Elsie’s Office Tour

I am so happy to share my office tour with you today! It’s one of the last rooms in my home I haven’t shared and the reason is because it somehow became a landing place (or hiding place?) for STUFF. So for an entire year this room has been on my to-do list, but each time I got close to an acceptable level of organization we would speed clean the rest of the house and then womp-womp.

Anyway! I am telling you all of this to inspire you if you have “that room” in your life as well. At times it felt like I should just give up and accept its fate. But recently I started a 100-day challenge and the theme of my challenge is to change the things in my life that I don’t like, that I’m not proud of and that I keep putting off. And guess what … as soon as I got this room even 75% there, I started to experience this whole new level of HAPPINESS when I come in here every day to do my Skype meetings and answer my emails. It brings me so much joy!  

Moral of the story … if I can fix my worst room, so can you!

I’ll share all the details, but first a before/after moment! You can see the full post of before photos here.

We closed on this house three years ago this week .. isn’t that crazy?! As soon as I saw this small library room in this house I knew it would make a perfect office for me. I really don’t need a huge room (this is smaller than a bedroom) because I tend to work in all rooms of my home. But what I do need is a lot of supply storage.

The room was powder blue with blue carpet. It had dark shelves that made the dim room feel even darker. The first thing we did when we moved in was paint all the wood white and paint the walls a fresh coat of white as well.

Our whitewashed floors are a choice I have had zero regrets over. They hide dust, pet hair and they make our rooms feel brighter.

I kept the room as clean and white as possible, because the less clutter, the better I concentrate. But I did want to add a little bit of rainbow—so that’s where these styling shelves came in. I keep colorful things here that I can use in photos. Obviously, gold needed its own shelf because it counts as a color to me (and so does white … I make my own rules).

Here’s a pulled back view and a close up! My rainbow shelves are a mix of personal items that make me nostalgic, like an abstract painting made by my niece and a waffle house mug gifted to me by my husband … even the cake topper from our wedding. It also holds dishes and glassware that I have collected through years of blogging and a few things that are inspiring me this season—like my pink ’90s sunglasses.

Links: Gold Cactus, Gold Hand Jewelry Holder, Gold Hands Vase, Woven Bowl (I love The Little Market!), Pink ’90s Sunnies. There is also quite a bit of vintage here and things from CB2, Target, Home Goods or Anthropologie from past seasons.

Now, let’s move on to the giant wall of shelves … the bulk of my storage boxes are from Ikea, by the way. The step stool is from Ikea as well. I have all of our childhood photos stored in boxes up high, all our Polaroids from our life before Nova in another box and magazines we have been featured in saved in the file boxes.

My light fixture is from Sazerac Stitches and it is the same one I had in previously in this room. Months after we photographed that tour, I realized that the fixture was in reach of children from the top bunk and so I swapped it out for a smaller flush mount fixture and my office inherited this one.

Beyond that there is a box for every category of craft supplies. A box for tape and glue, a box for felt, a box for embroidery thread, a box for jewelry-making supplies. This is by FAR the most organized I have ever had my supplies and I love this system because it is beginning to save me from rebuying the same supplies over and over again (which I did for years and that’s the worst).

I also love the fact that I can make pretty much any craft that involves embroidery, yarn, stamping, paper, clay, and fabric paint. Honestly, most things I feel like making on a whim I can just make with no trip to the craft store. AND I LOVE THAT!

There are two kinds of crafts to me … making things you need (usually to save money—or get exactly what you want when you can’t find it in stores) and “feel good crafts.” Feel good crafts are what you make when you are marathoning a TV show or get bored during your kiddo’s nap time on a random Sunday. They are my favorite kinds of crafts and so I keep good colors or yarn, felt, paper and basic fabric ready for when the mood hits!

I like to use locker baskets for store colorful things, like yarn.

I also collect ’70s craft books. They have the BEST feel good craft ideas. I should post about those sometime, too, because they are pretty special!

I hang my purse in my office because Nova is going through a phase where she will pull out every single thing anytime she can (it’s scary, LOL). This door you see here goes to the hallway where all the bedrooms are. And directly opposite is the entry from our (turquoise floor) living room. I can close both doors and keep it private or open then up and it basically becomes another hallway that everyone walks through (we do both).

This shelf has been the biggest upgrade to my office! It is custom (so we can’t teach it as a DIY, but I’ll explain it the best I can). So, the shelves to the left side of it are a Martha Stewart storage unit that I kept from my previous office. I still loved it and use it but wished it was larger and with counter space. So Collin added DIY pull out drawers beside it and then one countertop that connected both units (they are now secured into one). I felt this was my “make it work” moment in this room. As soon as Collin altered this piece for me, and added one shelf above it the room became 10x more functional.

