Our First Room Redo

We’ve decided to tackle the sunroom first.

The makeover will include primer, paint, light fixtures, plants, wall art, a work station, and window treatments. Lots and lots of window treatments.

There are 1728 square feet in this house right now, and we’d like to make the most of as many of them as possible. Because he has more “stuff”, Kevin’s going to use the spare bedroom upstairs as his office. Because I like being out in the open, we’re going to create a work station for me in one corner of the sunroom. I’m rockin’ a temporary set-up in there right now, but I’ve got a few different things in mind for my soon-to-be office space.

The first involves a comfortable desk chair with felt-bottomed feet (maybe one that could easily roll into the large closet behind it if I feel like hiding it?)

The second involves making a decision between a traditional desk, sort of like this…


…and a desktop sitting on cleats and a corbel. Sort of like this, except I’d only need one corbel and I’d use a different material on the desktop:

(pinned from here)

Since people will pass by my desk to go in to the first floor bathroom, I sort of envision the area looking more like a “entry” (for lack of a better word) than an office. More like the vibe of the Pottery Barn photo above, but a little “vignette-ish” (for lack of a better word) like the corbel photo. It’ll be for blog posts and e-bill payments, but it doesn’t necessarily need to look like I do either of those things there- yaknowwhatImean?

So. That said- which desk style would you go with? Stand alone, or stuck to the wall?

Searching For Purpose
House Colors - Part Two

Have posts from The Lettered Cottage sent right to your INBOX!


  1. Isobel says

    If the room were mine, I would make the decision based on what I planned to do with the rest of the room. I would more than likely go with the cute white desk as it seems to go better with all the beautiful light coming through all those gorgeous windows.

  2. Tina says

    Thank you so much for sharing your new home with us! It is such a treat for me. My house is cluttered and in need of TLC :) and reading your posts give me both respite and inspiration, happiness and hope.
    The piano and light in the sunroom is so beautiful, I think that the sleeker corbel style might work best. It sounds like you want to keep the workspace clear- just a laptop spot- and I know you’d love finding the perfect corbel and top! If needed you could keep a lovely basket/container in the closet for any desk supplies/ files you don’t want on the desk and pop it out if needed.. Love the secretary style for a more expansive workspace that you can instantly close up for clarity- we have one as a station for all the family phones, laptops, etc., and it is working great.
    Enjoy, and thanks again!

  3. says

    The PB desk for sure. its far more functional, and will be a better choice when a little person enters your life (they pull up and crawl BEFORE you know it!! I love the ability to move it arounf later too. The desk is more $ in the beginning, but worth it (your an awesome shopper) I do like the corbel idea, but for an actual working desk, no. Thank you for posting these before shots, I’m so looking forward to each transformation and the thought process) Thx Layla!

  4. Daisy says

    I am loving the stand alone desk so that you can move it. As someone said before, that way you can move it around the room cause I am guessing that whether it is flowers or children dancing with the wind outside, you will want to watch!
    PS. Your timing could not be better, I am starting the planning stage of my wonderful but never been touched, neglected sun room. I envision my desk and sewing table in there.

  5. Sandra Dee says

    While I like the corbel desk, with only one corbel, you would have to straddle it when you work. That might be uncomfortable after working at it for a while. Just something else to consider.

    • Layla says

      Hi Sandra! I was actually thinking the corbel would be on the RIGHT side of the desk, and the top would sit on cleats mounted to the wall at the back and on the left side. BUT, I’ve got a new idea brewin’ in my brain as of today! 😉

  6. Peg says

    I LOVE the corbel, but have to go with the conventional desk. That way, you can move it around…

  7. Erin says

    I like the little half-moon table! I just learned that Louisa May Alcott wrote “Little Women” on a half-moon table her father built for her. So it can be a good source of inspiration.

  8. May says

    Love your website. Come here from time to time to get wonderful ideas for my humble home.

