One Room Challenge: My Home Office

Aug 26

My personal life has been hectic and stressful over the last couple weeks…to put it mildly. I’m writing a blog post about some of it soon, but can’t begin to explain how therapeutic it’s been to have the house completely to myself. Even if it’s only 6 hours of peace, a house can drastically change with this lady behind the wheel. Closets torn apart and put back together, laundry done, folded and put away, dinners prepped and playroom sorted out. But the big project topping the hit list is my home office.

Over the last 3 years, I’ve shared different cleaned up versions of the space. But the furniture has all stayed the same. I have the Pottery Barn Bedford Collection desk in black and their Studio Wall Shelving in black. I love love this set, and couldn’t believe my good fortune when it relocated from Arkansas and fit like a glove in here. But I’m ready for a change. I want light and bright…and I’ve also taken on the road toward less paper. Therefore, I don’t need all this filing space anymore.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the One Room Challenge hosted by Calling It Home. I applied earlier this year and haven’t heard a response yet (crossing everything to be one of the few chosen!), but whether they accept me or not, I’m joining the challenge and my home office is going to transform!

Let’s first start with where summer left off and then I’ll share the after of my efforts. This morning I threw on my favorite podcasts and went to town…you should see the back of my truck. Yay!

Summer was insane. Let’s just be honest. I was working a ton, my kids were busy and then all of the sudden back to school hit. So my poor desk was not very happy over the last couple weeks…




Paper piles everywhere!


The master bedroom is near my home office so I see this space everyday whether I’m in here working or not. It was weighing on me.

My wall shelving needed some love too…


While this may look tidy and you’re scratching your head, trust me. The baskets were hiding everything.

One of my biggest issues in here is the back wall of the office…


At one point, I had a green linen cover over the tall white shelf, but it was intended for a playroom or children’s space. I removed the cover a while ago leaving us with this view. My little work table is never cleaned off. It’s too easy to drop products for review, client projects or home stuff…


This is just a folding table I placed here out of convenience for when I need to spread out work materials or a project. The surface space is never enough for my needs though. The rolling drawer systems underneath are also a temporary situation that moved into the space from Arkansas. But as with other baskets and drawers throughout the office, I knew so much of this stuff wasn’t being used and needed to go. My ultimate goal today was getting so much accomplished the tall white shelf would be gone and I won! #winning


I sorted through and touched every single space and thing. Bags and bags of stuff are gone. Now my favorite chair from the old house is sitting pretty in the corner…making for a much nicer view as I come up the stairs…


Again, this is temporary. But for now I would much prefer that view. As far as the little project table, that is looking much better also!…


Every drawer was sorted out and now contains the materials needed for client or blog work.

My desktop surface is cleaned up – papers sorted through, hanging wall files cleaned up and ready for the new school year, and I removed a few storage pieces not being used…clean-desk


Sitting here typing away hasn’t felt this good in a long time.


My wall shelving got a whole lot of attention. With the white shelf moving out, I had to make the most of this space. These had to make it all come together…


And I did!

The 9 open-topped bins you see were purchased long ago in the Target $1 section. One of my favorite finds and had to grab them. I actually had quite a few on hand but ended up using a good majority in client homes. Everything on the shelves and in the magazines files or bins is something I use or need to reach for on occasion.



It’s a great feeling!



This corner of the office has been a pain point for me. It’s where the printer sits and a lot of items that need to be plugged in or charged live here. There’s a lot of outlets hiding behind the little white shelf that requires everything to huddle in this spot.


So, as I sit here breathing a bit easier after a major clean up, I’m dreaming of how I want to transform this space. I have a lot of ideas and am putting together a big post of inspiration (look for that soon!). I want to do the whole deal – new shelves, desk, window covering, rug, maybe a long wall of cabinets with a huge work surface on top, maybe a window seat. What I love about the One Room Challenge is that you’re paired up with a designer…that is my biggest downfall in all of this. I’d love to have someone with a design eye hear my dream and then put together the pieces to make it a reality. I’m dreaming of a totally clear glass desk with nothing underneath. Kinda like this…

However, the desktop would need to accommodate my iMac as I need a large screen while working. Isn’t that such a pretty office? Love the window coverings too!