In these drawers, I have all my Oui Fresh samples, projects in progress, documents that need to stay organized, a whole drawer for Nova’s artwork (!!!!) and at the bottom there is a larger drawer that holds my beloved wide format printer.

Links to desk items: Camera, Woven Vase, Pencil Cup and Tray, Dance It Out print is from Ashley G (it’s been in every one of my offices so far …), the David Bowie print I made myself from an image I found online and the painting is by Nova, of course.

Here’s a view of how it all fits together. Now, let’s move on to the desk wall.

My desk is pretty small. I learned over time that this is all I need. I like to clean it up every morning, turn on my diffuser and get a cup of coffee to start the day. I try not to keep a lot of things on my desk, but when it gets cluttered it is ALWAYS worth the 10 minutes it takes to get it back to zero.

I can’t find the exact desk I have, so here are some other affordable white desk options: Love this one and the reviews are really solid for the price. Here’s one I almost bought … my style doesn’t go “industrial” all that often, but it’s clean and simple and I like it. This one is cute if you want shelves.

To the left of my desk is my mini photo art that I made recently and a woven basket I use as a trash can. I picked it up locally at Apple & Oak and it is from Xinh & Co (they carry her baskets all over Nashville and they are my favorite).

To the right of my mood board are my essential oils. Once Nova was in our lives, the elevated storage is SO useful … she is strangely attracted to essential oil bottles, so we try to keep them either out of her reach or hidden away. The oil shelf is from Etsy (their account has been deleted, sadly … but here are more options and here’s a good simple one). I love keeping my oils super organized because I use them every single day.

To the right of my desk, I have a ceramic planter where I keep gift wrap. For the most part, I like to collect wrapping paper I can use for any occasion and a lot of neutrals. But I’ll never pass up a marbled paper either.

I love my white and gold office chair. It is still in perfect condition after almost three years, but that is because I don’t wear dark jeans during work … like ever (LOL). This was a whole thing in our old office space … a lot of people’s jeans turned their chairs dark. So beware if you are big jeans wearer. I am one of those people who changes out of jeans the moment I get home because I don’t find them comfortable at all. I like to wear dresses and I treasure at least one day a week where I can wear sweatpants while I work. #blessed

Chair links: here is one that looks exactly the same, and here is a similar one that is less expensive.

My rug is from Coco Carpets. I love it SO MUCH. Vintage Moroccan rugs are a passion of mine. They have lived in so many different homes. This rug has a really special color combination (I am really drawn to orange in rugs) and I will treasure it forever (and then pass it on to another home someday). I love that perspective on home goods … it’s beautiful to buy pieces you would pass along, not throw away a season or three later.

Almost all of my oils are Oui Fresh and currently I have even more that I am using to work on ideas for our blend formulas (we really want to do blends soon, so we’re just testing different diffuser combinations at the moment).

My diffuser is my favorite I’ve tried (we have a few different kinds because we use them in almost every room of our home). I have a lot of rocks and minerals in my office too. I don’t pretend to be an expert on them, but it’s something I am interested in and collect just for fun. Oh, and Herbivore Rose Quartz Oil and Oui Fresh lip gloss are the two things that are always on my desk.

OK, well, I guess that is it for now! I am really loving the good juju this room refresh is bringing to my work. I thought for a long time about painting it or doing something like a statement wall and I really think that this is one time where less actually IS more. You know what they say … “clear eyes … full hearts… can’t lose.” It’s a quote about painting all your walls white; don’t Google it.

Love you! Thanks for coming along on my office tour. xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

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  • I LOVE the entire space and that RUG! What a special find! You have beautiful taste Elsie!

  • Loooove! I have “that room” in my house, and we’re coming up on the 3-year anniversary of our closing. I think it’s time to make it functional and de-clutter! I’d like to be able to find my craft supplies when I want to use them, and also knowing what I have would be beneficial. Having such a cluttered mess causes me to buy duplicates because I either can’t find things or I forget I have them! (insert embarrassed face here)

    Also, that custom piece with the drawers is amazing!

  • Can’t wait for your oil blends! I’m not great at combining them, yet I love more complex scents than a single dropper can deliver.

  • Oh my goodness this is absolute goals! I adore the rug and the rainbow shelving!

