The Biennial Office Move

New office space - Guenette photo

(All moved and loving it!)

At least every two years, I pick up stakes and move my entire office space to another area of our cabin and occasionally, over the years, to other geographical areas. While working away for a couple of years, I lived in two different apartments. Then there was my time at the university – a dorm room and two apartments over a six and a half-year time span.

But the majority of these moves (ten out of fifteen) have been within the confines of this 1400 square foot home. I’ve been upstairs, downstairs, east, west, north and south.

Office space back entry - Guenette photo

(A short-lived try at working in the entryway.)

Why this urge to move around? I haven’t tracked the whole process thoroughly enough to give a definitive answer. All I know is that now and then I have to move.

Since I reinvented myself as a self-published author of fiction, I have moved four times within the cabin. I was upstairs at a nice built-in desk that overlooked the downstairs with my big writer’s desk commanding a view of the lake. I suppose, I should state, for the record – I do require two desks to survive. One is a beautiful, walnut writing desk that is long and spacious. For my laptop, I’ve used various standard desks. Right now I have one we got from the local library for a great price when they decided to upgrade.

Office space upstairs - Bruce Witzel photo

(Writing desk upstairs in front of a beautiful view)

For a number of reasons, working upstairs wasn’t my cup of tea. I began to feel closed off and closed in. I started hauling my laptop down to the kitchen table, which sat in a ten by eleven space off the galley kitchen. This room has the best views of the lake. It often feels like sitting out on a deck with the large windows and abundance of natural lighting. Before long, I was spewing my stuff everywhere and running up and down the stairs to get things from my desk at an inconvenient rate.

By mutual agreement – even I could see things were getting out of hand when we could no longer find a spot on the table to eat – I gave up the kitchen table and moved both my desks into our dining room and we moved the table from there outside to our garden. After all, how many spots do two people need when it comes to eating?

I lasted in that location for over a year and during the winter months there was much to recommend it. Oriented inwards to the cabin, it was near the wood-burning stove, so nice and cosy. Close to the bathroom – always convenient. But, I confess to mentioning on more than one occasion that I missed the view from the kitchen nook and once again, I began to feel closed in.

Office space downstairs - Bruce Witzel photo

(We took the picture before we moved the writing desk down. It went in front of the window and the desk for my laptop swung out at a ninety degree angle to face into the living room thus blocking the nice flow we use to have from one room to the other.)

New ReStore chair - Guenette photoThe other day we found a large, leather recliner at the ReStore for a great price and Bruce wanted it. Once we had that chair in the living room things felt squished. We threw a few ideas around and out of the blue Bruce suggested we move my desks up to the room off the kitchen – make that my office space – and put our table back in the dining room. We’d free up space in the open design living room/dining room and give the whole area a less jammed feeling.

Open concept - Guenette photo

(It worked – nice traffic flow. We enjoyed eating out here last night – first time in a while.)

I jumped at the idea. Working in the room off the kitchen is perfect for me. Tons of space for both desks, enough room left over for two glider rockers in the corners – perfect for those times we want to chat – scads of natural light and wide, expansive views of the lake and the mountains. The room is near the back door so I can run out for a breath of fresh air anytime. Oh, and did I say easy access to the coffee pot – always a plus.

Laptop desk - Guenette photo

(It does really feel like being out on the deck!)

Maybe, just maybe, I won’t ever want to move again. But wait – we have tossed ideas around for an addition off the dining room sometime in the future. It could be an office and more. I would definitely think of moving to that space. It would have all the advantages of where I am now plus a door. Open concepts don’t always work for stay-at-home writers. But for now, I am a happy camper in this new space.

Do you ever get the urge to pick up and move your work space to a new area? What reasons motivate you to desire a change?

24 comments on “The Biennial Office Move

  1. evelynralph says:

    Reblogged this on evelynralph and commented:
    What wonderful views, how inspiring. I long to go back to Canada for a visit. Saldly, this is now out of the question. Your picture brought on a sense of that longing.

