HOUSE: New Mexico #2

Getting organized in my office with IKEA!

IKEA office makeover -

I don’t know what it is with me and workspaces—I know how important it is to have my office be tidy and organized and bright in order to feel like I actually want to sit at my desk and work all day long, but for whatever reason, I tend to put off getting things to that point whenever I move into a new house or apartment. Then my desk becomes a dumping ground for papers and paint and books and scraps of fabric, and I don’t use my calendar because why bother hanging it on the wall when the rest of the room looks like trash, and so on. The result is that don’t even want to go in my office in the morning, which obviously makes me less productive, and then nobody wins.

So, I finally got myself in gear and took care of my workspace. Let’s break it down…

IKEA office makeover -

CALENDAR. ON. THE. WALL. I’m a longtime Stendig devotee, and now that I work from home, it’s more than just decorative! I love being able to color-code project deadlines, personal appointments, and other stuff, and using Post-its means I can shift stuff around as needed without having to erase or cross out anything. I’m never going to be someone who can track dates on my phone or computer, and that’s OK.

And hey, what’s that at the top of the photo?

IKEA office makeover -

Yes, it’s Ilse Crawford’s gorgeous bamboo pendant lamp from the SINNERLIG collection at IKEA. I fell in love with the limited-edition SINNERLIG line when it was introduced, but I wound up missing out on most of the pieces before they disappeared. I’m so glad the lamp is still available! There was an extremely blah ceiling fan that I never used hanging in here before, and this just looks SO much better even when it’s not turned on.

IKEA office makeover -

I said it back when I first got this drawer unit, and I’ll say it again: There really is nothing else on the market that fills the need that ALEX does. I do a lot of work on large sheets of paper, and wide, shallow drawers are the perfect way to keep that stuff organized without having to fold everything up. ALEX, I love you. I’m so happy you’re a part of my life.

IKEA office makeover -

When I gave my office a makeover, I shifted my desk over a few feet to the right. My instinct was to center it under the window, but that meant losing space on either side to the point of feeling cramped—and in a room this large, that’s ridiculous. Having my desk flush with the left side of the window feels just fine as-is, but to balance things out a bit, I painted a pink rectangle directly on the wall to use as a bulletin board of sorts. Yes, I realize I could have painted an actual bulletin board and then I would have been able to use pushpins (no pushpins are going into these concrete walls), but I’m impatient and that’s what washi tape is for, anyway.

IKEA office makeover -

You may recognize the RASKMÖLLE rug from the bedroom in my former house. I love this rug (So soft! So easy to vacuum! Stripes!), but it’s too small for the gigantic bedroom in this new house. It’s PERFECT in my office, though—exactly the right size. I’m so glad I still have a place for it here.

IKEA office makeover -

I know I need some plant life in my office, and this spot by the window (which gets a ton of daylight all day long) is going to be just right for a huge cactus. I’ve got a FLÅDIS basket ready to go, I just need to find the right cactus…and then figure out how to get it home. I might need to pay someone with a van or a pickup truck to do it. In the mean time, though, here’s a poorly Photoshopped Future Cactus so we can imagine how nice it’s going to look.

IKEA office makeover -

IKEA office makeover -

Here’s the most exciting new addition to my office: CABINETS. Closed storage, baby. It’s a beautiful thing. These are just two simple, pine IVAR cabinets that I painted black and put on casters. I could have mounted them directly on the wall fauxdenza-style, but I wanted the option of being able to easily rearrange my office if the mood strikes.

I can fit SO MUCH STUFF in these cabinets. It’s kind of life-changing. I was able to take stuff out of cardboard boxes in my closet that I haven’t seen in over a year. I even have space for a sewing machine! The other cabinet is still mostly empty, which feels really luxurious.

