When working from home, it’s so important to have a designated workspace if you want to stay productive (and sane). During (and probably after) the pandemic, many more of us are working from home full-time. Whether you’re one of the 5 million people in the US who work from home from time to time even before the pandemic, or you’re a fellow business owner who’s ready to give her workspace a fresh new look during this crazy time, you’re probably looking for some home office inspiration.
Well, friend, I’m happy to provide it! I recently completely renovated my home office so it could become the true Grid + Glam headquarters it needed to be. Let me give you a sneak peek behind the scenes — from product choices to my top tips for installing things quickly even if you’re not so handy.
When I launched Grid + Glam at the beginning of 2018, I couldn’t have dreamed that I would need a dedicated headquarters to run the business pretty soon after it started. My professional organizing business started with just a couple of clients a month, but as business picked up it quickly gave way to a hectic schedule.
After a few months, I found myself working every available moment, including nights and weekends, and knew something needed to change. To reduce my working hours without compromising the quality of my client service, I knew I had to quickly expand my team. And, of course, that team would need a dedicated headquarters.
Since I know that an organized and beautiful room creates a calm mind, I knew I needed to turn my home office into a gorgeous, functional space for a CEO and her team. That’s why I carefully considered each product that went into the room, and carefully planned the redesign from start to finish — just like I would for a client!
So, without further ado, here is your dose of home office inspiration, plus a taste of the work I do every day at Grid + Glam.
My home office functioned well for me so far, but it was just that: a home office. I still needed the space to work for that purpose, but I also knew I needed to set up the room for maximum efficiency as the Grid + Glam headquarters.
Because the office is on the main floor of my house, the design would need to match my home’s overall aesthetic. Beyond that, now that my kids are getting older, I thought it would be perfect if the space could double as their homework spot in the evenings.
The challenge was clear: come up with a design scheme that would 1) increase the functionality and organization of my current home office, 2) work for my team and my family, and 3) look as pretty as the rest of my house.
My first step was to make a list of everything the space would need to function as my home office, the Grid + Glam headquarters, and a homework spot for my kids. I decided the room would need:
As a general rule, I try to map out as much as I possibly can ahead of time. But, I sometimes find that decisions need to be deferred until I can see how everything will fit together in real life.
In this case, I started by spending several hours measuring and re-measuring the space and getting a feel for the size of the furniture I would need. I played with a few different ideas and ultimately settled on two variations of the same layout, depending on how my desk fit once it arrived.
Then, it was time to shop.
As you know, any transition in our homes is an opportunity to PURGE. As I designed my new home office, I had to determine what I would need, what could be moved to other places in the house, and what we could get rid of.
In this case, that meant:
Before starting any new project in your house, I recommend checking out my tips on where to start decluttering.
This may come as a surprise, but I actually hate shopping! Yes, I have to do a lot of it for my clients to set them up with the tools and products they need to get (and stay) organized. But, when you think about how I don’t like accumulating “stuff,” it makes a lot of sense.
Given how busy I was and the very specific sizes I would need, I turned to online shopping. This allowed me to see so many different options and make progress in the little pockets of time I had at night. In the end, the whole room makeover was done without visiting a single physical store for furniture!
Here’s a look at the pieces I chose.
I knew my new desk would have to be much smaller than the original desk in my office, both for the more minimal look I was going for and for the ability to squeeze more furniture into the room.
I ended up choosing a beautiful Lacquered Regency Desk from Anthropologie. I love its clear acrylic knobs and clean, white surfaces — plus it has adequate drawer space for all my desk essentials and two file drawers! Since I only need one of the drawers for files, I use the other one to store all my vinyl and file labels in multi-purpose bins from The Container Store.
For my desk chair, I chose the Hillingdon Armchair from Wayfair, which is also very glam and super comfy.
I also needed to fit two additional desks in the room, so my other professional organizers could work with me in the office during the day and both my kids could do their homework there after school. My home office is only so big, so this choice was critical.
I love the twin Kids White Campaign Desks I chose. The fact that they are open and simple allows me to have three desks in one room without it being overwhelmed by furniture — and I really loved the gold/bronze details to bring the glam! To finish it off, these Simple Living Beta Chairs from Overstock are surprisingly comfortable.
As I mentioned, I needed a couple of additional surfaces for our label maker and other tools — and the console table I chose is my favorite piece! (Unfortunately, it is now out of stock, so I can’t link to it.)
Like everything that went into the home office design, this console table serves multiple functions and looks great while doing it. I just love the modern design and gold details! This single, simple piece replaced a massive bookshelf we had in the home office before and holds all my business supplies, including branded materials, labeling materials, and stationery.
