Posts tagged ‘organization’

March 5, 2012

Makeover Monday: Home office remodel

by heatherkp

This was a fun project that I started about a month ago.  This client recently began working from a home office and although the design of the room and built in desk are quite beautiful there were some issues with functionality.  The clients punch list was part design and remodel and part organization and efficiency.  At our first meeting I took an assessment that included the following:

  • Purchase a new larger monitor (which wouldn’t fit on the original desk top)
  • Re-arrange & relocate artwork
  • Rebuild or bring in a new/different desk
  • Purchase paper shredder
  • Eliminate clutter and create more desktop space
  • Keyboard tray/desktop had no room for use of mouse
  • More leg room
  • TV viewing in room -better positioned seating
  • Crowded (too much clutter)
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Space to store supplies
  • Storage for important archival documents
  • Implement/redesign filing system

Desk area before

Office before

Upon my return last week we discussed this “Punch list” and the client had made some decisions with some close advisement of family, myself and a contractor (in this case my husband who had done previous work for this client).  They purchased a new computer, all in one printer and shredder, we redesigned the desk and had it remodeled to fit their needs exactly and re-arranged furniture and implemented new storage/filing solutions.  Some furniture and other items were removed from the room or stored away, we brought in a second desk, relocated the sofa and additional seating opposite the TV and added lighting (on artwork, in the bookshelf/desk and an additional lamp).  We sorted through paperwork and created storage for archival documents, cleared out unneeded papers and equipment, installed a binder filing system (more on this type of system to follow in a separate post) and used existing storage and furniture to store items needed in the office.

Office in progress

As usual for any organizing project there came a point mid way through where the room looked worse than when we began.  In the photo above you can see the papers, boxes and clutter floating homeless in the room but at this point the furniture had been re-arranged to fit their needs and the desk was in the midst of being remodeled.  This project was done in about 4-5 days.  Part of the fun of this was that my husband and I worked as a team and he did the remodeling, lighting installation assisted with installation of all the new technology (computer, relocating phones/modems, printer etc).  In fact we worked so well together that we are thinking of trying more projects as a team in the future.  The results speak for them self (I think:)

Office-second desk with printer after

Desk after

Office desk after

Office after

It’s not every project that comes together so quickly and efficiently.  We had a successful week and I’ll be following up (as I always do with my clients) to be sure that the new space and systems we installed are working well.  I’m not only proud of how beautiful this room is (which I certainly can’t take total credit for!) but also how well it will now function but customizing and thinking through all this clients needs. 

Great Design is all about Form + Function!

Do you balance form and function as you design your spaces or do you lean more heavily towards one or the other?

October 31, 2011

Moving Monday::2 Week Countdown

by heatherkp

Wow, it’s really only two weeks away now.  The last week my head has been in a fog from grief, stress and a cold!  We are closely watching our eldest cat to see what the fate of her coming with us will be.  She was diagnosed with both cancer and kidney failure early last week and we just don’t know how long she will be with us.  It’s a matter of time and we are just trying to enjoy each day we have with her.  It feels as though all the world is conspiring to make sure this move is bittersweet!  Although so many wonderful things have fallen into place there have also been challenges.  That is life though and I’m trying to embrace the process.

This week we have had some help packing, made sure the storage unit is reserved and are starting to say our goodbyes to people we love here.  We have also submitted our change of address with the USPS (recommended 2 weeks ahead of time).   We’ve begun to line up our moving help, this time enlisting the help of lucky friends and family:)  On Friday before the bad weather I went to my community garden plot and pulled out most of the plants that were done producing:(  I had a pretty great yield from a 10’x20′ plot!  Saturday was a great day for packing since we experienced the freak snow storm that hit the DC metro area (all of the north east).  I thought surely we would be out of here before we saw snow but I guess not!

Next up we will begin to pack clothes, toiletries, staple food items and small furniture.  We will also begin to notify our utility companies.  I’ve only gone to buy groceries one time in the past three weeks since we are trying very hard to use up what we have on hand.  If the weather cooperates this week I will also dig up a few special plants from the yard to take.  In the past I’ve taken far more garden plants but I’ve found that as a Master Gardener, plants tend to find their way to me through other generous gardeners.  So far over 40 boxes have been packed.  My mom gave me a good push and a reality check, she seemed to think we have a lot to do and I thought we were doing pretty well.  Either way, we will get it all done by the 12th but I feel like we are pretty close to being on schedule.


