Office Makeover: Organizing the Bookshelves

My office is now in functioning form. It’s not finished but it’s an open space for me to disappear to every day to log hours and to finish both work and fun projects.

I love having my own space! It’s wonderful. Every detail has been so liberating – from organizing my file structure and having a place to store work materials (my 9-5 job), to finding a home for every little craft object that participates in the clutter of everyday life around here.

Here’s a sneak peek at my organizing in action, please ignore those crazy wires (need to find a solution for those soon):

That’s a new curtain, too! I created that for this project early last year and realized very recently how perfect it was color-wise for this space – it’s Cassandra Seaspray and it can be found here. The french doors between the kitchen and office are glass so it can be difficult  to ‘disappear’ when Liv’s nanny is over to help play with her while I’m working. Plus, guests get a little privacy in the room.

Here’s the desk – clean and clear. Knowing me that won’t last long.

I used a combination of Target and One Kings Lane fabric boxes, See Jane Work brown portfolio boxes and metal baskets, and West Elm white lacquer magazine butlers and file cabinets to outfit the shelves. The look I’m hoping to achieve is organic – plenty of mixed textures and naturals colors.

I’ve learned an important lesson after having a few work spaces: you must love your organizational tools and the way your office looks when tidy, or you’ll never aspire to it at the end of a long day.

That big gap there on the left is where the printer will sit. It’s nice and close – none of this wireless business that would *sometimes* allow the computer to communicate with the printer on its own free will.

Here’s an angle of the desk and left bookshelf. I have to soak in as much clean and clear desk as I can now… it may be a while after my organized desktop chaos takes over.

Treasures include an estate sale yellow glass candy jar that doubles as nook to stash rolls of ribbon, a wax bird from West Elm (on sale) a See Jane Work metal basket that houses fabric remnants I’m currently working with (the rest are sorted by color in the big OKL fabric boxes at the bottom of the shelf) and a favorite photo of Liv and I printed on glass (have you heard of Fracture? I discovered it through a Groupon). I still need to take some time to label all of the boxes. Labeling, labeling is awesome.

I brought this ceramic urn back with me after our trip to Iowa for RAGBRAI. I found it at a little garden shop in Woodward, IA and managed to stuff it in my suitcase. Now it’s home to paint swatches that we frequently pull out when working on the house.

All the while I was working on this particular afternoon, Liv gleefully watched on from her chair in the kitchen. Moms have got to take full advantage of nap and meal times!

Ordering all of the office organizational supplies can be a daunting task, and I find that having a clear layout where each and every object will go is helpful. I made this rough sketch before purchasing supplies and it helped to determine how many of what was actually needed.

I deviated from plan a bit, but all in all I’m less distracted and more on target with a careful plan laid out in advance.

Man this is a tough room to photograph – too narrow! But here’s one last shot before all the techy stuff is added back in:

PS I need a camera expert – what’s the ideal setting for indoor photos? What a steep learning curve this new SLR camera is! Indoor photos especially…

For more Office Makeover posts, check out: wall collage part 1, fabric bulletin board inspiration, (new) inspiration board, new lamps, wallpapering open shelves, finding the perfect credenza, new trim, dining table-to-desk, a new desk & bookshelves, installing remnant carpeting, grasscloth wallpaper, painting the office nookfinding carpet for the office, chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300,inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.

Halloween’s ‘Best Of’ Round-Up

I was reminded today that Halloween is 7 days away! For some reason it feels like I still have a good month to prepare (we’re hosting a party and I’m in charge of the family costume), time to get a movin’.

In honor of the approaching holiday, here’s a round-up of some of the most inspiring Halloween decorating ideas I’ve found out there in the blogosphere.

Are you ready? Let’s roll.

Best glam party: This vintage glam dinner party by Suzanna at Mon Tresor is fantastic – I love the colors and I love the details. Thanks, HWTM for posting.

Best harvest porch: This one’s a tie between Kate’s (over at Centsational Girl) harvest spin and a Pottery Barn porch (it captures the ‘spooky’ category) that’s been spinning around the internet. And since I’m not as much of a goblins and ghosts kind of girl, I fully appreciate the harvest color palette.

Best 5 minute craft: These vase mummies by Hi Sugarplum are super clever, super cute and look super easy.

Best simple statement: This tablescape is low key and looks fairly low budget, but it’s perfect for this time of the year and it still looks stunning. I like that it’s reflected again on the mantel:

Best outdoor display: Simple Country Living created an awesome faux fireplace with all the spooky fixings.

Best inside decor: This one goes to Sherry’s white snakes over at Young House Love. Who would have guessed that creepy crawly decorations like these were as easy as wooden toys and some spray paint?

Most creative: Both of these ideas are so unique and creative that I had to include them. Neither of the images were sourced when I found them floatin’ round the web, if you know of the author, let me know. Maybe Martha?

Best mantel: So many inspiring ones to choose from but I really love Kim’s Halloween mantel (of TomKat Studio), and I love that printable banner:

There are so many fun and fantastically executed ideas out there, but I hope this little round-up gives you some inspiration for any last-minute preparations!

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PS Come visit me at Simply Modern Mom where Tiffany has asked me to share an over-used recipe – which for our family is Kevin’s delicious homemade chicken stock! Go homemade and you’ll never go back. It’s the base for so many delicious meals in our house :). And a big congrats to Tiffany on her new baby girl!

Friday Guest Blog Interview: Katie of Bower Power

Today’s guest blog interview is special to me because this is a house tour that I’ve long adored. While Katie Bower and her family recently moved out of their old digs, it’s their previous home that I first fell in love with and their new home that I love to blog crash on a regular basis these days. Need a photo tour after all of that hype? Check it out right here, or wait for sneak peeks in the rest of this interview.

Katie, her ‘boyfriend’ (an affectionate name she has for her husband, Jeremy), and their son Will live in the South, and being a California girl we think anything Southern is pretty darn sweet. Bower Power Blog is a photo journal of Katie’s family, her design loves and her work as a professional photographer. She blogs about life, and it’s pretty fun to follow along.

So here with me today is Katie to share some of her inspiration, three favorite tips (definitely agree with these!) and why her decorating style is a bit more timeless than it is trendy (but do check out that photo tour of her home, because it’s right on the money when it comes to what looks just right these days). More after the jump….

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