Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 1, 2013

AE Projects In Progress | The Office, Part II

Big week around here last week as the new floors were installed in my office and we set up the new workspace.

You can check out the first part of this series here.

I have to tell you that’s it’s been my dream to make something like this happen in my workspace. I just feel so thankful and excited and can’t wait to start making stuff in there.

Here’s a look at the progression over the last week or so:

It took a couple days to move all the stuff out of my office and into my bedroom.

It might sound crazy that I moved it all in my bedroom (shown above) but it’s the next biggest room and it’s the most un-decorated. Normally there’s nothing in there except the bed, end-table and two bedside tables. Everything else you see there came from the office.

We moved most of the little things out first and then Aaron (aka my “tech guy” and “guitar guy” if you’ve been following along on Instagram) helped us get the rest of the bigger things out.

During the move-out process we did set aside some tubs for products and supplies that I intend to giveaway or donate. I still plan to go through the drawers as we assess what will actually go back into the office. I think I’m going to find there’s a lot of stuff I don’t use or stuff that can be stored differently to minimize the number of pieces of storage furniture that actually need to be in the office.

On Sunday I moved out the last of the computer equipment and tables.

I set up the computers in the dining area as a temporary work space. Katie and I worked from here all week.

The guy arrived Monday morning with the wood laminate (a blonde maple – I used a local company Imperial Floors for the flooring and the labor). He pulled out all the carpet first and then got to work.

Katie and I kept peeking in there to see the progress and we were getting very excited as the day went along.

By Tuesday mid-day the floors were all complete.

And I was so happy.

Katie and I learned early last week that the free-standing kitchen islands (Varde) I wanted from Ikea were out of stock at the Portland store. Portland is our “local” store that’s two hours away from here.

We had multiple discussions and phone calls about what to do. Because we were in the mood to get this in progress we checked and found out that the kitchen islands were in stock in Seattle. We made the crazy decision to make the 5-hour drive up there to acquire them. Totally worth it. And for the record we checked to see how much it would cost to have them shipped – it was around $300 and would come in about two weeks. Since the kids were with my parents it was feasible. We left home about 1pm, drove up, spent a couple hours at Ikea and turned around and drove back home (into town about 12:30am).

Along the drive we stopped in Kalama, Washington (just north of Vancouver) for a quick photo at the school where they shot the parking lot scenes in the Twilight movies.

We had measured the box dimensions so we knew that the six boxes were going to fit in my Subaru.

Walking into this space is awesome. It’s such a change from what was in here before.

George approves.

We went through and counted all the pieces before starting to put the kitchen islands together. Everything was in order.

Not too bad to put together. The main thing was that our hands ended up hurting from all the twisting of the screws.

A totally satisfying project once they were done. They are just what I wanted and they take up a big piece of the space. I’ve long been a stand-up scrapbooker so this style of workspace is perfect for me.

That’s where it stands right now. We found out on Saturday that the desks (also from Ikea) don’t fit in any cars or trucks we have access too so we might have to make some different plans to get the desks. My plan is to set up a temporary computer space near the windows for now as we figure out how to get the desks here.

Here’s the deal: I’m not in a hurry to bring all the stuff back in the room. I’m thinking I might bring things back in as I need them. This will help me see/know what I really use and what can go in deeper storage.

I love the open feel. I love the white and the light wood. I want to be really intentional about what comes back into this space.

Up next:

  • Adding baseboard molding.
  • Painting trim and doors and adding new hardware to the doors. This is happening today.
  • Lights.

I’ll continue to share some updates over the next few weeks as things start happening in here.


  • 1.
    Nicole said…

    It’s so beautiful! Knowing how much I love your style I can’t wait to see how it ends up coming together!

  • 2.
    Christine said…

    You can totally tell two women put the islands together. How? The picture of the neatly organized hardware and the comment about counting everything first. Love it. No man in my universe would do that. Heck no. Dump it all out and just get to work. Extra pieces? Must not need them. Missing something. Well, we needed to go to the hardware store anyway. It all looks great. And I can really relate to your comment about intention regarding what comes back in the room.

  • 3.
    Alicia said…

    Totally great idea to bring things in as you use them so you know what you use! I’m wondering if I have space to do this for a year so I can work through all seasons this way. Hmm… The room looks great so far! I love the kitchen islands. (I’m a stand up crafter too ;) ). Can’t wait to see the rest!

  • 4.
    Jamie Greene said…

    Looks amazing so far! Can’t wait to see the final room:)

  • 5.
    Nicole said…

    Aaron Levine is who I know him as…. ;) :)

    Your workspace/office is coming together beautifully, Ali! I love how light it is in there. That’s what I’m working to achieve in mine, as well. My husband just upgraded the lighting with LED daylight recessed can lights (from Costco) and it makes a world of difference!

  • 6.
    Kathy P said…

    Looking good! Makes me *almost* want to start such an overwhelming journey in my own scrap space!!!!! Can’t wait to see the finished project. And good thing for all the empty space in your bedroom!

