Friday, August 03, 2007

Catch a Tiger by the Toe

Friday again and August to boot. Can you believe it? I don’t even know where the last two months went, but I’m exhausted. (I'm so behind, I unpacked the last of my suitcase from Scotland and Dallas on Tuesday night.) I spent the last two nights painting my living room and getting all the furniture put where it belongs. I will tell you that the big open space thing has its drawbacks – when the living, dining and kitchen are all once space, there’s no way to just stop painting. It all has to be painted. Good grief. I don’t know when I’ll get finished at this rate. I’ll try to get some pics up soon.

After this, I’m hoping to focus on my new office. I've never had one before, so this is exciting. I've ordered a bunch of my favorite movie posters to frame for inspiration (yes, there's one of Captain Jack although I restrained myself and did not order the life-size cardboard cutout they had for only $35!). Now I'm trying to figure out the right color to paint the walls, but I have no clue. I can't figure out Feng Shui. The room is on the 2nd floor with windows facing south, but the door is in the northwest corner. Where is my wealth and success section? What color should the walls be? Beige is not an option and blue and brown have been overdone in other rooms. I'm looking at green, purple, even yellow if I like the shade. It's also important that the color match my existing furniture. Right now, I have a tall cherry bookshelf and a short black bookshelf, a tall cherry file cabinet. I’m lacking a desk, but I’m also having trouble finding one that isn’t priced as though it’s carved with ivory and gold. That or it just looks cheap. Finding one that matches the existing furniture isn't much fun either.

Here's the forerunners. What do you all think?

Option 1: $199 ( No drawer for pens, etc., but it does have that nifty bookshelf built into the side there.

Option 2: $279 ( Has a drawer and plenty of nooks and crannies, however the keyboard tray seems short and I wonder where my mouse would sit.

Option 3: $199 ( This one doesn't have a drawer either, but it does have a black desktop, so it would match both my bookshelves.

Option 4 : $429 ( Lots of drawers and cabinets and whatnot, plus I think out of all 4, it matches my existing cherry furniture the best, even the drawer pulls are similar. I'm not sure its $200 nicer than the other ones, though.

What do you guys think? I’m leaning towards number 2. Maybe with a hunter green wall color? Or would that be too dark? Play interior decorator for the day and help me out! I know some of you have taken workshops on creating the ideal workspace and I need some assistance here.

Are you having trouble making decisions lately? Toss any quandries into the blogosphere and see if we can help you decide, too.


PS. Angel’s winner from Monday’s Blog with Barbara Vey is MaryKate. Anne is the runner up. Email her at to claim your prizes!

To my past winners – Joye (Harry Potter prize) and Robynl (Scotland prize) please email me ASAP at so I can send you your nifty gifts. Otherwise, we’ll have to schedule a trivia shootout to see who gets your stuff.

And finally, a special birthday shoutout to Maven Linda! Happy Birthday!!


catslady said...

I like No. 1 for the money. I like that side bookshelf. I would check out the second one if you think the shelf is on the short side - I play games and would hate to not have enough room to move that mouse around lol. I see no real advantage to the expensive one. And I'd rather have drawers and/or shelves than the matching black top - you can never see the top of my desk anyway!

Playground Monitor said...

Turn to page 67 of your RWA conference handout book and there's info from the "Write Environment" workshop Angel and I took. A lot of it revolves around your learning style: visual, auditory or kinesthetic (check with PC on that).

Space, light and color are the three biggies. Make sure you don't overcrowd your space, make sure you have GOOD lighting and be sure to use your favorite colors in the room. Maybe you can't paint the walls that color, but you can use it in the accessories. For example, I've used lots of red in my office -- red and tan valances, red throw cushions, red vases. I'd never paint the walls red; I personally like the neutral wall colors.

Also consider comfort, efficiency, organization, effectiveness and location, location, location.

Also, NO MATTER WHAT -- have a plant in your office. There's a 10% increase in productivity when you have a plant. Also have cut or silk flowers, a photo or photos of a special person and your special mug. I have a lucky bamboo plant on top of my bookcase. I have a dark red Oriental-styled vase with a silk fern on my end table. I have LOTS of photos of my granddaughter. And I have a mug that some friends brought me back from Scotland. ;-)

Angel probably can offer more info.

