Our home office makeover happened in a flash and a flurry, and now The Navage Patch has a beautiful new World Headquarters!
A question has been tugging at my mind since we moved into our new house:
Are sitting rooms still relevant in an age of 80-inch wall-mounted televisions and 8-inch handheld computers?
Does your house have a sitting room? Now, by my reckoning, a sitting room must be devoid of all electronics, so by today’s standard, it would be a pretty plain…dare I say, “boring” room.
If you have a sitting room, do you ever actually sit in it?
If you do sit in your sitting room, what else do you do in there? Besides sitting I mean.
Do you read?
Do you gossip?
Do you drink tea or play Twister?
Have your kids ever entered the room, or does the lack of a television act like some sort of invisible fence for children?
The previous owners of our house had a sitting room directly across from the dining room.
When I look at the photo above, my mind’s eye pictures the petite and cordial Miss Hattie (the previous owner’s nickname) sitting with one of her contemporaries on the loveseat as they sip cool sweet tea, nibble on cucumber sandwiches and speak in warm and glowing tones about their children.
Then I think of the children that grew up in this house, and my mind’s eye plays another scene. The doorbell rings and Mister Jimmy answers. Outside stands a young man with the dubious honor of being the first boy to take their eldest daughter on a date. Mister Jimmy shows the boy inside and instructs him to wait in the sitting room until his daughter is ready. Nervous, the scrawny youth sits at the edge of the loveseat, his eyes darting this way and that as he withers under Mister Jimmy’s watchful eye.
I don’t have any data to back up this claim – I guess it’s more of a hunch – but it seems to me that the sitting room is going the way of the dodo.
One thing is certain, though. Try as I might, I just couldn’t envision a similar room occupying this space when we bought the house.
Of course, all this mental meandering was meaningless on my part, because my babes already had a plan for the room. Had the plan from day one, as far as I can tell.
In a sense, the room would still be a “sitting room,” because more often than not, any and all asses in the room would be firmly planted on chairs. But there would be a desk, and there would be a computer. There would be a great big computer screen and two printers. And there would be camera gear. Lots and lots of camera gear.
So if we go by my previous assertion that a true sitting room must be free of electronics (save for a Victrola or its modern equivalent, I suppose), then the room my babes had planned was most certainly not a sitting room.
Most would call it a home office.
Since I work entirely from home, I just call it the office.
When Handan and I walked into our new home, Hattie’s sitting room looked like this:
Notice the wall color. This is the true color. The photos used for the real estate listing were tweaked and twisted in Photoshop until this dreary beige became the stately gray you saw in Hattie’s sitting room above.
Before we started filling my future home office with all of the things it needed to make me once again a productive and creative member of society, two things needed to happen.
- The carpet had to go. That project was accomplished during our second week in the house. You can read about our new wood floors here, in case you haven’t already done so.
- The walls needed paint. Beige has never really been my cup of tea, and I don’t see that it ever will be. But gray? We’ve been on a bit of a gray kick ever since Handan declared that the colors of our old living room were making her feel like she was living in an oven set on “roast.”
And you know that when a room needs painting these days,
old Fred the Baker Yours Truly is right on top of things with a paint brush and a smile!
I painted this room one morning while Handan toiled away in the kitchen at her real job.
Can I interrupt this blog post for a minute to tell you about something unexpected and wonderful? I’ll keep it short, I promise.
Everywhere you turn on this planet, you’ll find a lot of griping and frustration with lockdowns and work-from-home orders. There are a lot of angry people out there, and many are at their wit’s end.
Now I’m not here to weigh in on one side or the other.
I only want to share with you that having Handan home for these past few months has not only been a godsend in terms of the move (I can’t imagine having to do all the unpacking and setting up alone), but it has brought us closer as a couple and (now that Baris is with us) as a family.
Whether we agree or disagree with how things are playing out in our state or around the world doesn’t matter. What matters is how we spend this time we’ve been given. It won’t last forever, so we’re taking what we’ve been served, and we’re making the very best of it.
Anyway, back to my home office makeover. Handan was on one of her many conference calls in the kitchen, so I decided to slip out of the room and paint the walls while she wasn’t looking.
