This is a series about creating simple spaces in the home that are both unique to our style, but practice important concepts of minimalism—only keeping items in the home which hold value or bring joy.
My home office is my favorite place in the house.
I suppose this is a very good thing, considering how much time I spend in it each week.
This is a newly redecorated room in our house. We’ve transformed this space from a dingy, dirty sun room to a beautiful, clean space. Sitting in this room makes me feel energized and creative. Again, both good things, considering this is where I come to ‘do work.’
I think part of the reason I love this space so much is because I was very intentional when purchasing all these items. I scoped out furniture pieces ahead of time, and knew what I really wanted this space to be. Everything here just works very well, holds a purpose or brings me joy in some way.
An Effort to Create Simple Spaces
Decorating our home is something that I love to do. I take immense joy in creating aesthetically pleasing spaces, and work to improve our home little by little whenever and wherever I can. I do know, though, that in the past I have made many impulse purchases and regretted some decisions I’ve made. Mostly small purchases, but some larger purchases as well. I started to think about this a lot more once I began exploring minimalism.
Most people would likely shake their head at me if I said I am trying to practice minimalism. Because, I DO have stuff. Much more than a lone chair or plant in a corner of a room. And that is okay, because minimalism can mean something different to each person who practices it.
Over the last few months I have purged excess items in our home, and in my life as well. I purged my closet. I purged our kitchen cabinets. I’ve purged both clutter and home decorations, which were actually one and the same. Now I do have dedicated places in our home that I’ll decorate, and these places are probably prone to change from time to time. But in its entirety, our home will slowly become a place of intentionality and meaning, rather than the result of boredom strolling the clearance aisle at Home Goods.
Home Office Tour
In this series, I plan to give a tour through rooms in our home and how I have tried to create a meaningful space. Since the home office is the newest, my favorite, and the most complete, we’re going to start here.
When I took a new job working from home, I knew I wanted to make this room a beautiful spot. Not to say that the sunroom wouldn’t have been functional as an office the way it was, but it was filled with Ikea furniture and hand-me-downs from our fresh-out-of-college years. Nothing in the room represented our style. The disorganization of the room made it a rather unproductive place.
The style for this room started with the furniture, and I knew that I wanted to get a set of chairs. Picking out chairs was a little harder than I thought. Buying with intentionality can be difficult! The chairs needed to match the rest of the house, speak to our style, and be comfortable enough to sit in. I browsed At Home for over a month before Kyle and I settled on these tall, dark grey chairs that just seemed so perfect.
The thing about having nice furniture you like is you don’t need to decorate much around them. We picked up an ottoman, which was actually our second choice after an accidental impulse purchase. I’ve kept the side tables simple with just a box to store TV remotes and a couple coasters.
Yes, we do have a TV in here. We actually have three TVs in our house, which is one more than I’d really like. But we do use all three a fair amount. Even though this is technically a home office, and that is what we use it for 90% of the time, it is the perfect room to watch football in the fall! We can open the screen doors for a breeze. It so bright and sunny—a cozy place to curl up with throw pillows and a blanket to cheer your team. And, drink a cider beer or three.
Things I thought about but skipped include a vase or other tall decorative object for the table. I also skipped purchasing a tray for the ottoman that could hold other accents. A magazine rack seemed like a good purchase, but would have been in the way. Minimalism for the win. And, saving us money.
There isn’t a lot of artwork in this room. One entire wall consists of windows and a sliding door. I have a hard time choosing artwork, because they can be a big investment. In an effort to decorate with things that I valued, I chose to hang some artwork that my grandfather had painted. I inherited these from my father when he passed away.
These are unlike anything I’d normally purchase, but the desaturated colors fit what I was going for in this room, and the size worked perfectly on the small brick wall behind the chairs.
I have made serious efforts to clear knick knacks and necessities from surfaces that previously seemed important, but now only feel like clutter. In doing so, I’ve made sure to keep my desktop very clean at all times. I have only what I need, plus a taller vase to help balance things out.
Although, looking at this again, I think I could get rid of the vase and be completely happy, so I might need to test that out. Taking it off my desk makes it feel a little bare, like something is supposed to be there and missing, but at the same time it feels more open and free. See? I’m learning even as I give a tour of my own simple space.
I thought about purchasing a pin board or magnetic bar to place above my desk to hang notes, pictures, mementos, etc. But I’ve found that is just more ‘stuff’ I don’t really need either. I’d prefer to look at pictures electronically, stored somewhere I can access at any time. (I use Amazon Prime Photos, which has unlimited stores for Prime members.) I use electronic to-do lists. I’ve deemed a few notes important enough to tape on the wall above my desk. I actually like this look even better than purchasing something begging to be loaded up with useless things.
There are a few other necessities that made their way into this space. My dumbbells and kettle bell function well out here. They remind me to take some time for myself to workout during the day. I’ll often pick them up when I need a five minute break from work.
There is a printer hidden on the shelf under my desk. Boxes and bins on the TV console hold games that we enjoy playing that don’t need displayed on their own.
My chemistry books could probably get donated. They still might some day. But now they remind me of the hard work I put in to get my degree, and my passion for science that I still have.
Last but not least is a place for a little greenery in the room. I’d like to incorporate more plants in each room. Real plants would be nice, but for now, this cute little fake tree does just the trick. The shelf also displays one of the few pictures we have around the house. Another storage box for Kyle’s Nintendo 64, which is something he finds value in and may play from time to time.
This process has made me feel more calm and relaxed in our own home. It has helped me see and practice what is most important in my life.
Learning to live with less can be a slow process, and I think everyone has their own version of less. One person may use or value more things than others. It’s important to remember that.
It is also important to remember that is okay. Because one person’s garbage is another person’s TV for a much-valued Netflix binge.