Thursday, June 23, 2016

83 Where I Work... Home Office Status and a Few Plans

Well pals!  This week I began my first in home client project and I am SO excited to dive in and help a wonderful family take back control of their kitchen and entryway!  Although we still have a few projects around our own home to finish up, I am really looking forward to helping other folks organize and simplify their spaces.  In fact, it has been my dream for the past six years, however, my blog and shop had consumed my time and I let my end goal drift away a bit.  Organizing is such a passion, but it is far more enjoyable and rewarding when I can work on spaces with others.

Speaking of lingering projects... We have quite a few that have been in the works for the past year.  Instead of rushing through each one to get to a big reveal day, I have decided to slow down, live in our spaces and take things one day at a time.  I can thank blogging for helping me realize that I just work better this way, and it really allows us to make better overall decisions and investments for our home.


Late last year, I decided to do an impromptu home office/playroom swap with our boys. They are all in school full time and have lost interest in Mr. Potato Head and Duplo blocks. Their playroom would sit empty all day, while I worked in a windowless cave in our home. When the boys agreed that it would be fun to trade spaces, I just started packing things up and moving things around on a whim one night. Although, I had to take a few breaks and wipe away a few tears. This move meant my boys were growing older and hitting new milestones in their lives. That I would never see their little dimpled hands dump out every bin and dig for their favorite Little People figures, or fumble as they create towers and bridges direct from their imaginations.  #slowdowntime

playroom reveal

For the most part, the furniture from the playroom fit my old office, and my old office furniture fit their playroom.  There were a few exceptions, as the two rooms are different in terms of lighting, available space, layout and functionality.  The boys' new area will become a more mature place to hang out; a place for games and popcorn with a side of Lego.  So I left them my large table and bench, and will be adding in a mini fridge and pantry.  When it came to my space, I had just about everything I needed, with the exception of an actual workspace.  We finally were able to give my favorite aqua hutch a new home, and have plans to open the wall to give me access to my under-the-stairs storage.  The desk was the missing link.

We no longer needed the large entertainment center or the TV that it held, so I sold both on Craigslist, giving me my new desk budget.

I really made sure to think about how I planned to use my office long term.  What have I liked and disliked about previous work spaces?  How could I set up a space to help me stay productive and also fit my organizational desires?  This time I decided to go full on function, and worry about making it pretty later.  So I began taping out a few desk options on the floor.

My main goal was to create a space that can offer a dual workspace.  A place to grow my team and allow for my husband and children to visit and work with me.  A place to meet with future clients and have conference calls.  Working from home alone can be so isolating, so it was crucial to change that.  And certainly I had enough room in my new, bright space for two desks?


I was almost certain this would be the route I landed on, as it had the most flexibility with the type of desk I could select.  But once I started taping things out, I was really starting to realize I only had one good full wall to work off of, and that my space wasn't as big as I thought it was.  Beyond two work spaces, I also had to account for my filing cabinet and my large printer.  Where would they go?  And then it became more and more challenging to source two desks I liked that fit my available space.  So I looked at another option.


This was definitely it, until I taped it off.  I was surprised how little space I would have, especially when the filing cabinet and printer were brought back into play.  And how awkward to work facing a corner, and if I was joined by someone, to be crowded near the secondary work area.  Not to mention, this option didn't make use of the large area in the center of the room.

Third time was a charm.


By going with a T-shape workspace, each individual can have their own private work area, facing the window.  There is room for a printer below in-between each side, and the filing cabinet also fit below the base of the T.


This layout also allows me to spread out.  I make such a mess when I work, and love having an area for my computer, and another for writing, planning, bill paying, crafting, etc... The L shape provides a space for me to easily transition from computer to blank space just by turning my chair.  It also allows me to chat with the person across from me.


I was able to find a few desk/table tops from IKEA to put together this setup inexpensively.  I didn't want to have to build and paint something, I looked for tops that had a nice and smooth factory finish.  And months and months later, I can attest that this setup really does work perfectly for me.  I wouldn't change a thing functionally but I still have some tweaking to do visually, so I will be sure to share all of the desk details once I make a few more small updates.


filing cabinet
The desk is the only item I have purchased for the space, everything else I already had and came over from my last office space.  Every last basket and bin and box and tray...

This view is my current favorite.  I love that I have a bright window and my hutch!


But beyond that, I have a few choices to make.  The bookcases don't exactly fit, however, their functionality is fabulous.


I would love to eventually build something in to make the most of the width and height of this strange little nook.  Something pretty like these make my eyes giddy.

1 | 2

I love the hutch and I love my thrift store chair, but I wonder if the two paired together are too much?  Too sweet?  Is it possible that too much sweetness can become a negative?


