Building a Well-Appointed Home Office

A few months ago I made the jump from having full time employment in the outside world to freelancing from my home.  As soon as I knew it would be happening, I gave some thought to where I would situate my office in our house, and how I would want to outfit it.

Fairly quickly, I knew that I would repurpose what had been my craft room (and general holdall) to an office/craftroom.  I had a fairly long, narrow bedroom to work with so I want to build in a comfortable workspace, as well as lots of storage.

The room has a north-facing window, which lets lots of natural light in, so putting my desk near the window was a must. I decided that I needed some drawer space to hold all the bits and bobs so my work space wouldn’t be cluttered. On the other hand, while I LOVE minimalist workspaces, I knew I wanted mine to have all my tools close at hand, as well as some homey crafty touches.

I settled on building my own desk out elements from Ikea.  I selected the Glasholm Tabletop which has a nice honeycomb texture and comes across as a pale green.  Underneath, I selected two black Alex Drawer units.  I ended up stealing a desk chair from my husband that he has had for years, so unfortunately I don’t have details there!

Other desk accessories that I find a must: a mug full of Marvy Le Pens, Ink Joy Gel pens, Bic Mechanical Pencils #2 (0.7mm lead), plus bonus knitting needles, a Black Metal Task Lamp from Target, a Baron Fig mousepad (reviewed here) and various plants, mugs, teas, and scales (for weighing yarn of course)!  As I adjust to my working schedule and daily tasks, I have found the Weekly Planner from Ruff House Art (review here) an invaluable tool and my current favorite.  I also keep a handful of fountain pens that are easy on paper at my desk: my Lamy Logo, TWSBI Eco and Retro 51 Fahrney’s 2018 Cherry Blossom.

As for decorations around the room I’m still working.  As you can see on the bulletin board above my desk, I repurposed knitted swatches I’ve made over the years into wall art. I’m already out of room though!

As part of making the room do double duty, I needed to reconfigure the space and make it more efficient.  I added a photo studio right next to my desk, for ease of photographing throughout the day.  I picked up an Alex Drawer Unit on Casters from Ikea to serve as a mobile photo studio.  Inside the drawers I have all my photo props stored, as well as notebooks, ink bottles and empty pen boxes.  Since it is on casters, I can easily move it over to the window to shoot photos in natural light.  For those times I can’t shoot in natural light, I’ve been using the Foldio 3 which I purchased back when it was a Kickstarter project.  I also have a set of lights that I purchased on Amazon (not pictured) that do a reasonably good job of helping light the space.

Beyond the photo studio, I purchased a Kallax shelving unit at Ikea, and repurposed some collapsible fabric cubes that I had bought at Home Depot a while back.

The other side of the room remained mostly the same, but I’ll share a few details with you now.  The main focus of the opposite wall is the futon, which we purchased a few years ago from Nebraska Furniture Mart. I don’t find the exact model now, but it is one of their Klik Klak series.  I am a consummate blanket knitter, so there are always cozy blankets there.  I also use the spot to sit in for my weekly podcast.

The mother of all disorganization is the baker’s rack I purchased several years ago from Home Depot which holds my yarn and fiber stash, as well as a variety of shipping materials, product for my Etsy shop, and anything the closet won’t hold (closet not pictured for your sanity and mine).  I find that even though the baker’s rack is cluttered, it is behind me while I work so there is inspiration there if I choose, but not if I don’t.

Finally, in the far corner, nearer the closet is a bookcase that holds all my craft books, favorite paper and hardbacks, scrapbooks and a little bit of everything else too. It’s a work in progress!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my new space!

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13 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thanks for this “tour”, I really like how you made use of the space and it is very efficient and uncluttered, some good tips here to make a workable home office.

      1. They’re local, and I have one in a similar style (with a cat and spindle). Makes it easier to recognize. 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing your work space, I think it’s wonderful! (I spy Hoops and YoYo!!) I have (and love) the Marvy Le Pens and Ink Joy Gel pens, as well as the Bic mechanical pencils! The blankets on the futon are gorgeous and I LOVE how you turned your knitted swatches into a piece of art!!! I bet you could use the canvas they sell at Michael’s to hold more. Having a window near by is so nice, and the bakers rack behind you is perfect-I like being able to look up from my desk/table and see things that inspire me-not distract or overwhelm me! haha. I’m curious about the lamp, I did look it up and it mentioned having a switch to dim the light. Do you like it? I’ve considered getting one of the Ott lights from Michael’s, but your’s looks very nice and affordable. it’s a wonderful space you’ve created for sure, thanks again for sharing it.

    1. The lamp is one of the touch lamps and it has 3 settings. It really depends on what you’re looking for. And Ott light is great for clear bright light and doesn’t distort colors. I just wanted some extra light at my desk so I’m liking it fine, but I wouldn’t compare it to an Ott light at all.

  3. What a cozy space you’ve created for yourself! I, too, like the Marvy II Le Pens. I have four sets of acrylic drawers (each one has 6 drawers), and I keep all of my different style pens and markers in them so they’ll be flat. Plus, they’re right at my finger tips, and I love looking at them on my desk; all of different the colors make me happy. Your light box is a nice set-up, and your art is so unique, nice job!

  4. Hmmm, I have a “C” or “U” shaped desk in my office that takes up virtually the whole room…..My desk looked like yours when I first put it in. Then after a year, I am down to only a 24″ by 18″ space to write in, or repair pens on. The rest of the desk is full of ??? Send us a picture of what your desk will typically look like in 6 months? Of course, your desk being a fraction of the size of mine will be much easier to maintain, ha, ha,

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