Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Home sweet home (office)

I've shown you my office cubicle and my usual blogging set-up, but where I do a lot of my blog work and thinking is in my cozy home office nook.  Like with every space in our ~700sf apartment, it also does double duty as K's office during the workweek (he also has a shared office on campus but is only required to be there a few hours a week) and my crafts area. It is an adorable little nook surrounded by five windows, and on a weekend afternoon fills pleasantly with sunlight (the windows all face west).

There are a few main components to an effective home office.
  • Location. Ideally, your office will be secluded enough to get you away from the distractions of regular home life. Ours doesn't have a door, but is secluded enough to not be able to see the main living area, which helps a lot in minimizing distractions.
  • Workspace. I got this Ikea desk when I was 20 and in college. It has moved from my apt to my parents house (where it stayed for a few years while I was in NYC) and then to our three apartments here in Davis.  And we're definitely taking it with us when we move from here.  The desk's main surface is almost 5 feet long--perfect since I also use it as my sewing table.
  • Storage. Aside from the two drawers (purchased separately but attached to the desk--looks like the two-drawer version is discontinued), we have some desktop storage, a two-drawer file cabinet, a large box for papers, and two bookshelves (one medium size, one small) with a bunch of boxes.
  • Lighting. Natural lighting is a plus, but ambient lighting and task lighting are also important. I have a standing lamp for overall light, and a desk light.  I've recently fallen in love with fun table lamps, but am waiting until we have a more permanent abode to buy anything home-related.

Workspace on the right, storage on the left. Most of the things on the bookshelves are craft and sewing related (the sewing machine is the white covered thing behind the chair).

I know I've talked about art in your workspace before, but I confess I have yet to hang anything in our home office (we've been a little wary since some of our external walls are pure concrete).  You can see some frames to the left of the chair--those are our diplomas and various other things that I've already framed.

I love an open desktop.  Easy access and to-be-filed docs in the stand to the right, stickies of various sizes in the organizer on the left. K and I share one laptop, although we do have a netbook (small white thing that the ipod is sitting on) so that one of us can do actual work and the other can still browse the web and read/send emails and stuff.

Printer to the right (paper storage underneath the table), file cabinet and box for loose papers and manuals to the left. Underneath the desk is a paper shredder, childhood memorabilia (that clear box holds everything from Girl Scout patches to my college graduation mortarboard), car wash supplies, and photos.

Tech toys: laptop, external hard drive for backing up, ipod, thumbdrive for portability, Motorola Droid, Nikon lens cap.

Tea, candles, and family photos (I have the cutest nephew ever). A must to get the mind moving.

What does your home office look like? Send your photos and I'll share them here!

psst--did you see that Kendi is doing another 30 for 30 challenge? Sign up by Friday to get on the link list. I'm still debating whether to do it...what do you think?


  1. I so wish I had a separate office space, with a door, and some privacy. I love all the windows and the great natural light. I would be inspired in that space for sure! I am currently blogging from my bedroom and at work (shhh, its a secret from my boss). Try those heavy duty hooks made by 3M, they are great for concrete walls, trust me I have the same problem at my house. They work great!

  2. i agree with you on the clean desktop. I can't work when there's clutter. At least, I need to make a neat pile. Good thing is when I tend to make them, I usually remember where I place things, so it's okay. I love storage ideas, they make me excited! :P

  3. Great tips! I love the windows in your nook, what a difference it makes to have so much lighting! You keep your space so well organized, I'm jealous!

    xoxo Maria

  4. I did the 30 for 30 challenge in the summer and loved the way it challenged me to think more creatively about the pieces already in my closet. Go for it! - Katy

  5. I love the windows! Your office looks so open and inviting, I like it!

  6. Thanks, friends. I'll admit--I did do some tidying up before I took these photos :)

    @ KT - I did the summer 30 for 30, too. I think the hardest part was the weekends (and it confused some of my readers, too), so I may just do 30 for 30 workdays.

  7. clean desktop ftw! i find that if i have too much stuff around me i get distracted to the point that i actaully forget what i'm supposed to be doing. nothing near means no excuses to not get work done.

  8. Totally. That's why I store all my crafty things out of the way. Too tempting!

  9. If you want to know how much these shredding machines are worth, prices are always available online. Make sure that you compare paper shredder price from every shredder manufacturer before you make up your mind. best paper shredder


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