As a freelance designer, I’ve worked from home for nearly my entire career, which is stacking up to be over ten years. I won’t lie – it’s taken me a long time to get in my groove of working in the same space we live in while still being productive and not just taking over the dining room table or, erm, the sofa(although it’s tempting). There was one year at Christmas when the entire living room, dining room, and kitchen were consumed with all the holiday orders I was shipping out for my shop and I thought we were all going to go bonkers. By the time January rolled around, my husband and I agreed: the office had to have its own space.
I’ve finally carved out the perfect office space that meets all my needs – clean, colorful, plenty of light, and away from the main part of our living space. In our house, this is our upstairs bonus room. I’ve combined a play space for my son with a work space for me so we can be together (when he’s not in school) because I didn’t want to feel completely isolated and I wanted him to also feel like he was a part of it. We’re over a year into this particular arrangement, and it’s worked out beautifully. I’m able to stay focused on the work that needs to be accomplished, but I’m also able to include my child and still keep some sense of order in the other primary living spaces of the house.
When I was imagining how this space would turn out, I turned to my favorite place for inspiration: Pinterest! And I realized from the overall collection that I needed a room that was grounded in white (white walls, white furniture) but with pops of color. I know myself – I get bored quickly and need to change things up. So by adding color through accessories, it’s a low-risk and low-cost way to try out a new look. I also needed a big huge desk space so I could spread out with my computer and a sketchbook. Bookshelves and drawer units were also a must. And to be honest, Ikea was the perfect place to find some key pieces that fit the budget, overall look, and function that I needed.
If you’re creating your home office, think about what your specific needs will be. Do you need to store inventory, or books, or maybe lots of files? Will technology such as computers and printers need to be handy? What’s the mood you want to set for the space: calm and serene or energetic and inspiring? Look for cute storage bins and boxes and even unconventional items such as coffee mugs to hold things like pens and pencils.
Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come all together immediately; it takes time to create a system that works for you and your family. In the meantime, get some inspiration from some of my current faves –
I’ve been obsessed with making my desk both functional and pretty these days, so I turned to some of my favorite blogs for top-notch inspiration. And look what amazing desks I found! Each one has a unique element that I can’t wait to try in my own space.
What I love about it: A desk isn’t complete without a bouquet of fresh flowers! I love the pop of color they add here, along side a cheerful lacquer box.
2. I’m crazy about this pretty space from Lindsay of Sadie and Stella.
What I love about it: A bouquet of pink pencils and the vibrant drapes! Not to mention a little calligraphy art and a window view to make this space a perfect place to cross off to-do’s.
3. Jennifer at Rambling Renovators created this pretty and functional office space.
What I love about it: The white built-in storage in this space is just what I need. Too many papers/file folders/magazines –too little time!
4. Jordan of Oh Happy Day shared shots of this unique workspace.
What I love about it: The industrial-chic desk and wall color – which makes me feel like I’m floating. And who wouldn’t love spools of pretty ribbon at your fingertips?
What I love about it: The gold accent wall! Shay explains that she painted this wall herself and that it wasn’t as difficult as it might look. Read about how it came together here.
6. An amazing office makeover from Jenny of Little Green Notebook.
What I love about it: Oh, too many things! But I especially like that Jenny gave new life to the barely green parsons desk and the red credenza. The bold red is totally unexpected, and coordinates with the window treatments and rug beautifully.
7. This office area from Style Spotter Jen of I Heart Organizing has my heart.
What I love about it: The blue cabinet nobs and the spring-y (and perfectly organized!) file folders. I’d love for my space to look just like this.
8. I love this office shot from Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere.
What I love about it: The chalkboard to-do list! I’m officially on the hunt for a vintage chalkboard or frame so I can make one myself.
9. Katie of Bower Power has a bright and cheerful work space at home.
What I love about it: The way she’s used baskets to store but conceal office essentials, and the natural light pouring in!
