My original design concept I created on my Moodboard App
One of my big 2012 intentions was to re-design my work spaces, both at my office and at home. Since I’m a very visual person, and since I spend so much of my time working, it was important to me to create a space that was visually exciting to me that I’d be exited going to spend 8-10 hours a day in.
My work (i.e. real, not home) office is somewhat unique, in that it’s housed in a warehouse. The last design overhaul of the space was done in the late 80’s, so it’s in dire need of updating. While I’d love to entirely re-design the entire office right now, now’s not the best time considering the economy and other factors. I’m continuing to collect ideas and formulate an inexpensive plan to refresh everything, but in the meantime took on my individual workspace as a challenge to see what I could us utilizing what we already had in place.
Luckily the colors of my office are shades of gray, which I’m drawn to anyway. Pretty much my entire apartment is painted in a warm, gray tone. It’s my preferred neutral. Our office is also set up that there’s built in desks and cubicles, so no matter how much I may love to have a beautiful, white parsons desk, it ain’t happening. So I tackled my own corner first as a project to see what I could do to freshen things up a bit while working with what I have.
First thing I decided on was a color palette. Starting with gray as my base, I decided I also wanted to include black and white, introduce graphic stripes as a pattern, and use silver as my metal (since my computer monitor was already silver). I could later accent with bright colors should I want to, without being stuck with those colors forever.
Here’s the overall space before, and then after.
Most of the items I purchased at Ikea, including the magnet board (which I painted the stripes on), magnets, potted plant, pencil cup (which is really a vase), and tissue box. The small white desk organizer I found on Etsy. I also changed out my file sorter, which is a must have for me with an old vintage steel one I found in our supply closet that was being unused. Lucky for me it looks nicer than my old one and is black, which goes with my color scheme.
Looking at these photos now, I see what a cluttered nightmare my original desk was (at least for me). Everything was very haphazard. As you can see in the photos, when I’d have a cold I’d use toilet paper I’d steal from the bathroom instead of real tissues. What kind of impression does that set for my colleagues! Gross.
Eventually once I get through archiving everything in the notebooks next to the file sorter, those will be off my desk and clearing up more space. I’m all about having less clutter lately.
I cleared all the junk off the shelf near the ugly blinds so as not to draw more attention to the blinds. Seems to work. I also got a cute potted plant to improve my desk’s feng shui, and got an actual tissue box. So no more toilet paper for me! I’m so thankful for this now that it’s allergy season.
Probably one of the most dramatic changes I made was my message board and how I use it. I had an ugly, maroon pin board I had inherited when I took over the space, and I cluttered it with images of past work trips, time with my husband, random family images, and other crap.
Quite frankly after a while I got annoyed looking at photos of myself looking so “young”. I not too long ago read a great article on photos people display in their workspace and how it relates to feng shui and your goals and aspirations. Snapshots of past events have a tendency to keep you there, in the past. Why waste that space on the past and why not focus it instead on the future? So I replaced that board with a great, graphic striped magnet board that now stores photos of destinations I’ll be visiting later this year, various visual reminders and images of goals (owning a brownstone in Brooklyn!), as well as various important work reference materials.
The finishing touches included my desk organizers. My pencil cup is absolutely adorable and was actually a tiny vase I found at Ikea. I also love my vintage mod desk organizer. It spirals out and you can use it to store everything from white out, post its, paper clips, and more. I love that it keeps everything concealed, yet accessible.
Surprisingly enough, my entire re-design was incredibly inexpensive. Makes me upset at myself I didn’t finish this project sooner!
So I think I’ve geeked out enough on my workspace. My next project is my home office, which is getting the same exact design attention.
What have you guys done to make your work space more “you”?