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In which there are not yet pictures

My father-in-law has spent several afternoons over at our house in the last month, first helping my stepdaughter with the painting of her bedroom, and then helping me in the painting of my office. (Somewhere--I think in my car--is the camera with her bedroom "before" shots. Whether or not they are on there, there is no way to post "afters" of any of it without finding the camera. So, finding the camera--that would be a smart thing.)

I spent quite a lot of time laying out the office, first on graph paper and then on Floorplanner.com. Here's the layout. I cannot explain why the chair looks so enormous and the desk looks so small. It's an overstuffed chair and a half, maybe that's why? But theoretically, the dimensions are right...

Anyway, I may have to retire from the room shortly, as I think the fumes from polyurethaning the windowsill are getting to me. The window was open during all of that, but something in here reeks, and I have a headache. And a huge backload of stuff to sort through.

My big plan is to make sure I load only essentials into the new space. So I am going through all my drawers and bobs and bits, doing a rough sort of stuff I know I can throw out or give away... but I'm also enforcing a strict policy of only bringing in items as I need them. At the end of a month, anything I haven't brought in, I will do another rough sort on, keeping a very critical eye as to what is needed and what is not. I'm not saying a month is the true limit--I could throw out some good stuff, that way.

Interesting to figure out how decorative elements come into play, there... I already feel the barrenness of the walls, so that is going to be one of the first things remedied. And the lighting.

I'm also thinking of moving to a two-drawer file cabinet. *gasp!* Well, hear me out: I will probably keep the four-drawer upstairs for a good year or so, and then really rethink my filing needs. Once upon a time, a file cabinet was the epitome of my ideal of organization. But I do so little on paper now, I can't foresee keeping the monstrosity for it.

I may even go so far as to throw out all the reams of coursepacks and photocopied readings from college. *double gasp!* Honestly, I haven't looked at any of the coursepacks since college (the books: yes; coursepacks: no). Possibly it's a browsability issue. In any case, I work at one of the top ten academic research libraries in the country, and honestly, I don't need to keep a personal file of articles that are rapidly growing outdated in subject areas I probably won't actually revisit directly in fiction.

This is an enormous change/admission/goal for me, btw. Just so you know. I've held onto bits and bobs of paper--scribbled "research" notes and the like--fiercely since I was 13, as though hoarding knowledge against the apocalypse. Come the apocalypse, though, I'd be better off with How to Survive in the Woods and my guides to medicinal and edible plants rather than a description of the alarm calls of vervet monkeys.

I'm just saying.

Anyway, I have to go figure out dinner. And look for my camera some more.

ETA: Figured out the small desk thing. Apparently 23 inches to the program meant the depth of the desk and the chair together. Of course!


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC)
Wow, your office is almost as big as our bedroom. And the left wall is 2 ft longer than the right...

Going through my course notes was freeing, though it took me quite a while to admit that I wasn't ever going to need them again. Selling my textbooks was the same way, with the bonus of getting money for them.

Have fun!
Mar. 7th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
The wall appears to be 2 feet less because of how I had to rig the drawing to get the opening to the dining room in the right spot. :)
Mar. 7th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Ah, that's what that is. Having two doors would make things tricky.

(In our house, it's the oddly placed windows and that all the closets have sliding doors.) Wall space is at a premium.
Mar. 7th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
Oh, and the whole shebang will also function as "the library."
Mar. 7th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
That's not what the whole house is for? :)
Mar. 7th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
Strangely, no. The books have mainly stuck to the offices/bedrooms.
Mar. 7th, 2010 03:34 am (UTC)
I like the layout you came up with.

And also I still have an empty 2 drawer file cabinet if you need it. Tan-ish, in like-new shape.
Mar. 7th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
I will examine it to see if it fits with my design scheme, if I may? :)
Mar. 7th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
Mar. 7th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
as though hoarding knowledge against the apocalypse

I less-than-three this sentence.
Mar. 7th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
Did you build the space new or appropriate an existing space? I love the uncluttered quality in the diagram, with so few open surfaces. Do you like to have story visuals up while you're writing? Dave made a great, magnet-friendly wall board for me using a half-sheet of metal roofing (slim to the wall, unobtrusive).

Congrats on having a new, dedicated office space!
Mar. 7th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
We had a "formal living room" which never did much except during New Year's parties, and mostly was serving as a repository for my stepdaughter's book bag and assorted junk after school. We theoretically called it the music room, since it held the piano and guitars, and my stepdaughter did practice her violin there... but it really wasn't working as hard as the rest of the house, to say the least.

Likewise, we have a formal dining room with similarly less-hard-working tendencies, but I can forgive it because at least it looks pretty, and it's always a nice, tidy space to serve guests, if we need to. (The breakfast nook is what really needs to go--I have a dream of renovating the kitchen, and allowing the kitchen to absorb the breakfast nook.) At some point, it seemed nice to have two dining and two living spaces, but that point was before we actually moved into the house and tried living in it.

So, we had: super-heavily used family room, a regularly-used kitchen, and then three rooms that only got light use, whereas every square inch of the upstairs was jammed with use and stuff. (My office, at one point, for example, the fourth bedroom, was doing double duty as guestroom and my writing room; present wrapping and storage; craft & sewing room... It doesn't hurt anything that I've ostensibly given up most crafts and all sewing, but I wonder how much of that was not having the time because of writing, or not having the space?)

My story visuals usually end up on my desk in front of the monitor, not up on the wall. I've been through a white board phase, and a bulletin board phase... neither of those really lasted.
Mar. 8th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
You don't really know till you live in it, right? I'm all for kitchen expansion - we're trying to figure out how to fit more counter (work) space in ours. Nice that you can expand into a breakfast nook - they usually have such great natural light.
Mar. 8th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
I think in our case, "breakfast nook" is a name they put on the rectangular area next to the kitchen, and is not to be confused with a beautiful or functional area in which to breakfast. :)
Mar. 8th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
I love your office! One can never have too many bookshelves.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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