As a very visual thinker, I’ve learned over the years—and especially since having kids—that I function far better if I have one area in my house that I can count on to be clean. No matter how loud, messy, and wild the rest of the house gets during the day, having my little spot keeps me from totally freaking out. 

Those of you with kids in school are probably familiar with the hurricane that rips through the house each morning, and making my bed has long been the first chore in the morning clean-up ritual. Even though I keep my bedroom really tidy (ahem…don’t look in the closets), I still felt like I needed a better place to retreat.

We had a chair and a nightstand sitting on the wall opposite of our bed, but I had been looking for a small desk for nearly a year. A few weeks ago I saw a craigslist ad for a $10 vintage desk, and even though it’s not my ideal piece of furniture, I couldn’t argue with the price. It is about 2” too wide for the space between the doors to our bathroom and closet, but it’s solid wood, so I’m going to have Patrick cut it down to fit.

I wish I could say it was teak or rosewood, or something sexy like that, unfortunately I think it’s a homemade project, crafted from much cheaper wood. But, I’ll say it again: $10. And it functions just like I need it to. Plus, it’s amazing what a few pretty accessories can add!

I picked up the brass Tensor desk lamp over a year ago at a garage sale for $3, and I’m so happy that it finally has a place. You might have seen the planter on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I picked it up at the thrift store run by the local senior center for $1. 

I’m not much for houseplants, mostly because we get no sunlight and they always die, but I’ve heard these snake plants (aka mother-in-law tongue plants) are easy to grow. The kids obviously need a pet because when I brought it home they were arguing over who would get to dust its leaves and who would water it. 

We’re still planning to paint this wall black and do something different with the flooring. I get excited thinking about how that’s going to look, but right now we’re in the middle of some minor kitchen projects, so it will have to wait. 

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