My home office refresh

OFFICE-1Happy Hump Day (ugh)! I’m still decompressing after my insane trip to the Canadian Rockies last week, plus I’ve got some actual work to do, so blogging is unfortunately taking a bit of a hit. I need to sit down and map out some content because I love this blog and want to see it flourish.

Anyway. It’s looking pretty likely that I’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, which I’m pretty pleased about. I have a nice little work wardrobe for when I have to go to meetings, but I also like wearing leggings and sweatshirts and getting coffee and listening to anything I want loudly. Plus working freelance is going to give me a chance to work on my new photography instagram account, so I’ll be able to drive around the area taking photos when I’m not working. It’s going to be great!

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Because of this, I wanted my office to get a big refresh. I had issues with my desk wobbling; the cheapo IKEA legs were causing that, so I upgraded to something much sturdier (and lemme tell ya: they don’t wobble). I also had a tendency to load a bunch of crap on my desk, so I slapped a couple of these cool little hexagon cork tiles up on the walls. And I suppose the most significant change was moving my desk to the wall under the window. As a reminder here’s what it was looking like before:

OFFICE-1A big ol mess. OFFICE-6OFFICE-9OFFICE-10I got a little wheelie cart for all my food photography props. My plan for this part of the room is to use it as a studio part time. So I’ll have a backdrop and lighting, and having things on wheels will make it easy to clear the space. The desk has wheels too!OFFICE-11OFFICE-12OFFICE-13I didn’t want to go overboard on spending. So I got a few things to make the space more useable, such as this desk riser (with drawers), this headphone stand and these little bins. I splurged a little on a few ornamental desk organizers, like this lovely little cup, this brass stand and these bookendsOFFICE-14OFFICE-17OFFICE-8OFFICE-2

My Closet

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After

A few weeks ago while I was gainfully unemployed and had a lot of time on my hands, I started to feel real nest-y and motivated to finally organize the closet in my office. I’ve long put it off. And I keep the doors closed, so I never have to see it. It’s one of those things you know you’ll have to do one day, like quitting smoking, but ehhh, not today.

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Before

I’d spent many years since we moved in just accruing storage bins and crates. Every time I saw one (usually at Target) I’d snatch up a couple, because I might need them one day? You can never have too much storage miscellany. Things started to get unruly in the closet. Anything and everything I didn’t have use for in my office would be stuffed in there, without any further thought. It was beginning to stress me out. CLOSET-1CLOSET-4Plus, I had just bought another camera body and couldn’t really justify having this expensive equipment just sitting on a shelf in a closet. So I did a little research and found the ALGOT system from IKEA. It was super well priced and super customizable. I designed a little system and went to IKEA to get the parts. I also went to town on clearing the closet out. I aimed to get rid of at least 30% of its contents. CLOSET-14.jpgCLOSET-11CLOSET-17I even got rid of most of my old issues of Vita.mn, keeping only the issues whose cover stories I designed. 😖CLOSET-12I’m into these mesh baskets too which became a bag hutch.CLOSET-13CLOSET-18CLOSET-20A tinier mesh basket mounts nicely on top so I can put things like batteries, flash accessories, etc in there.

Big thank you to my cool husband who helped me install the whole system (basically: he installed it completely on his own, while I watched and offered moral support). He really Dad’d it up!

In a few years none of this will mean anything, because I’ll eventually have to relinquish my office once we have a second kid. Before then I’ll probably have to get rid of like, 100 more pounds of stuff. Until then, I keep the closet door open now, to admire my little organized oasis.

Habitat

OFFICE-1It seems that whenever I come back from a blogging hiatus, I talk about my home office. Makes sense, right? This is where the majority of my blogging takes place (though sometimes it takes place down in the basement with my laptop. What can I say? I am a maverick).

