ORC Week 5: Office Space Planning with IKEA

It’s week 5 of Home Glow’s Saturday Blog — the Thursday ORC edition. Quick recap — I’m turning a 19th century blacksmith shop into a studio for Home Glow Design. I call it my Ultimate She-Shed, because, after nearly 8 years as a stay-at-home parent to boys, getting back into the professional world is a happy, creative place for me.

I have a couple of quick updates, and then on to today’s topic.



First, some good news! My photographer was able to move our date to Monday, May 7 and my desk chair arrived today at my receiving warehouse in Portsmouth!!!! Hooray!!! I’ll head over there Friday to pick it up.

Also, I came home from the kids’ spring break to one major improvement that Brian, my master-of-all-trades extraordinaire, installed in the She-Shed before wrapping up his work.

Remember the original railing that was at the edge of the loft?



Also, the above railing is not to code. You know what is a “to-code” railing height for a loft?


Yep, it’s 36 inches. On a loft with a ceiling as low as mine, that would effectively make a cage.

I’m really only using the loft for my own storage purposes, so I don’t feel compelled to make it safe for persons of all ages and abilities. I found the below image of a reading loft and really liked the railing.


loft railing iron bronze



First I made some calls to see what it would cost to make a railing out of oil-rubbed bronze. The answers I got were in the $3K+ range, so that was a no-go.

Then I called my local welder, Chris Martin from Absolute Welding & Fabrication and gave him my inspiration picture. He came up with a way to craft something special from tubular steel parts.


iron bronze steel loft railing
Chris, hard at work.

Chris also helped us with our ski-lift-chair swing in the back field.


I spray painted it oil-rubbed bronze. Heck, it’s not as if my sconces are really bronze either. 🙂

loft railing steel bronze


You’ll have to wait for next week to see it installed!

And now for…


My Nemesis — Office Space Planning with IKEA



“I hate and love [IKEA]. And why, perhaps you’ll ask. I don’t know: but I feel, and I’m tormented.”
― Catullus, edited by Amy


Well, I do know. The quality is non-existent and the assembly tortuous, but the price is so gosh-darn seductive (especially when you’ve spent too much money elsewhere) that I am occasionally tempted to order IKEA.


It’s kind of like Christmas, when you’ve bought toys for your kids and they are totally excited about them. But then, these dad-burn toys take you an hour+ to put together, and you get them assembled only to find that you don’t have the right (or any) batteries.

That’s the way I feel about IKEA and these hulking boxes staring at me in the garage — dread.


Anyway, I never took you through the floor plan of my She-Shed. With only 178 square feet of room to use, I will be maximizing every inch of storage space.


IKEA Office Space Planning

We (thanks in advance, Handsome Husband!) have a lot of bookcases to build.

The loft will be used for the inevitable deliveries of smaller items like pillows, window treatments, and the occasional lamps, art, and accent rugs until they are ready for install day.

Aesthetically, I would rather have a coat rack by one side of the door and give a little breathing room to the entry, and I bet I’ll style it that way for the photo shoot. Realistically, though, I can practically guarantee that I’ll need that second Hemnes case for fabric samples. I live 1.5 hours from the Boston Design Center — I don’t get there all that often, but I do order TONS of samples (which I usually conveniently neglect to return).


So, between now and Monday morning, I need to:

  1. Assemble all this IKEA s***, I mean “stuff.”
  2. Hike over to Portsmouth (1-1.25 hours each way) to pick up my chair.
  3. Find stuff for final styling (I live an hour from the nearest Pottery Barn and 45+ minutes from the nearest decent Home Goods).
  4. Not give my HH a cerebral embolism.

Not as much as much to do as the DIYers, but more than my poor family probably wants to hear about decorating in a single weekend. 🙂


If you missed previous posts, you can catch up on Home Glow’s “Ultimate She-Shed” here:


I can’t wait to get this place all pretty and begin working in here in earnest!


Office Space Planning with IKEA


Be sure to check out all the other One Room Challenge participants. Please come by on Saturday for Home Glow’s regular installment of the Saturday Blog! Until then….



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6 thoughts on “ORC Week 5: Office Space Planning with IKEA”

  1. Love the railing! Totally goes with the old forge history and a super cool detail. Ikea definitely has a time and place–their storage pieces can’t be beat. It’s all turning out great!

    1. Thanks so much. I’m really pleased with the railing. True, true about Ikea. It’s that high-low mix, right?

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