September 18, 2015

My Apartment: Small Home Office/Dining Room Reveal

I’m super excited to say that I’m finally ready to reveal photos of my home office!! It’s technically my dining room, but I do more working than eating anyway…


It’s been a super fun project and I’m so much more happier in my small space.

Here’s what the space looked like initially:

home office before

I couldn’t find ANYTHING!! I actually did most of my work (except sewing) from my sofa, because I seriously got tired of moving stuff to make room for my laptop or trying to figure out where I last put a folder. It was just easier to keep all my important stuff on my coffee table.

[disclaim]This space has a whole new look, I’ve got my dining room back! Check it out here![/disclaim]

I had tons of clutter everywhere and no permanent place to put anything. I really wanted a space that was organized, stylish, and provided enough space for a worktable that I can use for sewing – that could also be cleared for eating.

Then, I did my 10 Days to an Organized Home challenge and had no choice but to organize and get rid of most of the clutter, old paperwork, fabric books, and anything else that I knew I wouldn’t need.


I couldn’t find the photos of the other side, but trust me… it was 100% better and I felt FREE!! Shortly after my organization challenge, I shared my plan for this space. I was so tired of trying to blog, work on design projects, sew, and craft without a dedicated space for all my equipment and supplies. I couldn’t even use the space for eating, because I just didn’t have enough space to fit a table. The one I had was super tiny and really tall. Definitely not ideal for everyday eating.

When I discovered Organized Living on Twitter, I KNEW I had to have their FreedomRail system for my office. It was the perfect system to help get myself on track.

I was able to design my system with Organized Living’s super easy design tool and once it was all ordered, I painted my space the same color as in my living room. Once I received the product, it was super easy to install (I’ll share more about the installation process in a future post), so I had the entire system up within 2 hours. 2 hours! In 2 hours I seriously got my life together!

I chose baskets for one end of the system, a desk in the center, and shelves and a few drawers (including a file cabinet) on the other end.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

These baskets are extremely convenient, because I’m literally going through these fabric samples everyday. But, I’m a bit torn on whether or not I want to sew some sort of fabric liner for the inside of the baskets to keep from seeing the samples from the outside. I’d love to know what you guys think about that. Sometimes it looks a bit cluttered and sometimes it doesn’t bother me at all.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor
small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

These were plain, brown cardboard boxes from Hobby Lobby that I covered with leopard print scrapbook paper and attached cross knobs. Aren’t they cute??? Gah!!

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

This view is probably my favorite, because it really reflects just how much more organized I am. The shelves are perfect. The drawers are perfect. Each and every single thing I use each day (or items I don’t use as often) has its own home.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

I’m in LOVE with this vase from Etsy! Since I’ve gotten it, I’ve moved it all around my apartment. For now, it’s going to stay here. That’s an air plant inside. It doesn’tt need soil, just a mist of water every couple of days (or even less). Easy peasy!

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

These black and white magazine files from Office Depot are where I store all the crap important stuff I use daily. It’s so much easier to have it all here, than sprawled around on my sofa, floor, or desk.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

I just had to have this blue tray and lucite box (from Hobby Lobby). All of my little pink accessories have a spot to stay organized that I can easily get to. And, yes, I use them ALL THE TIME.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

These marquee letters came from Target. On clearance! I think they were $1.50 per letter and came with the lights and bulbs. I used this arrow scrapbook paper to jazz them up a bit.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

I’m still working on my gallery wall and made sure to mostly use pieces that I love – which I’m a strong advocate of. I often talk on Periscope (download the app and follow me!) about how to decorate your home and one of the things I always mention is:

I use my worktable for sewing and crafting, but I can also use it for small dinner parties. I bought these cute chairs in the perfect color, bringing in the blue from my living room.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

Some of these pieces used to be in my living room, but I’m making some changes there for the holiday season. The zebra art with leopard matting is probably my favorite item in my home.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

I was given this black candle a couple years ago in my first gift swap. I’ve always loved it. The wooden figure is a gift from a friend’s father. He bought it when he worked in Africa.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

I placed more air plants on top of some rocks in my cute pink bowl.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

I made this cork board with wood, cork drawer liner, and white fabric. I then used decorative nailheads to swag it out a bit. I LOVE how it turned out. I’m one of those people that absolutely have to have some sort of corkboard (or magnetic board). If not, I’m a total mess.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor

My super cute Whitney J Decor mug. I’ve cracked it, but always keep it close to me. Now, I use it for just about whatever: pens, paperclips, and just random little items.

small home office tour via Whitney J Decor
***Organized Living sent me the FreedomRail system to review, but opinions and photos are 100% mine. I am IN LOVE with my new office and recommend the FreedomRail system to anyone looking to organized their home (not just the office).***

So, what do you think? 100% improvement from before, right? Would the FreedomRail system work in your home office? I’d love to know! Drop me a comment below!


small home office tour

Pin me!

