DIY Design for Your Home, Dorm, Apartment, Workspace or Treehouse! – YourSpace #1

autumn5It’s Fall and everything is changing! I’m changing. You’re changing. I can’t even type words anymore because I apparently have adult-onset dyslexia, which is a fine thing to have — but also is a change. When the world around you is changing, I find that the best defense is a strong offense, which is to say, you should also be changing because nothing says unique and independent like doing what everyone else is doing.

So I’ve started this new feature here on Autostraddle called YourSpace, which is absolutely free of charge and comes with a money-back guarantee.

I know you kids these days, when you think “space” you think “MySpace”, which we all know has been over since 2007. But I’m not talking about the web, I’m talking about your own space. Where you live and/or work. Your living, breathing, physical space!

Here at YourSpace, our goal is to change your mind and your home. Do you live in an apartment or condo or lodge? Maybe a cabin or townhome or flat? How about a duplex or single family home? All of these types of dwellings can benefit from the services we provide here at Your Space. You’re probably thinking, “But Laneia, what is YourSpace?” Good question! Take a moment to familiarize yourself with this informative list that I’ve created for you using html and words:

YourSpace Is:yourspace-birds

* Taking something that is one thing and making it something else with creativity and most likely a bonding agent of some sort, such as glue or nails.
* Organizational and beneficial to the overall beauty of your immediate surroundings.
* Not expensive like other spaces.
* Pleasing and interesting to all of your sensory organs.
* Being authentically unique while learning small lessons about yourself and your immediate and distant surroundings.
* A fun and enjoyable way to make your friends and enemies jealous or inquisitive or both.

If you enjoy being innovational and imaginative, and crave uncommon errand opportunities, I believe you will be truly fond of Your Space.


This week we’ll be taking a brief look at a place I call Where I Sit, as well as some basic tools you will need to get the most out of Your Space. Next week’s project will be more in-depth and invigorating for you. I’m looking forward to it very much.

Where I Sit:

This is where I sit when I do things like type on my laptop or surf the internet. I find that I spend several hours a day performing these activities, so it’s important that I surround myself with useful and important objects.


As you can see, I have a bulletin board above my laptop. They’re inexpensive and extremely useful. I’ve filled mine with things I find inspiring and pretty — no to-do lists or bills or anything like that — just visually appealing things with relatively the same color palette. If you’d like your board to double as art, it’s a good idea to maintain a theme, which can either be based on color or items or both.



The Table O’ Books came more out of necessity than anything else. This is actually the best way to organize your items in a visually pleasing way [otherwise known as ‘decorating’] — to do so out of necessity. I’m roughly one-third of the way through about 8 books, so I’ve lined them up here along with some of my favorites and BAM. Table O’ Books. Very inspiring.

Where I Sit might not appeal to everyone, but it need only appeal to one person — me. Where you sit should do the same for you.

Tools: The Basics

In order to install and assemble and hang and create, you will need a few basic tools. I’m not a tool expert, so if you are and you’d like to contribute some expertise/impress me and other people, please email me at green at autostraddle dot com. I would love to hear from you. Seriously.

Here are the absolute basics that you’ll definitely need if you want to be a self-sufficient person. I hope you want to be a self-sufficient person, really. My mother never learned how to assemble her own things or hang her own pictures and trust me, you don’t want to end up like that. [Love you, Mom!]lesbian tool belt

*cordless drill
*drill bits
*screwdrivers – Phillips & flathead
*nails, screws & wall anchors – various sizes
*steel tape measure

Spend as much as your budget will allow for the cordless drill and the level — you’ll want them to be dependable and sturdy. Go to a local hardware store or Home Depot!  It’ll be fun.

So, what is your #1 Favorite Thing You’ve Done To Personalize Where You Sit? You’re probably sitting there right now! Where your computer is! Or maybe you’ll go there later, or you can remember it. Show me a picture if you can!

Most of the stuff we’ll be discussing here won’t be revolutionary or anything — I didn’t invent shelving, after all. And I’m certainly not a design expert. But! We will have some fun weekend projects and exciting collaborations. You’ll probably come away feeling very creative and independent. Hopefully you’ll send in pictures or questions or ideas or all three. We’ll be besties! Hey, if you have any tips or whathaveyou — green at autostraddle dot com.

