A Home Office Update for the New Year

pin board in a home office update

January 1: I’m sitting with a cup of green tea (New Year’s Resolution No. 1: Drink less coffee) jotting down a laundry list of things I intend to do in the months ahead–floss every night, eat less bread, get more exercise, etc., etc. January 3: I’m sipping a latte and finishing the crumbs of what was once an almond croissant. I’m already not flossing every night either, but, miraculously, there’s one item on my list that I’ve already managed to accomplish: Redo my home office.

As an editor at Remodelista by day and a graphic designer by night, my workspace is one of the most essential corners of my San Francisco apartment. Over the past few years, I’ve spent a lot of time in this eight-by-eight-foot space, working at the same table that had served me well during my art school days, gouache stains included. And doing without storage, the right size blinds, and even a desk light. The time to upgrade my work station was long overdue.

Photography by Dalilah Arja.


Above: Aside from a cat cameo and the chair, the old workspace was a bare-bones student’s setup.


Above: My first order of business was to replace the old table: I went with a white Parsons Desk currently on sale for $179 (marked down from $199) at Home Decorators Collection (it works well with my old chair, an Eames molded plastic side chair). Next, I accessorized the desktop and area around it with a few tools that help make the space an inviting place to get work done at home.

Above: I’m happy to report that it took 15 minutes to assemble my new desk.

Above: Aside from the table’s simple design, my favorite feature is the discreet central drawer.

Above: My apartment came with unnecessarily long blinds that hung much lower than the window opening. I was happy to see that Home Decorators Collection sells a set of white Two-Inch Faux Wood Blinds in a range of sizes, and if you don’t see what you need, Home Decorators offers complimentary width trimming for most blinds. My 47-by-64-inch blinds cost $57.47.

Above: A coat of Behr Premium Plus Zero-VOC Paint ($25.96 a gallon from The Home Depot) in a shade of pale blue called Watery transformed a Two-by-Four-Foot Sanded Plywood Panel ($14.95 from The Home Depot) into a finished mood board.

Above: I added a Cargo Naturals Media Box to store all my USB and extension cords. The six-by-eight-inch container is made of 100 percent recycled paper and comes in five colors, including graphite, shown, from Home Decorators Collection.

Above: A Royal Chenille Area Rug in natural ($95 for the five-by-eight-foot size) now anchors–and warms up–the space. The cotton rug comes in 13 colors and nine sizes at Home Decorators Collection.

Above: After the addition of a Sherlock LED Desk Lamp ($149 at Home Decorators Collection), I’m not sure how I ever managed without a table light. The adjustable lamp is 7.25 inches wide and can be set at any height between 16.75 and 26.25 inches. I chose the satin steel finish; it’s also available in black nickel.

Above: I used a navy Amber Storage Basket (on sale for $48, marked down from $54, at Home Decorators Collection) to house books that overflowed from a nearby shelf. The basket comes in medium (shown here), large, and extra large, and in four colors.

Dalilah Arja

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