Till next time,



117 comments so far.

117 responses to “My Apartment: Small Home Office/Dining Room Reveal”

  1. AdeDoyin says:

    This is organization heaven! I thought I was the only one that was wanting to turn my dining room space into a home office/blogging space. (I eat in front of the TV anyways, lol.) Keep up the good work. 🙂
    AdeDoyin recently posted…Not Your Mom’s Cross Stitching – Needlework for the Modern GirlMy Profile

  2. Denetra says:

    OMG!!! I’m in LOVE!!! I love it all! So creative and gorgeous!!

  3. Tesha says:

    I would love to have a separate workspace in my home. Lovely space and great tips!

  4. That looks amazing! I bet you love being in there now! I love seeing small space transformations as I have a small space myself 😉

  5. You office looks great. I love looking at pretty organized spaces. I bet you love being able to find everything you need so much easier. It definitely reduces stress levels.

  6. You did a phenomenal job organizing your home office! Love how clean and open everything looks in the “after” pics! I think I need you to come help me with mine – I’ll even bake you cookies! 🙂
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan recently posted…Mango & Coconut MuffakesMy Profile

    • Whitney says:

      Thanks Shashi!! I’d gladly help! It’s funny, because I am baking cookies RIGHT NOW! I’ll gladly have yours, too, so let me know when you’re ready! LOL

  7. Wow! what an amazing transformation! Thanks for the inspiration.
    Anne @simpleandsavory recently posted…Book Review – A Bone to PickMy Profile

  8. amanda says:

    What a wonderful transformation! I especially love your color palate and how bright the space is now.
    amanda recently posted…fishless tacos with cilantro slaw #meetchef #OMGardeinMy Profile

  9. Zoe says:

    Love this and definitely 100% better!
    Hope your super proud of yourself!
    I’d probably see liners in the basket (if I knew how!) as I like less clutter but my friends like that look- it inspires them.
    Well done you! You’ve inspired me to have a good old sort through too 🙂

    • Whitney says:

      Thank you, Zoe!! Having the baskets are definitely inspiring for design projects, I can simple see what the fabrics from the outside. And, it’s so great with a fabric “jumps out at me” and can be the starting point for a color scheme. Thanks for dropping by!

  10. MonicaP says:

    A truly fabulous transformation! I did a dresser drawer organization and it has made me so happy and yes FREE 🙂

    MonicaP recently posted…How a lost t-shirt turned into a dresser re-organizationMy Profile

  11. Bryce Rae says:

    Well Done.
    Looks like things are very well organised now with the likes of your baskets.
    I’m sure it will now be a better place to work. Better than the Sofa as well.

    • Whitney says:

      Yes, so much better! But, to be honest, I’m still doing some work on the sofa, I guess my body has to get used to being back at a desk. But, at least I still have an organized place to keep all my files and daily tasks sheets. Don’t have to drag them in my living room as before!

  12. Your office looks amazing after the makeover and I love that vase and plant you have.

  13. I am in the midst of a similar project with my craft room. I really love the baskets. I may have to borrow a few ideas from you. Looks like a fabulous place to work.
    jacqulyn Munns recently posted…Young Dancers: Injuries and PreventionMy Profile

    • Whitney says:

      Hey Jacqulyn! Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s 100% better to work here than before. I know where everything is and it just looks a whole lot prettier. Thanks for dropping by! Good luck with your craft room!

  14. Jen says:

    Wow! You’ve inspired me to get off my booty & clean up my office space too! I LOVE what you did! Creative & organized – perfection! 🙂

  15. You knocked it out of the park. Talk about living up to the Organized Living challenge. I’m impressed. And, I think fabric liners would be a nice touch. Something with black would calm all of the fabric color swatches down a bit. Beautiful office.

    • Whitney says:

      Thanks, Mary! I was initially thinking the same thing about the fabric liners, but now I’m thinking about going with a very light, white linen. I thought I would be okay with seeing the fabrics all the time, but now they’re starting to irk me a bit! Thanks for dropping by!

