Check out these photos of my new office! I've been working on this redesign & reorganization since last Thanksgiving. I moved in last weekend and I'm LOVING IT! Bear with me here. This is a LONG post explaining all the steps and ingredients that went into designing the office - with pictures. I hope you find it worth the long read!
Here is the BEFORE which I showed you in my Show Me Your Desk Challenge.
PHOTO 1 - BEFORE
THE MISH MOSH HAD TO GO!
As you can see, I was using a mish mosh of leftover furniture which was functional, but not very attractive. That was fine when I was doing corporate consulting and no one came to my office. But now I interview people and have some client meetings here, so I decided it was time to do what I do for others and redesign my own office!
I aso decided to move to a larger space to accomodate the greater number of projects I have going on. My dear husband suggested we dismantle our guest room, which was not used often, and offered to help me build the office of my dreams! He has been so awesome. He spent many hours painting and 5 hours building my new desk and file cabinets. I could not have done this without him!
With a budget of $1000 in mind, I started sketching a design for the office and for a desk that would meet my list of needs. Then we started shopping around for furniture. The good news is I only spent $700 including new desk, monitor riser, shelf file cabinets, and new storage containers in my accent colors Chocolate Brown & Black.
PREPARING THE NEW SPACE
First step was to empty the guest room. We then repaired the peeling walls and ceiling and stripped the radiator of 60 years of cracking paint and repainted it. (The perfectionist strikes again. At least I didn't
try to strip the windows! Okay I confess, I tried, but gave up after I realized I was destroying the grooves in the molding.)
After several attempts at priming that did not cover the stains from old wallpaper glue, we finally put a thin layer of joint compund over most of the walls and voila, no more stains! We also customized the built in bookshelves that were intended for a child's room by removing the decorative moldings that blocked full use of the shelves (see photo 6).
Choosing the Paint Color
We painted the room a gorgeous light sky blue that has an alive feeling to it. (Benjamin Moore 2067-65) I chose this color for several specific reasons.
1) Blue is an excellent feng shui choice for study.
2) Light blue is also the feng shui color of harmonious expansion and gentle growth.
3) Blue & White (my trim color) brings the energy of the unlimited sky and happiness in to the space.
4) Over the years I've met people who do Aura readings and I was told that my aura is a very light sky blue. I was told to surround myself with that color would bring out my highest potential. Is this true? I don't know, but it can't hurt and I LOVE the color! And in the growth phase I'm in right now, I need all the help I can get to stay centered.
It took 6 months working on it here and there when we could, but boy was it worth it! Here's my new office! I now have storage to my right AND to the back of me that is all I need and more. It's like a spiral around me. I LOVE IT! On my monitor, the blue looks kinda purple, but it's not. It's definitely blue. : )
PHOTO 2 - AFTER - View from my office door
THE STORAGE FURNITURE
I was able to repurpose existing Ikea shelving (IVAR) we had stored in the attic along with pieces I'd been using in my old office so that saved a bit of money - but even if we had to buy it new, the IVAR series is not very expensive.
Here's the view behind me. The entry to my new office is directly in front of the door. In a way, it's like a cubicle...only much better! You walk in the door and straight into my "nest" as my husband calls it. : )
PHOTO 3 - The storage system behind me
For my desk, I sketched what I wanted, then shopped around at untold number of websites and furniture stores. After using the neat online office space planner at Ikea, I finally chose the GALANT system from IKEA because of it's versatility. With the add on pieces I was able to design a desk exactly to my needs. It flows from the back wall to the window you see in Photo 4 below. Then it flows and aligns with the door. It's like it was custom built for the space! Well, I guess it was actually custom built : )
Using the T legs, I got to adjust the height of the desk to my perfect ergonomic keyboard height.
Another feature I love is that there is nothing underneath the desk! The frame of the desk allows the whole thing to be supported with just 3 legs so I can slide my chair around with NO interference. You can't do that with 2 desks put together in an L like I had before. It also allows me to easily keep my MailMate shredder, trash and recycle bins under the desk See Photo 5.
We built a monitor riser (shown below) so that I can slide my keyboard under it if needed. And I can keep phone chargers, digital recorder, etc. under it. We built the monitor riser using one of the half-rounds that go with the Galant desk and attaching 6 inch legs called CAPITA to it.
I also got my computer OFF the floor finally so I can easily use my USB ports and card slots to get pix off my camera! I can't believe I kept it so far from me for so long. What was I thinking??? oh well. Fixed now! : )
BTW - My cat, Alex still has a home on my desk. I just moved it so you could see the desk. : )
PHOTO 4 - The Monitor Riser, Computer, Action Zone, Client Booking Zone
This desk now has very functional zones for:
Booking client appts Everything I need is handy in this zone. My phone, calendar, voice mail log and client folders.) BTW: I have my client folders in my Feng Shui prosperity corner with a light shining on them. Since I moved in, I've been booking a new client every day this week - And this is normally my slow season!
Action Management - My action system is to the right of me. I'm using my Heart Shaped Napkin holder (Photo 4) to hold my High Priority action papers. I have a step file behind it. It has action folders for:
- To Purchase
- Enter at Computer
- Blog & Article Ideas
Project Management Zone- To the right of my action system are all my project folders and binders.
Hanging Files and Supplies - Under my project system are 2 file cabinets (IKEA JONAS Drawer Unit) with file drawers and supply drawers to replace the ones my old desk had. Instead of using the casters that come with JONAS, we slipped the drawers into the IVAR 20 inch deep shelves. They fit neatly and don't roll around when I use them that way. Plus it lifted them off the floor so the file drawer was not so low. The only thing I don't like about this file cabinet is that the files go in sideways...which makes them a bit of a pain to get in and out of the drawer.
PHOTO 5 - My Hanging Files with Shredder, Recycle Bin and Archived Folders under the desk
Mail Processing Zone - To the left of my phone I use a magazine file as an inbox. I also have one to hold a notebook and my Voice Mail log. Next to that is my To Read magazine file. What you don't see in the picture is my black cat cup which holds my favorite pens, letter opener and scissors. Everything I need to process my mail in minutes is right here. letter opener, shredder, computer, recycle bin, calendar, action system, hanging files, etc. Anything that needs to be filed or shredded gets filed or shredded instantly. If it's a To Do item and will only take a minute or 2, I do it immediately. E.g., a bill to pay (I use online bill pay so it's REALLY quick.
PHOTO 6 - My View Out the Window, Mail System, Client Booking Zone
THE POWER OF REDESIGN
Redesigning this space was so much fun...and made such a huge difference in my productivity and ability to focus that I'm seriously considering formally adding Redesign / Interior Refining to my services. I already do redesign furniture layouts for clients but I always thought of it as just part of organizing as you can see in my office redesign photo gallery. I even redesigned my backyard which you can see pix of here.
Redesign makes it hard to take recognizable before and after shots, but who cares. It makes a huge difference in how my clients feel about their spaces and makes them much more likely to maintain the new systems. Everything is positioned to make their activities easier AND look good too.
I'm learning more and more that not all professional organizers do this.
I'm really excited about diving deeper into how organizing and redesign combined affect the emotional, mental, and spiritual side of changing one's habits. It's simply not enough to decide to change. There is always a need to organize to make your new habits easier to act on. Making systems and spaces "attractive" is a critical component of changing habits as well. For me, the changes in my space have made an unbelievable difference in my habits and in how I feel about everything!
Okay, if you are still here, thanks for reading this far and forgive me any typos as I curb my perfectionism and decide to post this even though I want to re-read it for the 20th time! : )
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