“If a system doesn’t appeal to you, you are less inclined to use it.” I can’t even tell you how many times have I used this statement with my clients. Sometimes they are surprised when I explain that things like finishes, ergonomics, light, and color can really impact the function of a space. If a space feels “yucky,” we tend to avoid it, no matter how functional or efficient the systems.
Which brings me to my home office. I’ve shared here before that my office consistently seems like my organizing Achilles Heel. I am more than capable of maintaining a system; but, I’ve found that this space breaks down over and over again. I find myself relocating tasks almost immediately-- before the organizing “new car smell” has even worn off. Now, I am finally wondering: Could the problem lay deeper than just organization?
Let’s go back to that list of aesthetics again: finishes, ergonomics, light, and color. When I bought my house in 2005, a large mid-century walnut executive desk (think “Mad Men”) conveyed with the property. The dark wood wasn’t what I had in mind, but at 66” wide and 32” deep, I was excited by the biggest workspace I had ever had. I soon learned the hard way, however, that a succession of previous owners had probably abandoned the piece because of the challenges posed by moving the goliath even a few feet, let alone out of the house. It engulfed every room I tried for housing my office. I finally plunked it down oval-office style in one of my biggest spare bedrooms, creating a traffic pattern that requires me to turn to the side and inhale in order to get to my chair. That bedroom wasn’t used much anyway, since, when we moved in, we had painted the walls an unappealing grey. (My inability to choose paint colors is another whole blog post.) That color coupled with the poor lighting from the single window caused me to nickname that room “The Orphanage.” Bad finishes? Check. Bad ergonomics? Check. Bad light? Check. Bad color? Uh oh...
Here’s a picture of the office. I ask you: How on earth is a girl supposed to run a successful organizing and training business out of this depressing space?
I wanted you to see it; because, I am about to blow it up.
Stay tuned for the office transformation... Oh- and if anyone is interested, I'll make you a great deal on the desk. :)