Alec Holland Design, Interior Design, New York City Interior Designer. NYC interior decorator

When you live and work in the same space, it can be daunting to keep the mess from flowing into the calm of what you want your home to be.

The trick, I hate to say, is being tidy.

The game is to have a few key items that let you keep the clutter to a minimum, and allow you to hide away the rest when the imaginary whistle blows, and that work cubicle becomes your home again.


I love my bulletin board. I use it for inspiration. I use it to place a physical calendar in my eye line so I can keep client meetings straight. I use it to hold that business card of that artist who makes cool cabinet door pulls, and paint chips that I am currently obsessed with (hello, Benjamin Moore First Light!). I’ve pinned up a pic of my sweet dad (my style hero and inspiration), and one of my beloved to remind me what it’s all about. The trick is to reorganize it every few months to keep it from getting out of hand, and to NEVER let things hang past the frame. Keeping the board somewhat ordered and neat will make it look purposeful in the room, and your friends will barely notice it when they are over.

I use an old school classroom cork board, but for my clients, I love for great, stylish framed boards at really great prices.STORAGE BOXES

“Quick and dirty” is what my mom calls the act of a speedy surface clean. Having desk drawers and/or a box, where everything on the desk top can get scooped up into is the quintessential quick and dirty move. Keep a few boxes stacked next to you on the desk or floor so that you don’t mix up your chaotic order when you hide it away. Yes, mine are labeled because I am that way. 

The boxes above are from Ikea and are as great and cheap as they come. Remember: Keep things close, but keep them (elegantly) hidden!


Investing in a good desk with some drawers (to help with the quick and dirty clean up) is ideal. Something that vibes with the style of your living space and can be used as a credenza of sorts when not in work mode. But don’t get it twisted. I once needed a desk and didn’t yet have the resources, so made the above table from some cheap saw horses  and a mirrored closet door I found on the street. Just saying

If space/money are an issue and it’s the kitchen or dining table for you, that’s okay, too. But, then you DEFINITELY need to be able to clear it all away. Nothing says out of control/chaos like a dining table cluttered with papers and folders.

Simple steps. Important steps. Often overlooked steps. Just keep the focus on the clean up and the home/office combo will work out just fine. Xo.

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