our home office

Jun 13

today i wanted to share a little blog binder i put together on the cheap. and i am going to do that at the end of this post, but first i wanted to share the current state of our home office.

one of the reasons i decided to create a binder instead of filing away my blog info is because of our current desk set-up. and because i know what kind of worker i am; i tend to work best when i have everything organized in binders – it’s all in one easy to locate place. instead of various files put away in a desk drawer.

and since i’m talking about the binder, i figured i would go ahead and share our current office set-up.

…and how i would really love to change things up in here.

yes, one little binder got me thinking that deeply. πŸ™‚

first i’ll share a quick tour of the current state…then i’ll share some of my dream office inspiration photos. (i know my husband is reading along and once he gets to the “dream office” portion i’m sure he’ll pass out. but it’s too fun not to share the “one day” dreams i have for this space).

our home office is a room you walk through in order to get to our bedroom/bathroom/closet. all 4 spaces are located on one side of the house.Β here is the office as you enter it from the living room…

that door you see to the far right is our bedroom – seen better in this shot…

this is the view from our bedroom into the office…

the door in the left corner is our office closet, which i recently redid with container store shelving (see here and here for more).

here is a better shot of the seating area and the door to the office closet…

this room was a blank canvas when we moved in. to add quick shelving, i purchased 2 pottery barn shelves to hold our books, photos and some of our favorite kid art work…

i am standing in front of the desk for this view…which is our door to the office heading into the living room/kitchen…

now that you have seen a pretty good view into our home office, i’m going to tell you what is and isn’t working.

what is working for us?

*the space: i LOVE our space in here. love love it. love the vertical space, too.

*the windows and light. with 3 full windows, this space has lots of natural light. this is the room where i take most of my photos for the blog, e-bay and some close-up family photos.

*the comfortable seating. we purchased the leather love seat and ottoman shortly after we moved in and love having it in this space. it allows the kids to hang out with us while we work in the office. it also gives my husband and me a quiet spot to escape to when the kids happen to be entertaining themselves – which doesn’t happen often. we love to sit in here with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and talk.

*i love the desktop space for 2 computers. the old white iMac is now property of our kiddos. it was our computer until it started going downhill last year. after 7 years, we bought ourselves a new iMac and had the apple store fix up the old computer for the kids. i like that when the kids are on the computer, we have a spot to sit right next to them. even with parental controls installed, you can never be too careful when it comes to kids + computers/the internet.

what isn’t working for us?

*the paint: we would love to re-paint this entire side of the house – from our office all the way down to the master closet. i’d love this area to be brighter and more alive instead of dark and moody. most of our furniture is dark, so i would love to brighten it up to have more contrast.*seeing all of the cords!

*the desk: as with most of the items we purchased when we moved in, the desk was a quick decision. we needed a desk. we bought a desk. and here is the desk we purchased…

it’s the pottery barn bedford collection in black. we had this desk in white in our previous home and loved it. we had a small home office located in our kitchen and this corner piece fit perfectly. so perfectly in fact that the family who purchased our home asked if they could keep it. so, when we moved into this home, we purchased what we knew and what we were familiar/happy with.

now that we have lived in this home for almost 5 years, i am realizing exactly what is not working about this desk and what kind of desk would really suit our needs.

what are the issues with the desk?

*we have 3 filing drawers and don’t really have a need for all of that filing space anymore.

*our home computers are iMac’s, which have a built-in cpu…so that cute little cpu component isn’t working out as well as it used to.

*the cpu component also has 3 small shelves that used to be handy in our previous home, but now nothing sits there. everything we need is stored away in the office closet.

*the 2 drawers we use most are the small drawer on the cpu cabinet (below our printer) and the 2 small drawers on the far right end of the desk. in those 3 drawers we keep our stock of printer paper, printer cartridge replacements, checks, a few pens, a stapler, and other small office supplies. otherwise, everything is inside the office closet.

while we love this desk, it isn’t working hard enough in this space for us to keep consider keeping it. i agree with my husband that it works well in the corner of the room, but i think we could do something better. and i have been in search of “better” for a while.

there is so much great office inspiration out there on the web and in magazines. i’ve been keeping my eyes open and have started a small collection in a file. my idea for moving forward would be to utilize the vertical space on that entire wall where the white iMac is sitting (the space inside the square in this photo) and imagine the corner desk piece no longer here…

with the limited amount of drawer space we need out here on the office floor, i think a large built-in desk or a desk we could purchase or DIY would be a much better fit for our needs and the space.