And the birch tree stencil.  Oy.  Not my personal favorite, but I just haven't been able to bring myself to paint over it yet.  Not until I know what I want to do with all of the walls... Covering up the stencil is going to require hours of dusty sanding, and a little hand holding because again... not ready.  I can't believe I painted it over four years ago. #sigh


We were only able to hang two of our wall system components, to add the third we will have to remove the window trim to allow enough room for the piece to slide in on the rail.  We will do that when we paint, and make sure to re-center it appropriately.


Cords needs controlling, and the printer is about to get a cart with pull out shelves and a spot for my scanner and paper trays.

Until the opening to the storage closet is created, I have a few piles building from items I use daily; photography equipment, papers, backdrops and a bucket of "to do" items.  I am debating if I want/need to door off the closet this time around, I sort of like the idea of leaving it open.


The hutch makes up for the cabinets I lost in my other space, but I just can't seem to come up with a creative way to use the wine storage area... any suggestions or ideas?


I killed my first live plant, so went faux this time around.  Four months later and it is still thriving! ;)

A few other small accessories sprinkled throughout help keep daily desk items corralled.  I removed the final wax from a candle and now use the jar for my favorite markers.


Business cards in a jewelry dish....


An acrylic organizer for items I look at frequently; books, magazines, to-do files and paint swatches.

desk calendar | file folders | acrylic organizer

And stacking trays at the opposite end of my desk hold envelopes, stamps, notebooks and stationery.

stacking trays

I would also love to install a roman shade and crown moulding.  And maybe paint the walls white to flow with the remainder of the basement, and doing something playful on the ceiling?  OK, I am getting ahead of myself now.  One day at a time....


So the space swap had a small trickle effect, but we will get there, a few small updates should make a huge difference.  In the meantime, I am just thrilled to have a window that I get to look out of every single day.  Everything else is just icing on the cake!

83 comments:

  1. Looks great! I love the hutch so I'm glad you were able to repurpose it.

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  2. Nice office space. Having a window makes such a huge difference :). Looking forward to seeing the updates.

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    1. It really does... I knew it would be nice, but I absolutely LOVE the difference it makes!

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  3. You can use the wine rack to hold rolls of vinyl for die cutting. Love the office!

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    1. I have definitely thought of that, I just want to be sure it doesn't look too colorfully cluttered. I guess I won't know until I give it a whirl! :)

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    2. Using this area for vinyl was my first thought too. You could put the vinyl in white mailing tubes and label them. ☺

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  4. Can you remove the "X" from the hutch and open it up? Then you could put whatever you wanted there.

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    1. Not easily, it is pretty built in.... I thought about trying and then replacing with a shelf, but I am not sure if it would compromise the look of the hutch. I would hate to botch my favorite piece.

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  5. Love this office space- everything looks so great!

    thedoseofchic.blogspot.com

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  6. What a beautiful room, it looks fantastic! The Etsy link to the desk calendar isn't working, can you take a look - I love it! If the calendar doesn't come with the little stand can you share where you found that?

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    1. Sorry about that Jill, I updated the calendar link in the post: http://bit.ly/28Qk3L2. The small gold easel was a gift from a few years ago, I am sorry that I am not sure of the source exactly.

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  7. I love this post, and it's been great to see more posts again! Thanks for all the links, and I would love a close up picture of some of the books in your shelves.

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  8. It looks awesome! What a great space :)

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  9. I would totally use the wine storage space for rolls of vinyl. Each quadrant could have a theme by color or pattern or type of vinyl. I think wrapping paper rolls would be too long unless you had very short specialty papers.

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  10. Do you keep any fabric or blankets in that room? I used to store extra fabric rolled neatly in an x wine box like your hutch. I love seeing the process you go through. The t shape desk is genius in that space!

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    1. Really love that idea Pamela! I have the fabric stored in my closet right now, but a few of my favorites could come out. Thanks for the thought!

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    2. That's a great idea! I'm always chilly & would definitely need a place for a couple of throw blankets & fabric storage would work really well too.
      Jennifer, I'm so happy you got to keep the hutch! Your new dining space looks great but that hutch is such a fun piece so I'm thrilled you didn't have to part with it.
      If you decide the chair is too much in that room, maybe you could switch it out with the one in your dressing room?
      XO, Jaclyn

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  11. Where did you get that beautiful stationary?!

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    1. There is a local place that always has the best, colorful stationery. I always pick up a few packages when I am able to get there for a visit. Here is a link: http://www.mara-mi.com/

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  12. I don't know how big your fabric collection is but what about putting it on tube bolts for the wine storage area? You can cut PVC to the desired length and wrap your fabric around it so it custom fits the space. You could cover the end with a square of sample fabric before you wrap it so that looking at the collection you know what each fabric is easily. Or maybe your vinyl collection? If all else fails just remove the criss-cross shelves and use the space for a big basket of seasonal decorations.

