Posts Tagged ‘office’

Holiday Task #Hero

Today is technically the first day of my Christmas holidays, and so far I am winning at completing tasks like a true holiday task #hero.
I’ve cleared all the out-of-date items in my fridge. I know best before gives one a bit of wiggle room…but if it’s best before October 2012 and you’re in December 2017, then I think that might be stretching it.
I’ve had the electrician in, next up is the person to fit a house alarm (more on THAT in other posts). I’ve rearranged my bedroom (separate post on that), AND reorganised the top of the bookshelf in my office (a continuation of some rationalisation and decluttering that I’ve done throughout the year, and also part of a prelude to actually organising the office and studio a bit more efficiently in terms of space used).


All my photos and tchotckes were stored in boxes of varying sizes, and not very efficiently using the space (the 6 cubes on the top left). So I picked up some Kvarnvik boxes from Ikea, assembled them and started popping everything into boxes:

In progress…

The second trip to Ikea was because I didn’t get enough boxes (Hot tip when you purchase storage items: always add 4 to whatever you are getting):

Everything is for the most part, in the right box.

I still have some very old photo albums up there: they are from DIY Dad’s house, I grabbed them to scan pics for my sister and in preparation for DIY Dad’s Massive 70th Birthday (that was this year). I need to source replacement albums and then return them from whence they came (giving me a whole free expedit cube. Yippee).


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Same space, now with more DVD storage capacity

Now that the big holiday jobs are done, it’s time for the smaller stuff. And one of those tasks is finding a way to corral stuff that is potentially messy and also to more effectively use the space in each 33cm x 33cm Expedit shelf.

I didn’t really like the options on offer at Ikea, and after checking out what was on offer on the Howard’s Storage World, Bunnings, Masters, Target and Kmart websites, falling in love with several options on Etsy that were out of my pricepoint and also would not be available in my timeframe (I want them like…yesterday), I ended up on the Officeworks website where I found Felt N Store boxes.


Corralling papers and books for my sister in the studio

Made out of dark grey felt, within my budget range and in stock at the second Officeworks store I went to (used my first visit to get the staff to check stock). The Dark Grey Felt N Store boxes were a perfect solution, even though it did mean a hitherto unplanned trip to East Vic Park.


So fancy, and so cheap

Even though I couldn’t buy the storage boxes I wanted on Etsy (they were triple the price and would have taken 2 weeks plus shipping time from Germany to get to me), I have bought a Dark Grey Felt cat house from the same seller. It also sits within the Expedit, and it looks kind of cool.

Now that I have freed some space up on my Expedits in my office, studio and living room (thanks to the clean outs and the redistribution of storage), I can give some shelf space over to the other housemates:


Super cute cat house

I like cat furniture that doesn’t look twee or trite and that’s not obtrusive. So this is perfect:


Minimalist cat house…


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The Expedit-ion is complete


The Before

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll be aware I have a thing for Ikea’s Expedit. So when Ikea announced they were discontinuing their Expedit, replacing it with the Kallax, there was trepidation in my heart. While Ikea have very worthy reasons for discontinuing the Expedit:

  • By reducing the thickness of the expedit surrounds, Ikea can save a significant amount of wood for each product
  • Ikea currently use 1% of the world’s wood supply
  • Reducing wood consumption at the mass numbers of consumption (17.8 million cubic yards of wood per year) and sale (how many expedits do you think they have sold? Bucketloads)

The trepidation I felt was a result of the fact that I have expedits in my living room, studio and office …and I needed to get one more expedit to complete my Expedit storage solution 😮 Just one more and the office would be done.

Naturally, when faced with an impending deadline I procrastinated like a champion. When I did get around to purchasing the last 2×4 I needed, they were only available online and the delivery cost was as much as the expedit itself. Pshaw!

So I decided to put my semi-professional Gumtree skills to the test and pounce on a likely candidate when it came up for sale…

But as it turns out, although my Gumtree skills are Olympic level, that wasn’t needed 😀  Several months after the Expedits had finally sold out online, I accompanied The Amazant Monsieur H on a Billy purchasing adventure (what I am to Ikea’s Expedits, he is to Ikea’s Billys) and I walked past a pile of 2×4 expedits in the required black-brown to finish my office, on sale.

So for $69 (instead of ~$120), and for no delivery fee: I got a brand new expedit and completed the office storage 😀


The After


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Christmas Eve bought a welcome surprise in the form of the final piece de resistance for this holiday’s project in the office: the union jack rug 😀

I had given up hope it would arrived, but it turned up in the 20 minutes I ducked out to the shops to do my last minute shopping for Xmas dessert preparation:


Xmas present!

Its’s very cool on the office floor:


Total punk rock



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Guest blogger

Her majesty inspected the new desk, which has room for her to sit and watch me type (at the moment anyway).


Editor calls a meeting.


Concern expressed: not nearly enough posts about other housemates have been made. Think of the fans!


Unlolling Cat


Make it so.

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In this case an office makeover…and a union jack rug…


Union Jack Rug! Arriving soon at my house

I really, really need to go through about 9 months of paperwork, get my receipts in order and do my tax. But up until now, I have been stymied because my office was a temporary store for furniture displaced so that The Coffee Fairy could store her bed in my studio, I have had too many other professional commitments throughout the year to make headway and, even without the temporarily displaced furniture, my desk was too small to have space to layout paperwork plus study notes and other deitrius associated with someone who likes piling rather than filing.

The Coffee Fairy took back her bed late November, which meant a quick redistribution of furniture so I could start work on the office revamp while on hols. And then, when there’s a super hot day during my hols, I will crank up the aircon, play some choons and file like I have not been filing for the last 9 months…promise!

