Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 15, 2009

Around The Room : Office Tour


With a new little one coming soon one of the big things that needed to happen around here was to move my office (you can see photos from that space here and a blog post here) from our spare bedroom into our additional room (basically a den or potentially second family room). This room is down the hall from the main living area and next to our bedroom (right across from the laundry room which is very convenient).

Chris had been inhabiting this space and using it as his office and picked the mustard color for
the walls. Where is Chris' stuff now you may be wondering? In a corner
off the main living room. We moved a small desk, a printer, and his
computer out there so at least he has a bit of room (but not enough). He was very
generous to give up his nicely painted office.


I feel really good in this space. I love sitting next to the window and I love having all my printers within arms reach and nothing is under my desk (my hard drive and my laser printer used to be under my blue table). My Mom helped me get my desk area together and it is definitely working out really well. The small wire shelves are all from Target. The red drawer unit and chair are from Ikea.


I love that the sewing machine has it's own prominent location in this space. It was ok in the shelf unit in the old room, but this is quite a bit better. The framed type above the sewing machine is a limited edition print by Susanne Cerha called Parts of a Character. The poster is the inspiration for a collaborative project called Type is Art. Red chair was found at an antique store. The cloth bulletin board is from shim and sons.


Framed print "Truth" from artist Kelly Rae Roberts. You can check out her online boutique here.

You may be wondering where all the stuff I was storing in the past
has gone? I have spent a lot of time over the past few months going
through all the things I had collected and picking out the things I
really cared about the most and generally paring back to the basics
(obviously I still have way more than the basics). 

Many of the things that were stored out in the open in my last space
are now stored inside the lockers. I may still paint the lockers
someday in the future but for now that good old grey is working just


My workhorse table made the move down the hall. I originally purchased this kitchen island as a changing table before Simon was born – it is just the right height for someone like me who stands up to do most of my creative projects.


I also love this table because it has a couple drawers (adhesives and tools are stored inside) and two shelves below. Baskets and other random containers are used to corral letter stickers, stamping supplies, punches, etc. I try to keep this area to the things I use most often. The two baskets on the floor below the table are for garbage and recycling.


Because there is a lot of wall space in this room (much higher ceilings) I decided to hang my wood mounted stamps in two different wood units. The bucket style ones were picked up at a local antique store and the other is an old type drawer from another antique store (here's another idea of what you can do with these old type drawers using photos). I also decided to hang my paper trimmers and rulers (the trimmers are the desktop and portable rotary trimmers from Fiskars – love them). 


Behind me as I sit at my desk is a chalkboard for to-do's/idea generation (goodwill again) and four small clip boards for projects. The paper wreath is from etsy seller Haru.


This blue table was picked up from Goodwill a few years back and has been a great desk. And I LOVE my wireless keyboard and mouse.


Across from my desk (in the corner near the backdoor) is a large bulletin board for ideas and inspiration. There's not a lot on there right now…adding bits of this and that as I go. The large chipboard heart pieces are coming soon from Technique Tuesday.

One of the questions I am often emailed is about where I find all the A's I have around the office (and around our house). Many of them have been giving to me as gifts over the last few years of teaching + traveling for events and most of the others have been found on ebay or in antique/junk stores.


Under the bulletin board is a wood storage piece I also found at Goodwill. I store larger products in here along with kits and some in-progress projects. Yellow chair and working typewriter are from garage sales.


I found these lockers last summer at the Coburg Antique Fair. Next to the lockers are two sets of paper trays from Display Dynamics that hold my cardstock, patterned papers, page protectors, etc. The far tower is actually in a wood case from Display Dynamics and the near tower are just a bunch of the stackable paper trays all stacked on top of one another. I have had these for quite awhile now and definitely recommend them.

I am working on keeping it pretty simple all around. It is definitely not this clean on an everyday basis as I move from one project to the next, but so far this set-up is working just fine. I am enjoying the more open feel and the higher ceilings.

And where are all the albums? I decided to keep the metal shelf unit (from Costco) in the baby's room and purchased a canvas cover and clear shelf liners for each shelf (that allow the albums to stand up) from The Container Store. It's a good use of the space we have available here and the canvas blends well into her room.


Um yea, planning to iron this soon.