  2. Beautiful view! It probably provides you with all the inspiration needed 🙂

  3. I can understand your need to move, Fran. I do the same, but I bounce frequently from several writing areas I set up in our house. One weekend I’ll be up in my nook and the next in my larger office. When the weather is nice, I migrate to our patio.
    I must say, your cabin has a magnificent 360 degree view…it’s absolutely beautiful! I would have a difficult time taking my eyes off the view and focusing on the computer screen.
    Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures!

    • Your most welcome, Jill. I get this avarice for the idea of a few offices all set up and I’m the only thing that has to move. Oh well. On this last move, I found several things I thought were lost forever. An added bonus.

  4. shawncallen says:

    You have a beautiful home! I love the plants and furnishings.

    • Thanks so much, Shawn. We tote our pots full of geraniums in and out according to the seasons and we have geraniums blooming year-long around here. Always makes for a nice splash of colour. As to furnishings – when we did actually go out and buy something brand new we mostly looked for warm wood and soft green shades. Sometimes we look around and see a hodge-podge and other times it’s all just perfect. Depends on mood.

  5. Gallivanta says:

    I used to move things around every year or so. I think it’s just a natural urge that we have to rearrange the nest. I haven’t been able to change things much since the earthquakes because all the main furniture is now secured to the walls. There is not much scope to rearrange. 😦 Your views are glorious. 🙂

  6. Behind the Story says:

    I love your new office space.

    Quite a few years ago, I wrote downstairs in a spare room. I had files and books for research, and lots of space and quiet. Now I write in the extension of my kitchen. It’s a handy spot for making tea and finding a snack, but sometimes my piles of paper encroach on the kitchen island. It makes for a messy kitchen. I also like to write in a coffee or tea shop.

    • I would love to do a research study to see if there is some stereotype connection with women liking to write near the kitchen and maybe men wanting to write out in a shop or something like that. For more years that I can count, I littered the kitchen table with projects in progress. Are we alone? I think not.

  7. clareweiner says:

    I’ve moved around the house just like you Francis. I love being upstairs (more light) but am at present downstairs (just happens there’s a whole room I can use – and it’s the warmest in winter!) Downside: it looks out on a wall. I’ve bought a little ‘summerhouse” (a glorified garden shed with windows that open …) and hope to use that this year once the weather is warmer – I have worked in the garden under a parasol but this summerhouse will be much more convenient. Happy working: I envy you the lovely view but my garden is quite pretty, if small.

    • The idea of a summer writing house is one that has been on my mind for a couple of years now. We’ve looked at a possible spot on a rise that overlooks the entire garden. Still in the dream stage though. I have a neat magnet that reads – If you have a garden and a library you have all you need. So true.

  8. jackiemallon says:

    I’m jealous you have so many options! I could move my chair from one side of the desk to the other. And I now don’t feel so bad that you’re such a speedy writer. If I had a view like that, I spool out novels too…mutter, mutter, excuses, excuses…

    • The view is the big drawing feature for me about this place . . . and the garden. But it’s good for me to write a post like this now and then and share because, like so many of us, I get complacent about my home. All of you make me sit up and take a second look. LOL about moving from one side of the desk to another – I had a few working spaces like that over the years – a dorm room and a research office that made me feel as though I was in a broom closet. One way or the other, we get the job done.

  9. jane tims says:

    Hi. I move locations regularly, although the computer remains in the library. I have a desk in the guest room, the library and the loft. But, my favourite place to work is in my big chair in the living room, no desk, just my lap. Jane

  10. Roy McCarthy says:

    You have the most beautiful property Fran, writing aside. Many would die to own it.

    One of the benefits of running here in Jersey is that we go by many beautiful properties. It’s a great excuse to stop and admire. Personally I don’t get jealous about it (a very destructive emotion) but I love seeing the construction, the care, and I’m happy for the owners. Me I’m totally happy in my neat little apartment, tapping away with St Clement’s Bay constantly changing beyond the balcony doors.

    • Whenever Bruce and I are out and about we try and get in a walk to admire homes, properties and architecture. This often dissolves into nit-picking about how we would have done add-ons and renovations quite differently but we always enjoy such jaunts. Property = work. I hear you on the neat little apartment with the beautiful view.

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