  16. You’ve got some beautiful pieces! I love that little easel. You have done a fab job… it looks so organised!!

  17. Carla A says:

    What an impressive “after” you should be proud of a job well, well done!

  18. April G says:

    You know I saw some other pictures today that had me inspired, but it seems like with your post, I think now I need to make a move. Beautiful set up.
    April G recently posted…Turn It Up Tuesday with Epic Mommy Adventures is live!My Profile

    • Whitney says:

      Thank you, April! A well-organized home office certainly motivates you to get more work done, so I’m glad to have been able to redo my space! Thanks for dropping in!

  19. I love love love the way you organized everything! And I really like your photos, very good quality 🙂
    Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels recently posted…Which Is Better, to Pay Off Debt or Invest?My Profile

    • Whitney says:

      Thanks so much, Reelika! It was so hard getting good photos, because the lighting in my apartment is pretty bad. But, nothing my umbrella lights couldn’t help out with! Thanks for dropping by!

  20. Excellent job. Looks well organized, bright and shiny!

  21. Alexa Jones says:

    I love the office space it’s very modern and crisp. Love all the white and the pops of color.

  22. Jebbica says:

    Looks so great! I love the decorations! I wish I could do stuff like that…I just have no decorating sense whatsoever. I live for functional but when it comes time to make something pretty? No clues! It basically looks like a college radio DJ and a college gamer live at my house, lol. And both of those imaginary people are boys.
    Jebbica recently posted…Food & Fitness Friday: 09-25-2015My Profile

  23. Grace says:

    Wow, what a difference! It looks so bright and organized and inviting now! I love all the art and inspiration you’ve got as well. My “home office” is just a computer desk in the living room, haha. I may have to do some redecorating now as well.
    Grace recently posted…The Liebster Award: Discover New BlogsMy Profile

    • Whitney says:

      Thank you so much, Grace! I love my new space and always look forward to working in it! There are ways to make your area work for you. Even though you’re in a small spot in your living room, you can use the wall space above your computer desk or even build a small 4′ system similar to mine with the FreedomRail components. If you need some help brainstorming, let me know! Thanks for dropping by!

  24. Pam says:

    Wow you really transformed that space. I love everything about it. What a difference. I am an organized person to a fault and so things like this, excite me, lol. You have so many clever little ideas to make this space your own and to show your personality. And yes, I would use the FreedomRail system.

    • Whitney says:

      Awesome! What I love most about the FreedomRail system is the versatility. I love that I can switch things without having to actually make additional holes in the wall. Just rearrange the components that I already have or buy more to add to the system. Easy peasy. Thank you so much for dropping by!

  25. Melody says:

    Your home office is my office goals.I’m moving out with my other half in a month and the first thing I want to do is decorate my home office yes not the bedroom bathroom or kitchen my home office lol thanks for the good pointers.I’m going to pin this so I can look back and figure it out thanks.

    • Whitney says:

      I can definitely understand wanting to start with your home office. I mean, it’s the room I spend the most time in, so I had to make sure it was comfy and organized! Thanks for pinning this post!

  26. shalama says:

    You did a great job! It looks fabulous.
    shalama recently posted…Pushing through the fall seasonMy Profile

  27. Val says:

    Your workspace is gorgeous!

    In fact, this makes me want to put it on the blog list for rehab in November. I love the wire drawers.
    Val recently posted…Washington Wine ClubMy Profile

  28. Wow! I’d love to work there. 🙂 I particularly like the leopard print cardboard boxes with attachments. You have inspired me to create a space that I can truly thrive in. 🙂
    Pam McCormick recently posted…The Dance…My Profile

  29. Rachel says:

    I like the open baskets with the fabric. It mixes up your color scheme. You created a nice mix of office with dining space.
    Rachel recently posted…Cyber-Bullying and AdultsMy Profile

  30. Lana says:

    Love what you’ve done the to space! Now as I am looking around me I realized the time has come for me to attack my living space. And I mean, attack! So much stuff needs to go, so much to declutter! I am bookmarking your 10 Days to an Organized Home, and starting now! Thank you for giving me a gentle push 🙂
    Lana recently posted…Cinnamon, Nut and Raisin Roll.My Profile

  31. Caitlin says:

    This looks fantastic! So pretty AND functional. I just LOVE containers and enjoyed seeing how you used various kinds. ALSO, the little easel chalkboard is adorable! 🙂
    Caitlin recently posted…A toast in honor of doing scary-exciting thingsMy Profile

