Home Office Reveal!

As promised, here is the reveal of my transformed home office space! It’s nothing spectacular, and there’ll probably be some future tweaking, though for now I’m calling it done!

Eclectic Budget Home Office | The Painted Hive

Oh, and if you missed the awards ceremony, don’t worry, you can congratulate me later.

Huh, what’s that? You didn’t hear?

Well, I broke the world record for “Longest Running Room Makeover In History”. I got a pretty big trophy.

Yep, I managed to make this simple little room redo extend for well over 365 days! It has now officially been more than a year since the first of my ‘home office‘ posts. Phew!

Home Office After

Anyhoo, let’s get on with it. I’ll briefly outline some of the design decisions in this post though if you wanna better understand the thought-process behind the room you can catch-up on my previous home office posts here.

Home Office Before

Above is the space in its prior ‘make-do’ state…argh, cringe! To make way for the new room redo I sold the bookcases and cupboard on eBay and relocated the jute rug to our entryway.

I conceded early on that our home office is really more of a glorified computer nook. It occupies the only remaining free area in our teeny home; the ‘little-weird-nothing-space’ off our kitchen. It’s a small area with multiple personalities, acting as a; side entryway, playroom, library, main thoroughfare, laundry sorting station, general gathering space and impromptu dance studio, amongst many other things…

Home Office Floor Plan

Given we don’t have a spare room to act as a proper home office (with space for filing trays, paper piles and other office-y stuff), I simply wanted to create a pretty yet practical computer station (yep, we have a big, bulky, stationary PC in favour of a neat, little, portable laptop) which didn’t interrupt the homey flow of our house. It also needed to hold all our books and hide the ugly technological thingamabobs.

Home Office Cabinets

Please excuse the corner of my kitchen bench – it’s a tricky space to capture.

I mentioned in some previous posts my dilemma with finding affordable, appropriately proportioned cabinets (I scoured eBay for months and IKEA’s selection just wasn’t quite right). In the end we were fortunate to have an awesome friend of ours custom build the cabinetry at mate’s rates (‘course you could DIY something similar though, or get innovative with second-hand or shop-bought cabinets if you don’t have finicky size and storage restrictions). It’s completely free-standing and modular, with the desk, two upper bookcases and two lower cabinets forming five separate pieces, so it is easy to relocate and even reconfigure if needed. You can read more about it in this original post.

To keep material costs down we had it built from humble pine ply. Here it is before (so sorry, super lame photo)…

Computer Cabinet Before

I finished it with an acrylic low sheen in ‘Antique White USA’ (by Dulux) which I sprayed on using a compressor and air gun. The desk, which is simply a pre-fabricated solid pine panel, I finished with an acrylic all-in-one stain and varnish in ‘Marita Grey’ (by Cabots). Though it’s hard to see in the photos, I also painted the inside of the bookcases in a warm grey (I mixed up the colour myself from left-overs I already had).

I thought a wall of floor to ceiling cabinets might feel imposing and cumbersome in our little room though the tall, slender cases and long spanning desk actually help create an illusion of height and space.

Home Office Bookshelves and Gallery

I know it’s trendy right now to display lots of ornamental knick-knacks on bookshelves though I thought I’d be a bit different and use my bookshelves to hold, well…books. The cases are double-depth to allow for extra storage (so, if need be, some of the books we’ve already read can be housed at the rear) and the shelves are repositionable. I know to some people a mish-mash of books can look messy and distracting though I think their jumbled layers are warm and personable, and lend a real collected sense of ‘home’ to a space.

My hacked IKEA drawers (which I now have two of!) grace one shelf. They are prefect for keeping practical little stationery items within arms reach (and apparently they are also ideal for safely stowing away my husband’s prized hole-in-one golf ball!).

IKEA Moppe Drawer Hack

The power point is located behind the right lower cabinet which holds the computer tower and all associated components (like the modem, sound system and external hard drive). It has a mesh side to allow for extra air flow (this is something I probably wouldn’t have bothered with though hubby insisted on – it looks completely fine though is concealed beside the wall anyways). The lower left cabinet holds the printer along with some stationery bits and bobs and CD’s. All of the cables are discreetly concealed on the underside of the desk where they are neatly bundled in adhesive cord clips.

 Adhesive Cord Concealers

The rug is from Floorspace. It needed to be a pretty specific size and unfortunately I couldn’t find anything ‘off-the-shelf’. I considered DIY’ing something though really wanted a heavy jute to add some natural texture and warmth. To save on the usually extravagant cost of buying something bespoke I arranged to have it custom-made from an old off-cut. Although it was anchored by two heavy cabinets the rug still shifted and bunched-up like crazy on the carpet so I came up with a slightly weird solution which you can read about in this previous post.

