At the beginning of this year I set out the goal of shaking up a few things in my life, on of which was my website, a change those of you who have been following WELL for some time noticed (and HELLO! new readers, on that note!). The other “shake it up” – cue the Florence + The Machines - was the decision to better define my office space. Our apartment has a long “L” shaped hallway with a space at the lower half that’s too small for a proper room and too big to ignore. So I commandeered the area as my office space. My first iteration consisted of two TV trays and an old office chair. Nice, right? I upgraded to this roll cart desk and have slowly added touches over the last 2 years. The makeover is much like creating a healthy life… slow, steady and one day at a time!
“Before” photos first, and then to the fun part – the “after” photos! I hope you enjoy this peek into my space, organization and personal style. Anyone connected to Apartment Therapy, I’m waiting for the request to tour my L.A. home… kidding, kidding!
Full disclosure! … anything linked to Amazon = affiliate code.
The walls of our apartment are white and textured. I wanted to ditch the white walls. I went with a gray for the living areas and black in our hallway and one accent wall in the bedroom. The colors are from Ralph Lauren. The extra expense for this paint is worth every penny, especially if you have textured walls. Only one coat was required.
A new chair! This was the one piece I was waiting on before the big reveal! The chair I’ve been using was 10 years old and no bueno for my back. I had a style in mind and was stalking a few places for sales. I found this one on The Foundary (a very dangerous website if you like home wares) a few weeks ago, but there are similar styles available here, here and here. For additional head/neck/back ergonomic support I purchased a wall-mount screen and a docking station for my MacBook Pro. Sidenote #1: Ergonomic is such an un-sexy word, right? I freed up more desktop space by using a wireless mouse and keyboard. Now my desktop is virtually cord-free! Sidenote #2: If you buy the docking station, you will also need to purchase an additional charger for travel.
Integrating sentimental touches are the best part of any space. Pictured above is an antique sewing drawer. My Grandma sent this to me when I moved to Los Angeles in 2010. I painted it white to make it pop against the red and black. This little drawer holds one of the most important pieces of my business: blank “thank you” cards to send and “thank you” cards that I have received. It’s all about the relationships…
The photos and items on the shelves are personal reminders to keep living life to its fullest. Please pay special attention to the girl in the pink shirt (first frame on the left) with her arms loaded in shopping bags. One of the best days of my life – in Greece, circa 2005. Next are wine corks that have been saved from special occasions, with trinkets from Greece sprinkled in between. One of my masters diplomas rests in the middle area. The frames and ledge shelves are from Ikea.
- Tip #1: Want more color, like my yellow frame? An inexpensive frame + a $5 can of spray paint goes a long way for adding the perfect pop of color.
- Tip #2: I keep my business cards on my desk for those times I head out the door in a hurry and need a few in my bag or wallet. When I receive a business card I stand it vertically in the front of the card holder as a reminder to contact that person. Their business card is filed after we’ve made a connection.
- Tip #3: Even if you want to eliminate paper, you’ll still find a notebook or notepad handy to catch those flashes of great ideas or jot down a quick note. I use the Knock-Knock “To-Do” pad as my catch-all and mousepad. And I adore my Moleskines…
I like to have a few fun things on the floor because I like to use all of my space! Pictured are various papers that I use in photo backdrops (like this post) and a couple of brightly colored paper lanterns. Ikea has a great set of nesting glass bowls that I use in my office and throughout our apartment. I have a few other items pictured, like the lamp, magazine rack and filing cabinet that are also from Ikea. My other favorite office essentials include: Trader Joe’s for flowers; Sharpie Markers – the 80′s Glam Pack; Papyrus for paper stock and cards; Pilot G2 07 pens; Whole Living, Rolling Stone, Psychology Today & Yoga Journal for entertainment and inspiration; Container Store for more stylish/whimsical organization, like the pen holder; and Society6.com for posters, iPhone & iPad accessories.
What are your must-haves for the home office?
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