The Back Office- Before & After

 As anyone with a home-based business knows, office space starts leaking into other areas of the house, and as your business grows & you bring in new people, you need more room.  A few months ago, we moved our guest bedroom from one bedroom to another room- an unfinished storage-type room that we had finished.  The "empty" guest room became our back office.  Here's a picture of it "before" when we pretty much just thew everything in it:

{scaaaaaary, I know}

A couple of weeks after doing that, we organized it and started working at our temporary sawhorse & scrap plywood desks.  We ordered furniture & and then we waited for everything to arrive.  We've been working in it as it gradually became an actual office.  It's finally all in & it feels so good to have this new extra space!!! 



We lined the walls in shelving (from West Elm) and stacked all of our fabric samples, magazines, client binders, inspiration binders and catalogues on the shelves.  I love having a spot for everything!!!  (Before it used to be spread through mulitple rooms but now it's all pretty much together.) 

It's sort of a long bowling-alleyish room which actually works really well for our purposes.  I put two massive hammered metal desks side by side to take up almost the whole right wall.  I use the one by the window (and heat vent) and my assistant, Meghan uses the one closer to the camera.  (Meghan is perpetually HOT and I like to be toasty so this works out best for us :)

I love having both a light space & a darker space to work in.  The office feels much moodier than the main workroom with huge table we use for spreading out projects:


It's so bright in here that it's hard to see the computer screen in the afternoons but it's perfect for working on fabrics & finishes and drawing & spreading out. 

 ...Back in the office, I love this shot that Helen took of the mimosas in my old lab beakers:


{Thanks for the flowers Holly!!!}

I was able to fit a teensy corner desk in the corner of the room for an additional workstation for bookkeeping & for our new intern, Alexa.  Christian has pretty much claimed it though:

{I snapped this pic of Christian in his NASA suit, "working."}

Our inspiration wall is finally up above our desks & it makes me so happy!!!



We layered it with photos that inspire us (some that have been saved for years with the hopes of one day having this wall) fabrics we love & that fit our mood, and mementos.  I piled some of my favorite design books in front of the wall for easy access, and because these desks are so incredibly deep (I think almost 3 feet?!!) we now actually have room for them to be nearby.


(You can spy Baby Liess's pic in there towards the bottom in front of my workstation! ;)

Anyway, because we have a place for almost everything, it's been really easy to keep it organized & that's so freeing.  (It's like those dreams you have of finding extra rooms in your house!!)

Also, I thought the comments were really interesting in the last post (from Friday) about sharing things on blogs, magazines, etc.  There seems to definitely be very differing opinions and I see both for sure but will probably continue with "sneakity peeks" of rooms vs showing the whole spaces until after I've given them a chance to be published.   (My office today is different because it's on my own home, of which I think I've shown pretty much every inch of on here :)  Would love to know your thoughts!


xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

*Photos by Helen Norman

35 comments:

colleen said...

what a beautiful creative area enjoy ;). so dang organized

jkeppel said...

LOVE the wall of West Elm bookcases, such simple, stylish organization! Your offices look great- so happy for you!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

What a fabulous space. Love the big desks and the bookcases are unreal. Hugs, Marty

traci zeller designs said...

Yay! Lauren, that looks amazing ... and I'm afraid to say that the "scary" before photo looks disturbingly like my spare upstairs bedroom! HA! Love the sneakity peek of Baby Liess!! xo!

Bethany said...

aww lauren- you are so lucky to be a published designer, and i think that in and of itself can dictate any which way you want to show things. we LOVE your images, whatever we can get, we'll take. you just be true to what you feel. i know i look forward to seeing if you have a new post on my blogroll every day, so you just keep doing what you're doing.

office looks great, too, btw :)


-Bethany
http://www.powellbrower.com/2012/02/last-chance-for-our-giveaway.html

mk square studio said...

what a great space!!! Love all the organization. It makes a great difference in productivity when everything have its own storage space. drooling over the desks, where did you purchase them from?
xoxo

THE FARMHOUSE PORCH said...

It's awesome! I know you feel so good having everything so organized. It looks beautiful!

♥Linsey

Tiffany Leigh {thedesignerlifestyle} said...

Loving both work spaces. I hope one day to have a home office as beautiful and inspirational as this. I can really see my creative juices flowing here!
Tiffany
thedesignerlifestyle.blogspot.com

Laurel-Dawn McBurney said...

It looks amazing! I LOOOVE the aviator looking chairs, so pretty!

abodelove.com

Living It At Home said...

I love seeing what you did with your office and how you put everything together. As always, your style shines through! It really is wonderful and I love everything about it! Would you mind sharing where you got the desks and how you did the idea boards? What are they made of? Thanks so much! I would love to do the idea boards in my small office too!

Have a wonderful day~

Jamilyn

Lynda @ Happenstance Home said...

What a well organized and stunning work area. Perfect as always! Love your fabrics, and that you created them and get to enjoy them in your space!

