Workspace Wednesday

I am both a writer and a lifelong reader. In both capacities, I’ve always been fascinated to see writers’ workspaces. (And don’t get me started on notebooks and colored gel pens and…well, any kind of stationery. It’s like writers’ porn!)

The more I love an author’s work, the more intensely interested I am in seeing the place or places where they create their art. (I also want to know if they have a pet and what kind, but that’s for another post.) Some authors have self-contained, dedicated offices while others work their magic from workspaces shoehorned into other areas of their homes, while still others are nomadic types who can – and do – write anywhere.

Over the next months, I plan to feature fellow authors – some of whom are close friends and some of whom I just admire – about their workspaces. There will be pictures. Lots and lots of lovely pictures! (Tents hands like Montgomery Burns.) In fact, this feature will start tomorrow when I bring you the workspace of award-winning author Lina Gardiner. I am both a fan and a friend of Lina’s, and I’ve actually seen her office.  

In the meantime, here’s a look at my new office. To mark my transition to full time writing, I’ve turned my seldom-used living room into an office.

Full view of Office

My desk is a joy. My son set up the dual monitor thing so I can keep an eye on my tweeps while I work. I’m loving it!

My dekstop

But the real feature piece of this room are the built-in bookshelves/cabinets. I bought four separate birch shelf units and door kits at Kent Building Supplies, and my sisters primed and painted them this lovely, creamy antique white. Of course, I couldn’t have done this so cost effectively without my brother-in-law, the carpenter, who assembled the cabinets, then screwed them together, anchored them to the wall and hung the doors. This is not an easy DIY project!

Built-in Bookshelves

The biggest bargain during this reno is my west wall with its window treatment and the conversation area. The drapes, complete with header and sheers, as well as the two arm chairs and the two brass lamps came from a liquidation sale of furniture removed from the Delta Fredericton Hotel as it updates all its bedrooms. Discounting the labor (it’s good to have sisters!), this cost me a whopping $160, of which $40 was for the extra traverse rod for the sheers. Draperies laundered and upholstery shampooed, they look great in my office, don’t you think? And this gives me a great space to meet with my partner on a number of writing projects, Heather Doherty.


And what office would be complete without a place for the pet? Here’s Chloe’s Corner:

Chloe's Corner

The walls are still noticeably naked, but only momentarily. As soon as my sisters are available, we’ll hang the artwork. (By which I mean they will do it. We all have our talents, and mine is not decorating!)

So, what do you think? What’s your favorite element?

41 Responses to “Workspace Wednesday”

  • It’s lovely. Such a nice big space. I saw that your desk faces the windows as well instead of the walls. That says alot. My writing space is crammed in the corner of my bedroom. Not ideal, but it is what it is.

    • Norah:

      Thanks, Clover! My last office was very tiny – a nursery sized spare bedroom. Most of the room was occupied by the desk, which faced the wall. I found myself more and more leaving the house to write on my laptop.

  • This is lovely! My new room is under construction right now–I hope it’s as wonderful as yours!

  • First of all, I’m green with envy that you get an entire room for writing. *sigh* Major kudos on scoring those items from the hotel redecoration – how did you hear about it? I wonder if they do that around here. Love the bookcases, and the colours. You did good!

    My writing space is in a corner of the dining room. I use my grandmother’s drop-front desk. Sometimes the space feels cozy, but other times I feel pinched.

    • Norah:

      Thanks, Grace! It is a luxury to have a whole room, let alone one of the biggest rooms in my tiny bungalow. But with four adults in the house, the only one using this room was the dog (who likes to bark at people from the front window). So it’s more like gaining space than losing it in my case. Your writing space sounds small but lovely! Eventually, I’d love to feature all of you with pics of your space.

  • Great space! I really like the bookcase with the cabinets underneath, you can store paper and cartridges there.

    My son wants to use a dual screen system in his office.

    I have two computers running, long story, but it works for me at the present. Lucky you to have sisters! Can I borrow them? LOL

    • Norah:

      Thanks, Pepper! Yes, the cabinets are a favorite of mine. They hide a multitude of things, not just office supplies. Did I mention there are four of us in a tiny house? Storage space is at a premium. 🙂
      And LOL, I imagine your son can make optimum use of two screens, if he’s as much a gamer as my son. ,-)

  • What a fabulous space! And thanks for the tip on the bookcases.

    And congratulations on the move to full time writing.

    • Norah:

      Thanks, Anne! I haven’t quite severed the relationship with the employer (still winding up), and I’m still trying to work out a new routine, but it’s coming!

  • What great conversion…and I really like Chloe’s Corner!
    Your sisters are awesome. Great job!

