Post by PJ of A Girl Named PJ
As a blogger, I can work almost anywhere as long as I have my laptop and an Internet connection. And for the first couple of months in our new home last summer, I did just that, shuffling between the dining room table, the living room sofa, and the local Starbucks.
However, constantly rearranging myself started becoming a drag – not to mention a hindrance on my productivity. I needed a home office, but our townhouse isn’t large enough for me to a room of my own. Instead, I can have an office nook in our finished basement.
As I began planning my home office in the fall, I realized that my four-year-old son, Levi, needed a workspace of his own, too. He had been using a pint-size play table in the basement for his art projects but always seemed to run out of room to work. Plus, he had to contend with his younger brother’s grabby hands constantly interfering with his cutting, pasting, and coloring.
So I decided to create a shared home office against a short wall in the basement for the two of us to enjoy together. Since I needed two desks and double the storage, I immediately thought of The Land of Nod’s Little Sloane leaning desk and leaning bookcase. They’re small enough to fit the space but large enough for a grownup (me!) to sit and work comfortably.
Our basement has goes-with-everything-but-looks-good-with-nothing taupe walls. Since we’re renting, however, we didn’t want to deal with painting. So before my husband and I attached the desks and bookcases to the wall, we hung Chasing Paper removable wallpaper for a pop of color and pattern. The process was literally as simple as peeling off the backing and carefully sticking the sheets to the wall; the hardest part was narrowing my choices to just one print! Although I was eyeing some darker patterns, I went with a white and blue geometric to brighten up the space.
Levi’s art caddy picks up the navy in the wallpaper (and keeps his scissors, glue, and washi tape collection handy), and these metal desk chairs introduce teal into the color palette. His crayons, markers, and paintbrushes are easily accessible on the shelf above his desk, while coloring books, stickers, construction paper and random art supplies fit nicely in a bookcase bin. The bottom bin also holds some oversize games that didn’t have a place elsewhere in playroom section of the basement.
Over on my side of the office space, I have some reference books, old magazines, and tear sheets on the bookcase. I’m always chilly in the basement, so I tossed a faux lambskin rug over my metal chair for a bit of warmth and luxe texture. Favorite postcards and small art prints add a personal touch to my desk area.
Eventually, when we move into a larger house, I still hope to have a room of my own. And if that happens, Levi’s little brother, Asa, will get my desk and bookcase for his art projects. (Some day they’ll both be using these desks and bookcases for homework, I’m sure!) For now, though, I’ve been enjoying sitting next to Levi, who likes to think that the “work” he’s doing is just as important – and fun! – as mine.
PJ Feinstein is the author of A Girl Named PJ, a lifestyle blog offering fashion and beauty tips, design inspiration, commentary on pop culture, thoughts on personal growth, and honest talk about motherhood. She lives just outside Washington, DC, with her husband, two young sons, and stubborn (but adorable!) small white dog.