Liv's Crafty Colorful Office

Liv's Crafty Colorful Office

Bethany Nauert
Feb 27, 2012

Name: Liv McMillan
Location: Long Beach, California
Size/Room: Approx. 200 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, 9 months

Welcome to the colorful, crafty home office of Liv McMillan. Early this month we got to tour her baby Elsa's nursery and her husband Jeff's art studio. One of my favorite rooms in their home happens to be her craft room, which doubles as her workspace.

When Liv is not at work, she loves to enjoy working on art and design projects. She has a fully stocked craft closet which includes sewing and textile accessories. One of the roomier spaces in the home, she has a full table and chairs, a small library of books and even Elsa's toys!

I always admire those who make creative workspaces work for multiple uses. I love that Liv gets to enjoy comfort of home and has merged her new role as a mother into her workspace. It's a great office with plenty of room for Elsa to grow into and enjoy as a toddler.

My style: I'd like to say mid century modern minimalist, but that's a pipe dream with a husband, baby, and two cats. We're pretty eclectic and colorful in our style, and favor vintage over new.

The inspiration for my home office: This room started out as my craft room when we first moved into the house. I worked full time at an office and didn't really need a work space at home, so my sewing and craft supplies took over. When I got pregnant with my daughter, I was lucky enough to work from home a few days a week, which I continued after my maternity leave. It's been great. My husband takes care of our daughter during my work hours of around 7:30-3:30 when I'm working from my home office, and then we switch off and he goes into his studio to work while I take care of her. I love being able to spend that time that I would have spent commuting with them instead.

Favorite element in your space: I love the huge window behind my desk overlooking our backyard, and the sliding door that I usually keep open for fresh air. It's so much better than the fluorescents and air conditioning I'm used to at my other office.

Biggest challenge in designing my space: It's definitely a mixed-use space, so I've had to be creative in fitting everything in. It's our "library", my sewing room, Elsa's playroom, the cat's sunroom and of course my office. That's a lot to fit into one room! I have to keep it hyper-organized so I can stay focused on my job during those working hours. If all of my fabrics and craft supplies are out and in view, I'll want to do that instead.

What friends say about my space: I'm usually told how lucky I am to have a room to myself, for working and crafting. Believe me, I appreciate it!!

Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: My desk is Jeff's old dining table that he brought with him into our marriage. It's the perfect size and I like the lines of it, but it is in desperate need of a paint job.

Proudest DIY (do it yourself) project: The floor. We ripped up the carpet that used to be in the room and replaced it with IKEA laminate floors. They are SO much easier to clean and they really brighten up the room. I'll get in trouble too if I don't say that it was really my husband and our friend Jerod that installed the floors. I just swiped the credit card at IKEA.

Biggest indulgence with respect to my space: It's all mine!! I share a little of the bookcase with Jeff's art books, and baby Elsa has her swing and control station in there so she can play while I work and keep an eye on her, but 85% of that room is mine. We don't have a huge house so that's a big indulgence.

Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home:
I have a wireless all-in-one scanner/printer/copier which in my mind makes it an "office". My mouse is wireless too and whatever cords I have are bundled. Everything is within arm's reach, so I don't have to keep getting up to look for a power cord, a file, a notebook or my camera. It's the same with my sewing station. I have all my tools in my kit and on the pegboard behind my sewing machine. You're so much more efficient when you have what you need right there.

Dream source for stuff: The Apple store. I'd love a wireless keyboard for my laptop, an iPad, and a MacBook Air. Ooh, and Design Within Reach for an Eames Management desk chair. That'd be awesome.


Tech Hardware:
•Epson Stylus NX430 printer/scanner/copier
•MacBook Pro laptop
• Dell keyboard
•Logitech wireless mouse
•iPhone 4S
•Casio Exilim camera
• Husqvarna Viking Huskystar sewing machine

•Sewing table- vintage Frem Rojle teak dining table with nesting chairs
• Blue metal cabinet- vintage from a UC optometry research lab
•Bookcase- IKEA Expedit
•Cabinet with glass doors- IKEA. Desk- vintage
•File cabinet- CB2. Fabric storage boxes- IKEA.

•I have so many little things!
•The laptop desk is from IKEA
•the ceramic berry container is from Anthropologie
• the white vases are from IKEA... actually, most everything is from Anthropologie or IKEA. Can you tell I like those stores?

•Wood Chandelier: Urban Outfitters (no longer available)

Organizing Tools/Accessories:
•Thread spool racks- JoAnn Fabrics
•Desk tray and organizer- IKEA
•Fabric bins- IKEA
•Pegboard- Home Depot
•White ceramic pots on pegboard- IKEA

Additional Elements:
•Sasquatch print by Jill Bliss
•Horse Paint-by-Numbers: Vintage
•Siamese Cat Drawing by Jeff McMillan
•Sew For Victory Poster from
•Friendly Yeti by Jeff McMillan
•Zwicky Cat and Yarn Poster: Reproduction
•Cat painting on circle ornament (over desk) by Nathan Spoor

Thanks: Liv!

Images: Bethany Nauert

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