Saturday, January 14, 2006

Office Space

No, not the movie. My office space.

When we moved into this house three years ago, I knew my office would have to be in the basement, next to the hot water heater and the furnace. You'd think that would make it warm. Not so much.

We have an unfinished basement, although there is one room where the walls are done and that's my stepson's room. We've put a remnant of carpet down in the family room and that's where the kids play video games.

Then there's my office.

Cement walls, cement floors. I did get some carpet for under my desk, but it gets terribly dirty with all the stuff that falls down from the ceiling. Our house was built in 1908 and the previous owners put in a new basement. But you can still see all the old floorboards and pipes when you look at the ceiling. We had plans to finish the basement, but those plans have changed since we are looking to sell the house within a year (hopefully). I have plans for my new office - plans that include a door, carpet, finished walls, a ceiling, and lots of light.

In the meantime, I make do with my office. I'm surrounded by bookshelves, filing cabinets, and that big freezer in front of me. But hey, the freezer makes a great place to put my pictures. :-) My dog Charlie loves to lay underneath my desk and he is wonderful company.

During the winter, it's not the best place to write. I've sat at my desk, covered in a blanket, with the space heater running behind me, typing away. But our winter hasn't been cold at all, so I've only had to do that a few times.

My ideal office? A room as big as my living room...with a comfy couch on which to sit and edit my drafts...beautiful pictures depicting Regency and Georgian England on the walls...a soft, rose color on the walls...or maybe dark emerald or dark blue...a big bay window overlooking a lake or my beautiful garden (um, which I have someone else take care of because my green thumb is more a pale, chalky white)...a bookshelves line two walls, the other is taken up by my desk and a big table in which to spread everything out and write. And a fireplace. Must have a fireplace.

An office is an integral part of being a writer. It's your space to create, to immerse yourself in your story, and to sit and dream.


  1. What about Christian Bale? Don't you need Christian Bale to serve you tea and chocolate cookies?

  2. ABSOLUTELY. And he will be wearing nothing but a pair of boxer briefs. YUM.

  3. My office is in the main part of the house--a blessing and a curse :/ It is actually a cupboard I can close and keep little fingers away from my PC. Ideally I'd have a huge room with a view, very warm, lots of bookshelves and table space.

    One day :)

  4. My office used to be in our sunroom so I could look at the Oklahoma flatness, but now... Well, now it's in the family room due to the monstrosity of a workout machine planting itself in my sunroom.

    Here in the family room I thought I'd get peace and quiet. Yeah, right. That theory was blown out of the water after we got the girls an air hockey table for Christmas. I may go out in our little barn in the back part of our property. Sure, I'd deal with spiders, scorpions, snakes and wild animals of all kinds, but at least it'd be quiet.

    I'm not dreaming of an office any time soon. In five years or so, I want to sell this house and build a new one. One with my office. Ok, with built in shelves, a computer center, sound system so I can listen to music. And NO KIDS. None. It's like a bar, you have to be a certain age to enter... but without the drinks. Well, maybe one. ;) Drink, not kid.

  5. OK, you definitely deserve the best room in the new house for your office! I'm really lucky to have an office I love. The only thing it doesn't have that I want is a fireplace.

  6. My office is a pit. Too much stuff, not enough shelves. I'm trying to coerce my hubby into building built-in bookcases. Ahhh...that would solve the problem.

  7. I painted my writing room a cornflower blue which I find very calming. Even though my room is in the basement it has two windows and gets lots of light. I'd like to get another bookshelf in there, but there's no room...I'm considering turning my spare bedroom into a reading room and moving all but my research books upstairs.

  8. Office? *ponders* What's that?? I have an eensty weensty desk in the dining room/living room -- not a singular space for me. This weekend, I drug my laptop and a mug of coffee back to the bedroom and locked the door.

  9. I don't have an office. Not even a cupboard. No desk, no shelves, and no privacy. I write in the living room, in my recliner, with my computer on my lap, and life going on around me.

    I've never had much trouble with this arrangment, because I've never had anything else. I don't know what I'd do with silence, except for possibly lose my mind.

    But I have a dream... I dream of a desk. Or maybe not. My recliner is pretty comfortable.

  10. You've done a great job with such a difficult space! I hear you on the cold. Even with the overhead heater, there are times when it's too cold down here for me to work unless I've several layers of clothes on!

  11. I loved reading about your offices! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  12. Anonymous6:10 PM

    Enjoyed a lot! »


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