Next week: Making a Look Book for Your Space! [or Why I Saved Three Years Worth of Magazines, Part 1]

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. I’m really looking forward to this feature since I’ve recently started to look for my own place, and when I find it I’ll need lots of cheap/awesome ideas to make it functional/beautiful.

  2. love this. working out the balance between where i sit and where i sleep right now. thanks for showing your space.

  3. My Space Where I Sit can be viewed on the award-winning Showtime Webseries ‘Lezberado’, although my space has changed since then. Like I added Andy Warhol and a note from Emily Choo.

    I have everything in front of my eyes, something for all my feelings!

    I just now realized staring at my wall that all of the poems/quotes that I have up — most of which’ve been the only constant from all the times I’ve moved — are poems/quotes given to me by other people, usually in their handwriting or on a postcard or card. like Raymond Carver’s “Late Fragment”:

    And did you get what
    you wanted from this life, even so?
    I did.
    And what did you want?
    To call myself beloved, to feel myself
    beloved on the earth.

  4. I’m super excited about this feature! It’s perfectly timed because I just started a new job and so my work space is totally bare and I need ideas. I’m feeling a lot of pressure to make my office super creative & hip because I work ‘in’ advertising and I will be judged.

    In saying this, I just took a photo of the one thing I’ve done to personalise my space so far. It is in the mail.

  5. The way you put sentances together is too cute. Your space is really pretty. I like how it’s personalised but uncluttered. Though where do you put the half drunk coffee cup collection?

    • actually, there’s usually a collection of empty/full cups of water and clothes that i need to ‘put away’ can also be found on the back of that chair on occasion.

  6. Ohhh where you sit is so cute. (:
    Now I’m super inspired to reorganize my room… I know what I’ll be doing this weekend! Can’t wait to hear more about YourSpace.

  7. omg i should contribute by giving up my hanging basket pattern that i stole from someone else!

    laneia: Make me a hanging basket.
    cheryl: How big?
    laneia: About that big. (Holds out hands in a circle.)
    cheryl: Oh yeah? That big hunh? How tall?
    laneia: About yay. I want to fit this stuffed animal in it. (Grabs sock monkey)
    cheryl: err ok…

    No lie this is how the conversation went.

    • Our ladies would be the best of friends. Mine likes to make me do things such as this as well.

      (however, the stuffed animal would probably never actually make it into the basket i slaved so hard on.)

  8. re: the Table O’ Books – I have that same copy of Jane Sexes It Up! I love that book. Also your bulletin board. I love everything in this article.

    • can i confide something? the Table O’ Books makes me feel very Pacific Northwesterny. i don’t know why. i pretend sometimes.

  9. I’d just like to say that I love all of the photos that accompany this. Especially the one with the toolbelt.

    “My space” is currently filled with postcards I purchased at various museums. I find that postcards are inexpensive ways to buy images of art. And calendars! So cheap. But I love the way your corner us full of fun things and uncluttered at the same time!

  10. i love making things! i built a desk once. seriously! i designed and built a desk and it did not fall apart for two years until I demolished it, which was just as fun as building it was!

    • i want to build a table! but i need a workbench for that and other tools that i don’t own. i’m very jealous of your desk.

  11. is this just some clever ploy to get us all to start saying “myspace” again?

    i’m excited about this feature though because i’m moving soon and i’m gonna need a lot of help feeling at home once i get there.

  12. My working space is crammed with sound gear and cables and guitar parts and sheetmusic. It needs some tidying, wich I’m totally gonna do this weekend because I feel sooo inspired.

  13. i’m really excited that some of you are planning on sprucing up your rooms this weekend! don’t forget to purge — throw away the stuff you don’t need! especially if you’ve only been keeping it out of some sense of obligation. that’s the worst.

    if you do something you’re really proud of, send in a picture! before and after shots would be neat, too. your creative ideas might inspire someone else!

  14. Oooh, I am supremely excited about this regular feature! Like a few of the lovely ladies who have already commented, I too am looking for my own place.

    I know everyone has their own style/taste, but I don’t go for all this super-modern, minimalist, clean lines et al. I want CHARACTER baby, yeah! And I think adding your own personal touches and better yet – MAKING your own things – that really gives a space character.

  15. This feature is great! I am inspired to actually tweak the decorativeness of my space this afternoon. I can’t wait to see what you have in store Laneia! Your space looks fantastic.

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