September 7, 2011

At Work in the Studio With::Penland Artists

by heatherkp

For quite some time now I’ve been contemplating how to merge my love of art and design and my passion for organization.  While I was away at Penland I found a little seed that’s germinated and has been pushing it’s way slowly to the surface.  In that wonderful nurturing and creative environment I spent a lot of time walking around and observing other artists, their “studio” (albeit temporary for most) spaces and the work being created.  One particular evening we were visiting the Resident artists studio’s and the idea really struck me to start a blog interview series with artists about their sense of or lack of organizational skills and how that affects their work.

Above and Below::Studio space of Jewelry Artist Jeong Ju Lee

Above and Below::Studio space of Daniel Marinelli

Below::Studio space of Textile Artist and Weaver Robin Johnston

Today I’m bringing you the introduction to this new series.  I can’t promise how frequently I will be doing interviews, much of that depends upon who I’ve come across and their willingness to share their organization or lack of.  For many artists and creative types being organized is just not a big priority and often staying organized is a struggle.  Revealing this to the world may not be something many artists are willing to share.   So many people continue to feel embarassed or asshamed about being disorganized but I am here to say that EVERYONE struggles with organization in some area of their life (or has in the past).

Above and Below::Studio space and workshop of Woodworker Tom Shields

Upon speaking with many artists though I’ve come to realize that for all of us there is a cycle to the way we work.  We carve out a space, gather the materials we think we might need to begin and we dig in.  For some creators they need to end each work day (or session) with a bit of re-organizing and tidying up.  Others will continue to work right along side the ever growing piles of detritus, materials, abandoned projects, dishes, tools and whatever else accumulates.   Some artists can go days, weeks or months before they feel the need to stop and tidy up again.  What prompts this action?  Is it the completion of a big project or a feeling of distraction or getting stuck?

Above and Below:: Iron Forging workshop

Above and Below:: Woodworking workshop and workbenches of student artists

I wonder for each of us, how does the order or chaos of our working environment impact the artwork we create?  When you look at someone’s artwork is there any clue as to their working methods?  Could you venture to guess if they are organized or dis-organized?  How does our environment help or hinder our creations as artists?  These are all questions I am interested in exploring further as we meet other artists and discuss their working methods, see behind the scenes into their working spaces and perhaps learn some organizing tips from some of them.

Above and Below:: Metal Casting studio workbenches of student artists and the instructor

Above and Below::Studio workspace of Bookmaking student artists

Above and Below::Studio work spaces of Letterpress student artists

Above and Below:: Studio work spaces of Encaustic student artists and instructor

As I wandered from studio to studio observing and speaking with artists about how they work and taking photographs I found that most of the time people tried to tidy up when I asked if I could photograph them and or their spaces.  “No” I said, I want to capture you the way you really work.  I really appreciate the willingness of all these artist to allow me to share their working spaces with you here.

Above:: studio workspace of fellow surface design artist Kathleen Bennett Bastis

Call to action::If you are an artist and feel you are particularly organized or dis-organized and want to share your working practices and space I’d love you to comment here or email me.

Above:: studio work space of my instructor Jason Pollen;>)

January 13, 2011


by heatherkp

I finally joined Pinterest in December and I’ve found it to be such a fantatic tool for organizing all the things that inspire me!  I was worried (as you may be too?) that it would just be another website that sucks time away from my day but I’ve found that’s not really the case.

I find that I use the Pinterest bookmarklet to pin things as I’m browsing other sites.  In the past I’d have to do a screen capture and or bookmark the site or subscribe to the blogroll or favorite them via Etsy or Flickr and going back to try to find anything was next to impossible!  Some people also use Tumblr for this purpose but I’m loving the way Pinterest works and how I can create my own categories, tags etc.  Here is one of my collection of THINGS::Girly Frilly Things to be more specific!

And here is a board of THINGS::Tactile Texiles to be more specific.  I love the flexibility of this new website!

Click on these photos for links to the boards and for more specifics about each pin.  For now you need an invitation to join but you should get a response from them within a few days at most.  Are you on Pinterest?  What do you love about it?