Office In Living Room – Pick My Presto

Hey there- and welcome to another installment of Pick My Presto!

In addition to making some fun changes in our kitchen this past weekend  (updated pics coming soon!), I also had a ball photoshoppin’ a picture of a living room/home office sent in by our go-to WordPress-wiz, Shauna Callaghan. (Seriously, she is the best and I am so glad Kim put me in touch with her!) Here’s the email I got from her explaining her issues with the room:

Hey Layla,

I work out of my living room which makes its cozy-ness factor kind of difficult. (Yes- all of your technical smarty pants website stuff is being done right in the hub of our home!) I’d love to separate my office area from the living room area without cutting me off completely. I like to be in the middle of life around here! I made my desk out of file cabinets about 5 years ago and they’ve seen better days. I don’t love the rustic art hanging to the left of the TV, and I’m not loving our couches and we’re looking to replace them with something a little more cottage-y/kid-friendly.


Here’s the photo she included with her email:

Move your cursor on and off of the photo below to see what I had fun dreaming up for her this weekend…

(PS- Google Readers will have to click over to our site to view this one in action!)

(Note: My drawing is for inspirational purposes only, and the ideas shown in it are just that. Spontaneous, totally flexible, just-for-fun, ideas. And since this is a just-for-fun photo consultation, and not an actual-and-perfectly-to-scale virtual consultation, I have no idea if any of the ideas, furniture or accessories I popped in my drawing would actually work/look right in the room. Boom.)

Here are the still images in case you weren’t able to view the interactive ones above…

Shauna’s living room/home office photo:

My presto change-o pic:

I’m thinking a nice, big L-shaped desk (homemade or store-bought) facing the living room would be a good way to keep the two spaces connected-but-separate. I also like the idea of moving the computer monitor over a bit so that Shauna doesn’t have to face that wall so much. And speaking of that wall, I think it’d be neat to really give it it’s own identity (I’m Shauna’s home office, hear me roar!) by stenciling it, or wallpapering it, or maybe covering it in blue-painting planks like I did in my drawing. (I know that’s a really tall wall though, so I’m not sure how do-able that idea is.) And to open it up and illuminate it a little more, I thought it might be neat to flank a large mirror with a pair of wall sconces (hard-wired or plug-in).

In the living room, I drew in a leather sofa, and popped in a camel-colored sofa covered in a variety of vibrant throw pillows. And to keep the kid-friendly theme going, I added a pretty painted/distressed coffee table, and a sisal-type rug. And no matter what color scheme Shauna decides to go with, I think it would be neat to dot one main accent color throughout the entire space. (I dotted tangerine and red from the office rug, to throw pillows on the sofas, to curtains on the windows.) That way, the whole place feels nice and cohesive. (Note: I also used a white entertainment unit in the drawing because I liked the way to “spoke” to the white desk on the opposite side of the room.)

Last but not least, here are some of the inspirational elements I plucked from the web to put together my drawing…

(Clockwise from top left– Antique Brass Architectural Wall Sconce, Circa Lighting; Blythe Bird Embroidered Pillow, Pottery Barn; “Manhattan” Leather Sofa, Pottery Barn; Eva Colored Glass Table Lamp, Pottery Barn; Pratt Coffee Table, Pottery Barn; Photo of blue planked walls, via; Bedford Desk, Pottery Barn)

Thank you for the opportunity to pick your presto, Shauna! I had a blast putting it together and I hope you can use some of the ideas as a jumping off point when you start to redo the room!

Wanna submit a photo for my Pick My Presto series?

Send an email to PickMyPresto [at] aol [dot] com titled, Living Room. (Replace the words Living Room with whatever type of room you’re actually submitting.) In the body of the email, include your name, your blog name (if you have one) your design likes & dislikes, and one photo of the space in question. (No links please.) It should be clear, and measure at least 400 pixels high x 600 pixels wide. (In other words: at least 4″high x 6″ wide) The bigger the better though! Make sure it’s a photo you’re comfortable with me showing and writing about on our blog. Then, whenever I’m feelin’ the urge, I’ll randomly select someone’s email and creating some presto change-o style inspiration. Oh, and since I love surprises, I probably won’t email you to let you know I’ve “picked your presto” unless I have a specific question for ya about your space.

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Christmas Advent

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  1. says

    WOW! Well, you definitely hit the mark on providing inspiration! I have a strange desire to move on in to your sketched out room! lol I’m LOVING horizontal planked walls and have been agonizing over that or faux board & batten for my walls.

