Thursday, April 8, 2010

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

Since I will not be able to write a new post for the next 10 days or so (for happy reasons--too busy in a good way), I am repeating two well-received posts from last year that I hope will interest new readers. These also tie in with a recent post on green living and the reuse, repair, and recycle principle--in a different way. These two posts are about using space in our homes creatively and efficiently. Hope you like these two spaces even a fraction as much as I do.
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. That is a fabulous use of space! It gives you plenty of storage space.
    Have fun on your ten days of busyness!

  2. We've done the downsizing thing too, Mary. I love sorting and reusing myself. I recently repurposed two book cases for my studio room. I love 'em!

  3. Thank you, Manon--you can tell how pleased I am with this work space. It is great to hear from you and hope your creative endeavors are going well.

    Sherry, I can picture you coming up with many creative, insightful ways to repurpose furniture and space. I'm glad you have the book cases for the studio. Organized storage is so helpful to creativity, isn't it?

  4. Great blog! I live in a very small space, so you learn very quickly to make use of every little thing and you become very creative on ways to make the most out of every space available. You really don't NEED alot!!

  5. Thank you, Lisa. I would love to see some of your creative uses of space--I know your home must be as lovely as you and your art works are! I completely agree with your wisdom that we don't need a lot. In fact, life is simpler and richer with less, as long as we are fortunate to have our basic needs met plus family, love, nature, friendship, peace, beauty, and spiritual meaning in our lives.