I said I would share pictures when my office was completed, and so here are the pictures. Sorry there are a billion of them. Different angles, different close-ups. Think of it like the person who shows you 340 pictures of their baby or dog. It’s one of those moments. When my original plan of commuting to an outside office space (to create separation between work and home) didn’t pan out, I decided to create a home office. I had the space for one but wasn’t convinced it would make the separation strong enough. By using the room only for work and not working in any other part of the house, it has made a huge difference. Especially working with the door closed.
I write from nine am to noon Monday through Friday. Then I take a three hour break for lunch, errands, housework/exercise. Basically whatever needs done that I don’t want to stretch into my evening. Then I work on business-related stuff from 3-6, and after that I’m off work for the day. I try to stop working at 6 and not just keep going so that I can have personal time/space and not just work time/space in my life.
So, here it is. I’ll commentate underneath some of the pictures.
This first pic is the least exciting picture aesthetically but practically/logistically it’s pretty awesome. It’s my supply closet. I would have before and after pictures for this office except the before was literally a blank room with nothing in it but plain white walls and a crappy white ceiling fan that looked like it came from 1982, which I replaced. The closet used to be filled with all sorts of crap. I kept out of season clothes in this closet and used the walk in closet in the bedroom for that season. But then I decided this was completely screwing up my minimalizing goals so I packed up a lot of clothes for Goodwill and consolidated everything into just the one closet in the bedroom.
So now this closet gets to be my office supply closet which is really awesome since it’s right there connected to the office.
This is the chaise that I write my words in. I do fiction in the morning here, then I do business-related work at the desk. That way, even within my office I can keep a separation between creating and more clerical work. Next to it is a mirrored side table with an aloe plant underneath and another house plant in the red pot beside it. I’ve got some candles on the table for writing and a little remote control for my ceiling fan. I used to say I didn’t do writing rituals because I didn’t want to be OCD about it, but just from having a routine with my office and office hours, it makes a huge difference in getting into a mental zone to work/write. So I don’t poo poo writing rituals anymore.
This is a close-up of the little mirrored table. I love this. I originally ordered a different white table that was distressed-looking, but it didn’t fit well in the office and the paint they had used smelled awful, so I returned it and ordered this. I got this from Target and was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t have to assemble it. It arrived in the box in one piece. (By that point I was completely over assembling things. I ordered everything for my office and all my Christmas presents in one week so everything arrived at once and my living room looked like a warehouse which drove me crazy but made me work faster to get the office complete.) The candle holders I got at Hobby Lobby. When the afternoon sun comes in through the window and hits it around 3 o’clock, it sends white and rainbow lights onto the wall behind it.
Here’s a closer shot of one of the two pictures hanging on the wall. Both pictures I got were from the same series of New York themed pictures at Rooms to Go. It was supposed to take 4-6 weeks for delivery. I’m glad it came sooner. The dots and rings on the wall are wall decals that I got from Trendywalldesigns.com. Unless you get right up on them with a bright light, they look painted on. The decals were the first thing I put in the office. I ordered three different colors and applied all the dots of each color, then all the rings of each color. It seemed daunting at first, but once I got started it was pretty fun.
Wider shot where you can see it in context, plus you can see a little bit of the clock and the little office Christmas tree.
Finally some new stuff to look at. This is my coffee station, white board, filing cabinet and another plant, pull down shade, and beaded mirror curtain (and the beginnings of my cork board there on the right.) The window used to have standard blinds but I hate those things. If I’m going all out to decorate a room I don’t want ugly blinds, plus I like to let more sun in and a pull down shade is much less drama to deal with. The mirror/beaded curtain sends off all sorts of reflections on the floor when the sun comes in and the shade is up. Tom said I’d never get any work done because I would be too hypnotized by the lights. I really love my file cabinet and have gotten about 20 times more productive on the business end since I now actually have a filing system and everything is pretty organized.
It’s amazing what you can get done when you have filing cabinets. Tom assembled the cabinet, as well as the corner coffee shelf. And hung the pictures, white board, cork board, shade, curtain, and put together the book case. (I really did assemble a few things.) It was discovered during this project that I really do need a man in my life, much like I need an IT man specifically since PHP makes me cry. I suppose if I were single I could rent a man to do these things for me. And I realize I set back the women’s movement as I say all this but I don’t want to assemble things or do IT things. I just don’t. I don’t care what it says about me.
Now we’re swinging around to the desk, chair, part of the book case, the beaded lamp, the other NY picture, though my brother says it’s Chicago. He’s probably right. It looks more like Chicago than NY, but it was part of a photo series called “New York”. I actually put this desk together by myself. This was back in the early days of the office set up when I was young and full of hope and shit like that. I am pretty proud of myself for assembling the desk on my own, but after that I was over it and Tom did the rest because he’s awesome like that. I also assembled my chair and lamp. So I was really self-sufficient for this one little pocket of my office. After that I got all helpless and pathetic.
Here’s a shot straight on where you can see everything a little better. The book case with the plant on top. I love this plant because of the dark stripe in the middle of the leaves and the bright green on the outside. It looks like a fake plant, but it’s real. All the plants in the office are real. Fake plants are sort of pointless to me and real plants improve mood and clean the air. You can also see my garbage can in this one. I know… garbage cans aren’t exciting but I was excited by how well it matched the look since I ordered almost everything for this office on the Internet.
