Saturday, July 19, 2008

Decorating the hand-me-down office

Mismatched woods challenge even the seasoned secondhand decorator.

I remembered a $10 rug squirreled away in a closet. Its warm tones help blend the oak with oxblood chairs and walnut bookcases.

See an oriental rug dirt cheap? Buy it!

Not everything should match. This discount store lamp swirls all the browns and golds together.

We both hated the existing 14-foot-long cornice. Would it even come off the ceiling?

But the rug worked its magic, downplaying the burgundy and drawing out the blue and orange.

No luck with the conference chairs! We scavenged a $25 table the exact gray of the walls and stacking chairs on clearance for $7.

I'll use these with my bistro table at home when the perfect chairs present themselves.

Not perfect, but better and with minimal expense. Done!


Heather Anne said...

Yeah! Well done! On a tight budget, limited energy, and of course a short time frame! Excellent! Ummm ... does the poor wee kitty really have to stay? It might frighten the children when thy have 'take your child to work day'!

Meredith said...

Yes--the taxidermy is a permanent fixture in that office.

Not to worry, though; both kids are totally fascinated.

Anonymous said...


I love you decorating style for both the office and the nursery. Although I appreciate the great photography, it sure would be helpful to see all-in-one shots of both to get a better perspective (and get better inspiration from) the beautiful rooms.


Anonymous said...

I love that rug! Way to go for making do with what you had available.

Meredith said...

I'd love to do that, but with small rooms it's nearly impossible to get a good angle. I'm working with a very cheap point-and-shoot camera.

In some cases there are also identifying details I need to keep out of the photo.

Quirky Cottage Owners said...

Once again, Meredith, you've dazzled my socks off. You are truly blessed with a skill and talent that is a great asset to your family.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to see what the office looks like without seeing the pieces together, but I am sure it is nice. I could not, however, work with that animal staring at me! Surely it could go into "storage" and disappear for as long as your husband occupies this office!

Meredith said...

It is actually affixed to the top of the tallest bookcase. Fortunately, behind my husband's desk where he doesn't have to look at it!

Monica said...

Maybe you could get some artificial grasses to put on the bookshelf to kind of hide the animal. It would be like it was in it's natural habitat. Might add some interest and color, too:)

Meredith said...

To tell you the truth: I think he even likes it!

Men and taxidermy.

An Adventurer in the World said...

I like the lynx but probably wouldn't want it forced on me, either!

However, since it has to stay, it will be one of the cool things your kids trot out when you hear them reminiscing as teenagers.

The lamp is very handsome.

deb meyers

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

You are remarkable and talented.
I am proud of you.
You have a great future ahead of you.
Someone that could be your mom.

Lisa said...

Fabulous job coordinating!

Renee said...

Love the animal. My kids woule probably poke and prod the poor thing if it was in hands reach. Kids go gaga for stuffed beasts like this.

I love the rug. As always your thrift is amazing!

How are you feeling these days?

Mama to four

Anonymous said...

My husband is into his taxidermy, too (big fish on the wall). I just leave it be. Anyway, I do like the things you put together for this office. Especially the oriental rug....I think it lends a solid, classic feel. Nice job!


Anonymous said...

GREAT JOB! The lynx, it a mascot of some sort? Taught with a woman who hunted and shot a wild boar. Had it stuffed and brought it to school. Had seasonal outfits made for it and dressed it for every holiday and placed it facing her students. (ick!) It disturbed her students (high school) so much that, one day when she left her classroom door unlocked, it was stolen and never seen again. There is hope....

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

I am sure the office looks 100X nicer and classier than it did with the previous occupant.

Anonymous said...

hmmm...accidentally leaving the dock unlocked. That could work in finding "someone" a new home!

Anonymous said...

Go ahead, show us the completed room. I don't like when things are to matchy-matchy. Different woods and textures and even different periods of furniture look great together, look in any hi-end magazine and that's exactly what you see.
Good job.

Meredith said...

Look, I would love to show you the completed room.

But that will mean I have to nag my husband to move all the piles that the last guy left unfiled, stop the 2 kids from tearing every last Post-It note into shreds on the floor, and climb on a table so you can see a pie-shaped room with 1 curved wall.

It's not going to happen anytime soon!!!!

Anonymous said...



Meredith said...

I have had to take the lynx picture down, if anyone's reading and confused by the comments!

martha said...

Of course your realize that the photo-crazy begging is a glorious compliment to your lovely creation.