I live and work in a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Boston. Within our 850-square-foot abode, there is a small nook that was once an outdoor patio and has been enclosed for extra square footage. This 6×9 space, my friends, is where all of the interior design ideas happen! Of course there are days when I relocate to the sofa or dining room table just for a change of scenery, but those are the perks of working from home, right?! Regardless of the size of your workspace, let’s take a moment to chat about how to make the most of the home office space you do have. As entrepreneurs, we wear a lot of hats and desks can easily become a place filled with paperwork, random sticky notes, mail, invoices, etc. If you are like me, this is when I decide to go to a local coffee shop and forget about the mess I have at home. Psychologically, we tend to feel anxious when surrounded by clutter. This can also lead to unwanted stress and ultimately hinders productivity. Understanding that we spend a good part of our lives in an office, why not transform it into a place you actually want to be, a place that inspires and motivates you!
Here are 5 tips to making the most out of your home office:
1. Don’t hide your tools!
Figure out what you use most and find creative ways to display those things in an organized manner. For instance, I really love drawing out my ideas and making quick bubble diagrams as a part of my creative process. So, I found these $2-3 containers at Ikea and filled them with my rendering markers and colored pencils (color coordinated of course…bonus points!). This sits next to my desk and is a quick clean up!
2. Brand your office.
I love this one because we tend to forget our office is a direct representation of our company. Whether it’s through colors or the type of furniture and accessories focusing on a certain style, find a way to make this space become the essence of your brand. For example: With Love, Design’s colors are light and dark shades of turquoise so I found some desktop accessories that fit within that color scheme. This is still a work in progress for my office – as it should always be – but you get the idea.
3. Labels are your friends.
The best way for me to keep my mind clear of chaos is to hide all of the samples and swatches in my library. Right now they are labeled fabric, paint, wood, etc. I have inherited so many fabric swatches that I am working on labeling them by color and trying to find some baskets that will fit in an Ikea Expedit or something similar. I will let you know how this turns out.
4. Light, light and more light.
I cannot stress this enough. First of all, I hope you all have at least some natural lighting coming in. It’s not only good for the soul, but it’s also a great electricity saver and the best for everyday work. However, I know some of you guys work when the sun goes down because you are all go-getters and are making it happen! This means you are going to need an overhead source of lighting (ie: a pendant, chandelier [you’re so fancy], or recessed) as well as task lighting. Task is obviously more important in this case because it does exactly what it says…focuses on your task. You can get affordable table lamps at most retailers!
So, I know my chair is attractive (I mean, it’s an Eames knock-off) but it is definitely not the chair you want to be sitting in for hours upon hours. Find a chair that works for you and make sure it adjusts to the right height so you do not put stress on your wrists as you type away answering all of those emails! I know, practice what you preach, Jessica! I am working on it guys…I’ve got my eye on this little West Elm cutie.
Feel free to comment with any questions below and visit my blog for more inspiration!