trying to settle in

The ongoing office saga, which started in May. To be fair, I never did completely unpack. I moved everything from my former office, which was the entire living/dining room of this house, to the empty bedroom vacated by my youngest when she moved out in May.

And, even though we shoved the Christmas boxes in here just yesterday (so it would be a mess anyway because there is still so much STUFF everywhere from the holiday), and even though I traveled so much this fall I never fully occupied this room (even though I did write in here, on the green chaise, for one week, to try it out)...
...and even though I can admit to being a wee bit depressed this spring and summer (children moving up and out and away can do that to me), which kept me from tackling the challenges of this new office space (and, truth be told, the whole idea has depressed me some, so I need to figure out what to do and just do it and move on);

AND... even though we love eating and communing with friends and family -- it's important to us -- and I dearly want an indoor dining room (as opposed to the wonderfulness that is Irene but is too cold in winter, too hot in late summer) -- AND -- (you can see our makeshift dining room from last year, put together while the office was the office, here)...

I just don't think I can give up all that space to compress myself into this bedroom.
Do you?

Look at these photos of the living/dining room as the office (click on slideshow), and tell me:

What would you do?



  1. Wow. It would be really hard to move from that lovely space to something smaller.

    I look forward to reading my copy of COUNTDOWN, which my chewing puppy "purchased" for me from the library. :)

  2. Oh, Debbie. So many celebrations and life transitions are reflected in these photos. I got lost among your precious belongings...they tell such wonderful stories!

    I really don't know that I could figure out the best way to assimilate everything into this smaller office. (Heck, I'm struggling with organizational issues of my own!) But I'm wishing you all the best as you make this next transition. xo

  3. Thanks, darlin's. I tend to create little altars everywhere, don't I? And I need space for that, if I'm going to do that. I took those photos at the height of the clean-up and organization of the OTHER room (and the dismantling of the holidays), so naturally too much stuff was stuffed into the smaller bedroom. We'll put it back, I think, and move on. :> xo

  4. I know it looks daunting now - but you are going to LOVE this space once you have it set up. My office, with a door that can be shut to keep others out (including me on holidays), is my haven. I do have a suggestion that may help - you could run a bookshelf near the ceiling - about the height of the top of the closet with sweet victorian supports for it. That'll give you some lovely 'vignette' space. :) e

  5. Elizabeth D. has a great suggestion for a shelf. Me, I find sometimes I want to have a cozy place to tuck away--like now, when I'm working on revisions--but sometimes I want to be in a larger space. Right now it's my living room. Last summer when I was drafting, a chair on the deck was exactly right.

    But maybe when the bedroom looks more like a workspace it will feel more like a workspace?

  6. Well, Deborah, a small space can certainly feel confining, but it's also nice to be able to shut a door on the world. My office is fairly small, but my husband had one wall of bookshelves installed (similar to the shelves in Kathleen Kelly's apartment in "You've Got Mail"-- my fav movie). The bookshelves create a window of sorts, and a place for mw to create my own little alters. It works for me. I face my writing desk toward the bookshelves in the command position. That particular wall, however, also has French doors to the pool deck, so it has a natural open feel. Do you have a windowed wall that you could build bookshelves around? (I think you can see pics of my bookshelves on my FB if you like.)

  7. Oh, you already got great suggestions. If you do the small room, treat yourself to some fun organizational pieces. You could try the Better Homes and Garden's website. They always have cute ideas for reusing flea market furniture finds into great office organization. Get at least one piece that you love, love, love to inspire you to use the room.

    I'd be more inclined though to say that you write more than you entertain. Invest in some great folding tables and nice table clothes and party in the office when Irene is too cold or hot.

  8. Why not move back to the cozy, pink, contemplating-the-universe room. It's welcoming, big and filled with light. You can always clean the guest room and set it up for a solitary place. I loved your living-room-office-dining room just the way it was... probably because it seemed like the hub/heart of the home. I'm just sayin.

  9. Thanks, y'all, for your good thoughts. What a fabulous range of opinions! It's sort of like looking into my own mind. :> I'm going to check out your photos, Danette, and stay in the b/r for now, paint it, and see how it feels to work in there for a season. If I like it, I'll buy a dining room table. If I don't, by then I'll have the energy to move it all back!!

    Jess -- I'll keep combing flea markets. Leslie, I love "the heart of the home." Don't make me waffle. :>


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