Etsy Find Fridays: Jazzing up the new workspace

In early April, I walked into work to find an ominous truth hovering around my office: we were being relocated.

Okay — not relocated. I’m being dramatic. Our office was combining with another office, etc., and so forth, and my own individual workspace was being moved . . . across the hall.

I’m super close with my officemates, Sandy and Brandon, and we work together closely — so my first reaction was pure fear. I shifted my gaze between them, absorbing the news.

“They’re not going to separate us, are they?”

It was like waking up in sixth grade to the news of your best friend in the world moving across the country, where there’s no email or phone service or ability to accept courier pigeons. Even though I knew, logically, that I was going to lose my “own” office — the small, windowless cell I’d called “home” for eight hours a day since 2009 — I was less concerned with that than being stuck in . . . isolation.

As we all know, leaving high school and college behind usually means one thing: your social circle dwindles. We all have friends we love no matter what — people who will be there for us through thick, thin, ugly, silly — but as we get older, it becomes difficult to meet new people. My work friends aren’t just “work friends.” They’re my friends, pure and simple.

And if I got moved away from them, I was going to flip out.

The good news is this: my new office isn’t an office so much as my desk, telephone booth/bookcase and miniature refrigerator wedged into the corner of a much bigger room, but I’m still with Brandon and Sandy and — bonus! — we have a huge, gorgeous and glorious window. Where I can, like, see sunshine and trees in bloom and people in the parking lot. Where, occasionally, a bird flits past and reminds me that there’s life out there.

If you’ve never had to work in a windowless room, you probably think I’m crazy.

And if, like me, you’ve been working like a mole in a cave for years at a stretch, you realize how this is awesome.

So here’s the thing: I’m in this new space and have a blank wall behind me. A white, scuffed wall, but an empty one. One where I can put up pretty pictures and make it comfortable. In my old office, I was famous for having a London-themed space; photos of Big Ben adorned every surface. I brought many of those with me, too, but I don’t think I want to just hang all the old stuff up in the new place. I’m ready for a fresh start.

So I’ve taken to Etsy, that devilish and angelic mistress, for items to spice up my new work area. I’ve fallen in love with several prints but really want to take my time in making a big decision . . . this artwork will be with me for a while, I’m sure. And once I convince a coworker to help me hang stuff, I’m not going to turn around and ask them to help me redecorate again.

These are items I’m kicking around for the ol’ desk and wall, which is just begging for adornment. I love feeling like I can step right out of work and into another place if I so choose, so many are travel-themed! Also, quotes help me stay grounded and remind me to focus . . . and that’s important, too.

Shout out if you have favorites. Or tell me if I’m missing something. Or join in the lamentation regarding a lack of windows in your office.

I understand, my friends. Boy, do I understand.

Be Here Now print by thewheatfield, $15

Books print by sixthandmain, $14

Make Voyages print by maechevrette, $20

The Columnist print by janethillstudio, $26

The Best Is Yet To Come print by theloveshop, $20

14 thoughts on “Etsy Find Fridays: Jazzing up the new workspace

  1. I totally just attempted to leave a comment via my phone and it spazzed out – so now I’m on my computer, hopefully this will work. What I said (and possibly already posted?) was that my vote is for the California “Make Voyages” print. And then I went on to say, P.S. It was lovely seeing you last night, as usual! 🙂


    • I love “Make Voyages,” too — so pretty but so powerful! That Williams quote is one of my favorites; I actually found it years ago, wrote it on a Post-It and have it on my memo board at work! So maybe it’s meant to be?

      And it was great to see you TOO, OMG — missed you. Had so much fun and looking forward to all things bridal shower very soon! xoxo


  2. I agree I like the Make Voyages, and also the Books one. Hey if this is where you spend all your time, you’ve got to make it pleasant and “you”. At my first job, I had a cube next to a window that OPENED! Fresh air! I had pigeons hanging out next to me.


    • Totally agree, Sandy — someone once said I treat my office like “my living room,” but hey — this is where I live. So it’s going to be all kinds of Meg-like up in here!

      And very jealous of your opening window — that would be like heaven. Maybe not this time of year, but when the weather cooled and that fall breeze could blow in . . . ahhhhh.


  3. ABSOLUTELY LOVE the artwork & quotes you picked! I would hang those up in my den/office-what great finds! Enjoy your new space, you have me inspired to spruce up my den/office….I need to start researching ideas for my space now! 🙂 I may even purchase a print or two from the collection you put together. LOVE ETSY!


    • Glad you dig these finds, too — and we can be print twins! Artwork really makes a huge difference in a space, and we could all use some freshening up in our well-worn locations. Gives you a whole new perspective, doesn’t it?


  4. My favorite is The Columnist, but they are all lovely. I know what you mean about needing color and inspiration in a work space. I spent 5 years in windowless rooms or cube farms. I had to inject some personality and color or I’d have gone crazy! Especially in the winter when everything’s gray anyway, and usually dark by the time you leave the office.


    • I’m with you, Sarah — gray days are always the worst, and I can’t stand working in drab spaces that do absolutely nothing to inspire creativity or productivity (and employers sort of like that… I guess. Whatevs). Five years trumps my three — hope your world is very Technicolor these days!


  5. L-O-V-E LOVE the Make Voyages print!!! 😀 sa-woon!

    Also: I feel your delight about moving into a windowed office. I had a window office the last three years, and in August got moved to a new office – without window. Without even a hint of window. I didn’t realize how painful it would be, but it’s been a form of torture 😉 So I celebrate with you at getting to move to a *window* 😀


    • I’m starting to think that anyone constructing office buildings without windows is some sort of sadistic jerk. Everyone wants a window — everyone. Why must they torture us by squeezing us into ugly interior rooms?!

      I actually cried when I moved into my windowless office — the one I just left. I was sad to leave it now, yes, but it felt like the worst thing that could have happened to me at the time (short of, you know, losing my job. Perspective, Meg — perspective). I asked to have the walls painted yellow (sunnier!) and put in all sorts of floor lamps, earning me the “living room” moniker. But I liked it and felt comfy there!


  6. I love love love Etsy…I have some amazing jewelry from designers there…I love the books one…it is fabulous…have fun decorating!!!


  7. i love the make voyages print!

    i know exactly what you mean about windowless offices… or in my case, windowless classrooms. our school is built like a tank, a hurricane could be going on outside and we would have no idea, because there aren’t any windows in any of the classrooms and in the ones that do have windows, its covered up with this ugly, thick, and dusty curtain. on the bright side, we are getting a new school built and supposedly, it should be ready in 2012.


  8. love the images you offered up for our perusal! i am on board with you about relocating–we’re actually moving to a NEW school building over the summer and i’m already thinking about the decor in my new office. i’m casting out the stuff i have in favor of some new stuff, except for my vintage powder blue olympia typewriter. it’s quite a conversation piece with my students. 🙂 as for your choices, i’m sure you’ll make great choices and i look forward to your finished wall. (but if you really want to know, i’m partial to the typewriter one…)


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