When we began designing our home, we both felt it was critical that we have separate work spaces. We didn’t want to hinder our respective creative projects with limiting space, or encourage conflict by vying a single, coveted work space. Our solution was to create two respective offices that fold out when parked. These space are ten feet wide, and a little less than four feet deep.
Hilarious Note: When we began building, we noticed that our 2x4's varied considerably in weight, and so we sorted them: heavy, medium and light. We used the lightest wood first, then the medium weight, until we were left with only heavy wood. The office outer wall, which is the largest wall, and the ONLY wall in the office that has to be carried by hand, was made, you guessed it, last, and of the only wood we had left, which was, of course, the heaviest. “Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve…” should be engraved somewhere on this ship. That, and “This took longer than I expected.”
The office floors are sizable and hefty, so we decided to attach tension spring setups to prevent it from ever falling downward too quickly and dangerously. We used garage springs and added an extra pulley to lengthen the rope and reduce the stretch on the spring. We also added adjustable feet for stability, and support wires that adjust with a simple turnbuckle. When all sections are in place, a multitude of custom brackets are bolted together (It’s time consuming to use nuts and bolts, but they firm things up nicely, and prove far more cost effective than quick-release hardware.)
My office contains all the elements I ave always wanted (and needed) in a space. With the freedom to decorate how I choose, my office feels like an explosion of my personality and the playfulness I find in life. Decorated with thrifted, gifted, found, scavenged and handmade items, my space feels deeply personal, each individual aspect harboring a personal history and fun story. Take my desk, for example- one day, while parked at a red light, I noticed a discarded desk, rough around the edges, but there was potential there! We picked it up, dissembled it, reassembled it using plywood and Brandon's spiffy new design, and then sanded and painted it. The drawers in the middle came off a sewing machine, gifted to us by a friend. Viola, you have a custom, handmade desk that looks like it cost way more than $50! As you may have already gathered, this theme of recycling and resourcefulness runs throughout our home and our lifestyle. The curtains, thrifted (gift from Mom), the flower garland adorning it, made by me for a photoshoot- out of coffee paper filters. My personal photography hides between nooks and crannies on the walls, and miniature figurines and books overflow. Much like Brandon, I consider my space to be evolving and continually refining and changing. The more we live and grow in our spaces, the more we come to find out about our preferences and ourselves. Keep checking back for new additions!
Photo Courtesy of Lizzy Affa Photography
Photo's Courtesy of Pat Piasecki, Sleep Walk Films, Jenn Bakos & Morgan Karanasios
At first glance, you might suppose I am quite cozy in my office, and you're correct. However, what you don't see is my anxious desire to finish my side, as it is barely configured. Let me explain:
The desk (A quick introduction: I made it with black pipe, salvaged casters, and plywood, which I burned and waxed and after framed with electrician's C channel and junkyard scrap metal.) is getting me by nicely, but I intend a great deal more ease of function, by way of mechanisms and add-ons. The great thing about using black pipe is that you can always disassemble it and improve upon its design with new fittings. At the moment, I need to use a wrench to lock-in the working position, but I intend a more sophisticated arrangement that will allow me to more easily move up and down. I will also add shelving, a computer screen mount, a multitude of built-in drafting tools and a tray mounted on a swing arm for my pastels - I draw. You can see the tray - an old printer's drawer - tucked against the wall in the image below.
The chair you see, the old, shabby-looking one behind me in the picture (Chloe bought it for $20 at a consignment shop), is slated for some improvements, as well. I will be reupholstering it with waxed, black canvas, pinned with gold buttons. The legs will be replaced with a swivel setup atop wheels. This will make it considerably easier to access my clothing beside it.
I have plans for my clothing rack, too. I have found two steamer trunks in good condition at the worlds greatest invention since sliced bread: The recycle center's "Swap Shed". One of the trunks is even ceder-lined! We will be repurposing one of the trunks to hang on the wall like a cabinet. I'll most likely do the frame-work with trusty black pipe, and I'll build in drawers and shelving inside. I'll put wheels on the other trunk and park it beneath my new shelving and cabinetry, that way we can wheel it out and use it like an ottoman.
Lastly, I need a place to shave (You might have noticed...). I've designed a small sink and medicine cabinet to fit on the right side of my cabinetry, facing the you, in the area above where my guitar is placed. I can run a flexible hose to the shower's drain line, and I can tap into the incoming water lines you see feeding the shower - the shower is to the right in the picture. The piece exemplifies a precept we continually rely on in design: conductivity. That is, we believe that it's best to make something easy to do if you want to regularly do it. In this case, we can hide our toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet, where they will be easily accessible, and I'll have an easy place to shave without making a big mess to clean.
Stay tuned for these upgrades.
Photo's Courtesy of Pat Piasecki, Jenn Bakos, & Morgan Karanasios