In my last post I shared a behind the scenes look at the evolution of the “business side” of Plume, the boring stuff that no-one ever sees or oohs and aahs about…but is so very, very critically important to the success of a business.  It’s taken me almost four years to feel like I have the managerial and administrative parts of Plume somewhat under control.

Now I know it’s time to put more boundaries in place between work and home.   This is still very much a work-in-progress but since my kids are all in elementary school now, (when it’s not summer, that is) it kind of looks like having actual set hours of office time instead of working here and there…every single day…from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep.  Having a dedicated office time will help me get the things done that have to be done over and above actually being in the shop selling stuff.

This is not easy.  It actually requires a lot of self-discipline not to work when you’re not supposed to be working when you own your own business.  A pile of mail. voicemails.  text messages. bills. payroll. vendor checks. marketing. instagramming. blogging.  facebooking. emailing. etc.   It’s all important, but most of the time, not urgent.  Most of it can simply wait…it doesn’t have to be done that day.  But it drives me crazy to have it hanging over my head.  So the first step is trying to establish what my office time will be and then to protect it, by not scheduling appointments or other things when I’m supposed to be in my office working.  This may seem like common sense…but when you don’t answer to anyone but yourself it’s difficult.   Sure…I can just run to Hobby Lobby during my office time.  Sure…I can go to Lunch during my office time.  See what I mean?  Again, discipline is the only way I can describe it.

So…if I’m theoretically going to be having all this “office time” I thought it was about time I had an actual REAL four-walled office with a door and everything!

Here’s what I had to work with.  A small room that measures about 9 x 11 feet (difficult to get great pictures of) and over the last 3 years has mainly been used for storage.  (I have always loved this little vintage floral chair that I bought from Patty before I opened Plume and thought I would use it in here eventually but I went another way with my design plan…it’s for sale now if anyone wants it. )

My handy hubby got in here and worked on fresh drywall for the walls.  We covered up that small sliding window that actually only had a view of the rear storage area in the shop.  On the largest wall, that ended up being behind my desk…we actually used faux brick paneling that started out red brick color and we painted it gray.  The rest of the drywall walls were painted a bright white.  Something I couldn’t believe I actually wanted to do.   And then he put down some laminate wood flooring over the ugly carpet.

When I design a space, I need to find my inspiration first.  It normally comes from either a piece of artwork or fabric for curtains or pillows…something I can use for my jumping off point.  I knew early on I wanted to use a bright Kelly Green in the room and happened to find this pillow.  (Yes we make our own pillows at Plume…but sometimes I stumble across a perfect one at Target!)

I went through a couple different fabrics before I finally found the perfect drapery fabric at Ikea.   (Yes, Ikea sells fabric by the yard at great prices and it’s a heavy decor grade fabric.   The pillows you see on the right below are all for sale in Plume right now made from Ikea Fabrics…some left over from my office drapes and the others Jana bought to coordinate with).

This bulletin board was a $5 garage sale find.  It was previously the standard cork color with a natural wood frame.  My original thought was to cover it with the black and white horizontal stripe fabric you see in the pillows above, however by the time we finished with everything else I didn’t have the motivation or money to do that so I took the frame off and painted it with my wall paint.  Then I spray painted the frame black and taped the board off and spray painted the black stripes on.  So easy, & I love how it turned out.  (especially for less than $10 total…)

Jana found this desk and vintage light fixtures for me at garage sales.  The desk was also originally from Ikea.  The matching light fixtures actually came from 2 different sales and one was cream and one was black.  Can you believe there was actually a matching set?  I’ve been holding onto these babies since before we did the Gathering Room remodel, thinking I would use them in there but that never panned out.  So I finally cleaned them up and Jeremy rewired them to make pendants for me.  I love them!

This next little beauty is a vintage stereo cabinet that my landlord dropped off one day after cleaning out another one of their rental properties.  It was filthy and stinky but she thought I might be able to do something with it.  I instantly loved the tiny gold knobs and the clean mid-century lines and little legs.  So I held onto it for over a year and then finally Jeremy helped me gut it and replaced the old speaker area with a shelf and I painting it with our Missouri Limestone Paint  (also available at Plume.)  The lift-up lid where the turn table was is now my super-secret paper storage area.   The bottom shelf holds my printer perfectly.

Thank Goodness for Jana!  She and I spent a couple of hours in that office moving every single piece of furniture around about 10 times.  She even measured and drew it all out on her little magnet board for me.  She’s so good at space planning and I hate it!  Just tell me when it’s time to add in the pretty stuff.  I knew I wanted the desk to be floating in the room, which isn’t exactly the best use of space but it’s what I wanted.   Once all the big pieces were in place it was finally time to fill in all the little details which is what I truly love doing.

Making a space beautiful and personal for me means a healthy dose of vintage quirk.    I found this old vintage adding machine with these green keys…long before I knew I would have this office…but I think the green of those keys is what burned that color in the back of my mind somewhere.   The little porcelain dog figurine was a treasure I bought from my sweet friend Mary Francis.   The payphone was a treasure I bought from Patty.   I’ve always dreamed someday I’ll have an actual working phone line in Plume and that payphone will be put to use!

I really love every single detail about how this space came together.  I’ve been waiting to post because I still have my large “brick” wall behind the desk that’s bare but at this point I honestly don’t know when it will be done.  I can’t decide if it will be one large statement piece…or a collage wall but I’ll be sure and share with you when I get finished.

A big thank you to Jana, my sidekick, from Studio J for all her help along the way…and for the best gift!   My new desk accessories…and this vintage Plume inkwell and quill.  Couldn’t be more perfect.

Anytime you’re in Plume…feel free to peek your head into my office if you want to see it in person.  Hope to see you all soon!

P.S.S. If you’d like to be kept in the know about all the new things coming, make sure to sign up for our email list here.