For the first few months we lived in Florence, our office space looked like this:
I'll do you all a favor and not provide a close-up photo. Suffice to say those armchairs were all funk and no flair. For a while, I worked from the dining room and Rob worked from the sofa. It's not that we didn't want to create an office nook, it's just that we wanted to take things one step at a time -- and there was so much paperwork/bureaucratic stuff to take care of.
When we finally sat down to plan our space, I had a pretty clear picture of what I wanted it to look like: a handful of art illustrations and photos hung in mismatched frames above a simple modern desk, with a few pops of color. Here's a visual guide to the elements we were looking for...
Quick Ikea shopping FYI: Our "desk" is actually a dining table from Ikea. We hated all of the actual desk options and were about to leave dejected, when we happened upon this $50 gem in the dining section. It's the perfect length for two people.
Because I wanted the frames hung unevenly, it was essential to plan out the layout before we drilled any holes. The DIY gurus over at Young House Love had just posted about a similar project the week before we tackled ours, so we followed their genius approach.
First, we messed around with the layout by placing the frames on the floor:
Once we found a layout we liked, we made use of old magazines lying around the apartment and made paper templates for each of the frames. Then, I acted as foreman and had Rob hang all of the paper templates on the wall.
We messed around with the height a few times and then left them for a few days -- just to make sure we were happy with the setup.
Stay tuned for part two later today...