the challenge

So, you may remember a certain creative challenge I committed myself to several months ago...an office/desk makeover. Slowly, slowly I'd begun to feel my brain shrivel up like a 40 year old prune and I decided to blame it all on the complete lack of color in my workspace.

Here's what I started with, A hot, hot mess:

Now, there are a number of standard issue pieces here, and unless I was willing to risk a job in which I feel incredibly comfortable and two handfuls of lovable co-workers, I had to face up to a few design dilemmas. The charcoal grey speckled filing cabinet, above desk shelf/cabinet piece and tragically bulky phone, I unfortunately had to leave untouched...unpainted, unwallpapered.

But, with about $20 in fabric, spray paint and organizing supplies, and one late evening at work, here's what I created:

I started with a background color that could be versatile without becoming too neutral and void of personality. Green seemed a natural choice, since studies prove that it is the most restful color for the human eye...and it's my favorite color...Texture was also important to me, since texture seems to produce depth and layers. This spring green burlap was the perfect marriage of personality and texture. (It also helped that the price tag read $2.99/yd...)

I sorted through everything and made two piles: things I need daily and things to file away. Things that could be filed away are now hanging in color coordinated files, far, far away from the daily hustle and bustle. Things that I need daily are now stashed in the blue magazine holders as well as the white binders, just a little reach from Productivity Central. The cardboard magazine covers were once reminiscent of my parent's wood panelled basement...but with a little fabric and some hot glue, they made for a quick and personal update.

Carnations normally aren't my bag, baby, but something about them bright and clustered in a small-mouthed vase is energizing. Rarely is my pen holder this empty...I am, what you might call, a utinsel hog. Especially when it comes to multicolored felt tip pens.

In desperate need of storage for a few bulkier items, I bought two canvas baskets to sit on top of my shelf as well as a few wire baskets. They've come in handy, when I need to quickly tidy up my office and lack the time to actually find a home for every misplaced item.

I repurposed a black picture frame that used to be a desk hog into a mini-bulletin board...on my bulletin board. When I desperately need to remember something, I pin it inside the frame. Somehow a note being in a large black frame is a much better reminder than, say, sticking it next to the other 26 sticky notes lining your laptop screen...

Just a few little updates and I can truly say that at the end of the day, I feel so much more productive. There's something to be said for having your own space, and carving a little corner in your world.


  1. Way cuter!!! =)

  2. Stupendous job! Your work space says 'You' now. Oh and regarding the birdie question from the day before. I don't think you can go wrong with birds. Since ancient civilizations deemed them worthy to carve on walls or paint on stone. It doesn't seem to faddish to me! I notice the latest French decorating has zeroed in on the Swallow. Not my favorite bird, but does make a zippy image with those amazing wings! I'll send you a business card from Mary Lake-Thompson. I snagged three of them when I was there last week. I love her Blue Bird.

  3. Will you come fix mine too?

    You've seen my office (or should I say fenced in corner in a storage room?). It's at least 20x worse than you original.


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