Oh! I was able to get all of the papers off of my desk thanks to that steel KVISSLE letter tray. I don’t always want to file paperwork away immediately if it’s something I still need to deal with but don’t want in my immediate line of sight. I didn’t realize how much I needed something like this until I had it. (The trays slide out and they’re lined with cork, by the way, which would make KVISSLE a nice studio piece for people who make jewelry or other small things.)

IKEA office makeover -

I’ve had my eye on the BOTKYRKA shelf for a while now, and I’m happy I found the right place for one! IKEA markets it as kitchen storage, but it’s really perfect for anywhere you need shallow shelving. I love how light and airy it looks, even though it’s made of super-strong steel. BOTKYRKA mounts on the wall using a metal cleat, so you don’t see any hardware or screws.

IKEA office makeover -

I think the last time I had that Morrissey poster displayed was in my college dorm room in 1993. It’s certainly never been in a frame before! Patti is there to keep him company. They make a nice couple. These are the largest RIBBA frames, my forever go-to for getting stuff out of the tube and onto the wall.

I’ve always wanted a couple of those ALSEDA stools. I consider them an IKEA classic, and every time I see them in someone’s house I want to take them home with me. My initial thought was that I’d use them as a sort of coffee table in my office, but as soon as I stacked them up, Fritz hopped on top and claimed them for himself. Once I’d put his sheepskin on top (which has a little heating page underneath, of course, lest he get cold if the temperature in the house drops below 75º), I knew I was never going to get to use them for myself.

It’s been a couple of weeks now since I reorganized this space, and the difference in my daily life is pretty profound. I’ve been more productive than I have been in ages, and it feels really good. Every night before I go to bed I come in here, tidy up, and just admire the room a bit. When I wake up in the morning, I honestly feel excited to enter my office and get started on my day. I didn’t realize how much the clutter I was surrounded by before was dragging me down.

IKEA office makeover -

I am a Brand Ambassadör for IKEA U.S. This is a sponsored post.

IKEA is a registered trademark of Inter IKEA Systems B.V. and is used with permission. The views, ideas and opinions expressed here are my own.

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  • Reply Rebekah April 12, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Hello! Your space looks beautiful. Can you tell me the paint color of the stool under the calendar? I love neon paint colors, but I’ve had difficulty finding paint that color.

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 8:22 am

      It’s a true fluorescent orange (photos can’t really capture the intensity). Tom Dixon has discontinued the Offcut bench, but you can still get the Offcut stool:

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Post-coffee, it occurs to me that you’re probably not asking where the bench is from, you’re wondering what paint is on it! Well, since it came that color with a factory finish I’m not much help there…BUT…I do know that Rosco sells fluorescent paint by the gallon:
      I have no personal experience with it and I don’t even know if it’s suitable for painting furniture, since it’s made for painting murals and stuff like that. Have you tried using spray paint? If you’re painting something small, that might be the answer. Several years ago I spray-painted some sofa legs fluorescent pink, and they came out great:

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 9:24 am

      WAIT! HANG ON! I remember seeing an ad in Living Etc a while back for fluoro paint from The UV Centre:
      It’s a British company so it might be spendy to have it shipped if you’re elsewhere in the world, but maybe it’s worth checking out. Again, no idea if it’s suitable for furniture, but I bet they’ll tell you if you ask. 🙂

    • Rebekah April 12, 2017 at 11:56 am

      Thanks so much! Ivm going to look into those options. 🙂

  • Reply chloe chouinard April 12, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I’ve missed your blog, so glad you’re back! Your office redesign is inspiring, I’m definitely taking notes for mine. I especially love the pine cabinets on wheels. The contrast between the black exterior and the pine insides is a nice surprise, much more compelling than standard white cabinets. What paint color did you use? It looks more black than your usual raccoon fur 😉

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 9:16 am

      That’s Daniel who uses Raccoon Fur, not me! 😉 My usual black is Benjamin Moore Soot, but when I moved to my last house there wasn’t a BM retailer nearby, so I started using Valspar…and wound up REALLY liking the “Reserve” formula. Long story short, this is Valspar Dark Kettle Black, which is a neutral black similar to the color of cast iron.

