When we first moved into our home just over two years ago, we had originally thought this would be some sort of office, but because it was the empty third bedroom at the time of move-in, it quickly turned into the easiest place to store all of the things that didn't have a home yet. I let it sit for a year and a half, and in the meantime tried out a new office space downtown.
As I've said before in previous blogs, there were a few main reasons that having a downtown office didn't work for me:
a) It was in a temporary space. We built a moving wall in my sister-in-law's shop, Rock Steady, that acted as walls for my office and then rolled out to create a large room for my boyfriend's gig at the time - hosting musicians and artists for shows. Super cool concept. Super impressive wall that he built. Not good for someone that needs consistency and a clean, organized space all the time.
b) I'm an introvert, and I spend my people time wisely. Being able to hear everyone coming into the shop, and never knowing when a friend or client was going to pop in unannounced trashed my work flow. I love seeing my people, but I can't have a solid day of editing with interruptions. It just doesn't work me.
c) I had big plans to do many more indoor shoots there, and I'm so happy I took advantage of that while I could, but the reality is that I want to do more intimate lifestyle shoots, and I was constantly fighting with the big south facing windows. There is a thing as too much natural light! Crazy right?
So here I am now, working out of my home office/guest bedroom, and it suits me just fine. A future goal is to get/build a sofa bed so that I can have more space for shooting in here, and I can meet with clients by my computer, but as it stands now this is perfect.
This is what it looked like when we moved in, before the crazy piles of junk took over:
White is pretty standard for my offices. I've had three official offices now, and I can't see myself painting them anything but white again. White is great for displaying art, viewing photos, and it doesn't cast any pigment onto my clients should I choose to shoot in my office.
It was an extremely easy update: fill the holes in the walls, prime the walls, paint them white, and then move in. Every single item in my office is something that I owned previously, and I just repurposed to fill this room. I went through a long phase of trying to convince myself to be a minimalist, but I've definitely discovered that "hygge" sits with me much better.
In my own home setting it means minimizing clutter and getting rid of things that don't serve a purpose, and only keeping things around me that create joy and happiness when I walk into a room - making more room for cozy moments. A topic for later discussion perhaps, but suffice it to say when I was choosing items for my shelves in here, I stopped forcing myself to make it look like a blank canvas and let myself fill the shelves with the books I love, the small knickknacks that make me happy, and as many plants as I wanted.
*click or swipe on the plant photo below to start moving the gallery
One of the biggest changes I wanted to make was putting a door on the office/bedroom. Originally, I think this room was meant to be a suite or master bedroom of sorts with the door at the beginning of the hallway, and then an open bathroom that leads off to the left and the master bedroom (my now office) at the end of the hallway. I wanted to separate the two since we have a master bedroom upstairs as well, so we opened up the hallway and moved the door to the end where the bedroom is. So much better! I knew the hallway would be white as well, but I held off on painting around the door because I wasn't sure if I would continue the colour there - huge regret! Now I just have this trip of old green around my door that I'll have to prime and paint white at some point - oh well! Below is the before and after of the hallway, in case you can't understand my random babbling:
Just so you know, putting a door on isn't really that hard (disclaimer: my boyfriend did most of the work), and again painting is so so easy. Anyone can do it, it just takes practice. I'm always in shock that people don't ever paint their homes. My mom, sister, and I were laughing the other night reminiscing on how many cans of paint we've put into our homes (especially my mom's!), and I couldn't imagine it any other way. Paint is amazing and the cheapest way to update a room.
+door - $0 (we re-used the door that was at the end of the hallway)
+paint & primer - $150 (it took a lot of primer to cover up that green enough to get a bright white)
+my only new purchase for my office - my 'Odds & Ends' container that I found for $10
I'm generally a pretty decisive person, and I often find it easy to see my next steps and which path I will take, but making the decision to move out of my downtown office and back into my home was a difficult one. The number one thing that was holding me back is what I thought people would think of me - that I was flighty, and uncommitted, and crazy for moving my office around so much. And the number one thing that helped me get over that was this saying:
But you know what? I don't even know if I would classify it as a mistake anymore. I can clearly see that I had to take that step in order to end up where I am over here, and isn't that the way most things in life are?