Video Blog – Home Office “tour”

I made a goofy video today of me talking about my study/home office. You’ll never guess it wasn’t scripted! Un-showered, no makeup and messy hair, that’s how I roll. There’s a couple of points where you think it may be over, but then I keep blabbing on about the walls or something. If you watch til the end you’ll be rewarded with a mini interpretive dance scene! Good times…

Untitled from Mikaela Danvers on Vimeo.

DIY Pencil Organiser for the tidy Home Office

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted any small DIY’s, and that’s because it’s been awhile since I’ve done one! Funny about that… ahem. Anyway. Here goes! (On a scale of 1-5 of hardness this DIY rates “It’s so easy my 2 year old could help, and maybe even do it better than me”)

Since my Home Office is now awesomely lovely, and I had an empty Biscotti tin and some pretty fabric, I thought I might make a cute pencil tin to keep my desk tidy!

Step 1. Find yourself a tin.
DIY Pencil Tin

Step 2. Find some pretty fabric scraps, big enough to go around the tin twice
fabric scraps

Step 3. Give it a good coat of Mod Podge or similar gluey type stuff, and wrap your fabric around the tin, smoothing it down as you go (go around the tin twice to make sure the tin graphics don’t show through the fabric). Tape the fabric over the top lip of the tin and inside with some duct tape.
modpodge your tin

Step 4. Tada! You’re done. That was easy right? Now go do one yourself and show me how you went!
DIY pencil tin finished

Home Office Makeover {before & after}

My main aims for my Home Office were to reduce the clutter and update the early 90’s colour scheme (the pink carpet continues to hurt my brain).

Here is my pretty Office, almost finished:

Considering the “before”, I’m pretty happy!

A little list of still-to-do’s:

  • Second coat of enamel on trims
  • Paint door glossy white enamel
  • Paint wall around window
  • Paint window trims
  • Finish painting wall where wine cabinet was
  • Small strip shelf along plain wall (fix artwork)
  • Replace handles in cabinet doors & drawers
  • New sisal rugs to replace 3 on floor
  • New small flat screen TV to replace little chunky teac
  • Paint JA’s shelving

The before and afters!

The venetian blinds are a dark pinky-orange colour, so I got some panel curtains from Ikea in this awesome pattern (as seen in my dream office) to filter the light but also brighten up the room at night.

I painted the small strip of wall under the built in shelving a lovely dark blue (Jet by Nippon), and did the 2 main walls in a dusky blue-grey (Knowledge by British Paints, this came out more blue and less grey than I wanted, but it’s still nice)



The room has a built in desk, cabinets and shelves, and this long wine rack cabinet taking up one entire wall. We don’t drink wine, at all, so although I’m sure it cost a mint to install, it was completely useless to us. So out they went! Dan from work helped me take them out – he’s a gem, any single ladies out there? =P

The carpet had to go. Only two rooms in our home were still covered in this horrible salmon coloured carpet (this and our bedroom!), where it used to cover 90% of the house. I decided I would take it up as soon as the wine cabinets were gone, as I knew it had been laid around them, so I ripped it all up in about 1.5 hours, including the underlay and tack strips. An hour later it was painted white, and the following afternoon I started moving things back into the room.

1. I spilled a can of paint on the carpet; 2. Cabinets gone; 3. Past the point of no return; 4. Tack Strips; 5 & 6. Painting the edges; 7. Tea break; 8. White floors!

I took everything out of the cabinets and reorganised everything, so I could declutter, chuck some junk out, and actually use the cabinets for storing things I use regularly, instead of things “I might need later”. I also reorganised my drawer next to my computer!

Here’s some more “after” pics, a little room tour, if you will =)


1. Acorn Pin holder; 2. Ikea organisers; 3. DIY pinborads; 4. Collection of pretty things; 5. To Do list; 6. Turtle paperclip holder; 7. Kikki K Weekly Planner; 8. Tidy Work Bench


Let me know what you think! =D

Sneak Peek #2 {home office}

I’ve been a bit quiet here over the past couple of days, besides watching the news a lot and feeling anxious about the situation in Queensland (and now NSW and Victoria) I have been working hard on finishing my home office makeover (finally!), as well as working on some freelance design work for DanversCreative.com.

Just thought I would check in with another sneak peek of the Office, and I’ll be back later tonight for the big reveal and a full run-down. Of course it’s not quite finished, but it’s presentable and tidy, so I thought I’d get some photos in while I could!

I’m off now to have Yum Cha with Chloé and Lexi for Lexi’s birthday, then we’re going to spend the afternoon watching trashy reality tv =D

Stay tuned for lots more photos, I’ll do before & afters and also the frighteningly messy progress photos.

