Stylish Work Spaces

What does your work space say about your personal stye?  Whether you work from home, in a cubicle, at a desk or in your own office – does your work space speak to who you are?  Are you motivated to work efficiently and effectively in your workspace?

If my desk is a mess I cant think straight.  I subscribe to the theory that a messy desk means a mind filled with chaos.  During my law firm days, unless I was totally swamped and working around the clock, I cleaned off my desk every night before heading home.  To get a jump start on the next day’s challenges, I also created a “to do” list.  Old habits die hard; although I work from home, I still try to clean my desk off regularly and make my nightly “to do” list.  Fresh flowers, photos of family and friends, interesting paperweights and a place for everything also helps to make an office your own private oasis.

Yes, that’s me sitting at my desk in my home office where I pen most of my posts. I LOVE my new office thanks to the generosity of my husband and the interior design genius of Ghislaine Vinas.  Believe it or not, I used to sit facing a brick wall at a rickety West Elm desk that had seen one too many moves.  However, it took home and office organizing expert, Lynda Foxman, to help us find a space in our home that would be an ideal work space for me but not interfere with the general flow of the apartment.

I’m a fan of the desk accessories and paper goods at Muji, The Container Store, Jonathan Adler and Unica Home.  OneKingsLane, the Gilt Groupe of home goods, also has great finds on a regular basis.  Lynda Foxman convinced me to buy file folders, paperclips and pens that fit my personality (they’re all purple of course!).  At first it seemed like a waste of money since I already had just plain old manila folders, but I found some purple folders on sale at Target and have been converted ever since.  It is nice to have folders I like to stack my papers and bills in.  There was a partner at my old law firm who only used pink legal pads, I thought she was being a bit eccentric, but maybe  her pink legal pads bring a little smile to her face while she’s burning the midnight oil.

Artwork can make a big difference too.  I know most people hang their diplomas and whatnot, but really is that what you want to look at everyday?  You know where you went to school and when you graduated; if someone else really wants to know what your alma mater is, they’ll either ask you or Google you.  Find some art that inspires you, makes you smile or makes your office inviting for both you and any visitors you may have.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your office, check out Cococozy.  A great interior design blog and website focused on stylish ideas for home and office.

What have you done to make your work space reflect your personal style?

[Photo by Mel Barlow]

9 Responses to “Stylish Work Spaces”


  • Wonderful post with good advice!

  • Thanks for all your great posts. I look forward to getting your style and lifestyle expertise in my inbox each week…While my workspace is not roomy or stylish, I do have a desk that I love. It was my father’s desk. He is now deceased, but his beautiful Louis XV, French Rococo, Baker Furniture reproduction with leather top, hand tooled gold borders, gilt striping and brass feet inspires me. I even love the one burn hole on the leather top left from his cigarettes. A real gem and a great space to create.

  • I was so pleased and excited that I made such a difference for you Kalyn, and that you have taken the time to inspire us all by writing about your work space.

    You have an intuitive eye for style. You are warm and interesting and a joy to work with. And now your work space looks beautiful and is now a reflection of you and your work.

    AND, You look beautiful in it!!

    Here are 3 tips for a “Stylish Work Space” that inspires me.

    1.Edit: Remove the clutter- If you don’t use it everyday it doesn’t belong there.

    2.Location: What are the 6 things you reach for daily? Those are the things that should have a home on your desk.

    3.Something you can do today: Add beauty with a fresh vase of flowers.

  • Hello! What a gorgeous office – you lucky lady! Thank you so much for sharing the One Kings Lane love. So kind of you!

    Ali Pincus

  • I suspected you were genius when I first read your blog. Seeing your mention of Lynda Foxman and her organizing expertise cinched it.

    I have flown her to Chicago to glean her organizing brilliance in my closets, in my husband’s company (setting up multiple offices) and in my move to a new home.

    I would trust any recommendation you make after your mention of Lynda Foxman. You just made a Kalyn Johnson fan out of me.

  • Feeling good in your work space is like feeling good in your clothes. Both make what your doing more enjoyable and somehow more productive.
    I also have worked with Lynda Foxman in organizing my home office. She has helped turn my space from a harsh cluttered work space to a functional airy space I don’t mind spending time. (Who knew there was such an array of fun artsy thumb-tacks!)

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom on your blog. I enjoy reading your posts.

  • Your blog resonated with me. I have incorporated some “personal” touches to my office space and really believe in surrounding yourself with things that remind you of a happy memory. My office has a framed oil painting by an artist friend, photos of my children and funny visuals/quotes that brighten my spirits. I, too, have been fortunate to work with Lynda Foxman and found her tremendously talented in coaching us in organizing our stuff such that it allows our space to serve us! With her strategies, we have been able to keep it up and have our house look so good–that many people ask us if it is “staged” and that’s with 2 small kids under 5!

  • Lynda Foxman has organized my office and in so doing my life. If you have any issues regarding your space work with her. You will not be disappointed. Make your life easy. She’s great!

  • This is a very, very late comment, but it’s been on my list of things to do. I was in the midst of planning my wedding when I first saw your great blog post and now I’m (finally) finding time to catch up on what I wasn’t able to do for quite awhile.

    I also didn’t like the idea of sticking my diploma or other certifications (do they say I’m certifiable?) on my office wall as “artwork”. As a photographer, I really wanted to find a way to show off my work too. My answer was to use some of my favorite photographs I’ve taken as artwork to adorn my walls. Some are framed, others aren’t. Plus, I can rotate photos from home to the office.

    However, as I started to put photos up in my house, I realized I really needed help with my eclectic collection of furniture – some antiques, some hand-me-downs (antiques-to-be?). It must have been enough of a mix-mash of styles to make my (then fiancee, now) wife wonder just what I was thinking. :-)

    Like you, I also turned to Lynda Foxman for help. I couldn’t be happier with the how great my place looked after she worked her magic. I’ll admit I was concerned because I’m in California and she’s in NY but she quickly addressed any concerns I had.

    In fact, my wife and I are even talking about flying her back out here again to help with our remodeling plans and how to combine our furniture and decorating styles. I know from talking with friends that deciding what stays and what goes can be somewhat stressful, so we’re looking forward to having her help.

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