When A Space Isn’t Working For You



A few weeks ago I was so annoyed at the state of our house.

The main surfaces–our kitchen island and the table we eat every meal were both constantly covered with a layer of stuff. One of the ways you can measure the state of my sanity is by the amount of stuff on my kitchen island.

I traced the problem back to, well, me.

My work stuff, notes, clipboards, coffee cups, notes, computer, cords, phone charger, pens, notes and also notes were all over the table where we were supposed to eat our meals. We had even been eating in the family room because UGH, cleaning off the table with so much stuff was too much work.

Here’s the really sad/crazy/annoying part. I actually have an office. Just a mere 50 yards from our house I have this cute little space:


Yes, I’m totally a spoiled brat when it comes to having my own cute place to sprinkle layers of notes and lists and computer cords, so why was I claiming the kitchen table?


Because I didn’t want to be in my office.

So I decided to figure out why.

And it took almost zero time.

Here are my whys:

  1. It’s winter and my office has no easy source of heat. There’s a wood stove–awesome, but I’m no Pa Ingalls and it’s a pain to go start a fire, tend it in the cold and wait 40 minutes for the room to warm up. So I stay in the house because #easy and also #warm.
  2. It’s dark. Yes, this photo looks so bright and sparkly, I had the door wide open and waited until the sunniest day where the sun shines in this office for exactly 12 minutes and still lightened up the photo. This is easily the darkest room in our house (or within 50 yards of our house)–it’s actually darker than our basement. So I stay in the house and sit by a window.

I decided to be a grown up and instead of not using this adorable office, I’m going to solve the problems that are actually not that huge that I’ve been ignoring for three years.

I can’t wait to share how I warm up and brighten up this space.

Here’s a hint:


The first thing I did was add an extra bulb to this nekkid overhead light–we’ve been living with this thing (no cover of course) just like this, and for some reason with only one lightbulb for years. WHY am I doing this to myself? One 30 second temporary fix gave me double the light, I had just been ignoring it for years.

Now I’m searching for quirky, fun, flush, overhead lighting for ceilings that are only 7.5 high–it’s a challenge, but I’m excited! I’m also solving the warmth problem in a few different ways.

I cant’ wait to share my slightly updated office with you.

And I’m kicking myself for not evaluating how I was truly using/not using this space years ago.


Do you have a space that isn’t living up to its potential?

cozy minimalist

The Cozy Minimalist decorating class is now open for enrollment. If your room needs a fresh start and you are ready to have more of the style you love with less stuff, then this course is for you. And bonus, this time around the self-study course includes access to our Private Cozy Minimalist Community on Facebook as an extra fun perk. Click here to read all about it. Enrollment closes Monday.

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  1. Hey Myq, Can you help me figure out why I can’t log in to the Cozy Minimalist site? It always takes me back to the login page, with no error message.

    • PS- sorry I presumptuously called you Myq… :)

      • You can always call me Myq, it’s how I sign all my cards, notes, emails and everything-

        Okay, weird login issue–I’m guessing you signed up for the Cozy Minimalist DECORATING course and are singing into the Cozy Decorating course and that you didn’t purchase the Organizing course–Cozy Minimalist MOM in the past and are trying to use that username and password (sometimes that gets confusing).

        If you did purchase the decorating class and are using that login, email: support@dixonagency.org and they should be able to help you, so sorry about that!

  2. Flat led panels have come way down in price. They are about an inch thick and mount on the ceiling. Annnnnnd, they are very bright!

  3. Yes! My sewing room has been the victim of Christmas crafting, blog projects and the kids cleaning out their rooms and “blessing” mine with the excess. I’m in the process of quieting the room and regrouping as I walk thru the Cozy Minimalist course. Can’t wait to watch it all unfold!

  4. I love your office, especially that flower light! I’m super interested in what you do about the heating issue!

  5. Where did you get those counter stools? I love them!

  6. If you find cute, flush light covers- I’d love links! Low ceiling here too!

  7. I love and use my office all the time, but it does get cold in the winter. I have a robe hanging on the back of the door I can put on over my clothes and then I am toasty warm. I also have fingerless gloves and a few blankets on backs of chairs.

  8. I have quieted my living room for a few days. Now I’m anxious to get it back together so I can quiet the bedroom. Right now that is the room that is frustrating me the most.

    Also, I’ve been displaced for a while now in finding my space to be creative – it has me off and I am struggling to find a spot that feels right.

    Looking forward to seeing how you make your space work better for you.

  9. Try the led daylight bulbs…although sometimes the light can be a little sterile

  10. I LOVE your office and never even noticed the nekkid light fixture when I was in there, lol. You had so many arrows and beautiful things to look at my eyes never landed on it. But I can totally get that a cold space isn’t very inviting. That would demotivate me too. I’m excited to see what you do with the space and I’m also interested in your process of organizing your thoughts for future posts and courses.

  11. Oh yes!!! I would love to see a round up of your flush light findings!
    My 7 foot ceilings + 6’3″ husband = low profile flush mount lighting NECESSARY!!!
    My next ‘cozy’ room I’m tackling has a cheapo chandelier hanging in it….it’s GOT to go! :)

  12. Very interesting post, and it made me think about my spaces that aren’t working for me. My kitchen pantry comes to mind. Also, you made me realize how important light is to me. I can’t stay in a room without windows so I can see outside. I love your posts when you’re not selling something, and talk about your life. You’re so relatable and heart-honest. I enjoy that.

  13. Cannot wait for good lights for low ceilings! Ours are 7’8″ throughout our entire house. Not only do I feel we live in a basement, but nothing stunning happens on the ceiling bc if that lovely limitation. Right now it’s builder-grade lights. :(

  14. They do say the state of your worktops is a relection of your state of mind. There a tonnes of stores online that have huge selections of lights for low ceilings. You may have to shop around for a while to find some stunning ones but they are there:)

  15. Looking forward to seeing how you make your space work better for you.

  16. My next ‘cozy’ room I’m tackling has a cheapo chandelier hanging in it….it’s GOT to go! :)

  17. I adore this space (and the whole barn)! I am wondering how many square feet each of the spaces are? We are building a barn with a small apartment and I like the size of yours. Looks like just enough. And, of course, you made it all look so inviting.

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