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Design a Workspace to Inspire

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Most of us have a designated workspace at home which is used for completing work-related tasks at home, paying bills, creative projects, personal business/planning, etc. And while these are important tasks and we probably spend a good bit of time doing them, we often don’t make this space in our home terribly inviting. In fact, many people simply re-create the small, bland and impersonal office cubicle at home (and we all know how motivating and inspiring that environment is!?).

I’m currently in the process of redecorating the office space in my home, so I’ve done a bit of research and planning. Here are the best tips I’ve uncovered for designing a workspace to inspire:

  1. Select a location. Consider things like space, light and noise level. Remember, this is a place where you want to be productive. A too-small space that is dark and noisy will not encourage productivity. So, be sure to find a spot in your home which has the elements you need to work well.
  2. Choose a paint color that inspires you. We think of colors like white, cream and beige for an office space, but no need to limit yourself. The goal is to make this space inviting and creative. For some, that means bright and vibrant colors and for others, soft, calming tones. Use color to assist you in creating the ambiance you desire.
  3. Position your desk so that you have a pleasant, interesting view. This affects your mood and comfort level more than you realize!
  4. Your desk, chair and other office furniture should be both beautiful and functional. How much surface space do you need to work? Do you require drawer space? Shelving? A bulletin board? What kind of chair are you most comfortable in? Think about your needs first and then, when shopping for furniture, look for the pieces that both serve your purpose AND look and feel pleasing. Create a workspace that appeals to your aesthetic and beckons you to spend time there. That might mean warm woods, soft lines, cozy chairs, etc. Strive to make this space feel as warm and inviting as the rest of your home.
  5. Address your lighting needs. In order to minimize eye strain, headaches and discomfort, make sure that your space is well lit. Natural light is preferred, however, you will likely need more light than nature provides. Invest in overhead lights and/or a desk lamp, as necessary.
  6. Think about technology. Determine what technology you require to get your work done and make sure that it’s available (along with chargers, computer mouse, mousepad, cord storage, etc.). Be sure to position your desk so that you have access to electrical outlets and position your computer so that the glare is minimized, as well.
  7. Accessorize with items that inspire you. A space feels more like home when it includes items that we love to look at and things that hold special meaning for us. Whether you display framed photographs, books that inspire you, artwork, fresh flowers, your favorite mug and/or pretty notepads, make sure that you surround yourself with the special little touches that make you want to spend time in this space.
  8. Include your preferred time management tool. I love paper calendars (this one is my favorite one!) and planner books (like this one) so I make sure to have those on hand. If you prefer electronic calendars/planners, you’ll need to have access to those tools.

The last bit of advice I’ll offer is to be patient! If you’re anything like me, when you begin a redecorating project, you want to do everything at once – paint, furniture, accessories, etc. However, it often takes time to truly create a space that’s beautiful and functional. Sometimes, we need to “live in” the space for a while in order to get clear on what we need and want. Having patience throughout the process and giving yourself time to find just the right pieces will most definitely pay off. Your home office will be perfectly suited to your unique needs and preferences, and will quickly become a space that excites, delights and inspires your best work!

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