    • Norah:

      My sisters ARE awesome, Margaret. Truly. Mary could be doing interior decoration for a living. Mary & Sharon painted, and Mary & Pat did the windows, including restringing one traverse rod and installilng another. Pat also made curtains for my sliding patio door from more Delta curtain panels and made a roman blind for my door. They are intimidated by nothing and are vastly talented. They were limited here only by my budget. 🙂
      And I love Chloe’s corner, too. Although right now she’s sleeping in the hall on the cool hardwood. 🙂

  • Roxy Boroughs:

    Wow! It just gorgeous. They must have to drag you out of there kicking and screaming.

  • Your workspace turned out wonderfullly. Great job to you and your sisters and brother-in-law.

  • Lovely room, Norah! I can see how you’d be inspired to write here. You have a generous, creative family!

  • I love your white bookcases and the colors. Also, not sure if you know this, but according to Feng Shui, you should always face out and have your back to the wall for support and ideal positive energy! My desk is positioned much like yours. Looking forward to more posts and pics. Great blog idea!

    • Norah:

      Thanks, Shari! I really haven’t studied Feng Shui concepts, but that makes total sense! Before, my monitor was not just against a wall, but squished into the recess in the desk’s hutch. I definitely felt stopped-up sometimes.

  • I love it! I know you’ll enjoy writing in it. I have a wall of bookshelves and a black lab, too! 🙂 I love the window treatments, too. Thanks for sharing.

    • Norah:

      Oh, that’s so cool, Nancy! And while we’re drawing parallels, we both have “N” names and we both write for Montlake Romance. 🙂

  • Hi Norah, you have a beautiful and elegant office. I am sure it’s a pleasure to spend hours in your workplace. I too have a nice office I share with my husband as we positioned our desks to face each other, so we can spend time together even while working.

    • Norah:

      Oh, wow, Mona! I don’t know if I could work with my husband in the same room, let alone directly across from me! But if you can do it, it makes sense. That definitely counts as quality time.

  • Norah, what a gorgeous space! I’ll bet the creative energy flows nicely through there.

    One of these days I need to redo my office. It’s a disaster of epic proportions at the moment. Plus my desk is facing the corner. Hmmm. Maybe this is the source of my current writing headache!

    • Norah:

      Thanks, Lucy! I’ve actually looked at corner-facing desks before because they’re so efficient, but you may be right. Also, maybe the current problem is that it’s summer and we’re trying to enjoy it to the hilt. 🙂

  • Beautiful! I’m so excited for you – because you’re now?? writing full-time, and you have a lovely new office. What a talented and generous family you have. Want to trade sisters? Kidding! You should have a ceremony equivalent to the blessing of the fleets, which, in case you don’t know, involves lots of colourful do-dads and lots of spirits – the drinkable kind! Congratulations!

    • Norah:

      Thank you, Kate! And LOL, a blessing of the fleet type ceremony sounds perfect! Although I’m not sure Mary, my color consultant, would approve of colorful do-dads. The spirits, however, would be well received. ,-)

  • Norah! I love it. How gorgeous is that. Talk about creativity spaces.

    • Norah:

      Thanks, Lina! It’s a little more generic than yours – which we’re going to be seeing tomorrow when you become my very first Wednesday Workspace guest. Please come back tomorrow to see it, folks. It’s gorgeous!

  • Norah, your office looks so great! It feels like home, and I’m sure you’re completely at home in it. And Chloe is a great muse, I’m sure. I’m writing this to the snoring sounds made by my cat Emma.

  • Love it ! Love it Norah! Looks so… “thought-provoking” in front of the window. I love to look outdoors when I write. I dont have the ‘right’ view but that’s okay, i still get inspired. 🙂

    Renee-Ann <

  • Lori Gallagher:

    I love your new space, Norah! I can easily see you and Heather working away on your next wonderful creation there. Though I have a weakness for bookcases and all office-type stuff in general, my favourite element has to be Chloe. Especially since I have a big, furry Kenny sprawled out at my feet at the moment.

    • Norah:

      LOL! And you have TWO fur babies now, don’t you? They could sure keep your feet warm while you worked! Sometimes Chloe parks herself BEHIND my chair. Have to be careful getting up and down. 🙂

  • Heidi Hamburg:

    I think what I love most about this room is the serenity. It suits you.

    • Norah:

      What a lovely thing to say, Heidi! Thank you! It’s very “serene” when Chloe starts to snore gently from her bed. 🙂

  • Awesome new writing space! I am green with envy. 🙂

    • Norah:

      Thanks, Regina. I’m loving it so far. It’s not quite as tidy as it was when I first finished it, but it’s very functional!

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