I am incredibly sensitive to my surroundings when I'm trying to get work done. Every detail is an opportunity for procrastination or avoidance; My back is to the door! Not enough surface area! Lighting is all wrong! I CAN'T WORK LIKE THIS WHAT'S ON HULU?! So it's no surprise that I have had 3 offices in our apartment in 2 and a half years. 

Having a functional office is becoming more and more important to me. The clients keep coming and I'm tired of spreading out on our dining room table, shuffling salt & pepper shakers and cups of pens around (I CAN'T WORK LIKE THIS!). So in the middle of a heavy week of client work I freaked out and went on a office-improvement rampage, telling myself that my clients would get better work out of me if I had a proper office even if said work might come a day later than expected. 

I started with the Oh What fun! sign. Facebook demanded that I keep it and I agreed. If there's ever been another way of putting how I feel about my job I haven't heard it, so having it above my desk would be, like, perfect. I knew in my bones that the desk needed to be an L shape and white. I knew I wanted to get not-finished canvases by unknown artists to use as cork boards. I knew I wanted all my crafting/decorative nonsense to be visible and within reach, otherwise I reach for Hulu. I knew that between Ikea, UrbanOre, and Out of the Closet I'd be set and I was right!

YAY! Ikea supplied the desk, Out of the Closet sold me those shelves for $10.50, and UrbanOre had 4 canvases I had to have, 2 of which are too pretty to use as cork boards. My client/friend Jessica had given me that chair, the coolest office chair ever known to humankind, and the rest was thrifted at estate sales and stores around the East Bay. 

Here's what I was working with before. Shoot, that's embarrassing. 

I CAN'T WORK LIKE THIS!

I CAN'T WORK LIKE THIS!

Let's tour the new digs, shall we?

Is that a handwritten note from Emily Henderson? Yes it is a handwritten note from Emily Henderson. That excellent photo of a fireman's boots is by my friend Solon.

Is that a handwritten note from Emily Henderson? Yes it is a handwritten note from Emily Henderson. That excellent photo of a fireman's boots is by my friend Solon.

Do I have a problem? Probably.

Do I have a problem? Probably.

Always have ribbon at the ready.

Always have ribbon at the ready.

Yes my chair wears jewelry, doesn't yours?

Yes my chair wears jewelry, doesn't yours?

Vintage trash cans are the best containers.

Vintage trash cans are the best containers.

Heck yeah! That horse painting was $14 at UrbanOre and I love it so much.

Heck yeah! That horse painting was $14 at UrbanOre and I love it so much.

People and memories I love.

People and memories I love.

Maggie just gave me these vintage darts!

Maggie just gave me these vintage darts!

Christy gave me those photo holders!

Christy gave me those photo holders!

Tools of the trade.

Tools of the trade.

$4 portrait.

$4 portrait.

YAAAAY!

YAAAAY!

Look at me! I'm writing this blog post at my desk in my office! It's working!

Whew.

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid

On April 23rd, 2004, the day Zane turned 9, Matthew left a love note for me on the kitchen table. We had been together for just 2 months. I've kept it by my bedside for the last 12 years until this week when I found these wooden hands in a thrift store. How perfect are they? Sigh.

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid

WHERE IS THIS GOING TO GO YOU GUYS!?

A part of me wants to put it over our bed. Referencing love over the bed makes me slightly ill; referencing special couple time over the bed makes me giggly. Matthew would probably not giggle with me though.

A part of me wants to install Christmas lights in it and hang it a client's nursery. She and her beau would absolutely love it and I thought of them immediately when I saw it and babies love lights.

A part of me wants to put it in Jake's room. It's so non-gendered and happy, what kid shouldn't have those words in their room? And I'm looking for vintage and one-of-a-kind art to put in there. But the red would make a lot of red, white, and blue, which isn't my favorite color scheme.

A part of me wants to make a table out of it and put it in a future client's house. But I have no tools or storage and need to just own up to the fact that I am not crafty.

What do your parts say; where should I put this thing? Tell me on Facebook - blog comments are the devil.

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid

Jake (who's name has not been changed for the purposes of this story since it is plastered on his wall in very large letters and you are very smart and would probably figure out that his name is Jake very quickly) is a 4 year old living with his parents who's names also start with J and he is delightful, as are his parents. I call them J3.

J3 are my favorite kind of clients: trusting. Like, super trusting. Like, "I am your minion" trusting. Like, "You don't even have to ask me, just do what you want to do" trusting. (I'm going to ask them anyway; I'm not a monster). They are also sweet, smart, incredibly hard working, and sweet. And sweet. They hired me to work in Jake's room first, but we're all pretty sure I'll end up working in the whole house which is fine by me. Nothing not to love in this house. Just wait until you see their backyard!

Jake's room is small with sweet details like that wainscoting, crown molding, and those plantation style shutters. It's got good hardwood floors that come together in the corners in a herringbone pattern. It's only issue is that the closet doors take up a lot of floor real estate, making one corner of the room impossible to use but I'm going to fix that and then it is going to be awesome.

Awesome for Jake means a room that will grow with him (the family thinks they'll be there for at least the next 5 years), that can house all his toys (so they can stop spilling over into the living room), and that nurtures and reflects his awesomely balanced approach to life; this kid is an athlete and a reader in addition to being a snazzy dresser. We have connected deeply with our mutual love of football and baseball, me with my Red Sox and Patriots and him with his, oh, every team in the country. One of my tasks is to figure out how to give him access to his many many team jerseys and helmets while making them look good. I'm hoping the solution involves an antique locker

None of us want to make the room too BOY or YOUNG or ATHLETIC; nothing literal or theme-y. All of us want the floor plan to work better (well, maybe not Jake - he doesn't seem to notice things like floor plans). Here are some of the sketches and ideas I presented before they said something like, "Thismakesusincrediblyhappydowhateveryouwant!" 

Yes, I sketch. I love to sketch. I understand the room so much more when I sketch. And my clients don't need to pay me to be fancy.

Yes, I sketch. I love to sketch. I understand the room so much more when I sketch. And my clients don't need to pay me to be fancy.

Basic furniture layout - so much more floor! Window seat with storage! New closet doors!

Basic furniture layout - so much more floor! Window seat with storage! New closet doors!

So, yeah it's blue. I love blue though. And I'm doing blue because we all love blue, not to reinforce gender stuff. Promise. I'm pulling my Women's Studies degree card here. See it? Please let's not get started on gender and kids rooms just yet. Let's get to know each other better. 

So, yeah it's blue. I love blue though. And I'm doing blue because we all love blue, not to reinforce gender stuff. Promise. I'm pulling my Women's Studies degree card here. See it? Please let's not get started on gender and kids rooms just yet. Let's get to know each other better. 

I wanted to evoke the locker room without, you know, installing a locker room. The vents in the locker echo the louvered shutters and closet doors, which I'm happy about. The rag rug is a humble and old way to cover floors, and I want his room to feel rooted rather than trendy. The new corner window seat will house books underneath it and encourage reading and daydreaming in the sun. I hope. The new bi-fold doors will give us more floor space. The bed against the wall will be cozier and allow the whole family to snuggle and read without falling off. We'll turn the toy chest on it's side to make a bedside table and more storage. We'll keep the bed and dresser and add a mirror and some lights; a balanced mixture of vintage and new, like every room should be.

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The only thing I have to figure out now is how to replace all those jerseys with Red Sox ones!

 

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid