Before and After: Office Refresh!

When I started my new job last year, I had been placed in a shared office attached to a busy classroom. But it’s hard to do something as sensitive and confidential as counseling in a busy, public area, so as soon as an office became available, I elbowed my way in there asap!

It had been considered an ugly, tiny, closet of an office, but I saw a lot of potential. Plus! The left wall had already been painted in “my” color. Serendipity!

IMG_445382121First things first, I shoved that desk to the wall. I can’t stand putting a desk between myself and my students. I may as well just stand over them with my arms crossed.

IMG_445472089Then I got rid of any unneeded (or unliked) furniture, replaced it with furniture that better suited my tastes and needs, and jazzed it up with some wall decor. (There’s a lot of wall in this office.)

IMG_465252354 (1)Got the chairs on sale at Target this fall. The rug had been rolled up in my basement for years. The map poster is from

IMG_465248022I got this cute mid-century-style bookshelf off of craigslist, and the chalkboard is from Home Goods (my heaven).

IMG_465247952I love it. Some co-workers are surprised when they see that I put so much time, energy, and money into designing my office, but I’ve always done this anywhere I’ve worked. I figure if you’re going to spend most of your waking life in one place, you might as well love the way it makes you feel. It’s worth it!

Office Before and After

Exploring My New Surroundings

As I mentioned in my last post, I got a new job. I’m working part-time and temporarily (though hopefully it will turn permanent and full time) for an organization that works with education and technology. The building where it is housed was built in the 1940s by a grain trade cooperative, and the building hasn’t changed much since then. I’m enjoying some of the quirks of the space.

I was too shy to take photos of the lobby (with the receptionist right there), which is very cool looking, but here are some other highlights.

The top floor of the building is the executive level (used to be…I don’t think anyone uses it now), and all of the walls are wood paneled, there is a marble trough in the wall for the drinking fountain, and there are classic looking boardrooms like this:

Photo (21)The elevators are all Art Deco-y:

Photo (23)There is a dumb-waiter! (Stops at all the floors…if it’s still in working order..?)

Photo (22)You can also tell that this floor is a wee-bit old-school because there is a restroom labeled “Gentlemen”…

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…and NO restrooms for women. Because why would there ever be a woman on the executives’ floor? Pshaw! I wonder if any of the execs ever had a (female) secretary, and if she had to change floors to use the restroom. Probably.

While the actual working areas are unfortunately modernized with blah wall-to-wall carpeting and cubicles, the hallways and such have cool colorful floors with this kind of glass pebbled flooring. Don’t know what it’s called, but it reminds me of a school in the 1950s.

Photo (18)Another elevator, this one has the Grain Terminal Association’s seal still on it.

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The basement is also funky. There is a gym (not like a high school gym with basketball hoops, but like a home gym with carpeting, free weights, and elliptical machines), locker rooms (from the 40s), and I am told it houses a large auditorium. It also leads to a small underground parking lot. This is the hallway in the basement:

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The bathroom has foot-pedal flushers rather than regular hand flushers:

Photo (19)

And the sinks are kinda cool:

Photo (20)So there ya go.