Desk Dreams

I spent January working feverishly on the second draft of Book 2 which meant (a) a lot of sitting at my desk, (b) a lot of sitting at my desk late into the night and (c) a lot of sitting at my desk, looking around and thinking I despair. I live in an actual shoebox and so avoid adding too much furniture or doing too much decorating, not just because I rent but because there’s very little space to go around and extra things make the place look even smaller. But I was so sick of things not being exactly as I wanted them, I decided that in the gaps between drafts, I would give my desk a makeover. I would create, in the limited space I had and without going completely broke, the desk of my dreams. And here it is. Ta-daaa!

The idea: When I moved back to Ireland, the first thing I did was cover the walls of my teeny, tiny bedroom in my parents’ house in framed pictures. I wasn’t living abroad anymore, so the next best thing was to surround myself with happy memories of it. That’s what I wanted to do here: I’m stuck at my desk, so I might as well be surrounded by nice, pretty things while I’m stuck there.

The furniture: I have a Micke desk from IKEA (I bought my pink trim version over two years ago. I don’t think they still do it but they do have other colours, including plain white) to which I added an extension. My bookcase is from their Kallax range, with one drawer insert and one of their paper storage boxes that fit perfectly. Finally I decided that after years of sitting in dining chairs, I deserved a proper, comfy chair and – guess what? That’s from Ikea too!

The decoration: My pink lamp is from Dunnes Stores (I’m told the pink version will be restocked in the summer; for now they have a beige and a blue), my Scrabble tile lights were bought by Santa a couple of Christmases ago, my pink file folders are from Ban.do and the rose gold holder they sit in is from KikkiK, and my A6 lightbox and little plant are from New Look. There are also little bargain touches from places like Sostrene Grene and Flying Tiger.

(And yes, it’s neat. But when you live in a small space, you have to keep things neat because it’s like you put a single crumpled receipt from your pocket onto the dining table and then BAM! The next thing you know you’re on Hoarders. And also, don’t you think I might have tidied up before I took pictures to put online? And procrastinators have to be neat, because tidying up is a great procrastination activity. So, yeah. It’s neat. Get over it.)

The typewriter: My new baby is by We R Memory Keepers and the pink version is exclusive to Michaels, a craft/hobbies superstore in the US. I always, always, always said I’d get myself a pink typewriter and now I (finally) have. LOOK HOW PRETTY!

Tip: Michaels only ships to US addresses, so I had to overcome that in some way. I signed up for MyUS.com which gives you a US address for $7 a month, so you can take advantage of free shipping from online US stores and then have stuff reshipped to your home address. Now it is – or can be – a bit pricey to have these things shipped across the Atlantic, but the good thing is that you can consolidate packages and save. And I have to say, I experienced fabulous service. I bought the typewriter and a replacement ribbon, which Michaels shipped to my virtual US address separately. When the typewriter arrived here in Ireland, the replacement ribbon had been tucked carefully inside the typewriter’s box, and that box had been carefully replaced in the box it had shipped in originally, and alongside the ribbon was a signed note from the MyUS.com packer. Not only did it get here quickly, but I really felt they were as careful with it as I would’ve been myself. And this is just my unbiased, average customer opinion – this isn’t sponsored, or anything!

For balance, this is my desk from several years ago – 2010, I think –  when I was back living with my parents after coming home from the States and just had a tiny desk pushed up against my bedroom wall. Bit of an improvement, eh? (Also, is that TEA?!)

Let’s just do a side-by-side, shall we?

Places that are good for buying cute home accessories/stationery stuff from: Kikki.K, Sostrene Grene, My Shining Armour, Paperchase, Dunnes, Flying Tiger, The Range, Typo and obviously IKEA. (‘You’re welcome’ – not something your credit card is going to be saying.)

Now to actually do some work here…

If you live in Ireland or the UK, Distress Signals is currently just 99p!

19 thoughts on “Desk Dreams

  1. Rosepoint Publishing says:

    very, very nice! the pics are pretty and pink. I like a neat desk, but at the other side of the room (also very small–our desks are pushed together), sits my husband’s desk. something could be buried in there for all I know and it’d never be found and nothing I can do about it.

  2. kirizar says:

    Really, I’m impressed with the clean-up desk nirvana. I’m an inveterate slob, but even I can appreciate how nice things look when you make an effort. I just never find the time to do so. I will feel slightly guilty about how easy it is for me to go to a Michaels store though. I live about five miles or less away from one.

  3. katielookingforward says:

    So cute! What a sneaky way to get US based stuff! Smart! I choose blue over pink, but I got lucky and my landlord happened to paint my studio a beautiful pale pale blue/turquoise.I think a typewriter would be so much fun! Have you actually used it?

  4. June says:

    Looks lovely! Having a space you like is so important to writing, I think. I’m a bit like you in that if it’s not quite right I must invest a bit of time (read “procrastinate”) to get it in order before I begin. At the moment I write with my laptop on my knees, but the rest of the room has to be neat! Enjoy your beautiful new space. We look forward to reading the results!

  5. Hotdogtopus says:

    Being overseas, I’ve also had to us MYUS from time to time. It helped save money when I shipped my computer, but they are usually too expensive. Now I use Amazon Global, iherb, and Vitacost to get most of my stuff because the shipping is usually cheaper.

  6. Marcie Lovett says:

    What a lovely place to work, Catherine! I love the sentiment in the typewriter almost as much as the little typewriter pillow. There is something inspiring about having a pleasant place to work.

    You practice what I like to call “productive procrastination” – working on another task instead of the one you’re putting off. It feels good when you’re doing something constructive, even though you’re avoiding something more important. Now that you’ve “cleared the decks,” you’re free to work without distraction. (Except there’s always that fun little typewriter to tap messages on!)

  7. SEMay says:

    Catherine, I love it. I can’t work if my desk is a mess and your pretty new one is making my organisation fairy do backflips of joy.

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