    What about for the closet door hanging a curtain? Adds softness. You can leave it pulled to the side most of the time for functional access but close it easily for company.

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    1. The fabric at the end of a PVC or mailing tube is brilliant. Thank you Casey!

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  13. I love your office! I always come here for inspiration!

    liz @ j for joiner

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  14. Just gorgeous. I can't wait to have my own office! (house shopping)

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    1. That's so exciting! I wish you luck with your search! ♥

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  15. So many thoughts! First: 'i sold the stuff i wadnt using and that became my desk budget' - totally not a new idea but for some reason just the right kick in the butt i need to be diligent about creative funds-sourcing. Also, too much sweet?! I suppose it could go there but i personally LOVE both pieces so much i cant imagine getting rid of either. I think if you keep your stuff in clean lines it wont go overboard, imo. Also, love all the suggestions for the wine rack, mine is, maybe make drawers? Cardboard and fabric boxes? My thought is to keep a clean front that reenforces the visual x but gives you max space use too. Complicated idea but would look so cool and modern. Loving everything!

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    1. I was thinking the same thing, making some drawers out of old boxes and either covering them with fabric or painting them. Even adding little knobs.

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    2. OOh what about some custom drawers in the wine rack???? I know it sounds a bit odd but hear me out! The only one that would seem a bit hard to use would be the bottom one because the peak is at the top (it could have a side opening)...but you could create cardboard 'drawers' that when you pull out house smaller items and clutter!
      To take it further you could do that for two & use the other two for blanket or fabric rolls!
      Just think of the possibilities!

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    3. I love the creative process happening here. :) The drawer idea is definitely a contender.

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    4. After your custom sweater cubbies & other projects I know you can do this & make it more awesome than even what is in my head!

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    5. Oops! I just realized that maybe that's what Hannah meant. *smacks forehead*
      If it is sorry Hannah!

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  16. Beautiful spaces! And yay for you for living your dreams! I hope your clients let you share the final results with us! Best wishes! TFS

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  17. I don't comment hardly ever, but I love your blog. So many beautiful ideas. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you Missy! I appreciate you taking a moment to comment today. ♥

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  18. I have an old hutch in my guest room and roll up towels and a couple throw blankets, so I could see your fabric looking great down there! I also add a few bottles of water in the top one, maybe you could do glass bottles filled from your fridge upstairs and use them to fill your glass as you work?! I love the look of water in an office space!

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    1. I adore how you use your hutch in your guest room, sounds like a very cozy place to stay. Thank you for sharing!

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  19. It really looks great! I like those decorative stacking trays - it's a beautiful design. How exciting to be able to help someone else reorganize their space. I'm sure they're excited about it too.

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  20. Yarn would look beautiful stored in the wine storage area!

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  21. What about keeping vinyl in the wine storage? The colorful rolls would look adorable.

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  22. Which tabletops did you use from IKEA? We are considering a similar set up in our office/sunroom to accomodate two older boys who need to share a space to do work. The single desk is much too cluttered now.

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    1. We used two of these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00251135/ (and I love that they are only $9!) and one of these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80251141/

      We had to get a little creative with combining them to ensure they were properly supported... Hope to share those details soon.

      xo!

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  23. What an inspiring space to be creative! I've notice art is in constant rotation in your home, what is your best suggestion to hang art without filling lots of nail holes.

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    1. Yes , I love to move art from space to space; it can give a room a whole new feeling with no investment. I am a super fan of Commend Strips, especially the picture hanging options (it is just really important to follow the directions to a T for a strong hold). I also use extremely small picture hanging hooks that are able to hold a lot of weight due to their anchoring design, and they leave very little mark in the wall, and what is left is easy to conceal if things change down the road (these: http://www.homedepot.com/p/OOK-30-Pieces-50-lbs-Conventional-Picture-Hooks-Value-Box-55513/100210423).

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  24. Which Ikea desk did you purchase? I love the legs!

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    1. Hi Katherine! Here is a link to the tops: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00251135/ and the legs: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10237827/

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    2. where are your bookcases from?

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    3. Hi Jodi,

      They are the old IKEA Expedit bookcases, which have since been renamed the Kallax: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/search/?query=white+kallax

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    4. Thanks! Did you use 3 of the same size table tops or is the middle piece bigger? Also, did you connect the table tops where they meet? Do you have any legs where they meet or just the printer box?

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  25. Can I ask where you got your gold box with your MS paints? I've seen them on a few sites in the past but can't find any now :( I just love how classy that bit (and all of it, actually) of storage is!

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    1. Hi Jennie,

      I found it at HomeGoods a few years ago, it is intended to be a terrarium. It was a baby blue color and I removed the glass to spray paint it.

      xoxo!

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  26. I love your working space! I like how you use transparent/ clear/ white furnitures to make the space look clean and tidy.

