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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

09.10.2001

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Painting 101
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Make it Mosaic!
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Estate Sales 
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Open House 
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Hammock Heaven 
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Makeshift Vases 
o Newlyweds' Nest 
o Variations on a Theme 
o Hanging by a Wire

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home/work by Dariush Derakhshani | 1 2 3
continued from page 1 

Sometimes, though, thereís no avoiding the bedroom home office, a fact which I know all too well from experience. In the cramped living I made for myself while trying to get through an entirely too expensive graduate school, I knew that I needed a clear separation of work and home, to keep myself from climbing up a clock tower with a rifle. But with space being limited as it was, and my roommate difficult as he was, I had no choice but to keep my office in my bedroom, just a few feet from my bed.

It was a matter of weeks before I thoroughly resented my own bedroom and found myself sleeping on my roommateís cheesy black faux leather couch in the common area. It was like sleeping at an airport terminal the day before Thanksgiving; I had to do something, and quick. My roommate was getting entirely too passive aggressive in his discontent with my newfound bed on his nasty plastic couch. But aside from moving out entirely, or allowing my roommate to suffocate me in my sleep, I didnít see a whole lot of options: either pack in the office, or get used to sleeping with it three feet from my face. I wasnít ready to do either.

Luckily, one hot Burbank day, while slurping a soda and wasting time in Ikea, I stumbled over my solution. Literally. My foot found the end of a Japanese-ish paper and wood room divider that had been jutting out into the walking aisle of the bedroom section. And there it was right in front of me, the answer to my woes. I felt like an idiot, and not just because I hadnít been watching where I was walking. Having been an architect in a previous life, I couldnít believe I hadnít come up with the idea for a room divider earlier.

So I sucker punched this elderly woman and grabbed her cart, then ran to Ikeaís stock area to stock up on some cheap Ivar shelving and one of those room dividers. I was reticent to fork out what little cash I had, but it would be more than worth it in the long run.

Back at home in my apartment, I quickly set to work on creating the much-needed physical barrier that would definitively separate my bedroom from my office, to cut the blight of it all. To begin, I separated out everything that didnít require immediate access, like my printer supplies, and shoved it all into the linen closet. With just the true necessities left to organize, I could pack the rest of the contents of my home office onto the modular shelving.

I set up my modular shelving to provide a small cubby space between it and my corner desk. In that space, I placed my PCís noisy tower. The little nook cut the noise from this monster considerably, and kept it out of the way of my clumsy feet and easily bruising toes. I ran the medusa of wires coming out of the back of the CPU up the back of the shelving using duct tape, then coiled up the excess to keep it neat and tidy. Out of sight, out of mind.

don't stop, there's more!

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