And here's a peek at the inside. Along the top are some of my parents photo albums with the rest of those currently stored in a closet. The albums I use are all 12×12 cloth covered from American Crafts (color is Chestnut). You can read more about my albums (including how I went about organizing them all and a look inside one of them) here.


Another thing that is nice about this space is that there is a bit more room for all of us to be in here together. I can work in that little space on the other side of Simon while he watches something on the laptop and Chris does something on my desktop. Usually I end up cleaning up during these times but sometimes I make stuff.

Now it's back to working on the baby room. I am waiting on an order of photos from and hope to have a room tour for you soon.

I am happy to answer questions about this space if you have them in the comments section today. EDITED: I am going to compile the questions + answers into a post for tomorrow rather than answering in the comments today.


Winners of the yesterday's giveaways were posted last night and can be found here.


  • 51.
    Katie said…

    I love the idea of the clipboards hanging on the wall. What did you use to stick them to the wall?
    Good job organizing,

  • 52.
    Dana Nichols said…

    Your new space looks great. As we move every 4-5 years, my space changes. I’m loving your basic pieces (tables, shelves, etc) that can adapt to new uses. I’m going to be on the lookout for such pieces for myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 53.
    jackie said…

    You certainly know how to organize and keep it simple, functional and awesome looking. Thank you for sharing your room.

  • 54.
    Kara said…

    Your new space is inspiring! Can I ask what local antique store(s) you frequent? I never know where to go in Eugene/Springfield. Thanks!

  • 55.
    Jodi Goins said…

    Hi! I love your new room- and your last one. I love that you repurpose things and shop at Goodwill! Here is a super cool scrapbook web site you might want to check out You are awarded tally points on your LOs by other scrappers. Its great for those of us that haven’t posted a lot of LOs to web sites or magazines. Everyone is so nice and encouraging. I’m doodlebug if you get the chance to check it out.

  • 56.
    Petite Cheri said…

    Your space is fantastic and so organized! What I love about it the most is how you’ve purchased things from the Goodwill and antique stores and re-purposed them in your home. You have a great space!

  • 57.
    Jung A said…

    love the new space!! it reminds me of an old schoolroom…what did you use to hang the wood mounted stamps storage pieces…they look really heavy!

  • 58.
    young c-m said…

    Ali, this looks great. Kudos to Chris for his graciousness in moving out of his office space. I really like the idea of using wall space to organize stuff. Wondering how you hung up the paper trimmers on the wall? What kind of hooks did you use?

  • 59.
    kristin g said…

    can i come over and play?
    your space is a dream and so full of fun. enjoy the wonderful new set up.

  • 60.
    Sara said…

    Just wanted to pass along a suggestion: please, make sure the lockers are secured to the wall really well. Almost the exact same unit fell onto my 4 and 1 year old boys at speech a few months ago. For two years my son and the other speech kids had been hiding things in the doors and one day it just gave out. They think it is because the students were putting their stuff in only the top lockers and it got top heavy. I just dont want to see your kids have to go through what mine did. Sorry for the paranoia.
    p.s. You can read the post on my blog if you would like.

  • 61.
    Barb said…

    Ali, you are always so generous with your time. Thank you for the tour. Your new space is lovely.

  • 62.
    Johanna said…

    Thank you so much for your “studio tour” – I love it! I’ve felt so inspired by your work and “life attitude” ovet the last couple of months so I decided to work my way through your archives, right now I’m somewhere in the middle of 2007 and this inspiration thing is just getting deeper. Again, thank you so much for taking your time to write about all these little and big things – it really does make a difference.

  • 63.
    Nikki M said…

    Great space! Makes me want to tidy mine up a bit!
    I do have a storage question for you. How/in what type of container do you store your ink pads? I want something kind of funky and different, something that has had a life before me so I was hoping that you might have a suggestion. Thanks! Can’t wait to see more pics of the baby’s room. Lucky little gal!

  • 64.
    Shannon Henshaw said…

    Wow! Looks great. The new layout is very useable and organized. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m am amazed at your generosity with your time! I’m inspired! Wishing you very well with the coming little one.

