USA Today Bestselling Cozy Mystery Author

What Belongs In An Author's Office?

As I mentioned on Facebook yesterday, I’m planning a DIY project this summer. I want to re-design my office. (Or perhaps, more accurately, design it. I’m not sure it currently has a design to re.) In my defense, I do think that because I live alone, there are things about my style that just haven’t been solidified. But having a lot of married friends and finally owning my own house has given me the design bug.

From a home-user of an HGTV design competition
From a home-user of an HGTV design competition

A friend has been designing her new home-office this winter and the process she’s gone through has made me ask myself a few questions. What makes a good office? What belongs in an office? What doesn’t belong in an office?

My friend was initially planning to build a closet-office in her guest bedroom. You’ve all seen these, right? These are common in high-efficiency apartments and small houses now. Or in houses without dedicated office rooms. Some of them are extremely cute.

Most of them have some kind of paint element in the background. (I like this one, that has the wall pattern or wall paper.) Most of them have installed shelves. Almost all of them are designed to have the door closed when not being used. That can definitely be appealing.

My friend finally decided to repurpose her guest room (which most days goes unused) into an office with a daybed that could be re-purposed quickly if she needed guest space.

This is from a place called DesignSponge. Pretty, eh?
This is from a place called DesignSponge. Pretty, eh?

For myself, I have a dedicated office space. Thankfully, when I found the house, it came with a nice little space for an office that works out quite well for me. I have a huge roll-top desk. I have a nice treadmill desk (that I don’t really use as a desk anymore, but I do still use as a treadmill). I have a couple of filing cabinets. A bookshelf. And a ton of flags. Seriously. There are flags on every visible wall surface. None of the furniture matches. It’s a lot like a college dorm room.

I’ve been looking at a lot of different office designs. Mostly on Pinterest. I am a Pinterest nerd. I have an entire office re-design board now. And my friend who just re-designed her home office is extremely interested in what I want to do with my office.

We’ve had many long conversations about what I want.

I’m moving all of my furniture around, getting rid of unmatchy book-cases. Some of them, I’m going to paint and move around. Paint to match, of course. Moving the treadmill desk. Moving the piano. Getting everything out of the office. So I’ve had awhile to think about what I want.

I wouldn't mind having a chaise lounge... I'd like to read in my office as well as write.
I wouldn’t mind having a chaise lounge… I’d like to read in my office as well as write.

I know I want color.

I know I want a more functional desk, preferrably with a lot of workspace (which I currently lack).

I know I want some bookshelf space.

I know I want to use my closet for storage. Probably with either shelving or filing space.

I know I want all of the flags to be gone.

I know I want new window coverings.

I know I don’t want to spend much money.

I wouldn’t mind having a chandelier, or a chaise lounge, or an accent rug.

I would like to have a feature or focus wall, but I want to have a functional wall, too. I’d like to have a couple of big pin-boards hung in wood frames on the wall. I have a couple of them that float around, but I’d like to affix them and utilize them a little better than they’re currently being used.

I don’t want to have too much clutter.

I think I’m going to do something similar to what this blogger did, with her pictures, etc. And she managed her cost-breakdown to stay under $1000.


What do you think? When you imagine an author’s office, what do you think should be there? And if you are an author, what do you want in your office? Or what is in your office that you really like and would suggest?