By October 26, 2010 Read More →

Lisa’s home office

Lisa Kanarek My Home Office

    Today’s post is by Dallas-based home office expert Lisa Kanarek, the founder of and the author of several books including Working Naked: a guide to the bare essentials of home office life. Lisa is also an interior designer – this is her home office and here is how she created it:

    ‘For the past year the old saying “the shoemaker’s kids have no shoes” has hit close to home or rather my home office. Instead of doing anything to improve the look of my work space, I’ve been busy designing clients’ home offices and writing about working from home.

    I’m proud to say that my new home office rocks. I love it! Here’s a condensed play-by-play of my home office transformation from ugly to awesome:

  1. I started with a cushy, wool rug in black, tan and red. It’s a good idea to start from the ground up. Paint and furniture are easy to find. Finding the right rug in the colors you like and within your budget can be more challenging. The rug fits the overall look of my home so if I ever get tired of it, I can put it in another room.
  2. Using the rug as a color guide, I went on a quest for the perfect paint color. After trying a few stock colors from Benjamin Moore (my favorite paint company) and not finding exactly what I wanted, I created my own color. Like a mad scientist (minus the insane laugh), I mixed a few colors together and created what I call “Working Naked Gold.”
  3. Next I bought two bookcases and filled them with books and art projects my sons have made throughout the years. The two-piece bookcases (base and hutch) were available with or without doors. I went with open bookcases to keep me from storing supplies I didn’t need to keep.
  4. Then I hung pictures and a large metal sculpture on the walls.
  5. I finished my office by putting a TV in the corner. The day after I added it, I remembered why I’ve never had a TV in an office: I can’t resist watching it. Constantly. The TV is still in my home office but now I watch it only at night when I don’t feel like working but need to finish up some projects.
  6. Now that I’ve finished creating my home office, there’s only one more thing to do: get to work.’

Posted in: Home offices

11 Comments on "Lisa’s home office"

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  1. San Sharma says:

    Love this! And great to see your home office, Lisa. Puts mine to shame 🙂

  2. Ali Davies says:

    I am a big believer in making your home office as inspiring and comfortable work space as possible.
    But must admit I was surpirsed to see you say you put a TV in your office. That is one thing I would never do – too much temptation and also just want office to be about work related activities from a mindset point of view. I admire your strength in not putting it on during work time.

    • judy says:

      Ali, we moved earlier this year at the same time as the digital switchover in the South West, and on finding there was no TV signal at our new house simply couldn’t be bothered to sort it out after all the other hassle with utility suppliers.
      So we didn’t renew our licence and now only watch TV on iPlayer and the other view-again sites. We’ve found we watch hardly anything any more, but really enjoy it when we do. Spooks, for example, and Mad Men, are a real treat and way of unwinding in the evening!

  3. John Valentine says:

    I love the quote ‘the shoemaker’s kids have no shoes’. That’s so true.
    I’m currently about to do my home office, however I can tell you now how it will go.
    1. Go to Carpet Right and find any off cut that fit’s my room size, if more than one option I will go with the cheapest.
    2. Go to the garage and find any old half empty paint tins that sort of match the carpet and sort of match each other.
    3. Remove most furniture, cover rest
    4. Paint (and keep businesses running at same time)
    5. Put old furniture back in, be annoyed forever over the paint marks on the furniture I couldn’t be bothered to move out.
    6. Put some photo’s of the family on the wall in places that hide the badly rushed paint work.
    7. Definitely not put a TV in the room
    8. Agree with open bookcases, a cupboard with a door becomes a cupboard full of…..

    • judy says:

      Thanks, John, and good luck with the painting. Number 5 rings particular bells…
      PS And don’t forget a photo of the end product – I’m sure we’re now all dying to see how it turns out 😉

  4. Rosie Smart says:

    I have got to say, I love Lisa’s approach but think that John’s is much more realistic. We are also currently decorating our home office. I am sitting here trying to work as my husband strips (wallpaper) beside me. John, you’ve made me laugh out loud and think that Judy should give you a special mention on Thankful Thursday as you’ve brightened my day!!! :o)

    • judy says:

      Phew, I’m glad you mentioned the wallpaper, Rosie, I thought maybe your husband had taken the Working Naked approach a little too literally! Can we see your room too when you’ve finished?
      Watch out for Thankful Thursday – I’ll try and come up with a theme that covers erratic decorators!

    • John Valentine says:

      Hi Lisa, thanks for your comments that’s really nice. I have been planning the attack on the room for about a month now and feel I can put it off no longer, I also have a small window of opportunity to do it in the next week- so I am currently preparing ‘to unleash hell’. Yes, I have also recently been watching Gladiator during my lunch break.

  5. Julia Russo says:

    Nice look. My office looks very similar, including the wall color. I’ve read that yellow is good color for a home office – stimulates the brain. Not sure I could work with the TV on though – surfing the Internet reading blogs is a big enough distraction from work!

    • judy says:

      I know, one thing leads to another and all of a sudden you think ‘What am I doing on this page?’ Sometimes it’s quite a complicated trail back to your starting point!