I love the idea of a home-office and in our case a home-office/art studio—but what we’re dealing with right now is more office than home and I need to figure it out. When I lost my job (oops, where’d it go, I can’t find it) I was excited to spend time writing and working from home. I love being home. But I would love it even more without the clutter, mess and ugly printer/modem/tower/wire-nest/surge-protector pile-up at our feet–not to mention the brushes, ink, paint, pencils, 18×24 Bristol boards, portfolios, drafting table, eraser shavings and inspiration clippings strewn about the living room. As anyone living in New York knows, space is scarce and expensive. Since we’re both toeing the starving artist line I’ve been trying to transform our small apartment into a functional and livable home.
I’m still negotiating with my self-diagnosed OCD and with both of us working here (well, he’s the only one technically working, I’m window shopping for work) every little paper or pencil out of place gets my full attention. I’ve taken to stylizing the corkboards, imagining the perfect drafting table and pontificating on the livability of a workspace. I basically do anything to avoid actually doing anything. Oohhhh that’s not true. Look at me now: typing away, typing away. But really, most of my attention goes to envisioning ideal antique wooden flat-files for his artwork… And, of course, a new desk for me (if you build it, work will come). I spend hours formulating a sophisticated space for us. Now, if I could only get him to throw away all of his stuff, hand me a blank check and free rein–this tiny apartment would be just right. Do you hear that? Like a chain gate crashing in front of me, he will shut that idea down. But he can’t diminish my design dreams!
With a little patience and a frugal boyfriend in mind I’ve been poring over the Design Sponge website for inspiration. I want minimalist. Industrial meets antique. Kitsch with class. Simple and Stylish. But I’ll pay with my unemployment pittance on a shoestring budget. Here’s a little heads up I gave myself at about two hours into my love affair with the Sneak Peak features on Design Sponge…I doubt anyone understands the terms budget or pittance. There are perfect homes and airy, light filled, banquet-hall-sized places in Brooklyn that I would off an old lady for. So, proceed with caution and remember–anything can be recreated with a few relationship-testing trips to Ikea in a U-Haul, an out of town flea market and fearless dumpster diving.
Here are a few of my favorites:
These are both pictures from Jason Roskey and Maggie Goudsmit’s home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They own a Brooklyn-based furniture store called Fern. The table above is a military inspired Officer’s Writing Desk. I love simple. But I think I need drawers to hide the junk. Although, those little dewey decimal library drawers might do the trick.
This is the shared home-office/living room space in a small (750 sq ft) house of photographer Kimberly Cornelison and her husband Alfie Ferreyra. I like that they are limited on space but still make it work and look uncluttered. There is nothing worse than having your office look like an Applebees! (The first image of the post is borderline Applebees kitsch with the chachka everywhere–I already have a headache.)
Unfortunately, we don’t have the studio space that artist Rob Ryan has–but I’ll take this helpful organizational tip for my boyfriend’s creative utensils. I’ve already found something on MUJI that should work perfectly.
I have to include the drafting tables. The first one belongs to Texas boutique owner Lara Collins. She inherited it from her grandmother. The second one belongs to Ken and Shino, a husband and wife team behind Fugu Fugu Press.
We are currently housing an oversized, modern, college themed drafting table and I would love to replace it with something timeless and unique. You can’t go wrong with a traditional wooden artist table. Now try convincing my man to replace a perfectly useful anything just for aesthetic reasons. Do you hear that gate? He’ll be shutting me down again!
This office has to be my favorite. Illustrator Alessandra Olanow lives in Brooklyn and requires the same features in a home-office that we do (table-top space, room for art and organization) … I love the order. I love the stylish simplicity. I love the enormous Brooklyn digs! And since she designed the perfect tote-bag for my friend Nell’s swimwear website Sirene I’m sold!
Stay tuned for before and after pics of my home/office improvements.