Not your grandma’s wallpaper (but so easy, your grandma could do it)

What follows is a post I started months ago, and kept putting off finishing. I guess I was waiting for the right time- a time when what I wrote seemed to be relevant. Oh, how I wish recent events didn’t have to lead to this. On the other hand, however, perhaps this is a bright spot- a chance for a clean slate we’re all looking for.

Life- real, normal, everyday life unhindered by our collective fears as one world- has ground to a screeching halt for so many people. Many of those fortunate enough to still have jobs have been forced to find a way to work remotely, or maybe are working remotely on only certain assigned days of the week. This leads to one more question, one more logistic to work out (albeit, one that’s certainly far less on the list of priorities than so many others…but also, one that many of us find great joy in…and who can’t use an extra dose of joy in these trying times?):

Where in your home do you set up work? (That is, if you don’t already have a designated home office space.)

The dining room or kitchen table works as well as anywhere for a lot of people, and maybe it forces you to clean up at the end of the day before sitting down to eat. The living room is another good, central location- particularly if you’re the only parent at home with children needing a watchful eye. A little nook in the corner of a bedroom will do the trick as well. But if you’re looking for a more permanent way to keep your home organized for both life AND work, this post may be for you.

I’ve had this fantasy for a long, long time now friends. Years ago I never would’ve thought this would be on my bucket list, but here we are nonetheless. Perhaps it’s a sign of age, but I’m so excited for this.

Wallpaper, my friends.

Yes, I fantasize about wallpaper. Whatever, I never claimed to be anyone’s definition of normal.

Since I decided to move forward with trying to navigate entrepreneurship as an interior designer and writer (before the world crashed and burned around us), I had dreamed of having my own space in which to work and create. I’ve planned and edited said plan. I’ve thought of where in our home would work as an optimal space for me to do all of the things I dream of doing. Not long ago, I wrote a blog post about what that space could be. And now, my friends, I can tell you that I’ve taken that idea and ran with it. My office space is mostly finished and I’m dying to share it with you.

Most of what I do happens on my laptop, which is obviously portable; I can work from anywhere. (Literally, as I type this, I’m sitting in the bed of Ryan’s truck in our driveway, watching my boys bike and play soccer in the sunshine). But I wanted a space to organize my fabric swatches, paint samples, art supplies (including a library of sketchbooks), catalogs, and inspirational momentos. I wanted a desk in a room where I could escape occasionally and be inspired to create beautiful spaces and put together words. I needed a little bit of feminine in a house that’s occupied primarily by males.

Before we get to the big reveal, I wanted to show you what this space looked like before I started. Not because I was proud of it, but because the transformation is, to me at least, huge. This space is a walk-in closet off of what is now our guest bedroom. When we first moved here, nearly eight years ago, that room and closet were the dumping grounds for all of the boxes we moved here, while I was sorting, organizing, and putting things away (ok, I was nesting because we were expecting our first baby. Whatever.) Anyway, while I was home alone during the day, I would work at unpacking boxes and getting us settled in our new home. And when August arrived and our first son made his appearance, I gave up and moved whatever didn’t have a home into that closet along with the brooms, dust pans, Swiffer, vacuum, and floor steamer. That closet became cluttered with overflow for as long as we’ve lived here, and I was ready for some order in our life- particularly now that our boys are beyond the baby stage.

I was almost certain I’d taken a photo, but since I’m such a hot mess, it seems I either didn’t, or I lost it. Hard to say which.

Anyway, with so many of us working from home now, or finding ourselves spending more time at home with spring looming and therefore, maybe finally time to do some sorting, organizing, and regrouping to keep busy, now seems like a good time to share some ideas on putting together a home office. Best news is, everything I did to my space- beginning a year ago- I was able to do without shopping in a physical store. I sourced everything online and had it shipped to my door. The joys of the modern world are legion, my friends.

I started by shopping for a desk that had to meet my criteria: I wanted a secretary- style, because I wanted to be able to close it and hide my mess if I needed to. This became a huge bonus when the desk arrived months before my office area was ready for me to move into, and thus, I set it up and let it sit in a corner of our dining room. I almost miss having it there…almost. I wanted the style to be mid-century modern. And the footprint had to be SMALL. I searched every crevice of the internet looking for exactly the right thing, and the image in my head didn’t match anything I could find. Until finally, finally, I found this gorgeousness from Target. On sale, no less. It was meant to be. And so, it became. I ordered two: one for me, and one for my friend San, whose office plan we were just beginning to work on at the time.

Once I had the desk I wanted, it was easy to build the rest of my design around it. Knowing I wanted to experiment with peel and stick wallpaper, and knowing the color palate I wanted to work with (I had to find something with some orange, since that’s the wall color of the bedroom my office is adjoined to, and I had to have as much pink as I could squeeze in), finding the paper that fit my vision was really pretty easy. Again, Target came to my rescue.

The last thing I did was to wrap the shelf in the closet with a marble- look contact paper I found at Walmart. I stacked my design books and my collection of I Love Lucy memorabilia, along with some other momentos, and now my haven is almost complete. Eventually I’ll replace the flooring, when I find “just the thing,” and my next purchase will be a clear, acrylic desk chair, to take up less visual space.  Something like this, methinks…

While my office space isn’t perfect, it’s my vision, my space, my area to do with as I choose. My husband isn’t so lucky; he was left with a corner in the basement as his work from home space. It’s cold down there (there’s a fireplace if it gets too cold). The boys play down there (as long as I’m here, I can keep them upstairs while he’s working). It’s not always clean down there (I do my best). My point is, we’re all doing the best we can right now, and maybe an update to your work from home space is just the right pick-me-up.

Tell me about your work from home space friends! Are you proud of how you carved out your own office area in your home? Or does it need a little help?




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