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.
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 (similar here).
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: 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 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
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.
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.