Slow News Day. Let’s tour the new office!

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You know how I was belaboring the point that I wished I had my own room? It’s a very spoiled thing to wish for. I live in a very beautiful house with many rooms. Each girl has their own room. We have a giant living room/dining room, a nice big kitchen, an office, all the main rooms have vaulted ceilings, there is even an atrium!  Everything feels very big and grand and there really is no lack of space unless you fill it all up with knick knacks and tchotchke, like you do.

The main problem, that is really not a problem at all, is that there are a lot of windows in this house. Windows that I love. Light pours in everywhere creating all kinds of beautiful spaces (except when it’s shining onto my computer screen and then it is the stupid angry sun out to get me but usually I love it.) But this also means there are no walls that are bare. All the walls have either windows or furniture against them so I am constantly looking for blank walls to shoot un-distracting pictures against. It’s a losing battle and usually I end up walking to a nearby park and shooting in the handball courts instead, which is also very cool.

That said, I was kinda wishing I felt less cluttered and had some space to call my own. I do call the kitchen my own because I am the boss in there but it’s also the kitchen. Not really somewhere I want to hang out when I’m not cooking.

I couldn’t figure out a solution. I scoured every nook and corner of the house looking for a space that I could set up my desk and make a special office just for me. There was nothing. All the rooms are packed. There is no empty corner anywhere. I just gave up and thanked Payam that at least we have an office. It really is a luxury that I don’t have to use the dining room table for work and pack up my office every meal time. I have a lot to be thankful for.

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But then Payam was wishing he had a blank wall too. He is a recruiter and makes a lot of video conference calls. It’s part of his job. He went through the same conundrum, moving his laptop from space to space trying to find a background for his calls that wouldn’t have his clients reading all the books on the bookshelf or judging us for how much alcohol we keep stored in various nooks.

So we stood and looked at our cluttered office and hemmed and hawed. There had to be a solution. We can’t just move into a loft office space downtown somewhere. (Though can you imagine how great that would be?!) We had to make this beautiful house work for us. Should we just do a giant purge and get rid of everything on the one wall that we have? I was all for that idea of course. But all the things on the office wall are Payam’s things.

Payam is a car aficionado and this wall is the one place where he can hang his car posters (that I don’t love). Believe me, I give him a hard time constantly about his car posters and if he didn’t love me so much he would probably tell me to get my things and go find someone else’s house to rearrange. But he does love me. And I love him so I think I can let him leave his car things up and his Barcelona soccer scarf and his karate black belt fake nunchucks hanging next to his African masks and beaded necklaces from Hawaii….etc etc. You get the idea. It’s a very Payam wall and I’ve Brenda-ed up the rest the house enough. I need to let it be.

Yet there had to be a solution. Like that time I lived in a mobile home out in the sticks and I didn’t know where to put my office so I just divided the living room in half and even though it was shocking and weird it totally worked and I had the most awesome living room/office ever. Remember that?

So we divided the office in half! Dun! Dun Duhun!!!!

Payam put his desk in the middle of the room against my big expedit bookcase. We put all our plants on the dividing wall bookcase to create kind of a privacy wall between us. I left my desk where it was. We moved the collaboration table that was in the middle of the room, pretty much collecting junk, to my side where it has now become my art table which is pretty much what it was anyway. Now I am in charge of the junk collection and I’m much better at it so that makes me immensely happy.

Payam positioned his desk so that his computer camera points to the one point on the wall that is not covered with car memorabilia and he even has more room to move his chair around and relax a bit without butting up against the collaboration table.

I realize you are probably lost by now because my descriptions must seem terribly confusing but the bottom line is we are together but we each have our own space. I don’t have a blank photo wall but I do now have this big giant space that is all mine!!  I love it.

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Awwww. Home sweet office. Can you believe that stiff old wooden chair never bothers me? It creaks a little but I’m pretty comfortable in it most of the time. Payam offered to buy me a fancy ergonomic chair at Costco yesterday but I passed because it wasn’t cool looking. If they could make one in orange I might think about it. But this old chair that I bought at a garage sale ages ago at the beach and then my Grandpa so kindly fixed for me is sentimental and I think I’ll keep it forever.