Home office makeover – sneak peek

The home office makeover is definitely underway… I was going to start this post with “The home office makeover is *almost* finished” but that would have been a big lie. It seems like it should be almost finished, but in reality there’s many things still to be done! I did put up the new panel curtains from Ikea (LOVE them) and have also hung some DIY panel curtains in front of the open shelving. I’ve painted 2 walls and hung the mirror, and have sewn a hanging curtain under my craft desk to hide all the shenanigans that go on under there (rubbish bin, recycling etc). Unfortunatly I couldn’t find the right rug at Ikea for the floor, so I am stuck with the salmon coloured carpet until I find something cheapy-cheap to cover that up. And I’ve discovered husband wants to keep the natural timber colour of th desks and shelving (blerg) but know how I’m going to work with it… I will get some heavy glass tops and sandwich some light and pretty wallpaper or fabric underneath (or just plain white as there’s quite a few patterns already in the room), and just change the knobs. I’m hoping once that’s done the golden timber fronts will just be a nice contrast to the rest of the white in the room.

So here is your sneak peek – I know it isn’t much, but it is still very much a work in progress and I don’t want to share just yet!
Panel Curtains

DIY Work Desk

Over Christmas I decided I needed a work desk in the study to make all my handmade goodies so I could stop using the dining table and having nowhere to eat dinner (if we so chose to use the table instead of the couch in front of the tv). So of I trotted to bunnings, bought some wood and brackets, and knocked up this little beauty:

Before – Study is very messy and unorganised albeit nice and colourful
DIY Study work desk

After – Study actually doesn’t look very much different, though I can assure you this time it is very organised, a place for everything and everything in it’s place
DIY Study work desk

I’ve also been meaning to give this tired old thing a lick of paint:

So I did, an popped some felt in the shelving, and now I have convenient little hidey holes for all my camera bits.

My work area – in various states of disarray

I’m a wannabe neat person. In actual fact, I’m a very messy person. I have to work hard at keeping things tidy and uncluttered, but that is one of my main house related aims in life at the moment. In fact, I really want to do a photograph walk through of my house to post here, but it’s too messy. Some parts are tidy, like the front half is really good at the moment, but other parts like the spare room (aka laundry room) has a suitcase and some linen and the vacuum cleaner that need to be put away. *sigh*

But that is not the point of this post.

I need some advice on how to get more organised in my work space. I’m getting quite good at keeping things in their place (everything needs a “place” otherwise it goes on the desk, on the shelf, on the floor, wherever is handy at the time), but I seem to have a lot of empty space at the moment and I’m not sure how to best utilise it. You can see in the photos below, the built in shelving is not being used to it’s capacity. I have the coloured boxes sitting along the cupboard on purpose to prevent me from putting other junk on there (as you can see it’s only sort of working). They hold different bits and bobs for my handmade things I’m planning on making, and are easy to access, so I’d like to keep them there.

In the middle of making some jewellery for a MadlyDeeply.net
In the middle of making some jewellery for MadlyDeeply.net
Built in shelves and cupboard area, I need a bit more order and structure here
Built in shelves and cupboard area, I need a bit more order and structure here

See all those lever arch files on the right? They’re empty. I bought them with the best of intentions to create a filing systems for bills etc, but then I switched from paper bills to online bills, so they’re ready for some other organisational task, I’m just not sure what.

Storage for bits and bobs, fax machine I need to setup, crafting supplies and on the end an empty filing shelf thing (?) which Im not sure what to do with... maybe I could put decorative papers in here? Its a bit far away from my actual work area though.
Storage for bits and bobs, fax machine I need to setup, crafting supplies and on the end an empty filing shelf thing (?) which I'm not sure what to do with... maybe I could put decorative papers in here? It's a bit far away from my actual work area though.

I think I could get some more of the coloured boxes to put on the shelves and shove all the loose little things in them to reduce some clutter. And I’m most definitely going to make one of these babies (but all one colour and a little less “rustic” looking) to hold spools of ribbon (Via Mod Podge Rocks):

Which I will put up on one of the shelves, maybe where the empty lever arch files are at the moment.

Dusty Paints - a sign I need to stop surfing and start painting
Dusty Paints - a sign I need to stop surfing and start painting
I needed a place to store the earrings I make on their tags, and this temporary measure is working for now: an old wire coathanger cut and bent to shape. Ill need to think of something a bit better soon though.
I needed a place to store the earrings I make on their tags, and this temporary measure is working for now: an old wire coathanger cut and bent to shape. I'll need to think of something a bit better soon though.
Token shot of my desk in a tidy state
Token shot of my desk in a tidy state

Do you have any advice on what else I could do to improve the use of space? Do you have any photos of your own work space? Please share!