Category Archives: “Designer” Rooms

Ikea Office: Getting Started

When we left Colorado, I got rid of all my office furniture—which turned out to be a blessing—because we expected to move into a small three bedroom apartment in Germany.  We were lucky and received a four-bedroom apartment, so I turned the fourth bedroom—a small, dark room—into my office space and guest room.

For the past year, I made do with an old dining table set on bed risers for my huge printer and PC Tower, two cheap pressboard shelves that I put under the table, a flimsy metal and glass computer desk for the monitor and keyboard, and a DVD tower that I used as a bookcase.  The closet is full of boxes and Hubby’s Army gear.  The room is so dark, that I get terrible headaches while I’m studying.  It drove me NUTS!

I need organization. If you’ve seen this post or this one, you know just how organized I like to be.  Without an organized space to work in, I feel anxious and can’t focus. Now that I am feeling much better, I decided that it was time to fix my office–where I spend s most of my time.  You can also see my obsession with Ikea in this post and this one.

I have been planning this room for the past four months.  After weeks of looking at Ikea’s website and working out a reasonable budget, I came up with this design.

Ikea Office Design
Ikea Office Design

Once we received our tax refund, it was time to plan my shopping trip to Ikea.  I put everything that I wanted on my office wish list and printed it out to take with us.  Ikea’s lists are great!  You can check the available stock at your local store, and when you print it out, it gives you the exact location of the furniture items.  With list in hand, we headed to Ikea in Regensburg on Saturday.

This was our haul.  That large black bin in the cart was full of stuff, and there is a bulging ikea bag attached to the cart behind all of those yellow boxes.

Ikea Treasures
Ikea Treasures

We had enough room in the van to go back in the store and get my Ektorp sofas for the living room (next weekend’s shopping trip), but Hubby was not thrilled about going back inside.

Hey honey, we still have room for sofas!
Hey honey, we still have room for sofas!

We got home a little later than we wanted and still had to make dinner, so we got a very late start on putting the furniture together. The ALEX drawers were not difficult to assemble, but they were time-consuming.  Here’s a photolog of how our night went.

Assembling the Ikea ERIK Drawer Units
Assembling the Ikea ALEX Drawer Units
Connecting ALDIS legs to the LINTORP Desktop
Connecting ADILS legs to the LINNMON Desktop

Aaaand that’s where we stopped. It was midnight and we were exhausted.

It's midnight...we'll finish in the morning.
It’s midnight…we’ll finish in the morning.

I did a little more throughout the day, but I also had a lot of studying and writing to do for school. Here’s how my day went.

Sunday afternoon
Sunday afternoon
Sunday evening
Sunday evening

I bought the wrong light bulbs for my ARSTID wall lamps, so I had to bring in a spare table lamp.  I also bought the wrong LINNMON desktop, so I will have to remedy that next weekend when we go shopping for the living room.  Still to do: BILLY Bookcases and organizing. It’s going to be a long week.

Do you have any Ikea rooms to share?

Project Time!

It’s been awhile since my last post.  I started classes again, but didn’t realize how tough these eight week courses would be! Now I know how they pack a semester’s worth of material into short sessions–they bombard you with reading and about 12 hours of homework a week per course.  Never. Ever. Again.  Two courses per eight week session for this girl from now on!

Here is what I have been working on when I am avoiding school work have spare time. These are just a couple of mood boards that I worked up using Oliboard.

First up we have the general “bones” of my office space.

Ikea Office
Ikea Office

Next up is the Ikea Living Room

Mostly Ikea Living Room
Mostly Ikea Living Room

Over the next few weeks I will be posting bits and pieces of the progress and will hopefully have a full reveal in May.

Hope you all have a happy week!

The Master Suite at Pennington House

One of the primary reasons that we chose this house was the Master Suite.  From the window of the bedroom and bathroom we could see Cheyenne Mountain and Pikes Peak.

The hubby was deployed one month after we moved in.  So while he was gone, I decided to get busy on turning this house into our home.

