Amy's One Smart Pop Tart Writing Space

Workspace Tour

Name: Amy Lynch
Location: Austin, Texas
Size: 800 square feet total; 400 square foot workspace / living room
Years lived in: 1.5 years

Meet Amy Lynch, an Austin-based freelancer doing exactly what she's wanted to do since she was a child. Write. But you don't even have to meet Amy to know this. All you have to do is take a tour of her workspace. Inspirational, functional, modern — it's a delightful space you have to see.

Amy jumped into freelancing just a short time ago, and described the leap as both liberating and frightening. Can I really make a living doing what I love? For all that we fear from technology, the closeness and freedom it can bring cannot be discounted. It's what allows people like Amy to have careers in the arts, to work without borders, and to even do all that work remotely — in the comfort of their own homes, like the impassioned space Amy works in.

Her workspace is part sunshine, part bohemian, and part piñata — it's filled with playful surprises, like the YAY! scrabble pillows scattered across her couch. The most jaw-dropping feature of the workspace is no doubt the floor-to-ceiling chalkboard painted wall. It serves as an inspirational backdrop to Amy's office desk, and on it are inscribed the words to the first chapter of the first Judy Blume novel she read as a kid. She recalled to me the moment she first read the book and discovered that somebody wrote that as their job. Ever since then Amy was fascinated by the idea of writing.

You might say Amy is doing quite well for herself, simultaneously working on a couple of novels, while regularly contributing to several websites such as Get Milkshake. Some of us feel as if we were born to be designers or artists. Some are born to be doctors or lawyers. Yet others, born to be mothers or fathers. For Amy though, it's all as black and white as the chalkboard wall that serves as a literal reminder of her dreams and aspirations. She was born to write.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Half-preppy, half-bohemian, I guess. I'm a minimalist at heart, so I don't feel the need to have a lot of stuff just for the sake of having it, but like anyone else, I also love comfort, so I'm a fan of curves, blankets, soft textures, soothing colors and whimsical touches here and there that remind me of being a carefree little kid.

Inspiration: I'm apparently a bit of a black-and-white junkie, which makes no sense in that my outlook on life is anything but. Still, I love how Kate Spade plays with contrasts and kitsch and how Jonathan Adler plays with color and humor; I like seeing those sorts of elements set against plain, almost industrial backdrops so they really pop.

Favorite Element: It's so cliché for a writer to say this, but I adore my typewriter. It's a 1927 Underwood, robin's egg blue… way cooler than the disco-tastic electric Smith Corona I had in elementary school. I bought it on eBay for something like $35 a couple of years ago. And I love using Ball jars for everything: pencil holder, toothbrush cup, drinking glasses. Everything tastes better from a mason jar.

Biggest Challenge: I hate carpet, so learning to live with it after downshifting from hardwood floors was a little irritating, but that's such a champagne problem I feel like a jerk for even mentioning it. So I went with a mostly neutral palette to make it less noticeable, and hey. My feet stay warm in the winter.

What Friends Say: I don't entertain much since it's such a small space, but I think they'd say it's cozy. My boyfriend is 6'4 and built like a lumberjack, so when he's here, he looks a little like Paul Bunyan sitting inside a dollhouse. It's pretty cute.

Biggest Embarrassment: I own more IKEA than any human being should. But since I grew up in a state that didn't have one, it still feels like an adventure every time I go. Regardless, I'd like to pick up more vintage pieces with stories behind them as time goes on. I'm fascinated with upcycling and creative reuse projects, too, so I'm sure I've got plenty of well-intentioned but super-ridiculous blunders ahead of me.

Proudest DIY: The wall behind my desk. Covering it in chalkboard paint and writing out the first chapter of the book that made me want to be a writer when I was little was kind of a demarcation line for me between my old professional life and my new one. I'm finally doing what I've wanted to do with my life since I was probably seven years old, and that wall's a constant reminder. I wish I'd started the margin all the way to the left instead of leaving that blank strip all the way down, but even THAT'S a reminder that I'm a work in progress, just like everything I write.

Biggest Indulgence: My furniture is all pretty humble. But the devil's in the details; I'm addicted to Crane stationery, and to Voluspa and Capri Blue candles. Tiny little things, but they add up as you keep replacing them.

Best Advice: Don't worry about what anybody else thinks. Your home is your sanctuary where you get to shake the world off your shoulders and just be you. So if you want drawings of monkeys on your ceiling, by all means, put drawings of monkeys on your ceiling. Paper lanterns? Great. What makes you feel at home — what centers you and makes you happy — is what's most important.

Dream Sources: BoConcept and DWR. Both have simple, amazing, inspired pieces from some of the most brilliant designers in recent history. To own a Barcelona chair is probably my ultimate furniture fantasy. And I hear Lenny Kravitz is in the interior design business these days; he's welcome to drop by and do a home makeover anytime. Seriously. Anytime.

Resources of Note:

PAINT & COLORS

    • Chalkboard Paint: Rustoleum in Black
    • Chalk Effect: Bistro Chalk Markers by Uchida

WORKSPACE

    • Glasstop Desk: Galant by IKEA
    • Clear Chairs: Tobias by IKEA
    • Green Architect Lamp: Crate&Barrel
    • Faux Rabbit Throw: Berkshire Blanket
    • Business Cards: Della Carta (Etsy)
    • Cup Warmer: Inspired by Instructables.com
    • Hourglass: Thrifted

LIVING ROOM

    • Curtain Fabric: Saralisa by IKEA
    • Sofa: Karlstad by IKEA
    • Coffee Table: Pier 1 Imports
    • Scrabble Pillows: Counter Couture (Etsy)
    • Vinyl Wall Clock: Pillbox Designs (Etsy)
    • Paper Lanterns: Luna Bazaar

Thanks, Amy!

(Images: Chris Perez)

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