Office Update

I’m in full blown nesting mode these days (as opposed to medium nesting as my normal mode). These supposed productivity hormones are a good thing for the long list of small projects that we’ve left undone since finishing the major renovations around here, including finally fixing up my workspace just in time to have it trashed by a baby.

This room was the last room we tackled in the house and although we finished it up in the fall of 2012 it has remained a hodgepodge of homeless furniture and ‘I’ll deal with it later‘ projects. The arrival of a tiny Natarelli is just the kind of kick in the uterus I need to finally whip this room into shape. Here’s what it looks like today:

Raised by Design Maggie Natarelli - Office Update - Home Office

In the original floor plan this room was the kitchen. Stained linoleum flooring and a green and yellow vintage kitchen once lived here. We relocated the kitchen to the back of the house to create open concept living and access to the backyard. Here’s the Before from the day we closed on the house, looking at the opposite side of the room.

(Disclaimer for those of you scoffing at the idea of tearing out this cute vintage kitchen: the [very cute, very worn] Homart cabinets are still in the house, being loved and repurposed in the laundry area downstairs. The range, whose oven door had to be held closed with a broomstick, was sent to a salvage company along with the cracked sink and yellow formica countertops. The light fixtures are still in the room.) 

raised by design - kitchen before

For the last two years this side of the room has functioned as a guest room but will be transformed into a nursery early next year for Bambino. (Here’s a sneak peak of our beloved driftwood mobile, made for us by a friend as a wedding present. Rumor has it, my Mom and Michael Kors are the only other owners of these mobiles. Oh heyyy!)

Raised by Design - maggie natarelli - driftwood mobile by Tom Cassadei

The opposite side will pretty much stay the way it is until Bambino is old enough to fuck with my shit and accumulate a significant dowry of toys. Then it will probably become a total kid zone and I’ll be squeezed out and relegated to the kitchen or basement. But for a little bit longer…

raised by design - maggie natarelli - home office

There are a few unique features in this space. For starters, it’s a long and narrow room measuring 18′ long by 9′ wide. There is also a doorway that exits to the driveway. That doorway creates an avenue down the middle of the room, separating it into two spaces roughly 7 ½’ x 9′. (Floorplans would be good, I know.)

We weren’t quite sure how we would be using this space in the long term, so we left the external door in tact but we don’t use it anymore. We also didn’t bother to move the outlets down to the baseboards so they are still counter height – as fit for a kitchen – which annoys the crap out of me, but maybe less than patching and painting which I hateses.

raised by design - bar cart styling in office

raised by design - desktop shot

raised by design - desktop styling

Behind my desk we used IKEA shelving to create floor to ceiling storage and a printing station. My inspiration board is made from two magnet boards also from IKEA. (The shelves are no longer sold at IKEA but these are pretty badass and would be good for an office.

raised by design - office shelving

raised by design - inspiration board office

raised by design - home office

raised by design - office shelving

raised by design - inspiration board office


Above the desk I hung a collection of artwork that has personal meaning to us (as all artwork should!). The Cosmic Bunny print is signed and numbered by one of my favorite illustrators, Diana Sudyka. It was a gift from my mom. Below it hangs a snapshot of my late Grandpa and his buddy taken in 1967.

raised by design - maggie natarelli - office artwork - cosmic bunny by diana sudyka

Cosmic Bunny by Diana Sudyka

For our wedding a dear friend and mentor, Jeff O’Connor, gifted us this original illustration of a warren of Eastern Cottontails. Bunnies were the main motif of our wedding and his wife, a Chicago-based graphic designer, designed all of our paper goods. Jeff is a natural science illustrator and his work populates several of the exhibits at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Some of his beautiful entomology sketches are pinned on my inspiration board.

Below hangs a collection of vintage postcards including one from Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, where I lived after college and one from Samoa, where my other Grandfather lived. The framed print is titled Mountains by Karina Eibatova which I blogged about here.

raised by design - home office - bunny illustration by jeff o'connor

Original Illustration by Jeff O’Connor

I’m enjoying having the space to myself while I can, and daydreaming about a (napping) baby on the other side of the room.

Loveyoubye! Maggie




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