Rob’s New Office!

Last November Rob called me with some great news. Someone at work had moved, leaving an office open and available for the taking. Rob jumped on the chance and started working in it right away, staking his claim before clearing it with anyone. After a couple of days of camping out in it he got approval and now he has four walls and a closing door. How exciting!

One of the first things that popped in my head when I heard the news was, “Ooh, can we decorate it?!”

Rob initially didn’t think decorating was necessary even though he is working in that box all day, every day. He should feel good and comfortable and confident, right? And how could you possibly feel those things when you’re trapped somewhere that looks like this?

I mean, it’s not Aleppo or anything so I suppose it could be worse…but it could also be a whole lot better.

Ideas swirled. Initially I was thinking of a midcentury engineering office look (slide rules, perpetual desktop calendar, wire basket full of rolled-up plans) as ode to Rob’s grandfather. Max Williams was a water engineer back in the heyday when engineers ruled the world and every mother wanted her son to grow up to be one. He travelled the world getting pipes and damns up and running in places that had never before had them (Iran, Indonesia, etc.). Grandpa Williams inspired Rob to become an engineer himself so Rob keeps grandpa’s name plate, engineering stamps, and his vintage survey level on display as an ode to his legacy.

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Anyway, as much as Rob loves his grandfather he wasn’t feeling the midcentury vibe. It just isn’t him enough and that’s fair. My next idea was one that he got excited about. SPACE! Since Rob’s a space and sci-fi nut (with a dash of fantasy) we decided to head that route.

Now, only a few of the offices in his building are “decorated” and the ones that are simply have one wall painted and that’s about it. We pushed the envelope and painted two walls. Rob chose the daring color. Since these pics were taken on two different phones on different days, the paint color doesn’t match. In person the color is more mid-dark blue with a hint of gray. Also, the furniture isn’t so glaringly orange. Dumb phone camera pics that are hard to edit properly…

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The lamp was left in the office from its last inhabitant and Rob decided he really like its warm, homey glow so it stayed. We both loved the modern, spacey look of his new clock. The globe was mine when I was a kid and works perfectly here. I helped him arrange the stuff on his bookshelf, including the vintage brass train/boat lights and a concrete core and a basalt core among other random things. He keeps drumstick pencils on his desk. Someone shamefully swapped his large tree for a small plant on the floor by the window.

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To add his personality into the decor, I suggested we scatter memorabilia from his favorite movies around the place. He’s got:

  • Sirius Black wand
  • R2D2 mug
  • Interstellar poster
  • Quote from Gimli (Lord of the Rings)
  • Star Trek Engineering insignia magnet

He rounded out the casual, “not-too-decorated” wall decor with two of his favorite space pictures. The eclipse as seen from his camp location in Idaho and The Hubble Ultra-Deep Fields photo. The image shows almost 3,000 galaxies in a region 5-10 billion light-years away from us…all in the equivalent area of looking through a straw at one spot in our night sky. Absolutely blows the mind to think about it. He loves that. He says it reminds him that “I’m not the center of the universe.”

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Oh! I almost forgot about his fourth wall. There is a white board on it and Rob insisted on hanging a large map of the Mullerthal area we hiked in Luxembourg (even though it doesn’t match the “theme”. I conceded haha).

When it was all finished, he realized how much better it will be to work in his new “space”.  People walk by and give complements and when they enter they always notice something fun to talk about. It’s a warm, comfortable, inviting office that can be a haven from stressful working situations. Congrats on the new orifice (oops, typo…) office, babe!

Home Decor: Master Bath Update

After 6 weeks, we’re finally here. The big bathroom reveal!

