4 Takeaway Tips for a Home Office {My Home Office}

The Inspired Room - Navy Home Office

This weekend I shared quite a few inspiration images for functional and livable spaces (if you missed that post, you can find it here)! Today I thought I would share one of my own favorite functional spaces, my home office. Now, for those of you old timers here, you know this office is from my old house. While I have not yet beautified my new home office, I will be using my old office as inspiration for the new in many ways. My decor might change, but the lessons learned will still inspire me for my new home.

I featured this room and many photos in The Inspired Room book, of course, but today I wanted to give you a little peek at my office and offer a few of my own takeaway tips that you could use if you’re setting up your own creative space or home office.

The Inspired Room Office - Secretary Desk

1. Designate a special space to be inspired, organized and creative.

Being self-employed, I realized years ago that I needed to have a home office to keep me sane, organized and creative. If you are serious about a home business or just want to keep the family organized, make it your mission to set up designated space somewhere in your home (even if it is just a small corner of a bedroom).

The Inspired Room Office

2. Surround yourself with inspiration.

I need to be inspired by my own working environment so I can focus on the new tasks at hand. When I was setting up my office, I thought about the colors, the textures and the items I wanted to see around me. I hung inspiration boards above my desk. It all mattered to my productivity and sense of well-being!

The Inspired Room Office - Rifle Paper Company Notebook

3. Find organizational systems you can live with.

Having organizational systems that I actually use makes all the difference in how organized I feel! If I buy all the pretty bins and boxes but never use them, my office really isn’t functional at all. When I find I have systems that I don’t use, it is worth the effort to try something else until I find what does work for me.

The Inspired Room Office - White Hutch

4. Create a homey environment.

While I run a real business from my office, I still want the office space to feel comfortable, as it is still a part of my home. I found furniture pieces and accessories for my office that brought in my style and personality but served double duty for organization of necessities, such as my second hand store rattan shelving unit and my antique secretary desk. I put a large lamp on my desk for ambience and a comfortable chair for working. The homey and creative environment made me want to spend time in my office, so I’d say it was a WIN for PRODUCTIVITY!

Do you have an office space of your own? 


Wall paint color – Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore

Desk – Pottery Barn

Botanical prints – Poppy Talk

Blue swirl lamps – Target

Linen chair – Restoration Hardware

Linen pin boards – HomeGoods

More sources from this room and others can be found in my shop!

Get more simple ideas for decorating a home you love in my books, The Inspired Room and Love the Home You Have.

Love the Home You Have Book 50% Off Discount

The Inspired Room Office Secretary and HutchScroll to the end of the post for a 50% off deal on Love The Home You Have! 

***Giveaway is now closed!!!***

Do you see it? That little book on my shelf with my name on it? Y’all. I WROTE A BOOK AND IT IS HERE IN MY OFFICE! It’s not released yet so don’t worry, you haven’t missed it. But soon! March 31! I held it in my hands for the first time yesterday. Honestly, it feels like I just had a baby that I’ve been waiting for so long to see!

Eight years ago, in January of 2007, I started The Inspired Room as a decorating business to help other women create a home they loved, right where they were with what they already had. I had been passionate about creating a beautiful home, one that wasn’t for show, but rather for beautiful living. You see, while I enjoyed decorating my home and making things around me more lovely, I was really more into how it felt to live there. I wanted my home to feel beautiful to me. I didn’t care about trends or shopping or decorating for show. I saw my home as my sanctuary and I wanted others to feel that same sense of peace with their home.

It brought me joy to improve my home and take care of it, but I didn’t have a big budget to buy new things nor did I have the patience or skill to DIY or craft them. I loved to surround myself with things that were meaningful. That was my thing, embracing authenticity and simple beauty in my home. In July, I started the blog on a whim. The Inspired Room blog was a unique mix of all the topics I felt were important to finding contentment at home. I’ve stayed true to that mission.

Never in a million years did I imagine that more than a few of you would ever be out there reading or sharing this journey with me all these years later! AHHH!!! I just can’t even believe it! Much to my surprise, my rambling stories, thoughts, ideas, and imperfections resonated with fellow house-lovers!

The Inspired Room - Love the Home You Have Book

At first there were just a few readers out there, somewhere, in the big black universe.

I shared more of my heart and what embracing authenticity and finding contentment with my home meant to me.

Many of you returned, saying you feel the same way or that you were encouraged to try new things or to see your home in a new way.

You became my friends. Blogging wasn’t about posting pretty pictures or projects, it was simply about sharing the experience of creating a home and going through life one blog post at a time (with nearly eight years of updates, that’s a lot of posts!)

Many of you have been here through the ups and downs, the move to the house I have now, and the very slow process of creating this place I now call home.

Two years ago, you all gave me the courage to put those years of home stories, experiences, those simple but meaningful ideas, and those bits of encouragement into a book. A real life, hold it in your hand BOOK. This first book (which is the first of eight!), Love The Home You Have, was born after years of forming of a philosophy that was shaped through six different houses, nearly twenty years of homemaking and so many years of blogging.

This is the message I am passionate about.

This is the encouragement I need to remind myself of along the journey of creating a home, because I know how freeing, empowering and inspiring it is to love the home you have even when it isn’t always in its most lovable state. The foundational things I share in this book are what inspire ME to remember to show love to my home whenever I lose my way.

After this book, this fall, my second book (The Inspired Room) will be released. That book is going to be special in its own way too (a full color coffee table book!) and will expand upon the foundation of this first book. I can’t wait to share more about it soon.

Below you can see our happy faces posing with the book right after we opened it and held it for the first time! My daughter Courtney has been such a huge help to me through this process of book writing, I don’t know how I would have gotten through all this hard work without her! Her input was invaluable. I wanted this message to encourage her as she starts her home journey as much as it inspires me to keep on keeping on! We both put our hearts into this to make sure it was the gift we wanted to offer others, too.

