Saturday, September 14, 2013

Real Life Organization #2 - Living Room and Home Office

Earlier this week, I shared how two real people in a real house who live real lives keep the kitchen and bathroom somewhat organized, today, I share the living room and office.

These two real life people also live with 2 real life dogs and a real life cat, so with that comes toys.  Lots of squeaky toys.  Typically, this is how the toys look:

...spattered all over the floor of whatever room I'm in (or the hallway if I'm in the office - which is blocked by a baby gate.  OK, it's really a dry erase board.  Don't hate!  The plan is to make that door a Dutch door someday.

I picked up this little beauty with the embroidered liner for just $10 at my favorite little craft store to corral the mess. Problem is, Mati gets them back out as fast as I put them in.

This sits perfectly under the desk I picked up at a yard sale for $10 and painted the hard way (read: lots of sanding, buffing, and sanding some more.)  I LOVE black accent furniture.  Glam, glittery, high lacquer is just not for me.  Muted, almost matte black has my heart - Martha Stewart Silhouette, specifically.

That's a reflection of my awesome wedding guest book quilt that my grandmother made for us in the mirror.  
You can see a better shot of it here.  Someday, I'll write a post of all the little projects that made our wedding ours.

I have a confession to make.  I have a melt problem.  Yes, smelly good, yummy melts.  I can hardly pass by them without picking up, oh, 20.  

OK, two confessions.  I also collect elephants, trunk up.  Don't know how, and don't even remember when, this got started, but I have lots of 'em.

So this desk, as you can see, is a bit of a powerhouse for storage and decorating for me.  I don't have a mantle, so it and the next piece do that work for me.  

This piece was my aunt's who we lost in 1995.  I don't even remember what color it was then (country blue, I think?), but it has been painted and painted and painted by both my mom and me.  I think it's been Hunter Green, Teal, White, and now, the awesome MS Silhouette, since we've had it.  This was my first ever attempt at distressing a couple of years ago, and I seriously love it.  Plus, with two shelves, it keeps several things in check. Like more elephants and melts, and the tealights needed to melt the melts.

That tealight jar on the top was one of my first Silhouette Portrait projects.  I heart it.

On to the office...

I work from home in real life, so our 2nd bedroom is mine, all mine.  I spent some hard time over the Winter a couple of years ago sprucing it up - with more black furniture, of course.  I just bought the furniture this way, though, rather than painting it.  Well, some of it.

This is where the magic happens in running a sales team, well, when I'm not somewhere between North Jersey and DC.  I needed a desk that could really contain the things one needs to keep outside sales reps - and myself - in check.  This one fit the bill. With all the cubbies, doors, and drawers, everything I might ever need is right there. I added a couple of wooden bins and thumbtack strips to get even more out of it.  I bet you can tell if I'm a rightie or a leftie when you look at this, huh?

The papers and pens and things on this desk aren't perfectly situated and color coordinated, because it gets used. Daily.

I couldn't have just one desk.  I needed a printer stand, and this corner computer desk with a lower shelf fit the bill and really packs a punch.  

The printer, my docking station, extra paper, and my Las Vegas elephant bank all fit nicely on the top and all the components needed to run a home office - modem, router, the "boonies necessary" wireless network extender, a laminator, and a bunch of cord management - happen on the bottom shelf.  The keyboard drawer is the perfect place for extra ink, laminating plastic, and specialty paper, and the knob was the best place to hang the perfect slate sign.

Get it?  I crack me up.

What didn't fit went on this shelf that I repainted and backed with fabric, and it holds everything from work materials to beach reads and the Little House on the Prairie book set I got when I was little.  Again, this is real life, and the items on the shelf get used, so I gave up on keeping it "picture perfect."

I won this little cupboard at a Mud Sale last year for $15 having planned to use it for the weird corner under the key holder in the kitchen, but upon further inspection when I got it home, the shelves are the perfect size for all of the CD's I've hoarded (and cassettes - which according to memes I've seen on Facebook turned 50 yesterday!) Someday, it may get a face lift.

Two years ago when I redid this office, I took the bulletin board I'd had since I was a little girl - chunks of cork missing and such - removed the frame and cut it down into two boards. I covered them with this cute little print to show off my ticket stubs and other "savers" - one for DMB tickets only, the other for everything else.  We all save ticket stubs, right?  How do you keep yours?


And in true "Keepin' it Real" fashion, I share with you all, the Corner of Shame. 

This is the corner between the bookshelf and the desk. Here, I do try.  This filing cabinet was meant to keep things even more organized, but the track for the drawer broke and I just haven't looked for a replacement yet. I have all of my photos in albums and boxes, I have all of those CD's in the cupboard, and the corners between those and the filing cabinet with a broken track are where I stash things.  Way too much.  But hey, when I leave for a trip, all I have to do is grab a prepacked bag of toiletries!

I love magazine perfect photos and magazine perfect organization, but let's just be real, people!


  1. kelly @ view along the waySeptember 14, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    So true! Too bad my whole house is a corner of shame on most days. :)

  2. Kelly - you must be as good at "move this pile over here to take the picture" as I am!


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