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Tour My Home Office

Thank you so much for the hugely supportive comments earlier this week – my paper was well received!  So many of you have emailed or left comments asking about my research, hoping I’ll share a bit more about what I do when I’m not blogging.  I’m completely surprised at the interest, but I promise to share some details next week.

On the topic of work I thought maybe you might like to see where the magic happens.  Of course, you’ve seen my artful Expedit hack, Hubby’s DIY welded desk, my DIY treadle desk, my DIY magnetic board, and the silhouette wall, but not the whole office together. 

Because I work from home almost 100% of the time, it’s a bit of a struggle to get functionality, style and affordability to blend together.  With an unlimited budget, there’s lots of things I would do, but at the end of the day I have to work with hand-me-downs, cheap big box furniture and homemade desks. I have big plans for our next house: I want to build two new, matching desks that hide the cords and have little stations for hiding the printer, etc.

But for now, I love my treadle desk (I treadle when I’m thinking – I wish I could power my laptop this way).  Plus, I still enjoy the eclecticism of the space, the handmade touches and the fact that it looks less office-y than other offices.


Here’s what you see when you first walk in: my DIY treadle sewing machine base desk and Hubby’s DIY welded desk

From the other side of the office (with the window to your back), you can see the silhouette wall.  I have a new one, plus another being framed, and I promise some details on both – soon.

We haven’t finished converting the closet into a nook (it still needs trim to hide the track), but I love the extra space we gained.  The antique chest under the silhouettes is a family heirloom from Hubby’s side, and it is crammed full of books and office supplies. 

I still love my DIY magnetic board, I just need to use extra strong magnets.

The sculpture on top of the filing cabinet (as well as the bird sculpture on the wall beside my desk) was made by my Papa, the same talented man who welded our headboard

You remember Hubby’s desk.  He plonks his laptop there but, because he also takes it to work, sometimes the desk is bare.  And then sometimes I pile my stacks of reading onto it and use both desks.

I still love the design of his desk.  It doesn’t “go” with my desk but we’ve punched his desk up with a black painting, chair and vintage dish to tie in the black.  And the Expedit and silhouette wall repeat the black, cream and white theme.  When you see the whole room, in that elusive third dimension, it works.  Someday, when we build two matching desks, his desk will be come a console table somewhere and his chair will live in a bedroom.  I specifically picked this design because of its versatility.

P.S. Today is your last chance to enter to win some customized art.



  1. Designwali
    May 31, 2012 / 1:06 pm

    Such a gorgeous space! Love that black art! Glad to hear all went well with your paper!

  2. Tiffany @ {Living Savvy}
    May 31, 2012 / 1:12 pm

    Super fun space! I love the contrast between you desk and his!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 31, 2012 / 1:58 pm

      Thanks! I'm glad you like the contrast. I wasn't sold, at first, but thought two treadle desks would be overkill. And anything else ornate felt wrong for the house (which is mostly clean lines). I thought the boxy desk echoed the expedit cubes and the square headboard I designed in our bedroom. And painting it white helps it blend a little bit into the background.

  3. Courtney at Little Moments
    May 31, 2012 / 1:18 pm

    I LOVE your desk!! So open and airy!

  4. Amy
    May 31, 2012 / 1:38 pm

    Love the room and glad to hear everything went well!

  5. Jeanette @ This Dusty House
    May 31, 2012 / 1:52 pm

    I love your office. In a few months, I have my fingers crossed that I'll have an office of my own – instead of the dining room table – to decorate and I'll definitely be relying on this post for plenty of office inspiration. Thanks for sharing! And – yay for your paper being well-received! My sister is working on her PhD, so I hear on a regular basis how stressful the writing and presenting of those papers can be!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 31, 2012 / 1:56 pm

      Ooo, I'm so excited to see you decorate your office space!! And it's nice to hear your sister is working on her PhD, too. I hope things go well for her.

  6. Nicole
    May 31, 2012 / 2:07 pm

    Your office space is breath taking. I just love the silhouette wall. And congratulations on your paper! I'm presenting my research in August at our annual convention and my stomach is already in knots. Anyhow, I can't wait to hear about your research next week!

  7. Ashley
    May 31, 2012 / 2:33 pm

    I loooooove your office! That chest that's tucked away in the corner? Amazing. And nice job on your desk! I love seeing those old treadle sewing machines turned into something useful.

  8. Hannah
    May 31, 2012 / 3:56 pm

    I love everything about this. My boyfriend and I have two different desks in our office too, and I'm working on making them flow. You've done an amazing job. Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

  9. Melissa
    May 31, 2012 / 4:07 pm

    Were you at Congress? I might have walked right past you and not realized! I'm glad your paper went well. Both of mine also did, and now I'm just looking forward to going home!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 31, 2012 / 9:39 pm

      I WAS at Congress! Too funny – we could have met! Are you going next year? I volunteered to help my association plan our conference, so I'll definitely be in Victoria, BC. If you go, we should arrange to meet for coffee or check out some panels together.So happy to hear your papers went well too! Way to go πŸ™‚

  10. Melissa
    May 31, 2012 / 11:47 pm

    I'm totally going next year! I attend a program called DHSI (the Digital Humanities Summer Institute) every year at UVic, and it happens right after Congress, so I'll just go and stay for two weeks instead of one. It works out perfectly. We should absolutely try to meet! I don't think I know exactly what field you're in, but I'm always interested in checking out panels from associations that I didn't know exist. πŸ˜‰

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 1, 2012 / 1:26 am

      Awesome! I'm so excited for the chance to meet!I'm in Women's Studies, but I attended the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada panels (and presented in one) because my research looks at representations of motherhood and non-motherhood in Hungary. I've had a lot of readers ask, so I'm planning a post next week about my research. Just a tiny bit of info.

  11. Melissa
    June 1, 2012 / 11:39 am

    See, didn't know that one existed! I'm in English, Canadian lit in particular, so I presented with the ACQL (Association of Canadian and Quebec Literatures) and SDH-SEMI (Society of Digital Humanities). It was a great conference!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 1, 2012 / 4:02 pm

      Yours are new to me too! It was a fabulous conference – so well organized! And such inspiring papers.

  12. InteriorGroupie
    June 2, 2012 / 2:40 pm

    Tanya it looks amazing! What a great space to work from. Make sure to pop by my blog for a Blurb giveaway!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 3, 2012 / 3:29 am

      Thanks, I find it pretty comfy to wile away the days here.P.S. I've entered!

  13. Kimberly
    June 3, 2012 / 9:24 pm

    I love everything about your office. I can't wait to read about your work. πŸ™‚

  14. Sarah @ { rad: renovations are dirty }
    June 7, 2012 / 12:19 pm

    Your treadle desk is just plain awesome. I remember the soothing feeling of sitting at my mum's sewing table (just like that one) and rocking the treadle. Anyway, I adore everything about your office. πŸ™‚

  15. Clayton Steadham
    August 22, 2012 / 3:12 pm

    I’m not surprised your paper got a good reaction from people. Your workplace stimulates productivity with just the right brightness and enough room for movement. Plus, working in a place with home-made fittings, like the desks makes you feel less pressured, right? That’s how it goes for me. πŸ˜€ Thanks for the tour!Clayton Steadham

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