Mr. Magpie’s Study: The Plan

Living Room with Early Summer Mantel Decor

Vintage Printer's Table

Like I said yesterday, we’ve had a big revelation about our house and we’re moving all the rooms around. The pantry lead us to the mudroom which lead us to the family room which lead us to the living room, which lead us to now.

Both Mr. Magpie and I work from home. So we both need to have a comfortable and inspiring place to work. My space is in my combo office and sewing room, which you’ve seen before. It’s not yet all those things, but it least it has heat, you know? Mr. Magpie has been working out of a storage room in the garage. It’s sad, really.

So we have this living room in the front of our house, and nobody uses it, and I’ve always dreamed of having a study off the entry like they do in old houses, and so we’re going to do it. We’re going to make a study.

While we were talking about how cool it would be, I started hunting through my file of photos for one that would show how if your clutter is charmingly contained, then the mess can look charming. I didn’t find the picture I was looking for, but I did find this:

Study Inspiration Photo

(I’m sorry to say that I don’t know where this photo came from. I can’t find the photo on my computer or I’d search for it on Google’s image search. I just have this old wrinkly printout. It was in a file that jumped out at me yesterday when I was looking for something else. So if anyone knows where that photo is from, please please let me know so I can give proper credit.)

We both looove this photo. And we already have a red striped loveseat! We were already planning to add a white wainscoting, but now we’ll top it with that dark dark blue-black paint. Here’s some contenders from my Sherwin-Williams fan deck.

Paint Chips for Study

I think it’s one of the two on the right. They’re “Dark Night” and “Rainstorm,” respectively. Of course I’m voting for Rainstorm because I love the name. What do you guys think? I know it’s impossible to tell from a picture of a photocopy and a picture of a fan deck. But gut impressions?

Coincidentally we also happen to have some cool furniture in our garage that a good friend gave us when they moved away. We loved it, so we took it, even though we didn’t know for sure where we’d use it. So it’s been sitting in the garage for a few months, waiting for a home. There’s this awesome, vintage oak desk with a linoleum top:

Vintage Desk for Study

The desk will be the desk. We’ll build a hutch for the back of it to house the computer stuff, so it can be closed up when we’re going to have company, etc..

The other piece we have is this awesome vintage printer’s table. It’s counter height, millions of drawers, and a marble top. It weighs about five million tons. But it’s awesome. It will be Mr. Magpie’s sculpting and art bench.

Vintage Printer's Table for Study

Mr. Magpie also has a whole collection of vintage and original artwork, quirky accessories and so on, and I have some tricks up my sleeve for pillows, curtains, etc.. So here’s the whole plan:

Living Room Study To-Do List

  • Find homes for all items not staying in the study (books, accessories, wing chair, dresser, etc.)
  • Plaster fireplace and build or find mantel
  • Plaster walls
  • Build out doorway (using French doors from Habitat) to separate study from main living space
  • Build divider to separate entry from study
  • Build bookcases into corners
  • Add wainscoting, window moulding, baseboards and fixed valance
  • Clean and wax floors
  • Paint, paint, and more paint
  • Fix up furniture pieces and load in (desk, printer’s table, ottoman, club chair)
  • Find a desk chair
  • Build hutch for desk
  • Lighting
  • Art & Accessories (salon wall, inspiration board, books, containers for shelves, etc.)
  • Pillows, curtains, throws, etc..

Whew! That’s quite a list. But it’ll be worth it for Mr. Magpie to finally have a nice place to work. I think he’s most happy to have heat in the wintertime, and to save money not trying to heat the garage. I’m happy to have our front room get some use and get some decorating done around this joint! Ha!

How about you? Do you work from home? Where is your office?

~Angela :-)


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  1. Linden Townhouse says:

    I love that inspiration photo. It will be a wonderful study space!

  2. Wow, you have some great furniture for the new study. Can’t wait to see the end result now that you’re pointed forward. Have fun!

  3. You make me tired.

  4. I’m really looking forward to see how this goes! I worked from home until about 2 weeks ago and I just work from my computer in my bedroom. Nothing fancy. But now I’m retired (for the second time!) and I’m getting my craft room in order! My favorite pastime is following clever people like you though! So keep up the great work!

  5. Hi Angela, The picture is so cozy and lovely, I can’t wait to see it become reality in your home.

    • Thanks, Jillian! I am finding that I really like “cozy” more than I thought I did. So I’m excited to see this come together. ~A

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