I like #2 too. Go to the store and see if they have a model on the floor and check the keyboard tray. You may be able to use a wireless mouse since they're smaller.

As for feng shui -- the compass points don't matter in the method I learned. It all orients around the entrance to the room.

Good luck and have fun!


LadyVampire said...

I agree with you about #2. I like 4, but its a bit high priced. 3 is nice but the way its built would make it tough to manuver around in...your legs might hit the sides when you turn. 1 is a nice desk but I would check into the bottom of the desk. I can see the bookshelf under it where your legs would be and you might want to check and me sure there's enough room and you wont be bumping into that shelf. Definitely option #2 if you want my opinion.

Stacy S said...

I like 2 best. It's hard finding a desk you like & can afford.

Jen said...

You don't need #4 because you already have file cabinets. That corner desk will be very confining because then you can only put it in one place -- VERY VERY BAD feng shui to sit with your back to a door.

I think PM's right. A nice neutral wall and pick up your color in accents.

Instigator said...

I like number 2 as well for every reason that's already been mentioned. Hunter green might be too dark (depending on the natural light you have in the room) but you can always do what I did in my bedroom. We painted the walls a nice, rich light brown color and then added a beautiful burgandy accent color to all the trimming in the room and the doors. It's enough of a splash of color to give it some warmth without making it too dark.

Happy Birthday, Maven Linda!!


Rhonda said...

I have the little corner job in my teeny teeny teeny office and I can tell you I don't work in here--all laptop all the time. If I had an actual big room, there's no way I'd put a desk against a wall. That puppy would be right smack in the middle of the room.

Rhonda, having office envy...
PS--Happy Birthday Linda!

Angel said...

PM covered most of what we learned. As a visual learner, I'm putting more decorative touches to my room. A picture of a Scottish castle. My inspiration picture of an old-fashioned bookstore. I'm working on clearing out the clutter by having those stackable paper holders where I have an Open Project file, Action file, and Needs Filing file. This is easing up the clutter on my desk, which is very distracting to a visual learner.

I'm not auditory, so I can't handle music or anything. It distracts me. I've decided this is why I hate it when my hubby and kids turn up the sound on the computer to play games. When I come back, it makes all those dinging noises and that drives me crazy.

I'm secondary tactile, but this hasn't been a problem until I moved my desk. I love the new location, but now a vent blows right on me. I've covered my chair with my pink plush throw, but sometimes even that isn't enough. If I can't find something to direct the air away from me, I'm covering up that vent, I don't care what my hubby says.


Jess T said...

I actually like the corner desk. I've always liked them.

Good luck making your choice! I wouldn't mind having that cutout! :)

Smarty Pants said...

Angel, can you get one of those plastic vent covers that diverts the air in a different direction? That might help. That or just close it if you're cold natured. My second floor is warm. Even with the A/C cranked, its warm. We have a ceiling fan in the bedroom, but the other rooms are toasty. I was sweating to death hanging up blinds the other day.

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday, Maven Linda!!!

Call me old fashioned but I like #1. The opening for your legs is in the center. With #2, you will have to sit to the side. Also, the bookcase is a great option. You can always have a container for pens and such on the desk. I also like the openness of the shelf behind the desk. The lines are better suited to creativity instead of the straight, square lines of the other desks. Visually, #1 is more stimulating.

Colors on the wall. Remember soothing colors will probably enable you to be more creative. Those would be cool colors but muted. If your room is warm, you want to stay away from warm colors. You'll feel stifled. :-)

I'm excited that you and Angel have a new office. Mayhap I can get mine set up before long. Sadly, that room is painted in primary colors for kids and the hubby thinks its cute for the grandkids. I'd like to wallpaper or something else. I'll have to work on that.


Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hugs on the moving stuff, SP. I'm still trying to dig myself out of various projects from the move, and my office still isn't together yet. (I need more bookshelves, which is a source of constant disbelief for hubby -- LOL.)

PM and Angel have good suggestions from the class. I didn't go, but I like some of what they've said. I'd also like to play devil's advocate for just a moment. I like #2, but I also like #4. And if you think #4 works best with what you have, it's really only $150 more than #2.

