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Friday, July 3, 2009

"A room of one's own and a mind without end"

I got the idea for this post when I went to Atlanta to visit my girlfriend France, of bananafish studios. She recently relocated from Los Angeles and has put a whole lot of time, energy and creativity in to creating her new home office/craft studio. I saw it and was inspired to make my own home office a bit better. Here is a little taste of her space. I think she has some very stylish, practical and inventive storage solutions.

For more pictures and details go to:

The title of this post comes from my favorite Virginia Woolf quote. I am trying to build a place to call my own, and I want it to fuel my mind without end. I know many of you must be doing the same. You are need a place to pay bills as well as place to drive your creativity. A spot to check your email and to help engage the thousands of ideas that you have.

Well, here I am to save the day!!

Ideas, ideas, ideas!!!!

A home office fulfills a number of roles: It's a place to coordinate schedules, a repository for all your receipts, but mostly a creative refuge. Despite its ability to satisfy countless needs, a workstation doesn't have to occupy a tremendous amount of space, much less an entire room. France is lucky to be in Georgia, where real estate is more reasonable. But for city gals and guys a small corner of a room is all you may have to create a home office.

When I set up my home office I am focusing on these 4 things. They are in no particular order;
storage, art, lighting, and the all important desktop.

Lighting is key for any space, and it is especially important in a home office. Some people love the hum of a florescent tube, while others need several small task lights scattered throughout their work space. I personally love natural light. I think that if you place your desk by a window with a view you really create a space that inspires you to work. If I did go with a lamp, it would be an old school swivel lamp. The one above is a very high end, a.k.a. maddeningly expensive lamp. Luckily, you can find lamps like this at more reasonable prices at ikea, west elm, or pottery barn. Below is the stuart pharmacy lamp from pottery barn. It's a much better fit with this little ladies budget.

When it comes to kitting out my desktop I will be shopping at three places. Target, Paper Source and See Jane Work. This is last months Desk Of The Month from

Evey month they piece together a desk set so you don't have to. Some are whimsical and some are more practical. It is a great resource for those of you who may need guidance in what to buy for your desktop storage needs. Also, I am loving the new India inspired file folders and boxes from Paper Source.
If you are on a budget or want to get creative you don't need to buy boxes, bins, and other storage items. I'm sure you have everything you need laying around your house. In the picture below Martha Stewart uses glass jars to store spools of colored waxed-linen twine, a basic acrylic box to dispense seam binding, and small galvanized buckets to hold colored pencils. In my mini-craft closet I use old shoe boxes, mini-suitcases, and peanut cans to store my supplies. I also made a box out of my fave Japanese paper to store my crayons!!
And how about this great idea. All you need is twine, 2 thumb tacks, and some clothes pins. You can then hang art, business cards, inspiring quotes, or those pesky bills. So much more pleasing to my eye than a cork board.
Another storage item in a home office has to be a book shelf. For my husband I took 2 pieces of plywood, stained and lacquered them and the used black iron supports from my local hardware store to attach them to the wall.
For my office nook I want something a bit more peppy. This picture from Living Etc. is my inspiration.
I love how they have taken simply and inexpensive shelving and used hot orange paint on the inside to spice things up. 
 I think my plain jane Ikea bookshelf is about to get a makeover.

I am a very visual person. Clearly, what I do for a living is all about making things pretty, exciting and pleasing to the eye. So images always inspire me. Whether it be pictures of my baby brothers playing in the yard or amazing images of interiors or fashion, I try to surround myself with art that will inspire me. You can use frames, cork, tacks, or string to add some pizazz to your desk area. Utilize both the desktop and the surrounding walls.I love the idea of this old colorful map as art.
And this is just a snippet from my inspiration wall.
Well, I am off to go build my new space.
Just remember, if you create the right environment for your work the inspiration is bound to follow.

To get more ideas and to buy all you will need to organize your home, your office and your life, visit the following sites!!

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