Before & After: A Now-Functional Home Office

Before & After: A Now-Functional Home Office

Sarah Rainwater
Feb 1, 2011

Three years ago, I thought I'd be working from home temporarily as a transition from maternity leave back to office life. But as my graphic design business grew and grew, I happily realized my home office was here to stay — but I'd need to make some big changes if the space was really going to function as a full-time studio.

While I love more things than I can count about working from home, it does present challenges — not the least of which is the blurring of lines between work and family life. While time management is part of that difficulty, I found it easier to conquer than the simple fact of how messy a house can get when there is a toddler on the loose. That force of entropy, frustrating and yet tolerable at home, was a big problem in my office where projects and deadlines demand organization … or at the very least, a clean surface.

I used to look to the creative chaos of artists' studios to help justify my own sometimes-messy process, but it was becoming more and more obvious that the space was simply not functional. I enlisted the help of organization professional (and fellow Apartment Therapy Boston blogger) Kyle Freeman of Cloud 9 Organize & Redesign, who suggested more storage — LOTS more storage. She also had the brilliant suggestion to remove the closet doors which did wonders for opening up the space. We came up with a plan for setting up the room that involved a whole lot more furniture, but surprisingly left the room feeling more open than it did originally. I came in at about $500 for the whole project, opting for inexpensive pieces from Ikea and Staples that could be repurposed in other parts of the house if I do eventually move to an office outside of my house.

While organizing the space stretched from the 3 days I'd estimated spending, into three weeks, and then over a month, the cleared out room is more valuable to my sanity than all the time in the world spent pulling my hair out over cleaning. There are still a few things to do, re-think, and decorate, but it's now a calm space to work and think and almost forget about the 12-foot-long toy train track being attacked by a slew of wild stuffed animals right outside the office door.

Before & After: An Open, Reorganized Closet

Cloud 9 Organize & Redesign: Affordable Design Service

Images: Sarah Rainwater

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