June 18, 2020

My (Rental) Home Office Tour

Since starting my full-time creative business in 2016, my husband and I have always lived in rentals. This worked for us in our different life phases in the past four years, but we recently bought our first home and I did a little happy dance at realizing my dreams of a completely personalized home office/studio would finally come true!

I know there’s a LOT of renter-friendly DIYs and fixes you can do in rented apartments—you can even update paint and tile if your landlord is down for it. We have never had those amazing circumstances, nor did we have the funds to put into long-term updates that we wouldn’t even get to enjoy.

This little studio tour is my very LAST rental home office tour, and I want to share with you all the little details that helped it feel personal to me, despite having a lot of things I would have changed in a heartbeat. Here we go!

This is what you see when you walk through the door. It is normally not quite this neat, but I am a creative person that MUST have a clean desk. I feel completely frazzled and unable to work if my desk isn’t pretty clean and uncluttered. I save the tchotchkes for my shelving 🙂

My office/studio serves two main purposes. Mainly, it is a work space! I keep M-F 9-5 hours where I basically sit at my computer for 80% of that. But, it also serves as a space where I create non-digital art and keep up with my favorite hobby, sewing.

My desk set-up is comprised of 3 Ikea Linnmon Desk Tops in various sizes, with an Alex drawer unit holding up the middle. The only other Ikea items in my office are my Skruvsta Chair (that I L-O-V-E) and this sweet little wooden storage unit that holds my sewing notions. I have to give it to Ikea for how affordable their office furniture is, and how great it all looks together. But you already knew that…Ikea has it figured out 😉

But the most major thing I did to help this room feel like my own was design my own wallpaper! I designed and ordered this floral wallpaper from Spoonflower (I will link it as soon as Spoonflower let’s me sell it), and the quality and colors are perfect. I chose their peel and stick removable wallpaper which is slightly more expensive, but it IS reusable! I saved the waxy paper the wallpaper arrived on, and will strategically remove the paper and re-apply it to the wax paper so it can live a new life in my new home studio.

Once the wallpaper was up, I created a gallery wall (I hung everything using Command strips…another renter-friendly thing I love). The floral piece on the far left was thrifted, and the two 5×7 watercolor prints are by my friend Arin over at True Cotton Art. They’re such special pieces to me. Everything else was a DIY by yours truly.

If you’d like to create your own black and white floral abstract, I have a Skillshare class on it right here.

I keep anything I need to reach for often on top of my wooden sewing box. Like my Abundant Affirmations Money Mindset Cards. These cards are a must have for me!

The little shelves to the right of my desk are wooden planks with brackets from the hardware store. I originally wanted floating shelves, but they were more than I wanted to spend when I couldn’t guarantee I’d want floating shelves forever. Did I want cuter brackets? Yes! Did I hardly ever pay attention to these? Yes. I also got lots of compliments on the simplicity of it, which was a happy surprise. My shelves also held things I needed to reach for frequently (camera lenses, books) but for the most part it held some pretty pictures I’d taken on trips and little thrifted items I loved.

I also really loved having my printer so close by, since I scan in a lot of the artwork I create, and the little dry erase calendar from Target has been a really great tool for me to stay organized.

On the other side of the desk, I do all my sewing! This chair came from TJ Maxx LONG ago, and I have done a few little DIYs to it to make it cuter. However, it’s on it’s way out, so there are no close ups of it here 😉

With this apartment, specifically, I was blessed with two tall windows that got a ton of natural light. I wanted a place to store all my paint supplies, so I got this little target cart (Ikea makes a very similar one in multiple colors) and it holds all my paints, brushes, and paper.

In the end, this office treated me well, but nothing is perfect. Let me share a few little things I didn’t photograph for this post:

  • The other side of this room has two separate closets. One closet held all my miscellaneous sewing and crafting stuff (oh, and there’s a LOT of it) and the other closet was strictly used for storing our luggage and toiletries because this apartment literally such little storage space it’s insane.
  • I really disliked this carpet. I also wasn’t a fan of the color of the walls but it wasn’t the worst, so I went with all white furniture to help brighten the room.
  • On the wall with the door, I have a lot of large items piled up that wouldn’t fit anywhere else. It’s as neat as it can be, but I tell ya what…this apartment has been a challenge with storage. I promise we don’t have that much stuff!

In my next home office/studio, I will have dark hardwood floors, white walls, and lots of ideas! I can’t wait to document the evolution of that space into my dream workspace. It’s going to be epic!!

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