But...it doesn't. Instead, I still manage to have dirty fingerprints on my refrigerator door from searching for rogue ingredients in the midst of baking. I still splatter olive oil from my saute pan, all over my stove and countertop. In fact, Shaun can often hear me yelling and cursing when I inadvertently break a wine glass or get my fingers stuck together with honey. Or simply spill a partial measuring cup of flour when I try to be so careful to keep the kitchen clean. Oh and did I mention that despite my best efforts, I still always seem to have a sink full of dirty dishes?

Somehow I doubt that Giada, in all her Anthro-wearing, white kitchen glory, is splattering tomato sauce on her top while spilling cumin on the floor as her saucepan overflows on the newly cleaned stainless steel stove. Or that her apple pie drips all over the bottom of her oven (and still hasn't cleaned it...oops).

So there it is. One of my major confessions of my cooking endeavors. So what about you? Are you a hot mess in the kitchen? Or are you the perfectly neat chef by nature?