Unlocking the secrets behind inspiring home work spaces.
A new year- a new beginning- a new opportunity to start afresh. It's the perfect opportunity to pause, evaluate your life and goals, make plans and instigate some changes. And that's just what i was trying to do......
Written in collaboration with Urban Lighting
I was curled up in an oversized armchair that I'd dragged across to the widow. It was a hot day but a zephyr softly lifted the edge of the curtain, cooling my face. The table beside me held my iPad, my planner, and my scattered notes plus a warm mug of coffee. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it?
Mmmm.... let me widen the lens on this picture a bit for you. You see, I should also add that, in the background, Netflix was screening Shaun the sheep, for the third time, for my grandson. Grandson #2 called repeatedly for more water in his water bottle and the remains of his morning tea had been sprinkled across my paper. The floor was strewn with plastic farm animals which didn't deter Griffin (a teething grandson #3) from stomping over them to reach me, holding up his chubby arms and demanding "Up, Up."
Yes, life takes delight in messing up your picture.
Seriously, some planning is needed for my workspace.. and maybe you're in the same situation. Perhaps you work from home and need a home office. Maybe you need some space for all your home planning like a home command centre or you're desperate for an area for your writing and journaling.
Have you heard? An inspiring workspace is your key to success. Read these tips to create a personal workspace that will help you get more done.
1. Create a designated space or area.
This is an important one and something that you shouldn't overlook. And there are lots of options.
But, I know what you're thinking: 'I can work anywhere. I like a bit of flexibility.'
And yes, there are times where I can achieve amazing results quickly if I include a bit of creativity in my work environment. For instance, I regularly journal or write at a local coffee shop. I can tune out and focus just on my writing. Similarly, my son-in-law holds his client meetings at a well-known coffee house.
But when you work at home, a personalised workspace set aside just for your work allows you to slip easily into the right frame of mind to achieve great results. It organises your thoughts and focus. It prepares you for what's ahead. It removes distractions. There's nothing worse than setting out all your work materials and resources ready for some serious effort only to have to clear up for an unexpected activity.
Determine how much space and what furniture you'll need.
Think through everything you need for your day-to-day work. Do you need a desk and computer? Would a small table suffice? Is a bookcase needed? Do you have a room you can set apart for your work? If your space is limited, would a free-standing room divider, an over-sized bookcase or even curtaining provide some privacy for your work needs?
Think outside the box if space is an issue. The following gallery of workspace ideas might provide some inspiration.
Whether it's a corner in your bedroom, a desk in your spare bedroom or a reading nook in your sunroom, you can design a work area that is just right for your needs.
2. Lighting is important.
It makes sense that good lighting is important for your work but lighting has also been found to influence your mood and productivity. Of course, good lighting is important to reduce eye-strain but studies have also found that lighting is also important for our health. It can improve moods, energy levels and general alertness. Warmer tones in lighting create a sense of comfort and relaxation- great for reading areas and journaling. Cooler light result in heightened productivity and creativity.
Now, natural light is preferable if it's possible. That means, if you have a work area with a nearby window, it makes sense to place your desk to make the best use of the natural light. But you don't want the sun shining right onto you or your work with resulting glare. Neither do you want shadows falling over your work area. So evaluate your work area at various times of the day to monitor the levels of light.
Even if natural light is available, a desk lamp or overhead lighting can still be helpful. It can provide a balance of lighting for your area. And, you'll need a desk lamp when you work in the evening or early morning. There are many beautiful options available to accent your theme or the design of your area. You also might like to consider a desk lamp that can be easily moved and adjusted to ensure the best lighting on your work like lighting options by Urban Lighting's recent release of floor and desk lamps from their Urban LED Lamp Collection.
Urban Lighting has named this collection the Urban Collection and each one is named after a Japanese type of sword or Japanese sword maker. The precision edging of the lamps, flawless hinges, unique switching and metallic finishes resemble the craftsmanship of Japanese sword making--‘cutting edge design’.
3. Organise some storage areas
Even if you're just organising your family planning and command centre, you're going to need some level of storage- pens, highlighters, clips and other stationery items. There may if some reference materials and books that you need at hand. Writing paper and envelopes will probably find a home in this area. Your desk may come with various drawers which are great for these purposes. But if not, there are wonderful storage boxes available to help with keeping these smaller items tidy and on hand.
Remember to declutter regularly.
Its also a good idea to have an oversized wall calendar or white board so that you can easily see and add to your personal or family commitments and appointments. These dates should be added to your personal planner or diary whether it's a hard copy or on a mobile device.
In and Out trays can be very helpful, too.
Action: Download the "The Ultimate Cheatsheet for creating an inspiring home workspace.' Find the file below. Use it to create a home office, planning or journaling work area that is just right for your needs.
4. Choose a colour theme and style for your work area.
I know. You're thinking that this is unnecessary- nothing more than a 'that would be nice if' sort of consideration. And sorry- but you'd be wrong. Believe it or not colour is known to trigger innovation, mood and productivity. It's not for nothing that Facebook is blue and Target is red. In fact, Google goes into this in a big way and tests to evaluate the correlation between the colours of their offices and the mood and productivity of their workers.
Your choice of colour can have a big impact on your work.
So, yes. Your personal colour preference is important when choosing a colour for your work area. But keep in mind (and check out) that colours do indeed affect your work, your output and your mood.
If you choose nature colours in keeping with the environment you will feel more relaxed, calm and in balance. If the depth of colour used in your area is lighter it will feel more airy and less cluttered. Even the number of colours you include in your area makes a difference. The more colours included, the busier it feels and using more than 3 colours is not recommended.
5. Adding those personal touches
This area that you're creating is your own work space, writing area or reading nook. So it makes sense to include items that will encourage you to linger. Choose comfortable seating and no, it doesn't have to be an office chair. If you intend using your space for your reading or journaling, then you might want to relax in an oversized armchair and put your feet up.
Consider adding meaningful items that also add some design element.
How about an inspiration photo or quote on the wall or the desk? What's on the floor? Have you chosen a beautiful floor rug? Yes, you may have a wonderful desk lamp but a floor lamp provides additional lighting while you relax and read while adding a wonderful design element to your space.
Remember, where you work impacts how you work.
Create a work space that you love- one that encourages and inspires you to spend quality time producing quality work.
For more information, the Video Collection 'Creating your inspiring home workspace' provides more tips and ideas for simple layouts, decor, planning and storage ideas.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.