BHG Style Spotters

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Office

My name is Oma, and I am a pencil junkie.

During a recent trip to New York, I made a pilgrimage to the Lower East Side to pay a visit to CW Pencil Enterprise, a tiny shop devoted to nothing but pencils and a few of their accoutrements. (The shop, along with a resurgence in the use of paper datebooks, inspired the Fresh section in our January issue.) It’s a 200-square-foot, highly Instagrammable jewel box dedicated to wood and graphite owned by Caroline Weaver, a 24-year-old pencil pusher whose knowledge and enthusiasm are likely to turn you into a pencil junkie too.


What does your business card list as your title?

Chief Pencil Lady

 

What do you like most about writing with a pencil?

I love the tactility of writing with a pencil. It’s a really physical experience. 

 

Where do you fall on the question of having an integrated eraser?

I actually don’t do a lot of erasing, but I like the added weight of the ferrule and eraser, I find it more pleasing to write with that little bit of extra heft.

 

How many pencils are in the shop right now?

We carry about 300 different types of pencils, including vintage ones. So I’d guess we have something like 20,000–30,000 at any time. We’re running out of room!

 

What does your desk at home look like?

I have two pencil cups, one for my current rotation of pencils (about 40) and a smaller one for pens. I always have a wooden ruler, a tape dispenser with washi tape in it, a pencil sharpener, and a notepad. On the wall next to my desk is an organizer for my letter writing supplies. 

 

Anything you wish you’d known before you opened the doors?
I wish someone had warned me about what happens when things take off. I was totally overwhelmed, unprepared and exhausted when we started getting press. I really didn’t think it’d happen so soon. I was quite content just breaking even and working alone for the first few months or a year. 

 

Are you ever asked to choose a pencil based on the description of someone’s personality, as opposed to the use they have in mind?

I’ve learned that I can get a lot from a person by asking a few simple questions, from there I’m pretty good at guessing exactly what they want. I try not to profile but often it really helps when making recommendations. An old man who does crossword puzzles is going to want something completely different than the girl who happened upon the shop on her way to brunch.

 

Any particularly interesting or surprising requests?

I had someone ask for an electrically conductive pencil. That tested us a bit, but we came up with something that worked.

 

I’m assuming you might have a tough time picking a favorite pencil, so how about immediacy: What are you writing with right now?

At home I’m using one of my all-time favorite pencils, the Mitsu-Bishi 9852EW. It has unfinished wood and the eraser is really good.

 

If you had to describe the shop in one word, what would it be?

I think it would be ‘playful.’


If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Meticulous.

 

Signature lip color?

My all-time favorite lipstick is Tom Ford Scarlet Rouge. And we actually JUST went to the Bite Lip Lab to make a Pencil Lady custom color to match the red of the Viarco Desenho Pencil.

 

Paper datebook or smart phone?

“Datebook. I’m addicted to my Smythson agenda; it’s my one stupidly expensive splurge.”

 

Any secret talents?

“I really like to build with Legos in my spare time. My other talents are embroidery and bookbinding.”

 

You’ve talked about the pencil shop originally being a retirement idea—what made you go for it now instead?

I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. Except I knew I wanted to be an old woman with a pencil shop. And, you know, there’s nothing wrong with being a young woman with a pencil shop.


Work. Work. Work.

 

Think about it…You probably spend 8 hours a day working at the office. So why shouldn’t your work space be as welcoming as your home? If you’re ready to upgrade your desktop, then take a peek at these 5 quick and easy ways to brighten up your space.

 

1. Maybe it’s time to take the kids’ toys out of storage! Repurpose old animal figurines as desktop decor! All you need is a bit of gold spray paint, super glue and a few glass jars.

Photo Courtesy of The Office Stylist

 

 

2. Transform drab desktop supplies into fab accessories. Another Glorious Day‘s DIY Desktop Items are oh-so-chic!

 

 

3. You really can have it all! My Fabuless Life‘s Mini Command Center organizes and simplifies life in style.

 

 

4. See your favorite Kate Spade pattern every day at the office with 204 Park‘s easy DIY Kate Spade Inspired Magazine Holders tutorial.

 

 

5. Don’t you just NEED Just A Girl‘s DIY Acrylic Tray in your life?! So cute!

 

 

Try adding a little shimmer to your desktop! You might be surprised how much it brightens up your work space.

 

Happy Friday!

xxmadison

 


14 Amazing Office Makeovers

Trend: 14 Amazing Office Makeovers

School is right around the corner and it might be time to makeover that old office. If you don’t already have an office, maybe you need to make space for one? Below you’ll find 14 inspiring office spaces from around the blog world. Some are complete room makeovers, and the others are office spaces for small spaces (that would be my category).