    My office is currently my spare bedroom, which isn’t even a bedroom at the moment just storage for all the stuff I’ve not quite got round to putting away since I moved 3 months ago.

    I have big plans for it, I’m in a rental so I’m limited on decorating the space, but there are lots of exposed beams where I can hang macrame and other sweet crafts. It would look amazing with an industrial style desk too! Next thing – getting round to clearing it out and doing it.

  • Elsie I am in LOVE with basically every single thing about this office! I especially love your rug, it’s perfect! I also love how you upgraded what was already there (the shelves). I know this is not an outfit post but do you mind sharing where your shoes are from?

  • I love this office vibe! And I have the same chair, but with chrome hardware. Super comfy and still quite white after a year of use 🙂

    And those shelves! I love a well designed shelf and you are the queen of styling them for sure. Thanks for taking us on this tour.

  • I love your dress (or romper?)! Any chance you could link it?

  • I love the transformation of the room by painting the shelves in white! Love it! I need a room for my self too.

  • Beautiful office! Curious about the 100 day challenge you mentioned. I’m alllll about challenges- future blog post? 😉

    • I got it from following @elisejoy I am doing my challenge privately, but a lot of people do them publicly with a hashtag on Instagram. 🙂 It can be anything you want it to be! xx

  • Beautiful. We purchased our house almost 4 years ago, and it was in the 3rd year that we managed to finally fix our last “dump” room too. It feels so good to not have a junk room.

  • I’m currently designing and working on my craft room / office space in my house and this gave me so much inspiration! I love how bright and colorful it is and the organization is a dream! I have minimal wall space and a built in bed to work around so it will be interesting to see how I can make it a useful space but this helps so much.

    Jaqui | http://www.blissfuljaqui.com

  • I love how office decorating is so full of color and personality these days. My favorite part of your office is the eclectic wall art.

  • Thank you so much for this post Elsie, it’s a much-needed shot of inspiration. I love everything about this room -I’m spring cleaning and need to redecorate my bedroom/office so this is perfect timing. I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since you bought the place and I’m so happy to see you and your family thriving! Quick question: I’ve been looking for a square pi/ cork board so I can make a mood board like yours but I can’t seem to find one anywhere. Did you buy yours or was it a D.I.Y? I’d love to see regular posts about your board and what’s inspiring you. Also thanks for the tip about links for some of the awesome objets d’art on your rainbow shelves. I’m looking for a clear stacking jewellery box like the one on the right of your ‘metallics’ shelf but haven’t had much luck so far. I know where to start now 🙂 xx

    • Hi Janet,
      I believe my bulletin board is from Hobby Lobby (I painted it white). The clear stacking jewelry holder are from Target.

      Thanks so much for reading! xx

  • If you haven’t done so already, I think an “I make my own rules!” shirt, planner, something from your awesomeness would be pretty great. (and I think that may be my new mantra!)

    • I bought most of them on eBay and a few of them at local stores in Nashville (all my favorite plant stores and gift shops sell them). xx!

  • Please can you tell me where the knobs on your cupboards are from?? <3

  • Yeah, this is pretty much my dream office. All that beautiful craft storage! Not that I would need craft storage for work, sadly.

    So inspiring!

  • YES, please do a post about your 70s craft books! 😀

    I’ve really enjoyed all the room tours, but offices are my favourite for some reason. Maybe it’s all the lovely organizational furniture! (Btw, if you ever did a series on creative workspaces, I’d read every single one.)

  • It’s all so neat, i can’t stop staring!
    But do tell us more about that 100-day challenge pretty please?

  • beautiful ‘sanctuary’. I love how you put it all together. I have to say.. the David Bowie picture has piqued my interest as my 17 y,o. son is a huge fan. May I ask for more information on that? I understand you say you made it yourself? Did you also print it yourself? Thanks for sharing your space.

  • Yes, I have that room, too. And it’s my office. You’re definitely inspiring me to work on it! Love the way this looks

  • I love the room, especially the rug! And also, I would just like to state for the record: I am super excited for your post on 70s feel-good crafts!

  • I know this isn’t the point of the post, but I love your purse! Can I ask you where you got it? (I double checked to make sure it hasn’t been tagged on Instagram just in case!)

  • love the rainbow shelves! what a transformation. it’s crazy how much organizing our space can impact our productivity!

  • I’m obsessed with those starburst knobs, do you have info on them?!

  • I love all the organization. Somehow even the tchotchkes and all the items on the shelves look so organized as well. And the rug is absolutely stunning.

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