The Office

messy officeEver since David’s dad conjured up an amazing workspace for me, I’ve been spending way more time in my office. It’s great to be able to get up and leave whatever I’m working on and not worry about leaving a mess in the middle of the apartment. Making stuff is messy, you can’t escape it.  Although in my case, I can’t literally close the door, since the office couch is also known as ‘Caspian’s bed.’ He spends most of his day sleeping on that couch, and at night he will often retire to his room (the office) at 10 or 11. Sometimes David and I will stay up late, and be like where’s Caspian? He’s always in bed. Because he’s the only person in our household who is responsible enough to always go to bed on time. Our dog is weird.
messy office

Anyway, now that I’m spending a lot of time in the office, I want to work on the space a little. I’m running into a few design challenges. When we first turned that room into an office, I envisioned this all-white, airy space full of clean surfaces and light. In reality, it’s a small room that has to function as a two person office and a dog bedroom. It’s crammed full of computers, printers, paper, envelopes, and assorted art supplies. Luckily for me, you can’t really see my desks from the hallway, but you can see some bookshelves, and David’s desk, which is always super messy. Which drives me nuts, but I can’t really bug him to clean it up when my part is also super messy. (Although I work there full time, and he uses his for maybe an hour each night so…. I should stop being sassy)

gross bookcase
I hate working in a permanently cluttered space. Even when everything is put away, it still looks messy. It is also frustrating that there are enough white things that it looks bland, but not enough white that it looks cohesive. I think the space needs a shot of color, but I’m not even sure where to put the color, much less what color to use.

messy office
There is a LOT of furniture in this room, making the space look bottom heavy. It’s a workspace above all else, so I try to keep that in mind, but I wish I could just make it look a little… nicer. I’ve considered painting the ceiling, but then I considered what a pain in the butt that would be. I’d really like to make some modifications that are easy to implement, since I can’t easily shut down my office.

messy office
What I ultimately want is something that looks neat, makes it easy to access the things that I need, and doesn’t look like a total disaster area the minute one or two things are out of place.

Here are my ideas so far:

+ Paint the lamp bases white
+ Make white, easy to wash pillow covers
+ Paint the bookshelves white
+ Cover the books
+ Take down the stuff above the desk
+ Put the light canvas above the desk
+ Put something colorful above the couch
+ Paint some or all of the letters above my desk
+ Put hooks/perhaps a small shelf above my workspace

Do you have any ideas? What is your biggest frustration with your workspace?

  • Gennie

    I love your idea for painting more things white. I would also say, the containers you have on those shelves are very disparate. I might try to pick one type of container/basket and put everything in those, with labels.
    My biggest pet peeve is similar – I can never seem to keep anything organized. I think I need more containers. And/or a new shelf.

    • lovecitron

      I kind of just want to put shelves on all the walls and call it day. I like your idea of similar containers, but I’ve been having a problem finding white containers that aren’t a million dollars!

  • Nathan

    Perhaps clutter is a necessary evil for those who are creative. After all, can you really trust a butcher with a clean apron? Does ones creative output increase or decrease as their work area becomes tidier? Will you be more or less likely to start a random project when you know it will mean significant tidying up afterwards?

    I often find that the more organized my area becomes the more frequently my OCD kicks in and I have to go put something away, straighten a picture frame or dust furniture, which is more distracting than a living with a constant amount of clutter.

    Might you be able to simply get rid of things that you don’t actually need? I know I have boxes and boxes of college textbooks that I will never read, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of. If they were to randomly disappear though, I wouldn’t miss them a bit.

    • lovecitron

      I agree that clutter is a necessary evil for creative people. I can’t make something without raw materials, and they take up a lot of space! I’ve actually pared down my belongings so that everything you see in the photos I really need and use (or it belongs to David.) Maybe David wouldn’t mind if his stuff randomly disappeared..

  • Sarah @ The Sarahverse

    What about painting the containers you have white? Also to get color and interest in the top half you could put up inspiration boards. As jumbled as they are they still look great. Or how about some pendants or chandeliers? Making all the utilitarian furniture in the room share a theme/look would instantly tie everything together.