Suddenly, we’re all working from home this year! The Coronavirus crisis has brought about myriad changes to how we live and work, and now home offices are the new…offices. If you’re feeling cramped in your home workspace and are in desperate need of additional storage for all the things, here’s how to create more storage space in a small office:
When you can’t go out, go up.
Nope, I’m not talking about “going out” as in “leaving your house”. Because ’tis the season of staying home. I’m talking about when a room feels packed, what do you do to gain more storage space? Go up, up up.
You might be out of desktop space or counter space, but I suspect you’ve got walls that are just being…walls.
What about adding a tall bookshelf, cabinet, or wall-mounted shelves? When horizontal space is at a premium it’s time to take advantage of vertical space. If getting your hands on a new piece of furniture isn’t in the cards right now, consider re-purposing something from elsewhere in your home like an underutilized china cabinet, baker’s rack, or half-empty bookshelf. Get creative! It’s not forever – but if you like it, it totally could be.
To create more storage space in a small office, take advantage of the height of your room. Make those walls work for you, baby!
Who doesn’t love a good before-and-after? Get ready, because all month long I’m sharing a tour of our Texas home, including the living room, master bedroom, kids bedroom, my office, my husband’s office, and the kitchen. Today: our two home offices.
Disclosure: Some of the products in this before-and-after were sponsored by brands I use and love for myself and for my clients, including Sherwin-Williams and Metrie. Thanks for your support!
Yes – we needed two home offices. (This is why our kids had to share a bedroom – ha!) For the first few years in Texas, Nate and I shared one large office space, which you might remember looking like this.
But as the need for a quiet workspace increased for my husband as he worked on his PhD, my business was growing – and getting much louder with video calls, contractor meetings, and part-time staff schedules. It became pretty apparent that our open-concept office wasn’t working for him, so he moved his workspace into the extra bedroom.
Here’s Nate’s office, before:
Yup, it’s another white box. Thankfully it has decent-sized windows and two large closets with mirrored doors, but that’s about all that’s going for it.
And Nate’s office, after:
As you can probably guess, we replaced the old carpet with vinyl plank flooring, added Metrie crown molding (my favorite!) and painted the walls a deeper color.
Oh, and did I mention that Nate’s office also had to function as a guest room? We installed this awesome Bestar wall bed with shelves so that we’d have a queen-size bed at the ready when family and friends came to stay. I love that it just looks like a built-in cabinet when not in use.
We loved this wall color so much (it’s Sherwin-Williams Chatroom, by the way) that we’ve painted the living room in our new house the same color. It’s a lovely, livable green-grey that looks great with wood tones.
The most important part of this space for Nate was the door. He desperately needed a quiet workspace to think and write, and I love the classic single panel design of this solid wood door from Metrie. And of course, I had to include that beautiful brass door hardware throughout the house.
And now, my office before:
Not a bad starting point, right? It’s a good-sized space with white paneled walls and medium-toned vinyl plank floors. We freshened up the walls with Sherwin-Williams Extra White, and beefed up the wimpy crown and baseboard with more substantial moldings from Metrie.
Once Nate moved out, I had a lot more space to play with – and even added a piano to my office.
Lesley’s office, after:
My desk used to be in this built-in nook, but when I realized the piano happened to be the exact same width as the desk, I seized the opportunity to change things up! I tucked the piano into the wall of built-ins and moved the desk to the opposite wall.
(I should clarify – when I say, “I tucked the piano into the wall of buil-ins” I really mean, “My husband shoved that piano into place using Herculean strength because it barely fit.” I totally owe him one.)
You might remember from a few years ago I shared the tutorial for the DIY built-in bookshelves, using IKEA bookcases and Metrie interior finishings. I was so sad to leave this behind when we moved to Georgia.
This vintage yellow cabinet on the opposite wall was gifted to me by a family friend, and I’m obsessed. It brings such a warm, quirky vibe to an office space that’s mainly white with clean lines. Plus, it looked awesome next to my custom bulletin board upholstered in a Genevieve Gorder fabric.
I definitely kept the yellow cabinet for use in my new Atlanta office.
Even though Nate moved out of my office, the kids moved in. We made room for a “family computer” against the kitchen wall so that my son could have space to play computer games and work on his Pre-K homework. It also doubled as a workspace for my part-time design team. (So I guess we kinda ended up with three home offices?)
