New OfficeThis has been a week filled with end of school stress, plus an amazing retirement party on Wednesday night, hence not much cooking or blogging. I’m grateful to my beautiful sister-in-law Amy, who handled all the details for the party, and it was a fun-filled, kid-centered party, just like I wanted. I felt loved and honored by how many former students, parents, friends, and family members showed up to wish me well as I enter the new phase of my life.

Meanwhile, at my house there were details to be worked out for the ongoing house renovations. The contractors, painters, and carpet installers were putting finishing touches on the office/studio area. I’m completely thrilled with how this has turned out. There are still few things to be done, but I’m moving books, blog dishes, photo stuff, and maybe the computer this weekend. Taking photos of painted walls is as challenging as choosing the paint, but truly my walls are a pale terra-cotta color, not orange! Warning, lots of photos ahead to record the newness of the space, and this first photo is a wide shot of my desk and a glimpse of the photo counter that runs along the east wall.

Here’s a closer view of the desk where I’ll be spending a lot of time staring at the computer screen. I’m getting a new desk chair, probably black.

Here’s a better view of the photo counter. There will also be a small table under the south window. The empty space is for a refrigerator I have at school, and the shelves are for placemats, silverware, and photo stuff.

The opposing wall in the office has this set of bookcases for cookbooks, where I’m going to organize them by category, and maybe author when I have quite a few by the same person. I do have a lot of cookbooks, but I’m guessing not nearly enough to fill all these shelves.

This room also has a closet which will mostly be used to store cameras on tripods for now, but eventually this could be a bedroom that has its own private entrance. There’s a pocket door that you can’t see but it would be on the far right in the photo if it was closed.

This is the south wall which has big windows and a partly glass door. They’ll all have blinds, with the windows getting white Hunter Douglas Duettes, which I love and have in the rest of my house.

This shows the hall which leads to the office from my kitchen. If you look hard you can see a glimpse of the garden and tell that I do still have lawn, which a few readers were worried about.

Same hall, looking back towards the kitchen, and you can see the double pantries that are on the east side of this hall. Between the two pantries is an opening that leads into the laundry room. I didn’t take a photo of that, but the washer and dryer is going right this minute, and I’m so happy to have them back!

Still looking towards the kitchen, the other side of the hall has two sets of floor-to-ceiling shelves. I need to buy a stepladder to reach the top shelves! This larger set will host my ever-growing collection of blog dishes, mostly purchased from thrift shops or discount stores.

This is the smaller set of shelves in the hall, looking from the laundry room. I’m going to put some kind of kitchen items here, possibly some glass jars filled with lots of different kinds of beans that are currently on some shelves with some of my cookbooks.

The other room in this new area of the house is what we’re calling the “mud-room” and it has a door leading to the new west deck that’s still under construction as well as this trap-door leading to my dirt and cinderblock basement where the furnace and hot water heater are. There’s also lots of new storage in the basement, thanks to some great work by the contractors.

I live right in the city with no garage, so the mudroom also has double cupboards that will hold garden tools and other garden and yard stuff. The cupboards are pretty roomy, so I’m guessing I’ll find a lot of things to store in there.

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me moving everything into these rooms, and then immediately after that I have to pack up the rest of my house for inside painting. Meanwhile outside, work still is progressing on the front porch and decks. I’ve been scared to speculate about when the whole job might be done, but I’m thinking I’m within two months of the end now.

(If anyone is interested, you can see my whole set of House Renovations Photos on Flickr or use the label House Ronovations to see all the posts.)

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