Office Space

I’ve been keeping a not so little secret.  I teased it earlier this week but it’s time to confess: we revamped our office… in January.  Jefe had been working from home a lot and apparently had been really discontent with the state of our office.  So on MLK weekend, he sprung on me that he wanted to redo the office.  I hadn’t even gotten to finish the plans I had for the office and we were already redoing it!  Luckily what he wanted was in line with the overall plan I had for the space.  But with all that said, we spent our holiday off work driving all the way to Torrance for a coveted desk we had to have…

As a little refresher, here’s what we were looking at last fall:

New Office Mood Board- Nov 2014

New Office Mood Board- Nov 2014

And thanks to Jefe’s impromptu redecorating request, here’s what we’re looking at:

Updated Office Plan

We had already purchased the rug from Pottery Barn over Christmas thanks to their annual sale and that desk is the major purchase from our day of impromptu shopping.  It required contacting no less than 5 local World Markets to find the one we really wanted (the floor model we saw was just too wobbly and beat up to consider taking it home).  So we drove the 45 minutes to Torrance and got the only one left in the greater Los Angeles area.

During the redecorating discussions I also convinced Jefe to examine and remedy our currently too-short cord situation so that we can shift over the Expedit with the TV to accommodate an armchair by the window and floor lamp; his girlfriend needs a reading nook!  While at World Market we spotted this chair and I’m pretty anxious to add it to the soon-to-be vacated corner.

Charcoal Oscar ChairNow, let’s talk desk chairs.  The day we went shopping, after we had secured the desk, we made a quick stop at Target.  Much to our surprise they had a gorgeous grey linen dining chair with nailhead trim for $85.  DONE.  I was stoked to find something so beautiful within our price range.  I thought it was too good to be true.

Target Camelot Nailhead Dining Chair

 Fast forward two months and our desk is going strong (minus a small nick that I’ll cover DIY solutions for in another post) but our desk chair, not so much.  Apparently you get what you pay for:

Busted - Target Nailhead Dining Chair

Busted - Target Nailhead Dining Chair 3

Busted - Target Nailhead Dining Chair 2

Neither of us have any idea how or when that happened.  Needless to say I insisted on returning it.  Jefe was skeptical as it had been two months and he didn’t have his original receipt.  But I insisted.  One quick trip to Target later and we had our $85 back.  Lesson: never doubt the Target return policy… but be weary of their furniture!

As the chair was DEFINITELY an impulse buy, we hadn’t checked the reviews, which turns out, are quite mixed.  So I did a little digging and after some inspiration from Ellen’s Design Challenge, I decided to give Wayfair a try.

We really had liked the look of the nailhead chair but also knew it had to be sturdier than the Target version, have a slightly larger seat (as the one we returned was admittedly a little small) and have a chair seat height of 19″.  That’s a LOT harder to find than you might think.

But after a full week of research, I landed on this beauty which we are currently awaiting delivery:

Hudson Nailhead Dining Chair

I can’t wait to finally see it in the space.  My only hesitation is that it might be TOO close to the Oscar arm chair we want.  So we’ll just have to wait and see.

For now, we’re still using one of our dining chairs at the desk until the new one arrives.  Not ideal, but it will do for now.

Office Revamp Preview

So what do you think?  I’m really loving the vibe the office is giving off.  A traditional, masculine study with a few feminine touches.


Decorating for the Soul

First and foremost – I’d like to send out a little love in to the universe as we’ve reached Sledgehammer with Style’s 1st BLOGIVERSARY!  I can’t believe I’ve been putting my random thoughts out in to the interweb universe and a few of you have actually read them and come back for more!  Thank you everyone for keeping me inspired to keep writing and decorating!

Speaking of decorating, today’s post is about how decorating can be therapeutic and great for the soul.  Who needs a shrink when you’ve got a 25% off coupon for Crate & Barrel?!  Such is the case for today’s “client”.  My best friend Harriet recently went through a life change when she and her husband amicably went their separate ways.  She kept their place in Boston and in an effort to get a fresh start, decided she wanted to revamp her bedroom.

