modern thrifter

modern thrifter

Thrifter & designer. Blogging about life in our MCM home & living on a budget. I also design things with my husband. You can see our work at The Mahoney Studio

[ ART ROOM PROGRESS]

Improvements have been slow lately on the house, but on the upside, we’ve been having a lot of fun. We just returned from two weeks in Montana that we’re packed full of family, sun, camping, and swimming pools. 

Now that we’re back, I’ve been starting to hear a lot of “I’m bored” complaints from the kids, since they don’t have all of their cousins to play with. Good thing we’ve made a little progress on our art room. Once they get started on a project, they are easily enraptured for long stretches of time.

We still have lots to do in this room, but here’s what we’ve come up with so far: 



Art Table - We’ve been hanging on to this old table since my first apartment because it folds up so small, but it’s solid wood, and really heavy. It has a bad paint job from my early 20s, so I don’t really care if it gets marked up with sharpies and paint. The thrifted chairs were previously used in the dining room before we replaced them with these.

With all of the windows, this spot gets pretty good natural light, and eventually I’d like to hang a roll of seamless backdrop material from the ceiling like this, so I can pul it down when I need to do product photography for our graphic design portfolio.

Map Shelves - These are a new exciting find that we picked them up from the UW Surplus store for $15. I’ve been wanting flat files for such a long time, but they are really expensive. Even though these don’t have drawers like I originally wanted, they are incredibly deep, and the height of them stacked (we bought two units) makes a perfect counter height for a standing work space. 

Work Bench - I’ve been meaning to share this for a long time, and eventually I’ll get some better photos. We bought this at an estate sale last winter. It has two built in vice grips, a shelf, drawers, and a cabinet. Since we don’t have a garage, and our carport isn’t big enough for a work space, this sturdy but compact work bench has already been put to good use.

We also still have these shelves with my sewing cabinet, though they need a bit of reorganizing. And I’ve been using some vintage suitcases to store all of my fabric.

There is still plenty to finish in the room—ripping out the carpet, adding some shelving and bins to hold all of the various art supplies, and installing some better task lighting. For now, though, the room is serving the exact purpose we had in mind—space to be creative and messy. 

[ ART ROOM PROGRESS]

Improvements have been slow lately on the house, but on the upside, we’ve been having a lot of fun. We just returned from two weeks in Montana that we’re packed full of family, sun, camping, and swimming pools. 

Now that we’re back, I’ve been starting to hear a lot of “I’m bored” complaints from the kids, since they don’t have all of their cousins to play with. Good thing we’ve made a little progress on our art room. Once they get started on a project, they are easily enraptured for long stretches of time.

We still have lots to do in this room, but here’s what we’ve come up with so far: 

Art Table - We’ve been hanging on to this old table since my first apartment because it folds up so small, but it’s solid wood, and really heavy. It has a bad paint job from my early 20s, so I don’t really care if it gets marked up with sharpies and paint. The thrifted chairs were previously used in the dining room before we replaced them with these.

With all of the windows, this spot gets pretty good natural light, and eventually I’d like to hang a roll of seamless backdrop material from the ceiling like this, so I can pul it down when I need to do product photography for our graphic design portfolio.

Map Shelves - These are a new exciting find that we picked them up from the UW Surplus store for $15. I’ve been wanting flat files for such a long time, but they are really expensive. Even though these don’t have drawers like I originally wanted, they are incredibly deep, and the height of them stacked (we bought two units) makes a perfect counter height for a standing work space. 

Work Bench - I’ve been meaning to share this for a long time, and eventually I’ll get some better photos. We bought this at an estate sale last winter. It has two built in vice grips, a shelf, drawers, and a cabinet. Since we don’t have a garage, and our carport isn’t big enough for a work space, this sturdy but compact work bench has already been put to good use.

We also still have these shelves with my sewing cabinet, though they need a bit of reorganizing. And I’ve been using some vintage suitcases to store all of my fabric.

There is still plenty to finish in the room—ripping out the carpet, adding some shelving and bins to hold all of the various art supplies, and installing some better task lighting. For now, though, the room is serving the exact purpose we had in mind—space to be creative and messy. 