Maria Killam said...

What an awesome space, love the inspiration board!
xo
Maria

AntiqueChase said...

OMG that would make me want to work. LOVE your space!!! drool worthy!

Ellen said...

Shelving is wonderful, and your photo board is great! inspiring....smiles

Lorri said...

Just love seeing the Before and After - I'm always *dreaming* of having a place to put everything! Curious to know - are the inspiration boards made of cork? Thanks so much!

barbara@hodge:podge said...

I am green with envy over here - love that you have such fabulous spaces to work your magic! You truly are so talented, your spaces always look so real, layered and authentic. Fabulous! Can't wait to see what you dream up and design next!

Peggy and Fritz said...

LOVE LOVE THE SPEACE and sense of organization. West Elm is great for shelving and I am have been dreaming of ordering the all leather chair like yours for my office to go with my parsons dining table in white that I actually use as a desk. Not in the budget yet. Two questions - did you have the desks made or did you purchase - if you purchased would love to know where you got them and is the bulletin board one board or did you put up several to give the illusion of one. Love big boards. So beautiful. I'd be just like you next to the heater LOL!.

Laura Collins said...

Wow, it looks incredible! I love all of the nature inspired decor you have going on- it is so polished, and yet there is a bohemian vibe going on! Love it!

Amy@eatsleepdecorate said...

Lauren...your office space came out beautifully! I love every detail and those desk chairs are so unique...restoration hardware?

MG said...

Lauren, I love your style in general, but I must say, I particularly love the dark back office! Love it so much, that I 'pinned' a photo of the finished product to my Pinterest board (and gave credit where it was due - your name and blog name are on there & it's linked back to this page). I hope you don't mind, but if you do, I'll certainly remove it.
You are such a talented designer and I just want to get the word out! :)

Vickie H. said...

WOW! Amazing! I LOVE two desks with the hammered tops!!! Great inspiring space!

Pinecone said...

Loving the West Elm units with all of your fabric samples, bottles, baskets etc!! What a fab space - sigh!!
xo
Ashlyn

Acquired Objects said...

You have a fabulous work area and isn't it easier to work in a place that's organized? Enjoy it!

XX
Debra~

sincerelydesigns said...

Hi, Lauren. Your space is perfect! I think a great workspace for a home office is a requirement and you have created yours! I would love to know how you created the inspiration board. I have a blank wall in my "half" of our home office that I am wanting to do the same on, just haven't found the perfect piece. I think you may have nailed it. Is it just cork? Love it!

sincerelydesigns said...

Hi, Lauren. Your space is perfect! I think a great workspace for a home office is a requirement and you have created yours! I would love to know how you created the inspiration board. I have a blank wall in my "half" of our home office that I am wanting to do the same on, just haven't found the perfect piece. I think you may have nailed it. Is it just cork? Love it!

sincerelydesigns said...

Hi, Lauren. Your space is perfect! I think a great workspace for a home office is a requirement and you have created yours! I would love to know how you created the inspiration board. I have a blank wall in my "half" of our home office that I am wanting to do the same on, just haven't found the perfect piece. I think you may have nailed it. Is it just cork? Love it!

Karena said...

Lauren What a fabulous office space!! I love seeing your little intern!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren- I really enjoy how you have two spaces now with different "moods" (and they both look great!)

It's so nice you can take a laptop to wherever you feel like working - from the sunny, bright worktable to the cozy, dark desks with the inspiration pics looking down.

Loretta

p.s. I have a Valentine's giveaway of jewelry and chocolate on APPLESandRUBIES! Come visit!

Natasha Simpson * said...

AMAZING!What a transformation! I'm LOVING that huge memo/mood board.

Christy said...

Lauren, Your new office space is fantastic. I love it all...the desks, storage, inspiration board. It's all very inspiring, actually! Thanks for all the sharing you do. Your honesty about your business is why I look forward to your posts. It helps me so much. You keep it real in a business where everything looks pretty.

ddu said...

Lauren, I was Olivia in a college production of Twelfth Night, so I said "Ahhhhhh..." reading the story of your romantic early date with your beloved. So sweet!

bevy said...

Yall did a great job! I'm so jealous that you're all organized. I want my stuff organized already!

Jilly said...

ohhhh, I love the new space! It's great. I had to laugh out loud at your comment of "the dreams when you find you have another room in your house". I have that dream probably a few times a year. It's so weird....and I thought maybe I was the only one! Love your blog so much! It's one of the first I check everyday!
xo,
Jilly
www.meandjilly.blogspot.com

JodieNow said...

You definitely have a talent girl... I just started organizing my basement... Uhh when you have three kids it takes forever... I just started my blog as for the last 8 years I supported everyone and it's helped... Please everyone show your support and I will continue to support as well. Maidforliving.com

ruzzel01 said...

Makes life more interesting. You are a genius.

apache junction fire systems