With that, I have always been really selective about the brands I partner with and the opportunities I say "yes" to. This has allowed me to create really solid relationships and stay true to why I come back here each day, yet some of those opportunities have stretched me and allowed me to grow in many new ways. Ways that I ultimately get to bring back here! Sounds like a bit of a full circle moment, doesn't it?
Last week was one of those really incredible moments. HomeGoods was hosting an event at a loft in New York City as part of their #makehomeyours campaign, and they invited me to design one of the spaces!
I know right? Amazing.
HomeGoods is all about offering beautiful and unique items for individuals looking to create a home that tells their personal stories. Stories of favorite memories, of travels, of hobbies and passions. The stories that make your house a home. They challenged three different bloggers to design a room using only HomeGoods products (as well as a few of our own personal items), to not only portray our style, but to tell our stories. They really wanted each room to be a reflection of how we live within our own homes.
The other two bloggers? The talented Gabrielle from Design Mom and Claire from The Fashion Bomb Daily.
Can you tell which room is mine of the three finished spaces below?
OK, I know I sort of gave it away in my post intro photo, but what I love about the images above is that each room is so distinctively different. You can read about Gabrielle's family room here and Claire's bedroom here.
The space I was challenged to create was a home office! Love.
Being that I work from home, I spend many, many hours in my home office. So I was really excited and passionate about creating this space for the event.
There was definitely a bit of prior planning in the days leading up to the event; furniture checklists, color selections and talks about key elements. When I arrived in New York, I took a trip to HomeGoods and felt like I was on a TV show. They gave me a cart and said, "Shop until you drop!" The goal was to have a lot of items to select from back at the loft space to be sure the room would come together in time for the big day.
Monday afternoon the loft was a complete blank slate. When I arrived, they were putting up walls and panels to divide each room. A lot of magic happened within 24 hours to pull together each space and prep them for the filming and media visits.
A lot of thought goes into designing a room, it is more than pretty colors and textures. I started with a color palette that makes my heart smile, and it is pulled from the sea. Living in a cold and dreary state half of the year, I find so much joy designing with aquas, navys, teals and greens. Especially because trips to the Florida Gulf have become so special to our family over the past couple of years. Also found in the south are vibrant pink flowering plants and shrubs. So, I say yes to pink as well. It is my favorite color after all. So yes, even the colors selected for the space have deep rooted meaning. Here are a few more tips I used when creating this beautiful home office.
FIND YOUR MOTIVATION MOJO
When it comes to both organizing and designing a space, select pieces that inspire you and will motivate you to want to use and maintain the space day after day. For me personally, I get all giddy inside when I open a drawer and see pretty papers showing through acrylic organizers. That prevents me from wanting to toss random items and piles in on top. In fact, acrylic organizers just may be my favorite things ever. #obsessed
And filing paperwork might feel like a chore some days, but it is a bit easier when you are smitten with the cabinet you are using to hold those important documents.
INJECT YOUR STORY
Feeling at home in a space is all about filling it with things that you love. For me, my family is my passion, so I brought in framed family photos and artwork created by my children. I also pinned up my favorite Instagram photos on the memo boards right in front of the desk. Those memories make the space feel like home to me.
FIND YOUR WOW MOMENT
If you have been reading here for awhile, you know I am big with graphic statement walls. Our birch tree stencil wall in the playroom has brought so much life to that space and the wallpapered closet nook is about the happiest space in our home. Oh, and our stenciled dressing room wall is amazing, I still get asked all the time where I found the "wallpaper". Love that.
I wanted to recreate that moment in this space, so I used HomeGoods gift wrap to deck out a wall! Their papers are so thick and the patterns are always so fresh and fabulous, that you would never know it isn't wallpaper (bonus: each roll I used was only $2.99 for 10 ft of wrap). A little double stick tape and I had an instant wow moment. The best part, gift wrap is temporary and you won't feel as bad taking it down as you would painting over a stencil or tearing down expensive wallpaper.
CREATE A SETUP THAT WORKS WELL FOR HOW YOU WORK
One thing I have found to be really helpful in my own office, is having two workspaces that serve as different functions. I appreciate having a counter height option that allows me to spread out and wrap gifts, write out cards and work on small craft and DIY projects. And sometimes I just want to stand! By having the second space, I can leave out my projects and go to a clean desk to sit and do the computing and business side of things. It is always important to think about how you use your space, and set it up accordingly, yet don't be afraid to continuously tweak it until you find an awesome daily flow.
THINK OUTSIDE OF THE STORAGE BOX
One of my biggest tips for setting up a space, is to be open minded when you are sourcing your storage and furniture pieces. One of my favorite office supply organizers in this space was actually found in the cosmetic department. The craft desk is a console table intended for living and dining spaces. Rolls of gift wrap are stored in an umbrella stand and a planter from the garden department.
I also used a bar cart to act as a tech station, perfect for docking a computer and/or printer. Add a few boxes and baskets and you can store reams of paper, printer cartridges and small media. Seriously, bar carts are amazingly versatile and so gosh darn adorable in any setting.
Oh! And don't be afraid to put organizers into organizers! Some of my favorite storage solutions were as simple as placing mail slots and drawer organizers inside of the baskets on the shelves.
FAMILY FRIENDLY OPTIONS
Although I am the primary user of our home office, I welcome my boys into my workspace with open arms. They do their homework there, they craft there, they live there. I want them to know that my space is their space, so I keep baskets of their favorite books and toys out in the open to encourage them to hang out with me. Crafts are always within their reach and I make sure to have enough working surface so they can join me whenever they wish. I also select kid friendly finishes and products; rugs that hide stains, an easy to clean sofa, soft sided furniture and surfaces that wipe up in a jiff. A kid filled home can still be a beautiful home.
Space permitting, it is nice if you can carve out a corner for relaxation and taking a mental break. A chair, bench or sofa is not only fantastic when you just want to sit and look at a magazine or write down thoughts in a journal, the seating spot also offers visitors a place to get cozy in your space.
I knew we would appreciate having a bench in our home office, but I never expected it would get as much use as it does each day.
Truly, mix and match it all. Although I was only in the space for a couple of days, I fell for it hard. There were so many elements that I loved, but what I really appreciated was the variety of finishes and patterns. The variety and combinations really made the space come alive. I had geometrics on the wall, florals on the floor, damask on the chair and bits of whimsy in the pillows.
Same story for hardware finishes; a bronze task lamp, rose gold accessories, nickel nail head trim and gold photo frames.
Beautiful wood toned console paired with a clean white parsons desk and a playful teal filing cabinet. Acrylic pieces galore matched up with woven baskets. Oh! And a coral inspired bowl on top of a faux croc tray on top of a linen tufted bench.
Everything in the space is all so different, yet it all works together whether through color, pattern or the story behind each piece.
Over the course of the day, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with a lot of media. I shared with them many of these same tips and I really appreciated the opportunity to build a variety of new relationships.
Can you believe that everything in this space, minus my photos and children's art, is from HomeGoods? Every last basket, organizer, accessory and piece of furniture. I really appreciated that I was able to create a cozy home office that really reflected the way I live at our home each day.
What is something you are sure to inject into each space you design? I would love to hear more about how you #makehomeyours.
Photos by Matt Harrington for HomeGoods.