Any tips on organizing a small corner as an office in my condo? It is part of an open living/dining area, and I don’t want it to take over the room.
Q: Any tips on organizing a small corner as an office in my condo? It is part of an open living/dining area, and I don’t want it to take over the room. — Melani
A: When you are organizing and decorating a small space, it takes some thought and a few tricks to come up with a good layout. How well your room functions is key to a home that is conducive to work and play. Start by experimenting with the layout of the major furniture items you are going to place in the room. Keep in mind your view when you are sitting on the couch — you don’t want to be staring at your desk, computer and files when you are trying to relax. Also, what catches your eye when you enter the area? Try to make it captivating rather than cluttered.
By arranging the desk and filing shelves on the side walls in the home-office corner shown here, the luscious red end wall becomes the focal point. Red (or deep blue or burnt orange, pick your favorite) are strong, dominant shades that will hold your eye. The work space is compact, and filing is close at hand but not facing the living space. The desk and shelves are a sleek, minimal design, giving the compact space breathing room. As long as the style of the office furniture links up with the furniture in the main area, you’ll have created a flow that doesn’t feel interrupted. Lighting is important. An overhead fixture and desk task lamp will give you plenty of light when working, but when turned off, that corner will disappear.
Q: What kind of look will I get if I mix a clear glaze with brown paint and roll it on the wall? I have a huge bedroom wall and would like to avoid a base coat if possible. — Charles
A: Paint on its own is an opaque liquid. When clear glazing liquid is added to paint, the mixture becomes translucent. This allows the base coat to show through slightly and gives the surface depth and interest. Adding glaze does not change the color of the paint, but it will take on various shades depending on what is underneath, be it white or green, light or dark. I assume there is already paint on your walls. You do not have to apply a fresh base coat unless the old paint is oil-based and your colored glaze is water-based. I suggest you experiment on a small strip first; allow the brown glaze to dry and see if it’s the effect you want. If you want more of the base color to show through, add more glaze to the paint.
Note to students/renters: It’s that time of year again. Students across the country are moving into dorms, rented bedrooms and shared apartments. Perhaps this is your first time away from home and you are eager to put your personal stamp on your very own space. If you know me at all, you will recognize that I am all for freedom of expression. And it’s a fact that it requires more imagination than dollars to turn an impersonal room into your special haven, no matter what the size.
However, I hear from many landlords who plead with me to understand their dilemma — painting an entire apartment black, and especially painting over woodwork, is not cool. Infuse your passion for color or patterns with fabric, linens, posters, a zany rug — all items you can roll up and take with you at the end of the year.
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