Our New Study, from 45 Boxes to Heaven

Our new study - redecorated and empty

Having a personal working space is, at least for me, both a wonderful gift and a great essential.

I wanted to write a thorough post about our new study for two reasons:  I’m thrilled with it, and equally important, I want to recognise Clive’s amazing work in the entire process. Time has however raced by and I’m posting this in London, where we’re spending some time before continuing on to Paris.

So, I’ll simply say my hubby was brilliant with this small room:  from painting to installing new skirting boards, from researching endless furniture options to designing a configuration that maximises the space; from looking with me at numerous shops and catalogues to negotiating a discounted price; and most of all to the heroic job of putting it all together.

The empty room, prepared by Clive, is shown in the lead-off photo at the top of this post. Without further ado, here’s a 12-step photographic journey through our latest project.

1.  Delivery day – 45 boxes in the entry.

Arrival day - 45 boxes

2. First pieces unpacked and being assembled — the base units.

Assembling the first pieces

3. Clive is now becoming surrounded by base units

Clive, surrounded

4. The desktop surfaces are taking shape!

Making sure everything fits in position

5. Electrical! Clive does this himself (with me turning into my mother and constantly fretting ‘please be careful’). You can see him on the right-hand side of the photo, in a light blue shirt, with his elbow sticking up.

Clive installing power points

6. Oh luxury of luxuries — six outlets under each desk, and another six in the middle space (for printer, shredder, etc.). No more power boards or double plugs or having to unplug my camera charger to plug in my e-reader charger.

Six outlets, lucky me

7. With electrical work complete, now fixing the desktop and base units together.  Yes, Clive is once again on the floor.

Fixing desktop and base units together

8. Fitting shelves and overhead cupboards. Cupboards for my books and stuff! Yippee!

Cupboards and shelves

9. The final drawer insertions. Drawers for my files and stuff! Yippee!

Final drawer insertions

10. The cupboard doors are on! Cutting and fixing the final shelves. Shelves for my books and stuff! Yippee!

Cupboard doors and shelves

11. Another view facing the other way

Facing the other way

After I took these photos, Clive installed the cupboard knobs and drawer pulls we selected, and replaced the curtains with a wooden blind. We plan to line the opposite wall with bookshelves.

For over a year, we’ve been living with plank desks, à la university days (see a photo of my temporary desk in last year’s ‘Manic March, from Felixstowe to Sydney’). Before that, our desk was a small shared dining table at the Rental Palace. And before that, we were more or less homeless for several months, after the movers collected our shipment in Sydney in October, 2010.  Even in Sydney, our desks were the plank-and-open-shelves style. As much as we liked them, to now have real drawers, shelves, and cupboards with doors — well, for me, it’s pure heaven.

Clive's beautiful handiwork

We’ve already moved our things from our temporary desks into the new space (I was too excited to wait another second), though still need to purchase lighting for above the desks and overhead. We’ve also started test-driving proper desk chairs. When we return from Paris, I’ll post another photo of the study and an update on the guest loo, which has a new cupboard and bench top.

Cheers for now and more soon.

9 Responses

  1. Ooh – what a nice workspace!
    I remember when my parents had an extension built back in the 1970’s, my mother went around labelling where she wanted electrical outlets. The builders thought she was crazy because she wanted more than one double outlet per room! I bet the people who own that house now are glad of her ‘craziness’!

  2. How wonderful that Clive is such a capable handyman! And yes, how true–there are never enough electrical outlets. We had a number of additional outlets installed when we renovated this house, and we probably should have put in even more.

    I’m sure you will enjoy seeing your files and books lined up in their appropriate place and then to work!!!

  3. It all looks great and I enjoyed how you shared each step with us. I love having a spouse who can put it all together and deal with the electrical bits too. I spent too many years doing it myself and I know what a gift it is to have a partner in your life to share the work involved in remodeling.

    I hope we can have another look with the books and blinds in place.

  4. What a great workspace you have now.

  5. Well done, Clive! You are a great man to have around a home!
    This looks so functional and spacious

    Just a “neighbor” in the Paris burbs


  6. Almost American, hi there and yay for your mom’s ‘craziness’! Good on her 🙂 Eleanor, sounds like you’ve beem in a similar situation with electricity installation!

    Elizabeth, we are both soooooo lucky with our talented husbands 🙂 I can’t WAIT to unpack our books — will definitely post more photos of the study, though completion of the ‘wall of bookcases’ will come a bit later.

    LindyLou, thanks for your kind comment! (I tried your link but don’t think I’m authorised to comment there — hello to you in Italy!).

    xpat92, it’s indeed that function and space that’s sooooo welcome. Thanks and waving to you in the Paris burbs.

    Cheers all.

  7. It certainly is a wonderful study area and a great achievement on the part of you both; particularly Clive with his handyman skills.

  8. How great! I’m so jealous!Just one question… Why does Clive’s shirt keep changing? He has one shirt in photo #2, then another in photo #3, then back to the first shirt in #7, then a completely new one in #9. Is it really Clive or a stunt double?

  9. Ferd, thanks for your comment! Much appreciated — all credit to Clive on this one. I did provide a few cups of coffee but that’s not quite in the same league.

    ParisPaulP, I would be jealous too, except it’s now our very own study! As for Clive’s shirts, it took more than one day to do all this work and he has some shirts that look the same (he does like to wear blue and black!).


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