Welcome to my brand-new writing space!
I've been burning the midnight oil to get this home office area made over in time to reveal on the Writer's Alley today. You may remember that two weeks back I launched a 2-part series on writing spaces, starting with an open-home tour of where the Alleycats write.
I also promised I'd be back with a reveal of my own writing area - which at that stage, looked little better than this (yes, that bare space on the left with the wires hanging out of the wall.) The rest of the room had furnishings by then, but the study nook next to the kitchen remained sadly untouched.
So with a two-week deadline, it was time to get cracking! I began by stencilling the wall with paint (and yes, it was as tedious as it looks!) and then installed some Ikea floating shelves. The study desk was installed by our builder at this point as well.
I added a new replica Eames chair and a cute and comfy cushion for back support:
Spray-painted my gray mesh accessories turquoise for a pop of colour:
Then DIY-ed a set of mail-sorting baskets using three $5 cleaning caddies from K-mart. (If you're interested, you can read about how I did it here on my home-making blog.)
I added some magazine-holders, Ikea boxes and mesh baskets as storage on the shelves. These will hold everything from paperwork to scrapbooking supplies.
When I designed our house plan, I included a recessed area to the left of the study space to hold a filing cabinet. This is useful for filing away household paperwork as it comes in, as well as for storing novel research and story notes within arm's reach of my writing space.
One of the things I most wanted to incorporate into this work area was some writing inspiration in the form of graphic art quotes. I bought some Ikea frames and DIY-ed these prints in Photoshop.
I love the "dreams" quote on the left, which is a great reminder that fulfilling a dream comes down to hard work over the long haul. The frame to the right holds my "One Word" for 2014 - FAITHFUL, which I arranged to look like an eye chart because I'm digging that look right now.
On the next shelf down I created a monogram with my initial, just for fun. This is the first time in ages I've had a space which is "just for me", so I really wanted to make it mine and fill it with colors and objects and art that inspires me.
One of the key verses God has given me for this year to go alongside my One Word, is this:
It's not the most usual piece of Scripture to have on display, but it's very meaningful to me. I love the story of how King Solomon took the time and care to make his surroundings beautiful, both in the Temple and the Palace. As an interior decorator, that gives me assurance that God is pleased when I use my creative gifts to honor him. King Solomon took on a vast number of building and beautifying projects, and he completed them. He followed through and carried out his plans.
This really speaks to me as I launch out this year with my brand-new home-making blog. A project-based blog takes an ENORMOUS amount of work, and it can feel discouraging to pour endless hours into something and then receive no comments on a post. But God reminds me that my task is just to remain faithful (there's that word again!) and follow through on my plans.
Writing a novel is exactly the same - a LOT of hard work over an extended period of time, perhaps with little encouragement along the way. The important thing is to keep going, and finish what we started.
My writing space is at the heart of our home. When I planned our house, I knew that I wanted this area to be right off the kitchen - for starters, so we could use it as a "command centre" to corral paperwork that otherwise ends up dumped on the kitchen counters - and secondly, so that I could snatch moments throughout the day to write/ blog while also keeping an eye on the kids playing.
The layout has worked beautifully for us so far. In this season of my life, it makes sense to have an open-plan writing space, because if I was tucked away from the family, writing would seldom happen.
I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse of my new writing space! If you've enjoyed this makeover, you may be interested in following along over at my new blog, a house full of sunshine. My tagline is "the art of making home", and my posts center around home decorating, organization, creative kids' activities, recipes and inspiration for Moms.
Thank you so much for letting me share! Your turn - do you have dreams of making over a writing space? How would you describe your ideal writing area?
Karen Schravemade lives in Australia, where she juggles writing with being a SAHM to three small kids. She's had short stories published in two literary journals and is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such. Find her on her website, Twitter, and getting creative on her home-making blog, A house full of sunshine.