    I don’t know if this is possible, but have you considered utilizing the entire corner, having smaller corbels on either side than the traditional desk at the top? Sort of like a triangular desk shape like in this photo: http://www.theperfectdecor.com/ProductImages/OF-44__WW.jpg but with the corbels and traditional Pottery Barn style desktop like in your photos? Good luck. Can’t wait to see what you do. 😀

  9. says

    I { L O V E } both of them, but the 2nd a bunch! But I’m not crazy about the idea that it’s kinda permanent, although since it’s in the sun room, if you ever decide to do something else with your office, it would be perfect for plants!

  10. Stacy Grogan says

    Definitely Stand Alone… If you are anything like me, I like to rearrange things sometimes, and the stand alone style leaves more opportunity for that versus something semi-permanently mounted to the wall. :) But whatever you go with, I’m sure it will be beautiful!

  11. says

    I’m always amazed with American house sizes! Your house would be considered a huge house here in France !
    I’m really curious to see what you’ll do with your office area. Mine is in the living-room (small French cottage!!!) and I’m still hesitating about what to do with it…

  12. Karen says

    I love the look of the desk on corbels, but I would be worried about the commitment of sticking it to the wall and not being able to move it.

    Instead of a traditional desk… how about a nice console table or sofa table? It would be slim like the wall mounted desk, but there would still be plenty of room for a laptop or tablet and some accessories. Plus… you would be able to move it if necessary.

    You could accessorize it in a “vignette-ish” way, and if your needs change in the future you could find more uses for it than for a couple of corbels and a piece of glass. 😉

  13. Zenetta Bosch says

    Personally, I like the look of the stand alone. I think it would also give you more storage…….and less likely that a future little one would hit their head.

  14. Tina S says

    I like both desks but I’m madly in love with the Pottery Barn mermaid! I’m putting her on my Christmas wish list!

  15. Michelle says

    Hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have pinned the wall mounted desk before and love it BUT can see you getting more function from the pottery barn style desk ….. Have you thought about doing the corbel desk in your guest bathroom as a a sink base? I have a tiny first floor bathroom I plan on putting a similar sink base in. Because it won’t touch the floor, I can clean around it easily. Now…. I just need to find a floating toilet that doesn’t look like a public bathroom stool….

  16. says

    Can’t wait to see what you do with window treatments! I love making curtains, so I’m always anxious to see what people do in different situations. Will you DIY window treatments or purchase them?

  17. Janel says

    Stand alone because if I know the Lettered Cottage residents…soon you’ll come up with another GREAT idea and want to change it :) Make it flexible!

  18. Whitney says

    If you have only one corbel, wouldn’t it get in the way of your legs? Maybe two very slender corbels on either side (and reinforce with metal shelf-holders if needed.) I like the pottery barn desk because you can always flip up the lid and hide the clutter in a pinch before you have people over. Just some thoughts!

  19. jane g says

    go for the corbel. i think it would play off of the curve of that baby grand piano and could echo your fireplace trim in the other room. next, you’ll find a fantastic, comfortable chair that you won’t want to roll into the closet! congrats again on your beautiful house. i can’t wait to watch your designs unfold!

  20. Vicki says

    If you want looks go with #2. If you want something practical go with #1. I’m always amazed that people could actually “use” a desk with no drawers or storage. For me, its not real life. Your style and choices are so wonderful, can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    xoxo Vicki

  21. Rachelle says

    Hi Layla,
    First time commenter. :) You describe your style as “cottage.” To me, the corbels with the glass top are much too ornate for a cottage – I see that look in the RH catalog for eleventy-billion dollars. If I saw that corbel desk in a home, I definitely wouldn’t think I was in a cottage. The other thing is – if you’re thinking of kids in the near future, you want to avoid glass. And lastly, I like that all the spaces you design look pleasing, but they also look comfortable, cosy and somewhere I would like to curl up and spend time. The glass/corbel number doesn’t look comfy, cosy or practical and, while I like to look at it, I wouldn’t want to live with/spend time with it – so, I don’t think it looks like your room. That’s my 2 cents. Good luck with your decision! And congratulations on the new house!

