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Office Space Reveal

Howdy! I hope your week is off to a great start.   We are seven months into our Okinawan rental and I can finally say I’m happy with my office space. Yay!   The space is really a five foot wide wall that separates the foyer from the living area.  I took pictures of all sides so you can get a feel for the layout.  There’s quite a few images, so grab a cup of joe and let’s get started.SONY DSCThis gallery wall is completely renter friendly. Everything in the gallery was hung with command strips, command hooks, or washi tape.


The challenges:  The wall has a fuse box, a meter, and a fire extinguisher so I had to be creative about camouflaging those parts.  SONY DSC

Solutions:  I moved the fire extinguisher to a kitchen cabinet and put wrapping paper over the sign.


The clay heart hangs right over the metal hook that held the extinguisher.    A little command strip tape holds it in place. SONY DSC

The fuse box and meter are covered with post cards and a copy of our wedding photo.  I kept the plastic sleeves on the prints to protect them from ripping when I remove them. SONY DSC

After covering those eye sores, the rest of the gallery wall fell into place.

You probably recognize my desk accessory holder from last week.  You can find the tutorial here.  It was a nice addition to the gallery wall and works well to keep the desk from being cluttered. SONY DSC

A couple of the wall hangings are items from the 100 yen store, like this little basket…SONY DSC

and this black and white tray. SONY DSC

I also have a lovely little watercolor that my grandfather gave me, a Mumford and Sons water color, and a Colonial Williamsburg print. SONY DSC

The pretty Moroccan tile tray was a TJ Maxx find from a few years ago.  I added a few brass animals for fun. SONY DSC SONY DSC

I love Nate Berkus’ quote from Home Rules, “Pairing items from completely different price ranges is a sign of good design.”  I definitely did that in this space. SONY DSC

Did you notice my chalkboard sign?  It’s perfect for seasonal messages.  Now I just need to work on my chalk calligraphy.  😉
SONY DSC My important papers are stored in a file basket next to the desk.

Keeping most of our accounts paperless really helps with the paper clutter.

If you are walking into the room from the foyer, you see the left side of the desk. SONY DSCIt opens right up into our living room and kitchen.  (Did you see a peek of our future wood sofa table?)

If you face the desk from the living area, you can see the stairs and the fan foyer wall.

SONY DSC We really do have a lovely, bright, and open space.  If only the white linoleum wasn’t so hard to keep clean. 😉


Are you still with me?  It’s funny how many details went into this little space.  In case you are wondering, I store our printer ready to use and a safe with our important documents in our master closet.office-post-featureI have to say, downsizing to a 1300 square feet house with the four of us has really been a good lesson in keeping our spaces clean, organized, and multifunctional.   The only thing I miss is having a large dining table for entertaining.  I do have a plan up my sleeve to solve that challenge too.



  1. I absolutely love this space Kathy, it’s so open and bright! I have to ask about the desk – did you paint it? If there’s a post I should check out with regards to it, please refer me! Amazing 🙂

    1. That desk was $35 yard-sale find. I was SOOO excited when I saw it. It took 5 yrs to convince myself to paint it since it’s an original piece. I never really wrote a post about it. I do remember using 4 coats of primer, the wood just kept soaking it up. I used Valspar’s Satin March Ice and did the umbre drawers with sample paints. Two coats of poly on top. It’s still my favorite piece of furniture!

      1. Thanks for breaking it down, I absolutely love it, good thing you took the leap to paint it because it turned out great…I’ve been so nervous about painting furniture out here. . especially because the paint is all in Japanese so I don’t know what exactly I’m buying. I bought some red paint from Makeman but it must have been Latex paint because it was so sticky after drying 🙁 Any advice on that?

        1. I’m with you there Sam! I painted our free kitchen table from bookoo with paint from Tabata and then paint from Makeman. It is definitely not the quality we have in the states. The latex was super watery and the enamel was really thick. And then the translations…. Paint that is sticky is usually enamel. Was it really stinky? When did you paint it? Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks for the paint to completely cure. Also, try a coat or two of polyurethane on top (the exchange carries it in spray paint).

  2. I didn’t even notice that you had stuff under those wall hangings until you said something! I’m renting right now, so this gives me hope! Thanks for sharing!

    1. YAY! My camouflaging must have worked. lol I’m so glad it gave you hope. 🙂 Rentals can be a pain but you can make it beautiful!

  3. You seriously create some of the most organized, clean spaces. I love them all! This office is no exception. Great job figuring out how to hide the eye-sores.

  4. Kathy, I love what you did with this space! I think it goes to show that decorating a rental in a beautiful way is completely feasible. I always love your choice of colors, and this office is no exception!! I’m featuring your post tomorrow at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link. Have a great week!

  5. Hey Kathy..!!!!
    This is really awesome buddy. I am into interior designing business from a quiet long time and must say that you have a great taste.
    And I really appreciate the way you camouflaged those “SCARS”.
    Thumbs up buddy..!!! 🙂

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