Thanks for following along with my Texas home makeover. The kitchen was one of the biggest transformations, and I can’t wait to share that with you next week.
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I’m so excited to share the big reveal of our Atlanta interior design office! Let me tell you, I looooove working in this space. It’s not a huge room, but I’ve maximized it with plenty of storage and space to spread out and work.
Here’s what the office space looked like before.
When the home was on the market and we did our first walk-through, here’s what we saw. Trust me, it took a lot of imagination to envision this as the new headquarters for Lesley Myrick Art + Design. If you’ve ever thought that “bust out of boring” was just a cute catchphrase, think again – busting out of boring is what I live for. And this room was boring, baby.
And here’s the office, after.
I’m obsessed with the dark teal ceiling – it’s Sherwin-William Cascades, if you’re curious. I love teal – obviously – but in a north-facing room with its only window obscured by our wraparound porch, my office doesn’t get a lot of natural light. I wanted the punch of dark teal, but I knew it would be too gloomy in there (and terrible for choosing colors for clients!) so instead I opted for a teal ceiling that wraps down onto the walls. The lower portion of the walls are painted in my favorite crisp white, Sherwin-Williams Extra White.
Since I work with so much color every day (think: wallpaper, fabric, tile, paint swatches…) I prefer my workspace to be mainly neutral. But – when you’ve got a fabulous vintage yellow Chinoiserie bookcase you’ve gotta find a kickass home for it. And FINALLY, I GET TO ORGANIZE MY BOOKS IN RAINBOW ORDER AGAIN! My husband’s books have moved to his new office and I get to embrace all the rainbow goodness.
This is my favorite little corner of the office where I pin up inspiring interiors, art, and notes from my 5-year-old son. I’d love to tell you that I sit here and actually use this chair, but let’s be real – it’s mostly used by my cat.
I know you’re curious…
…about what’s in those cabinets. Since this room was just a blank rectangle with no closets, I built in a ton of storage. The cabinets on the window side (pictured below) are home to fabric books and hard samples (like tile, countertops, and flooring), as well as drawing and drafting supplies.
The opposite cabinets store office supplies and files, with a lot of open space for receiving small packages and fabrics for clients. I hate clutter, and nothing bothered me more in my former office than the boxes that would occasionally pile up beside my desk on the floor.
Thanks for taking a peek at our Atlanta interior design office after the makeover! I don’t just talk about busting out of boring, I live and breathe it. If you’d like help busting out of your boring home, here’s how to get started.
While moving across the country brings plenty of logistical challenges (including moving a business, two young kids, and one brand new kitten!) it also brings A NEW ATLANTA INTERIOR DESIGN OFFICE for Lesley Myrick Art + Design. Cue alllll the angels singing.
You probably remember our office in Waco, Texas. It was a great space for me and my small team, but given that almost everything was built-in, there was nothing I could take with me to Atlanta.
I know, I know…how terrible for an interior designer to have to re-design a room! I can’t tell you how excited I was for a fresh start and a blank canvas.
My home office is just off of the main entry, with a pair of French doors dividing it from the rest of the house. I love the flexibility of working from home in a space that is connected but truly feels like a separate office space. I can shut the doors at night have clear boundaries between work and family.
Here’s the (underwhelming) space before:
Yup, a total snooze. It’s basically a rectangular box with dirty grey carpet and a boob light on the ceiling. But thankfully, those barely-visible windows are almost 7′ tall and let in so much light, and a fresh coat of paint does wonders!
There’s no closet or storage of any kind in this room, and building in storage for material samples and catalogs, office supplies, and warehousing small items for clients was essential. Here’s my plan for the office layout:
Definitely bigger than it looks in the photo, right? The plan is to create two workspaces (one for me, one for an in-person assistant); a large island with a generous work surface for spreading out samples and working on client projects; and building in wardrobes with customized storage for fabric books, tile and flooring samples, catalogs, and all the other design-related collateral that’s essential to have on-hand.
And here’s the plan for after:
Aesthetically it’s all about black and white with a dramatic dose of teal on the ceiling and part of the walls. I fell in love with the inspiration image above by Jean Stoffer Design and wanted to re-create the vibe. The walls will mainly be my favorite crisp white, Sherwin-Williams Extra White, but the ceiling and a 2′ band at the top of the walls are gonna be Cascades, the prettiest dark teal. The tall marble-top desks, modern ceiling fan, and center island are what my podcast co-host and designer bestie Kate has in her home office, and I’ve been obsessed since I first saw her space.
