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Office Makeover, Blogger Laura Marshall

By Laura Marshall of the blog Blue On Center.

A couple of months ago, Holly, from See Jane Work, helped me get my office organized & ready for the school year. And I was certainly in need of help because I tend to make (large) piles with all my bills, receipts, school papers, and mail. It drove me nuts to have to sort all my piles to find one piece of paper. I wanted to give my office a facelift before Holly arrived and (of course) waited until the last minute to do it. Apparently, I need anxiety and a timeline to motivate me. I painted the walls, purchased a couple of storage pieces, and hung some artwork. Bam. Instant office. So when WeWork, a network of shared community workspaces, reached out to me and asked for a tour of my office, I thought this would be a great opportunity to give an update on how the office and organization is working out so far.

First off, I killed that fern in the pretty pot within a matter of weeks. May it rest in peace. The cabinet in the office holds my wireless printer, letter trays, and these life-saving boxesCan I just vow my everlasting affection to these storage boxes (see below figure 1)? They are large enough to hold the girls’ art projects and all their papers. They’re magnetic! They’re sturdy! No more giant piles! They are saving my sanity. I plan to keep filling them with special papers & artwork throughout the school year and then file them away at year’s end.

Laura Richard Hidden Storage Boxes

I use the letter trays (Figure 2) for papers that have to be signed/scanned/dealt with right away. They’re handy to have right next to the printer.

And speaking of printers (Figure 3), I purchased this one last year. It’s wireless, which means I can print from my laptop anywhere in the house and I can also print from my phone. My only complaint is that it seems to go through ink cartridges quickly, but then again, that’s probably every printer.

The basket (Figure 4) holds my modem and my Apple AirPort which serves as a backup device and router.

I’ve changed a couple things around in the office since this summer. I moved the rug to the other side of the room and changed up some decor.

Laura Richard Rug Artwork Wastebasket

The rug (Figure 1) was scored on super sale at Anthropologie and the trash can (Figure 2) was thrifted and I added some white duct tape stripes.

We’ve been using this handy little caddy (Figure 3) every day. The girls do homework at the table most nights and it holds scissors, pencils and erasers so they have everything they need to get homework done.If only I could convince them to put everything back in the caddy when they were done….baby steps.

I use my bulletin board to display artwork and to hold a hanging wall file. The wall file keeps bills and my papers separate from all the girls’ school papers. No more digging around looking for bills!

Laura Richard Bulletin Board

I don’t really know what to do with this side of the room yet. Maybe I’ll add some photography to this wall and I’ll likely sell the chair. Maybe a giant plant? 

Laura Richard Unifinished Side

And here’s a closeup of the desk, fashioned out of lumber and a spare Ikea butcher block we had from our last home. My father-in-law built it and I still haven’t decided if I’ll stain it or just leave it as is.

So that’s the update. I actually enjoy being in the office now that it’s no longer a wasteland of discarded toys and piles of paper.  

Waste Basket

I love the dark color on the walls and the hodgepodge of artwork on the walls. It feels like a very personal space for me because I am surrounded by funny outtake photos of my kiddos and their letters to me, especially this letter where Sage reminds me that she will listen to every word I say. 


Your workspace really can influence your work. If you don’t have room for a dedicated workspace, try WeWork, a community of co-working office spaces with locations all around the country. WeWork is great for freelancers, startups, and business owners who want a dedicated work space within a creative community. Check out their growing list of co-working spaces to see if it would suit your creative venture.