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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Office Redo

Before:

After:

     So I had another one of those pesky birthdays recently, but instead of jewelry or some such, I asked hubbie for bookshelves and some hard labor. I wanted to redo my office. It was starting to close in on me - with piles of books everywhere. I just knew storage could be handled more efficiently. But really the whole thing started with a shoebox. This fabulous lime green interior:

I propped it up on my old bookcase and stared at it for months wanting to pull that incredible lime into my office. And then I came across these awesome orange bookshelves from West Elm (the 3x4 set in Saffron!). Had to have 'em! Aren't they purty?

     So hubbie and I pulled everything out of my office and started over. We painted the walls a pale yellow, called "Cornbread." With the orange shelves, I wanted the shoebox lime and some teal as an accent - it happens to be my personal color palette.
     What? Don't you know what your personal color palette is? I've found most people have one - especially illustrators. And it really helps to identify what that palette is and play up on the strengths of that knowledge. If you look at my website, you can see it in my main design. And here it is in swatches: The pale yellow is my neutral, the main colors are Orange, Lime and Teal.
     To find your own palette - lay a bunch of your art on the floor and stare at it. Are there certain colors you seem to use again and again? See if you can narrow it down to three.

     The hardest things to paint turned out to be my filing cabinet and stereo cabinet, four coats of paint later they were a lovely shoebox lime - a perfect match. The cool thing was the stereo cabinet ended up fitting perfectly underneath a parsons table I dug out of my parents basement. It was my grandfather's, and I couldn't get it out of my head when I first saw it. I loved its clean sqare lines and modern sensibility. Stylistically, it's a perfect match to my new orange shelves, and the color is a dead on match for the walls - sometimes I scare myself. By sliding the stereo cabinet underneath I ended up with an awesome credenza. And kismet - the orange magazine boxes slid into the album slots so perfectly, I couldn't have planned it any better. This kind of thing downright excites me:

To top it all off, I painted my old wooden chair aqua. It ended up lighter than I planned (teal), but it's growing on me.
     Now with my lovely orange shelves and the black bookshelf by the door, I finally have enough storage for all my books - yippee!! (Ooo, I wonder if hubbie noticed his shirt matched the shoebox?)
     The only thing missing now is my ego wall like in my old office. I think I'm going to reign it in just a tad (that was a lot of holes to spackle) and put two pin boards over my credenza. Maybe this weekend.
     Honestly, the biggest experiment in my new space was the removal of my drawing table. I've never been without one and I hemmed and hawed. But since I went digital, I was really only using it as a cutting surface and not often enough to warrant the enormous space it was taking up. We'll see if I miss it too much, but so far, so good.
     So, can I tell you what a good giftie this was? We purged, we scrubbed, we reorganized (and we're both still sore). But my soul just feels calm and content now when I sit down to work in my new space. Of course, that's when my men let me use it...


UPDATE! There's MORE! You gotta go see my new Danish stools!

3 comments:

Anni Matsick said...

Excellent revamp, you make it look fun and easy!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Well - it was a lot of hard work. But oh so worth it!
:)
e

Corporate Virtual Office Solutions said...

Job well done on the shelves! :) And I bet the cute pooch will also agree!

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