Where I Work: Jaime Derringer

Nothing is weirder for me than writing a post about myself. I applaud lifestyle, fashion and other personal bloggers who do it every day. I also suffer from chronic bitchface (see above. I swear I’m really nice! Say hi if you see me!).

In this edition of Where I Work, I thought it might be fun to go “behind the blog” at the Design Milk Headquarters and share my workspaces with you. I spend a lot of time bringing design to you every day from a variety of places around my home, and this post might give you a glimpse at what happens behind the scenes every day.

This was the office when we moved in. I kept the Herman Miller chair and moved all of my office furniture into the space, and we donated the old stuff. All of my furniture is IKEA, but I have dreams of grandeur for this office (think: wall desk, black and white, white, white and more white). These photos are going to serve as a nice little collection of “before” photos for an upcoming House Milk post. The walls are a horrendous shade of yellow that makes all my white furniture look yellowed like old book pages.

Most of the time, I work at my desk on my Macbook Pro with my ginormous monitor. I want two monitors one day and enough desk space for them. Then I’ll know I “made it.” Every morning, I sit here, drink my coffee, check my email, read replies on Twitter, Facebook and blog comments. In the warmer months, I open the blinds and windows and enjoy a lovely view of my backyard.

I decided not to clean my office at all. I wanted to give you the real, authentic experience of seeing my office as I use it every day. No hiding of junk, wires, papers or anything. This is how I work fer reals. A cluttered desk – gasp!

As you can see above, I’ve got myself a nice big Epson R1800 printer and a Canon 4400F scanner but I also have a small HP laser printer in the cabinet on the bottom right of my desk. On my desk at all times you’ll find an external hard drive (it’s important to back up!), Burt’s Bees lip balm, my to-do list (yes, I’m old school and I write it down), Post-It notes, and family photos. I’m pretty wired (what do we say these days when most things are wireless? “unwired”?) Besides the toys I mentioned already, I also have a 27″ iMac at our kitchen workstation that is equipped with an HP Officejet 6500A that I can print to from my office computer, too. But that’s my husband’s workstation so I don’t ever use it. I also have two additional laptops I use: a Tord Boontje HP mini and an Acer S3 Ultrabook.

To the left of my desk is a big EXPEDIT bookshelf, mostly filled with junk and stuff I never use. You don’t even want to know what’s lurking inside those drawers. Messtown, USA.

Can you tell where Beans spends most of his time?

Hiding in the corner is my Dyson bladeless fan; that thing is so awesome. I use it all summer long. On top of the bookshelf is my growing collection of milk cartons:

Also on top is my autographed Ross Lovegrove water bottle, a screenprint WWTWD (that needs to be framed and hung) created and given to me by my friend Brad Ascalon (who did the first Where I Work post), and Architect Barbie (not pictured). In the top right cubby is one of my most prized possessions: a postcard from the small German town where my grandmother grew up, which I had the opportunity to visit a few years ago.

My office is a nice size and from what we’ve sleuthed, it was probably once a doctor’s office but was called the “service area” in the original plans. One of the things that I like best about my office is that it’s not a bedroom, and the bedroom wing of the house is separate from the areas we use most: the kitchen, family room and my office. Plus, I have a full bathroom next door, so I like to refer to the whole area as the “executive suite.” There is, however, a slight drawback on the other side of the room:

Yes, that’s my washer and dryer; I share my office with the laundry. Blogging is super glamorous, you guys! My husband likes to joke that it’s there to remind me of my other job. There are tons of plans swimming in my brain about moving the laundry, hiding it, or doing something so that I don’t have to feel like it’s looking over my shoulder all day. But we’ll see what happens… in the meantime, I’m just glad I’m facing the window.

Since I spend most of my day sitting, I need a way to keep active. I’m a runner, but sometimes running and then sitting down all day makes your muscles tight, and on days when I don’t run, I feel the need to do something to keep moving. Enter the treadmill tray:


This is a prototype of a design my husband is working on. It’s awesome. This morning I ran 2.25 miles and then in the afternoon I popped on the tray and worked while I walked slowly for another few miles (gotta lose some of this baby weight!). It takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, before you know it, you’ve been walking for an hour (or sometimes two!). There are only some tasks I can’t do on the treadmill – mostly those involving accurate precision because the slight bouncing makes it nearly impossible, and tasks that require 110% concentration.


And, finally, sometimes I simply find myself working in the family room on the couch. I’ll either be playing around on the iPad or my phone, or — like right now — blogging from the couch on one of my laptops. I try not to do this because I enjoy the regimen of working and then unplugging for the night to keep my home life and work life separate, however now that I have a baby, it’s a little harder to get everything done before 5 PM.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little tour of where I work! I’ll keep you up to date on any renovations but for now, I’ll be bringing you great design and overall awesomeness every day from one of the locations above.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.