The after photos are coming at ‘ya soon! (You can also sneak a peek of the completed Atlanta interior design office each Monday at 9amCT on the Bust Out Of Boring live show on Facebook and Instagram.)
It’s a good thing I really love my home office. Because if I weren’t so crazy about it, I would totally be stealing every single design element in this warm and modern home office with dark teal walls. Yes. You heard me. DARK. TEAL. WALLS.
Ugggh. This space is going to look so good when it all comes together!
This home office design is a Design Kit
created for a cool client here in Waco. She currently works from home with beige walls, beige carpet, and a queen-size bed jammed into her modest office space. Not exactly great for space planning or productivity, right?
The first order of business
was to remove the bulky queen bed and install a space-saving wall bed instead. This way, the room can be converted into a guest space on rare occasions, but has so much more room to function primarily as an office.
To jazz up the bookshelves with a metallic pop
I selected my favorite metallic wallpaper for the back of the shelves. I love the way a fun pattern makes a basic bookshelf feel complete and well-styled with minimal effort.
It’s not shown in the moodboard above,
but we selected a lot of cool art for the space, ranging from limited-edition framed art prints to a hilarious illustration of various breeds of dogs wearing glasses. Because if you can’t make work fun, it’s going to totally suck to be in that office every day. This room doesn’t have a large footprint but does have 12′ ceilings, so creating a colorful gallery wall above the desk will create a cool focal point and also use the height of the room to our advantage.
I love seeing these DIY Design Kits come to life.
We design, our clients make the magic happen! If you’re interested in your own custom DIY Design Kit you can find out more here.
I’ve been there, guys – cubicle hell. Working in an office that was bland, uninspiring, and uncomfortable. If you’ve got the office blues, I’ve got 5 tips to totally upgrade your office today. You ready?
Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.
Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here – interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty kickass interiors with an offbeat edge.
So, ’tis the season. It’s ‘back to school’ time, it might be ‘back to work’ time, so I wanna share with you today 5 tips to totally upgrade your office.
The first thing you should upgrade in your office
is, without a doubt, your chair. It’s where your butt lands all day, every day, and if your butt’s not happy, your back’s not happy, and your legs aren’t happy, having a beautiful, comfortable office chair is absolutely the first place to start.
If you are comfortable and not aching, you’re gonna do better work and be happier in your workspace.
The second thing to upgrade in your office is your desk lamp.
In my own office, as you can see behind me, I haven’t done a “desk lamp”. I just have a beautiful table lamp that I love. It’s got a bulb that has the right brightness for me; it casts the right kind of light; and I just love it!
Your desk lamp is an awesome place where you can express some of your personality and style – and, it’s got major function. It’s a complete win-win.
The third way to upgrade your office is with accessories.
Now, your stapler, your hole punch – those are not accessories.
I’m talking a beautiful pen cup, a notebook you love, maybe a gorgeous desktop calendar. Stuff that has style and personality and beauty to it. Feel free to throw in some things that are kind of unexpected in an office. Maybe a vase or a decorative sculpture. Those things that bring beauty and meaning and value to your home can also be translated in your office!
And along those same lines, tip #4 is to introduce plants.
Whether it is a plant in a pot that you somehow nurture and keep alive in a windowless cubicle (which I could never do) or cut flowers that you change out every week, having something living and green and lush in your office is really going to help your mood and your well-being day in and day out.
And finally, the last thing to upgrade in your office is what’s on your walls.
For me, it was adding this awesome inspiration board. I love seeing my goals, my values, some color, some pattern, some texture – all those things matter to me. Don’t neglect the wall space in your office.
You’re in that chair, you’re staring at those walls day in and day out. Make them beautiful, make them functional, make them serve you, and make your office a place you actually want to be.
To have a workspace that feels good, that serves you, that works well for you –
that is amazing and it does so much for your well-being and for your productivity.
If you have a topic you’d like me to cover in a future video, leave it in a comment. I’m here to answer your design questions, your design dilemmas, and help you feel empowered to have a home you love.
There’s nothing better than a satisfying “after” photo, and I’ve been dying to share this colorful kids craft room with you! You may remember the “before” photos from this space in Waco, Texas:
Yup. Snooooooozefest. But don’t worry – some funky wallpaper, chic furnishings, and gorgeous original art has totally transformed this space.
