paint it, replace it, organize it!

This is the cabinet we use to store our computer and I just finished giving it a make-over.
Since it's located in our bedroom, we chose something that could be closed up at the end of the day - it's bad enough having technology in our bedroom. Although it was no fun, I painted the outside of this cabinet white (3 coats) a few years ago and I'm glad I did as the style is much different than our new bedroom furniture (more on that another day).

The cabinet looks ok, but was kind of crowded with the large PC tower (almost 8 years old), monitor, printer, scanner and work files. I used to make handmade stationery and it's hard to believe that I printed well over 5,000 greeting cards from this workspace with that equipment.

This is the cabinet now with the
more compact (beautiful) iMac I've been wanting to get for a long time and an all-in-one printer, which opens things up a bit. The speakers are gone and work files have been re-organized in order to free up space on top. The chair was purchased in Housing Works Thrift Store and guess what I did to it? Right! I painted it white!

One thing I've learned the hard way is the importance of regularly backing-up your computer - everyday. After my experience in the hard-drive heartbreak hotel, I used Norton Ghost to back-up from one drive to another on my PC. It's a good system, but if something catastrophic happens to your computer (power surge, fire, theft) all of your data could be lost. I've been told by my tech friends that it's best to back-up online or to an external hard-drive that is stored separately, which is what I'm doing now.

To lighten up the inside of the cabinet, no way was I going to paint it and like the contrast from the wood, I purchased some wrapping paper from Kate's Paperie to line the shelves. The paper is made by Barbara Schriber Designs and I needed 6 sheets at about $6 each. It has a vintage feel and if it gets tired looking won't be expensive or difficult to replace, unlike the vintage wallpaper I was considering. [Note: This kind of paper is delicate and susceptible to stains from soda cans, etc. I have a clear plastic on the pullout shelf for the keyboard and try to use a coaster on the surface with the computer.]

We have limited storage space, so I like being organized. But, I don't like getting that way and try to have some sort of system even though it's not perfect. Russell + Hazel binders and files make storage happy and nice to look at, which makes them more likely to be used.

Even just having file folders handy helps, a lot - these are from Target. We still have to go through our files a few times a year, but it's better than the leaning tower of paper we used to have on the kitchen table - almost 12" high at one point - ugh!

The file box is from Target and I covered the top with the wrapping paper. It holds software and
technology information. Most of our other home/work files are kept in our desk in the pink studio. The vintage enamel box holds frequently used cables for our iPod and camera. The router and dsl connection are stored under the printer and turned off when not in use.

The nicest part of this cabinet is the inspiration doors I've been able to create. The panels on the doors are inset so I glued on some cork in order to be able to display art and mementos. The cork is not deep enough for thumbtacks, so I use quilting pins and pretty colored binder clips.

In this space, I'm lucky to have love notes from Scott, plus work purchased on Etsy by -

Jess Gonacha
: You Are My Sunshine Gocco Print
Heather Smith Jones : Dew Upon Roses Watercolor
: Rose photo
Roadside Projects : Girl with camera
: Crocheted Rose

: Letterpress Library Card
Royal Buffet : Butterfly Gift Tag
Dawbis : Collage
The Paper Peony : Bird's Nest Thanks Card
Pretty Little Things : Felt Flowers
Laurie Coyle Designs : Mod Spring Birdy Gocco Print
Blue Citrus Art : Pendant
Sarah Ridgley : Skull Card
Donna Compton : Flower Photo

Phew, glad that's done. I hope there was some helpful information and resources, especially the etsy-love. Do you have any tips for getting organized?

Photo Credit : Cindy


Krissy | Paper Schmaper said...

You are so organized! I love your taste in paper goods :)

Michelle Engel Bencsko said...

Have fun with your new imac! The space looks great.

please sir said...

I LOVE this peek into your workspace! I adore the binders and all the details you have added. I agree about the external hard-drive - I like the seagates, although I don't know how they work with a mac. Thanks again - so lovely!

Anonymous said...

that is a pretty neat idea!

Puyallup florist

Lorie McCown said...

Looks great, I have an old armoire I'm going to do this to for fabric storage! Love your shelf liner paper!

design for mankind. said...


Anonymous said...

IT looks GREAT, Cindy! And I love the addition of my sunshine print, of course. :) Thanks for showcasing it and posting about it!!! You're the best.

Anonymous said...

How fun! I love the wrapping paper:)

Cindy said...

oh boy, thanks everyone!

i was lucky to find that paper after seeing it in tinsel trading months ago. i recently got it into my head that i had to have it, but it was sold out. i'm glad i found it after all - they make some really pretty patterns, including the cutest squirrels.

lorie m - i'm so glad, your armoire will look great! show us pics.

jess - my pleasure, i love the print and so does scott since i sing that song to him when he's very, very good ;)!

Marisa said...

Ok, you are going to shame me into cleaning off my desk....seriously, it's scary/messy. Thanks for all the tips and beautiful photos.

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful job Cindy! We want to do the same thing with our computer. We have an old PC from 2000, and it is starting to show it's age. We just got my daughter a Mac lap top and now we want to replace our dinosaur with a Mac. Love the organizing too,always fun to peek in peoples creative spaces :)

Megan Coyle said...

Everything looks so neat and organized in your room. And your imac makes me want to get one for myself all the more--they're so pretty.

Cindy said...

marissa - do one pile and then go back to your wonderful sewing.

elizabeth and megan - it is the nicest looking machine we've ever owned and it works well, too ;)!

Julia said...

BRAVO! I'm so inspired, this is such a beautiful make-over!

I especially love all your note cards posted!

Cindy said...

thanks julia - i take no credit for the art, i just buy it, and hang it ;)!

Teacher Kelly said...

Cindy, the re-do looks so purty! I am so unbeleivably jealous of your new Mac! I have been dying for one, and my PC is always on the Fritz! My husband refuses to splurge on one until the old is completely dead! Congrats!


Vana said...

you must be the tidiest person ever. I love how clean and organized your work area look:)

Anonymous said...

your studio is to drool for!!! btw, i awarded you something on the blog!

Cindy said...

thank you kelly, vana and ellia -

kelly - we got the new mac because our pc made a noise like a motorboat, really!
vana - not all the time, you should see our closets!
ellia - an award huh? off to see you!

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for buying our tags! it's so neat to see our things in unfamiliar places! :)

Cindy said...

my pleasure molly!

julie king said...

i just love everything you've done!! artsy, creative, wonderfully simplistic and yet so efficient!

Cindy said...

thank you so much julie! it's working out ok, so far ;).

Mandy Ford Art & Illustration said...

This is such a great idea...we need to do this at our house!

Cindy said...

hello there i am a... and thanks. hope you do!

Anonymous said...

Love this!! I might try putting/making something like this in my diningroom/office-space!
Thanks for charing!