Name: Becke and Lee of The Vintage Cabin
Location: Rural Ontario, Canada
Size/Room: 140 square feet
We were so excited when one of our favorite Etsy shops, The Vintage Cabin opened up their home office/ workspace for a Tech Tour. Becke is a former musician and newspaper promoter turned small business owner and Lee works in digital marketing by day and is a freelance illustrator by night. They decided to relocate to the country 2 years ago after living in the city for several years. "10+ years ago, a move like this would never have been possible as we would have been cut off from friends, work, etc. Thankfully technology has changed that and we now feel we have more opportunities out in the sticks than we did in the city. Our living costs are a bit more manageable out here and because of that, we can take risks we would never have been able to do in the city. So far, our rural living experiment is working out very well for us."
My/our style: A mish mash of industrial, mid century and rustic modern with a bit of happenstance thrown into the mix. Most of the rooms in the house come together by chance and are always changing based on new thrift store finds. I try not to buy much of anything new except for the electronics.
The inspiration for my home office/workspace: Simplicity and practicality were the main sources of inspiration for this room. With the exception of the desk area, our office started off being a waste of space and out of frustration, we redesigned the space so we could have a utilitarian studio that suited our needs. I like to keep items in the space that inspire me or make me laugh so I'm always rotating pieces in there to keep it fresh.
Favorite element in your space:I'd have to say the large work table with the overhead light is a great spot to sew, paint, wrap packages and even fold laundry. You can't go wrong with a large, flat work surface in your home (and by that I mean a surface other than your dining room table!)
Biggest challenge in designing my space:
Our office space also has to act as a mud room and a thruway to our bathroom/laundry room so it's a bit of a challenge to arrange the furniture so it doesn't interfere with those areas. We also have to work around the large built in wall unit that we love but it does dictate the layout.
What friends say about my space: "Wow, I wish I had a dedicated office space. Right now, my office is all over the house."
Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: Although our office space looks relatively bright, it's at the back of the house and it actually doesn't get much light. We plan on getting a large skylight installed in there as soon as possible so we can really maximize the light in the space. I think with the addition of a skylight it will open up the room and really give it the airy, open feel we're looking for.
Proudest DIY (do it yourself) project: I'm not sure I could choose one thing from this room that stands out because pretty much all of the furniture, etc is DIY. The desk was built by us out of a large, thick slab of spalted maple we bought and we just used Ikea legs to put it all together. The work table in the middle of the room was made out of an old table top and we took some fence posts leftover from a project we did this past summer and made the base out of it. The white cupboard was a cheap $7 thrift store find that just got a little revamping to make it work for my needs. We really pride ourselves in reusing what we have and doing things as inexpensively as possible. It's more fun and challenging that way. Biggest indulgence with respect to my space:
I must say, there's not much indulgence in our office. Our computers are practical (aka ugly and geeky) and very bland and most of the items in here are thrift store finds or repurposed items. I guess the big old French sign on top of the shelf unit is the most indulgent, as it was $250 and it is of no use other than being awesome to look at, especially when lit.
Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home: If you have a room in your house that can be a dedicated office/tech space, even if it's a closet, go for it! Don't try and have a room that is an office, a closet, a games room and a guest room all at the same time because it just won't work. Commit to the space you really need if you work from home and/or have hobbies that require a dedicated space. Once you have a work area or room to focus on, my best advice is to hide those cords and try and keep things as organized and practical as possible. An organized storage space is key.
Dream source for stuff: No Leak Skylight from VELUX and Apple for a 27" LED Cinema Display Monitor and iPad.
Home Tech Hardware:
- Canon Pixma MP560 Multifunction Wireless Printer and Scanner
- Lacie 1Terrabyte External Hard disk
- Dell D430 Latitude Laptop 13.3" Screen (Work) with Microsoft Optical Mouse
- Acer Aspire One Netbook 10.1" Screen with custom upgrade to 2GB RAM | Atom Processor with 120GB HD with Logitech VX Nano Mouse
- Apple USB Keyboard
- Acer Aspire 5920 15.4" Screen | Core 2 Duo 3GB RAM 250GB HD Laptop
- LG Flatron L1730S 17" LCD wall mounted monitor (adjustable - it tilts, swivels and angles)
- Desk: Wood slab from a local mill that was planed and glued. Table legs are from Ikea and come in packs of two. You can use any table top or slab of wood with these legs. They're awesome!
- Work table: The base is old 4 x 4 fence posts and the top is an old table. Again, this can be made so cheaply! Just find a table top at a yard sale or thrift store, take the legs off and make a base out of 4 x 4s or other similar sized scrap wood.
- Chairs: Found at a flea market many years ago.
- All of the lights are yard sale finds that have been repainted.
- Cord wrap from Ikea. It comes in a tube and keeps all of your cords tucked away nicely.
- Kraft paper dispenser: a piece of dowel and two brackets.
- Metal buckets on the white shelf are from Ikea