    • Layla says

      Hey Rachelle!
      I was actually thinking of a cottage-y corbel (kind of like this: http://pinterest.com/pin/235172411762330205/) and a desktop made of a different material. Think: gingerbread molding meets the top half of a 100 year old desk top with built-in storage drawer underneath! I probably should have been even more clear in my post, but sure do I like the element of surprise alot, too! 😉

  22. Jo says

    Definitely the pottery barn style of look. That way you can move it if need too without fuss and it just seems more functional . Good luck with your decision and congrats on the new home…I look forwards to watching your journey. :)

  23. Gayla Templeton says

    I wish your new house was close to me here in Kansas cause I could sure hook you up with a hang on the wall whatever you want to call it. A desk???? I was on my way home and since I live in the older part of town there’s a lot of antiques and great old houses. Someone had just moved as there was a for rent sign ithe yard and a lucious pile of trash on the curb. Of course I had to pull over and take a closer look. I dug out two of the legs to an old round oak table. They look just like those in your pic. To hang them here in my house the piano would have to go and that isn’t gonna happen so they are sitting in my garage waiting for someone to love them. I do but just no place to hang them. My art deco era house has all the original woodwork with four (yes, really, 4) glass front cabinets and one end of the dining room is a built in buffet. But the best are the stained glass windows of water lilies above that buffet. Wonderful, gorgeous but not any place to hang those wonderful legs. I’m thinking garage sale in the spring and someone in the neighborhood with a bit of vision will love them and want them. They will be very afordable since they cost me nada and they will be someone’s hanging desk or entry way table or something great! They look like the ones in your picture so they really are wonderful. Wish you were closer so you could have them but they are gonna be perfect for someone and they didn’t get taken to the dump. It’s all good, right?

  24. Jane Meeker says

    The stand alone… it leaves tons of options for you where ever you live. Love the house and the photos!

    I would love to see a floor plan of your home and perhaps even some photos of your yard and exterior. Love it!
    Jane in Oregon

  25. Cathy A says

    I know that you’ve made your decision, but I just wanted to give other readers another idea. At a flea market this summer, I passed up a piece that would have worked very well. Your photo of the corbel desk reminded me of it. It was a desk/table made from a cast iron sewing machine base with an at least 1/2 inch glass top, shaped probably like the original machine top. It was so pretty, and the glass top really showed off the beauty of the cast iron base. I never before thought of the easy idea of using glass as the top.
    I really should have bought that one that I saw, because it was done. I have a sewing machine base, but have yet to paint it or get a glass top.

  26. says

    Personally, I prefer #1, but #2 has less of a “normal” look. I think you could rock #2 just because you’re you. But if it was me, I’d love #1 and give it my touches (which certainly wouldn’t be half as cool as you!).

  27. Michelle says

    I love desk #2. I think that is would look great in your space. A few years ago I saw an article in This Old House magazine that used a huge corbel as a desk base. It was very unique.

    Congrats on your knew home. I can’t wait to see all your room renovations.

  28. LisaT says

    Well, either one is going to look great! Corbels that didn’t go to the floor with old chippy paint and an old chippy paint door cut to size for desktop would be adorable and maybe use the rest of the door for shelves above desktop? Just wingin’ it here!lol Of course, I think secretary desks are just adorable, too! Have fun making your decision!

  29. says

    I love the second desk, the one with the corbels. I like this because it can diuble as a hallway table and you can move the chair out if you want more space.

  30. Allie says

    Stuck to the wall…I think visually seeing floor makes the room seem larger. Storage on wall, totally awesome.

  31. Catherine says

    Love the first, not liking the second one at all. Whatever you pick will look great though, once you add the L & K touch!

  32. Cari says

    I think the first photo. It just looks comfortable to me. A place I wouldn’t mind working.

  33. Lynn says

    I love the Pottery Barn look one as well. I think it fits in more with the cottage style. Love your blog and all the inspiration I get from it!