Close up of the picture over my desk and some of my wall dots. The dots are everywhere on the band of wall I chose to use, even under the pictures and cork board and white board. It looks more natural what way where only half/part of a dot or ring sometimes comes out from behind something hanging on the wall.
Another angle with the calendar and the door. That’s the door that goes out into the hallway into the rest of the house. One of the earlier pictures where you saw the door beside the mirrored table is the door into the supply closet.
Here’s a close-up of the book case. I’ve got a question mark book end and on the bottom right an exclamation point. But they are black, so harder to see against the black of the bookcase. The bookcase I actually ordered was supposed to be black on the outside and white on the inside, but they sent me the wrong one. I could have returned it but I just wanted to get my office done and in the end was okay with it. I have a lot of white in the room otherwise and wanted to balance out my color scheme so I think the all black book case worked out best even though a couple of my bookends are harder to see. I would have had the problem with the white bookends otherwise. The white ones are cats. I’ve got mail trays on one of the shelves, and also several of my books as well as some writing/business books. On the bottom I have some binders which I need to file a lot of the stuff in those binders and then throw out the binders. That’s what I used before I had a real office and filing system. Which was horrible. I don’t recommend it.
Here’s a close-up of my ceiling fan. Even at the highest speed it doesn’t move a lot of air, but it looks awesome so I’m okay with that. It came down to this fan and a stainless steel/ultra modern fan. I think this one works better and makes everything in the room a tiny bit “warmer” whereas the other would have made everything a tiny bit more cold and harsh.
Here’s the full fan, with the light on. It’s only got three blades but that isn’t the only reason it doesn’t move as much air. It just doesn’t move as fast as a lot of fans. It does move “some” air, but it couldn’t replace AC even partially. But that’s okay because it looks awesome. I sit right next to a window for breezes and I have AC.
This is a close-up of my coffee station. I have some flavored syrups on the bottom. The coffee maker isn’t a coffee maker but is a latte maker. It came with a bunch of recipes and you put your ingredients and milk in the pitcher and it steams it and creates a foam, and the coffee maker part brews the coffee. Once ingredients are in, it’s one button to make a latte.
Close-up shot of the beaded floor lamp. I really like this lamp because you turn it on and off via a little button you step on, on the floor.
Here’s a close-up of the desk. On the left is a little dog paperweight. And that’s my journal in the middle. I know… where is my COMPUTER!?!?! We’re getting to that.
Here’s my computer, as well as a black book I keep a to do list in. There is a cubby right there under the main part of the desk that I slide my laptop in when I’m not using it. I also have a lap desk that I use for my laptop when I write my words on the chaise. The lap desk sits on the floor between the chaise and the wall when I’m not using it so it’s out of the way. Like the little anal retentive that I am, I clean the office every day at the end of my work day including changing trash and vacuuming if it needs it. It’s MUCH easier for me to come into an uncluttered space to do productive work than a cluttered space. And since my schedule prioritizes writing in the morning, when I first walk into my office in the morning, I need it to be clean and clutter-free.
The desk slides out. I have NO idea what those metal rings/brackets are for. If you have any ideas, let me know.
And the sides open up for storage. The back part where all my office-y accoutrements sit opens as well, but it’s not worth it to move everything to use that space. Also, it’s not convenient to use it anyway. But it’s cool that it’s there. There is a power strip in there with an extension cord which is nice, should I ever need it for something.
Here’s a close-up of the bat phone. We have no land line so it’s not actually a working phone. I mean it CAN be a working phone if we had a land line, but it’s really just there to be decorative. Of course, HAVING a bat phone makes me want to hook it up and use it because really… you have to use your bat phone. The bat phone is really more about “office ambiance”. I also have time cards. I’m not kidding. I have a rewards system with points so I don’t frivolously spend money but earn it instead through direct current work. And keeping track of my hours in the office is part of that. Plus filling out a time card is another one of those mental zone things to make me feel like “I am leaving home and going to work. I have an actual job.”
Here’s a close-up of my pencil cup and my test tubes with push pins for the cork board and paper clips in them, and part of my wooden duck tape dispenser. Don’t ask why I got that… I just felt it was necessary. The black pencils in the pencil cup, the pencil cup, the test tubes, and the tape dispenser all came from seejanework.com which has a lot of neat office supplies. The black pencils all have phrases on them like: “Boxed wine is the new black”, “Tap water is the new black”, “overqualified is the new black”, “having a roommate named mom is the new black” and others.
And here is the full duck tape dispenser, as well as my red Swingline stapler. No office is complete without a red Swingline stapler.
Here’s a larger shot of one side of the office to pull it all together.
And here is the other side.
And that’s it. My zillion photos from my now completed office. From start to finish… from the moment I started ordering things to the moment everything was totally set up was about two weeks.
But the coolest part about this office is that everything in it (with the exception of a couple of binders and books I already had), were paid for with words. It wasn’t cheap to set up, and a lot of things I will be a cheap skate about but not a space I have to spend such a large portion of my week in. I need a space that inspires me to be creative but also makes me feel like I am “at work”. If I’m doing all that, I want it to look like something and have at least a little style.