  • 65.
    emily ruth said…

    ali! your stuff looks so great in that space! i love how open it is…the other room was cozy but this one has a great vibe…fun fun fun… :)

  • 66.
    emily ruth said…

    ps i love the tours (have you seen the tour of andrea from hulaseventy’s house? delish!) & can’t wait to see your little sweetie-to-be’s room:)

  • 67.
    tania said…

    with my motto being reduce.reuse.recycle., i totally adore the fact that you have SO many goodwill purchases in your studio. mine is much the same and i LOVE it. thanks for sharing so much of your personal space with us ali. SO very inspiring.

  • 68.
    Laura Horn said…

    Looks functional and wonderful! How did you hang up the trimmers? Is the portable rotary trimmer just as useful as the desktop? Thanks!

  • 69.
    Michelle said…

    Thanks for taking photos and putting this together! I always enjoy seeing how other people organize their stuff and store it. Your room is quite beautiful. Kudos to Chris for moving his office for you.

  • 70.
    Amy Tangerine said…

    your space is amazing and so inspiring.
    LOVE the lockers!

  • 71.
    Tona said…

    Love your space. That area where you have your sewing machine looks like it was made just for it. I have searched and searched and can never find any of those tin type drawers :( That’s a great idea to use it for stamp storage though.

  • 72.
    tiffany walls said…

    I love the mustard color on the walls, not to bright, not too soft, just right! When we finished my art studio I couldn’t find the right color and so we just painted the walls a basic ivory, but it is very uninspiring and so I have been looking for a shade like this for the walls and was wondering what the color and manufacturer of the paint is. I think it looks just beautiful, very warm and inviting and yet inspiring at the same time. Good Luck in the comming weeks with the new little addition and can’t wait to see pics of the nursery.

  • 73.
    kristina said…

    Love your space, Ali!
    Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • 74.
    Roxie Green said…

    I saw your paper trimmers are hanging. How did you hang them? Is there a hook? I didn’t see a shelf.
    I love your recycle idea. I am going to steal the basket idea.
    Roxie Green

  • 75.
    Lisa Westphal said…

    So warm & functional! I LOVE it all! Thank you for sharing so much with us, your readers. You are such an inspiration. . .a daily dose of goodness & creativity. : )

  • 76.
    Erica Hettwer said…

    I think those bucket shelves are some kind of chicken feeder. They are very cool! :D

  • 77.
    amy coon said…

    ok I have to know how you have your fiskar trimmers hanging from the wall? Love it but, am sooooo excited to see babygirl Edwards room It looks so unique and cool!

  • 78.
    Dinah said…

    Very beautiful space…thank you for sharing!
    Can I ask what type of computer and montior you use? I know that the monitor type would be important with the scrapbooking and graphic design work that you do.

  • 79.
    LizP said…

    We went to the Coburg Antique Fair last year and found a few very cool things! We had friends up from CA and they thought it was fabulous!

  • 80.
    Linda said…

    This was a fun toour Ali! You are very lucky to have dedicated space. I use a child’s bedroom while she is at college-but she still comes home–so everything still has to be transportable and I have a twin bed in there too. She is coming less and less and so the room is mine more and more. Thanks for sharing your ideas–I will tuck them in my brain for when the room is all mine. :)

  • 81.
    tracy b said…

    I was just thinking about your post yesterday and thinking about family traditions. It made me remember this book that I have, that I just love. It’s called The Book of New Family Traditions by Meg Cox. It has a all sorts of ideas for holidays, seasons, and celebrations of milestones. Plus lots of references to other books. Lots of little specials to do with our children. I thought you might like the book since you seem to really like traditions. Enjoy!

  • 82.
    Minerva said…

    Very nice room!

  • 83.
    Natasha Prymak said…

    Hey Ali! It is SO nice to see that someone else stands while you create! I thought I was the only one! And, I love your work bench idea!! Maybe my neck will get a break by moving my desk up to that height!! can’t wait to meet you at CHA! Love, health, and happiness to you and your beautiful family!, natasha

  • 84.
    kelly said…

    I love what you have done, it feels so warm and home-y.

