Sonia Zjawinski is a freelance writer who covers all sorts of technology for the likes of Unplggd and Wired. She also happens to be a pet lover. Check out her writings on Pawesome to get an idea of just how keen she is on her furry friends. Here we get peek at her home office in Pacific Grove, California.
How long have you worked from home? And where is home? I’ve been a freelance writer for about five years. Up until recently that meant I worked on articles for the New York Times, ReadyMade, and Unplggd from my apartment in Brooklyn, NY, but this past January my husband and I moved to Pacific Grove, CA. We converted our apartment’s second bedroom into an office space we share. I run the pet blog Pawesome out of here.
Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? Giant Robot meets Mollusk surf shop. My husband and I have very different aesthetics that thankfully really balance each other out. His side of the office is minimal, with just the bare essentials (and the occasional surfboard leaning against the wall) while my side is a collector’s space. I like to curate little exhibitions filled with art, tchotchkes, and personal memories. We have a mix of new, old, budget, and expensive pieces in the office. My side is much more budget friendly, with both vintage and Ikea pieces.
How do you keep your office organized? I’m thinking here of the physical space but also your computer. Are there any particular programs you find really useful? Honestly, I never feel like the office is organized, but I have a few pieces that help keep the chaos in check. One is my Ikea Helmer drawer unit. Its six drawers are nice and small so I can easily divide items up to make it easier to find them later. The other is my Poketo planner. I’ve used programs like Google Calendar and iCal, but I get too distracted when I’m on the computer to remember to plug in appointments and to do lists. It’s much easier for me to take this little datebook to bed and plan things out for the following day, week, month. Plus it has all these extra sections in it for organizing ideas and finances. When I’m at the computer, as I mentioned before, I get distracted very easily so I’ve found the Instapaper plugin for FireFox (also available for Safari) to be really helpful to keep track of sites, blog posts, and products that have peaked my interest. It’s the equivalent of folding a dog ear in a magazine, but in this case, all your folded pages are on one site.
When you were designing your home office what did you keep in mind? If I can’t spend my days outside, I want to at least feel like I am. We have these beautiful windows that overlook the giant ferns growing in our yard, so we decided to create an office layout that allowed our desks to be as close to that as possible, while not creating too big of a glare on our glossy screens. [Bruce's desk is below]
Is there any piece of home office furniture you covet? My husband’s Herman Miller Embody chair. While I love my little vintage blue chair, it does not do a body good.
What would you change about your own workspace? I’d love to figure out a visually appealing way to hide all the cables, wires and modems/routers on our floors. Until we own though, I don’t want to invest anymore in the space.