New project – Canadian man cave, office edition

I’m really excited today to share my latest project as it’s very close to home; I’ll be lending some of my design expertise to my broseph to help szhuzh-up a gentleman’s Canadian man cave makeover to his new office! And I’m getting all sorts of emo all up in here looking at Canadian mood boards. 
My broseph is currently in college so the budget is pretty tight. I’ll be working on recycling and upgrading the pieces of furniture and accessories my brother already has and reincorporating them in a new way. I like a good budget challenge! 
To give you an idea of the room, below are a couple of pictures showing what my brother’s office looks like at the moment [keep in mind he just moved in, so there are a variety of items / boxes in here at the moment] … 
First up – we’re going to kill that magnolia with fire. We’ll be changing the layout of the room and since we’re a little strapped for space, we’ll be making the most of the walls. I’ll also be adding lots of tiny and budget-friendly changes such as updating and coordinating the handles on the closet with the soon-to-be revamped drawers [as seen in the corner of the second ‘before’ picture]. 
To give you some visuals and a better feel of the mood I wanted to create for this room, below you’ll find the inspiration from Pat that started it all … 
When I first saw Pat’s Canadian cabin nursery design, I knew something along these lines would be perfect for my brother. He is after all, the only legit Canadian in our family. I loved how Pat’s nursery wasn’t over the top cheesy-patriotic, but it so perfectly incorporated a Canadian slant into the design.
And some clean, gentlemanly office inspiration that I stumbled upon on Pinterest. So far, here are just some of the ideas I’ve magicked up with my brain machine … 

1. I was thinking a subtle way of adding some personality to the office without going too OTT with colour is to add some colour to the curtain rod. This can easily be done with spray paint, doesn’t cost a lot, and can also be repainted at a later date [side note: there won’t be black curtains].

2. The cardboard stag’s head I bought in Marks & Spencers last year has been gathering dust in our apartment, but it will look perfect in my broseph’s new office. Ca-ching. 
3. I don’t know how possible this will be, but I’d like to include either a birch branch or birch bark into the design. Now, all I have to do is find some birch available in Ireland … 
4. Clipboard wall! One idea I had as a functioning focal point was to have a clipboard wall above his desk, as an alternative to a bulletin board or chalkboard wall. A chalkboard wall would be too dark and overwhelming in such a small room. Whereas a row or two of clipboards would be able to hold not only assignments, but tickets for events, reminders, and similar to what’s in our kitchen, I could paint one of the clipboards with chalk paint so it can be taken off the wall and written on. 
5. I’m going to try my hand at DIYing some pillow case covers by upcycling some old plaid shirts [see below inspiration on this idea from Pat].  
6. I couldn’t resist including the man blanket I crochet for my brother a couple of years ago. It and other textiles will add another level of comfort to the room for snuggling up on crappy rainy days and watching movies.
7. I’m still on the bench when it comes to wall colour. I’d like to with a warm shade of grey that’s barely there grey. Really close to white, but enough grey that broseph’s white desk will stand out. I think grey, when used in the right conditions, can make everything else POP in a room and add warmth. That is, with the right shade. We’ll see how the paint tests go. 
I’m excited to get started and help my little [yet an entire foot taller] broseph with the gentleman’s office he deserves. I’ll be sharing updates on the room as it develops so stay tuned! 

xx A

p.s. “Office edition?” I hear you say. Yes, office edition, meaning there’s gonna be MOAR ROOMS! I’ll be updating broseph’s bedroom too after his office is sorted. 

Work it

Today is the start of bigger things. I’d say at this point you’re all sick to your back teeth reading about me wanting to take my first step towards a career in design. I kind of had enough, burst into wobbly tears and made a lot of ugly crying faces these past few weeks, so I decided to take a step. A tiny one. I decided to commit one day a week to me stuff and one day less as an office zombie. It’s a risk, but not too much of one as I’m still a chicken shit / worrier and am terrified of failure. I haven’t made this move until now because it was far too easy to just not change anything. I don’t have as much balls as some of the bloggers I know who are not only doing it full time, but owning it. I can’t do that. Not yet at least. It’s a weening process for me. 

So far today I procrastinated by cleaning the entire apartment, doing a load of laundry and getting a meter reading before making myself breakfast. But I knuckled down and am now almost finished one of the items on my list. One step at a time. One day a week. Quietly bricking it as I go. 

Paper and paint

Have you ever had one of those moments where you see something that completely stops you in your tracks? As I was passing by White Lady Art on the way to my bus stop after work one day, what should I see in the window but this amaze-balls piece of urban art. It was a perfect combination of some of my favourite things – skulls, drippy spray paint, graffiti and my new affection for pink. I kinda had to have it. 

I went straight into the shop. There were loads more pieces of spray can art in the shop, all handmade by the intrinsically talented Irish designer, Eric Davys. His creative process is so beautiful and detailed. It reminded me so much of before I was into interior design and was heavily interested in becoming involved in either comic book artistry or special effects makeup. I’ve contemplated blogging my work from my previous life, but as it doesn’t really fit into design, I kinda don’t think it would be appropriate. But that’s a story for another day! We’ll see. 

For the moment, cansy, that’s what I like to call him, sits on our desk and beautifully matches and juxtaposes against my My Fair Lady print which hangs over our desk. I should have taken a photo of the two together, but I’m a bad blogger and didn’t think of it at the time. Shame on me. 

I did miss my bus that day when I spotted cansy, but it was so worth it.