We are nearly done with the renovations to the building that will house my new practice.  We set up the office last week and I moved in.  Hassan Osman’s fabulous blog, The Couch Manager, was highly influential in the design of the new office.  His blog introduced me to authors who inspired taking a zen-like approach to work, which ultimately led to my decision to quit my chaotic bi-state academic career and start my own business.  Thank you Hassan. 🙂

The building had a lot of potential, but in its original state, it screamed “man-cave.” The previous tenants were heavy smokers with pets, a combination resulting in an odor that defied a wide range of cleaning products and air fresheners. The popcorn ceiling was brown with an amalgamation of nicotine, dust, and pet dander hanging off in stalactite-like spikes. I was worried that one would fall and impale me with the vile concoction. The ceiling fans were an abomination with a layer of gunk atop the blades nearly an inch thick. There were linoleum tiles applied to concrete in three of the rooms and some strange sticky paper-like faux wood flooring in what is now my office.  It all had to go.

As you can see in the “before” picture below, a lot needed to be changed.

We set to work cleaning, vacuuming, mopping, sponging the nicotine off the walls, pulling up flooring, etc.  Then the Angry Russian, who is a lot less angry these days, set to work pulling down light fixtures, hanging a new ceiling, knocking out a wall for a window, laying tile, painting and hanging fixtures and pictures.

The Angry Russian Draws a Window on the Wall

We saved over $100 on the window by shopping at a discount building supply store (Building Materials on Jackson, Inc) that sells overstocked and used supplies instead of ordering it from a glass store or one of those DIY home improvement stores.

Voila a window!

The window provides an awesome view of the vegetable garden as you’ll see in a bit.

The paint color is Ferrel Calhoun’s Slate Stone, but the paint was Benjamin Moore.  The flooring is ceramic tile from Flooring Solutions. The picture above as well as the two below are by Albert Koetsier  and were a gift from a friend.

My desktop was a work of The Devil.  He salvaged the top of my former desk, wrapped the top in a groovy fabric, then painted and clear coated it to a glossy finish.  It sits atop two filing cabinets that I purchased for 60% off from a Big Lots store that was going out of business.

My desk – The Devil’s handiwork

As you  can see, it’s very reflective! Beneath that shine is a pretty lavender and white print.

Desktop Detail

And then we embellished with little details….

Framed postcards from the Berliner Dom

Please take a moment to appreciate those perfectly plumb, mathematically proportionate pictures that were hung by The Angry Russian, who is a perfectionist to the extreme.  When I hang a picture, I use a hammer and a nail. I would think that’s the way most normal humans would do it. The Angry Russian requires measurements, pencils, math, and a high-tech floor-to-ceiling laser machine. Watching his process was like watching an episode of Big Bang Theory.

How the Angry Russian Hangs a Picture

A few more finishing touches…

two cherished gifts

The picture of me and Nilla Bean was hand drawn by a former student and artist.  “Believe” was a gift from another friend.

A new light fixture…

…and to complete the ensemble…

This is the first time I’ve ever displayed my degrees on the wall.  They make me feel all official. 🙂

And kitty is just visiting.

So….that completes your virtual tour of the office.  Come back in a couple weeks I’ll show you the rest of the place.

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