I was going to mention my new day planner, that pink book in the top photos that says, “I Am Very Busy.” What a silly book right?  It comes with stickers and prompts like “dress up like a zombie and go out to dinner” and “National Taco Day” etc.. all written in funky writing. I fell for the fun-silliness hook line and sinker. I’ve never been a planner type, I like seeing the whole month at a glance but I do keep a daily list. Well guess what? I started keeping my daily lists inside my planner! What a break-through!!! Now I get what planners are for! You can write down things to come and things that have passed, like a journal and a list all in one!!!  Crazy.

Anyway, it’s really cool and everyone should go rush out and get one though I don’t recommend the “I am very busy” one it mocks me when I am not very busy and I feel like a big fat fake.  I also feel a little bit silly putting heart stickers on date night and coffee cup stickers on National Coffee Day…except maybe I do like that a little bit. Part of me will always love stickers, even when I’m eighty.office-tour-4

Lucy clearly agrees that I am not very busy.

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What else is going on in pet-land? I haven’t updated you on the puppies for about a minute.

Well, there was the peanut butter incident yesterday. As you know we go through peanut butter in our house. Bug and I alone can go through a giant jumbo size jar of peanut butter in about three months, maybe four. Add in some dogs who love kongs and it goes even faster. Yesterday when I realized that there wasn’t any more scraping to be done to get any more peanut butter out of the plastic jar I decided I’d let Cody have a go at it. He approved of that motion heartily.

I can haz peanut butter? 

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But then Whiskey was sad and jealous so I had to give him a chance at the jar and hold Cody back by his collar. Whiskey was very happy and very growly and protective of the jar. He got most of it out with his very long snap-chat filter tongue. It was a great thirty minutes of dog fun.

Aren’t slow news days great?

8 Comments Slow News Day. Let’s tour the new office!

  1. Cathy

    Ooh I got consumed by the whole planner thing about a year ago but it’s not nearly as pretty and stickered up like those out there in Instagram land. Love your office solution!

    Reply
  2. Gingermog

    Good morning, I am glad you have sorted yourself out a proper working space in your home, its so important for creativity to have everything at hand and in its right place. Matt and I are still working on that. We live in a teeny place. I liked the idea of you converting part of the roof space into an office (Matt and I sleep in a space like this and have made a wee working area in one corner) but in your situation splitting the room is a good, immediate solution. Hey, I remember when your office space was a cardboard box positioned especially to escape the glare :) I have that “too bright a to see the screen at certain parts of the day” issue as well and have a black out curtain from Ikea which works well. At the moment I’m at my studio space drinking coffee and eating the most delicious cinnamon buns I really wish I could send to you, but it would take a week and they would be hard as rocks :( Have a lovely weekend xx

    Reply
  3. pinky

    I was totally with you during your description, and what an inventive idea! I take a LOT of amateur phone photos on my white dryer that is against a white wall. It is hard to find a spot in one’s home that is truly perfect for photography. And I will always love stickers, too :-) <3

    Reply
    1. SAJ

      The dryer! Wow! You get major points for that. I thought using the stucco wall in our entry way was bad! But that’s what keeps our creative juices flowing. Always making the best of difficult situations.

      Reply
  4. BeachMama

    Great idea sorting out your space!! I did that at our last house, made a room out of a room with the Expidite shelf unit. Although we have things set up pretty good at the new place, I know that parts are not working and am struggling to figure that out. I have a small studio on the main floor, but my office is up in a room on the second floor. If I was tidier I would move my office downstairs, but I can’t seem to always be tidy, when things get busy, stuff gets piled all around, then I have to have a sorting day. One day it will be perfect but for now we just wait it out and carry on :)

    Reply
    1. SAJ

      I’ve come the realization that my office organization is organic and will always need change. My work changes. My tastes change… Most of the time I just NEED change. I feel so much better, re-energized and motivated to tackle things after a big rearrange and that lasts for a year usually.

      Reply
      1. ioi

        I always thought my mom was to blame for my need to change things up every six months or so, but now you make me wonder! When we were first married, Jonathan was as amused/surprised at my furniture rearrangement habits as I was that ‘normal’ people apparently leave things in place for years.

        Reply

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