We kept the existing paint color – Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter – since it’s such a classic, pretty grey. And it was the perfect neutral backdrop to allow the bold color and pattern of the wallpaper, art, area rug, and accessories to be the star of the show.
The kids each have their own personalized workspace, complete with adorable desk lamps and industrial-chic bulletin boards to display homework, crafts, and artistic creations.
And lucky mama, who’s an entrepreneur and works primarily from home, gets this UHHMAZING workspace. The brass and white lacquer desk is beyond chic in person, and the original artwork by Lesley Grainger brings such a fun energy to the room and ties in the bright wallpaper and area rug.
And can we please take a moment to savor this incredible custom floral arrangement from Tenfold Floral? Adair and Aelish from Tenfold are flower-loving geniuses who used the moodboards for this project as inspiration to create this stunning centerpiece as a thank-you gift for my client.
I’m so grateful when clients let me play and push the envelope with color, pattern, and design. I think this colorful kids craft room is a smashing success. (And big thanks to my rockstar photographer Jeff Jones for translating this space into these gorgeous photos.)
Some weeks, you spend more waking hours in your office than at home. Shouldn’t your office totally rock and be a space that supports and inspires your awesome work? I love designing offices because I’m a nerd who is obsessed with office supplies, plus I believe that a “corporate” space doesn’t have to suck.
Let’s go behind the scenes of one of Lesley Myrick Art + Design’s commercial interior design projects and take a tour of this chic and badass Realtor’s office in Waco, Texas. I’ve shared the progress and the after photos previously but dive a little deeper in today’s video:
Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.
Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here.
I’m an interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create interiors with an offbeat edge.
So at Lesley Myrick Art + Design we mainly do residential design projects.
I love doing people’s houses. It’s been my goal since I was five years old to “make people’s houses pretty.”
But every once in a while…
a commercial project comes our way and they’re usually so much fun there’s no way I can say no.
We recently wrapped a project with a Realtor’s office here in Waco, Texas, and I want to walk you through the whole design from start to finish.
So you can see the space was a pretty big corporate snooze-fest. Bad ceilings, ugly carpet – the saving grace was the phenomenal walls of windows that this office had.
This Realtor loves turquoise and white,
and feminine, and brass, and just this fresh, pretty vibe and it was so much fun to get to translate her wishes into this space.
So, here’s a look at the Pinterest board where we started pulling together our ideas and selections. And here’s the moodboard to give you an idea of how all those pieces were going to work together in the space.
Doing these moodboards is one of my favorite things for clients because it really starts to give them a sense of proportion. How colors are going to fit together; the scale of furniture pieces; how all these sort of random items are actually going to flow in a room.
And what I love the most is..
seeing the moodboard and then – aaah! The final space.
Even though this is what I do, it is still so cool to me to see when my vision comes to life and looks how I planned it.
I think this office is so chic, and if I were a client of hers I would be so impressed working in this Realtor’s office. It’s fresh, it’s pretty, it’s professional, it’s sleek, it shows she has style and pizzazz – and that’s exactly what we were going for.
Plus – there’s a bar. You can’t argue with having a bar in an office.
This is just one of many design projects that we’ve been working on.
I love what I do and I’d love to do it for you too.
If you’ve been needing an expert eye to guide you through a design project or if you’re just feeling stuck, I would love to talk to you.
You can book your complimentary Design Discovery Call where we’ll get to know each other and start the process of making something awesome together. ✌
Sometimes you’ve just gotta wait for the perfect piece to complete a space.
For my home office that I share with my PhD student husband, that piece was a mounted deer head. His name is Hector, he sits above my husband’s desk, and this room is definitely more interesting with a stoic deer face greeting me every time I turn around in my chair.
Anyway. Now that Hector has finally made his appearance (after a 22-hour car trek from Minnesota, no less!), on with the tour of my home office makeover. You may remember what the space looked like before. We transformed what was the home’s formal dining room into a dual (triple, if you count the little desk area we included for my toddler) workspace with a wall of built-in bookcases. It’s a dynamic mix of masculine and feminine, pattern and solids, neutrals and color.
