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Home Office Organizing Tips

I really enjoy the online galleries over at Real Simple, especially 21 Ideas for Organizing Your Home Office because each slide gives a helpful tip on creating a nook that not only can help you balance your checkbook but also to do other things like craft or serve as an entry table for the hallway. Spaces that can perform double duty are especially helpful for families living in small spaces or for roommates sharing an apartment. Here are four of my favorite nooks, for each one I’ve included a terrific RS organizing tip along with a tip (or two) of my own.

Real Simple Organizing Tips

A. RS says, “Stow work materials in a basket below a hallway console to transform it into a desk when needed.” Holly’s tip: Keeping chairs nearby allows for you to do a quick consult in case it’s the only space in the house that you have to meet with clients. Since desktop space is limited, you may want to opt for a wall mount light fixture and above the desk, a large mirror with the lights on each side. A mirror in the entryway is not only a great place to touch up your lipstick, but a good trick for increasing the size of the space.

B. RS says, “But a desk chair doesn’t necessarily have to look as if it means business.” Holly’s tip: Add 3 white shelves directly above this desk for a collection of pottery, some books, and a few storage containers to maximize the space. Or add a large art print centered above the desk. Add a little fun by using some gift wrap to line the desk drawers or paint them in a color that coordinates with the space. If you don’t want the standard hardware on your desk, hit Anthropologie or an antiques dealer and find something that will allow you to customize this generic desk a little more to your taste.

C. RS says, “Reclaim an unused corner by tucking in a simple desk-and-cabinet setup.” Holly’s tip: Add a built in bookcase and cabinet directly above the desk to coordinate with the cabinetry in the rest of the kitchen to take this look a step further. That way, you can free up the space under the desk for more leg room and also to make the area appear less cramped and for files and storage to be kept out of view behind cabinet doors.

D. RS says, “Make supplies easy to grab with a pegboard that displays high-use items front and center.” Holly’s tip: Add a little pattern to this space with a pretty chair cushion, a coordinating desktop screensaver (like this one) and a bouquet of fresh flowers, ideally a tiny arrangement to the left of the pencil cup or find a pencil holder and insert a small juice glass with water and secure it to the peg board for a little burst of nature.

Any tips you have based on the above photos? Play along with me! :)

(images: real simple)

Posted in workspace on June 17, 2009

Slim Shelving

Love this. Marianne van Ooij wrote to me today to tell me about a product that she introduced this past May at the ICFF in New York called Slim Shelving. She’s a Dutch designer living in Brooklyn who studied design at the Royal Academy of Art in the Netherlands and at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She wanted to develop a shelving system that allowed her to keep her favorite books in sight without taking up a lot of space so this wall system made of clear acrylic was the ultimate solution and is somewhat affordable ranging from $175-239 depending on the size that you select.

Slim Shelving

I love this idea and would like to own this — it’s really clever. I have so many pretty books and plan to look into how to order one of these for my office. Great idea, Marianne!

(images: slim shelving)

Posted in walls, workspace on June 15, 2009

Kindred – Summer Edition!

Hello friends! On Friday I mentioned that I had something special to share with you for Summer so here it is… the Kindred Summer edition just went live for the new season and Ez and I are excited to share with you the artists we’ve chosen to be part of the line up this time. Here’s a peek of the 10 free desktop wallpapers created especially for you…


Our participating artists and designers include both Ez and I but also Alicia Bock, Bernadette Sipkes, Blanca Gómez, Caitlin Shearer, Jessica Gonacha, Sarah Ahearn, Susannah Conway and Traci French. Ez thought of a beautiful and creative theme and asked the artists to develop a wallpaper to fit the theme which is: Summertime – the five senses. You’ll find along with each wallpaper the artists own words on what inspired that particular design. In addition to the wallpapers, some of the artists are offering either their orginal artwork or prints of the wallpaper in their shops, so be sure to read each of the artists words to find out if the work is available to own and frame. :)

In addition, we have some fun freebies for you from us along with a special guest designer this season, Tara Hogan from INK + WIT who created some super cute downloadable postcard flats at no charge to you.

We hope that you will support this free deskptop wallpaper project meant to share the work of talented independent artists worldwide with your friends and blog readers and to pretty up and brighten your work space just a little. We also hope that you will enjoy the free wallpapers for your desktop and that you’ll remember to visit Kindred to participate in the active forums there.

Oh and I almost forgot… due to popular demand, we’ve added a new size for larger monitors so you can now download them in the following sizes: 1024×768, 1280×1024, 1600×1200 and 1920×1200. Yay!

Thanks to all artists involved for your contributions to Kindred, we love you guys!

(images: kindred)

Posted in workspace on June 15, 2009

Pretty Mouse Pads

I first bought a My Favorite Mirror mouse pad at the Renegade craft show a few years ago and I’ve been addicted to them ever since — they’re just so pretty and I love the fact that they’re 7.5? round because it’s a tough size and shape to find at your local office supply store but it’s the shape I love and work best with.

::new mousepad::

My new mouse pad arrived on Friday and I want to share it with you, shown above, this one was $15 and is called Red Hygrophorus Mushrooms and designed by California artist Jill Bliss (whom I adore). I love it because it’s soft and pretty without being too sweet, I guess you can say that it’s “just right” for me. Here are a few of my favorites:

Mouse Pads

a. Typewriter b. Bicyclette c. Redwood sorrell d. California poppy.

Mouse Pads

e. A polkadot owl f. Red hygrophorus mushrooms g. Bicheno bird h. Appledress girl.

Do you have a fun mouse pad source that you’d like to share?

(images: top – holly becker for decor8, two below: my favorite mirror)

Posted in workspace on June 01, 2009


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