Monday, June 15, 2009

What A Way To Make A Livin'

Okay, it was a few months ago, but I've just figured out how to get the pictures online, so I am now so very pleased to present the results of my grand cubicle makeover.

When I went from working in my own store to working in a high-walled cube, it was a tough adjustment. I spent my first weeks on the job envisioning how I wanted to change things, and I bought art, fabric and accessories to bring that vision to reality. Now, I'm not especially crafty, nor particularly abundant in free time, so it took a while to put all those pieces together. The biggest part of the job was measuring for, cutting, and hemming all of the fabric. I used a heat-fused fabric tape, and it took foooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr, even with Kristy taking lengthy turns with the iron. If I ever do this again, I will buy a sewing machine at the outset.

And so, with no further ado ...

Before:


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand ... after!




If you want all the technical details, I used a chocolate microfiber on the cube walls, kept in place by silver-headed upholstery tacks. (This is not the best method, but it's working for now.) The design on the file cabinets is a wall decal from AllPosters.com; it's multiple pieces and can be configured in any way I want (and is, at least in theory, non-damaging to surfaces; I still haven't pressed them really, really hard into the cabinets).

I wanted things to look cohesive without being themey, and I didn't want to clash with the office's other decor, so I settled on sort of a retro-natural feel. The kind of watercolory image on the left side is a canvas-mounted print of Minnehaha Creek, a tributary of the Mississippi that runs right behind my parents' house. I used a drywall hook to secure this to the cube wall. The silver-framed picture on the right is a vintage postcard-style print of Northwestern University (pre-arch), featuring University Hall, home of the English Department.

I have to say, I really had no idea what a huge reaction these changes would generate. For several weeks afterward, people from all over the company, secretaries to VPs, stopped by to say how much they liked it. I'm still not quite done with it (those black wire mesh desk accessories have to go!), but even as it is, it feels so good. I spend more waking hours at that desk than anywhere else, and it was really important to me not to hate, or even feel nothing about, my surroundings. I needed to make it a comfortable, appealing place to be. I would enthusiastically encourage anyone in a mass-produced work environment to do the same.

7 comments:

Sarah Jane said...

I think you should make a livin helping people improve their cubes.

Stacey Greenberg said...

pretty! where are the photos of your gorgeous babies?

i just cleared my cube out yesterday and have been wondering what to do to make it nicer.

i'd like to see yours in person--yk rub my fingers over the fabric and whatnot. i don't think the internet is doing it justice!

Secret Agent Mom said...

The kid pictures are generally set as the wallpaper on those giant dual monitors.

Chip said...

You should hire a real photographer to show the fruits of your labor to the interwebs.

kat said...

I love it! Maybe this is a business in the making?

Andy Bilinski said...

I so wonder what you'd do to the inside of my Civic if we were on a 12 hour road trip. Oh man, I can see it now.. flames, devil horns, maybe a unicorn. It's the closest thing to a cube i have. God, i hope it would wash out !
haha

it looks great !
ab

Mel Spillman artwork said...

That is so cute!