Friday, July 10, 2009

Savoring Our Home--Creative Use of Space--Home Office

For a change of pace, we are back to hearth and home. I wanted to share my awesome, space-saving desk with you. We have discovered some very creative ways to use space in our down-sized home. My two favorites are this custom-made workstation and my painting studio. I'll show you the studio next time. You'll be amazed--and it may give you a chuckle, too.
Twice in our lives, we have chosen to move from fairly large homes to much smaller ones. Each time, we got rid of all the stuff that accumulates when there is always plenty of room for more. Each time, we felt younger and lighter on life's journey after paring down to the possessions we most needed and cared about.
However, living in a dramatically smaller space requires adjustment as well. For example, moving in semi-retirement from a large Atlanta home to a perfect-for-two North Florida home left me without an office of my own. My husband had visions of happily sharing the small third bedroom as a family den/office. He reckoned without the extent to which his need for order clashed with my ten books and twenty projects at once clutter. We coped while he looked for a better way.
His creative genius led to the suggestion that one end of our kitchen, where we kept a narrow bookshelf and an old TV set (TV still there, as you can see) had room for a desk for me. I was skeptical. The kitchen is not large to begin with, and we ate many of our meals at a small table on that end. Also, the generous side window extended to within 22" of the wall--how could that be enough room?
Well, we mused, looked at ready-made desks (none right for the space), and planned until we had figured out the basic design for the office nook pictured above. A retired gentleman turned genius cabinet maker constructed and installed my dream desk and bookshelves. Six roomy file cabinets hold all my projects; numerous small and large drawers, some with built in dividers, hold papers and supplies; a slide-out keyboard shelf serves my computer needs. And whatever is cooking (I call cooking my other art form) is only steps away. What could be better?
Today, it is hard to imagine how unlikely an office location this seemed at first--or that we had actually contemplated adding a small room onto the house for an office/studio for Mary. The space we have is more than enough. It just needed creative re-purposing.
Question of the day: What change in the use of your space has brought you the most satisfaction?


  1. What a fascinating blog you write, Mary! Looks like you have a variety of interests and activities and a caring and supportive husband.

    You are blessed and I have and will continue to enjoy reading about your adventures.

    Gastone and I once went to Croatia.... (then called Yugoslavia)... It is a beautiful area... or it was... I'm sure it still is.

    I'll be back... Thanks for your kind words on my blog... How in the world did you stumble upon mine??

  2. Thank you for visiting and for your generous comments, Marian. I'm glad you enjoyed reading the blog, and yes, Croatia is still very beautiful.

    I visited your blog once a number of weeks ago and just recently remembered enjoying your writing and your lovely paintings. So, I returned (sorry it has been so long). It wasn't that I had stumbled on it the first time--I must have clicked on your name and then your blog via your comment on another blog I frequent. Most likely LInda Blondheim's--I see by your blog that we are both fortunate to know her. It can be a delightfully small world sometimes.