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My Total Office Makeover: The Embarrassingly Bad "Before" Pics

My Total Office Makeover: The Embarrassingly Bad "Before" Pics

Welcome to our newest blog series, My Total Office Makeover, in which Curbly's editor-in-chief, Chris Gardner, realizes that as a full-time design and craft blogger working from home, he'd better transform his second bedroom into a space where work can actually get done, and look pretty cool while it happens. 

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The story begins like this:

For the first time in my life, I was living alone. Of course, I didn't want to live alone, but through a strange and never-thought-this-would-happen series of events, I'd gotten married very young, and within three years realized we had pretty different long term goals, and parted amicably. Divorced at 26.

No matter how kind and drama-free the proceedings, it didn't make living alone any better. I didn't wanna be here. It wasn't my home. I unpacked, sure, but never settled in. My books stayed in boxes in the basement. I never connected the stereo and media gear. Cooking for one became mercenary; a totally different experience than the thoughtful culinary adventures I'd braved regularly.

And my second bedroom sat 25% finished for nearly a year. Previously, I'd used similar spaces as an office for all sorts of things: a place to house my musical instruments and gear, and a study room when I was a full time graduate student. But in this space? I barely wired anything together, and it took me months to even hang up a few posters I saved from college. And a organized space for paying bills, filing paperwork, etc? Nothing even close.

I wasn't depressed, but I wasn't really thriving. It was just that nothing seemed permanent. I had no idea what was gonna happen to me, so why take the time to invest in the space? I was in a job that I didn't really like, and wasn't even sure I would stay in this city.

But then, it got better. I cleaned up. I hung up some pegboard and put up all my tools in the basement. I met a wonderful person to spend my time with, and she inspired me to do better, try new things, and go after what I really wanted.

So, I quit my job, and began doing what I loved full-time: partipating and capturing the DIY movement, helping folks think differently about how they spend their time and money, and empowering everyone to love where they live.

And, now, I was working from home. Full time. On my own schedule.

And I needed an office.

So, for the next four weeks, I'll be sharing how I turned a pathetic spare room into a functioning full time workspace for all the trillion hobbies and media in which I dabble, and for all the stuff I make.

To begin: the before pics. Crappy tables and a mess of cables.

created at: 01/04/2011

created at: 01/04/2011

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DesigningMom on Jan 05, 2011:

Ah, behind every good man is a strong woman. created at: 01/05/2011


I'm glad to hear you found the other part of your being Chris. Looking forward to seeing what you did in your home office/workspace.


Jeannette on Jan 05, 2011:

I can relate to your story of upheaval and impermanence, not knowing what will happen next. It takes time, but eventually you get to unpacking and re-thinking things...I've gone from a huge light spacious home to a run down rental that I negotiated a lower rent on in exchange for rehabbing. And it's been fun! Can't wait to see what you do with your place!


ModHomeEcTeacher on Jan 04, 2011:

I like your fortitude, man.


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