In case you missed why my blog, which is typically about television, is suddenly overrun with crafting stories, please click here.
Creating one perfect room is a lot of pressure. Especially when you're essentially creating the room around a few key items that have nothing to do with furnishings or practicality. I wanted my miniature office to reflect both who I am now, and what I have been influenced by to get to this point, but also to look beyond and to be able to reflect whatever the hell it was that got me to the success I would have in order to warrant the office. I started simply. Once I knew it was going to be an office-- and a writer's one at that-- I knew there were certain key elements the room could not be without.
1. The desk. For most people this is where they do their work, get their inspiration, and spend the majority of their time within the office. For me, that is not the case. I don't even have a real desk anymore because I never sat there and was sick of it taking up space. But this wasn't going to be a solitary office; it was going to be a space where I would take meetings and host other writers, and therefore, the desk was necessary.
I ended up buying two desks. One was a simple black wooden one that had drawers on one side. When I saw it listed online, I knew instantly that it was the perfect "against the wall" type of desk. But a writer can't stare at a wall to work, so this was going to be what I put against the wall behind the desk, used for storage and display. Before I had even found the item I knew what needed to be displayed there: production binders, a photo of my dog Madison, and other works of fiction (television or otherwise) that inspired me in my own writing. I had no idea if I could find those-- an extensive internet search for miniature magazines, for example, turned up only vintage Rolling Stones, Playboys, Lifes, and Times (and one People). When I flat out asked if a seller could make me a trade magazine like Variety on a custom order, I was met with confusion as to what a trade magazine was. I guess miniatures are not the hobby of Los Angeles, and I guess middle America really doesn't know as much as we do about the entertainment industry.
The actual desk was one of the last pieces of furniture I found. I know they say if it's the focal point, you should buy it first and then match all your other furniture to it, but I was just having a hard time finding something modern. One desk that I fell in love with and was just a simple plexiglass topped oval metal desk (good for conferences, writers' rooms, etc) was a custom order from some architect who wanted $100. Um, that was more than my first real desk cost. No, thanks! But I finally found a very similar design aesthetic on Etsy from Amazing Miniatures. Apparently she makes things based on Ikea designs, but I think what I ended up with is nicer than anything I've seen at Ikea. And more sturdy.
The modern chair was super hard to come by, too. Most chairs listed as modern or contemporary are the big-backed ones that were popular in the early 2000s. But I found this chair on eBay from a seller called Beesmartininc. Originally it sold out, but I messaged her and asked if she had anymore, and she listed another immediately. This same seller also had the perfect couch (see below).
2) The couch. Look, a couch is not common in an office (well, maybe a casting office, heh), but it is an absolute must in *my* office. The couch is my office in everyday life. I eat on it; I write on it; I often fall asleep on it. Next to my mattress, my couch is the most comfortable thing I have ever sat or laid down on. Actually at times I think it may be *more* comfortable than my mattress. I wanted one that looked just like mine: a simple, three cushion, black leather couch. I literally found one on eBay. One. But it was the perfect one!
3) The TV. As a writer, distractions can be equal parts necessary and the worst things in the world for one's creative process. For me personally, since I write about TV, having one in my office is a must. But I also figured that since this is the office of someone who's show has actually made it on television, I would have to watch dailies in my office. I wanted a flat-screen I could mount on the wall, viewable from both the desk and the couch, and although the one I found online was much thicker and heavier than it looked in the image, with enough krazy glue, that sucker got up there. It wasn't one of those fancy TVs that, if you rigged your dollhouse with electricity, you could actually plug in, but I could always glue a screencap to it if I wanted it to look "on."
4) An area for Madison. My dog is my buddy and my little assistant. I would want a miniature Madison for the space, except anytime I find a Shih Tzu figure it's the long-haired kind that looks nothing like him. He has always parked himself right next to me on the couch when I'm writing, and that should not change if I get a job that takes me out of our apartment. I would have purchased a tiny dog bed for the space, but let's face it, since there's a couch, he'll just be curled up on there!
5) Snacks. Here comes the fun part. Writers love to eat. Well, maybe I shouldn't speak for all writers, but I love to eat. I snack constantly, all day, even when I'm not really hungry. I like to say it keeps my brain active, but really, I just like to snack. After finding the tiny box of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, I was woken up to a whole world of tiny food. I knew I had to have a tiny cupcake or two at the desk next to my laptop, but those were as hard to find as the desk. Don't get me wrong: there are an abundance of miniature cupcakes in the world; some of them are just seasonal or generic or have birthday candles sticking out the top. So while I kept looking for those, I ended up with a box of Smarties (my favorite Canadian candy) that actually had some loose candies inside, as well as a couple of boxes of Girls Scout cookies (including Thin Mints, of course!). Now I just have to find a mini-freezer for under my desk in which to keep said Thin Mints...
I would love to find a tiny Coffee Bean drink, too, but so far, no dice...
6) DVDs. Knowing that screeners are such a big deal, I wanted miniature discs I could scatter across my desktop, sure, but after seeing miniature copies of books like the "Harry Potter" series or the Stephen King ones I bought, I searched for DVDs. I only found a few, mostly Harry Potter (again!?) or random Disney movies, but the artist, melissas-minis-2007, was the same one who made the teeny box of Smarties, so I asked if she ever did custom work. She said she did, but she'd need a few days. I sent her a modest list of television shows that not only mean something to me personally but also professionally, and she went above and beyond to not only craft the boxes based on the actual DVD art but to also do the inserts and the discs exactly as the real things look. Not sure how much room I'd have to properly display them, I only ordered a few at first, but seeing how awesome they look in person, and how unique they are to me and my aesthetic, I think I'm going to have to create a second order. What the hell, right? Christmas is right around the corner!
7) My custom Fazzino. It's currently hanging in my living room now, but I always said it was designed to be in my office when I "made it." In this case, I just had to find a small frame, and then I took a photo of my actual Fazzino, shrunk it down to the frame size, and glued it in place (and to the wall).
8) A MacBook and an iPhone. Notice I didn't just say "a laptop and a phone." No, if this was truly going to be "my perfect office" it had to have miniature versions of the products I actually use (that should have been established by now, no?). Thanks to Amazing Miniatures, who happened to have a MacBook looking laptop in her display photo, I found Lilushop, also on Etsy, who creates miniature knock-offs of all things Apple, including laptops, iPads, and iPhones. At that point I had already purchased the iPhone from Melissa's Minis, but still, it was nice to know there were other people out there who understood my need for realism. And brand loyalty.
Now, I will say that there is one area of the office space that is still something of a question mark. It is a "buffet" that can also act as a TV stand, on which I currently have the DVDs displayed. However, all of its drawers, baskets, and the space behind the glass cabinet doors are sadly empty. What should I put in there!?
No, seriously, what? I'm taking YOUR suggestions, so leave them in the comments! Just a few more micro touches to go, and this will be all complete (and perfect!).