Not long ago, I would have enlisted her help to tape off the ceilings and trim. No one tapes like my babes, after all. You wouldn’t think that taping a room would qualify as a skill. But then you’ve never seen a Handan-taped room!
These days, however, I paint old school – no tape for this kid anymore – just a paint brush and a roller.
My point is, I don’t have any pictures of me painting the room, but really, haven’t you seen enough action-packed room-painting pictures? Besides, in Georgia, I like to paint bare-chested, and trust me, ain’t nobody got the stomach for those kind of pics! I said that the ‘Rona had been kind to my marriage and our move. My gut is an entirely different tale!
→ Related post for those with an interest: Painting 101: The Complete Guide on How to Paint a Room
There is one thing about painting that room that I want to share with you. And I will be sharing it again and again in the future as we reveal more newly painted and madeover rooms.
I found something that has cut my painting time in half.
It’s the Rolls Royce of roller covers.
The noble knight of nap.
The 8th woolen wonder of the world.
The…okay, okay, I’ll stop. Jeez, I was just excited about my Wooster Wool Shearling Roller Cover!
Now, I’ve painted a lot of walls in the past 7 years – more walls than I ever thought I’d paint in several lifetimes. And I’ve tried all the roller covers out there – all the top brands from both big box stores and a few small hardware stores. I’d recently settled into using the Purdy White Dove 3/8 inch nap roller cover. To date, it had done the best job with the least amount of shedding. Its one Achilles heel was that it didn’t hold a lot of paint, so frequent trips to the paint tray were necessary. This wasn’t a big deal when I was on terra firma, but when I was painting from a ladder, it got a little tedious to be constantly going up and down to load more paint. Still, the quality of the cover and the coverage kept me coming back again and again during the first few rooms of this new house.
But by the time I got around to the master bedroom, I was looking for something a little different. It was a big room with a lot of wall space, and I wanted a change. I saw the Wooster Wool for sale in Home Depot and decided to give it a shot. I’d seen this cover before, but I’d shied away for two reasons: nap length and price.
At about $10-12 per cover, it’s the most expensive I’ve seen. Normally, a cover doesn’t last more than one room, and the ones I’d used in the past are notoriously hard to clean.
And the 1/2 inch nap length gave me pause. I’d been a devotee of 3/8 inch for walls, and the thought of a sloppy 1/2-incher gave me the willies.
But I was hankering for a change that day.
So I bought one.
And it was the best decision of my DIY painting life!
Not a single shed hair in the two rooms I’ve painted with it.
The same cover! It is so quick and easy to clean, and it dries to a like-new condition.
It’s as close to a miracle product as you’re likely to find in the DIY world. Only this product can compete.
Anyway, I used the Wooster Wool to paint my new home office, and that is how I was able to finish the job (well the first coat, anyway) before Handan was any the wiser.
After two coats of Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray – a color that more than lives up to its name – I painted the trim with Sherwin Williams Pure White in satin finish, and then the fun began: filling the room with furniture and decor!
You see that desk? That beautiful executive desk? Handan first found that desk on Wayfair and Joss & Main. Both places were selling it for $680.
Then Handan pulled out one of her famous money-saving life hacks: she image-searched the desk on Google and found that Amazon carried the exact same desk for $436. She bought it, and a few days later it arrived on our doorstep. Note: at the time of this writing, the desk is unavailable on Amazon, but Walmart has it for the same price we paid.
Can you guess how long it took me to build it? I was a little apprehensive after reading some of the comments. While people overwhelmingly love the desk, there were some who bitched about building it.
Now, recall that I have a stormy relationship with IKEA. My biggest beef with them is that I have to shell out good money for the privilege of hauling an unfinished product back to my house and then flopping around the floor like a beached whale for the next several hours trying to assemble the damn thing.
Well sister, this desk elevates flopping, grunting and swearing to an entirely new level.
Two days, madam! It took me two days to build it!
I only wish Baris were here when I built it. He loves building these infernal things. He probably could have done it in a day. [He would have done it in few hours. There was nothing hard about building that desk. The only hard thing was getting you to eat that frog, LOL – Handan]
Anyway, it was worth it, because the desk is as solid as Ayers Rock and weighs nearly as much. And it looks pretty fantastic, too.
