Monday, September 16, 2013

before + after: the office.

Today is my first day off in a couple of weeks, and I have exactly enough energy to put on sweatpants and engage in a Gilmore Girls marathon. I have a tendency to work until my body tells me it's time to rest, meaning I'm now congested, sinus-y, and desperate for a good night's sleep. 

But before Monday, there was Sunday. 

My family came for their second work day at the store and tackled a list of things I needed to be done and simply couldn't do alone. Together, we painted the store's bathroom and built a bookcase for story time supplies. We installed metal pipes to hang extra bags and hung a curtain in the children's section. 

And then we came to the office.

I work several hours a week in the store's office paying bills, maneuvering QuickBooks, and scouring catalogs. I do almost all of the store's marketing and design work from the office, and I've got to say: The space was not conducive to creative work. It was unorganized, cluttered, and tiny. Even after the owner cleared out much of her belongings, it was still a depressing place to work -- no windows; white, sterile walls; and an odd desk set-up that made my back face any potential visitors.


Some people can work anywhere. They can plop down with their laptop in the middle of chaos and somehow, get everything done. They don't need pretty lighting or just the right music or room to spread out. 

I am not one of those people.

Working every day in what essentially was a storage closet was taking its toll on me and my work, and while completing tasks from home is, for me, ideal, it's not exactly convenient. Our home is still 45 minutes away from the store, and as a newcomer in this small town, I know it's important for me to maintain a physical presence. I needed to be in the shop, but I dreaded sitting down at my desk to get things done.

I don't think that's going to be a problem anymore.

The store is such a cheerful place to be, and now my office -- where I spend so much of my time these days -- reflects the same energy I hope is present throughout the shop. It's still a really tiny space, but now, I face out so visitors can't surprise me at the door. I can leave the fluorescent lighting off and work by lamplight. I have space to organize bills and receipts and catalogs. It feels like I'm starting fresh and can create my own systems to work. It finally feels like something is mine

I was supposed to use my day off to decorate our house for fall. It's still 90 degrees here, but I'm anxious to get our home ready for my favorite season. It turns out, of course, that I'm too exhausted to do that today. The pumpkins and candles and leaves will have to wait until next week.

That's okay. The effort we spent at the store yesterday was so worth it. This week, when I sit down to do some of the more mundane (and difficult) tasks of ownership, I'll be sitting in a space that looks and feels a lot more like me. I imagine I'll be able to focus and regroup; I'll be able to do the job without being burdened and exhausted by it. 

It's amazing what a little change in scenery can do. 

Fabric bunting :: The Pleated Poppy
You've Got Mail prints :: Alexa Z Designs
Frames :: Target
Washi tape :: Target
Paint color :: Minted Ice by Behr
Rug :: Target 


AbbieBabble said...

Annie, it looks LOVELY ! I would definitely be more productive in an office that looked like that.

Betsy said...

It's gorgeous! I particularly like the paint color, and the prints are perfect. Working in that type of environment would be so much more productive for me too so I understand!

Staley Mc said...

LOVE IT! Definitely looks like a great space to get stuff done in. The You've Got Mail prints make it too!

Brittany said...

Those YGM quotes on your wall make me so happy. I'm so glad you've made the space your own.

Lex C. said...

Wow! That is a seriously awesome transformation! It is true, your environment really affects the way you feel! I hope you have a better week...and that fall comes for you soon. I know that I will be missing pumpkin and pretty leaves this semester :( Wah!

Sandy said...

I'm the same way girl. If my desk is in slight disarray, I go mad with stress and anxiety. I work from home now, and I have to stop and clean before I get started, otherwise I turn into a cranky, unproductive monster.

Anonymous said...

ps. that comment was meant to be from me! Jess! haha Not Sandy. : ) Different person/account.

Velva said...

Congratulations to you! The office space looks delightful.


Annie said...

I love it, Annie! It looks so fresh and inviting. I think it'll definitely be not only your office, but a small haven as well!

Erin said...

LOVE! I definitely understand the feeling of needing an organized space to work it. Now I wish my office looked like yours!

Ray Sherlock said...

I have to admit that uncluttered surroundings make for an uncluttered mind. In a world of hoarders it is best to be a minimalist and be able to live simply. It all looks so good and cared for.

jenna said...

Absolutely delightful!!
Makes me want to clean my office.
And my room.
And my closet.
And pretty much everything.
And watch Gilmore Girls.

Maybe I need some rejuvenation.

lex said...

your office looks absolutely LOVELY! Thank you so much for featuring my prints, they fit your space PERFECTLY! xoxo