Friday, February 22, 2013

Office Space

Back in the fall, my friend Claudia and I ventured to Ikea. She had never been, and it had been several years since Keith and I had gone. The Ikea experience can be quite inspiring, and a bit overwhelming. We both made a number of small purchases that day, but neither of us were ready to commit to anything large. I did, though, see a shelf and desk setup that I really liked but I wasn't sure that it would fit in my small office space. I considered calling Keith to measure for me, but decided that I probably shouldn't make a $200 impulse purchase. 

Fast forward a couple months, and I was still thinking about the desk. I had measured and it would fit perfectly. I figured sometime when we were game for another little adventure, Claudia and I would go get it. Then we made the decision to buy the new computer and while I was waiting for it to arrive, I had plenty of time to mull over how it was going to fit in my current office setup, which could be described only as cramped, cluttered, and chaotic. It had two desks: a small wooden one with cubbies that the laptop sat on, and a drawing table that Keith bought me in college. It also had a set of shelves I have been dragging around since college, crammed with a hodge podge of craft supplies, household bills and documents, and other random things.

First off, let me say that I consider myself pretty lucky to have an area for a workspace, pretty much all to myself (Keith does intrude occasionally). It's a small room off our dining room, with an adjoining closet, where I can hoard all my things. But this little room needs to function in a lot of ways: it is where I pay bills, write blog posts, do crafty things, do freelance design projects, and wrap gifts, to name a few. It needed to be a little easier to organize and have a better workspace. (Believe it or not, I had already started de-cluttering in the photo above.)

Looking around at the chaos, I figured there was no time like the present to get the desk and be ready for the arrival of the new computer. I texted Claudia, and she and her husband happened to be coming down this way to visit his parents for the weekend, so we squeezed in a run to Ikea. I got the desk and shelves (they are the Expedit series in birch) and Keith and I put them together the next day. Which Keith enjoyed endlessly. Ha, right.

Long story short, the setup looks like this now. (It's tough to get a good shot in such a small space.)

I also grabbed some organizers, bins and the wall-mounted file rack while we were at Ikea. I still need to do some pairing down, but overall this arrangement is working out so much better. The desk is large enough that I still have workspace in front of the computer. Since I'm not moving between two desks, I was able to ditch the large, rolling office chair (which Keith had pulled out of someone's trash) and use the director's chair I've had for years but hadn't found a place for in this house. Having shelves with dividers really helps to keep things from toppling into each other when I need to remove something, so things have stayed much neater.

My only regret is that I am such a slow decision maker and didn't want to jump in with both feet and paint the office first. Now I'm not sure how we could move the desk and shelves to paint, and I doubt they would come apart easily. Maybe I'll just make some curtains for the windows to spice things up a little.

And just because you haven't seen any photos of the Bert man in awhile, here he is, hanging on the gate that keeps him out of the office. We have had to really keep on him about not climbing on it as he did a back flip over it the other day. Sometimes even my own space is not my own space...


  1. Very nice! I absolutely love it. Your office seems like the perfect size and space for what you need, now. :-)

  2. It looks great! I am jealous of your own little space--and on the first floor, at that.

  3. Your office space may be small, but you made good use of every space and storage smartly! You made it look uncluttered even though you have lots of documents and office tools there. Kudos on this little makeover! +Clayton Steadham

  4. Your office space looks really cosy to work in and the cute baby seems to agree. :) Thanks for sharing your home office improvements.

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