Natural Jute Rug

The wall gallery is deliberately eclectic. It is made up of inexpensive thrifted frames, some with their original art and others with free images I found online and had cheaply printed (you can read about the owl print here). I like the way the unstructured collection of frames mimics the busyness of the flanking bookshelves, giving a sense of continuity to the wall as a whole. To further enhance this sense of cohesion, I also hung two pictures on the bookshelves themselves. They are attached with simple picture strips so they are easy to remove and replace if needed. This is a look I love though I’m pretty sure it completely broke my husband’s brain (bamboozled doesn’t even begin to describe his level of incomprehension! I actually had to jump on Pinterest and show him some other examples just to prove my sanity. Though, in his defence, I do get why he thought I was crazy – hanging pictures in front of books is a slightly weird concept).

Eclectic Gallery Wall

I also like that the collage of pictures helps camouflage the computer monitor.

The big windowed sliding door (which is hard to see in the photos) is dressed with a DIY rolled valance which hides a practical black-out roller shade (which we need to block the frequent afternoon sun and occasional penetrating cold). You can read all about it in this previous post.

DIY Faux Rolled Window Valance

After having used an antique timber kitchen chair at our computer for years the Chippendale carver is like heaven! I’d love a fully upholstered tufted chair (or similar) one day though whilst the kids still have chronic grubby finger disease, I’m sticking with something that’s easy to re-cover if needed. The soft green looks more vivid in person, though is still subtle – I didn’t want a pop that punched you in the face though in the future I might amp it up a bit!

As blogged about previously, I bought the Chippendale chair as a raw, un-upholstered frame and finished it off myself. See my tutorial for upholstering the drop-in seat here. Read about the the chair makeover in general here.

Bamboo Chippendale Chair Makeover

The typographic pillow is a repurposed tea towel. You can read my simple tutorial in this previous post.

Tea Towel Lumbar Pillow

Whilst the ceiling light is central to the room it is not in alignment with the cabinets. In person, when you view the room as a whole, this looks completely fine though in the photos where the focus is on the cabinets it does seem to throw off their symmetry. Regardless, we almost never use that light anyways as the adjoining kitchen down-lights provide ample brightness, so one day I might remove it completely in favour of some subtle integrated cabinet lamps. We have pretty low ceilings and the light is directly above a walk-through so sadly there is no vertical space for a lovely hanging feature pendant. For now I’m happy to stick with the simple enamel shade.

Anyhoo, just to finish-up, here are some before and after comparisons of the space…

Home Office Before and After

Before and After Home Office

Like I said, nothing spectacular though pretty (enough) and practical. Have a fab week everyone.

UPDATE: This is mentioned in the body of the post though I also wanted to highlight it here due to the amount of interest it has generated….
One of the most loved elements in my home office space appears to be the owl print. I agree, it is pretty awesome! Good news is, it’s not a one-off original oil painting I salvaged from some dingy old antique store. It is a free printable! Soooo, if you’re truly crushin’ on it, visit my original post about it here for the download link, and get one up on your own wall – yay!


PS As mentioned in my last post, I now have one foot back on a pedal and this little bloggy bike is slowly gaining some momentum so hopefully posts will become more regular. Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding :-)




Hello, Remember Me?

My name’s Kristine.

Apparently I’m the person who’s supposed to update this here blog on a semi-regular basis.

Seems lately I’ve been a little distracted…

Child Photography

…in a good way (I wish I could say Charlotte happily posed with her brother though the truth is I had to bribe her with the promise of a pink marshmallow).

Aside from fluking the occasional baby photo, I’ve been baking honey joys, reciting the alphabet, making play-doh dinosaurs and diligently training for the pre-emptive baby up-chuck Olympics. I think I’m in with a pretty good chance for the gold!

Baby Photography

Whilst I know there are many of you sweet enough to graciously tolerate my excuses of absence and irrelevant kiddie photos, let’s be honest, this is supposed to be a ‘homey’ blog, and I’m sure you’d rather see just that – ‘homey’ stuff. So, it might please you to know that alongside my motherly duties I have actually been doing some decorating (albeit mainly in my mind) AND even compiling a few new blog posts!

I know, shocking right? I hope you were sitting down.

My goal, now that the kids are a bit more settled, is to try (note; try) and publish a new post at least once a fortnight, starting next week with my loooong awaited home office reveal – yay – and continuing over the coming months with heaps of awesome* projects. I can’t wait!

*Perceived level of awesomness may be consumer objective.

Remember, you can also stay in touch with me between blog posts on Facebook or Twitter where I try to share project snippets, product finds and general randomness. If you already follow along on Facebook, you might have recently glimpsed this little guy…

Faux Deer Head Wall Mount

Yep, he’s my new faux deer head wall mount (AKA Chester) and I absolutely LOVE him to bits, especially against our vintage toile wallpaper.