Here is the reason. I lived with this for almost 6 years. 
For Christmas, I couldn’t think of anything I wanted more than new bathroom tile. 
The week before Christmas I just couldn’t wait any longer so Rob and the kids demolished the floor. 
Then Christmas came. Then I got sick. Then came New Year’s. 
Then I had to hit pause until I figured out a couple of decorating dilemmas. 
Then Rob was doing a lot of overtime at work. Then Rob got sick. 
So…yeah…SIX weeks later and the tile/paint/hardware update is finally complete! Phew!
This was a bit of a toughy for us. First of all, I’ve had my heart set on hex floor tile ever since we lived in a vintage apartment downtown 10 years ago. Well, hex tile was way over my budget. I then thought about using patterned tile because I loved the look from our trip in Mexico. 
Turns out patterned tile was also way over my budget. 
Finally, I settled on Octagon and Gray Dot tile. It was in budget and still has a vintage look to it.
Rob has done tile a couple of times before but this mosaic style was rough. The pieces weren’t set on a mesh backing but instead were held together with dollops of superglue. Rob and I are both quite particular and NONE of the spacing between the individual tiles were uniform! ARGH. 
Rob worked his hiney off trying to get perfect spacing but it was just impossible because the product wasn’t put together well (at all) in the first place. Is that what we get for buying tile within our budget? Luckily the finished look is so pretty that you don’t really notice the uneven spacing. 
We ended up over budget anyway just because the mosaic tile took a LOT of grout. 
It also took three different tubs of grout to find the right color. 
WHY don’t they sell samples of grout???!! Come on, people!
I hung our Eiffel Tower painting here for now but we will be replacing it with a more modern frame and print after our next trip. I already have an idea of what I want so now I just have to wait to find it.
By now you’ve noticed my walls are pink. Yep. They are. 
(The ceiling above the toilet is actually white but it doesn’t look like it in this pic.)
I don’t consider myself very girly and no where else in my house sports a feminine look. 
That’s why I thought it would be fun to do something a little different and paint this room a 
vintage-y, dusty/gray pink. Well, remember the decorating dilemmas I mentioned? 
This was one of them because the walls turned out way less 
dusty/gray and way more cotton candy then I had anticipated. 
The funny thing is that I was planning on doing white walls and just the ceiling would be pink. However, at the last minute I decided to try the pink on the walls and loved the color so much 
that I decided to paint all the walls with it and switched the ceiling to white. 
…We were more than halfway done when I realized the color was off…

Depending on your monitor/screen settings, my walls will look more or less pink to you. 
In person, the pink is actually pretty subtle.
I was pretty annoyed because we were already way behind on getting this thing done. 
That’s why I just kept on painting, hoping it would turn out ok. It didn’t.
I hated it but after about a week it dawned on me that if we just change the lightbulbs
to a cooler temperature then it should make the pink tone down to an acceptable level.
Sure enough, it worked! 
The walls in the toilet room still look a bit pink-ish because it’s a small room 
but it’s not so bad that I think “PINK!” every time I walk in.
The other decorating dilemma obviously had to do with the orange-y wood vanity. 
I had my heart set on NOT painting or refinishing it. 
I was hoping it would play more “vintage” and less “out-of-place” 
but I’m not sure that’s the case. 
I didn’t want white (too sterile), I didn’t want more gray, and I didn’t want something too dark. 
I also wanted to keep a touch of warmth in the room so after weeks of indecision 
I decided to cut us both some slack and leave it for now. 
I’m sure we will change it at some point but that point is not now.
  
‘Cuz we are d-o-n-e.
In our “before” bathroom the towel rack was across the room from the shower and so we’d have to remember to grab our towel before we hopped in. If we didn’t, we were left yelling for someone to get us one or we had to hop out dripping wet to get one ourselves. 
Super annoying! 
It was obvious that I needed to put hooks right next to the shower. It wasn’t obvious that we would end up with the perk of heated towels since they are hanging right above the heater vent. Score!
Everyone says air plants are the best because they are so low-care and last forever. Well, mine don’t. I’ve had many and they keep dying on me no matter where I put them or how I water or not water them. This is my remaining one and we will see how it does here 
with the humidity on the ledge above the shower. 
I used Wayfair for my hardware and was pleasantly surprised at the quality! 
These knobs were a steal but feel very hefty. I will definitely shop there again. 
I added the longer drawer pulls to the upper fake drawers of the vanity 
so we could hang hand towels conveniently. 
Here’s another Wayfair purchase. So pretty but I’ve gotta say… not so easy to clean. 
I really do love the finished bathroom. It’s so much lighter and brighter and happier.
I’m really grateful for all the work Rob put into it. 
This one took it out of us a bit so it might be a little while before we start another project.