a peek inside the fishbowl

25 Nov, 2012

Reno post #51: Our sad office, and a cute (and useful!) furniture rescue

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Home/reno|Oh! Things!

Well, the house is coming along although not much has actually changed since my last reno-related post. We’re still waiting for a side fence, driveway, mirrors, and our breakfast bar. And yes, blinds for our bedroom. After our long and painful experience with Home Depot recently I’m still feeling a little gun shy in that area but I am forcing myself to get out there and get it done this week.

We spent some time re-arranging stuff in the basement yesterday, a part of our house which seems utterly insurmountable, but funnily enough when push came to shove we actually accomplished quite a bit in the short time we were down there.

And then there’s this:

office reality

That’s our office. It’s terrible: boxes that still need to be sorted into piles, cords that need untangling, and papers that need to be shredded. The hardest is knowing where to begin, but knowing that this is one of the most important rooms in the house (at least for me, because this is where I work!) is a big motivating factor to getting it done sooner than later.

There used to be a sofabed along the right side there but the sofa has found a new home in our living room. We clearly need a piece of furniture in here that will store our papers/cables/office supplies… of which there are many. I’m still unsure what this piece will look like, or how “office-y” it should be for that matter, or where we’ll find it, but I will say this, at this point in the game we’re striking things off our list if they they can’t be defined as an urgent purchase. It hurts me to be pulling out my credit card at this point in time, especially after the busload of money we spent on our renovation.

That’s why I was pleased to find this, begging to be rescued at the side of the road:

Sarah's desk

Both girls desperately needed desks for their room, and the fact that we came upon this one was sheer destiny. I think it’s pretty cute. You should have seen us trying to get that thing into our Prius, but we did it, and now it’s part of the Sarah’s bright blue bedroom. She still needs a proper little desk chair, a lamp, and shelves… but they will come in their own time when I can snag some deals.

4 Responses to "Reno post #51: Our sad office, and a cute (and useful!) furniture rescue"

1 | Jeanette

November 25th, 2012 at 11:54 am


Gawd I love finding furniture on the side of the road! I’m always amazed at the great stuff you can actually find. It must be a Canadian thing though. A girlfriend of mine is from the UK and finds it hilarious, if not shocking, that a) people put good furniture outside and b) people take the furniture they find outside on the side of the road. Here’s hoping you find a funky file cabinet for your office.

2 | Sara

November 25th, 2012 at 9:42 pm


Love the wall colours in both rooms. And the desk!!

3 | Lisa from Iroquois

November 26th, 2012 at 5:10 pm


We have had fabulous luck at a place called Surplus Warehouse at 716 Industrial Ave. It’s a bit of a trek out there but the attention of the staff, the selection and prices can not be beaten.

4 | Fishbowl Reno post #52 - Sarah’s bedroom wrap-up >> a peek inside the fishbowl

January 6th, 2013 at 3:59 pm


[…] desk is a curb-side rescue I wrote about it awhile back. (Maybe THAT will be the next thing we paint!) She still needs shelves and a cork or magnetic […]

comment form:


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Mort: I'm usually very good but was gripped with mild panic at the drug store Saturday when I suddenly realized I'd forgotten my mask. Normally there's a ba
  • Michael: You could mix up all your ingredients and form the dough, cover the put it in the fridge. This will cause the dough to perform a slow rise, so if done
  • Sally Dowe Marchand: Wow. Well done. I too have done something as absent-minded as walking into a store and taking my mask off. Inside right so remove it. I immediately re
  • sassygirl: i like hearing your voice on the browser version. it’s well done! (:
  • Sally Dowe Marchand: Oh dear. I am so not there yet. I was making my way hastily through Loblaws the other day and suddenly it dawned on me it was Christmas music playing.
  • Nicole MacPherson: Oh, I totally understand. I have found myself tearing up in public places when particular songs come on. I love Christmas music and I rarely think it'
  • peter: Absolutely love the audio version - you are a natural!

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter