Today is my first day at my new job and I am a mix of emotions. Excited, but also absolutely terrified so wish me luck and please send any good vibes my way!!
I’m really excited about today’s small office space ideas post because I am finally sharing an in depth post on my small “office space.” And I use the word office lightly because honestly it’s just a small corner in my apartment that I took over and decided that this is where I’m going to set up shop. I’ve changed small things around here and there over the years and I am finally really happy and content with my current set up. So I wanted to share some photos and details of what I keep on my desk and why and a few tips on how to create the best work space for yourself.
I used to do all my blog work sitting on the couch and quickly realized that I was nowhere near as efficient as I could be. After coming home from my full time job and sinking in on my couch, I would quickly fall asleep sitting up. So, at the bare minimum, I really wanted a desk. I picked up this white desk from Target a few years ago. I pretty much walked in with no game plan and knew I wanted a white desk and didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I think this was maybe $100 and pretty easy to assemble and I’m still happy with it to this day.
Small Office Space Ideas:
My original work space went something like this:
- When I first set it up, I had it rotated so that my back was to my all art and I faced out towards the living room. But, I really didn’t like how it looked and how it seemed to take up so much room in my living room. Plus I would always push it in towards the wall when I finished working and would have to pull it back out when I wanted to work and it was just too much.
- I also didn’t have a real desk chair. I had some random, old ripped up one from an old dining set and it was so uncomfortable and quite frankly, ugly.
- My wall art, I loved at the time, but looking back realize it was a mess. It was honestly a big mix of stuff that I had accumulated while working at Cosmo. I had two prints that were not framed, that I just hung up. One large print that was super preppy and not my style. One print talking about wine and I barely drink wine. And then I had an NYC print that I had purchased and actually still love, but the frame was black and it clashed with my two white frames and two unframed prints. A mess.
- I was also thick in my magazine days back then so my desk was an ever-growing stack of magazines and honestly a dumping ground for every colorful, fun, sentimental trinket that crossed my path.
I started to resent my desk space honestly. It didn’t make me feel inspired or happy or in the words of Marie Kondo, it didn’t spark joy like it once did. So a big goal for me in 2019, was to spruce it up, stop hanging on to every old thing and invest in my work area.
So, a few notable changes I made:
- I flipped my desk so I now face my wall art and my decorations and I honestly like it so much better. For starters, I used to just stare at the back of my decorations and it just looked messy and cluttered. I also think it fits my living room space so much better.
- I finally got a new chair, which I shared back in January. I am obsessed with my green velvet chair. It is so pretty to look at and so freaking comfortable.
- I got rid of the magazines I keep on my desk because that is no longer a part of my life and again in the words of Marie Kondo, they just didn’t spark joy anymore. #ThankUNext
- And my most recent update that I am so happy with… I finally updated my wall art! I am a huge fan of Jamel’s work, also known as Melsy’s Illustrations, after finding her on Instagram so I purchased four of her prints and then purchased some frames from Target and I am so happy with the look.
What’s funny is that, at my full time job, I love a clean and clear work area. The more white space and empty a desk looks, the better. I just feel like I can’t focus and work when I have all this clutter around me. But, at home, in my personal space, I like being surrounded by fun and colorful things that I love and that inspire me and remind me of a good memory.
So, on the left side of my desk, I have:
- A pink Laduree box with a rose on top that I think is so pretty and it’s where I keep some of my new neck scarves and hair accessories like bows and scrunchies.
- A Victoria’s Secret train case where I keep all my beauty samples that I need to try in there. I like it because there are three compartments so I can divide the samples up by skincare, makeup and hair care.
- A selection of smaller fashion “coffee table” books that I’ve accumulated over the years.
- A Harry Potter coin bank that I picked up on a random trip to Target. I mean, come on, he was too cute not to come home with me and you guys know how much I love Harry Potter.
- A lucky bamboo!
- A pineapple jewelry plate that was a gift from my previous coworker. On the plate itself, it says Hello Beautiful and I think it’s so darling. I keep my everyday pieces there for easy access.
- A little pink door that I picked up last year during my Puerto Rico vacation. It looks just like the doors in Old San Juan and makes me so happy.
- A pink moped that I picked up in Vietnam. The most common mode of transportation in Vietnam is via moped so this really reminds me of Vietnam and is so cute.
- The Grinch funko pop! A gift from my mom this recent Christmas. The Grinch is my absolute favorite. I can watch it year round and recite all the words. But, especially when December hits, I’m watching it on repeat, with the occasional Elf break.
- The bottle of Veuve is a new addition. It was a gift from some coworkers on my last day of work and I just though it was so freaking cute not to display. And I love the pink/orange color combo.
- You can’t see in this photo, but behind that I keep and old Starbucks cup when they had limited edition designs so this one has sunglasses all over it and I keep pencils and pens in there.
- And lastly, I keep my pink elephant that can hold my phone or iPad while I work. I like that there is a spot for me to store items too so I keep my glasses cleaner and some small scissors in there.
In the center of my desk, I have:
- My Impressions Vanity mirror. I just like how it looks on my desk plus I also use my desk as a vanity and do my makeup here.
- I obviously use my desk for work so I have my laptop, iPad and my planner. I’m quite OCD about organization so whenever I finish working, I make sure to push my chair in and stack my planner and laptop so the space looks nice and organized.
On the right side of my desk, I have:
- A pineapple candle that is so cute and smells so good. I’ve obviously never burned it because I want it to keep it’s shape, but I have dropped it before so it’s kind of dented on one side.
- Another pineapple, but with sunglasses on. I love anything pineapple related, but I go wild when it’s a pineapple with sunglasses on. It’s just so cute, I can’t handle it. Anyways, this is actually a hand sanitizer holder that I like to keep on display. The sanitizer in it is actually pineapple scented too.
- A little blue jewelry box.
- I keep three small notebooks on my desk, partly because I like how they look and partly because I like to keep notebooks on hand in case I want to write down an idea or thought. The orange one is special to me because it was a gift from my best friend when I left Teen Vogue.
- On this side of my desk, I also keep a selection of books, but these are books that I’ve read and love so they get a spot on the desk. Towards the bottom I have the entire Crazy Rich Asians series, then I have the entire Brooklyn Girls series, my favorite book of 2018 Playing with Matches and then Mindy Kaling’s book because I am obsessed with her.
- My polaroid camera because it’s too cute not to be on display and I loved taking polaroid photos in Puerto Rico.
- I was so excited when I found this album frame at Urban Outfitters. I had all these polaroids from my vacation and didn’t know the best way to store them or display them and thought this was perfect. There is still room for more photos in the frame and I like that I can flip to other photos based on my mood or what color scheme I’m going for.
- I have a jewelry box from Vietnam where I store some of my favorite pieces.
- I have a limited edition Mickey box from when I bought some Disney jewelry last year and I also keep all my Mickey jewelry in there.
- More funko pops! Blair Waldorf because she is an icon and my Queen. And Gidget from the movie Pets. If you haven’t seen the movie, her character is really sweet and she is obsessed with the dog next door and she gets quite tough and sassy when she has to save him. I just love a powerful female and Eddie and I joke that our relationship is pretty much like Gidget and Max so that’s that on that.
How To Curate The Best Work Area For Your Small Space:
- First things first, it’s important to make the most out of your space. If you’re like me, you don’t have the luxury of a full office space so you have to really get creative. Which is why, I use my desk not only as a work space, but as a vanity to do my makeup. I also use it for storage since I keep little boxes and trinkets on my desk for me to store jewelry and accessories. I also keep a large ottoman underneath my desk which serves as a foot rest for me and more storage for random items.
- Understand how you work best. At home, I work best when my space looks like a photo straight from Pinterest which is why I love to keep it heavily decorated and colorful because that’s what inspires me and helps me work. But, if you work best with an edited and clean space like how I am at work then decorate accordingly.
- What’s your brand? I think it’s important to understand what your brand is or what you want to convey to others because once you do, you can create a space for yourself that will help you create and enforce that brand. For me, some important parts of my brand is that I love all things colorful and I strive to be personal and share personal stories on my blog. So I created a space for myself that is colorful and that features personal trinkets that make me happy like items from my vacations and things that I love like NYC, Disney, pineapples, etc. And I find that, that helps me create content that stays true to my brand.
- Make sure it’s not only photo worthy, but practical. When I first created my desk space, I was more so concerned on how it looked and it wasn’t really practical. Frankly, it was more of a hassle to work on my desk space than not. So be sure to create an area that works for your needs in terms of storage and space.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment and move things around until you’re happy. It took so much trial and error until I was finally happy with my workspace not only with how it looked, but how functional it was.
I like keeping a calendar nearby to help me plan out my editorial calendar and obviously just to help me understand what day it is (lol). Eddie gave me this one to me as a gift for Christmas and I adore it. Each month is a different Disney movie and I love seeing which movie each month is going to be. You guys also know how much I love Disney so I love having this touch incorporated into my work space.
I found Jamel’s (Melsy’s Illustrated)) artwork at the end of last year and was absolutely obsessed with all her prints. I knew I wanted to update my wall art, but kept putting it off because I couldn’t narrow down which prints I wanted. But, I finally got my act together and I’m really happy with the outcome.
- I picked this one because I’m almost always sipping on Starbucks with my head in a book.
- I just liked how this one looked and how pink it was. Plus, it was a Valentine’s Day print and you guys know how much I love that silly holiday.
- I picked this one because it’s classic NYC.
- I picked this one because I loved the colors, the skyline and again NYC related plus I personally love a straw hat in the summer.
I hope you enjoyed this thorough walk through of my small work area and it inspired you to create the best workspace for yourself. I apologize if this was all over the place, I just wanted to share my “desk journey” if you will and the story behind a lot of my little trinkets.
Thank you so much for reading & stopping by! Have a great week everyone!
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