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  27. I love the hutch and the chair together in the same room. Not too sweet at all. Just perfect (and cohesive)! Wouldn't change a thing except, yes, built-ins would be the icing on the cake.

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  28. LOVE this new look - and Option 3 was my best too! It has worked out so well - what a beautiful space to work x

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  29. I am eager to learn more about what you select for the rollout cube for the printer, under your desk. I have the same needs. Nice office.

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  30. What do you use to map out your space like that? What a great planning tool!

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    1. I used Microsoft Excel, I owe y'all a tutorial. :)

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    2. I was wondering the same thing as well! Thank you so much for sharing. And, a tutorial would be super awesome! Your work is super inspiring, it makes my heart flutter. ♥ Mandy

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  31. I've been looking forward to this reveal! It's every bit as fantastic as I imagined. Love your style :)

    p.s. When you get a chance...you owe us an updated post on how you organize your new French door Maytag - especially the freezer drawer - hint, hint :)

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    1. Thanks Bianca! I am not going to lie... the freezer drawer has had me a bit perplexed... I will definitely be sure to share what I come up with when (and if?) that happens. :D

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  32. Question about your floors down here: do you still like them, and if so why didn't you use the same material upstairs? I really enjoy seeing your home evolve and am happy to see your pretty hutch back in use.

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    1. Great question Susan. Yes, we still love them, and the floors are perfect for getting a close-to-real wood look out of a vinyl flooring. But at the end of the day, they are still vinyl and don't "feel" like a wood floor. In our upper level, the laminate flooring we selected feels and looks much more like wood under foot, and surprisingly, is even less prone to scuffing and scratching than the vinyl. In our bathrooms and lower level, there is a chance of dealing with water and moisture, so the vinyl was one of our only options to achieving the wood look and feel without any risk.

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  33. Looks amazing! As always! Ps. How did you get the wax out of the anthro candle?! Maybe obvious but I didn't want to cracking the glass.... :)

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    1. Hi Rachel,
      I just brought a pot of water to a simmer and let the wax liquify and carefully poured it into a cup layered in paper towel (using an oven mitt to handle the hot glass of course). I then wiped it out and did it one more time to be sure I got everything. It was important to keep an eye on it the entire time, and be sure to let the glass cool down slowly on a soft rag after being simmered (don't run it under any cold water especially).

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    2. You can also put the candle in your freezer for a few hours...the remaining wax will pop right out.

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  34. Please don't paint over the trees! They are so pretty! Could you change up other things to "go" with the trees? Just my 2 cents!

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  35. Why not use the wine holder for your vinyl?

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  36. I so appreciate you showing us that it took 3 separate attempts to get the layout right. I am always interested in the process, as much as the final result. I don't think the combination of the hutch and chair are too sweet; there are enough straight lines in the desk and the bookcase to counteract that! My desk in my 'project room' faces a window that looks out on the intersection of our street. So I agree that having window is HUGE bonus!

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  37. I actually really love those bookcases. You could totally make them look like built ins if you added some trim to them... I think Centsational Girl has done that in the past... Seriously though... They really don't look terrible. I need a solution/idea for something to flank my fireplace and sadly I wish I could do something that easy.

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  38. Yay!!! I've been dying to see the desk setup...love love love it!!!! Can't wait to see this room take shape, it's going to be as fab as you are!! xo

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  39. Love the hutch and chair in the room together -- I think they sing to each other!
    Question: are the drawers on your CB2 filing cabinet full-extension? It's a beautiful filing cabinet and I'm considering getting a couple for our office. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you! The drawers are full-extension, there is only an inch or two that doesn't come right up to the face when pulled out. :) Love them!

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  40. LOVE it. So fresh and pretty. If you ever want to sell your toys sign to me on etsy....

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  41. I would love a tutorial on how you did the layout in Excel!

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  42. I always love seeing your latest ideas! Random question - what have you found is the best way to clean your acrylic organizers (throughout your house)? I use some in my bathroom but they get dusty and I'm always looking for a better way to clean them!

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    1. Thank you! I typically just use a microfiber cloth paired with a half water half vinegar spray on my acrylic pieces.

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  43. Oh I love it. I stuggle with my office too. I took over the upstairs master bedroom. I love and hate it all at the same time. We will find the right flow at some point just have to not be so hard to look for perfect. It also is give me a room I will want to paint it if I paint it I will need a new chair.lol give a mouse a cookie is my favorite book.

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  44. Great job. Beautiful as always. Do you have links to the desk components?

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  45. I love the new space!! I'd use the wine storage to hold the wrapping paper and liners! Cannot wait to see what else you do!!

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  46. Really looks amazing! I can understand how it must be hard to be reminded of how quickly children grow. I hope your new office will be a space of lots of new work opportunities and inspiration. Thank you for sharing!

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