A Beautiful Mess

abeautifulmess.com · Mar 28, 2016

Emma's Home Office Tour

I changed up my working situation late last year, and so far, 2016 has been a time of adjusting to working alone and also working towards getting my space put together. My business exists mostly online, but it does require space to craft or cook at times, and so I've worked in lots of different places over the years.

When Elsie and I were first starting to grow our blog and writing our first book, we worked from our laptops at the front desk of a local vintage boutique we ran, and then sometimes from a loft we rented later in the year. By around 2013, we were shifting our focus to mostly the blog and all the opportunities that could go along with that. But we were still a very, very young company, and we pretty much worked out of Elsie's house from her dining room table. Then in 2014 we moved everyone (yes, we had employees, so it wasn't just us anymore!) to a studio house, and at first we all worked around one big table. As our team grew, we moved upstairs, and in 2015, I got my very own desk and my own corner of a room. The fancy life of a business owner. :)

Now, 2016 finds me working from home while a few of our other employees, including my husband, Trey, work from an office downtown above our bar. To say things have changed over the years would be a pretty big understatement, right? To me, it almost feels like I've come full circle, back to working out of a home again (my home this time as Elsie has left me for Nashville!). So far, I really like working alone. It can get lonely, but there's also something freeing about it to me. Probably because I am a little bit of an introvert, so being home alone helps me focus more than when I am around others. Of course, some day I may work out of an office with people again. Who knows? I don't have a crystal ball, and I've learned enough so far that I can rarely predict the future with much accuracy. Things may change as our company grows again, or when Trey and I start a family (some day – this is not an announcement, this is a room tour).

So, that's the long-winded back story of my home office. Let's take a look at what the space looked like when we first bought our home:

This space was one of the things that made me feel like this house was the right one. It's a three bedroom home, as was our last house. But it has this space that is almost a room except that it's missing one wall and a door. So it's more like a big, open nook. (See my empty home tour here.) I knew right away that this would become my office. And the good news was I already really loved the space! It has lots of windows to our backyard where I sometimes spot deer (we live kind of out of town, you could say). I love the wood ceilings, I love the wood laminate floors, and it's the perfect size for all my office activities, if not a little roomy.

The only things I really changed, other than filling it with my things, was I painted the walls and trim white. I think they contrast well with the wood ceilings and dark floors, and I changed out the light fixture. I almost just painted the fixture the house came with white with accents, but then I ended up swapping it out, and I'm pretty glad I did. The fixture I have now gives off a lot more light, which helps a lot if you want to work past 4pm in the midwest winters.

I think of my office space as two main areas. So I'll give you a little tour of each.

On one wall is my sewing desk and machine as well as pegboard with various tools and things I use. I think of this area as my crafting area. I'm also lucky enough that I have a whole hallway closet (not pictured) where I can store craft and photography gear. I tend to end up with lots of random craft/art supplies over time, which I mostly keep. Once a year or so I'll sort and donate anything I haven't used in a while.

Sometimes this area will get a little cluttered, but I (mostly) cleaned it up for you. I'm sure by the time I share a video home tour, it will be cluttered again. It's the work supplies' ebb and flow.

The other area in my office is my desk and file cabinet spot. This is where I do about 95% of my computer-based work (writing blog posts, answering emails, writing books or e-Course text, etc.). I spend a lot of time in that red chair you see. And those file cabinets are SO much fuller than they were a year ago. It's amazing how many documents a very small business like us can accumulate over time.

The file cabinets you might remember from my old office, as well as my desk. But the red chair is new. I bought it on Amazon because my white office chair ended up getting too stained from all the black and dark denim jeans I wear. Apparently I wear black a lot.

If I had to pick just two items that really made this space feel more like mine, it would have to be the light fixture and the rug. Once both of those items were in the room, it just felt SO different from the day I moved in.

The rest of our house is much more natural and neutral in its color and decor choices for the most part. But my office space is easily the most colorful room in the house! And I sort of like it that way. The bold colors feel exciting and vibrant, while the rest of the house feels a little more chill and laid back. This is the space I come to when it's time to work, not chill. So I feel like the bold, warm colors kind of encourage that.

That's pretty much it. The space is simple, but feels exciting to me. And even though I really didn't change that much of the room, it's still taken me nearly six months to feel like I've finally got my office put together. I'm sure I'll be changing things here and there over the years, like I'd sort of like to build a new desk someday. But for now, this is my office and I'm really happy with it. Thanks for letting me share! xx. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. light fixture c/o Schoolhouse Electric (from the studio house living room – I inherited this beauty!), sewing desk DIY, weaving/Rachel Denbow (from her flash sale), denim dress c/o Shabby Apple, file cabinets/Poppin, rug c/o Rugs USA, desk/Target, office chair/Amazon, curtains/IKEA, and I'll share more about the matted photos soon!

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