Love the Home You Have

Until yesterday, it was still a book I could only read online, in an electronic PDF. I still couldn’t actually believe it was real, until I opened that package Monday and held it in my own hands. Friends, IT IS BEAUTIFUL! My publisher and the artist did an amazing job at creating a book that is SO special!

It’s a paperback book of encouraging words, but it’s also an extraordinarily fun and happy two-color book filled with meaningful and pretty hand-drawn quotes and sweet little illustrations. The cover is so soft and smooth, the letters and art are embossed and it feels like a dream! It isn’t just beautiful though, it’s TOUCHABLE. While you can preorder this book in electronic form, it’s really the kind of book you want to have in real life, to put on your shelf, to set on your nightstand, to curl up with by the fire. I can’t stop hugging it, stroking it, and taking photos of it from every angle! It’s just cute.

Okay, that almost sounded like the crazy cat lady. But it’s true, I love it so much I want to put little bows on it. And set it in a basket. And put it on a rainbow. And put it in my bed. :)

I can’t wait until you all can hold it in your own hands, too. The photos cannot do it justice.

Love the Home You Have

I just wanted to thank you all again for your support on this wild journey. I have several more quite exciting things I created especially for you that I can reveal in the coming weeks (eek!). This whole experience really would not be the same without you to share it with.

One thing I’m really excited to share is that Barnes & Noble is offering you guys an AMAZING deal on the preorder of Love the Home You Have on March 9 and 10th! How does 50% off the print version sound?!!!!! SERIOUSLY, that is amazing and a rare opportunity. I know they don’t offer that kind of deal often. In fact, it’s a one time deal on this book. It’s a two day only sale so I will remind you as it gets closer so you won’t miss it. It would be a wonderful time to buy yourself and a friend a book, or stock up for gifts for a new bride or homeowner! :)

Love the Home You Have - 50 Percent off at Barnes and Noble on March 9 and 10

***Giveaway is now closed!!!***

I’m SO grateful to everyone who has offered their help to make sure this book gets out into the world. If you are able to share on your own social media, emails, or with friends and family about the book or the 50% off sale, that would be SO AMAZING!!! Soon I’ll be sharing a link to fun artwork and downloadable quotes from the book that you can use for yourself and to help me to spread the word about the book. Thank you!

***Giveaway is now closed!!!***

Organizing the Office {& BHG Top Ten Decorating Blogs!}

Navy Blue Home Office - The Inspired Room

I have some news at the end of this post, so don’t miss it! :)

Slowly but surely, I’ve been making progress on my office! Not too long ago, I added a flea market rattan bookshelf that I’m totally in love with! And then I also showed you my flat drawers, the Alex system, from IKEA. I finally got them all organized and I’ve been LOVING them!

Office Organization - Ikea Alex Drawers - The Inspired Room

They are SO handy for small crafts, paper, art prints, and office supplies. The only trouble I had was having was knowing what was in each drawer (you know, when you open every drawer and don’t find what you’re looking for until you check the last drawer). So this week I hand wrote a label for each drawer with Martha Stewart gold and white label stickers. EASY PEASY!

I kept putting off labeling them, thinking I should order some fancy labels. But finally I realized I was procrastinating far too long and it was hindering my progress of organizing, so I finally just used some stickers I already had. And you know what? Handwritten stickers work just as well as fancy ones! And better yet, NOW THAT TASK IS DONE!

Office Coffee Station - The Inspired Room - Love the Home You Have

I still enjoy having my Nespresso coffee station in the office. I’m kind of living off of coffee these days, trying to get ready for my book launch and all the other fun things I have going on which I’ll be sharing with you all soon. :). Thank you for all the kind words on my post about the book and the cute little print (seen above). I’ll have a download of that print and lots of others, including a special art print of the book cover, available for YOU soon! Pin it for later and I’ll share a link to get the downloads soon!

Navy Blue Office - Linen Tufted Chair - The Inspired Room

That little guy on the wall above my light? My husband loves deer heads and antlers, but he thinks my little deer head is the most ridiculous thing he’s ever seen. Ha! If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. Quirky animals are the best. No shame. No regrets. Sometimes you just need a little laugh!

Navy Blue Office - The Inspired Room

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this lamp yet! I actually bought them in a set of two for my bedroom but accidentally ordered the wrong color. Before I sent them back, I decided to try them out in the office and they’ve been here ever since so I guess they are staying! They’re a great substantial size and I love the swirl/marble pattern, too. They seem to be out of stock now sadly, but we got the pair on a great sale at Overstock (the brand is Safavieh).

Ikea Alex Drawers - Navy Blue Office - The Inspired Room

So now for the news, I’m so excited to announce that The Inspired Room is again one of Better Homes & Gardens top ten decorating blogs for 2015!! I’m so honored!!! Thank you to those of you who nominated me. Last year you all voted in this contest and BLEW ME AWAY when I was voted as the top Reader Favorite Decorating Blog at BH&G. WHA? I still pinch myself. Thank you for that. From the bottom of my heart.

So this new announcement means the voting is open again for Reader’s Favorite, and you can vote as often as you’d like! There are some great blogs on the list in the Decorating category and all the other categories too so have fun looking through the lists and voting on your favorites! I love you no matter who you vote for. :) You are all my favorite. I adore blogging here and without you, it just wouldn’t be the same.

Click HERE to vote as often as you want! (voting ends on March 30th!)

Top Ten Best Decorating Blogs - Better Homes and Gardens Blogger Awards

**UPDATE!!!! Wow! Thank you all so much for voting me as the Readers’ Favorite Decorating Blog for 2015! You all have blown me away with your support. See my full post sharing the news here.

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