office space

Now that I've got my wardrobe under control (she says smirking) my attention has turned to my office space. Although it serves as a hallway between the outside world and another office, it is ALSO my office and it comes with two big windows (overlooking an air shaft), a tall wall of shelves (with too many books on them), and two blank walls.
There's a big blank wall over my computer monitor and I have to do some thinking about that. I'd love to make it an inspiration board type of thing but I don't believe I'm talented enough to have it end up looking very inspiring. We'll see.

The walls aren't the only thing I'm thinking about, though. I've been busy contemplating the ambiance of my space. I want it to feel comfortable (I know this sounds terribly obvious to most of you but I haven't encountered raw space in a very long time) and I keep thinking about how it smells.
Do people think about the way their workspace smells?
I keep thinking about how the space looks and how to make it comfortable and how to make it mine and, I'm sorry if this is weird, I keep thinking about the way it smells.
To be honest, I don't think it smells at ALL right now but I'm wondering if I wouldn't like it to have a scent of some kind - A VERY SUBTLE scent - and I need some input on this idea.

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I'm guessing that my favorite scented candles would not only be overpowering in such a small place but also illegal. Though I have been in office space wherein scented candles were lit, I have a feeling it's a no-no.


I would absolutely LOVE burning some frankincense to set the mood in my space but I'm figuring it would be the same as lighting up a cigar. (That's an odd picture of smoldering frankincense, isn't it?)

There are plenty of scented alternatives available in place of smoke or fire -


reed diffusers are very popular and have become widely available. I sniffed a few of them the other day at Bed Bath And Beyond and might have bought a set but found their versions to be too strongly scented. I was thinking that in an office setting, where one needs to be mindful of others, one could use fewer reeds to disperse the scent, but I didn't love any of them.

room spray

Yankee Candle makes room sprays but they seem to be designed to mask odors. I might buy one of these to spray near our dog's bed but I'm less inclined to try one in my office.

They make these plug-in things too

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but I'm guessing anything Yankee Candle will end up being overpowering?


Too Christmas-y? Isn't potpourri terribly 1999?


Too supermarket-y?

Maybe I could do an inspiration wall of these -

little tree

Updated to add: all this rumination is for naught...a few hours into my first day an exquisite bouquet of lavender was delivered at the front desk. I got a call from the receptionist and went to retrieve it, assuming it was for my boss. BUT IT WAS FOR ME.
K and the boys sent it to me to brighten my first day -
beautifully scented, ever so lightly, it is the perfect they are my perfect boys.
There is nothing like the boost one gets being called to the front desk to receive a beautiful gift. I smiled for the rest of the day.



Laura Jane said…
What a perfect solution! What a yummy bunch of men you have!

Maybe you could stamp/tie in your space/inspiration board with a colour theme, e.g. lavender. Subtle essential oils (on a cotton ball tucked in the vase of lavender).

Too try hard? Or just let it evolve.

I had a secretary once who did BRIGHT flowers (gerberas) everywhere at her desk, with tinsel too! It made a statement!!!!

I recommend pulling back a bit from that big of a statement.
Badger said…
That K. He's a keeper, yo.
Mary said…
Those menfolk have indeed hit on the perfect solution.

Fresh flowers are the answer for sure. They will give you a lift and the scent will overpower neither you nor anyone else.
RW said…
That is a brilliant solution. You have some inspired men folk in your life.
That One said…
Lavender. I love lavender. And that is a gorgeous bunch of it. Your boys are keepers!

Fresh flowers are a great way to go. (Also, those little candle warmer thingies you plug in - you can have your favorite candle with no fire.)
Ali said…
Oh, your boys truly are the best. How very thoughtful (and perfectly judged!).
Shelly Kang said…
BB, I'm so excited for you going into this new adventure! I sort of look forward to the day when I go back to work on a more regular basis.

I love the idea of fresh flowers for your desk, and surely you deserve the little luxury now that you're bringing in the extra cash.

Me personally, I would avoid any stronger scents as some people are highly sensitive to smells, and even things that smell yummy to most people and in certain situations can be overwhelming even in small amounts.
Anonymous said…
Your men? Are perfect. Brilliant. And read you like a book.
Amy A. said…
mmmmm, lavender. Smells good.
smalltownme said…
You have windows? I worked for a while in a basement. There was one window at the other end of the room with a view of the stairway, but no window in my office.
Your boys will be amazing husbands some day, don't you think?

I like the idea of keeping some type of botanical on your desk. Smells good and looks pretty.

Pottery Barn has a new type of room scent that looks like crystal rocks. The fall scents are Autumn Spice or Fig. They look pretty sitting in a glass bowl.
Anonymous said…
I am aware there's no perfection in this world but your boys are just an inch away. They did a sweet, thoughtful and caring gesture all the while solving your problem of the day.
JustACliche said…
Wow! Your boys are good. And where did they find that lovely bouquet? I totally want one for my desk. (and my boys are quite that good)
Sarah said…
Your family is outrageously sweet. Either that or you've trained them well.
barbra said…
What wonderful men you have! The perfect solution, and they read your mind!
Anonymous said…
A delivery of a lavendar bouquet certainly trumps a rear view mirror xmas tree. How sweet of them!

I recommend one of those cute "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters that you can buy on Etsy for your office. I just got one for my husband who is toiling away on his masters thesis. I think it will be a good reminder for him. They come in great colors, and it could be just the thing for your office.

alice c said…
What a perfect gesture.

Love comes in different shaped parcels and that is one of them.
KPB said…
You just brought spontaneous tears to my eyes.

Those men of yours.

Anonymous said…
Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

I have "eau de sharing my office with a 16-year-old boy" scented workspace.

Anonymous said…
I'm with Kim. That teared me up.
I light candles in my office all the time, but I'd much rather receive lavender. Lovely.
Caterina said…
Wow. Lavender. I love lavender! I used it on my wedding day -- all the bouquets and arrangements.

I agree with the rest of the comments. You have an amazing group of men :)
Dani said…
The update make me tilt my head to the side and say "Awww" out loud. :)
Anonymous said…
beautiful (and how sweet of your boys). I want to create an inspiration board for my office too. I've also been saying that for about 2 years now, haha. I'll get to it someday :)

I keep an unlit candle in my office, with the top off for a slight scent. Also, a popular thing to do in my office is to decorate using printed paper from Paper Source. Inexpensive and when you want something new, easy/cheap to replace.
MsCellania said…
I am completely head over feet for all your Boys!
Anonymous said…
Aha! That's it! A bowl of dried lavender on your desk--subtle, but smells wonderful.

PS-I'm ALL ABOUT the smells. Don't let anyone tell you smells aren't important...

Although it is a delicate balance. I once caught my sister, B, smelling a CD case.

That kind of smelling is just plain kooky.

It is.
Jennifer said…
I just discovered these Reed diffusers. I was going to buy one, but wasn't sure if the smell would really fill up the room. I just might have to try them.

This post reminded me of something my son said the other day while we were looking at all the sprays and such at Walmart. He looked at the wall of spays, candles etc and said " febreze, febreze, it's just taking right over" and you know he was right! What's up with that? To get a good smelling candle or something you need to go to a better store like bed bath and beyond or such.

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