My hubby always tells me to get the one I want because if I settle for something less, I won't be happy. This wound up costing the dear man a lot of money when it came to appliances, but he was right. I LOVE what I picked out and couldn't imagine having anything else.

Sometimes, it's worth the extra dollars to get what you really want. Now, if you aren't that partial to a particular one, then by all means, save some money and go with the less expensive desk.

As for paint, I agree with PM's thoughts. I wouldn't paint my walls that dark, but I'd bring the color in in other ways. How about pairing neutral beige walls (I assume they are that color now) with a really rich hunter green curtain, maybe something silky and shiny? Take it up to the ceiling (assuming the ceilings are typical height) and let it puddle on the floor -- rich, sumptuous. Then bring in the accessories -- throws, vases, pillows, matted pictures.

Oh gee, all this talk of office decorating makes me look around and feel like a slug. I have blinds, but need curtains. And I need to get the rest of these books shelved.....

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oh poo, after all my excitement about office decorating, I forgot to say Happy Birthday to Maven Linda! Birthdays are much more exciting than decorating. :)

MaryKate said...

Woohoo! I never win anything! Thanks Angel!

I'll join the chorus, I like #2. I also like #4, but if it were me, the sheer number of drawers and stuff would mean that it was never neat, I'd always have them hanging open.

Congrats on all the painting, that's tough work!

Happy Birthday, Linda! Hope it's a terrific one. I'm having a hard time not cracking open your new one, but am saving it for my lounge chair in San Juan which is six short days away from me now.

Problem Child said...

I love shopping for office stuff :-)

Remember to take into account which side the drawers and stuff are on. My desk drawer is to the left, which makes it awkward for me to just grab stuff as I need it. Plus, the way I have to position the keyboard and mouse means I'm banging against it all the time.

But I have office envy.

Happy Birthday Maven Linda!!!

Nini said...

I hope that thread works and comes out fully. That's a pic of our own PM...

Nini :)

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Hmmm....I would keep shopping. None of these are exactly what you're looking for. I always go for the THAT'S IT!!!

Hugs, JJ

Carol said...

I like #4. I always like to have a lot of storage space and it also matches your furniture the best.

Angel said...

See, I'm all for dark colors. Doesn't bother me a bit. And when we had to paint our other house all neutral to sell it, I hated it. Didn't care how much bigger it made it look or how much lighter it was. Still hated it!

Maven Linda said...

Thank you guys for all the birthday wishes. It's been a very nice calm day, which is good -- very good.

SP, wait until you find the desk that shouts, "Pick me!" unless you absolutely have to have a desk because it's driving you nuts not to have one. In that case, go with the one that makes you happiest. After all, you have an emotional relationship with your desk (do y'all realize how weird that sounds????) and whatever you buy, you'll stick with it for years, so you really should make yourself happy.

Colors. Color is so important to me I completely understand your dilemma. I tend toward teals, dusty peaches and pinks, dusty blues. My office is painted in 310A-5 Villa Fountain, from Lowe's. It's kind of a medium green with blue undertones. I'd forget about the furniture matching, decide what favorite items you'll be using to decorate, and paint to complement the dominant color scheme. Build your decorating scheme around Captain Jack's poster, or something else you love.

Oh, is it bad fend shui to sit with your back to the door? How about that. Too bad, because that's the way I sit. I'd rather look out the windows than toward the door.


Rhonda said...

Linda, I always felt like someone could sneak up on me when I had my back to the door. I moved my desk to the other corner of my hidey-hole office and have to admit, I like it better.

Of course, if I had your view I wouldn't worry about anyone sneaking up on me. Have I mentioned that I'm still available for adoption? :D

Nini said...

Well, i forgot a few things yesterday in my excitement of seeing PM in a picture on someone elses's blog...

1. Before deciding between one and two...are you a leftie or a rightie. Both openings are moved to a side more than in the middle. I'm a "in the middle" desk person.

2. I don't like three as it makes you look like you're surrounded, cluttered, and closed in. Not very Feng Shui i think.

3. If number four is way too much money, and do you really need to have more file space, then go with either one or two.

Maven Linda was right. Go sit at the desk. Move around, try it out at the store because you'll be sitting there an awful lot and will need to be comfortable.

And I want pics when you're done...



Happy Belated Birthday Maven Linda!