Being a minimalist-ish stylist sometimes feels like an oxymoron. I’m suppose to cluster and stack until I’m blue in the face, but sometimes I don’t want to LOL. I’d rather store something in that seemingly empty vase rather than having it sitting pretty (and dusty) but can you have a well styled space that’s also extremely useful or is this a unicorn idea? I’m using my newly refreshed office nook to put this to the test and hopefully inspire you to look at how you style a little differently. Don’t get me wrong I completely understand the multi-appeal and purpose of empty vases. Shoot, I love a well designed vase as much as the next person, but if you’d like to have your pretty be a little more useful, keep reading to see the three things you’ll need to do just that!


So you’re ready to spruce up your office a bit and the first thing you want to do is get rid of those white lidded plastic bins that you bought because they were on sale and they stacked so well. Yup, we’ve all been there. The first thing you’ll likely do is run to your nearest home goods store and buy twenty of whatever basket, bin or container you like and rush home, ready to organize. FREEZE! While it may be tempting to go all in with the wicker (or your basket of choice), using the same container, especially in the same close spacing can be a little much. Try varying the sizes, shapes and styles of your containers, even if only a little, adds a little interest. You’ll have to do a bit more planning before hand because you’ll need to know what you plan to store in what and this means having a rough estimate on the size but it’ll save you from having shelf after shelf of sameness.

For my office nook shelving, I used three wicker baskets, all with different sizes and patterns. I also put them on different shelves which helped break it up and make them feel even more different from one another. I even could have gotten away with just using two. On the other shelves I used a wire basket with a cloth insert and a roped fiber bin. These five containers are my largest so I wanted them to set the tone for the space. Just by their materials they help push the “crafty office” look I was going for. Be sure you’re no just picking containers at random. Think about the look you’re going for. Will the material tell the same story? Shiny metal baskets may give off a contemporary vibe, while a cylinder wicker bin will feel more boho. Now that you have your bins picked out, it’s time to fill them…with what you use.


This may seem like an easy one, but most times we just end up tossing out stuff in the bin and calling it a day but what if we have really cool supplies that if displayed would elevate the space? My largest wicker basket can hold all of my wood remnants but I put my dowels in a few vases. Now I don’t have to weed through tons of wood straps to find them and they look great in the vases! I did the same thing with the tassels on the top shelf. I’m constantly adding and removing them from my pillows so having them at arms length means I always know where they are and having them peak over the top of the black cup creates a cool texture. My magazine rack was a quick project that allowed me to prop them up and have them become apart of the shelf styling. Instead of having them tucked under my bed, they’re not easy to reach when I want a little design inspiration. This rack actually brings me to my last tip – DIY everything!


Or thrift it. The first thing I tell people when they say they’ve been looking for a vase for a project, is to thrift it. My local Goodwills are constantly filled with aisles of vases, ceramics and other small decorative containers that usually just needs a new coat of paint. I paid two dollars for this rusty coral vase and less than that for the wood bed bowl on the desk. Neither needed to be painted but I would have bought them even if they did. Sometimes we overlook great finds because of their color when all it would take is a little acrylic paint to turn them into the perfect pieces. Sometimes thrifting can be hit or miss so DIYing could be a better solution. The black vase on top is just a wood pot from Target (I bought these years ago and they’ve been holding our spoons and straws in the cabinet LOL) that I glued four wood knobs to for feet and painted black. What can’t paint do?

The “tall wood vase” next to it is actually the exact same wood pot flipped and stacked to look like one piece. Using small hacks, you can transform just about anything. Think wood glue is just for wood? Nope. My once “knob-less” textured white vase got a bumpy upgrade thanks to a few leftover packs of wood balls and my trusty Gorilla glue. Think outside the box and have fun! If you’re lucky, you’re not spending any money on these small upgrades so if you don’t love it, it’s fine! Just have fun and most importantly, try. There’s nothing more satisfying than making something look like a million bucks when you barely spent a dime!

Hopefully these three bits help you tackle your next project even if it’s not your office! Think about how you use the space and what the means in terms of what kind of containers you use, what you choose to display and how you top it off by making it your own. If you want to see how I used them same three tips in our kitchen (particularly displaying what you have), check out my kitchen update post!

Happy Sunday!


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