03 September 2009

The Skirted Roundtable: Home Offices

 

image Ah, yes, what a nice, organized home office!   If only it really looked this way. 

 

This week on the Skirted Roundtable (HERE), Linda, Megan and I take the discussion on home offices that started  last week with Vicente Wolf a step further.  Renowned interior designer Wolf thinks a home office is a terrible idea and that one should look for a “real” office, not matter how small it might be.   His opinion on home offices elicited a lot of comments from listeners and provoked much thought on our part  - you see, all three of us have home offices ourselves!

 

 

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My pride and joy:  an antique map of Rome glued onto a board that weighs about 1,000 pounds!   I had to hire three moving men just to get it upstairs.  Yes, upstairs.   You see – besides having a home office, mine is actually located upstairs in one of our extra bedrooms.   Do you understand now why I mostly see clients at their own house?   

 

 

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I am thinking of remodeling Webb Design’s office and putting up a wall of bookcases where the red cabinet is, which truly needs to be painted black anyway.  I have no idea why I bought it in red, but that was years ago during my English Country Manor phase and I had many red accents in my house.   It came from a store in the Rice Village called The El Paso Import Company.    If I do put the bookcase there, the map would need to go and I’d have to call those three men again and have them lug it back down the stairs to my real office – the garage!     My desk is actually a small dining room table that I bought from Pier One.  The  big tin box on top of the desk holds all the office necessities like staplers and scissors and rulers – since I don’t have drawers.    For some reason, desks are much more expensive than dining tables so I often recommend that clients look for a table at Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn, etc. instead of trying to find a reasonably priced desk.  In addition – table tops are usually bigger than desktops which is wonderful to spread out papers and computers and furniture catalogues.     The lamps all came from Tar-ge’ as did the window shades.  The antique bamboo chair is from my friend, Mindy Brown’s childhood bedroom!  Hi Mindy!   I’m not sure how I ended up with that one!

 

 

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On one side of my office I have this antique work cart that I bought from Chateau Domingue.   It holds all my clippings folders and furniture catalogues which I really never use anymore.   Most companies are online now and the days of catalogues and binders are slowly going away.  I truly never open a binder anymore.   It all comes from the internet. 

 

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I redid the closet in my office to make it into a sample room.   The entire closet is filled with baskets of samples and the closet floor is piled with bags filled with more fabric samples.  These are the ones I don’t even use.  The more current samples are in my other office, you know, the garage.   Hundreds of sample books are piled against the wall of the closet and the newer ones are, you know where.    I have run out of space in my office – perhaps Vicente Wolf has a point after all.   I really need either more space or I need to throw things out.    I recently got a flyer at my from door from Green Junk.  You hire these people to come to your house and they clean it out and take it all away and recycle it!   They take away things like old appliances, electronics, computers ( I have my fair share of old computers!), papers, boxes, fabric samples, binders of obsolete furniture companies – they come in and haul it all away.  I am seriously thinking of calling them because what always stops me cold from reorganizing my office myself is the thought of lugging all the trash down the stairs – to put it where?  On the curb?   Green Junk may be the perfect answer for me.    Maybe I should just call that communist Van Jones and ask his advice on Green Junk. 

 

 

image What is really looks like when it’s not cleaned up for the pictures!  Hey, I actually look like a busy interior designer here!           

 

Be sure to listen to this week’s Skirted Roundtable where we discuss home offices AND what goes on during our first meetings with clients.   To listen, go HERE.                                                            

35 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing what our offices "really" look like! It's so nice to know I'm not the only designer who holds on to her fabric treasures/samples, for a while. You just never know when you might need them for the next project, right?!

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  2. Your clutter is charming. Even your junk is pretty. Please don't call the junk people, just take 1/2hour each morning to organize one little thing. A little clutter pleasantly displayed can have its own beauty as you show in your photos.

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  3. Hello, I just found your inspiring blog and I love it here! I'll be back to visit often.

    What a gorgeous home office and the map of Rome is truly amazing. My dream destination one day.

    I hope you will come by my blog anytime. You are always welcome!

