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Creating a Functional Office: From Concept to DIY Completion with Vanessa Deleon

We all have outgrown something. Hairstyles. Music. Clothes. Oh how we have outgrown clothes. When you progress through adolescence into puberty, this is an exciting time. When, however, the tags of our wardrobe start reading in higher numbers and featuring larger quantities of X’s, well we realize bigger isn’t always better.

No one knows that better than Vanessa Deleon. With just an eight foot wide office space and a floating ½ atop her entrance as an addendum to her alleyway address she quips against the belief Go Big or Go Home with a content “…why not just stay in your space if it’s functional?”

Vanessa Deleon – interior designer

But creating a functional space takes real effort and Vanessa was more than happy to offer some insight into the process and pursuit of enjoying life in smaller spaces without compromising on big attitude. From the small state of New Jersey she has made a ripple effect, nay a waterfall of precision and positive impact across the nation in restaurants with an impossible reputation, homes and corporate entities.


From bold colors, to strategic placement you too can jump into a pool of interior adventure even if after the cannonball splash you realize your diminutive kiddy size water vessel.

So if you and your family are tired of adopting the couch and half the coffee table as your home office space then dive with me into a world of possibilities with Vanessa coaching us on our way.

1. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

The space available in your home may not be much of an improvement in regards to our couch real estate but that’s not an excuse to deny yourself a work environment that frees up the clutter of our mind. “Mirrors on the wall used to work places have a negative reputation… a stigma that is so 80’s.” Vanessa comments. “But they are making a comeback. They open up space immensely.”

interior designer - office idea

DIY with ornate frames and a wide selection of styles and shapes so you can horizontally and vertically have that immense change and take control of a small area!

2. Reach Higher and Wider

“Utilize wall space.” Vanessa encourages. “There are so many people who have high ceilings. Book shelves, floating shelves; display arrangements here.” Even baskets hung from command hooks which come in stylish and unassuming colors of clear, black and silver are a way Vanessa encourages us to take advantage of vertical space verses floor space. When we positively work with our room’s height and walls, we automatically relieve precious walking area.


Bookcases with cabinet doors have double benefit as they hug the wall but also give your office space a chance to remain uncluttered, which will always help spaces look bigger. The lack of non-essentials lying around, or even the elements that make your home business function: your paperbacks, supplies, etc., will lend openness. Hide all this mess behind doors or if you don’t have doors Vanessa recommends bins that either match your color scheme or bring in an element of design. Keep them uniform to accomplish organization and space maximizing.

3. Cool, Calm and Collected

After the exposure of Vanessa’s eight-foot wide office hit the web, I had to ask, “Why white? What does it represent to you?” This was not a question Vanessa had to contemplate on long. “I love white because it always looks clean. The floors are black and I didn’t want everything to have a black surface….[white] it makes everything pop!”


With successful designs and new clients walking through the doors regularly swatches of fabrics, samples of a deeper color nature are pulled out and onto the workspaces. Having a dark countertop would be a distraction and take away from their art.

When the concept is ready for presentation the handpicked designers of Vanessa Deleon Associates take their work that was staged on their white countertops and apply it to white foam boards. This helps in not losing anything in translation.

Give your office some white to keep the slate fresh and enable yourself to keep your dreams, visions, proposals and number crunching abilities clear and crisp.

Not only can white be that love of your interior life for its clean appeal that Vanessa brings to our attention, but it reflects light, which will give a larger impression of your space.

4. Tunnel Vision Syndrome Remedy

As the cameras of Tiny Eclectic Amazing Spaces and Vanessa guide you down the bowling like alley that is her office, as she refers to it, there are many elements to keep your eyes roaming as you make your way back to her private office headquarters. To your right is her impressive gallery and portfolio of work. In an office or workspace where you self promote your resume through visual aids it’s important to keep it static and streamlined. Vanessa’s gallery wall is kept at an average eye line of 5’6” with each frame two inches apart on all sides. This prevents it from being too busy. Another way of adding contrast to perhaps a long foyer or a staircase is a montage.

“I love a montage of cluttered frames.” Vanessa enthusiastically responds. In fact in her own home has what she refers to as a Love Wall. This could potentially work in your carefree uplifting office space or even as Vanessa has, in the living room. This is a collage collaboration that brings all the memories you love to one place. To create a love wall like Vanessa’s you can bring the pictures of your photomontage to life with souvenirs and other collections from special occasions. A shadow box of ticket stubs, a mirror, floating shelves with jars of sand collected from your worldwide beach travels. When you bring them all to one place it captures your memories and turns them into an experience that lives on.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? And like me you can easily understand why Vanessa would call it a love wall.

Even if your home is absent of this feature, it is important to love your space. Sometimes the structure and formation of our homes isn’t ideal. Vanessa’s drop roof brick sided office space to many would seem a hovel. But take a peek inside and you are transported to an elegant existence with charm in colors and design elements. Turn your workspace into a space you love. Embrace tiny and be a happy, content alley cat. Vanessa did and when you do, you too will be able to say “…why not just stay in your space if it’s functional?” 

Momina Khan
From a very early age Momina Khan discovered her passion and talent for rearranging furniture and indulging herself with interior design. Over the years this passion has only intensified as well as her education and calling in creative writing. As a writer Momina finds Decoist a perfect environment to creating art with words on the art of DIY d[...]

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