Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Now You See It ... Now You Don't - Hidden Assets

A Dream Home Office in A Cramped Space

Smart Home Office Design Ideas

I playfully refer to my office as the corner office.  Actually it is, but not the sprawling corporate corner office with windows on two sides and room for a sectional you might imagine.  My corner office sits in a cramped corner of my small living room, the first floor apartment in my duplex home.  So when I saw this sneak peek of a 2007 January article in  Martha Stewart Living entitled, Hidden Assets and the photo below ... I knew it had to be mine.

Now You See It...

Look closely ... now you see a small home office with every work paraphernalia you need just a reach away.  Since I plan to scale down, this is perfect for me.  My sample scripts and copywriting seed files can go in the binders or magazine containers on the bottom shelf like in the photo.  

But I'd go with natural, eco-friendly storage containers that would give my tight office space a more "office spa" feel.  I also like the idea of putting pastel book covers on my Writers' Market, Screenwriter's Bible, Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market and other writer resource books I use on a regular basis.  Covering books in neutral or pastel covers is pure Martha Stewart.


Now You See It ... Now You Don't!

What's missing?  Ah ... the office, now tucked away between two bookshelves.  A hollow door on a track system conceals all of the not-so-pretty home office equipment we can't survive without.   Martha Stewart rocks with this ingenious home office for small spaces.  You can still have your workspace in your living room and not have to look at it.  I love it!  

Martha attached a frame around three bookshelves you can easily get at Ikea or upgrade to Pier One Imports -- placed a hollow door on a track system and voila! ... you have a hidden office space gem.  

If you're not particularly handy, but want to take on this project yourself ... go to or or your local Big Box Home Improvement Store (Lowe's or Home Depot) and ask for instructions.  It's probably easier than you think.  I'll let you know.

For my purposes, I'd add two bamboo plywood horizontal doors to a shelf on the left and a shelf on the right to house my biggest printer (I have two) and extra monitor for when I choose to switch to my desktop.  My wireless laptop would own the prime real estate in the center.  I'd also add padded fabric to the door to give it the posh factor this Average Joan loves, maybe something vintage or harlequin.  

Hey, why not take it up a notch, as our illustrious Emeril Lagasse would say ... and cover the hollow door with bamboo veneer or replace it with bamboo plywood (plyboo) that matches the horizontal doors on the book shelves.  (Note:  Your big box home improvement store may also have this product or a more budget-friendly bamboo plywood if you want to add these touches)

Another plus, the relaxing colors of the bookshelves and contents are muted allowing creativity to flow in an peaceful way.

Living Room Arrangement

Peacefulness continues in the wall color, beige couch and armless, leather mid-century inspired chairs and accessories.  My beige Natuzzi leather couch with its dark legs would be the perfect replacement.  I just need to find those white tufted chairs or something similar with the same clean lines.  It really does look like a spa reception area.  This would even work with a small sectional that had the look of the chairs.

Because I love the ocean, my wall color would be a pale aqua accented with shades of sand and cream horizontal stripes to widen the space.  I'd add a desk size water feature, sand and shells in a jar (I've collected from Florida and Hawaii vacations), and my enlarged Hawaii photos framed in bamboo or rattan in alternating light and dark finishes.  My current green, beige and rose oriental rug would stay put, providing grounding for the light components in the space.

The white floor lamp is great but, I'd add a lamp shade with polka dots or circles for a little whimsy.  

Check out another "Hidden Gem" from Modern Home Idea. 
Home Office Work Station 

 (modern home office)

A closet?  Nope ... it's a smart home office.  If you're wireless and have a good size closet in a tight space, this could work.  Of course, Joan B. Average's shelves would be filled with grass cloth organizers.

Keep it simple ... keep it calm and always keep it useful and I'm sure your productivity will soar.  Don't forget my motto:  "Turn the ordinary into extraordinary" ... you know that's what Average Joans do.

Are you currently working in your dream office or is it a future DIY project?  Tell me about it.  Aloha!

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