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January 18, 2016

My Office Space... in the Mudroom : )

How long have I been talking about spiffing up my office space?  It is safe to assume that it was before we even completed construction, I'm sure.  After living in the new house for 8 months, I've finally gotten around to it.  There is nothing like the fresh slate of a new year (and very cold/boring days) to get you motivated to organize.

While I worked on this I started thinking a lot about my homekeeping/organizing philosophy.  I think it basically comes down to having less stuff.
A lot of the time I find that my pretty things, my feel-good things are being out-shined by the abundance of not so pretty and not so nice things.

For instance, I now have a glass full of grey Le Pens on my desk (see left, next to the peony).  Before the reorganization, I had those same pens in my drawer... along with about 10 other junky pens, pencils, (and crayons!) that just found their way in there.  I couldn't even appreciate the 12 nice and neat Le Pens because they were jumbled with the randoms.  This idea can be applied to your kitchen drawers (you reach for the same wooden spoon every time, so why are there 8 others to choose from?!) or your closet (like that pile of jeans... when you only wear the top two pair).

During... : )

Take some time and get down to the pretty.  Weed out the things that make your pretty ugly.  Donate those things - they might be someone else's pretty.  Don't just fill your empty spaces with the non-pretties - then those places become dark holes in your home.  Get them out of the house.  Set yourself free ; )   Don't be afraid of empty spaces, sparse closets and drawers where you can see the bottoms.  Give yourself some breathing room.

Here is how I did just that in my office :

The biggest addition was the inspiration boards.  I didn't have anything before and our invitations, snippets and photos just started leaning up against the basket, then stacked and sort of lost.  Bulletin boards aren't a new idea, but I do think they are hard to find - good ones.  I wanted mine to blend in with the walls - letting just the inspiration stand out.  

I bought these two simpletons at target ($8/each) and painted them Navajo White to match the walls.

My office is also Mr. Darcy's room, so close by treats are necessary.

Everything in here is very neutral (white walls, white built in, baskets, etc.), so that it can transform with each season of the store.  Right now, I'm in Valentine's Day full swing but in a week or two these colors will be swapped for blues, whites, pale yellow and springy greens to inspire my Spring collection.

Inside the drawers I have bamboo organizers found at Costco.  These were a set of 2 for $15 - much cheaper and nicer than anywhere else I've seen.  We have these in almost every drawer in the house.

Did you notice that my laptop is plugged in!  When we were planning the house, we had outlets put into drawers to be "charging drawers" in my office and the kitchen.  I really don't like seeing charging ipads, computers and phones all over the house, so this gives them a home.

I really don't like seeing charging ipads, computers and phones all over the house, so this gives them a home.

I LOVE this.   If this wasn't charging in the drawer, it would be on the desktop, then things would've started piling on it... and I probably wouldn't open it for weeks : )

This is where my wireless printer lives along with the most amazing paper file/shelf thing ever.  I found it at Ikea - the shelves slide out, it is powdered coated in ivory with cork lining each shelf.  I had a major paper/label issue under here before, so I'm just THRILLED with this.

More pretty : )

This ribbon holder was also and Ikea find.  Beware, the rod that comes with it is too big to hold ribbons from my store (and most others...) so I put a dowel rod in that has a smaller diameter.  Love how this holds so many!  This space is used for store photos (because of the great natural light from that big window), so it needs to be fairly blank and easy to clear off when I need to use it.

This is my paper/stationery drawer.  I keep my stack of notepads, tags, envelopes, stamps, stampers, etc. in here.  It makes it so much easier to get a letter in the mail now that this is all organized.

This is also where I store my camera, lenses and chargers.

Underneath, I have a file holder for all of the other papers that used to be by my printer, and wholesale catalogs for products.  The sheet is used on the big window when I need to defuse the light I secure it with those binder clips in the drawer above... very sophisticated photo production studio around here  ; )

You can see why this is my happy place.   The window features some hearts that Emma decorated.

Of course, the indoor garden bench (that I talked about on Saturday) is my favorite part - or was, until the rest of the office was finished.

Such nice light in here.

If you are unfamiliar with the layout of our house, this gives you perspective from the kitchen.  It is just far enough out of the way so I can emerse myself in work and remove myself from the dirty dishes in the sink.

Behind me is the artwork wall and Mr. Darcy's area.

 In the shelves above, I can stash things that would otherwise want to pile up on my worktop.  When they get too out of control, I can take 10 minutes and put things away in the basement where I keep all of my samples.

This is my keyboard area - complete with full to-do list and playdoh cookie gifted to me.

Ever curious (and skeptical...) Mr. Darcy.

If you think for a minute that every inch of my house is as put together as my office is this morning - think again.  : )   Real life is happening in the rest of the house, but it is nice to take a little break and treat myself to this space that is fresher, happier and full of pretty things.

This space refreshes me, inspires me.  And in a couple of months (or...two weeks, days?) when I find it cluttered (as I'm absolutely sure it will), I won't feel bad or guilty for it - it is a hard working space and sometimes that means mess and craziness to get the job done.  I'll take an hour, clean it up and put it right back together.


  1. Anonymous2:57 PM

    I have two children and that means lots of craft supplies-crayons, makers, paint, glitter, glue, etc. where do you store all of Emma's craft supplies? Currently it si taking over my office space....ideas? Suggestions?

    1. We have the same issue! I keep it all in the pantry cabinet to the left of my desk space. It is a continual process - I haven't photographed it, because 10 min after organizing it is a crazy place again : ) But, it does all have a place, and I love that Emma has access to it all of the time, so she can help herself. I'll try to photograph it and share it later this month!

  2. Anonymous3:16 PM

    Jenny, thanks for the inspiration. My home office is a little messy and I love your philosophy of "pretty things" that make us happy. I just added some Ikea shelves and I am working on organizing my space.

  3. Looks great! What brand of cabinetry did you go with?

  4. kelly reece3:45 PM

    I have wanted to do this to my office space. Thanks for inspiring me to forge ahead. Lov your house.

  5. Anonymous3:59 PM

    What a great space! Would you mind sharing where you got the rug and runner...and their color? Thanks!

  6. This is so great! Thanks for inspiring me to get to IKEA and solve my paper and ribbon problems!!

  7. Enjoyed your post. Just curious if you like your wireless printer and if so would you share the model information? I had an Epson and it went through ink like crazy.

  8. Jenny,
    I love the way this area turned out. It's a happy place and seems to be very organized. I'm inspired to to something similar to my desk area.

  9. Great job on the office, love that light in there! Also love that you included some real life pictures. I love looking at "pretty", but those bits of mess and pre-schooler artwork breath life into a house!

  10. Absolutely love what you have done with your home. We are redoing our kitchen. Last time was 23 years ago with a few updates in between. Anyway, I have decided to go with white cabinets. My question for you is how do the painted cabinets stand up to living life?

  11. Beautiful! I love the inspiration boards; I wouldn't have thought of painting cork boards white, but that really fits this room.

  12. Beautiful, What a great idea painting your cork boards! Where you do get your natural fiber rugs? I love the color and texture of yours. Thank you!

  13. Jenny, I have been unable to find the IKEA ribbon storage. Do you know the name of the product? I'm hoping it wasn't discontinued!

    1. Here it is!


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