Along with all of the small home projects that are constantly going on around here, we try to tackle one big project a year. For 2012, it’s a redo of our home office. Our home office is in the space that used to be our dining room and it is riddled with ugliness – the walls are red (I’m so over red walls even if this was still my dining room!), it has a wimpy chair rail, and the wood floor is the only one in the house we haven’t refinished so it has a horrible orangey tint. The only lighting in the room is the old chandelier that we are constantly bumping our heads on as we get up from the “desk” (actually our old dining room table). I can only share the “before” heinousness with you until I have a rockin’ “after” photo to go with it. It’s. That. Bad. I’m going to jump into this project once my girls are back in school which is (yikes!) next week! Let the planning begin…
My husband spends more time in our home office than I do (I’m more of a laptop on the couch gal..) so this is one project that he wants lots of input on. Oh joy. While we both agree that we’d like to have a large bookcase along the length of the back wall, we disagree about what the bookcase should look like. Ideally, I would like to have a large custom bookcase, such as Emily A. Clark’s wall-to-wall bookcase in her gorgeous home office:
I also love this look of two bookcases on the ends with an open space for a mirror or art in the middle. A major plus of this arrangement is that it doesn’t limit the room to being a home office in the future:
I haven’t yet gotten a bid for a custom wall-to-wall bookcase, but I know it would be extremely expensive so I’m thinking about other options. I’m intrigued by the idea of ready-made bookcases that are made to look custom because (1) it would be much less expensive and (2) we could take the bookcases with us if we ever move. One of my favorite ready-made options is Pottery Barn’s Logan Bookcase Wall Suite, which allows you to combine different pieces to create the arrangement and size that works best for you. Unfortunately, it’s still a pricey option at about $5,000 for a unit that fits our space:
Ballard Designs’ traditional Tuscan Bookcase Set is another option – it can be arranged with a deeper, larger center piece such as this:
or as a Flush Bookcase Set:
We have a Ballard Designs Outlet just 20 minutes away so I know I could get these bookcases at a fraction of their original cost. What’s holding me back? The color. There is no option for white – since the closest color is a very yellowy cream, if I bought these bookcases, I would want to paint them which would be a LOT of work!
My husband is very into the Restoration Hardware look and thinks we should consider using two 1950s Dutch Shipyard Shelving units, which are made with solid walnut and antique iron and come with a moveable ladder for reaching the top shelf: