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Chez Verdemama || Office

by verdemama on March 29, 2011

As I’m entering the home stretch of this pregnancy (31 weeks down, 9-ish to go!), I’ve been reflecting back on what my life was like when I was gearing up for Orion’s arrival. Back then I was working as the editor for Whole Life Times magazine and (which has since been absorbed by Gaiam Life) and enjoying the last few moments of breezy, childless freedom.

We were also in the thick of the arduous, soul-sucking process of buying our first home. It was a foreclosure, and in need of some major love, but both Erik and I instantly saw the potential the moment we laid eyes on it. (And it was a steal at the bargain price of half a million dollars. Curse you, Southern California real estate!)

The home buying experience was long, frustrating, and did I mention long? Like, months long. We ended up closing the deal just weeks before my due date, and so began the frantic process of making the space livable. Friends and family slaved days and nights to get everything ready (or close to as close to ready as possible) in time. We moved in just five days before I gave birth to Orion, who arrived two weeks early. Talk about major life upheaval.

I thought it would be fun to share before and after photos of just how far this Little House That Could has come.

First up: the office/guest room.

We don’t have a ton of pre-makeover photos of this room for some reason, but here are a few “before” pics: (WARNING! Severe heinousness may cause eye irritation.)

And let’s not forget…

Yes, that’s Pepto-Bismol pink paint, yes, there’s random pink paint splatters all over the wainscoting, and yes, that’s an old, ratty sheet hanging over the window. The hardwood floors are a stained, scratched-up disaster and you can’t see it well in these photos, but the ceiling is actually painted lavender. That’s right. Pink walls and a lavender ceiling.

Behold what multiple coats of Olympic Zero VOC paint and hardwood refinishing can do:

Since this room was hypothetically where I would continue all my lucrative and fulfilling writing and editing work as a WAHM (except that I got laid off a year ago, and save for a few freelance projects, haven’t worked much since), I wanted it to be a peaceful yet inspiring space, so I chose a vibrant, wake-up-and-get-creative blue. This photo doesn’t depict it well, but the window looks out the front of the house into some short palms, giving the view a very green, natural feel.

The furniture is a combination of vintage (desk and chair), Craigslisted (file cabinet) and Ikea (bookcases). Like most of what’s currently in our house, it’s a random mishmash and certainly not my dream furniture, but it works for us for now.

The bookcases house magazines for whom I’ve worked (back when I actually got paid to write and edit) and thousands of dollars of old textbooks (me: psychology and journalism; him: physics) that we’ll probably never touch again and should have sold back when they still coulda been worth something. Oh well.

Most of the trinkets from our travels have ended up living in this room, such as the Ganesh figurine from India and the Alphonse Mucha postcards from the Czech Republic.

Opposite the desk is a sofa futon that doubles as a guest bed for when company calls (and makes for a lovely cat bed as well).

Like many of these 1950s SoCal homes, our house is woefully low on closet space, so the office closet (pictured above in the “before” shots) is where most of my clothes and shoes live. Our next house will have huge walk-in closets in which I can organize my wardrobe to my little OCD heart’s content. At least in my dreams, anyway.

Our little casa will forever be a work in progress, but it brings a smile to my face to see just how far it’s come.

Stay tuned for more scenes from our humble abode!


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