We had a rather gloomy weekend, which I do like, but I find myself a lot more peppy and inspired by sunny days too (when I was younger, I hated sunshine. When asked how long I’d have to endure gloomy days before I wanted a sunny one, I replied “I don’t know, a few weeks?”). But my office was looking appropriate for the climate. Part of it I think was this bitchin new desktop photo I snagged from go70north. Very moody! Anyway, it had been a while since I took photos of my office. It’s always really great to get my creative juices flowing. On the one hand, it forces me to tidy things up a bit, and then, voila, I have a clean office. I can think more clearly, and feel inspired to create. And then I’m like “Holy shit, I need to blog more!” So here we are. OFFICE-3OFFICE-4

I just got this cedar and clove scented candle from LaedaCo, which comes in a fetching little ceramic mug. I haven’t lit it yet (obviously) but it does have a comforting, cozy smell. The thing is, it’s basically spring time? I might save it for next winter. OFFICE-8.jpgOFFICE-9It’s nice to have a space where I can create, be it photography, design or music. It’s my space where I’m free to do anything.

That said, I hope to do more blogging on the reg again soon. There’s SO MUCH stuff coming up this year I’m excited to share with you all (including a massive anniversary trip abroad. But more on that later. Woo!)

Sweetness

JOANOFARC-1I recently bought this splendid poster on Society6. It’s rather splendid in a number of ways.

  • A Smiths lyric in large, bold type. And a Smiths lyrics that happens to be from the Smiths song I probably identify most with.
  • The type is on a gloriously grungy photo of an epic Joan of Arc in armor and carrying a sword. I am a sucker for medieval anything. Especially swords.
  • It was designed by Anna Dorfman of Door Sixteen, whose influence of style is found in my home.

I have two RIBBA frames I needed to put to use since I found them in As Is at IKEA. Kismet! Plus, it’s in my main color scheme, and looks great opposite the giant Morrissey poster, and this little There Is a Light needlepoint…JOANOFARC-3JOANOFARC-2

Oh, Hello

office5Ohhhhhh hi there.

I never claimed to be a very dedicated blogger, though I would like to. Seems like the age of the blog has past us, doesn’t it? Still, I always have so many little ideas or things I want to earnestly write about, and the motivation is there, but sitting down to actually format a post always feels daunting (It’s not EVEN that daunting!). One thing in particular I feel like has contributed to my downfall is having a messy office. In my first year of college I emailed with my dad a lot and I was feeling down and he said to make sure my workspace was clean, because “a clean workspace is crucial for mental health.” Or maybe a clean living space even. These things are absolutely true for me. They might not be for everyone, because I’ve seen people at my job with piles of shit on their desk and they somehow manage to carry on working. For me though, I can’t concentrate if my desk has smudges on it, or there are loose papers everywhere. And sometimes I get so overwhelmed by it that I can’t muster the energy to actually clean up.

I probably seemed pretty pleased with my home office a couple months ago. It was bright and, for the most part, clean. But it was still cluttered, and my two desks were wobbly and uneven. Here’s how it looked only this last weekend:
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Even the photo quality is bad here, which I feel enhances the awfulness of this set up. In theory it’s great. I have a lot of desk space and light. In practice though, look how much stuff gets dumped on there? My office is typically a dumping ground for anything that doesn’t belong anywhere else (to be fair it’s my stuff already). Look at the way that cheap IKEA desktop is bowed. Look at the little printer tucked away under the bigger printer? One of those little wood boxes was JUST holding washi tape. So, even though I had my own office and it was pretty good, I would still pore over blogs and pinterest, trying to find the ideal inspiration for a clean, minimal work environment.
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I traded in my two flimsy white desktops for a super solid, smaller natural wood one. Instantly warms up the space, doesn’t it? I ditched the rug, because it was filthy and a weird size, and it slid all around the floor. I had a little set of three rubbermaid drawers that were GOD AWFUL and I made a serious upgrade to the ALEX set of drawers. And as I wished in the other blog post, I switched out desk lamps which I’m well into.
Add in a little greenery and actually put some of your shit up on the walls and it’s a true haven.
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The desk is a lot deeper too so instead of using one desk for my Mac and one for my Macbook, I can simply push the computer and keyboard back. And yes, I DO actually use both computers for different things.

Anyway, I would like to use this as a jumping off point towards more blog posts, because I ACTUALLY have things I want to say, and have had things in my mind for months! So, why not start off with something sort of trivial like an office makeover to ease back in?

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