Comments
[ ART SPACE ]
As the kids head back to school and the cooler weather sets in, I’m preparing to spend more time indoors. I’ve been eager to finally make some progress on our home office. This project has taken the back burner over and over since we’ve moved in, and it has become a pitiful, neglected room that operates more as storage space than work space. 
The room is a long rectangle, and my original plan when we bought the house was to make the back section a more traditional office area (desks, computers, shelves, etc.) and set up the front as an art area, because both Patrick and I used to do quite a bit of fine art. My favorite medium was oil paints, but it’s not exactly the type of thing you can do with babies and toddlers under foot. By now, all of my paint tubes have dried up, my brushes get used by the kids, and maybe you remember the linseed oil incedent. 
Every time I step foot into the art store, I am reminded how much I love and miss painting, and though I’m not swimming in a sea of free time, it would be great to have a permanent set-up for when creativity hits. I would also love to incorporate a kids art area into this space. My kids are always begging to do projects, but with the only current areas being the dining room table and the carpeted play room, they don’t get to do as many types of art projects as we’d all like.
So, to get the ball rolling on the office makeover, I spent last week rearranging furniture, perusing blogs and Pineterest for inspiration, and selling things on craigslist to make a little cash to put toward the project. I know I’ve talked about getting all fancy with a custom desk before, but I think we’ve simplified things a little so that we can actually make progress. 
Photo by Jody Morris via Flickr

[ ART SPACE ]

As the kids head back to school and the cooler weather sets in, I’m preparing to spend more time indoors. I’ve been eager to finally make some progress on our home office. This project has taken the back burner over and over since we’ve moved in, and it has become a pitiful, neglected room that operates more as storage space than work space. 

The room is a long rectangle, and my original plan when we bought the house was to make the back section a more traditional office area (desks, computers, shelves, etc.) and set up the front as an art area, because both Patrick and I used to do quite a bit of fine art. My favorite medium was oil paints, but it’s not exactly the type of thing you can do with babies and toddlers under foot. By now, all of my paint tubes have dried up, my brushes get used by the kids, and maybe you remember the linseed oil incedent

Every time I step foot into the art store, I am reminded how much I love and miss painting, and though I’m not swimming in a sea of free time, it would be great to have a permanent set-up for when creativity hits. I would also love to incorporate a kids art area into this space. My kids are always begging to do projects, but with the only current areas being the dining room table and the carpeted play room, they don’t get to do as many types of art projects as we’d all like.

So, to get the ball rolling on the office makeover, I spent last week rearranging furniture, perusing blogs and Pineterest for inspiration, and selling things on craigslist to make a little cash to put toward the project. I know I’ve talked about getting all fancy with a custom desk before, but I think we’ve simplified things a little so that we can actually make progress. 

Photo by Jody Morris via Flickr

Comments
[ DESK PROJECT ]
You might remember me being super excited before Christmas about some plans we had in the works for a new desk in our office. As is often the case  when going about home improvement the slow, frugal way, things aren’t  always as easy as clicking the “order” button on a website, or signing a  bid from a contractor. We had hoped to work out a trade with some  friends to build the desk for us, but both of our little businesses are  just too busy to make this trade possible. Patrick and I are now  brainstorming ideas for simple—but still striking—DIY options.
I pulled down my vintage BH&G decorating book,  and came across the image above. I’m thinking that I can probably find a  set of vintage night stands or end tables either at the thrift store or  on Craigslist. We can add the wood spacers, or just use Ikea legs, and then get a nice, big piece of wood for the desk top. Patrick just met the folks over at Kerf a few weeks ago, and found out that they sell 4’ x 8’ sheets of their  gorgeous plywood for $140, so that might be an option, too.

Here is another desk, from Patrick Davis Design, with a similar design that gets me fired up to do this project:

[ DESK PROJECT ]

You might remember me being super excited before Christmas about some plans we had in the works for a new desk in our office. As is often the case when going about home improvement the slow, frugal way, things aren’t always as easy as clicking the “order” button on a website, or signing a bid from a contractor. We had hoped to work out a trade with some friends to build the desk for us, but both of our little businesses are just too busy to make this trade possible. Patrick and I are now brainstorming ideas for simple—but still striking—DIY options.

I pulled down my vintage BH&G decorating book, and came across the image above. I’m thinking that I can probably find a set of vintage night stands or end tables either at the thrift store or on Craigslist. We can add the wood spacers, or just use Ikea legs, and then get a nice, big piece of wood for the desk top. Patrick just met the folks over at Kerf a few weeks ago, and found out that they sell 4’ x 8’ sheets of their gorgeous plywood for $140, so that might be an option, too.

