Let's drop my usual "less is more" attitude and get materialistic for a few minutes. All things considered, I had a pretty good year in terms of acquiring fun new toys (thanks to fun money, saving and patience, and some help from Rob in regards to an early Christmas gift). Most of these toys relate to my growing hobby and side business of photography.
First, I have a shiny new high-resolution computer monitor, perfect for editing photos.
I have an awesome camera:
I have a legit copy of Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium (purchased for 20% of retail cost thanks to my old University discount).
And I have my own photography website, to keep me busy and inspired.
These things were all new in 2010. Life is good!
Except I forgot to set up a workstation for my fun new toys. Rob and I usually just sit on the couch with our laptops, so we don’t really have a formal desk area.
Backing things up, I will remind you that we do have plans to convert our attic bedroom into an office/studio (read more about those plans here or here). But that area is currently used for storage while our basement is ripped up. So I started debating locations for a temporary home workstation.
The dining room was my first choice since there’s a lot of room (and I used to spend long hours there doing homework and writing my thesis).
Our dining room - back in my thesis-writing days.
But then Rob complained that I was never hanging out in the same room as him. I consider it a good sign that my husband wants to spend *more* time with me, and not the other way around. :)
So I set out to convert a corner of our living room/kitchen into a makeshift office. The challenge? Not buying a thing. Ok, here comes a before and after.
Before: our mail-sorting and paperwork cart:
After: My temporary office:
I’ll admit this isn’t the most ideal set-up, but it will work fine for now. Our mail cart is actually an old microwave stand that my mom gave me when I was in college. It has a little drawer, where a keyboard fits perfectly inside. Another shelf is the perfect place to set the laptop. I use the bottom basket to hold our modem, power cables, and random other techno-cord-garbage (scientific term).
You’re probably wondering where I put the mail and paperwork-related boxes, right? (Just humor me.) In the dining room, I set up a little portable table (we have a couple of these, they were around $10 at Target).
This location actually makes sense since it’s closer to the front door/mailbox. The other boxes found a new home on the bookshelf.
I keep an old 60s camera and an old film camera on display near my photography books.
Note: Eventually we want to buy this buffet to complete the dining room. It matches our table. So the mail/paperwork will easily be contained by this future furniture purchase.
Until then, we'll just enjoy our temporary work place. and improvised mail and paperwork station.
Work with what you have
Need home owner improv skills
You know how it goes.
I’d still like to buy a real desk, but this set-up will work for the time being. It’s especially handy to have now that I occasionally work from home. I do long for a real chair though, as 8+ hours on the dining room chair gets pretty uncomfortable. A desk, chair, and buffet are at the top of my 2011 house purchase wish list, and I plan to post the rest of the list later this week. Stay tuned, as those marketing people like to say.