Have a great week everyone. I’ll be back soon!



Reloved Magazine Feature

Reloved MagazineRecently, I was thrilled to have a project of mine included in the inaugural release of a new UK based magazine.

Reloved is dedicated to all things upcycled (how awesome is that?) with an emphasis on bringing a practical, hands-on approach to the creative art of breathing new life into old, forgotten objects.

Reloved can be purchased off shelves from several locations world-wide. A digital version will also be available soon! For more detailed ‘where to buy’ info please check out this page.

IKEA Moppe Drawers Hack

To view my original post about the IKEA MOPPE Drawers Hack please click here.



It’s a Boy!

Baby Riley

Riley John Franklin arrived safely on the 24 March 2013 at 7.05pm weighing 7.7lbs (3.5kgs).

He is absolutely perfect in every way (‘course I do have to think that though, don’t I?).

I’ll spare you all the birth story (for nows, anyway :-) except to say that it was a 21 hour labour which all started with a coughing fit, followed by a minor non-related car accident, and, despite some challenges, concluded with a successful VBAC delivery!

Thank you soooo much to everyone for all the well wishes (and, in advance, thanks also for your patience during my momentary blog lull whilst I enjoy some family time).



Some New Dining Room Photos…and an explanation

When I first became a Mum (almost two whole years ago now – yikes!) I felt the need to share with my readers my intentions regarding my blog, so I mentioned that whilst it was always my ambition to continue blogging (’cause I LOVE it!), family would inevitably be my top priority, so posts might be a little less frequent. At that time I was unsure what ‘less frequent’ meant though when I launched my newly designed blog (a few months back now) I set myself a little resolution to try and post at least once a week.

Now, I know many ‘proper’ bloggers who’d rather die than publish just one measly post in SEVEN WHOLE DAYS though for me it felt like a realistic goal, and whilst I was never completely confident I’d be able to maintain my measly weekly post, I was actually doing surprisingly okay up until about a fortnight ago when a few little occurrences derailed my flow.

You see, as I’m sure is the case with many Mummy-bloggers, post writing is pretty much reserved for during naps times and late in the evenings. Soooo…when your 20 month old decides to stop sleeping during the day and you finally concede, at nine months pregnant, that you’re too tired and top-heavy to bother staying up beyond 9pm, your only designated blogging slots suddenly disappear – phoof!

Though, not all is lost! Whilst post writing time is currently scarce, I have actually been working on, and dreaming up, lots of exciting new projects which I’ll be sure to share as soon as I can (some of these include the home office reveal, Charlotte’s big girl’s room, a few budget room transformations over at my Mum’s place, easy bed skirts, a re-purposed glass ceiling light, a faux hide rug, another mini drawer hack, and some new free printable labels, large scale wall art and textiles – plus lots, lots more!).

Anyhoo, rather than waste a precious posting opportunity by blabbing on about why I haven’t been posting (oxymoron?), I thought I should use some of my time to actually post about something home related…

Fresh Cottage Style Dining Room

As mentioned in a few previous posts, a little while back I styled and shot some of my rooms for inclusion in a soon-to-be-released book. One of the spaces was my little dining nook.

Country Style Rustic Dining Room

At the time of the shoot we were using the pressed-back cottage chairs I refurbished with some grey paint and metal seat plates. They have since been sold as they were actually a set of six – two too many for our little dining nook. We’re currently back to using our galvanised Tolix replicas.

Country Cottage Farmhouse Dining Room

In some of these pics you can see my lumbar pillow when it was still a tea towel!

Cottage Dining Room

I’ve blogged about most of the furniture and décor in this room before though if you’re new here and are seeking further info check out the ‘At A Glance’ section at the end of this post for a list of sources and prices. Otherwise, feel free to ask any questions :-)


PS Today is my due date and apart from a popped belly button sadly I haven’t really got too much to show for it…waiting, waiting. If things don’t progress naturally I’ll have to have another c-section in a few days time :-( so I’m super hopeful something does happen shortly!

Either way this baby needs to come out soon ’cause at the moment I’m at serious risk of honey smeared carbohydrate overdose!

Dining Table – eBay ($80)
Dining Chairs – eBay ($5 for a set of six)
Sideboard – eBay ($50)
Block-out Day/Night Roman Blind – Spotlight ($180)
Pendant Light – Recollections ($80)
Mirror – Local Market (Yarra Valley) ($40)
Wall Colour – Dulux Chalk USA

Most of the décor accents are thrifted second-hand items from charity stores, garage sales and antique shops.