You want light? I got your light right here!
No room would be complete without an elephant of some sort. My babes has a thing for elephants. You may have noticed over the years.
Remember that console? It (and its twin) started life as gerbil cage holders. Look how it’s moved up in the world!
My favorite poem – The Song of Wandering Aengus – by Yeats. We have it as a printable along with many others in case you didn’t know!
The Navage Patch World, Galactic and Universal Headquarters.
It looks even better in the fading light of dusk. The printable is my favorite story from the 13th century Islamic mystic, Nasreddin Hodja. He often wrote of a simple man – an old fool – who found himself in unfortunate and usually embarrassing predicaments. How he navigated, extricated or explained away his seeming misfortunes has been the fodder of study for students and scholars ever since.
It sits upon one of Handan’s favorite projects o’ mine – the faux card catalog/apothecary cabinet built from the bones of a god-awful mid-century modern catastrophe. Apologies if you like that MCM style. I do not.
Everything looks better when the light fades.
Especially my wife! [Oh you’re so lucky that I love you!! – Handan]
Awwww crap, she heard me!
So Handan insisted that I pose behind my desk. I countered her insistence with one of my own: no intelligent woman (or man, for that matter) wants to see a big-headed middle,-aged doofus with Resting Bitch Face pose for pictures. Don’t believe me? Need proof? Well, here ya go, sister:
Doofus pretending to work at his computer.
Doofus glaring at wife when she tells him to smile.
Doofus complying with wife’s request when he realizes who’s boss.
Well, that’s a wrap, folks. This was the quickest room makeover in Navage Patch history, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. We hope you like our home office makeover, and if anything struck your fancy, you can find it in the list below.
Source List for Home Office Makeover
- Executive Desk (the same desk on Wayfair)
- Office chair (Herman Miller Embody chair)
- CyberPower Gaming PC
- Samsung 32″ Monitor
- APC UPS (Battery Backup & Surge Protector)
- Echo Dot (Heather Gray)
- Turkish Evil Eye
- Linen Curtains (in Natural color)
- Curtain Rod
- DIY Oversize Book Page Art (in the VIP Patch)
- DIY Patent Art (Camera & Typewriter) (will soon be in the VIP Patch)
- DIY Pottery Barn Inspired Planter and Plant Stand
- Faux Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree
- Faux Large Dracaena Plant
- DIY Industrial Bookcase (West Elm Inspired)
- Table Lamps – we bought ours for 30$ each at Lowe’s, but they are discontinued. Here are some similar ones: this one, this one and this one.
- Baby Yoda
- Metal Band Baskets (from Hobby Lobby)
- HP Laser Jet Pro 200 M251nw Wireless Color Printer
- Antique Small Luggage Set
- DIY Oversize Book Page Wall Art
- Nikon D750 Camera
- DIY Rustic Console Table (used as printer table)
- Canon iP8720 Wireless Printer
- Faux Green Zebra Plant
- Llama Planter
- DIY Faux Apothecary Cabinet
- Metal Tray (from Hobby Lobby)
- LED Candles (with timer and remote control)
- Eucalyptus Garland
- Decorative Victorian House Luminary
- Faux Sansevieria Plant
- Rug – we bought it at HomeGoods
For those following along, here’s how we stand with the short-term project list.
The Navage Patch Short Term Goals 2020 Checklist
Install radon mitigation system Bring power and light to the basement Install hardwood floors on the first floor Phase 1 Pantry makeover – DIY pantry shelves
- Install hardwood floors on the first floor Phase 2
- Stain the staircase posts and handrails
- Kitchen remodel (planning stage)
- Install kitchen backsplash
- Build workbenches
- Build dog feeding station
- Build floating shelves
- Paint interior walls, trim and bedroom ceilings (in progress)
- Dining room makeover (in progress)
- Change living room fan
- Change foyer chandelier
Paint interior door knobs
- Baris’s room setup & related projects (in progress)
Office setup & related projects(this post)
- Change front door lantern and install a second one
- Paint front door
- Remove big shrubs near front door
- Replace the ghost window
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