  • 7.
    Rosa Nissenbaum said…

    Ali, I love the openness of your space. It looks very airy. Good Feng shui keeping the openness around you and letting the energy flow through your space. I can’t wait to see more as you progress!

  • 8.
    Cathy L. said…

    Looks great! I stand to scrap too, not sure why…love the photo in front of the high school! I knew what it was before reading your comments! Thanks for sharing!

  • 9.
    Maureen said…

    ” Christine said…
    You can totally tell two women put the islands together. How? The picture of the neatly organized hardware and the comment about counting everything first.”

    ABSOLUTELY true in my house. He just dumps the stuff and then starts complaining. I have a high Ikea table (a coffee table that we added red telescoping legs to) and I love the standing times. The tactile time also feels good after so much sitting computer time. Your cleaning out is an inspiration to me. I just have to clear out another room first! LOL

  • 10.
    Norma Gaston said…

    I have all IKEA in my basement craft space too! Same color as you! I have a long counter set up sort of like a kitchen! Bought the floor to ceiling pantry closet and lots of shelves to hold all 12 x 12 paper. Put cork on the “back splash”. I use an IKEA dining room table as my work space. Covered it with a large cutting mat from Joann’s. My husband put all the furniture together and it all still looks great and is very functional! Can’t wait to see your finished product!

  • 11.
    Jen D said…

    So envious of your big, open space with all the light. They’re just perfect! Can’t wait to see it all come together.

  • 12.
    tiffany h. said…

    Oh how I love your light-filled room! How fun are spontaneous adventures like yours to Seattle? Can’t wait to read/see more of the story and find out what makes the cut back into the room.

  • 13.
    Shaela said…

    Looking good! But before you get the desks and put them together, I would suggest investing in an electric screwdriver/drill. $30 will get you a decent one and trust me, your hands will thank you. ;) Can’t wait to see how it keeps coming together!

  • 14.
    Kimmie said…

    Loving this!

  • 15.
    Marilyn said…

    I am loving your new space and can’t wait to see it completed. It has a very calming feel to it.

    I have a very small scrapbook room, approx. 10′ X 10′ and it has been a challenge to figure out the best layout. I can’t tell you how many times I have moved the pieces in that room. I think I have finally got it figured out and now I am looking for a corner desk/workspace.

  • 16.
    Leslie said…

    Love the room, the floors are gorgeous!

  • 17.
    Debby said…

    desk issue: rent a pick up truck from u haul. 19.95 a day.

  • 18.
    Tracy Shelton said…

    I would have totally driven 5 hours too. I second the electric screwdriver. I have an IKEA house. It has been a hand saver.

  • 19.
    Tiffany C said…

    The space looks wonderful so far Ali! Love the changes.

    Have you ever thought about putting the islands on casters?

  • 20.
    Kate Burroughs said…

    You are so wise to only bring back into the room the stuff you want to use. Most all of us have a ton of supplies/tools that we rarely use and let them take up valuable real estate. Even though I have only been in my studio space for 5 years I have a ton of stuff that needs to be gone through, reorganized and some of it deep sixed. Congrats on your new work space!
    Aloha, Kate
    P.S. Did you know Kalama is named after a Hawaiian, John Kalama, who was forced to work on a fur-trading ship back in the early 1800′s?

  • 21.
    Jen N said…

    So jealous of your new space! I have my kitchen table to scrap at, since our house is a teensy bit crowded and slightly chaotic.
    Love it!

  • 22.
    Liana said…

    *love* these tables! Sadly you seem to have taken Seattle’s last two and now Portland has them in stock! :P

  • 23.
    Jennifer D. said…

    It’s a little late for this now (unless you have more furniture to put together… but an electric screwdriver is a wonderful way to both speed up the process and save your hands and wrists! I’m excited to watch the evolution of hour space. Congrats!

  • 24.
    susan garner said…

    Your new craft room will look amazing when finished but I do have a question that if you find a spare set of ‘ Favorite Story ‘ acrylic stamps that you don’t want I will buy them from you . I have tried everywhwere to get them and they are sold out.

  • 25.
    Tammy B said…

    I love those islands. I’m thinking about how to reconfigure my space because it just isn’t working right now. Can’t wait to see your office in progress. By the way, you can use a drill to put IKEA stuff together if you go easy. Highly recommended for the desks you’re going to get!!

  • 26.
    Rachel R said…

    I laughed out loud when I saw the pic of you and Katie in the parking lot made ‘famous’ by Twilight. Stay playful Ali :)

  • 27.
    Mariah said…

    Good for you, Ali! I’m redoing my office as well. My husband and I just finished painting. I just need to “decorate”

  • 28.
    Debbie said…

    Beautiful! What a great idea to bring in as you use. What a great way to purge. So bright and open. PERFECT!

  • 29.
    antiquechase said…

    Have been following along and LOVE this series!!!! Can’t wait to see what makes it back into the room!

