Something really exciting has been brewing over here at Buck & Libby headquarters! You may remember back in April when I was trying to decide whether to move my workspace from my tiny living room desk up two floors to our attic space. I listed the pros and cons and decided to give it a try. I moved my desk and computer to the third floor, along with a few bookcases and some of my supplies, and started my "trial" home office.
A few problems quickly became apparent: the space was dark, completely disorganized, and totally uninspiring. Some of my stuff was stored downstairs, some upstairs, and many days were spent climbing up and down stairs trying to find what I needed. On some days I avoided going up to the attic at all because it felt so dark and isolated. Needless to say, I didn't last long up in the attic space. In about a week or two, my computer and desk were moved back down to the living room.
This worked well for a bit and then, once again, my personal belongings started oozing into my work space and the living room was a chaotic, cluttered mess. Not good.
Cue my beach vacation. I was on the beach, reading a book I had heard so many good things about, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, and having one epiphany after the next (seriously, if you are a creative business owner, this book is definitely worth checking out!) At one point of the book, Pressfield was going over the work habits and mindsets that separate amateurs from professionals. One chapter was titled, "A Professional Seeks Order", and in it he stated,
"[The professional] is on a mission. He will not tolerate disorder. He eliminates chaos from his world in order to banish it from his mind. He wants the carpet vacuumed and the threshold swept, so the Muse may enter and not soil her gown."
I mean…. genius, right?!
This light bulb moment, along with Pressfield's in-depth discussion about the need for ritual and habit in order to banish resistance and let the creative juices flow, was exactly what I needed to hear. My "trial" attic workspace didn't last because it was just that: a trial. I wasn't committed. I didn't have a work schedule. I just sat at my desk occasionally and hoped inspiration to strike. Not surprisingly, it never did.
I decided that as soon as I returned home, I would completely redo the attic space, really make it a place I wanted to go everyday, keep it organized and tidy (not to mention completely separate from my personal space), and I would make my work a priority. I would put the hours in every day, no excuses, and find my creative Muse again, the one that had been missing the past few months, probably lost among the piles of clutter.
The first thing I did was remove everything from the attic that wasn't Buck & Libby related. I had lots of other things stored up there, from old paintings and craft projects, to tools and supplies from my former massage therapy business. It was a hodgepodge of junk and really made it difficult to focus.
Next, was my favorite part: PAINTING! I knew from the beginning that I really wanted to go light, bright, airy, and feminine. A space that was calming and relaxing, but with pops of girly color that really made me happy to show up to work everyday.
I painted over the dark tan and chocolate brown walls with one solid color: "Thin Ice" by Olympic Paint, a gray that is so soft and light that it's almost white. The room was instantly brightened!
The white trim was made even whiter with "Ultra Pure White" by Behr. I also added chalkboard paint to one small corner to house my calendar, to-do lists, and brainstorms.
I switched out the table top of my previously tiny desk, and upgraded to one that was a bit bigger. This was super easy thanks to Ikea's table tops and legs all being interchangeable. I purchased 4 extra legs, added them to another large table top I had stored in the garage from our old house, and turned it into a little island of sorts in the middle of the room that can be used for packaging prints and assembly lines.
Some other fun details include:
A. This FABULOUS chair was totally an accidental find! Seriously, how fun is that pattern!? I found this baby on clearance at Meijer of all places for only a hundred bucks! It instantly became a "need", not a "want".
In the background of this picture, you'll notice the white file boxes I use to organized my prints. Each box houses its own design so I can keep them all separated which makes inventory easier. The are Flyt boxes from Ikea and they're super affordable (only $1.49 for five-- score!). The large pink boxes from the first "After" photo above are also from Ikea (Tjena series) and are used to disguise all my not-so-attracted packaging materials
B. I'm in love with my chalkboard corner! The little white table has been mine for about a million years (ok, maybe more like 7 years) but I still adore it because it's sweet and girly. Sadly, I don't think it's still on the market.
The file boxes on the top shelf here are all from Target.
The clipboards were a fun, super simple DIY project I did to snazzy up some old clipboards I already owned. I used Martha Stewart's Foam Pouncers and Metallic Gold Paint to decorate them, and the hung them on the wall. This is where I clip my list of current custom orders, or pressing to-do lists. Plus, they serve as cute wall decor when they're not in use!
C. One of my favorite posters, the Holstee Manifesto! I used floral scrapbook paper to create my own border and then stuck it in a frame. I keep this one right by my desk and look at it often. It's a great life motto.
On the shelf are a few of my favorite business books, and a little card my husband gave me that was too cute not to frame.
D. I use this fun little teal decorative bowl that I bought at HomeGoods to house my colorful chalk and keep it on the table in image B.
So far, I'm completely in love with my space, and every morning when I walk in the room I feel instantly relaxed, clear-minded, and excited to work. It's amazing what a fresh look and a clean space can do for your productivity!
Sidenote: I'm sure I will slowly be adding some more decor elements and DIY projects to the office, so be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep up on those! (@BuckAndLibby).