    Have a wonderful Holiday weekend.
    ~Blessings, ~Melissa :)

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  4. You are so brave to photograph your office. I love mine but every time I try to photograph it I realize how messy it is. It does has a wall of built in shelves (framing and underneath a window). And an adjacent window. Love lots of natural light. My favorite item is one of those large Oeil-de-Boeuf (Mothology has them) mirrors that I painted to look like zinc and added a ball finial to the top. Only took one cranky man (husband) to put it up. I'd hate for you to put that map away...it's beautiful. Trish

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  5. * I believe a "cluttered, IMperect desktop & its surroundings says "A great, creative mind is/has been busy at work here!"~~~ (So THAT makes ME a GENIUS! And JONI, YOU TOO, only NOT as much as me... mine's REEEALLY bad these days!!!)~

    I will FOREVER love, laugh & smile at your Van Jones comment~~~ thanks for your wonderful wit here!!!!!!! I LOVED IT!!!!!

    Hope your holiday is filled w/ fun, laughter and great memory-making!!!

    Holiday hugs,
    Linda *

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  6. in my mind... clutter means creativity... works for me!

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  7. Laura Casey InteriorsSeptember 4, 2009 at 7:21 AM

    I love having a home office so that I can work when my little ones are at nursery school or napping. It allows me to be an at home mom and a designer at the same time, I get the best of both worlds. There is always time for me to have an outside office when they are bigger.

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  8. I love your office! Esp. that map, gorgeous.

    And I'm with you on finding dining tables that work as desks. That's exactly what I did for my hubby's office, found a nice older dining table at a yardsale & it's perfect for holding all his stuff.

    My office nook is one of my favorite things in my house too, a place to call my own.

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  9. That's what I love about you Joni, you let us see behind the curtain! And your office is charming. The red cabinet and antique map are my favorites.

    As for V. Wolfe's comment that no one should have a home office, does he really believe that? If yes, I have to wonder if he can design for 'real' people. Everyone I know has a home office. In fact, my husband and I both use our 11 ft. by 11 ft.third bedroom as an office. We each have a desk and a large bookcase. And I had to laugh when I saw your baskets Joni, my husband has stacks of paper that I organize in baskets just like yours.

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  10. I would love to have an antique map as you have, Joni!
    When next time I go to Brussels, I will search for this!

    Have a nice weekend,

    Greet

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  11. Hello, you have the most fabulously wonderful site here and I had to leave this comment for you ! Your posts are beautifully written, creative and original too, and you have interesting pictures.

    It's all perfect !

    Thank you for sharing your site and best wishes.... 'Happy September'....

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  12. Hi Joni---love your office! My "desk" is so much like yours except that the top is made from antique french walnut shutters and aged pine "x"-sawhorses (I got it at auction!) My poor office is even more cluttered--that has been one of my scheduled projects for today.

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  13. Joni, Joni, Joni, you are toooo funny! I am just reading along, thinking about my own little closet/office, and bam....there it is, "the communist, Van Jones"...I nearly fell off my chair!!!

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  14. Great idea to use a dining table instead of a traditional desk. I'll be looking for that room to spread out once I do my home office {which will be at home because my business is not that brisk that I can afford an outside office}. I have plans for 2 bookcases with shelves and drawers in my son's room that will be painted black and used in my home office.

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  15. Hi Joni:
    I’m so glad that you reposted your office! I remember last year when you posted it and I was not sure where to find it on your blog. Anyway, I’m getting ready to do my own office and I totally agree with you on the dinning room table, I love to spread out. I’m currently looking for a table, I just can’t decide if I want an old farm table or something modern yet! Of course I love your old map of Rome. I’m having the hubby scan the picture of the Lee Jofa (Bordeaux) hope to have it to you soon! P.S. you’re a very busy Blogging Interior Designer!

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  16. Hi Joni,
    Just a thought on recycling those old sample materials.... When I was in design school, all of our samples for the classrooms came from donations from design firms. Maybe a school in your area would find a use for them?
    I loved hearing what you ladies had to say about home offices over at SRT. Top of my list right now is to clear out a bunch of old materials myself (groan). Anyways, have a great weekend!
    Suzanne

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  17. can't wait to go listen!!! i actually love the red in there... the map is to die for.

