Friday, February 25, 2011

Home Office Pretties and Some Tools of the Trade

Pretty file folders for your home office makes paying the bills and filing away paperwork so much more fun. I have these nice graphic folders above I purchased from in my studio that I've used for two years and I love them. I'm one of those people who needs to keep things out on their desk and within view to be able to remember everything! I keep them in file stands right in front of me. If I have to look at file folders on my desk all day, they'd better not be manilla!

I was in Houston this past week and stepped in to Avalon, a stationer's shop on Westheimer. They have lots of pretty Vera Bradley products that would be great in your home office.
I love these folders. I used to think of Vera Bradley patterns as a little French country and kind of cutesy, but I think these are graphic and more modern looking.

Here are some more great patterns from . Back when I purchased from them two years ago, that damask pattern was about all they had to choose from. You should see the selection now. It's like walking into a fabric showroom.


Thomas Paul

Jonathan Adler


Cute pencils. Wouldn't these look nice in a chunky white mug by the phone?

Now for some of my favorite tools of the trade....products I use in my studio that I love and that work really well!

Storage bins from Container Store. These are the BEST! They are lightweight but extremely heavy duty. I use these for projects and put my pretty folders with paperwork in them and throw tile and fabric samples in there too. I could not work without these to organize my projects.
Nice that you can see what's in there! They are only $3-$5.00 too!

Since I do love my shelter mags, I am always looking for great ways to store them. I have used these from Container Store for years, they are always still available.

You can't see this photo very well, but these poly project file holders from Office Depot are the best thing to keep me organized for the day. I can see through them, they are sturdy and flexible. I put paperwork, drawings, sometimes fabric or paint samples, whatever I need for the day in one place.

My favorite drawing pen! They are a little hard to find in stores, but I order them in boxes online from Office Depot.

The smaller, finer tipped version. I've used this felt tip since I was fresh out of college back in the 80's. When something stays around this long, you know it's a great product. I do drawings like these below with these pens.

I use a regular black sharpie to do the heavy lines.

Moulding detail sketch

These pens are so fun to draw with.

I love these Prismacolor artmarkers. Again, I've used these since college. They're blendable and much like watercolor on a felt tip. They're great to lay down some color fast on a drawing. Of course, in order to have the right color to match the materials in your room, you must have a broad selection to choose from at hand. I have way over 100 of these markers. Love them!

They help provide a quick way to show how color looks in a room.

There's all kinds of techniques to get the color to look like a certain material, like the mosaic above. I can do more refined renderings and spend a lot of time on them, but mostly they are rather quick studies.

Even if just doing neutrals, it helps for people to see where the contrast is in the room.

I know I could do these on CAD or many other computer programs. The younger generation can have those. I'm determined to keep drawing, it's the way I trained my brain to design. My interns provide the CAD skills my business needs for turning out more exact drawings.

Do you have a favorite writing instrument that you use everyday and always make sure you have on hand or is it all keyboard or touch screen? Will we even be using file folders in 10 years or will they only be represented with the icon on our screen? We won't need magazine holders for our e-zines. Will doing anything by hand have a place in the modern work world? I guess those are all questions we are pondering these days. I hope there is a way to blend the two. I find technology helping my business in new ways every day, but I will still do my hand drawings.


Karen said...

I love the colorful patterns on the various file folders. A great inexpensive way to bring a little style to your work space. said...

Hi Carla, time commitments have kept me from commenting lately, but I HAD to thank you for these great tips, especially what you use for drawing. I've always used sharpies for outlining, but now I'm on the hunt for the pens you suggested. I use watercolor pencils a lot, but seeing what you do with the prism markers, I've got to give that a try, too. This was a great, generous post. Thanks!

Rhônya Holman said...

Great blog, it is so inspiring and creative! Special compliments in your drawing skills. (-:

Anonymous said...

oh, love all the folders...wonderful way to keep your office organized.....and I'm such a neat freak your drawings...wish I could draw as good as you...(sigh) some day...

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Thanks for the tip on the folders. Sister has been looking for some for her new home office. Love your drawings. I seriously need to take a class.

designchic said...

Could definitely inspire me to organize!!

Rhônya Holman said...

Thank you Carla for your comment. I really appreciate your stopping by.
You are more than welcome anytime. (-:
All the best.

Design Elements said...

wonderful drawings! thanks for the tip about the folders. Acapulco is my fav :-)

Kellie Collis said...

Those pretties surely will inspire anybody to file. Gorgeous folders! Have a beautiful day, Kellie xx

Donna said...

Making work colorful works for me.

I'm with you - I prefer to hand sketch instead of using a computer program. Since just about everyone uses a CAD program these days, when you see something hand draw, it really stands out. Very pretty!

Tools? Sharpi, exacto blade and t-square - just like in I used in college.

Anonymous said...

Organization made fun!!!
Happy March 1!

quintessence said...

I think I may have to order some of these as my office is a total disaster at the moment. And I just have to add how beautifully you draw - I think it's a HUGE asset for a designer. Our architect could render perfectly as well and it's so much more human that looking at CAD

Kathryn said...

Your drawings are great. Such talent! I can tell you really know what you're talking about.

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