I tackled the master suite first.  I wanted him to have a retreat from the Army world and created a space that felt like a room in one of those spa vacation hotels. Well, that’s what it felt like to us.

A Corner For Entertainment
A Corner For Entertainment

The most difficult task in this room was finding a spot for the TV and stereo.  The TV was for my benefit while hubby was either deployed, working nights, or away for training.

A Place for Liberty--Our Dog
A Place for Liberty–Our Dog

I was happy that we had this empty corner because our dog, Liberty, loves to sleep in corners.

Bed Fit for Royalty
Bed Fit for Royalty

Though hubby hates excess pillows, he often laid down on this bed–just as it is in this picture–and fall asleep.  His intentions were to just rest for a moment, but he would inevitably end up taking an hour long nap.

A Grand Entry
A Grand Entry

I hung these drapes in order to create not only privacy, but also to add some drama to an otherwise boring open entry into the bathroom.

Speaking of the bathroom…I miss my huge tub!

Master Bathroom--I think it's referred to as the ensuit?
Master Bathroom–I think it’s referred to as the ensuit?

That candle sconce in the upper left corner is mounted on the wall just above the bathtub.  I meant to install a dimmer switch eventually, but never got around to it because I enjoyed the candle light instead.

Of all the rooms at Pennington House, I miss the Master suite the most.  Perhaps someday, after the Army is done with us, we will return.



Not So Shabby Chic Bedroom

As my daughter matured into her High School years, her bedroom was in desperate need of an update. She loves birds and had received 4 zebra finches for her Birthday so when I came across these adorable little birds, I knew what we would do with her room.

Choosing the fabric for the windows was an accident. I was at Target and found some shower curtains on clearance that were beautiful…and priced at %60 off! So for $20 I bought two of them. I used one for her drapes and the other to make decorative bed pillow and a cover for an old red Ikea folding chair that we’ve had for several years.


Now it was time to choose paint. This wasn’t the easiest task! We bought several samples from Lowes and got to work. After the patchwork of colors had been on her walls for a couple of weeks we finally picked our three favorites. The next step was to get to work on her furniture.


I made her headboard out of old tri-fold slatted closet doors. I painted her existing furniture to match the main wall colors but chose a more vibrant yellow to add brightness to the soft tones of the fabric and walls. Next step was to add interest to the ugly nightstand. With a bit of paint, mod podge, and some pretty scrapbook paper we had a custom designer night stand.


Because she is a teen, her doesn’t always stay so tidy and perfect as shown here, but even when it’s messy this room is relaxing.

Night Stand DIY Instructions:

What you will need:
1 or two old nightstands
Mod Podge or other decoupage glue (I have used several brands…Mod Podge is the best)
Scrap Book paper or fabric
damp cloth
Spray paint if the drawer color doesn’t work with the lighter fabric or paper
Acrylic spray

1. For both nightstands, I painted the drawers a color that would work well with my material.

2. For scrapbook paper, you may have to find the point where the print matches up exactly, draw a line, and trim. The ruler works great for this.

3. Cover the drawer front with mod podge.


4. Line up your material along the top edge of the drawer, leaving about 1/2 and inch over the lip of the drawer. apply Mod Podge the the inside edge of the drawer and smooth fabric over.

5. Work your way down and to the edges of the drawer, applying Mod Podge as needed and smoothing out the wrinkles with a ruler or other flat tool.

6. Apply Mod Podge to the inside edges and smooth fabric over. You may need to trim excess fabric or cut a diagonal line at the corner for optimal folding.

7. Brush mod podge over entire surface, use damp cloth to remove drips and excess glue.


Follow Steps 1-3 as listed above.

4. begin at the center of the drawer with first piece of paper.

Both Fabric and Craft Paper

8. Allow to dry for 48 hours.

9. Spray acrylic over drawer. This will ensure longer lasting life of the paper or fabric and protect it from moisture.

DIY Instructions for fabric covered folding chair can be found here:

Check out other great tutorials and posts on Home Stories A to Z

<a href="

Home Stories A2Z