Office Overhaul – ‘Hubby’ Zone & ‘Shared’ Zone

I promised to share some after photos of the office overhaul, but still haven’t found a piece of artwork for over my desk. So I’ve decided to leave ‘my’ zone for another post, and show you what’s been done to the rest of the office.

Do you remember this ‘before‘ shot? Yes? ‘Yikes’!

The bookcase wasn’t really that functional as the shelves are not quite 10 inches deep, making standard storage cumbersome. See the package of white paper on the middle shelf? It had to be turned sideways to fit. My hubby and I decided the bookcase could go. And we won’t even get into the other ‘extras’ you see here!

And in this ‘before‘…

…the paper sorter on top of the filing cabinets was one of the first things you saw when entering the office – if your eye made it that far! The hanging file trolly sitting under the ‘L’ of my desk is placed the wrong way, protruding awkwardly into the space around it! And my tools, well the toolbox became yet another surface to ‘drop’ things on 🙁

Here’s the bookcase area now… it’s been set up with visually appealing storage in assorted sizes, though the large basket is subject to change. But for now it’s concealing recycled binders.

The trolly is actually more easily accessible from this spot too. My tools are what they are, necessary to get the job done, but at least they hide behind the trolly now!

And now you only see the ends of the sorter and trolly when entering the office.

Here’s a close-up of the clock – I found it at Home Sense and couldn’t resist. It fit the look and theme taking shape, and I loved the take–double-take of the number placement… kind of like M.C. Escher in motion! I’m not convinced the clock will remain on the shelf, but I like it here for now.

The natural light coming into this office is really good as there is also a skylight (wish we could lose the fluorescent lights). I tried not to block the light coming in the windows, so I’m still deciding whether or not I want to mount window treatments of some kind. What do you think? I’d love to hear your suggestions. Here’s a look at the 3 windows – a ‘before’, but just to give you the perspective…

And for ‘hubby’ zone, here’s a close-up ‘before‘ view… you can also see it in the 2nd ‘before‘ photo above.

In general what made this office so dysfunctional was the lack of vertical storage. The floor space was filled to capacity, yet the walls were bare and underutilized. The only way to solve this was to go up! Well, and to declutter, but I’d prefer to call that ‘editing’…

Here is what ‘going up’ looks like now…

We moved the small printer off the desk  and over to the paper sorter’s old location. Believe it or not, the books on these shelves were once jammed tightly onto the shelves of the old bookcase. Now everything can breathe! I’m still on the search for fun accessories, but I’m trying not to force the process!

There are a few things that have limited how much I could do with the overhaul, the main one being that this is a rental home for us… for now. But the other is the set of desks. My Dad originally built the desk as an ‘L’ unit for me quite a few years ago. My husband and I have since turned the unit into 2 desks, have added a smaller ‘L’ to my desk, and added another filing cabinet to the mix. The configuration of the office – 2 doors to work around, windows to keep free and clear, 2 baseboard heaters to factor in, access to the attic – made furniture placement a challenge. And since this is an office for 2 of us, the overall flow and function had to meet both sets of needs.

Here is another look at the overall ‘overhaul’…

I promise, there will be another post to show you what I’ve done with ‘my’ zone… but I’m really trying to hold out for that perfect piece of artwork to complete the space. A splash of colour, something inspirational, and just the right size! Colour… definitely something with a bit of colour, and something that will complement the current artwork.

I hope you’ll leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you think, especially your ideas and suggestions 🙂

Are you needing to find a solution for a challenging space? Maybe we can help. Contact us to schedule an introductory consultation – remember the first ½ hour is on the house!

Back on Track

Where did January go? Well to be honest, I’ve been asked, ‘Where did you go?’ as January found me totally MIA on my blog and for the most part on my other social networks.

I want to thank Luciane from Home Bunch for checking in, and following up with blogging words of wisdom and advice. Have you read Luciane’s blog? The homes she shares with us are nothing short of amazing, and they provide a ‘go-to’ resource filled with inspiration. Really, you should stop by… Luciane is also on Twitter if you would like to follow her there @HomeBunch.

So where did I go? Well I’m happy to say that my office, though still a work in progress, is a MUCH happier place to be as January has been spent pulling the office apart and putting it back together again. Here’s a before glimpse of the disaster zone. Everything plopped, dropped, and piled. Um, just a little mortifying to share…

Office Disaster Zone

I know, hard to believe isn’t it?

My husband and I share the office, so he has ‘his’ zone…

'His' zone - complete with windows AND art work!

…complete with windows and art work!

I have ‘my’ zone…

'My' zone - no windows, no art work...

…notice, no windows and no art work!

And we have ‘our’ zone, which is everything shared in between…


'Shared' zone - filing cabinets, office supplies, storage... (yes, that's 'storage' under the desk!)

See the ‘everything in between’… filing cabinets, office supplies, and ‘storage’… bookcase, tools AND fire escape!!!

...more 'Shared' zone - bookcase, tools, AND fire exit!!!

And just in case you didn’t get the full impact, here’s another overall ‘before’ shot of the disfunctional disaster zone! Yikes!!!

'Disaster' Zone!

Clearly, too much of a ‘good thing’ is NOT a good thing! Well, not including the art work and the windows. I’m an ocean girl, so the art work is a jump-off point to anchor the room, and the windows are a no-brainer… who doesn’t want a window in their office?

Where to begin? Well before I set to work in the office, I spent time reading and catching up on some of my favorite blogs. I have to mention Maria Killam of Maria Killam Colour & Design, and Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Designs. From Maria and Traci came their fearless sharing of the goals they’ve set, met and are hoping to achieve. You can read Maria’s here and Traci’s here. I found these posts particularly timely as they reminded me that there will always be someone ahead on the path, someone behind, and that what really matters is where I am on my own path in relationship to my own goals. Such a needed boost to get at the office, so I can actually think about goals instead of thinking about the office!

So in ‘stalling’ in order to ‘steel’ myself to get at this incredible mountain of chaos, I continued to read my favorite blogs, and again lucked out on another timely post, this time by Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home. Lauren shows us her office/working space, and the new storage cubbie she purchased for it. I found Lauren’s post very motivating because it reminded me that I was not alone in trying to create more function in my home office space! And check this out… look at Lauren now! Motivation, inspiration… what more can I say???

So now I say, let the work begin!

Dad, my project partner, in action!
Assisting - that counts, right?

We are in a rental so I was careful about where to make the changes, and how much to invest in them. This shelving is not my first choice, but it’s sturdy, adjustable, and we can take it with us when we go.

Portable shelving 'made to go'... is that the same as 'take out'?!?!?!!!

Now that the bones (for the zones so-to-speak!) are in place, I’m working on creating some personality. I have yet to find the perfect piece of artwork for over my desk, and I’m on the search for other accessories and fun pieces… but between us (I mean, just between ‘us’ – you and me -), I decided how to improve the office and where things should go… but I think that’s fair because hubby gets the window! That’s fair, right???

The ‘after’ photos will be posted soon… I’m just really holding out for that perfect piece of artwork, because I know it will make all the difference!

I always read your comments and would love to hear from you… what would you do in your office if you were in a rental?

Can’t find the solution for your office flow and storage challenge? Maybe we can help. Contact us to schedule an introductory consultation – remember the first ½ hour is on the house!