Here is another desk, from Patrick Davis Design, with a similar design that gets me fired up to do this project:

Comments
[ A GIFT TOO BIG TO WRAP ]
I love bartering, and while I’ve never been brave enough to give it a go via Craigslist, I have struck several deals with friends and acquaintances. Usually, Patrick or I trade graphic design services for a product or service that we are unable to do ourselves. That’s how I’ve been getting my hair cut and colored this year. We have also just scored free babysitting for quite some time in exchange for designing some wedding invitations for good friends.Recently, Patrick surprised me with a trade so big that I had a hard time believing it could be true. We have some friends that have started up a design and construction company and have agreed to design and build a modern built-in desk for our home office in exchange for some branding and website work. A new desk would be a huge improvement over our current workspace, which is an old hallow-core interior door with some ikea desk legs attached. It’s been functional, but it’s not the sturdiest desk, nor does it give us as much workable area as we’d like.


The new desk was supposed to be a surprise for me for Christmas, but beans were inadvertently spilled. I’m actually thankful that I found out early. Now I get to be part of the brainstorming process. The great thing is that so far Patrick and I agree on every aspect of the desk. I don’t want to reveal the final design yet, but it is going to be big. It will have some of the elements of the desks in the photos: reclaimed wood mixed with white drawers, open cubby sections, and I think it may even have a flip-up bulletin board and some built-in lighting. It’s going to be an “L” shape desk which will give us a ton of space. The only snag we are running into is that because it is going to be permanently attached to both the wall and the floor, we need to figure out what we are doing with the carpet in the office. Right now it is the same cheap beige carpet that is throughout the entire downstairs, only the office is now covered in stains from my unfortunate linseed oil incident.I would like to have something a little thinner so that our chairs can roll easier, but I still want it carpeted so that it isn’t too cold. Ideally, I’d like Flor tiles, but they are so pricey, I don’t know if we can swing it before the desk install. We are debating buying just enough tiles to fit under the desk area, and finishing the rest of the room when we can afford to do so. We also don’t want to do something super low quality, as we don’t to have to replace it anytime soon. Any suggestions?

[ A GIFT TOO BIG TO WRAP ]

I love bartering, and while I’ve never been brave enough to give it a go via Craigslist, I have struck several deals with friends and acquaintances. Usually, Patrick or I trade graphic design services for a product or service that we are unable to do ourselves. That’s how I’ve been getting my hair cut and colored this year. We have also just scored free babysitting for quite some time in exchange for designing some wedding invitations for good friends.

Recently, Patrick surprised me with a trade so big that I had a hard time believing it could be true. We have some friends that have started up a design and construction company and have agreed to design and build a modern built-in desk for our home office in exchange for some branding and website work.

A new desk would be a huge improvement over our current workspace, which is an old hallow-core interior door with some ikea desk legs attached. It’s been functional, but it’s not the sturdiest desk, nor does it give us as much workable area as we’d like.


The new desk was supposed to be a surprise for me for Christmas, but beans were inadvertently spilled. I’m actually thankful that I found out early. Now I get to be part of the brainstorming process. The great thing is that so far Patrick and I agree on every aspect of the desk. I don’t want to reveal the final design yet, but it is going to be big. It will have some of the elements of the desks in the photos: reclaimed wood mixed with white drawers, open cubby sections, and I think it may even have a flip-up bulletin board and some built-in lighting. It’s going to be an “L” shape desk which will give us a ton of space.

The only snag we are running into is that because it is going to be permanently attached to both the wall and the floor, we need to figure out what we are doing with the carpet in the office. Right now it is the same cheap beige carpet that is throughout the entire downstairs, only the office is now covered in stains from my unfortunate linseed oil incident.

I would like to have something a little thinner so that our chairs can roll easier, but I still want it carpeted so that it isn’t too cold. Ideally, I’d like Flor tiles, but they are so pricey, I don’t know if we can swing it before the desk install. We are debating buying just enough tiles to fit under the desk area, and finishing the rest of the room when we can afford to do so. We also don’t want to do something super low quality, as we don’t to have to replace it anytime soon. Any suggestions?

Comments