Organizing Your Office: Chalkboard wall calendars

With school starting soon, I’ve been itching for some new home office organization systems–there’s just something about fall that makes me want to buy fresh new binders and recycle everything I don’t need anymore.

One of the things I’m craving is a big planning wall calendar. I’ve been gathering wall calendar inspiration, and today, I have three chalkboard style calendars to share with you.

First up, we have a gridded, painted calendar from Martha Stewart. It’s got a great blend of sleek and rustic, doesn’t it? Just enough texture to be interesting, and the straight lines keep it looking orderly.

Next, is this one-week calendar which is simply hung on the wall. This would be a great option for renters, or for people who don’t want the hassle of painting over chalkboard paint. I don’t really find a weekly calendar to be very helpful (I need to see my schedule further out to feel really organized), so if I go with this one, I’ll probably make a month’s worth of squares instead of just 7.

I really like the way Holly framed out her chalkboard for her command center. Plus, the tags add a unique, attractive touch. This version probably comes the closest to what I was looking for when I first started my search–it has a rustic charm, and enough polish that it would work well in many home offices (including mine!).

The drawback of chalkboard wall calendars, though, is that there’s all that dust involved. Of course, that they’re easily erased is both good and bad. So, I’m not completely sure this is the right approach for my office. Lucky for me, there’s plenty more inspiration out there, so stay tuned for another roundup or two of what else I’m considering for creating a big wall calendar in my office.

One more reason to move to England

Sure, there’s the great TV. And the accents. And London. Which is reason enough to move all on its own.

But, now I have one more reason to envy our readers in the UK. Michael, the garden office specialist. Sure, I could hire a handyman to build a garden office for me. But it simply wouldn’t be the same. I mean, look at Michael’s Site full of delectable tiny workspaces with all the details carefully attended to.

And he’s so right–who wouldn’t be tempted by the idea that they can simply walk to the end of their garden and get to work. I can’t imagine a lovelier commute than that.

Though I love my home office, should I need to give it up (it’s technically the family room), I’ll definitely be exploring the option of having a garden office built. So, do check out Michael’s website. And if you have a garden office of your own, I’d love to see photos!

What do you think of the idea of a home office that’s secluded in the garden?

{Small home office, Where People Work} {Comments Off on One more reason to move to England} {December 14th, 2009}

Home Office Inspiration Board: Small Nook Office

Small home office ideasWhen I got an email from Denise about the hallway office she shares with her kids, my mind immediately started churning out small-office decor ideas. I know all too well about being productive in a super small space (my first home office was a teeny coat closet) and while it’s fun to design and decorate a large office, it’s also fun to squeeze every last bit of potential out of a smaller space.

Here’s how Denise describes the situation:

We need help! We have a wide entry hall and that’s the only space in our whole house that really works as an office. The kids and I work on the same laptop (Denise does part time bookkeeping, the kids do homework and play games) and I’d love a longer desk area so both kids can be working there together. Right now, we use my old college desk but it’s deeper than I’d like for the space, and a lot shorter than is ideal. One thing I do like is that the desk has a bit of storage–if you can’t find something long and narrow with storage, we’ll need another resting spot for pens and paper because I hate having that stuff out in the open.

My style is really modern, but the living room is currently furnished in a Pottery Barn style–if you can keep the office space clean but also homey, that’d be perfect. As you can see, we’ve partially stripped the 60-year-old wallpaper (grass cloth), so we need to finish that project and then we’ll need a wall color. I’d also like a new ceiling light fixture as the one that’s there currently is pretty darn ugly. The ceilings in the hall aren’t high, so it’ll need to be something close to the ceiling instead of something that dangles.

We have a budget of $1000. I’m happy to hunt for bargains at the thrift store, so feel free to suggest a piece or two that you think I should find something “similar to.”


So, what we need in this case is a long narrow workspace, plenty of accessible storage and seating for two. Also, because there’s no outlet in the entry hall, Denise plans to have an electrician come out and wire one. Here’s what I put together for Denise and her family.

Since Denise’s budget is important, I’ve included current prices on each item–notice, we bring the whole thing in under budget!

Organizing a small home office

  1. One of the best ways to make two (kid-friendly) workspaces in a tight space is to use a bench because it takes up less room than two chairs. Along with relatively modern lines and a low price tag, this piano bench also has the benefit of hidden storage under the seat making it a real asset in the space. $110
  2. This darling speech bubble message board brings a spot of playfulness to the space–it adheres to the wall and works as a chalkboard for sharing messages. $15
  3. The Pottery Barn Wall-Mounted Craft Organizer has plenty of nooks and crannies to store all the small school/work related stuff like paperclips and rubber bands. $229
  4. The Ikea sofa table has just the right dimensions for the space–it’s both a lot longer and a lot narrower than the current desk, and it also has that extra shelf for more storage. $199
  5. Instead of a ceiling fixture, I recommend Denise have the electrician install three of these wall sconces. They’ll provide both better task lighting and can function as mood lighting. Overhead fixtures tend to be a bit glaring for living rooms and the sleek lines and friendly price of the Turner Sconces are perfect for the space. Plus, this means we won’t need a desk lamp which would take up space we can’t spare. $49/each
  6. For the wall color, the current living room is a warm beige, and I suggest bringing the aqua that’s used heavily in the living room (as accents) into the entry as a light color on the walls. One with plenty of green, like Sherwin Williams’ Hazel will go nicely with the carpeting, though Denise plans to replace that with tile in the next year or two.
  7. And, of course, we need flowers! Though this is the entry way and something fresh would be especially lovely, since we’re mixing kids and computers, I recommend something that doesn’t require water like these coffee filter roses.

So, there you have it, a tiny workspace for just $700. To save additional money, Denise could scour Craig’s List for the sofa table–you’ll usually save about 40% that way and can often find the furniture in good condition. A second hand piano bench is also a good option.

That’s how we’d bring modern yet warm style to Denise’s tiny office space. If you happen to be in the mood for a board of your own, click here to score some home office decorating advice for yourself.

Hi! I’m Jessica Zee, editor of GirlyPC.

I’ve been working from a home office for nearly five years and in that time, home organization products have gotten a lot more attractive. But, unfortunately, the technology we're using... Hasn't.

I’ve set out to change that in my own home office and wanted a place to talk all things pretty-home-office.

Welcome to GirlyPC! Enjoy your visit.