Amazing home office room makeovers:

1) This home office makeover is so amazing! I love how it turned out, from Centsational Girl.

This home office makeover is so amazing! I love how it turned out, from Centsational Girl.

2) I love everything about this office makeover, on Oh, I Design.

I love everything about this office makeover, on Oh, I Design.

3) The change in the paint color really made a difference in this makeover, from Style Girlfriend.

The change in the paint color really made a difference in this makeover, from Style Girlfriend.

4) A catchall room was turned into the perfect office, on Design Sponge.

This catchall room was turned into the perfect office, on Design Sponge.

This catchall room was turned into the perfect office, on Design Sponge.

5) A colorful makeover turned this office into a beautiful and inspiring space, from The Crafted Life.

This colorful makeover turned this office into a beautiful and inspiring space, from The Crafted Life.

6) This room really needed some love and storage, from Better Homes and Gardens.

This room really needed some love and storage, from Better Homes and Gardens.

7) A total office makeover might be what you need. This one is pretty darn amazing, from Curbly.

This total office makeover is pretty darn amazing, from Curbly.


Are you lacking space to actually put an office? Check out these small space office makeovers:

8) I love the idea of turning a tiny closet into the perfect mini office, from Sew Dang Cute Crafts.

This tiny closet is the perfect mini office, from Sew Dang Cute Crafts.

9) Give a gloomy computer armoire a makeover and you’ll have a little contained office, from Centsational Girl.

Makeover a computer armoire and you have a little contained office, from Centsational Girl.

Makeover a computer armoire and you have a little contained office, from Centsational Girl.

10) Another amazing closet turned beautiful tiny office. I love that they kept the door on this closet office, from Design Sponge.

Another amazing closet turned tiny office, from Design Sponge.

11) All you need to create this small office space: a bookcase, two table legs, and a tabletop, from At The Picket Fence.

All you need to create this small office space: a bookcase, two table legs, and a tabletop, from At The Picket Fence.

All you need to create this small office space: a bookcase, two table legs, and a tabletop, from At The Picket Fence.

12) If you’re really short on space, this wall mounted desk could be for you, from A Beautiful Mess.

If you're really short on space, this wall mounted desk could be for you, from A Beautiful Mess.

13) This might just look like a wall mirror, but it will fold down and turn into the perfect desk, from Home Story.

This wall mirror will fold down and turn into the perfect desk, from Home Story.

This wall mirror will fold down and turn into the perfect desk, from Home Story.

14) I’m really inspired by this small closet space turned office, it has seating! Found on Remodelaholic.

I'm really inspired by this small closet space turned office, it has seating! Found on Remodelaholic

I hope you are very inspired by all the offices I shared. Have a wonderful Thursday!

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

P.S. the images in the first photo are from: Home Story, Centsational Girl, and The Crafted Life.


dream house office studio artist creative space

Something exciting is happening in the basement of the Dream House! We have a friend who is a construction genius, and he’s been finishing our basement for us over the past few months! We’re currently in the drywall stage, and when we’re done taping, texturing, and painting the walls, we’ll leave most of the rooms alone for a while–except for my studio! I wasn’t planning on having my studio finished for a long time. I wasn’t even really planning on having it finished this year; I was resigned to working out of a somewhat dusty room with a few spiderwebs here and there and a space heater for the cold, Winter months. But it looks like I’ll have my very own creative space by Spring, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. In our old house, my office consisted of our old kitchen table shoved into the corner of our computer room. I outgrew that corner really quickly and started doing projects on our dining room table, which made it hard to use the table for eating or entertaining. I’m so excited at the prospect of having my own space where I can leave works-in-progress out on the counter without having to worry about buttons being swallowed by babies or little hands touching wet paint, where I can actually set up photo shoots and store props (like my enormous collection of cake plates) without being in anyone’s way. I was stumped for a while about which direction I wanted to go in with the decor and layout, but here’s where I’m at right now:

dream house creative space studio office inspiration board

  • When your room is a blank canvas, it’s really hard to get started. I love looking at pictures online of creative spaces, but nothing jumped out as exactly what I wanted. I’m great at following specific directions, but I’m not always good at winging it or coming up with new home decor ideas on my own. When I saw this beautiful hardware at Anthropologie last month, it gave me a great starting point. Now I have a clear vision and can run with it! (Shelf brackets, knobs, and hooks from Anthropologie)
  • I have a little wall in my studio that is sort of awkward. It’s basically a little pop-out that’s a few feet wide and goes floor to ceiling. Since the wall is at two different depths, I didn’t want to push a table or desk against it because I thought that would look weird. So I’m going to make it my gallery wall! I’ve had my eye on this print by Yao Cheng on Minted for months, and I think it’ll go so well with everything else in the studio. (Yao Cheng print from Minted)
  • That fiddle leaf fig I said I was looking for in my last post? Well, I found it last week! It’s quite at home in a basket in our entryway, but now I’m a bit obsessed with them and want to buy another to go in my studio. (Fig photo via houzz.com)
  • When you’re building a custom home, the number of decisions you have to make is just staggering. Seriously, you have to choose e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Where the light switches go and how they’ll work; how many power outlets in each room and where; what kinds of light fixtures here, there, and everywhere. And because you haven’t lived in the house yet, you’re really just guessing. When we were deciding on lighting in the basement, which was sooooo long ago, I really didn’t want to think too much about it, so I said, “Let’s just put in a bunch of can lights.” And that’s what we did. And the studio is plenty bright, but now all I have is can lighting instead of a cute ceiling-mounted fixture or sconces or anything decorative. Luckily, Schoolhouse Electric makes these darling little tabletop lamps, so I’ll have at least one cute light in my room. (ion C series light from Schoolhouse Electric)
  • I’m all for really utilitarian office chairs on wheels, but I’d rather have this cute little white desk chair. After spotting it at World Market in January, I’ve seen it all over the internet. I’d better hurry and buy mine before their gone! I have a habit of procrastinating until it’s too late! (chair from World Market)
  • I had some really cute floor tile all picked out for the studio for months. It was basically the only thing I knew I wanted in the room. And then our contractor friend asked me how much it was so he include it on his bid, and I bothered (for the first) time to check the price. And it was ridiculously expensive! Instead of cute (insanely pricey) floor tile, we’re going with a vinyl flooring that looks like wood. It’s the same thing we put in our mudroom and the kids’ bathrooms. It looks nice and is a breeze to clean. And now I get to cover it up with a darling rug, and I’m in love with this one. I think a great rug ties a whole room together, and this one couldn’t be better for my studio. (rug from Overstock.com)

I can’t wait to have this room finished, to get to create in it, and to show it to you!

 


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 –

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Trend:  Romantic Grunge

It is time to start thinking school-like thoughts again and romantic grunge is popping up everywhere!  Florals, plaids and whimsey prints paired with dark neutrals, worn leather and edgy elements create this fresh back to school look.

With school days lingering in the near future, it is time to design an organized study space to set your teen up for success!  Here are a few simple tips to putting together a dedicated work zone that will keep your teen organized throughout the entire school year.

 

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Consider using a desk that offers enough surface space to double as a vanity for hair and makeup in the morning, and study sessions in the evening.  Add storage that will accommodate both functions separately; such as a cart of drawers below for beauty supplies and drawers and organizers above for office accessories.

 

 

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Let’s face it, teens don’t always do homework at their desk (sometimes the bed or couch is more appealing), so keep favorite writing supplies and homework tools within portable zippered pouches.  This keeps small items corralled within a backpack at school and ensures your child is ready to do homework no matter where they land.

 

 

When it comes to organizing supplies at the desk, shop the home everyday items that can double as free storage.  The kitchen is typically a jackpot of storage solutions, everything from leftover food packaging to muffin tins and mugs can be utilized to corral paperclips, stamps, erasers and pushpins.

 

 

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Place a memo board nearby to offer your teen a place to pin up important notes, photographs and homework.  The visual reminder will ensure that important details, dates and papers are not missed during busy mornings and sports seasons.

 

 

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Add decorative hooks near the workspace to hang backpacks, handbags, hats, umbrellas and lunch totes.  Keeping all school related items near the desk will create efficiency during study time and in the morning when heading off to class.

 

 

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A simple wall pocket is another workspace storage solution that will ease the daily school routine.  Fill the pockets with the items your child uses on a daily basis, such as jewelry, lotions, journals, lip balm, etc…  By keeping favorite daily necessities corralled in a single location it reduces the risk of rummaging through drawers and slowing one down.

 

Additional quick tips:

  • Assign each class subject a specific color to use for organizing folders/notebooks.
  • Find a good wall calendar or portable planner to keep track of important dates and deadlines for tests and extra curricular activities.
  • Invest in a good task lamp to take care of the eyes during late night study sessions.
  • A good set of headphones works great in reducing noisy distractions.
  • With technology being front and center in our daily lives, take advantage of the different organizational applications available on the market.
  • Attach a USB drive to a keyring or clip it to a backpack to ensure that important data being transferred from school to home is never misplaced.

 

{ wallpaper / document box / task lamp / accessory box / laptop tray / bicycle / smartphone case / backpack / magazine file / caddy / notebooks / washi tape / label holders / desk / tablet sleeve }

 


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