I am an incredibly lucky freelancer. Although I live in New York City — a place notorious for cramped apartments and ridiculous rents — I have my very own home office. It’s not big, but it’s all mine. And it used to be a pretty sad space.
You can’t tell from the photo, but this tiny room held two desks, two bookshelves, two filing cabinets, and a bunch of other random crap (that black thing sticking up behind the ‘before’ is Soren’s guitar case). Cramming all that in was quite a feat when you consider that I had to work around the room’s three doors (two entrances and a closet), two windows, and one radiator. In the above photo, you’re looking in from the hallway. I should have taken a few more shots of the old office, but you can’t blame me for not being inspired. My office needed a major overhaul. And FINALLY it got one.
Here’s a view of that same corner today. SO. MUCH. BETTER. Even the cat thinks so.
Is it perfect? Of course not. I still have too much stuff. I’m a journalist and hoarding is in my blood — hence the boxes piled up under my desk and the stacks of magazines. My home is never going to look like something you would see in a design magazine. Still, I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.
My husband, Soren, is a weirdly excellent drawer of floor plans. So I asked him to whip up a sketch of my office to give you a better sense of how everything is laid out.
Want to see some more photos? Let’s just pretend you said yes.
Here’s a shot of my new standing desk (really just a wide shelf set at standing height). I think this rug (in turquoise) would look killer laying in front of it.
The chevron desk skirt I made hides two filing cabinets, a space heater, my sewing machine, a bunch of cords, and some other miscellaneous junk.
Here’s the door that goes to the hallway (left) and Soren’s closet door (right). That shelf would look so much better if it were white. Or if it were styled. Or if it were this shelf. (The hand saw is there because . . . well, you never know when a saw will come in handy. Best to be prepared.)
I received this tiny dog stapler as a gift from a very thoughtful seven year old, and I picked up the clock at a flea market in Bogota, Colombia.
Here’s a shot of Soren’s closet and the window that looks out on the backyard that we aren’t allowed to use. (Bah, landlords!) Those blinds aren’t doing that window any favors. And that lamp is really ugly. Maybe someday I’ll get a new one. Maybe someday I’ll replace the board on top of the radiator with an actual radiator cover. But probably not. It’s a rental, after all.
Izzy (aka cat, kittens, tiny tot, lemon). She is a terrible secretary.
Some of you may recognize this cow. It was at our wedding standing next to the cheese plate.
These boxes have been great for storing craft supplies. I used letter stamps and shipping tags to make the labels.
Sometimes I take pictures of myself holding informative signs. This one helps me remember that I’m self-employed. Just in case I forget. Because that would be really embarrassing. You can tell by my expression that I take my job very seriously. (Yes, that is a headset I’m wearing. Just call me Janet Jackson.)
Thanks for visiting my new and improved home office. Stop by anytime. I’ll feed you cookies and let you play with my headset. Maybe we can sing some YouTube karaoke. I’ll be Janet.
Where did you get that wonderful/hideous . . .Paint: Martha Stewart Lagoon Desk: Hand-me-down from Soren’s parents Cord management: Ikea Signum Red desk chair: Ikea (discontinued?) Gray filing cabinet: Ikea Erik (I also have this Erik hidden under the standing desk) Map of South America: Etsy Frames: Ikea/Michaels Hanging lamp: Ikea Jara plus Hemma Magnetic bulletinboard: The Container Store Tall globe: Wedding present and family heirloom Storage boxes: Ikea Kassett Standing desk: Elfa freestanding system from The Container Store (Purchased on sale!) White file holder: Ikea Spontan Fabric for the desk skirt: Premier Fabrics Ash/White Chevron Bookshelf: Ikea Billy Laptop stand: Rain mStand Headset: Plantronics Cat: In an alley behind our friends’ house