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Making the Pretty, Functional

I’m sure you can relate, but my productivity levels have a night and day difference from when I’ve got it together and when I don’t. Not so shocking, right? And yet, all too often we choose to delay getting our business, our lives, and our homes in order. And this delay is stumping growth, stumping success, stumping potential.
Clutter kills creativity and chaos stumps productivity. In short – organization is crucial. And I’ve learned that in a world where we’re constantly trying to be it all, we’ve got to start by being organized.

Confession: It’s really easy for me to think about what pretty things I would like in my office! A flip through the Pottery Barn Magazine, a stroll down the aisles of Target, and those ideas are flow’n!  The fresh flowers, the vintage cameras and the beautiful canvases adorning the walls… I can see it all now. Isn’t it lovely?

But pretty does not always translate to productive. I need both! So, I began my attempt to figure out this magical land of organization.

First I created a Functionality Plan. Instead of planning the color scheme or furniture layout, I scrutinized over what actually makes my workspace, well workable

This is my list of what I needed my office space to have…
1. Computer Station: Clean/clear desk with computer.
2. Reference Station: Archival disks, notebooks, client paperwork, etc.
3. Supply Station: Office supplies such as ink, paper, etc.
4. Packaging Station: Ribbon, boxes, bags, tissue, tags, press printed products, etc.
5. Equipment Station: Camera gear, projector, screen and such.

By creating “stations,” I could start to think past pretty and onto function. Planning for stations helped me determine what it is I really needed in order to create functionality.

Try it and see what you come up with and then leave a comment below and tell us what your functionality plan consists of! I can’t wait to learn from you!

Double Screens helps me stay organized and my desktop workflow board ( <— it’s a free download) is of course a lifesaver for me! The white Ikea file folders store all of my client files, alphabetized from a to z.

The chair was a garage-sale find for $10. It started out green and blue – we painted it white and then a friend recovered the cushions for me. The final touch was having my name on the chair. I redesigned that thing so many times and finally settled what you see above. One of my incredibly talented friends (Shellagh)  helped me with the rub-on technique (I don’t think that’s the right name for it).

Each of the images on the wall means something to me. The magazine covers were, of course, a very big honor for me… There is also an image of a client who passed away, one from my first session where I felt like I was actually getting “it”. One is for my very favorite session ever and another is my hardest. There is even an image repressing my smallest and then my largest sale. The good and the bad have helped me grow and I want to remember both.


 P.S. Thank you Kari (my amazing intern) for photographing, editing, and preparing the images for this post! 



  1. Wanda Thomas says:

    Love it! Its so tidy! I am working on my supply station and computer station today. Thanks as always for the inspiration Leah!

    • You’re so welcome Wanda! And thanks for taking the time to leave me some love behind! And ummm – yes it was tidy for that pic, not so tidy at this moment, but I do plan to change that later today! 🙂

  2. Erin Wheeler says:

    I love the logo on the chair!

  3. Sonia says:

    Gorgeous! And so timely for me because I too have been going through my office at the moment in an effort to tidy it up and make it more beautiful and functional! When I have a cluttered desk, I have a cluttered mind, so it’s a work in progress, but is getting there. Thanks for your inspiration and sharing your gorgeous space!!

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