I don’t seem to have taken any pics of the office since the G-Plan landed (it left the office to take up residence in the lounge about a year ago) and that first moment when I finally unpacked all the boxes and put an Expedit in there. Oops.

Let me paint you a verbal picture: Since the G-Plan flew the coop, the day bed emigrated into the office from the studio (to allow temporary homing of the Fairy bed in the studio), the wounded Falcon chair was placed on top of the day bed and a little pile of luggage, cushions, small furniture and other things that don’t quite have homes grew up around this structure. Grew up to the point I started feeling like I had to hunch over the desk to type.

Meanwhile, the desk and the floor immediately surrounding it became covered with piles of paperwork to sort through and file as I never quite found the time to spare to do this.


The midway point, the new desk is in, the room rejigged and work beginning on the transfer of paperwork from one desk to another

The original desk I purchased and layout, shown in The G-Plan landed was always temporary. Mainly a result of limited storage in the house and garage and some key items (like the G-Plan and the daybed) needing temporary homes.

My eventual idea, the one I am spending part of my holidays to realise, was to have a super long desk (basically a two person desk) on the wall opposite to where the original desk was. Get some more expedit storage and put one of my arm chairs (or the daybed) opposite the new super long desk. Or even put the wounded Falcon chair opposite, while I accept that I either need to break it apart and sell the pieces as parts or dedicate a signficant amount of time and money to source a replacement leg (preferred, but more expensive option).

Superlong desk is going to be important: apart from my propensity for piling not filing, I am studying for the next 5 months and I need room to spread out books et al without compromising my keyboard/computer real-estate. Plus I eventually plan to buy a sewing machine (will need it to finish a couple of projects), so I need space to set that up (again without compromising my keyboard/computer real-estate).

I chose the Linnmon Table top from Ikea in black-brown for the desk plus 5 Adils legs in black, 2m, worth of black-brown table (matches the expedits) for me to spread out on.

I also bought a Union Jack rug via eBay, which I am (eagerly) waiting to arrive so I can pop it on the floor. It’s not the Vivienne Westwood Union Jack rug for the rug company (which you can now get in a smaller size and as a cushion), but given the Westwood one is $4400AUD (and the cushions are $687 AUD) while this one was $89.95…it’s more in my current budget


Waiting for the rug

Next steps:

Short term:

  1. Sort out paperwork!
  2. Sell the original desk on gumtree!

Longer term:

  1. Buy a sewing machine (projects on the go, needing it to progress)
  2. Get the gallery wall hanging system for above the desk
  3. Buy a 2 x 4 expedit and put it above the 4 x 4 one to enlarge storage capabilities

I will have to eventually either strip everything out of the room and refinish the floor (see the patch where the varnish is coming up) or, pending a test and confirmation of the type of varnish, I will sand the area surrounding the patch and varnish the patch in the interim.

I do want to sand and varnish the floors of the whole house (I think the varnish used is getting towards the end of its life), but thats a 2-5 year out job at the moment. It’s not urgent, it presents no danger and can be tolerated in the interim provided it doesn’t degrade rapidly anytime soon (unlikely).

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My walls are in a bit of a catch-22 at the moment.

Technically, my walls are not in any catch-22 since they are firstly inanimate objects and secondly they are walls and they support things (roofs, plaster, pictures etc), so remaining standing and supporting things are pretty much all they need to do; I am in the catch-22 because of my plans for my walls.

For those of you who don’t know:

A catch22 is a paradoxical situation in which an individual cannot avoid a problem because of contradictory constraints or rules. Often these situations are such that solving one part of a problem only creates another problem, which ultimately leads back to the original problem. Catch-22s often result from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual is subject to but has no control over. (Thank you wikipedia)

Because I paint quite large canvases and want to be able to switch in and out canvases from rooms (it’s easier than moving the furniture around when you want a change, and it doesn’t scratch the floors so much…and now that I am in my own house, I do worry about these things), I decided I wouldn’t put any pictures, paintings or photographs on my walls until I had installed a gallery hanging system.

Gallery hanging systems are ideal for what I want to do, as they are basically a concealed track where you can slip hooks in or out as required, sort of like the modern, more subtle equivalent of picture rails you see in federation houses.


Why don’t I just install picture rails? Nice as they are, they are quite instrusive to the design of the room. They become a feature element, while I want something that doesn’t draw attention to itself or detract from the artwork, walls and cornices. Plus my house is a very different style to houses which could have feature rails and my ceilings aren’t tall enough to make them look anything but a slightly self-concious and unnecessary addendum. And I absolutely loathe it when people try to traditional-ify a modern era house (reproduction federation houses and villas so prevalent in the 80s and 80s are the devil).

Back on track

So, I decided on a gallery hanging system – the wall locator FX Hanging System in silver, to sit right below my cornices in the lounge room, bedroom, hallway, office and studio:

Hanging around

I could paint the system so it is even less obtrusive but I like the idea of an industrial silver band immediately below my cornices.

At a rough estimate, I  will need about 10 x of the 3m straps and 4 x of the 2m straps; plus hooks. So ~ $500.00 plus all the hooks I need. On the positive side, I don’t need to buy it all at once, I can purchase it room by room (or wall by wall); but until I do my paintings are sitting on the floor, propped against the walls.

This isn’t great for the paintings, they may get scuffed and can fall over; so it also means that I won’t finish and varnish any of them until I can hang them as I will have to do minor repairs on them. Hence the catch-22, because it would be nice to varnish and finish some of my work and say “Done, never touching it again”.

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