Dec 12, 2012

mini office

when we were planning out the possible layout for the first floor of our house, i knew i HAD to have a small office, preferably near the kitchen. on the original draft that we sent to the architect, (which you can see here), the office was approximately 10' x 10'. we knew that in order to get everything we wanted and needed on the main floor, some things might have to be sacrificed.

we ended up getting more room in the master suite than we anticipated, but the office ended up being a little smaller. it is approximately 7' x 7'...NOT huge. i have affectionately nicknamed it my mini office. the office will need to house our family computer and printer, storage for bills and important documents, as well as office supplies, some books, and most of my fabric and wallpaper samples.

we decided to install a pocket door to make the room feel bigger. i also worked with the framer on the exact location of the door to maximize the space on the wall opposite the window.

i have a fairly compact desk, which needs to get refinished or painted. here is is in my previous rental house:
it is vintage thomasville, and is super sturdy, and only about 20" deep, which is perfect for my iMac!
it has one file drawer, and two smaller drawers, as well as a pencil drawer. it actually holds quite a bit, but i will still need some overflow storage.

in my new mini office, the desk will face the window. i love being able to look outside while i am on the computer. i plan on having some storage on the wall to the left of the window....i am still deciding whether i want full bookcases, with some closed storage on the lower half, or shelving above, with a work surface/storage below.

i am planning on reupholstering this vintage metal chair that i bought on ebay about 2 years ago:
i am completely in love with this chair, and cannot wait to transform it!

i would love to have a bench or some other shallow seating on the wall opposite the desk. i have this great bench that i found at a thrift store for $40 about 3 years ago. it also needs to be reupholstered. it is currently sitting at the foot of my bed, and is upholstered in tan vinyl.

i think the bench might just fit perfectly in my mini office....?

it sure is fun to dream about this little space being all organized and polished!

here are some pictures of other small offices that i am using as inspiration:
 i really like the continuous shallow work surface here..and the fact that the desk area is facing the window! i like the idea of open shelving above as well.

 great storage, and nice work surface.

 this one has some great built-ins too. its so quaint and cozy! little spaces like this look great
and function better with something smooth on the floor  like laminate flooring.

 the zebra rug and chandelier are pretty fab in this one. and i love how there is NO clutter...not something i am going to be able to pull off, but its nice to dream.

 just give me that eames chair, and i would be a happy girl! i have been wanting an eames management chair since *like FOR-ever. (ok, more like 1998)
love the window behind the desk, and the open cubbies under the cabinets....

 the textures and pops of orange in this mini office are perfect. (also notice the chair. again.)
i am also thinking of doing a simple roman shade just like this one....

 i really love the soft gray of the cabinets...and look, another eames chair! if i didn't already have that
cool vintage metal one, i would totally buy a chair  just like this!

 love all those boxes.

 isn't this little office sublime?
so pretty.

 eames + grey cabinets + storage boxes.
need i say more?

any suggestions? do any of you out there HAVE a mini office?
would you opt for more BOOKCASE tile storage, or more WORK SURFACE storage??
right now, i think i am leaning toward work surface, but i would love to hear ANY ideas and thoughts!


  1. We just painted our office BM Revere Pewter. I love your style and looking at a similar desk I really want black but this is the closet to a good quality desk i can find, also thinking of getting this and painting it black
    Husband made white built ins with walnut stained jacobean counter tops...What will you paint your walls, I love your style.

  2. I like the idea of a mini office--a little corner all for yourself! I'd probably opt for more storage than workspace because I find the more surface area I have, the more "stuff" I tend to cover it with. . . But that's just me! :)

  3. I love all of your inspiration photos- I'm working on a mini office for myself right now too! Can't wait to see what fabric you choose for the orange chair!

  4. I would vote for more storage space as well. More table tops is just more for me to clutter! LOL. Love your inspiration pics!

  5. thanks for the suggestions so far! i was leaning toward more work surface space, but now i am definitely reconsidering!!

  6. I love your inspiration photos, & I too am coveting the Eames chair (which is totally not in my budget). I'm going to look at this one as an alternative. It's on sale for $70, so if it looks good in person, it just might be a great placeholder for my eventual, real-deal Eames!

  7. The great advantage in facing a window is no reflection on the iMac screen! I've tried it both ways, and much prefer looking out.
    Those orange storage boxes, while very cute, would drive me crazy.... how in the world would you ever remember what is in which (even with labels!) Impossible. I like the stack of drawers in the birch/orange chair office. I had TechLine furniture for years (sold it all when we moved) that had nice big, roomy drawers. You can then either have junk in them (!) or organize.
    My very first own home studio was about 7x7: it had been an eating area off the kitchen in our old apartment in NYC. With good planning and storage that really can be plenty of room. Can't wait to see more as this all progresses!

  8. Nice blog... thanks for sharing with us..

  9. i don't have a mini office currently, but i have in the past. it basically consisted of a large desk with tons of pin ups (corkboard style) in an office. in terms of function, it worked pretty well.

    can't wait to see what you come up with... i LOVE the furniture you're working with.

  10. The home office inspiration photos all look good. Thank you for sharing your mini office plan and hope you'll post images of your new office soon.