  2. says

    Oh I love that change for Shauna’s front room/magic making work space. While Shauna’s front room is charming the way you made the office separated yet together as you stated is wonderful. Love the white desk.. sure makes everything seem lighter.. and the glass light fixture you added makes my heart beat faster.. I’m sure of it.. :)

  3. Rhonda says

    Awesome, you are so inspiring! When I try to rearrange or decorate, I think…ok, now how would Layla do this :)

    • Layla says

      Hey thanks Amy! 😀 We had our last How To’s Day a while back…but I’ll definitely post an announce if we decide to do one again! :-)

  4. says

    Yay!!! You are so sweet to do this for me!! I love IT!!!!! Today is my birthday – this is my favorite gift so far! :) xoxo

    • Layla says

      WOO HOO! 😀 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you have a fun-filled day, Shauna! 😀

  5. says

    Love this redo. With the addition of our last child, my hubs lost his mancave/office and have a similar situation. Love how the desk works with the space.

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Molly! :-) I’m so glad you were able to draw inspiration from it, too!

  6. says

    Casual sophistication! Very cute!
    Love the shade of blue. I just painted my living room “Icy Teal” by Glidden which looks very similar to the shade of blue in the photo of the blue planked walls.

    • Layla says

      Ooh! I like that description, Deidra! 😀 Thanks for the sweet comment, and for the tip about “Icy Teal”. I’ll have to check that one out! 😀

  7. Elisabeth says

    YOU.ARE.A.GENIUS. Seriously, I’ve watched a million HGTV shows and there is no one more talented than you!

  8. says

    Ooo, how fun!!! Loved your inspiration pieces as well. I should send you my strange-shaped living room in our 1850’s stone house…it’s a real bear to try to figure out! I just ordered a new red slipcover for my loveseat (a couch won’t fit) and some possible curtain and pillow materials. I’d LOVE some input on it!!!

  9. Lisa W. says

    That “new” living room idea is gorgous…LOVE the Pottery Barn desk…looks just awesome!!!

  10. sandrine says

    i love it, i think i need to send you a picture of my living room so you can work your magic.

  11. Kim in MD says

    What a gorgeous, functional transformation-you are awesome, Layla! One of these days I am going to send in a picture of my design dilemma!

  12. geri says

    Layla I don’t if I could pick my favorite chango cause it all is magic.
    I do Love times 10 the wicker desk chair. “BRILLIANT”! Looks so cool and comfy to. Is that Pottery Barn?
    Still praying for HGTV to know you and Kevin are what there programing needs. Creative, chic, on a budget, comfy sit and put your feet up decorators with a family first attitude. Yeah for you both.

  13. Kelli says

    Can you explain how to do the horizontal planking on the wall? What type of wood do you use? Is it tongue and groove or just regular boards?

    Kelli :)

  14. Gina C says

    Love this pesto! If I ever get drywall up in my foyer, I’m definitely sending it your way. I LOVE the rug under the desk… but I didn’t see a link for it. Where is it located? It would be perfect in my living room.
    Thanks for all your inspiration!

  15. says

    Great job! I love the L-desk.. it seems like the perfect solution. I also liked that you used two separate rugs to define the spaces, but everything’s still very tied together.

  16. Pammy says

    LOVE IT! – Love all the pieces you found to put in that room and LOVE the way you put it all together! (Think I’m gonna have to get that bird pillow!!! ♥♥♥)

  17. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    Just a little random mention…………did’ja see you have 8888 followers?
    KEWL! That’s a huge following!!!!! Way to go!!!!!!

    • Layla says

      Cool! I love it when that happens! Except for when it was all 6’s. That was weird! :-O

  18. Lisa Allen says

    Why can’t I see your pictures anymore? This is frustrating. Has something changed?

    • Layla says

      Hmm…I’m so bad with all that technical stuff, but I’m guessing it has something to do with your browser needing an update maybe? (I heard Kevin say that one time, so I’m gonna go with that- LOL!)
      Try loading it in a different browser (Safari, FIrefox, IE, etc.) and see if they load. That should do the trick! :-)

  19. says

    Love the changes and the desk area really makes sense. I especially like this presto because it is very similar to the layout of our family room with the office area at the back with high ceilings. I have always wanted file drawers and narrow desktop in this configuration and to not be facing, in our case, a window but rather the rest of the room. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure Shaunna will love the changes suggested.

  20. Rachel says

    What type of software do you use? We are renovating our house and would love to plan out the designs like you did above.