Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Maryl writes: Take Your Work Outside

I’m working outside for the summer. No, I haven’t started a landscaping business. I’ve moved my office outdoors. I’ve been working at home for a couple of years now and am happy with my current setup but we all need some new visual stimuli once in awhile. So when you stare off into space, you’ll get a few new celestial ideas instead of the same old down-to-earth ones.

Anyway, I gave my balcony a facelift. I’ve lived in my coop apartment for decades across from one of the most spectacular skylines in the world and never did anything major to spruce up the area and make it more inviting and comfortable. Now I had the time and the impetus. I was also moved by a few home décor magazines that made it look like the outdoor balcony or patio was another room. That’s what I wanted another room but not for too much money because my working at home hasn’t quite paid off yet.

I love my new slate floor ($2.99 sq. ft.) that covers the cold concrete and simple lattice (cheap) and mounted plant holders that help hide the unattractive brick…all from Home Depot. Next I purchased resin wicker modular seating with comfy cushions from CB2. I added an outdoor baker’s rack for extra storage (who doesn’t need that in an apartment), a few area rugs and weather resistant throw pillows (by Sunbrella) from Home Decorators. There’s a trough for the ivy to grow up the wall and hide more of the ugly cement and a couple of planters for the boxwoods (the smell always reminds me of Mount Vernon) ordered online (in fact it was all ordered online except for the slate) from Restoration Hardware. I made the light myself with parts from ebay and then I finished it off with some metal wall hangings (gotta cover that brick) and a garden stool from good old Marshall’s. And there you have it…..my outdoor office. 

Now I haven’t experienced any break through thinking yet but I do feel I have a fresh perspective – along with the fresh air - on a lot of what I’m currently working on. (Phil Montero from TheAnywhereOffice has some thoughts on how outside work shifts ones perspective also.) No rush; I’ve got three months. And when I move back inside in the autumn, my way of looking at my tasks and goals will change again. I think I’m onto something here. Try it. Take your work outside.

Recap of links: 
1)  My slate floor from Home Depot
2)  Comfy CB2 seating
3)  Weather resistant Sunbrella pillows from Home Decorators
4)  Restoration Hardware trough and planters
5)  Light parts from ebay
6)  Metal wall hangings from Marshall’s
7)  Phil Montero on how outside work shifts ones perspective


  1. Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that attract others, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.

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