Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Home office: purpose and plans

Another apartment, another home office. Couple that with my cubicle changes at my last job, and this will be the fourth work area I've worked in (and shown you) in the year-and-a-half since I started this blog (see 1, 2 and 3).

My last home office should I say it...ideal. It was bright, spacious, and organized. I loved the heck out of it, and wish that I could have worked from home more instead of using it just on weekends and holidays. Now that I am using the home office everyday, I'm trying to incorporate what I loved about my last space to create a neat and productive space here.

Daily home office, book storage, craft storage, board game storage.

As little as possible (I'm not a strict budgeter). We definitely need a bookshelf, something cheap and sturdy with lots of storage capacity. The built-ins did the trick in our last place, and we left the small bookshelves in the office—one was a Target shelf that used to be full height (broke in half during a previous move) and the other I bought specifically to fit under the long windows and wouldn't have fit well elsewhere.

My new office space is at the far end of our living area, right up against the window. Since our living area is just one long rectangle, you get a straight shot to my desk from the front door. Our new apartment has some of the same charm of the old place. High ceilings, large windows, wood floors. Here's what it looks like now (pardon the boxes of books...see why we need a bookshelf?).

The plan
My plans and ideas from my office. Bold indicates new/recent purchases.
  1. Glass jars for pencils, highlighters, odds and ends. I just use empty ones left over from the food we buy (bonus if they have pretty clear stickers instead of paper ones).
  2. Ikea Kassett DVD boxes for craft storage.
  3. Ikea Kassett magazine boxes for paper and fabric storage. ($9.99 for two; I'll get four, so $20)
  4. Mid-back fabric office chair. Purchased in 2007.
  5. Ikea Expedit 4x4 bookshelf. ($129 new, but I'm keeping an eye on Craigslist, too)
  6. Ikea Fredrik desk. I also have the two-drawer attachment (which has since been discontinued). Purchased in 2004.
  7. Office art from my old cubicle (this print from kirstypaterson).
  8. Haitian steel drum bird piece I picked up on South Congress in Austin. ($24)
  9. A custom Coco and Louie 16-month wall calendar from sweetmusingspaperie. ($20)
I know that a $200 room isn't in everyone's budget, but considering that the price includes a large furniture piece, I don't think we did all that badly. We also have a two-drawer filing cabinet and wireless printer that will fit in somewhere (likely with the printer on top of the cabinet).

Ikea was out of the birch Expedit when we tried it this past weekend, so the execution of this plan is on hold for now. But no'll get pics when it's all done, hopefully in the next week or two.

What storage do you find to be the most essential in your office space? Bookshelves, boxes, baskets?


  1. I hope you find the shelves you are looking for. I always wonder what it would be like to have a home office space. I work out of my living room at my grandmother's desk or in the sunroom/den in the back of the house. We do have an office but it's pretty much customized for the husband to do music in there. The piano and other instruments all over dont' make it conducive for muchh else.

  2. I like your mood board. My favorites are the Ikea bookshelf and the bird decor. I rely on bookshelves and pretty canvas boxes in my home office. I also use funky mugs to hold my pens and markers. I'm on the lookout for a new chair too. Can't wait to see the after pictures!

  3. I love all the light you have in your new working space, but the window would be a terrible distraction for me.

  4. Oh! Are you working from home? I've been doing so for a year now... love the schedule but not always the not getting out of the house. I look forward to being inspired by what you wear since sometimes I need motivation for getting dressed around here :)

    I got most of my home office stuff from Ikea too - love those storage boxes; I have them on some floating shelves right above my workspace for easy accesss. Definitely helps me to be productive when I have a good/organized/pretty workspace, so worth the spending!

  5. I have the Ikea Expedit bookshelf for my office and I love it - it has more space that I can use! I love the idea of using it as a wall/room divider - are you planning on using it this way or just along the wall?

  6. @ Michelle - I plan on just putting it up against the wall. The other way would make it too narrow, but I think up against the wall opposite my desk will make it feel like my office spans the whole wall. (and it's really not that far from my desk anyway. :)

  7. Your plans sound great. Making the most of the available space will open up the area and brighten the room. I have a virtual office makati so I can work anywhere.

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  9. I suggest you turn your table facing the window because this will help you save energy by using the daylight as you work. This is how I set-up my table in my condo in Manila real estate.

  10. @ Patricia - Thanks for the suggestion! Actually, with the size and spacing of my window, my desk gets sun basically all day...I only need to turn on additional lighting after the sun goes down. Bonus: I don't get sun in my eyes as much. :)


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