Friday, September 25, 2009


I believe the things we put on our walls, carry in our bags, stock our bookshelves and decorate our homes with reveals something about ourselves. Which is why I find interior decorating a bit impersonal sometimes - carefully placed coffee table books from Barnes & Noble selected for their aesthetic just aren't the same as the ones purchased in airport bookstores using the last of one's foreign currency. For me at least.

Today I would like to tell you a little story. Once upon a time my sister came to visit me in NYC. During her visit we stopped by my office. I had been settled into my office a good 6 months at that point but my shelves and walls were pretty blank. She claimed my office was sterile and completely impersonal. Which is really not my style.

As a result, when we visited an exhibit of Van Gogh's drawings at the Metropolitan Museum during her stay, she bought me this gift with the directive that I needed to put it on my desk at work:

(In return, I bought her the same gift for her office. Clever, I know.)

Now, about four years later, my office is a little more personalized. So I thought I would share a few of the items cluttering up my shelves. Please forgive all photos, they were taken with my phone and all ended up blurry. I'm no good with the camera phone. First up is a slightly abstract rendering of my beloved mystery mazda gifted to me by my sister so I would always remember my "white trash roots" - her words, not mine.

As you can tell, I've also added a calendar from the river rafting company I've traveled with twice now as well as a speaker docking station for my ipod.

I've acquired other things along the way, like art work from kids willing to draw for me:

Gifts from clients . . .
A Homer Simpson sugar cookie I was gifted in the summer of 2007 but recently discovered a "Best if used by: 02-15-09" designation on the back. Ick! And photos, of course.
A little trinket from Tikal, Guatemala.
Framed photos with my favorite travel buddy - my sister. One in Bryce Canyon and one in the best bed & breakfast in Florence, Italy (there were frescos on the ceiling).
More photos and a couple of paintings by my sister that always get a lot of attention.
A photo of my sweet dog Malcolm.
And a hodge-podge of other bits and pieces I've tacked up on my bulletin board.

(P.S. that bottle next to the kleenex is balsamic vinegar . . . )

So tell me, what is in your office? Or bedroom or cubicle or kitchen . . . .


Annie said...

my house is pretty simple and boring i guess. i just don't want to put the wrong things in it. so i take forever to pick something. over 3 years in our house now and there is one wreath on the wall in our bedroom. that's it. maybe it has something to do with the fact that i am frugal too! who knows.

thanks for the paris tips...i will put pictures up, and eat lots and lots of everything!

KimcheeMandoo said...

I have paintings by Erin in my office AND apartment, too! Although a couple of the ones in the apartment have temporarily come down to make room for baby stuff.

KimcheeMandoo said...

oh, and although this doesn't count as decoration, I'm sure you have them, too -- multiple pairs of shoes under my office desk and/or in a desk drawer.

alison said...

I've actually consciously decided not to decorate my office this time around. I guess I don't want to get too comfortable here, and forget that I would rather go home! I do have one wedding photo of me and Matt, but that is it. Now, back at Orrick, let me tell you about the lovely picture I had of you and me that day we went to the beach....

Artax said...

I meant to comment on this post, too. I think you are right -- I love seeing how people decorate or don't decorate their space. My office is still an un-decorated mess, but my house is slowly getting filled bit by bit as I find stuff I like. I'm slow at this sort of thing, because I want everything to be *just* *right*.

Fun post.

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