My office is surprisingly the only room in the house that hadn't had a paint job yet. It took me a long time to A) decide what I wanted and B) have the energy to undertake such a task, because it was a MESS. It had gradually become a catch-all space, and the goal was to make it beautiful and efficient.
Here are some before shots. Clearly, this project has been on my to-do list for quite a while, because these photos are from last May ... and horribly embarrassing. Happily, all these problems have been solved!
Problem spot #1: Cords and routers and hard drives, oh my! When we moved in, the office was set up quickly and things added over the years. This had never been organized and was a giant sore spot.
Problem spot #2: Using the office as a storage room plus too many packaging materials and books.
Problem #3: Plentiful, but ugly and disorganized shelving.
Here's where I began ...
Color! I knew for sure that it was going to be bright. Here is a (very bad picture) of the office at my old house. Now I can admit that it was maybe a teeny too bright, even for me.
But how awesome is that rug? I had always wanted to do a painted rug, and the beat up hardwood floors in this basement room provided the perfect opportunity. This was a fun room.
Then, a few weeks ago, Dora ordered this ice cream at Friendly's, and I had my color inspiration!
The tricky part was finding a color that was definitely orange, not peach, but also not too bright. Three walls ended up orange, and one wall is magenta. It's warm and cozy and makes an impact without being overpowering. Love it!!
Problem #1 solved: We wanted to get some kind of unit to store all the electronic components by the computer table. Brainstorm: I've got all these items in storage from when I used to exhibit at the National Stationery Show sitting in the basement, taking up space. We moved a Spotgirl display shelf into the corner. Now all the little units are tucked onto the shelf, USB cords neatly corralled in another Spotgirl display basket, and bonus! An open-box, Best Buy special, tiny television that fits on the shelf perfectly.
This is my new entrance way. I used to have cork boards up on that wall, which looked cluttered. More Spotgirl items here ... an acrylic display sign and decorative lamp used for the show booth. I also gave this little dresser a fresh coat of paint.
Hey! How'd that get in here! He typically runs from the camera, but while I was taking office pics, decided to pose for me.
Problems #2 & 3 solved: I wanted to keep as much as possible off the floor. I had to make things fit on the shelf, which involved getting rid of lots of stuff. The rolls of paper in the corner bin used to be in a giant ugly cardboard flat file - this is much more attractive. Plus, the paper is now out where I can see it, so I'll remember to use it!
These shelves from Ikea have served me well for many years, but are not so attractive when they're jammed with stuff. At first, I was looking into getting coordinating storage bins for everything, then I realized (DUH!) it would be a lot easier (and cheaper!) to just cover them up. I sewed curtains and attached cafe rods and silver hanging clips.
The magenta bins up top and the green bins along the side are new. Remember the overflowing bins of packing supplies? They've been condensed into two of those pink bins. Much better.
I loved the books on the mantle, but had to pare waaay down. Two giant boxes of graphic design magazines from 1995-2002 went to a new home thanks to Freecycle. Another Spotgirl prop on the wall ... there used to be four of these, but three of them were badly water damaged from storage, rats.
Now that the cordless phone moved to the corner shelf, I have room on my paper cart (another fabulous Ikea find) for some photos.
This vase was another Spotgirl display prop, the flowers are new! My friend Beth brought me those carved wooden elephant stamps after her Peace Corp year in Nepal.
One of my favorite things that stayed: I loved these silver pots when I first saw them in Pier One, but they were crazy expensive. I kept checking the price and watched it go down and down until I finally scored them for about $3 each.
So, that's it! Everything is now easy to access and the space is relaxing and organized. The new challenge is making sure it stays that way.