The Actors' Studio: Before and After Edition!

My clients Art and Amanda are actors with crazy schedules. They didn't want much for this room, "just that we be able to think in it". As you'll see, the only thoughts you could have in the room before were "What the heck is going on here?" and "Why are there three staplers? De-clutter was the name of the game, as it so often is with home offices. The trick to having a functional home office is to KNOW YOUR HABITS. More on that later... First let's do some before and afters of "The "Actorrrrrrrrrrrrrr's Studio" officebeforeandafter1officebeforeandafter2The MVP of this makeover was the new tall bookcase (and Dave who put it together), which I actually had nothing to do with. Art and Amanda picked it out before I started working on the room. It's obviously much more functional than the small drawer unit that was there before, and the white is a real breath of fresh air. I stocked it with some organizational supplies from IKEA in mint green and birch wood to keep things light and tidy. GAME CHANGER. After the bookcase the budget was $200. The desk and chair are ergonomic so Art and Amanda requested that they stay. They also wanted to keep the bed and dresser for when guests stay over. The color palate for the room came from some pretty nature photographs that Amanda's sister shot: officephotocollageThe first thing that I wanted to do was make the bed a little more couch-like. It's a twin so I just lined the edges with pillows and that made it feel less like a bed in an office and more like a "thinking couch". I also re-dressed the bed with a fresh white duvet, a textured blanket from Target and like, 75 pillows. officeafter8edit The white frames and floral prints of the gallery wall added some nice energy to the space and gave the room a focal point other than the desk. Now, as anyone who knows me or has been HausWitch-ed knows, I haaaaaate ceiling lights and I love lamps. Late one night I was up studying the "before" pics looking for inspiration and I realized there were no lamps in the room. At all. Please have lamps, people. Everything is better with lamps! Why? Because overhead lighting is for prisons and lamps make everything 67% cozier. Fact. So basically, we needed some lamps. There was really no place to put a floor lamp and I really wanted something practical for the workspace. I remembered that I still had one West Elm pendant shade left from the JP NOOKS Kitchen Makeover and since that was only going to cost me like $7.50 I figured I couldn't do much better than that. Best of all, it doesn't take up any precious real estate on the desk. officeafter6editThe other lamp is a pretty little ditty from Target. Now when they have guests stay over, they'll have a nightstand moment. How quaint! officeafter4editA little re-arranging here... officeaftermirrorand re-framing there... officeafter7editand it was all set! Almost.... Amanda asked me for some tips on keeping it nice. I believe the exact quote was, "Now, how do I keep from screwing this all up?" I will tell you just what I told her. This is where KNOWING YOUR HABITS comes in. What I mean is, don't try to organize your office for who you want to be. Organize it for who you are, because no matter how cute the desk supplies are, you will probably never be that perfect person in the Container Store catalog. In two days time that perfect little mail sorter or paper tray will be a perfect eyesore when its overrun by junk mail (no matter how neurotic you are.) Spend a little time really thinking about your tendencies and habits then buy all holders and hiders and pencil cups you can handle. In general though, the less places you have to put things, the less junk will build up. So there you have it. If heaven exists I would like to hear God say, "You're totally right about overhead lighting" when I arrive at the pearly gates. Budget Breakdown: 2 White Lumbar Pillows: $18 each (on sale)= $36 Bookends: $2 Storage Boxes (small): $4 Storage Boxes (medium): $5 White frames: $30 Giant Green Pillow cases: $6 Wood Magazine Files: $10 White Duvet Cover: $20 Cord Kit for pendant light: $5 Botanical Prints: $4 (for 3) Floral Pillows (Home Goods): $50 Blanket: $20 (on sale) Lamp Base: $17 (on sale) Lamp Shade: $13 Pendant Lamp shade: $2.50

Total: $224.50.

(It was $200 but Amanda liked the floral pillows so much she had me go back and get more! The moon is in Aquarius and the witches say, "Smile Often".