So here’s where we are starting: a gender neutral space populated mostly with post-college Ikea furniture.

Before 5

Before 1

Before 2

Before 3

Before 4

So once the big split happened, the first thing I recommended to her is to rearrange her furniture.  It was the quickest and easiest way to get a new perspective on things without spending a dime.  So while we planned her new room, she literally flipped her perspective 180 degrees.  And what a change!  It felt like a whole new room.

Next up, she decided on her point of inspiration for the design: a peacock feather.  It holds some serious sentimental value for us as it was part of our sorority in college, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let her plaster the room with feathers and dip everything in peacock blue.  So we took the elements we liked such as that deep rich blue as a starting point.

Since it’s such a bold color, we decided that it could be an accent color while we would create a room around it with soft, neutral colors to give her a calming haven to retreat to at night.  So here’s my first run at a plan for her room:


This is also the point when, despite her protests, I convinced her to paint.  It’s the quickest, cheapest way to totally transform a space.  We decided on a pale purple which would accent the peacock blue/teal accents we had been eyeing.  But as all designs go, we didn’t quite agree on which purple that was.  She’s a bit more of a girlie girl and leaned more towards a shade with pink undertones.  I recommended she pick up some test pots of a few colors and try them out before she paint the whole room in a color we (I) weren’t totally convinced was just right.  Here’s the tester:


We both agreed that the one on the left was way too pink.  The one on the right is a bit more in line with what we were thinking.  So a few weeks later, she bit the bullet, bust out the credit card for some new furniture AND tackled painting the whole room herself with one fabulous finished product (I apologize for the photos as we haven’t had a chance to do some serious “after” photos yet):



Now we had some serious momentum to keep rolling.  The dresser is the Sorano 6-Drawer Dresser from Crate & Barrel.  It reminds me of driftwood; I’m totally in love with it.  Harriet and I went through a LOT of rug choices.  She was particularly found of this Sonnet Area Rug in turquoise from Home Decorators Collection:

Sonnet Rug

But ultimately, she decided on the Jasper Area Rug in aqua from Crate & Barrel.  And to round out her shopping cart, she chose this amazingly comfortable Haven Chaise which she had fallen in love with during a window shopping trip in LA with yours truly.

Then after a long search for non-white bedding that wouldn’t show dog fur (she has an adorable long-haired dachshund named Snickers), Harriet picked some great bedding from West Elm: the Braided Matelasse Duvet Cover.

West Elm Bedding

So after some tweaking thanks to a new paint color and some new design decisions, here’s the updated mood board for the space:


Then thanks to the Red Sox fabulous season and a spot in the playoffs, Jefe and I took off for Boston for a baseball game and some much needed time with my bestie.  Unfortunately for her, the West Elm duvet was out of stock online.  I, however, live around the corner from the store…. so my carry-on ended up filled to the brim with bedding instead of clothes.

While we were enroute, Harriet had a great bed frame delivered.  It’s got storage for those bulky sweaters needed to bear the Boston winters.  It’s from a local retailer, Jordan’s.

Once we landed in Boston, Jefe had to take a work call so Harriet and I took a quick jaunt to Home Goods where we made an INCREDIBLE score.  We found a pair of AMAZING lamps that matched her new rug exactly.  And they were the perfect way to bring some of the pale, minty teal over to the other side of her room on her future beside tables.  Check out one of these gorgeous, curvy ladies (note that we ensured that we could fix the crooked shade before she purchased):


What an amazing score.  Under $100 for BOTH of them.  We were stoked.  And Jefe gave us quite the look when we both walked in the front door, arm in arm with our lamps.  We looked like little girls with their arms caught in the cookie jar.

So now our search has turned to sheets, nightstands and a side table for her chaise and some artwork.  We both love the idea of black and white photos throughout the whole room; we just have to find the right ones.

