Inspiration often comes from seeing others successfully tackle the task. Examples of well organized spaces can come from fellow readers and do-it-yourselfers. When we came across photographer Heather Espana’s fantastic office, we knew it was a must-share.
What motivated you to change the space?
We just bought our house last year, and this room belonged to a teenage boy. It was pretty dark and gloomy, and it became even more so as it was the catch-all room during the move! I work best in a happy, colorful environment so that was definitely my motivation.
What was your inspiration for the design?
I knew it needed to be clean and organized, but I didn’t want it to look boring [or else it would make me feel bored!]. On a trip to Seattle, I was helping my aunt clean her studio, and I found myself drooling over her amazing vintage wallpaper collection. She agreed to let me take some scraps home as payment for helping her organize. I had the perfect amount to do the wallpaper collage I’d been dreaming about! It was really the inspiration for the whole office.
How long did it take to transform the space?
Once I had the Elfa shelving and the wallpaper in my possession, it went up pretty quickly. I had the bones of the room completed in two days, and then spent the rest of the week puttering around and rearranging things until I was happy with it. My dear friend Rachel Morell came over with her magic eyes and helped to style everything.
What items did you need to organize and have in the new space?
I am a photographer and an artist by trade, so I knew I’d need armloads of boxes to put everything in. I have everything from computer software to vintage papers and felting supplies inside those boxes. The labels make me happy.
What is your favorite organizing tool/product in the new space?
I’m a big fan of the boxes [from IKEA]. I am in no way a neat-and-tidy-all-the-time sort of person. My office gets messy very frequently, but I love how quickly I can clean it up just by putting everything in the appropriate box.
What was the hardest part about creating and organizing the space?
Measuring. In this old house, there is rarely a right angle! The Elfa system is so easy to install, but even with a level all the lines played tricks on my eyes.
Are you a pretty organized person or did this take a lot of effort?
I am chuckling at myself right now. Let’s just say I’m good at helping other people get organized. When it comes to me and my own stuff, it’s definitely more challenging. But I always say the purpose of organizing is not to fuel this idea that you’re going to live this perfect, never messy life. To me, it’s to make it so that when it’s time to clean up the big creative disaster you’ve made, you have places to put everything.
You can see more before and after pictures of Heather’s home by visiting: www.theorangedoorcottage.blogspot.com