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Ikea office Organization is happening.

When i was little i used to ‘clean’ by shoving things under the sofa, in the oven, behind the toilet. Its a really adorable habit that i haven’t really grown out of.  I don’t like too much visible clutter, but i don’t really put things away properly – i just shove things inside of other things.  

When we moved into our new house I was super excited to have an dedicated office where i can put all the annoying and ugly ‘officey’ things, but unfortunately it had very little storage and what it did have was unattractive.

And i don’t do unattractive very well (which is why i haven’t revealed to you my kitchen or exterior – both needing an insane amount of help that i don’t want to give to a rental).  

I spend 4-10 hours a day in my office – it needs to look and feel good and be functional.    

It has good bones – tons of windows and light and french doors that go in to my bedroom – plus sliding glass doors for clients to have their own entrance.

But it’s still kinda sad:


Don’t you love a good ‘before’ pic?  Ugh. Here’s where it was when we first moved it – pre-organization.  Sexy, i know. There really wasn’t a place for anything.  I needed more storage than those stupid cupboards.   

So i partnered up with Ikea for some organizational ‘consultation’ we’ll call it.  Basically they designed and consulted the perfect storage unit for me.  (yes, in exchange for this post).   

The goal:  an ATTRACTIVE, FUNCTIONAL, storage situation that would make me happy to look at it. PLUS i was dying to have moodboarding space so if it was a clean surface that would be awesome.  

My space was tricky because i needed something narrow in there.  I have a big table that i love and a HUGE desk chair that i can’t give up, so i didn’t want the 26″ deep units.  I went to Ikea and started shopping and there are a lot of options of the Pax unit (which is the name of these closet units).  They have a unit that is only 14″ deep and had a white lacquer front.  

There were a ton of other options –  but i’m a sucker for white lacquer. Plus that gave me a clean surface to have the mood board on the front of it.  Let my mood never been bored, again. 

That’s my thumb…….telling the computer that i approve…?

I was intimidated by the whole process so here’s the rundown:  there are computers at ikea in the Pax section that walk you through the whole process – you pick the size, then the door styles then the components inside. Everytime you add something it changes the price so you always know where you are at. It doesn’t let you add something that is impossible (it only lets you do so many shelves, drawers, etc that work with the unit), it kinda guides you through the process.  It’s super easy, actually.

You can watch your future organizational dreams come true.   

So here we are after installation, AFTER i added some vintage hardware – i had to ‘Emily’ it up somehow.

You ask about the knobs? Of course you did because they are insanely beautiful and you would be an idiot to not wonder where the hell i got them.   I bought them from Rick’s Hardware in the valley – all your hardware dreams will come true there.  They were $30 a piece, which isn’t a steal and adds up to $120, but they are really, really awesome and were worth the splurge.  Oh and i think the whole double unit with all the components cost $1000. The white lacquer is the most expensive option, but kinda the best. 

I mean. Pin that sh*t.

They are the George Clooney of knobs.  Beautiful, but aged; simple but full of character. Unlike George, however, they each weigh 12 pounds.  That’s a heavy knob.

And on the inside? 

Yeah, dawg.  Sooo many places for me to shove things.  

Picture your future paperwork here.  

But here’s mine:


This is real, friends.  It’s not all styled, truly.  Up top i put pretty things that i use a lot for styling. Then boxes full of stuff like ‘random chords’ and ‘headshot/business cards’.  (the navy blue linen boxes are Ikea, too).  Then fabric swatches, then paint decks and wallpaper swatches.  

Oh man.  I’m having an organizational orgasm just posting this.  My life has changed soooo much. 


Check books? no big deal, i got you.

Receipts from 2012? 3rd shelf from the bottom in the bin called ‘2012 receipts’, naturally. 

I always thought that if you use a label maker you may as well wear duck tape your legs together: It’s really the end of your youth and sexiness.  But now i realize how helpful it is.  Its not so much that you know where where to put things, but instead its like this lady:

is saying ‘eh, eh eh…. does that leftover razor blade really go in the box that says ‘camera accessories?”, instead you know where you CAN’T put random things.  

I hate rules more than most people, ask my parents, but this rule kinda does it for me.  


Everyday tools, magazines, spraypaint, ribbon and fabric. Check, check, check, check and check.  I know where EVERYTHING is.  And i get excited to put things away.  

Hey, Emily, do you know where that yardage of gold sequin fabric is? 

Yeah, dawg.  I do.

You know what that is? An empty brain.  It’s not designed yet, but its soooo clean and organized that i’m kinda tempted to not add anything.  



Everything i need, right on my desk. BOOM. Right there.  

In your face.

And all the stuff on the front of the cabinets is stuff that reminds me to push myself, creatively.  Maybe it’s unexpected color palettes, unpredictable furniture or styling that kills all other styling.  I stare at it everyday and it helps, it does.

I still need to DESIGN the room, don’t think this is a fully designed room, but i feel like i can do it now that i have it totally organized.  

In case you are wondering about the other blue office that i make over HERE, my husband, Brian works out of that one. So now we each have our own.  He liked the blue a lot and i needed more space.  

I couldn’t recommend the Pax unit more.  Custom cabinetry is expensive, it just is – i call it the ‘Wedding’ of furniture making, meaning that the second you say ‘custom cabinetry’ the contractor will quote you 6 times more than they would if you said ‘shelving’.  We are quoting for one right now in Venice for a client and can’t get it under $6000.  But these things were around $1000 for the unit completely.  And its ATTRACTIVE.  And since i’m renting i can take it with me.  

Ikea’s blog has also been documenting it, so please check it out.  HERE. 

So what is your biggest organizational downfall? Do you guys hide objects in your oven ever?



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