here’s what i’m dreaming of – one long desk with 2 chair openings (one for the kids and one for us for both computers) and shelving above the desk. we could do floating shelves or have the entire desk come in one big piece with shelving attached above it. i’m leaning toward the floating/open shelf idea because i imagine pretty boxes and baskets to hid away items.

anyway, here are some inspiration photos i am currently drooling over…

sigh – big time dreams here…but i love the desktop space and the room for more than 1 computer/chair…

and here too…just enough drawers/cabinets and 2 chair openings…

i love how bright and cheery this space is…

love this pinboard wall idea…

i love this simple desk with a few drawers and the floating shelves above it…

i’d like you to note how my home office photos look so dark – then you hit my inspiration photos and BAM – super bright and happy. see what i mean about the paint?!

in addition to browsing pinterest, i have looked through websites that sell desks. 2 of these small desks would work really well along the open wall…

the wall is 108″ (or 8.5′) wide/long between the windows…and this small desk is 52″ long. 2 of them would work well along that wall.

because the bottom pieces are interchangeable, we could do one with the cute basket openings (shown above) and one with the small drawers. that would be more than enough storage space for what we have. plus, if we added some floating shelves, that would allow us to hide away more office needs, display photos, etc.

this is just me thinking out loud, excuse me for doing that. πŸ™‚

of course, i would love to hear your thoughts. any design folks out there care to help me?

i can’t wait to keep finding inspiration and then get started on this project. who knows, maybe we’ll be brave and actually do the entire project DIY-style. sounds scary, but could be fun!

now to the small organization project that got me started on this whole home office post. see this small white binder…

yes, this binder started the whole chain of events in here!

with a blog, although still very new, comes along the need to be organized. after 9 months here, i’ve finally come into my own with a weekly blog schedule and have some (very little) revenue andΒ have lots of new passwords and websites to keep track of and it would be nice to have a spot to jot down my dreams and ideas for this little blog and and and…..

anyway, my mind was spinning a bit and needed one central location where i could find “all things blog-related”. instead of putting together files, i decided a binder would work best with my style. and it has been awesome!

i grabbed a set of 2 1″ binders from staples for $5.99…

all i needed was simple, with pockets inside and out so this fit the bill…

i had a few of these old dividers on hand…

so i covered them with my white labels from the label maker…

and now i have a spot for keeping track of blog passwords, websites i frequent, my weekly coupon series, and a place to keep notes on an upcoming meal plan series that i am working on. the binder still has plenty of space in case i need to add more sections too.

to make the binder a little prettier, i added a simple binder spine…



and that was it. a blog binder was born for less than $3!

happy wednesday, friends!

comments +

  1. Court says:

    Love the blog binder! Such a great idea. Doing it πŸ™‚

    • Hi!

      I'm so glad this simpe idea helped inspire you to do it too. I am so much more productive with this little binder. It is really keeping me much more organized and it keeps my zillions of post it notes organized too πŸ™‚

      Thank you!

  2. melissa says:

    My home office is such a disaster at this point that I have no business commenting on anyone else's, but I have to ask – is that picture over the desk of Pebble Beach??

    • Hi melissa!!

      Haha! You're funny!

      Yes, the photo is of pebble beach! We love it! We are both from California so it reminds us of home when we're homesick. Are you from there too?

      Samantha πŸ™‚

    • melissa says:

      Sorry it took me so long to reply. Yes, I live in the Bay Area. I was married in Pebble Beach. Actually just spent the past weekend in Carmel. It's my favorite place on earth! πŸ™‚

    • that is so awesome, melissa! i was born and raised in the bay area. am hoping we will make it back there soon – i miss home like crazy!!!

      yes – that area of the coast is amazing! nothing compares to its beauty!


  3. Coupon Addic says:

    Love this idea! I am new to the blog world as well and yes it's so hard to remember all those passwords! I'll have to start a binder this week. πŸ™‚


    • hi there!

      if you're new to the blog world like me, i'll have to jump over your way to support you. πŸ™‚ there is so much to keep track of when you are running a blog, and this little binder has really been helpful to me. i hope it can help you too!

      off to check out your blog now!
      samantha πŸ™‚

  4. FABULOUS! Crossing my fingers you'll share at my party! Saturdays at Seven!

    XO, Aimee

  5. CAS says:

    You have some great inspiration desk ideas for your wonderful space. I don't do advertising on my blog, but I still like to keep track of ideas for posts & the many parties that I like to attend, so I have a section in my daily journal. Your binder is a great idea for the busier bloggers like yourself.

  6. […] the desk, but the black color has been wearing me down. during that post i shared that this is an area of the house we have plans to update – soon, i […]

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