Group 6 4 minutes Read

my office

Lauren Zerbey

Remember this post from a month ago where I showed you my clever solution for the fauxedenza “satellite” office? Well, I decided to change things up again.

Before Avery was mobile, it was easier to work at the dining room table while she was awake. Now, not so much and I decided that I needed my own space. Originally, we thought the basement room would be a guest/media space, but then we realized we actually liked having the TV on the main floor and built that fancy media bench. Although I plan on working from the basement for the foreseeable future, I don’t think it will be an office long-term. (We’d love to have our own commercial office space at some point.) Because of this, I didn’t want to do anything too permanent or spend too much money. So, a few hours and about $250 later…


The desk is from IKEA (Alex drawer unit, Linnmon top and two Borgfinn legs). I went in thinking I would get a longer Numerar kitchen counter (in a similar gray laminate finish) but they were out of stock of the size I needed and was concerned that I’d need an intermediate support to keep the counter from sagging. So, instead of claiming the entire wall I decided to focus on the corner of the room instead.


We also moved the sofa to the opposite wall. Even when it’s in the bed position, there’s still plenty of space to walk between. (I had a cute little assistant helping me out today.)


All of the pillows, linens and duvet fit inside the chaise lounge. We rolled up the foam topper and are storing it in the closet at the bottom of the stairs.


I also picked up the Kvissle paper tray. I’ve been impressed with this line’s design and quality (steel and cork) but this is the only piece I thought I’d actually use. (The “X” bookend is also IKEA; I realize it’s not doing anything functional right now but I still like it.)


Oh, the Raskog cart. I’ve been crushing on this cart since it came out but never had a good enough reason to get it. Ok, I still don’t have a great reason but it’s so lovely and I’m sure I’ll figure out something. (Maybe a mini bar cart? I mean, I do have a sofa in my office…) For now it’s holding a few random supplies and baby toys. (This room is also home to our surplus albums.)


The cork squares are from a local office supply store and I used those 3M Command strips to adhere them to the wall for easy removal. The photos are from Prinstagram and from a larger stack that I ordered before Christmas. (I love how they turned out and am thinking about making more for months 5-12 and using them as part of her first birthday party.)


We’re still planning on keeping all of our shared resources (like printers, office supplies, reference books, etc.) in the office loft which is nice because it will keep this “sometimes guest room” from getting too cluttered.


This room has never really had any “decor” to speak of (if you remember, this is the space that Kyle frantically finished the first week we were home from the hospital with Avery!). Not wanting to spend a lot of money or make difficult decisions about accessories I just relocated a few things from around the house. It works for now and I’m sure things will be added over time.


I’m still fussing with two separate laptops (I shamefully took the Dell out for these photos because it’s just so clunky and blah) but will likely transition to a docking station with a larger monitor and dedicated keyboard. I think the cork feels a little high now, but it should look more balanced once there’s a monitor on the desk. Also, I should mention that the Alex drawer unit is deep enough that it holds 11×17 paper – a major perk for storing half-size drawing sets!


Even though I’m in the basement, I can’t complain about the view. The landscaping that was installed last spring is filling in beautifully and Kyle just picked out and planted the Japanese Maple in the background. (We need to do a landscaping update, I know.)



So, a quick and relatively simple project but I’m really happy with how it turned out. Although Kyle and I probably have a more similar aesthetic than most couples, it was fun to put together a space that was just for me, without having to talk through every design decision.


Another impetus for getting this space together is that we decided to hire a part-time nanny. We love working from home and establishing our own work-life balance, but sometimes that means knowing when to bring in a little reinforcement. As Avery’s gotten older I’ve been feeling more pressure to juggle it all. I think extra help is going to make a big difference and will be a benefit to not only Kyle and me but to Avery as well.

Having someone here part-time will afford me a dedicated chunk of the day to focus on my projects without feeling like I’m missing out on time with Avery. Every parent is different and how you feel about your situation can change pre and post-baby. Nine months in, I know that I’m happiest when I’m a mom and an architect. Achieving that balance isn’t always easy and (as I’ve learned) it’s something that is constantly evolving. So, we’re trying to stay flexible while also doing what’s best for our family and our clients. Although we spend a lot of time and energy focusing on our daughter and our business, we are grateful to be where we’re at (something we remind ourselves of when we take a break at 4:00 to sit on the stoop and soak in the late afternoon sun). Maybe a perfect work-life balance is an elusive idea, but I feel like we’re getting closer.