  • Reply MaryMargaret April 12, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Love the office refresh and that it is having a positive effect on your productivity! Definitely get a corner plant and give us the update. Would love to see more about your green bathroom…

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 9:25 am

      I’ve got an update on the bathroom coming soon, I promise! 🙂

  • Reply Natalie April 12, 2017 at 9:04 am

    oh Anna! I am so envious of your sense of negative space. The way you’ve hung artwork around that window is right up my alley. We’ve just had to choose new carpet for our house to make it ready to sell. We went with ‘what the market would expect’ aka ‘horrible and bland’ (to my taste) and it was soul destroying. One day I will be able to do these things to please myself, and damnit, I’m justifying my artwork to the window edge and painting on pinup boards in soft pink! (welcome back – this office spruce has clearly done wonders)

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Haha, thank you for noticing that stuff, Natalie!! I get a little crazed about lining stuff up and finding visual workarounds for spaces that have an inherent visual imbalance (window placement, etc.).

      I feel you on having to make those horrible/bland choices—I had kind of mentally prepared myself to do that in Newburgh if our house didn’t sell, but thankfully a like-minded buyer came along within hours and we didn’t have to change a thing. I can’t imagine that house with pale yellow or sage green walls (shudder), much less fitted kitchen cabinets!!

  • Reply Emily April 12, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Glad you are back to blogging, and I’m liking the site redesign! I also envious of your office – looks great!

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 9:30 am

      Thanks, Emily!!

  • Reply jeannette April 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

    i’m here in burque and had to make a trek to tempe AZ for my ikea things. driving back over the mountains was no fun. how’d you get all this stuff to your place?

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 9:40 am

      Hi Jeanette, IKEA has mail order service now for most of their products through their website! The delivery is GREAT and not too expensive. It works out better if you’re ordering a bunch of stuff at once. In my experience, shipping for non-furniture items (including RIBBA frames—yay!) usually comes out to between $15-20, and ordering large pieces of furniture (like a sofa, say) is $99 regardless of how much you’re ordering. In other words, it’s probably not worth doing if you just need a few little things, but for bigger orders? It’s wonderful. It takes 1-2 weeks to receive your stuff depending on whether it’s coming via regular mail or as freight on a truck. If it’s the latter, a local delivery company will contact you in advance to set up a delivery time.

      A few of the things I used in my office (like the light fixture) aren’t available online, so IKEA packed and shipped that stuff to me from the east coast, where the rep I deal with is based. That’s a perk of being a Brand Ambassadör what I’m very grateful for—and I made sure they knew I’m not within shopping distance of an IKEA store before I signed my contract. 😉

    • jeannette April 12, 2017 at 10:08 am

      thanks. recent checks on ikea site revealed many thing (wall and table top stuff) unavailable for shipment. your office looks great.

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 10:12 am

      Yeah—I think the things that don’t ship fall into two categories for the most part: Either it’s a limited release, or it’s something that’s difficult to pack and ship without the thing breaking.

  • Reply Karen April 12, 2017 at 10:30 am

    WOW! Your office looks great and so inspiring! The BF and I are getting ready to build me a studio for my office cause our house is tiny! So glad you are back to blogging. I really enjoy your design aesthetic and blog!

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

      That’s so exciting, Karen! My friend Geninne’s husband just built an addition on their house for her to use as a studio, and it’s really inspiring. Lots of process (and finished!) photos on her Instagram if you need a little inspiration. 😉

  • Reply Emme April 12, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I didn’t realize the BOTKYRKA shelf was intended for the kitchen! I’ve been thinking about placing one under a wall-mounted TV in the living room. I love the way you are using it in your office, though.

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 11:37 am

      That’s just how they categorize it on their website and in the catalogs, but they’re really suitable for anywhere!