It’s subtle, but the painted ceiling is one of my favorite parts of the room. With white walls and neutral curtains, we needed a little pop to keep the space from falling flat. The ceiling color is Sherwin Williams Rainwashed, a pretty blue-green with a lot of grey in it. It’s just a whisper of color, the perfect amount for a room with 8′ ceilings. If the ceilings were higher, I would’ve gone bolder and more jewel-toned – but for this space, a softer ceiling color allowed the room to stay bright and airy. The beadboard walls are painted in Sherwin Williams Downy, a creamy white that contrasts nicely with the crisp white trim and bookshelves.
The Lesley Myrick Art + Design half of the office is all about making space for creativity. The white built-ins, desk, filing cabinet, and pedestal table allows me a blank canvas for the colorful books, fabric swatches, and tear sheets that are always layered on top and within the shelves. There’s a ton of pattern making an appearance, but keeping it all in a neutral palette makes it chic, not crazy.
I designed the giant floor-to-ceiling bulletin board behind my desk to tack up swatches and inspiration for client projects. The space is always transforming depending on what I’m working on, and it’s nice to be able to clear everything off and give my senses a rest in between design sessions.
And OMG I’m totally psyched about the DIY built-ins. Gorgeous moldings from Metrie transformed stock bookshelves into something super custom. (I’ll be sharing a how-to post next week if you’re curious about how to do it.) You’ll notice my bookshelf styling is pretty relaxed – when you’re married to an academic, books come and go frequently, so it’s best not to get attached to a rigid book arrangement. Everyone’s got their own opinion about how to style shelves, but for me, it’s ALWAYS BOOKS BY COLOR.
Nate’s half of the office definitely has an industrial vibe with a masculine edge, which I dig. I love the contrast between our two halves of this shared space.
And of course, we had to make a workspace for our kiddo in the office too. He’s got his own desk, a surface for alphabet magnets, and a custom corkboard for displaying daycare arts and crafts. (How cute is that crooked little Texas flag he made? I die.)
Thanks for checking out my rad new home office. I’m grateful to create design awesomeness for my clients in here every day. If you’d like to see more of my home, check it out here.
The living room is done, the foyer is done – and in case you’re wondering, I haven’t gotten tired of those spotted walls – and it’s time to tackle the home office. I share this space with my PhD student husband Nate, so the design had to include some feminity and quirk (for me), some masculinity and a deer head (for him), and space for a lot of books. Like, a LOT of books. Those academics are not quick to let go of research material.
The previous homeowner had used this space as a family room, and it looks like it was likely originally designed to be a formal dining room. We love the white board and batten walls, massive sliding glass door that lets in the morning light, and the fact that it’s super open to our kitchen and living room. Because we wouldn’t get the use out of a formal dining room and want to keep our extra bedroom as a guest room and future baby’s room (I said FUTURE, calm down!) it made sense to convert this large and light-filled room into the space we’d be spending most of our days in.
Here’s a peek at the empty office the day we closed on the house. This is the view from our kitchen breakfast nook looking towards the patio door:
Not bad, right? White walls, nice flooring, neutral curtains. We definitely had good bones to work with. My desk and the bookshelves will be on the wall on the left; Nate’s desk and filing cabinet will be on the wall on the right.
Here’s a look from in the living room (with the formerly peach wall making an appearance at the right):
And here’s the space viewed from the patio doors, looking into the living room on the left and breakfast nook on the right:
You can see how open the office space is to both the kitchen and the living room. We explored the idea of putting doors on one or both of the openings, but it just didn’t make sense. Having these openings makes the house feel larger and more spacious, especially with all the light coming in from the glass patio doors, and it made more sense to us to be able to keep our eyes and ears on our two-year-old while we’re working. (He even has a little desk in here now too!)
I’m not going to give you the full reveal yet (because we’ve still got some work to do) but here’s a look at the progress. We bought several new white bookcases; installed a corkboard wall behind my desk; and painted the ceiling a gorgeous Sherwin Williams shade called “Rainwashed“. The entire desk and bookshelf area will have a built-in look thanks to moldings from Metrie – I’ll be sharing a DIY tutorial later on – and we’re adding new crown molding to the entire room too.
Nate’s side of the room has a more industrial feel, and I love the contrast of our two workspaces. Can’t wait to show you how it’ll all come together.
(In case you’re wondering what’s on my laptop screen, I was totally binging on episodes of Fixer Upper on Netflix while working. How did people use to keep themselves entertained while installing cork walls before Netflix?)