What do you love about these spaces? I have a long list of ideas and can’t wait to makeover my own office. More storage, file folders, chalkboard to-do list, colorful credenzas … I have a lot to do! Tune in next month when I’ll share some of my favorite blogger furniture refreshes. Do you have one you’d like to submit for consideration? Drop me a line at BHGBloggers@Meredith.com.
-Liz Frantz, Social Media Editor
Skip the normal desk and make your own! Using two Alex Drawer Units plus a Vika tabletop (via Ikea) you can easily do this! Attach the tabletop to the rolling drawers using metal L-brackets. Add a Zig Zag bookshelf (via Brianna Kufa Metal Designs) to the top to keep books within reach, add a light and some accessories: done!
1. Greenroom Binders via Target
2. Zig Zag Bookshelf via Brianna Kufa Metal Designs on Etsy
The Zig Zag Shelf in the original image was from Ikea and was discontinued.
3. Vika tabletop via Ikea
4. Lalla Lamp via Amazon
The lamp in the original image was from Crate and Barrel and was discontinued.
5. Alex Drawer Units x 2 via Ikea
6. Porcelain Milk Bottle vase via Crate and Barrel
7. LexMod Wood Pyramid Chair via Amazon
If you prefer the style of the chair in the first image, they have one at Ikea (but not in green).
8. Dalian Canister, Tray, and Dish via Anthropologie
9. Large Wire Basket via Fern Living
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
As the owner of a new giant printer, I instantly fell in love with this DIY from PBJ Stories. I just had to share it with all of you. Any time I can save space and hide clutter, I’m SOOOOO happy! I actually own this Hemnes dresser (from Ikea), but it’s still too small for my giant all-in-one printer. SO, I’ll have to keep searching for the perfect dresser. For now, PBJ Stories said I can share her DIY with you.
How she did it:
- This Hemnes dresser is perfect for this DIY, because the dresser fronts are attached by wooden dowels. Makes them easier to remove. She used a utility knife to detach the base from the front. If you need a little extra help, use a rubber mallet to knock it out.
- Use 3 utility hinges to attach the bottom of the drawer front and drawer base together.
- Attach a right and left support hinge to each side of the dresser drawer.
- Drill a hole in the back of the drawer. This is perfect to string the printer wire out the back.
- Add your printer, you’re done!
You can see more photos and more details on how she did it here, on PBJ Stories. Stop by and say hello!
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
Images: 1. Hemnes Dresser, IKEA 2. HP All-in-one printer, HP 3. Stanley Hardware Utility Hinge, Amazon 4. Stanley Retractable Utility Knife, Amazon 5. KV Lid Support Hinge, Amazon // Hide-Away Printer images, PBJ Stories
Running a business from home can be, well, a little crazy. Especially with a kiddo running around. I finally got tired of losing my lists, pens, pencils, and anything else I seem to need everyday. SO, this brings me to the Fridge Work Station. I don’t actually sit next to my fridge and work, but I now know where all my office supplies are. Using a bunch of old empty tins, we are officially organized. Plus, we now have a chalkboard to leave to-do’s or love notes.
I know technology is supposed to negate the need for paper notes, but you just can’t beat the classic pen and paper. Having all necessary info right out there. It’s hard to miss. I tried all those handy apps to help keep me organized, but those haven’t been as helpful as I had hoped.
It’s a quick project, here’s how I created it:
- Super strong magnets (I suggest purchasing these at a home supply store)
- Strong permanent glue
- Empty tins (I used 4)
- Small chalkboard
- Optional: A small vintage wooden box + wire to wrap around it
- Using the glue to adhere the magnets to the back of your tins and chalkboard. Wait 24 hours (to let the glue dry). And, that’s it!
- If you find a vintage wooden box, and don’t want to glue magnets directly to the box: wrap and tie wires around the end. Glue the magnets to the wire (instead of the box).
- If you want, print out the freebie lists I provided.
- Enjoy your organization.
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
Spotted! A mixture of high and low end storage to create dreamy home office organization!