  • Reply Elisa April 12, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Love the office space! I was wondering… is the chair comfortable for sitting for long periods of time? I have an ergonomic chair but they just don’t look that great.

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Unfortunately, it’s really not great for sitting at all day long. I have a bad back, and I really need to get a better desk chair. It was fine when I wasn’t working from home all the time, but now it’s just not cutting it. I had an Aeron chair when I worked in an office building, and it was fantastic—I really need to save up to buy one, even though they’re not cute.

      I dunno…I’ve done a lot of research into “cute” ergonomic chairs, and they don’t really exist. I think an Aluminum Group chair would be better than a DAX, but still not awesome if you have any joint problems. :\

  • Reply Caitlin Hansen April 12, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Oh man is that a Craig Ferguson snake mug?? So very jealous. <3 <3 <3

  • Reply Arden Moore April 12, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    OMG MY EYES HAVE BEEN BLESSED. I wish this was my office space!

  • Reply Jules April 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I love it, especially the way you track your appointments on the Stendig. It never occurred to me to use mini post-its (duh). Mind blown; 100% sold!

    • Anna @ D16 April 12, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      It works SO well if you have projects with open-ended/changing deadlines, or things that repeat often. I love being able to move stuff around and carry it over to the next month.

  • Reply Megan April 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    It looks so amazing in there and I am so so happy to have you blogging again! Dying to hear about life in New Mexico!

  • Reply Rochelle April 12, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I am so happy you love your space!! It looks amazing and I will probably buy the shelves myself!

  • Reply SFDC April 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    “poorly photoshopped cactus”? could have fooled me! you are clearly a professional. and the space looks like a lovely place to work. welcome back!!

  • Reply Kel April 12, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Fritz and his toy are too cute!

  • Reply May April 12, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I love what you’ve done with the calendar on the wall and how you colour code your tasks with post-its! That’s such a good idea!

  • Reply Judi April 12, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Just lovely! i reorganized my home office just last month and yeah, it’s so much easier to work when you’re organized and…curated. I’m so glad to see the Sinnerlig shade hung somewhere except in my imagination, too. (I have the glass canister and the frosted glass lamp and it’s still not enough. No amount of Ilse Crawford is enough.)

    Rocky (our 13-year-old Shih Tzu) has a question for Fritz. Rocky’s female slave has likewise long wanted a couple of Alseda stools, but likewise couldn’t justify them without a use. Rocky sleeps on a sheepskin in his slave’s office right now but would very much like a dog bed in there, but the slave doesn’t want to disturb the neutral vibe. Does Fritz think the bed is soft enough with a sheepskin on it? Believe it or not, Shih Tzus are even *more* sensitive than long haired Chihuahuas.

  • Reply Susan April 13, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Hello and hey, nice office!
    I’ve been looking forward to this one — your posts always give me ✨ideas✨ and that’s why I love them (plus you make IKEA look even better)! I’m so glad you’re blogging a bit more lately — it’s good to hear what’s up!

  • Reply Rachel April 13, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    This post is so inspiring! I have a tiny home office/guest room/storage closet that is a mess these days. When I work from home I sit on the couch and am getting up constantly to do chores and find food. This is such a great reminder to just invest the time to tidy up and make the office a space I want to be in- I am sure I would be much more productive! Your space looks beautiful!

  • Reply Junedotbe April 14, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Sigh. Why did IKEA discontinue most of that wonderful SINNERLIG collection?! Why do they always do that with the best stuff?!
    I did manage to splurge on the daybed though – and no cat is allowed near it (which in this household is saying a lot).
    Have you seen the new Stockholm collection though??? I’m kind of obsessed with the rattan cabinet…

  • Reply Melissa November 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    What are the dimensions on your Ivar cabinet! I can’t decide if I want to go with the 12 inch or the 20 inch.

    • Anna @ D16 November 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Hi Melissa, mine are 12″ deep. 20″ would have been too deep for this room, otherwise the extra storage space would’ve been great.

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