In my first post about making room in our tiny 2bedroom for our newest member (due in less than 2 months now!) I mentioned that we’d be giving up our office/guest room so we could gain a nursery. Since that time, several people have asked where the heck our new office lives–where are DH and I now blogging from? Where do the bills get paid??
Well, we created a small office “nook” in our living room. Of course, there wasn’t previously any room in our living room for an office; we had to find the space. And, most difficultly, we had to give up our separate desks. And, in case you’ve never tried it, be warned: sharing a desk when you are used to having your own is an interesting way to test/strengthen your relationship with your significant other. Seriously. Try it.
Anyway, we now have one desk which holds our main computer; luckily we also have a laptop. This allows us to both easily be working at the same time–the laptop can travel to the sofa or to the dining room table or–down the road–to the window seat or glider in the nursery. We’re hoping this gives us maximum flexibility once the baby comes to stay productive. We can dream, right?
From this recent post you can see how our current living room has evolved over time. The main thing we’ve changed to accommodate our office-in-the-living room nook was to move out our piano. It was sad for us to part with it, but luckily we were able to find it a temporary home with our friends L&J. They recently moved to a much larger-than-ours condo and were happy to take (on indefinite loan) or piano for their sun room. Of course, now when we visit them we also get to visit (and play) our piano, which is great!
Initially, we just took the piano out and then set up the desk where the piano was, leaving the room looking like this:
However, as you can see, things are pretty cluttered with the chaise lounge right there. And I really don’t need more clutter these days–we’re trying to make more room with the baby on the way! Before I go any further I must say a few things in defense of the chaise lounge: it is an amazing piece of furniture. It is perfect for lounging on after a long day. Or on a sleepy weekend afternoon. Or if you need a place to line-dry a bunch of laundry. Seriously, I love this thing.
But, sadly, just does not work very well with the space or when I need to, say, use the desk’s file drawer. As you can see, I can’t really open the drawer all the way to file papers, which makes me not want to file them:
Furthermore, the chaise lounge really comes out quite far into the room, making the whole room feel rather cramped, which is never a good thing in a tiny place. So, after much deliberation and sighing, we decided that we’d have to part with the chaise lounge. Hopefully only temporarily though; ideally we’ll just put it in storage or lend it to a friend for a year or two, but that has yet to get worked out. In the meantime though, we’ve decided to forgo the idea of a super-fancy new chair in lieu of something small but practical, in place of the chaise lounge. DH and I have gone back and forth about this for some time now. I thought a slipper chair would be ideal (no arms to get in the way!), but he thought a slipper chair wouldn’t be very comfortable for him, and thought perhaps with the baby we’d want something with arms. The problem in my mind though was that most arm chairs are pretty darn huge. So we were at an impasse for some time about this.
Then, during a recent trip to IKEA, we saw this chair:
Now, I know it doesn’t look like much at first glance, but this chair (from the EKTORP series–same as the chaise lounge and couch we have) is quite the small-space work horse! It has an amazingly slim design (a full ELEVEN INCHES less wide than the regular EKTORP armchair), yet it passed my 6-foot-tall DH’s comfort test easily. And at only $200, it is really a steal. I also like that this chair would allow me to change my mind over time, now that I know I can get a custom slipcover for it (more about that here). So last weekend DH and I managed to fit this great little chair into Cedric the CR-V and drove off with smiles on our faces (although the smiles may have also been due to the $1 frozen yogurt we were enjoying at the same time).
You might assume that we’d have no trouble fitting this efficient arm chair into our small-but-roomy crossover vehicle. But you’d be wrong. We were actually in Minnesota at the time, attending some lovely baby showers thrown by our friends and family “back home.” So the car was already full of our suitcases and lots of baby-shower loot. We actually had to remove almost everything from the car, take the chair out of its box, and fit everything back in, Tetris-style. It was hilarious (for me at least–probably less so for DH as he was doing all the heavy lifting!).
Full disclosure: there was an extra challenge as DH fit everything into our car…there was already another chair in the car (gasp!). Yes, indeed, earlier that day I had been shopping at Home Goods for a new mirror for our new bedroom (more on that here) and came across what I can only describe as “the perfect chair for our new living room office.” When I pulled in DH, he confirmed that this chair did, in fact, have it all. Although the chair we had been using in our new office was working fine, I was pretty bored with it (you can see it in the picture above–it is just a white slip-covered dining room chair from IKEA). I had been considering getting a custom slipcover for it, but when I saw this beauty, it practically jumped in the car like a puppy wanting to come home with me. After DH and I both sat in it and decided it was appropriately comfortable (not uncomfortable but not TOO comfortable–we want to still be productive in our office!), DH carried it to the front of the store and, after paying, it did indeed jump right in. So that’s why there was already another chair in our car when we went to get Jenny, the Jennylund arm chair.
Now that we’re back in Chicago and have finally put all the baby loot away, we’re now ready for our updated chair situation in the office. Curious? Here it is:
Pretty fabulous, eh? We’re definitely happy with it. I just love how the office chair looks from behind (ahem). Both the print and the nail-head trim are so classy!! And Jenny fits in much better in that corner than the chaise lounge did. Yes, she’s still a little boring, but she at least “goes” with everything else in the room. We still definitely need to go through that bookshelf and re-distribute some of that stuff (maybe find more to get rid of?!?) and deal with the cord clutter beneath the desk, but for now we’re happy with the space.
What do you think? Do you have a Jennylund squeezing into a tight space anywhere? Do you buy two chairs when you go to visit family and friends?