Webb Design Headquarters - What A Dump!
What a delight (not!) to open up someone else's blog and discover your own messy, unorganized office plastered for all the world to see. Today, I had that lovely experience! Now, imagine that this is the office that you hide, not only from your family who live in the same house, but also from the clients for whom the office is intended. So, it's not exactly a pleasure to share it with total strangers. My office started it's life as a guest bedroom, but it proved too small for anything larger than a twin bed. For several years my husband officed out of this space - his desks consisted of wall to wall banquet tables bought from Office Depot. Once he came to his senses and realized he needed a true office with its own address - not our home address - he moved out and left me with this miniscule room to use for Webb Design's headquarters. I promptly tossed out all the banquet tables and folding chairs. For a desk I went to Pier I and bought a 6' dining table with an X base, stained dark brown. The table has proved to be a wonderful desk: with its large surface, I can spread out floor plans and fabric samples and still have room to work. Perhaps the best advantage to buying a dining room table instead of a desk is price. For some unknown reason, put the label of "desk" on a product and the price goes up.
The red console, which should be painted black!
Next to go in the office remodeling was the wall to wall carpeting which we had installed over the hardwoods to muffle my husband's office noises. I then polished up the once hidden floorboards and put down a large seagrass (naturally) rug. For a console, I chose a red wood piece. Today, about 8 years later, I would pick out something different, and definitely not something in red. But this was a choice made when the color red figured heavily into my decorative scheme. It no longer does. I know, I know, I can hear you! Paint it black! Isn't that what I tell all my clients to do with wood stain they no longer like? I probably will, someday.
The antique map of Rome.
The bamboo window shades came from Target, and the antique wine rack that holds files came from Chateau Domingue. The sconces were once in my dining room, bought at the wonderful shop, Schors, during a summer vacation on South Padre Island - the best beach in Texas. The focal point of the room, is, of course, the map. A copy of an antique map of Rome, it is my favorite thing in my office. The map is oversized and is pasted onto a heavy, wooden board. It weighs about a ton and I had to hire movers just to bring it upstairs to my office, it was that heavy. I bought it - used, of course, from Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy, and the map, made of paper, is far from pristine, which only adds to its charm.
My sample closet: wire shelves hold wicker baskets which hold fabrics and more fabrics.
My sample closet started out very organized, with baskets for all the fabric cuttings. But over the years, I've slowly outgrown the space and seriously need more storage room. The overflow is now taking over my garage and my sweet mother-in-law came last weekend to help me reorganize it so that hopefully, we can get a car or two parked back inside. She's promised to come back this weekend to finish the job, but I'm afraid it will take more than just one day; creating storage room where there is none is an almost impossible task. Until I can get more storage space and thus organize, my office is off-limits to everyone but me. That was, of course, until now and Ms.Whitney English and her blog.
Using a dining table for a desk means no drawers. I get around the problem by stashing the staplers and tape and scissors, etc. in this large, antique biscuit tin from England.
A few weeks ago Whitney English Kolb, of Whitney English, wrote me to ask if she could highlight my office on her company's blog. gulp. Why, I wanted to know, horrified at the prospect of showcasing my awfully messy office? I explained to Whitney that my true office is really my laptop on a table, set up in my courtyard, where I tend to spend the majority of my time. Undeterred, Whitney was very persuasive explaining that her company was highlighting bloggers and their workspaces as a tie in to her business. Before I knew it, the article was written and there it was - my desk in all it's glory for the world to see. Oh well, there is such a thing as truth in advertising.
My "real" office - outside, Starbucks and all.
The more interesting part of the story though, of course, wasn't my office, it was Whitney herself. A young, beautiful blond from Tulsa and Dallas, she owns Whitney English, a paper goods and stationery company she started in 2002. The inventory is classic, sophisticated with just a touch of trend to make it exciting. This March, Whitney was honored by Country Living Magazine, when she was named one of their Top Women Entrepreneurs of 2008. A few years ago, Whitney expanded her company by purchasing Hicks Paper Goods, a leader in the stationery world. Young and full of energy, Whitney has a very bright and exciting future ahead of her. My favorite factoid about Whitney? Hailing from Tulsa, she is a relative of that city's uber talented interior designer, Charles Faudree, who was named to Cote de Texas' Top Ten Interior Designers list. While in college studying interior design, Whitney spent a summer interning for Faudree, which she writes about in detail here. I can imagine she learned more in that summer than in four years of school! Be sure to visit her web site and read her blogging series on Bloggers and their Offices, including moi among others.
Lastly, many thanks Whitney for including Cote de Texas in your Inspiration Series. I am very grateful, and excited to be included, despite my utter humiliation!!!! You are so sweet and I appreciate all your efforts so very, very much!
Examples of stationery from Whitney English.
The beautiful entrepreneur, Whitney English Kolb.