And while we were there, we discussed a few other areas of her place we’d love to tackle down the road.  I love a good project so there will definitely be more to come!

Gloria & Harry’s Guest Bedroom

In the ongoing project that is Jefe’s parents’ home renovation, we’ve hit our first serious deadline: his parents have company coming to spend the night in 2 weeks.  The last time we touched that room you may remember (which was over two weeks ago thanks to my 36-hour jaunt to NYC), it looked a little something like this:


So it’s about high-time that I get my butt in gear and get to work.  As I mentioned previously, the whole concept for this room revolved around a rug that Gloria, Jefe’s mom, brought home from a visit to her native Ecuador.  The idea to hang the rug originated from a conversation about what to hang above the headboard on the accent wall.


Being a true East Coaster at heart, I’ve been fighting tooth and nail throughout the 5+ years I’ve lived in LA to disregard the fact that you shouldn’t hang anything heavy above a bed.  But apparently earthquakes are a real thing…  And as much as it pains me to admit it, Gloria and my Jefe are right: I’d much rather pull a lightweight rug off my face when the big one hits than fight with a glass picture frame that just came crashing down.

So Ecuadorian rug it will have to be.  Between the rug and the carved-wood style of the bed frame, I decided to pull some inspiration from images of South American bedrooms as my starting point:

Inspiration - Habitación-Colonial-Doble

Courtesy of Washington Life

Inspiration - 2

Courtesy of Houzz

From there, I just ran with it.  So without further ado, I bring you my plan for the room:


Once we established the rug as the focal point and decided to keep the bedframe and nightstand, I set out to find some accent furniture pieces that would provide some much needed storage, fit in to a somewhat more traditional style and wouldn’t break the bank.   I quickly found that trying to match the reddish-hued wood of the bedframe was near impossible so I chose to go with a few white pieces that would really pop against the accent wall.

The first on the list was the BIRKELAND 3 drawer dresser from Ikea.  And by positioning it on one side of the bed, it could serve double duty as a nightstand.

Ikea Birkeland Dresser

Unfortunately the BIRKELAND series does not have a lot of variety in the line, so I had to look elsewhere for a coordinating bookshelf.  Most things from Ikea were either too modern or didn’t fit the space we have available.  I coincidentally happened to stumble upon the Threshold Carson bookshelf when I was picking up baskets from Target while Jefe assembled the office furniture a few weeks ago.

Threshold Carson Bookshelf

Although on display in black, they didn’t offer the 3-shelf version in white in store so Jefe and I had to order it online.  As we have yet to assemble it, I can’t comment on my first Target furniture purchase so I’ll have to update you all on that later.

From there, I knew the bedspread had to be next.  In working with what you’ve got, I knew it had to be something more traditional that also helped to tie the existing color palette together.  Initially Gloria and I were skewing towards a flowery paisley from Bed, Bath and Beyond:

Inspiration - 3

But Jefe, the adamant flower loather, insisted we head in another direction.  So I turned to all things paisley: Pottery Barn.  I found the Charlie Organic Duvet Cover (shown in the mood board and in detail below) and am thrilled that it’s actually on sale right now as we  hope to pick it up this weekend.

PB Charlie Organic Duvet Cover

For artwork, I’ve been scouring Etsy for great photography of Ecuador that will be complimented by some simple white frames from Ikea.  As for artwork for the rest of the room, that’s still a work in progress.  Thankfully, overnight guests don’t necessitate a fully finished room (although that’s the goal).

Lastly, Gloria suggested hanging a mirror on the wall opposite the foot of the bed which I thought was a great idea.  I’m looking for something simple, possibly in a curved shape.  I don’t know if Jefe will let me get away with it, but I’d love to go with something along the lines of this one from Target:

Threshold Carved Wood Mirror

There you have it.  The latest and greatest from Sledge with Style.  In the coming week, I’ll be featuring some reader Q & A’s, a NEW recurring feature based on my love of all things film, as well as an update on Operation Homify.