  • 85.
    Michelle said…

    Hi Ali,
    I’m a first-time poster, but have been reading your blog for some time now. You are a great source of inspiration! Just wanted to tell you I love your new studio (loved the old one, too!) Your husband is SO sweet to give up his office. I really like that you’ve acquired great storage pieces at many different places. It gives such a great look and feel to your space. I’m really looking forward to seeing your baby girl’s room.
    Question — I’m in the process of setting an “official” studio in part of our garage but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and don’t have a lot of spare time (two kids!) Any tips for getting organized quickly?
    Best wishes to you and your family, what an exciting and wonderful time as you wait for your new addition. :)

  • 86.
    Faith said…

    Great space! My question has to do with little children. I have a one year old and we have a craft room/play room combo. What tricks do you have for keeping everything within your reach but out of the little one’s reach? I’m just affrad she will get into everything! Thanks!

  • 87.
    cheryl Ryan said…

    Love the new room!!!
    Can’t wait to see the babies room…
    ENJOY your new spaces.

  • 88.
    Mary L said…

    So inspired by your room! I am working on mine too now that we have an empty room in the house and I cannot wait to gather some old antique stuff along the way. Still in the process but will show it to you as soon as it is done. Love, love your room Ali!

  • 89.
    Kayte said…

    Just curious if you knew that the larger wooden storage for your stamps are actually hens bays chicken coups? I see them every once and a while around here in antique stores. I always wonder if people know what they were used for in a former life. :) LOVE all the repurposed things in your office!

  • 90.
    Gioconda said…

    Wow. This looks great! I look forward to having a room that I can use for crafting. We are a family of 5 and only 3 rooms. Right now I am all over the house. Most of my stuff is in the garage.
    How do you store your wood alphabet stamps?
    Right now I have them in those little Target tins but they are not organized. I have to pull them all out just to find the letter I need. Any tips?
    Thanks for sharing.

  • 91.
    Lanette said…

    Love the space. i use my type drawer for stamps too, it works great. the bins are a great idea for the larger stamps.
    Q: where do you keep all the pads and paint?
    Q: what’s above the grey lockers? it looks interesting.
    Q: how is the table to stand at, with the surface being flat? i used to stand when i was a graphic artist, but i had an angled light box.
    i so want to go wireless on the keypad and mouse. your desk looks so stream lined i might just have to go for it too. oh the ease of that. no frustration at cords. hmmm.
    i love how the stuff on the walls look. practical mixed with art. beautiful. i’m thinking i really need to pare down my paper and get my stickers in to shallower bins. thanks for sharing.

  • 92.
    Lori said…

    Very cool room with lots of inspiration for my small space…I know you like type – if you haven’t checked out, you should. My friend got me hooked. I took all the words you collected in January and plugged them in to create a fun collage. I’m printing out the finished product to customise the cover of my circle journal this time around.

  • 93.
    cskrehot said…

    Ali, I love your studio. I really like how you “re-purpose” things. I am into antiques and collectibles, and I have old sewing maching drawers, an old drafting table, canning jars for pens and pencils, a bottle carrier, an old paper cutter, etc. The more the merrier, it just makes it more comfortable. I do like how you store your stamps in those two bins; I think I just might have to make me a couple of those (in my spare time, haha). Thanks for sharing, love your space, nice and cozy and well-used.

  • 94.
    Lindsay Bateman said…

    Your room is SO FABULOUS and SO INSPIRING. Thank you for sharing such an intimate look into such a wonderful space. Very uplifting!

  • 95.
    Tami B. said…

    Love your space and most especially that you share it with your family. Would love to know more about those wooden bins that hold lots of stamps. Do you know what their original purpose was?

  • 96.
    Mary - said…

    hey ali, your new studio is simply amazing & very inspiring. i just started working towards organizing & purging my space – so thx for the wonderful ideas – i needed to see this today! :) m-

  • 97.
    mati McDonough said…

    Looks awesome Ali! I love the chalkboard + wooden compartment thingy!

  • 98.
    anna said…

    so fun! thanks for sharing your room with us!
    how do you store your rub ons? in the lockers? i’m having such a hard time with mine. thanks ali!

  • 99.
    Shelly said…

    I received a Bamboo tablet for Christmas and would really appreciate some help in starting to use this. I’ve searched for “simple instructions” to get started and can’t find any. Could you suggest a good starting point? I love the thought of handwriting on my photos using the pen. I have PS6 program, and feel “digitally challenged” trying to use the program.
    Thank you.

  • 100.
    KazT said…

    Love your space, I’m in the process of re-doing mine so it’s nice to have some inspiration.
    What kind of printers do you use – laser or inkjet?

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