  • 30.
    Deborah said…

    I’m a graphic designer, too. Used to have all sorts of stuff everywhere in my office to “inspire” me. When I moved into a new home a few years ago, life was too busy and I never got around to setting up my office like before. Got sick of looking at all the boxes of packed stuff and made a spontaneous decision one day to toss everything except the bare necessities. Best decision ever. Finally realized that all that “inspiration” was really a “distraction” to the creative process. Now, I keep my office intentionally bare and must clean up after every project before moving on to the next. This clarity of space and mind has made me a more proficient (and happier!) designer. May your new space re-ignite your creative fire.

  • 31.
    Tonya said…

    I really like that you are only pulling in your things as you need/want them in there. Great idea!!!!

  • 32.
    Carolyn HP said…

    Wow the floors are awesome Ali! Love how the space looks so far and the islands look like a great work surface!

  • 33.
    Jocelyn Thompson said…

    I so love it! It looks so OPEN and inviting for creativity! :) Looking forward to more updates!

  • 34.
    Tanja said…

    Looks really great!!

    And I so love the smell of new furniture!!!!!

  • 35.
    Debbie said…

    Love it! Keep it simple. We will soon see your room pinned on Pinterest. Go Ali Go!

  • 36.
    Amy Kowalski said…

    Great project, love the floors. Wish I had the space to do something like this. Feels so good to get organized. Black & Decker makes a nice small rechargeable screwdriver with multiple heads…so handy for all sorts of projects…I keep mine plugged in in a corner of my kitchen for easy access and it’s always ready to go. Good luck with the rest of the job! Can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

  • 37.
    Anita J. said…

    Awesome room! Love the light … love the size of your room, love the islands, love the floors. Love watching all this and will be fun to see it through to the end, although scrap rooms/offices seem to be every evolving. I also vote for an electric screw driver, I have put all my Ikea stuff together with my electric drill/screwdriver. They are great. Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

  • 38.
    Robyn :) said…

    It’s looking great so far. And a 5 hour trip to Ikea is perfectly reasonable. Our closest one is 8 hours way, BUT they are building one 2 hours away!!

  • 39.
    Vanessa Babin said…

    Love the floors. It is going to be a great space when you are done!

  • 40.
    Lisa Bee said…

    Looking good Ali! Thank you for sharing your office re-do process & adventures. It truly is inspiring me to re-evaluate my own creative space!

  • 41.
    J3SS1C4 said…

    Your office is looking amazing so far! It’s so bright and cheery! I love the kitchen islands, and can definately see how perfect they would be for stand up scrapping! I can’t wait to see how the rest of the room comes together, as well :-)

  • 42.
    Brooke said…

    I have always wanted to know where that fabric pocket on your wall in the dining area is from? Love functional!

    Have loved watching the progress of your office. I’m horrible at home decorating/make overs/etc. so I’m learning a lot. I finally told my hubby on the weekend that I’m ready to ditch our old office desks (we still have 2 in use but have had 2 sitting in our dining area unused for over 1.5 years {God!}). Depth of the desk is important for me I’m finding.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      That was made by Sally Shim. She used to have an online shop – so awesome.

    • ….
      Brooke said…


  • 43.
    Nancy L said…

    Love watching your room come together and laughed when I read you drove all the way to Seattle to get the islands. I have driven distances but not that far! I am curiou… what are the dimensions of your room? I have a scraproom but it seems so tiny because I have shelves, tables or storage cubes wall-to-wall.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Not sure the exact dimensions but it’s about 500 sq ft including the other small room at the other end.

  • 44.
    Dawn said…

    Love it Ali! So bright and big. I hear what your saying when it comes to taking your time in bringing things back in. I just finished the painting of my space (walls, built-ins and table) and putting together my ikea purchases. The only things I have brought back in are my imac and printer. Everything else is in my formal living and dining room. Not a pretty sight when you walk in my house, but I have yet to stay in town long enough to start figuring out what is going to come back in. I overheard someone at the Portland CKC saying something about the Make a wish foundation taking scrapbook supply donations. I am gonna look into that. Can’t wait to finish this project and can’t wait to see the final results of yours as well.

  • 45.
    Cindy said…

    Looks great…….can’t wait to see how you finish it up (desks). I really need to do the same. I’m hoping this will give me the push that I need ;)

  • 46.
    Claudine Pepe said…

    Love the room Ali! Glad you made the trip! How big is your office space?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      It’s about 500 sq. ft. – including the small little entry room.

  • 47.
    Kristina said…

    Can’t wait to see it all finished. Loving the journey too. I love your style and it’s so me. You are truly an inspiration and I have loved following your blog for years. The room is so light and fresh. Thanks for sharing with us all here in Australia too.

  • 48.
    laura g. said…

    WOW! this is great!!!

  • 49.
    Mallory said…

    I am so excited for you Ali! And can’t wait to see more!!!

  • 50.
    Teresa Igo said…

    you’re gonna make me have to redo mine!!!!!! ;D
    can’t wait to see it finished!

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