I’m really loving the idea of a desk in the middle of the space.

If I can’t afford a built-in situation, I love these wall shelves…

These would look pretty on either side of the window and still offer tons of space to grab whatever I would typically need in a desk drawer.

I’ve seen a lot etagere shelves around the web…

( via )

I’m not trying to be trendy and jump on that bandwagon, but do love how open and light they are…as opposed to my heavy, dark shelving. I can add pretty storage boxes and other decor.

Alternatively I’d love a wall of cabinets with a reading nook / bench and have my desk floating in the middle…

Isn’t that beautiful!? I could totally go to the ceiling on either side of the window and there would be tons of storage – hidden and open. Love the simplicity and those little sconces too.

Just dreaming away over here! But I’ll do a bigger inspo post so if they choose me, I’ll be prepared and ready to hit the ground running.

Any of you enjoying that quiet time at home getting organized in YOUR spaces? It does feel amazing! I’m heading back to Los Angeles this weekend for a very fun organizing project…be sure to check in on Instagram to see what I’m up to!

Happy back to school organizing everyone!

I’m linking up with the One Room Challenge on Calling It Home

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  1. Whitney Delamore says:

    Check out the thrifty decor chick blog. She just did a cool upstairs space with some built in cabinets. She seemed to do it pretty frugally!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi! Yes, I do follow Sarah – she is so talented! She does a great job of keeping it on budget too. I’d love to build it out myself but not sure I could take on the project with everything else I have going on. I’d definitely need a contractor to get it done in that amount of time.

      Thank you so much for the comment!


  2. Hi Samantha, It’s so nice to read that you will be joining the ORC this fall. The start date is Thursday, October 6th, and the final reveal is on Thursday, November 10th. I will be looking forward to seeing this transformation. By the way, the featured designers are not paired up with a designer. A few of them may enlist the help of fellow design blogger, but the end result is their work. I’m excited to watch an office transformation. Mine is in desperate need, so I could really use a few ideas :).

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Linda!

      Thank you so much for clarifying the designer pairing. All along I thought bloggers were paired with a designer (I’ll update my post!) and was so envious…because I’m a much better organizer than designer. 🙂 Mine is definitely in need of some serious help and can’t wait to get started. Thank you again for stopping by!


  3. LouAnn Malecha says:

    Hi Samantha!
    I enjoy your blog so very much and I especially like the hanging wall files above your desk top. I printed a copy of this set up and carry it with me on shopping trips, but I’m not able to find anything like this. Would you please share where you purchased these? They are exactly what I need! Your office is beautiful, but I’m excited to see the changes you make!
    Many thanks,
    Lou Ann

    • Samantha says:

      Hi LouAnn!

      These are from the Martha Stewart for Avery line that was sold at Staples. She does still have a line there, but unsure if they are selling the wall hanging files still.

      Thank you so much for the blog compliments too!


  4. chrissy says:

    Hi Sarah,
    where did you purchase the gold mesh wall hanging?

    • Samantha says:

      The wall hanging is actually the crib springs from my children’s crib. It was the one piece I held on to. I sprayed it gold and am now using it as a clipboard. One of my favorite items in this space!


  5. chrissy says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I apologize for not addressing you with the correct name. I was doing too many things at one time.

  6. Evelyn Ritter says:

    Where did you get the folder shaped bins on the bottom shelf of the wall shelves? I could really use something like that. Btw, the office looks awesome!

  7. Alanna says:

    I’m curious where you picked out the sconces in the office with the bench and also the chandelier in the same room!

    • Samantha says:


      I’m sorry but I think you may be referring to inspiration photos I shared in this post and not my actual office. You would need to ask the original designer of those spaces.

      Thank you!

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