  32. karissa says:

    Your office looks great. Good job with the organization.
    karissa recently posted…How Often should you blog? What works and what doesn’tMy Profile

  33. Dena says:

    I love this so much! You’ve given me some hope that I can turn my little corner office into something half a lovely and functional as what you’ve done!
    Dena recently posted…One Picture in One Minute Can Help Protect Your SD Card if LostMy Profile

  34. Karen says:

    I Love the changes, my office is in desperate need of some organization, I bookmarked this to A) keep me motivated and B) give me ideas 🙂
    Karen recently posted…R2D2 Granola BarsMy Profile

  35. You have inspired me to get in my home office and clean it up. Just scrolling through the images game me so many ideas. Thank you! I needed a kick in the butt.

    Now, can you tell me how to get my email organized? It’s a mess too.
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…Where to Buy Open Farm Dry Dog Food Near Seattle #GiveawayMy Profile

  36. Angela says:

    Oh wow! i really, really love this setup! I believe that you have given me inspiration for an office in my sunroom. The great thing is that I have done some of these things to organize my house. Thanks!
    Angela recently posted…Transporter job – Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare – Elmhurst, IL | Indeed.comMy Profile

  37. I can completely relate with the before office photo, in fact yours is no where need as bad as mine is at the moment. Can you come do my office just like yours! I dig your style
    April Ockerman recently posted…Protein Bars- Hold the GlutenMy Profile

  38. Jill says:

    Love this!!! Your space is so pretty!!! I need to steal your idea to put scrapbook paper on cardboard boxes, how clever!!
    Jill recently posted…Slow and Steady wins the RaceMy Profile

  39. Natalie says:

    Wow, what a change! Your office area looks fantastic, and I love your style! I am totally void of any decorating talents, these are such cute ideas. I will have to implement some of these in my own space 🙂
    Natalie recently posted…Masala Shrimp ‘N’ GritsMy Profile

  40. That is a complete transformation. Those ropey handles would have given me anxiety, whereas the new system is so calming. Enjoy 🙂
    The Levantess recently posted…Eggplant and Tomato “Stew”My Profile

  41. Erica Brooks says:

    Awesome transformation. I love organizational systems like that. You’ll probably be so much more productive now that things are organized.
    Erica Brooks recently posted…Family Hiking at Patapsco Valley State Park Halethorpe, Maryland 52HikeChallenge Hike 3My Profile

  42. Sam Sly says:

    Wow! What a transformation! I need to make over my home office (a desk and shelf in a corner of my living room).
    Sam Sly recently posted…My Swim Bag ChecklistMy Profile

  43. These are great ideas! My office is small office too, I should begin to do as yours!
    Maria Magdalena recently posted…31 Days Series Of Awesome LivingMy Profile

  44. Lindi Mogale says:

    A lovely transformation , I just moved house and need to setup my home office but have not been inspired enough thank you for this

  45. That looks fantastic! My son recently left for college and I’ve got my eyes on his room for my office 🙂 I’ll be remembering some of your ideas! I really like the wire drawers, the plants, and the furs…. Thanks for sharing!

  46. Malorie says:

    What a huge difference!!! I love your office & I really love your chair. It looks so comfy.

  47. Jere' says:

    It’s crazy that we let things get so cluttered, but I think you have to get to that point and then do that complete makeover like you did to know what you need and where to put stuff. You office is amazing.

  48. Aimee says:

    You did a fantastic job redesigning your home office. Can you come do mine next, lol! Seriously, I love your organization solutions. It feels like such a creative space now.
    Aimee recently posted…Adventures at Newton & the Boulder Backroads MarathonMy Profile

  49. This is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! I am definitely taking some ideas from here as I do have a small office space and would love to capitalize on every inch of the room. Beautiful and congrats on this.

    thrifting diva

  50. Adrienne says:

    I love how you have transformed your office and eating space! I’m working on decluttering our home. It’s slow going. I’m determined to get it done. Thanks for sharing your space! ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…National Prescription Drug Take-Back DayMy Profile

  51. Jill says:

    I love your redesign and although I can’t use it in my current apartment, you’ve given me a few ideas for things I do need to do. I love the baskets without lining; gives it a more industrial feel, I think. Excellent blend of color, space use, design and personal flare! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  52. TootsNYC says:

    Lovely job! Isn’t it funny how the unorganized stuff seems to “slump” and all end up down on the floor, and then the top of the room seems so incredibly empty? And the room feels “slumpy” and the energy just bogs down.

