If you’re like me, DIY is not your thing. I may be a Designer, but that doesn’t make me a Pro when it comes to the implementation. I can specify tile, but installing it is another thing. I can put together furniture styles, but building it or re-upholstering it is a whole different realm. So needless to say, I was excited to put together my home office design on paper. But I was a little timid when it came time to implement and install the design.
It’s funny because this is something I ask my clients to do on a daily basis. With E-Design, my clients take the plans, design boards, and shopping list I have put together and implement it themselves! So it was about time that I step into the shoes of my client and do the actual DIY-ing, installing, and implementing of one of my own designs.
Because I’m insane, I decided to start the work on my home office design the week before Christmas. It’s a slow time in my business so I thought it would be the perfect time to rip apart my office and re-do it. Unfortunately, that week I was also struck with the stomach flu.
Now the thing about me and my personality is that I set certain expectations for myself and for others. And when those expectations aren’t met, I get really frustrated and angry.
So there I lay in bed, sick as a dog, with boxes of new furniture piling up all over the house and me angry at myself for getting sick. I lay there in bed stressing about all the things I needed to do, all the things I had planned to do, and all the things that weren’t getting done.
My husband was trying to comfort me and encourage me. He told me to enjoy my time off and just allow my body to rest. He didn’t get it. I don’t allow myself to do anything – relax, be sick, take a break. I only allow and expect myself to be superhuman, awesome, amazing, and perfect.
After being sick for a week and getting nothing done, Christmas happened. Then the real flu happened. I couldn’t believe I was sick again. My office was half-painted. My computer and paperwork were all over the house. Clients were asking for drawings that I didn’t have done. I was sick and tired AND sick and tired of my life, my home, and my business being in shambles.
I started to regret even starting this project. I spent a lot of nights crying as I assembled furniture after a long day of working. My husband and I spent evenings fighting about how to hang the curtains. And I walked around for a month feeling like I was high – either off of the paint fumes or the cold medicine…who’s to say?
There were a lot of moments that I wondered if I was trying to find satisfaction in something that wouldn’t satisfy. I wondered why I was expending so much time and energy on one little room. What could some paint, new furniture, and some wall décor give me besides a month of stress and sickness?
Joy – My home office design brought me joy.
“It’s just an office filled with stuff,” you say? No, it’s a place of joy. I took something that was undesirable and made it desirable. I took something that was bland and boring and made it my style. I took something that was without beauty and gave it beauty. Think about if each of us did this everyday – if we each took something that lacked beauty and added beauty to it. Whether that thing was a relationship or a project or a building. We’d constantly be re-creating the world around us into a thing of beauty. That would bring joy to both ourselves and to others.
Happiness – My home office design brought me happiness.
I struggle with Depression on a daily basis. How I fight my depression is by arming myself with every tool available. I want to give no opportunity for a negative thought or anxious feeling to creep in. One of my tools to beating my depression is by decorating my environment. If I feel happy, inspired, and relaxed at home then I won’t be drawn down into despair and doubt. One way I instantly boost my mood is by surrounding myself with happy mementos in my home. I make it as easy as possible for myself to be happy – whether that’s putting up an inspirational quote or displaying a sentimental knick-knack.
My husband gave me these toy minions all throughout our year of dating. Each one makes me smile and laugh. They may not be high style, but they’re a reflection of me and my style. That makes me happy.
Less Stress – My home office design brought me less stress.
Before my home office makeover, I was constantly working in a space that didn’t work for me. The printer was across the room so I had to unplug my computer, walk it across the room, and hook up the printer every time I wanted to print something! Great for my Fitbit steps goal, but not for my productivity as a business owner.
When I designed my new office, I designed it with lots of storage and tabletop space. I’m constantly making lists, looking at drawings, putting finishes together, etc., so I need lots of space to lay everything out. But I also like a clean, kept environment. If my space is cluttered and messy, it comes out in my work and attitude.
A home office makeover might not be on the top of your To-Do list. I get that. It wasn’t on the top of my list for my home either. After all, I wasn’t thrilled about parting with my money or free time. But what I gained from my home office makeover was an environment that communicates joy, happiness, and respect. When I walk into my office each morning, I think about the time and sacrifice my husband made to give me this beautiful space. I think about the God who gave me these talents and abilities to create just like Him. I feel inspired, loved, cared for, and respected because I took the time and energy to create an environment where I could thrive.
We all give a lot…to our families, our jobs, our social obligations. We’re constantly giving, nurturing, and caring for others. Sometimes we need to take a little for ourselves. My home is the place where I need to take a little for myself. My home is the place where I want to feel joy, happiness, and less stress. That’s what a home office makeover got me.
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