When I was looking for new apartments, one of my must-haves was an office space. As I move into dissertation research and writing phase, I just knew that the whole “doing work on my bed”
aka sleeping or on the couch aka watching tv wasn’t going to cut it anymore. One of the bedrooms of my new apartment faces the street and has a wall of windows, so I made that one my office! Man let me tell you, I dreamed, prayed, and planned for this office space for months, and pinned tons of inspiration to my Werk Space Pinterest board. I’m super proud of how it came together, so time to show it off to you!
Desk, Chair, Wall, & Rug
Every office needs a desk or working space, and I opted for the Ikea Alex/Linnmon combination with a high-gloss white finish. Under my feet is a shag rug from Target that’s not very plush but does the job. I first saw this chair on RachelGeorge.com, who specializes in gold and girly accessories and got me caught up enough to buy a $53 iPhone case because it was just so damn pretty. Now no shade to Rachel George, but the “exclusive” chair that she sells for $295 (girl, bye), is actually available all over the innanets for significantly cheaper, thanks to good ole Google search of “white and gold office chair”.
A bunch of other places (I’m looking at you Wayfair) claimed to have it for $150 but it was always out of stock. I tracked down the original manufacturer, Meelano, and was able to get it directly from them for $180 with a coupon code! I don’t always have a pillow on the chair, but it’s that time of the month and my back/bum need some extra support. This pillow came with the sectional I bought 6 years ago when I first moved to NYC.
You’ve seen this already, but on the wall behind the desk, I put up a gallery wall featuring some art prints by Pardon My Fro, gold foil sayings, and a dry erase calendar that gives you a sneak peek of what I’ve got going on this month (it’s a busy one!). Since this is a rental and I don’t want holes everywhere, I used velcro command strips to hang up the prints, the command sawtooth picture hanger for the calendar, and plain on gold thumb tacks and some white and gold binder clips to hang up the foil sayings.
Let me tell you why my office storage is the greatest. See that whole extra large bookcase situation that looks like it was custom made for me? I found these three Ikea Billy bookcases on Craigslist for – wait for it – $50! It was THE sketchiest pickup though and I’m glad Jonathan came along because I swore I was about to become a real live episode of Law and Order SVU. I’m talking random back street in Queens with a dodgy looking van that had a dummy person inside! Full price, the set would’ve come out to $190, so that $140 saved was (I guess?) worth the potential danger of losing my life. We thank God.
I styled my bookcases with intention, knowing that I’d be looking at them all day long and I wanted to be happy with what I was seeing! I first placed my books on the second to the bottom shelves, with one side for academic books and the other side for personal books. In the middle shelves I added remnants from college – awards, my BSA stole, etc – on one side, and the other side has my baptism certificate, throwback Miss Harlem Shake sash, a beautiful lamp that Jonathan and I got as an anniversary gift from our friend Louise, and other trinkets.
The second from the top shelf took me a good hour to style, as I organized all my natural hair products by brand and color! From left to right I’ve got: Entwine Couture, Marini Naturals, Coco Curls (now Moisture Love), Mizani, Kimble Beauty, Lottabody, Mielle Organics, Kurlee Belle, Original Moxie, Elevynn, Carol’s Daughter, Dark and Lovely, Cantu, Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture, and Creme of Nature. I don’t want to hear about how you need to hold onto some products though, because I JUST did a massive giveaway right before I moved! These are all for decoration. And my hair.
I was out of ideas for the very top shelf but then I ran out of shoe storage so I decided to mirror the colors of the hair products with my heels that I don’t wear anyway! I have a miscellaneous shelf that holds library books (so I can actually remember to return them), but I’ve masked it with this banner from our Ayie/Introduction ceremony.
On the bottom shelf I have a couple of storage boxes for miscellaneous marley hair and clip ins, hair tools, books, extra products, and random documents. I also have a storage bin right beside the bookcase for products that need to be used or photographed for the blog, so I call it my mail bin. That’s also my Mayvenn wig at the top of my bookcase looking lonely, but don’t worry, I’ve got plans to add a few more wigs up there in the next couple months.
The office also doubles as extra storage for my accessories, so I’ve got some shoes hung on the back of the door, large bags hung on the wall with command hooks, and there are winter jackets, purses, and other odds and ends in the closet.
On the Desk
On my actual desk, I’ve got a couple of gold storage accessories, notebooks, pens and other office accessories, candles, my plant (named Zara lol), headphones, and of course my computer. I also have a picture of Jonathan and I on our first vacation to Jamaica, because it reminds me of just how brown I’m capable of getting if I put my mind to it (lol). The large purple thing is an audio note that he gave me on one of our anniversaries, and the smaller purple book is a New Testament bible for quick inspiration. I also have a mirror which is handy for
scaring myself into being awake every once in a while recording YouTube videos.
You can probably tell my the amount of time I spent talking about it that my bookcase is my favorite part of the office. It really represents every single part of me – my hair, my relationship with brands, my education, my family, and my faith. Looking up at it when I’m working motivates me to keep pushing!