Office/Guest Room Reveal

My husband is my hero, my best friend and my greatest encourager.  I wish that I could give him the world and so much more – he deserves it all.  What I was able to do was design this room specifically for him.  It’s a place he can relax and rejuvenate or a place where he can hunker down and study through the night.

He has endured more in his life than most can imagine.  Coming from an impoverished country, paralyzed by politics and war, he fought his way to Canada.  Once here it was a long 12 years to finally get his permanent residency.  Those 12 years were full of ups and downs, and through it all he continued to believe that God’s plan for his life was bigger than every obstacle being put in his way.

He’s had a dream for years, to go to school and get a diploma in civil engineering.  I’ve watched him for the last 3 years work harder than anyone I know to get his english up to speed and upgrade his high school courses.  This fall he was accepted into the Civil Engineering program at our local school of technology.  My brief bio of him does not do justice to how incredible that achievement is.

It is simply unbelievable.

When we moved into this house two years ago I imagined the basement to be Carlos’ domain and that I would have an office/craft room on the upstairs floor.  While I was on maternity leave we rented out our two bedrooms in the basement to help with costs. That left one extra room upstairs to serve as an office/craft room/guest room.  I didn’t even really realize that he didn’t have his own space.  We constantly talk of home decor and we agree on what we both like in terms of style and decor but there was no where for him to put his things – mostly his school things.  I was getting frustrated with moving books and bags everywhere (I imagine in a few years I’ll be right back to that feeling!).  One day he said in response to my frustration, “I don’t have a space to put anything.” Just like that I began to brainstorm how to solve the problem.  There were two problems:

  1. I’ve never been satisfied with the office/guest room and because of that I continually let it get overcrowded and cluttered and MESSY.
  2. Carlos didn’t have any space that was quiet, calm, and inspiring to study.

This was the perfect opportunity to solve both of those problems!  It took me two days scouring the Ikea website for inspiration and to find the most cost effective way to design the office.  I kept with what we like best: black, white, gold and plants and of course minimalist – no clutter to be found.   We had a large black desk and a white futon already.  Once I decided what I was going for style wise it came together so fast! I was surprised and excited, I can’t believe how much fun it was to do! It brought me so much joy to design a space that I knew my husband would love.

I spent an afternoon purging and reorganizing, bringing the room to a clean slate before I began my decor brainstorming.  I think that really helped.  It gave me a fresh new perspective to look at the room in a way I hadn’t before. This is what it looked like before, sorry about the poor quality and crappy panorama abilities, but it gives you a good idea of what a mess I had let it get.

Yesterday morning Ezekiel and I went to Ikea and spent 1.5 hrs picking up everything.  It helped that I had saved a shopping list  on the Ikea website and I used the Ikea app to find everything.  Also I have to say one of the ladies that works at Ikea helped me out tremendously by trouble shooting a panel curtain idea I had to hide an awkward cubby/open storage area in the room – you’ll see it in the pics below. In the end I spent $100 more than I would have liked but I absolutely don’t regret it.

I’m not completely 100% done – I need to get large frames for the inspirational posters on the wall (I despise them but Carlos really loves them and it’s his room!).  The painting on the wall of the continent of Africa is a favourite of both of ours.  Although Carlos was driven out of his country, part of his heart will always be there.  For me, Africa has been a love of mine for years and years (how convenient to be married to an African!).  I think it ties the colourful inspirational posters in nicely and adds some nice colour to the black and white.  All of the plants were purchased at Ikea as well. I repotted them into pots I already had at home.  The frames contain pictures of my trip to Europe in 2012 – I will change them out eventually. I have some inspirational prints I want to print out and frame as well.

The closet is still in need of some organizing, but for now it’s nice and neatly placed out of sight.   I’m seriously in love with the outcome of this room and I am elated to be able to almost check that room off my to do list!

Not only is it a peaceful place to study/work/read/pray it also works so well as a cozy guest room!

Carlos also really loves it, we’ll see if he actually puts it to use. 🙂


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