    I really would love to have clients come to my home office but you remember my debate about having a "normal" house in a "normal" neighborhood...

    xoxo

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  18. I love the map- totally worth breaking the backs of three movers! I have a home studio, too. Its the only way to roll...especially since everyone else I know has a crazy traffic-ridden commute here in So.California! I LOVE my home studio!

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  19. omgosh I'd love to dive into all those samples you have! That map is really niiiice too. ...Right now my art space is a HUGE MESS lol...I'm trying to get it settled in, thanks for sharing your space! We all make messes..it helps the creativity process;0) Have a wonderful weekend!

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  20. Hi Joni:
    Wished you lived closer-- the professional organizer in me has lots of great ideas for helping you store your wares. The green junk people sound like an awesome resource for getting rid of the stuff you know you don't want anymore. I've hauled my share of stuff up and/or down many flights of stairs and it's worth every penny to get help.
    On-site shredding is a super service for dealing with a backlog of old paper too.
    joan

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  21. That map is amazing! love it. Thanks so much for your feedback on the lanterns. I got the turquoise ones and received them today. I put a picture up on my blog. They are BEAUTIFUL in person. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Have a wonderful weekend!!! xo grace

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  22. Joni, thank you for inviting us to your office! I also use a dining table (200 year old tavern paired with a contemporary light) as my desk. Your map would go quite well with it!! (: Have a fun & relaxing weekend!

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  23. I love your office. I love how natural the decorating is, and that it doesn't scream "I'm trying to be French y'all!"

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  24. Home office indeed! Mine's sandwiched at the top of the stairs, and my sons must pass behing me to enter their room! I do face a nice map,(though not as lovely as yours) with windows on my right as I leave this comment. Thanks for the inspiration, Joni. A fellow Texan,
    Suzette

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  25. Love your office Joni - it looks tasteful and cool and actually used. Very charming! I like the red chest a lot. And that map!!!!!

    xo Terri

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  26. This is your "reality home office"!
    I too have a dining table for a desk it was tricky getting it up the stairwell and into the extra bedroom. And mine looks totally dishevled 50% of the time though I thrive on organization/chaos seems to reign there. Sometimes it seems there are not enough hours in the day. I too, love the fact you are so real with us.

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  27. I was so thrilled to have a Shabby Chic store open up nearby...used to trek into her San Francisco Pacific Heights store. Seemed barely 4 months later she was closing. She had the most incredible 10ft tall antique doors (3) with etched glass set as a wall barrier between the front and back of her store. Manager called corporate asking if I could buy them, got a tentative yes (they had been built into wall), husband astoundingly agree that they were gorgeous (not exactly his words)...and then the deal fell through. Funny..my husband was almost more bummed than I.

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  28. Joni, surely you can find another place for the beautiful map if you must move it from the office. It is too special to stick it in the garage. I don't know about all the spaces in your house, but couldn't you fit it in a hallway or even a powder room (I love when people have a large, special piece in a less seen, smaller area)? I also love your in/out box!!! You will feel sooo much better when you clear your office out of unused things. I purge a couple times a year (what will start as one small space always turns into every closet, toy box, etc.) and it feels so great!
    I just think you're wonderful and am so sorry to learn you lost your mother at thirteen. That's such a tough age anyway! I lost my own mother at 3. I don't think you should apologize for your comments unless you are wrong. The times when you are wrong, you seem to go absolutely out of your way to acknowledge your mistake and correct it. But it's your conversational tone and think-out-loud honesty that make your blog so much fun and so interesting to read. If you start worrying about what everyone in the world is thinking and who out there could possibly be offended, your blog will lose its fun and refreshing nature. So keep being you and if one or two out of the hundreds and hundreds of people who read your blog don't like it, they are welcome to write their own blog or read someone else's.
    -An Anon who likes to leave nice comments for you!!

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  29. Still ROTFLMAO "communist Van Jones" thank you for cheering me up!!

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  30. This post is near and dear to my heart! My closet that I turned into a "sample room" can't even be opened without standing clear! I just hate those staged versions you see in magazines. Thanks so much for the post! Love it!

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