living + workspace update

living + workspace update

So, unfortunately the going has been slow like molasses in our new living + workspace. I’ve been doing all of my work, research, editing and blogging from a tiny 20″ x 30″ desk, which is very hard with a 24″ monitor and a pen tablet! That is not to say that there has been no progress made however!

For our faux built-in look we went for Plan #1 with the Billy Bookcases. We bought 2 of the 15″ D ones early last week and set them on the outside, with the two 11″ D ones that we already owned in the middle in order to make more room behind the desk that will eventually float in front of it. I have spent over a week styling these bookshelves!  When Kate from Centsational Girl styled her bookcases over a weekend I felt like I was crazy for taking so long, but then I read what Karen from The Art of Doing Stuff said about styling her bookcases:

So if you’re looking at your bookshelf thinking it looks like stink, it probably does.  You know what your problem is?  You just haven’t lost enough sleep over it.  You haven’t woken up with crazy hair in the middle of the night and re-arranged it.  You haven’t laid every single thing out on your floor and placed it back in the bookshelf one by one over a 17 hour period eating only bits of stuff  you find in the carpet.  You haven’t  obsessed and stared and gotten angry at it enough.  Quite frankly, and I hate to be rude, but the plain truth is … you probably just aren’t crazy enough.

So, at least my brand of crazy has company. :) I will have some preliminary photos up soon. I’m almost at a point where I have a spot for every book!

IKEA’s Melltorp Dining table

Moving on to the desk… We’ve settled on buying the 68″ Melltorp dining table from IKEA. I spot it every time I’m there and I notice it would be a great desk; At $69, it’s tough to beat the price (even by CL standards) and the narrow depth is exactly what we need in this space. I was pretty convinced this was it so I did what I always do–searched for it on the internet, and I found a Unplgged article Ikea’s Melltorp Dining Table Is One of the Best Office Desks. Cinched it! But now our only problem is that it is not available at the Burbank IKEA (10 miles away). It is also not available at the Carson IKEA (30 miles), Covina IKEA (38 miles) or Costa Mesa (54 miles). I’m sure I’m not garnering any sympathy from people who don’t have even one IKEA in a 60 mile radius from where they live, but I’m actually trying to emphasize how completely un-available this table is right now! I called Burbank and I guess more will be in stock come the end of November/start of December. So, I have to sit at this tiny desk until then. In the meantime, I’m tracking the Craigslist RSS feed in my google reader for ads pertaining to Melltorp. Only the smaller table have been listed so far!

Another really cool thing about this dining table is that, like all things IKEA, it is totally hackable. I can’t decide what color to spray paint the steel frame yet, or if I want to go with a reclaimed wood top instead of the melamine top. Here is an excellent example of a very inexpensive hack done with plywood:

Photos by Oxley Woods via Flickr

So, I’m looking forward to when I finally get my hands on one of these so I can totally customize it! We have to drill a hole and build some sort of apparatus for all of the wiring needs this table will have, which will be interesting… Also, upholstery tacs are calling my name!

As far as other details in the room goes, we are planning on installing a mantel above the wall heater and underneath where our projector hits the wall. Underneath that, I’m thinking of (literally) hacking up our old dvd towers into a shelf that fits seamlessly under the mantel on the other side of the wall heater–as I am typing this, I can tell how much this needs to be sketched out.

I’m hoping to have more seating in this room than ever before; I want to add some chairs to either side of the hutch (if we keep it). I particularly like the idea of small low stools in front of the coffee table, which I am sure Laelia would love.

An example of small, low stools next to a coffee table. Design by Pal + Smith; found in their “Fashionably Bold” Portfolio.

Another idea we have is to add a shelf to extend out of one of the bookcases to be laptop desk. It will give Tyler the space he needs, while taking up very little space. We plan to put a large fabric covered framed corkboard above it.

Floating Desk; Rose Uniacke Interiors

I also really don’t know what sort of table I want to go beside the couch just yet. I hope we can pool together a little cash for a trip to the rose bowl flea market next month, but we’ll have to see. We only buy furniture from IKEA or Craigslist it seems, and after the Melltorp table I think we’ll be done with IKEA for a while. I love IKEA for workspaces, but I think we’ve exhausted it as a resource for now…

We also need way more lighting in here, some window shades, new rugs, a replacement for the two ottomans, an entire decor theme to be worked out… but I’m not feeling like I can do that until I get the bones of this room complete! The end of this month, hopefully. :)

Living + Workspace Series:
• (09/15/11) Living + Workspace Layouts
• (09/29/11) The Midas Touch ← mood board
• (10/04/11) Building Our Own Coffee Table
• (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches
• (11/14/11) Bookcases
• (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen
• (03/30/12) Before + After: Antique Lamp
• (04/06/12) Before + After: Front Door
• (06/19/12) Living + Workspace: Current Layout and Mood
• (06/20/12) Living + Workspace: A Revealing Update

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11 Responses to living + workspace update

  1. LOL! I’d forgotten that particular quote. It still holds true. :) Thanks for enlightening your readers as to my insanity. ~ karen

  2. […] Our Own Coffee Table • (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches • (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update • (11/14/11) Bookcases • (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen • (04/06/12) Before + […]

  3. […] Our Own Coffee Table • (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches • (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update • (11/14/11) Bookcases • (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen • (03/30/12) Before + […]

  4. […] Our Own Coffee Table • (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches • (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update • (11/14/11) Bookcases • (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen • (03/30/12) Before + […]

  5. […] Midas Touch ← mood board • (10/04/11) Building Our Own Coffee Table • (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update • (11/14/11) Bookcases • (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen • (03/30/12) Before + […]

  6. […] Our Own Coffee Table • (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches • (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update • (11/14/11) Bookcases • (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen • (03/30/12) Before + […]

  7. […] Building Our Own Coffee Table • (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches • (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update • (11/14/11) Bookcases • (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen • (03/30/12) Before + After: […]

  8. […] Our Own Coffee Table • (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches • (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update • (11/14/11) Bookcases  • (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen • (03/30/12) Before + […]

  9. […] Midas Touch ← mood board • (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches • (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update • (11/14/11) Bookcases • (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen • (03/30/12) Before + […]

  10. […] Our Own Coffee Table • (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches • (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update • (11/14/11) Bookcases • (03/30/12) Before + After: Antique Lamp • (04/06/12) Before + […]


Welcome to Visual Vocabularie! My name is Jesyka, and I am a designer, artist, mom to Laelia and Luca, wife to software engineer and UX designer Tyler, coffee lover, and all around enthused person. This is my blog; here I share my personal projects, whether it's a furniture makeover, a new painting, a birthday party, an invitation I designed, or a favorite outfit for my little. You’ll also catch a glimpse into our family life in Los Angeles.

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