Finally, the printer table. Because my printer is wireless, it didn’t need to sit next to my computer, but I did need something small and chic for it to sit on.
It was a challenge to find something narrow enough to fit in between the two desks, yet wide enough to fit the whole width of the printer. It also had to have an open bottom so that it could host the router and Wi-Fi hub and other cords which had become a mess in the old office.
Eventually, I found this Willa Arlo Interiors Kelly End Table, and I think it’s just perfect!
The number one organizing system I needed in my new home-office-come-headquarters was a filing cabinet. This was another challenge because I needed something small enough to fit next to the desk, yet wide enough to fit the entire length of the Cricut vinyl cutter that would sit on top of it. And, of course, it also had to be white and gold to match the other pieces I had already chosen.
Side note, the piece I originally ordered (and paid to have assembled) turned out not to be a file cabinet at all. I called the company and was given a full refund for the misinformation on the site. But, I had to eat the assembly cost.
While the cabinet I ended up with is perfect for my purposes, I'm not linking it here because I wouldn't recommend you buy it. It was cheaply made and isn’t the sturdiest piece of furniture.
With all the furniture ordered, I took a moment to be proud of all the time I’d put into measuring my space and finding the right pieces. The room was multifunctional! I felt like it was definitely going to serve me well as my business continues to grow.
But, I wasn’t done yet. This is Grid & Glam, after all. I still needed to bring in all those other design and décor elements that would complete the room and give it the glam factor.
I still loved the paint color and drapes of my previous home office’s design, so that saved some expense But, I still had a few more things to purchase before the headquarters would be complete.
When it comes to artwork, I like simplicity. Just a few, functional but beautiful pieces would do. I had already purchased this bright pink painting from Wrought Studio to use as a backdrop for filming videos, and it had moved around my house over the last few months as I tried different filming locations. I was so excited to bring it into this new space.
I also loved the idea of having bulletin boards over the two desks. I knew they would be useful for both mapping out work projects, and for any school-related paperwork that might need to be displayed. So, I was delighted when I found these super glam framed corkboards.
While I still liked the original rug in my home office, there was a slight problem: it was now too small for the room. A friend suggested that a pink and blue rug could be really pretty to tie the room together given the large pink painting. As luck would have it, the Luigina Rug from One Kings Lane in our bedroom that I already loved also came in pink!
Since you can see the headquarters from my main family room, I looked for a chandelier that would tie in the overall feel of the space while giving a visual pop from outside the room. I chose this Lorena Sputnik gold chandelier.
Additional lighting wasn’t really necessary given the four windows, recessed lighting, and chandelier, but I just love wall sconces! So, I splurged on the electrical work and mounted matching gold leaf sconces above the two desks and corkboards.
That covered all the big items, but I wasn’t done yet! I wanted this to be perfect, and the little details are very important to me.
With all this white and gold in the room, I felt like any heavy black would undermine the whole thing. That meant items like the printer, tape dispenser, and stapler couldn’t be black!
After all of that online shopping, the deliveries finally started coming in!
One problem to be aware of when shopping for furniture online (and on a budget) is that it often comes unassembled. The cheaper it is, the more steps there seem to be. So, I used Taskrabbit to find a local handyman who did a great job (and kept the stress level in the house low, too!). But, I will take full credit for assembling the console table myself!
The final step might have been the most fun: the final, FINAL organizing details. I measured all the drawers (three in my desk, two in each of the other desks, one in the printer table, and one in the filing cabinet) and figured out what drawer dividers I would need. I also measured the console table cabinets to get the perfect organizing bins for all of my supplies.
I hope this post gave you some serious home office inspiration and helped you get a little bit of insight into my process as a professional organizer.
If I were to summarize my process, I’d say that I put in a lot of work at the front end, measuring and re-measuring and thinking about (and writing down) each detail and how they’ll all fit together. Then it’s just a matter of putting time into the finishing touches to really make it shine.
I know it sounds like a lot of work, and it was. I spent several nights measuring and shopping, and I had to plan for the delivery and construction of multiple pieces. I also had to audit and move every file, every book, and every photo album that had been in the bookshelf.
While all of this was happening, I worked on folding tables with my stuff in piles on the floor. It was definitely not glam, but it was gratifying, and I’m so happy with how it turned out. The kids love having their own space and being able to spend time in the office with me, and it’s so great to have a spot for the team to meet and collaborate.
What do you think of my process? Any surprises? Any questions? Did you get your full dose of home office inspiration? Let me know in the comments — I would LOVE to hear from you.
Disclosure: I only recommend products that I genuinely use and love. Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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