    When i saw your “before” pic, my first thought was, “ooh, build up–you need shelves that take things *up*!”

    My one wish for you is that you could create some “visual calm” on the shelf with the fabric sample books. The top handles drape all over the place and make it look so much more messy than it is. Can you put a curtain down the front, or snip the handles, or even just fold double them over on one another so they don’t drape, a nd then secure with an extra-tight cable tie?

    Then each book would have a single tidy-ish black line across it instead of all these multiple black loops draping everywhere.

    If I’m not mistaken, the loops are mostly for hanging the books, right?

    I suppose that’s another way you could handle them; putting long hooks in the back of the bookcase. But that wouldn’t make them accessible. This structure (lying on their backs) means you can grab any one of them.

    I’m so glad you were able to get a work/dining table into the room! I’m just a home sewer and crafter, and I do all my work (and kids’ costume fabrication) on the dining-room table. I wouldn’t be able to do anything if I didn’t have that workspace!

    • Whitney says:

      Hey Toots!
      I had to take a double look at my shelves, and you’re right it does look a tad bit messy (looks a bit messier than they do on the photo, too). Thank you for all the tips, they would totally work if the loops bothered me. But, they’re not that bad, to me. I can totally see them bothering a super neat person, though. The thing is, I use these books almost every day, so it’s a lot easier to just pull them off the shelf and put them back without trying to line up the loop handles. Trying to keep them really neat would be a lot of work. That’s why I got rid of half of them. Still, I’ll probably be side-eyeing them a bit after this comment, LOL. Thanks for dropping by!


  53. Amy says:

    Really like the organizational changes.

    Your last shot of your dining room got me thinking it would be nice if you had some sort of effortless, curtain you could pull across during non-work hours – help your turn off and make it more of a dining room for when guests are their. Maybe gauzy curtain, metal bead chains, something that fits your style, takes no space, doesn’t intrude when not in use, etc.

    Someone might have already suggested this. Number of comments have been too many for me to read them all!!

    • Whitney says:

      Thanks for your suggestions, Amy!! I thought about maybe using a light-weight linen curtain hung from the ceiling, but I prefer the openness and didn’t think it would be worth the hassle. I may revisit this idea, though, now that the holidays are among us!

  54. I love the overall transformation of your home office space. It is creatively design which is very conducive for working at home. I believe that office space design should be a reflection of who you are, because designing it is based on your preference and personality.

  55. Ijeoma Eboh says:

    I’m all the way late but this is everything!!! I’m moving in the next few weeks and as I’m looking at apartments I’ve been trying to figure out how to fully sacrifice a dining room for an office, but I don’t have to. I LOVE this! #BLMGirl

  56. […] bathroom is the guest bath right off the room that is now my studio/office (I moved it from my dining room in my apartment). This bathroom gets a lot of traffic, so I knew this makeover would be a fun treat for my entire […]

  57. […] even contain it! My apartment has a small open living/dining area, but I previously used the dining room as my home office. Now that I’ve moved my home office to a separate location (I’ll reveal the new space […]

  58. […] When it comes down to organizing and cleaning up, my favorite room to clean is my home office! […]

  59. […] it comes down to organizing and cleaning up, my favorite room to clean is my home office! Organizing a home office is actually fun for me when I’m not being […]

  60. […] easy wall shelving solution is perfect for home offices (similar to what I have in mine), living rooms (like my media center), bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, etc… virtually anywhere […]

  61. […] color. What do you think? Then, I’m going to put my Organized Living wall shelving system up. Remember this system in my old office – the dining room that was converted? On the left of the closet, I’m putting my peg […]

  62. […] and similar systems. I’ve installed this system three different times in three different rooms  (see it here in my old apartment and here in my mom’s spare bedroom) and I swear the functionality gets better and better. […]

  63. […] from Organized Living is so bomb! I used it before when I partnered with Organized Living for a home office makeover and have loved this system ever since. Y’all know I’m team #trackshelving […]

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About Me

whitney j decor | whitney jones | new orleans interior designer | new orleans decorator | nola interior designer | nola decorator

I’m a self-proclaimed foodie with a love of all things HOME. I’m at my best when color & coffee is involved, but you can also bribe me with crawfish, bread pudding, and/or hibachi. New Orleans born and bred, it’s how I’ve learned to be confident in my use of unique patterns, bold color, and space planning when transforming my clients’ homes! Welcome to Whitney J Décor!

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