Get that home office cleaned up, so you can have a place to think.

Working from home sounds like a dream to those who don’t do it. 

Though it does indeed provide flexibility and other perks it can also be challenging in terms of separating life from work.  One of the best ways to make a clear separation between a pending project and a pile of laundry or other non-job related tasks is to have a designated work space.  This does not require you to have a separate room in your home or apartment. In fact, it can be a converted closet or a nook in the kitchen. The goal is to create a mental separation between paying work and (non-paying) life chores by creating a joyful and productive area to focus.  The following list offers a few key elements for making this a reality. In general, things that appeal to you visually will inspire you. Truthfully, you don’t need to invest a ton of money to make you workspace look and feel great.

A flat surface.

Notice that I didn’t say desk.  You can use any surface that is conducive to your space and the type of work that you do. If all you need is a computer then get a small table or use existing counter space.  If you need a place to lay things out or accommodate clients or peers for meetings get a slick dining table. Think outside the box.

“The elegantly understated mid-century inspired Loel dining table features
American Walnut veneer and Walnut-stained Rubberwood legs.”

Seating.

Just you? Get yourself a comfortable and stylish chair. There are so many out there. An iconic mid-century reproduction, spinning desk chair, a vintage find.  Get what feels and looks good to you.

“This modern spin on a mid-century classic chair is the perfect
indoor or outdoor chair to brighten up any room.”

A rug .

It will help define the space and offer a sense of warmth.  Something soft and cozy will feel great on your bare toes (you work from home remember!) 

By up-cycling used plastic bottles, the Way series presents an incredibly durable line of designs which can be used outside. The woven recycled polyester gives the items a lovely texture in colors associated with the maritime motif. The rug has a classic look with a twist created by the asymmetry of the fringes along two sides.”

Fresh air.

Try to be near a window and have it opened slightly for some fresh air. If it’s chilly, grab a sweater.  If you are confined to a space with no window you can strategically hang a large mirror that is positioned to reflect natural light. The mirror will also create an illusion of a more open and light filled area.

“Hang this mirror on the wall and enjoy its classic style every time you enter the room”

Greenery. 

A house plant on your desk, succulents growing in wall planters, a large floor plant or tree placed in the corner of the room, a vase of fresh flowers. Whatever you like.  A natural element will look beautiful and clear toxins in the air.

“Tall and graceful, this statuesque beauty will have you dreaming of your next vacation. . Set it near a window, give it an occassional drink, and it’ll keep those island vibes going

Artwork. 

This is a nice way to get visually stimulated and get those juices flowing.  Feel free to rotate your art in and out a few times a year to keep it fresh!

“In this painting Roberta Pinna depicts two divers on a sand color background”

Lighting. 

This is so important!  Even if you have a space filled with natural light you will inevitably be working on cloudy days or in the evening. Have a light source that provides good task lighting but is also warm and soft.  You can choose a decorative ceiling fixture, a floor lamp or desk lamp but choose something that suites your style and focuses light where you need it. 

“A well priced table lamp that can provide lighting, storage and a charging station all in one “

An attractive trash receptacle.

You’ll need one so you might as well pick one that you love! This one is in the top 10 most liked items in our style tuner!

“This Woven Basket is handmade by a small artisan collective in Tanzania. This size is perfect for a wastebasket or a smaller indoor plant cachepot

Mood board.

Mood boards shouldn’t be limited to creative types.  These are really intended to be visual stimulants that help you stay focused and inspired in those moments when you want to get up for a (nother) snack, or unload the dishwasher.  Instead, stand up, stretch and look at your mood board. Unlike a piece of artwork, it is something you will have created that is totally unique, filled with images, quotes, documents etc. that inspire you. Mood boards should be a joy to create and a joy to look at. Add what feels good to you.  I used to love making collages so I really get into compiling my boards. The payback is great when I need some energy and inspiration. I cut out fashion images, pictures of places I want to travel, handwritten quotes or words of wisdom, business cards from people whom admire or from businesses I love, a card or drawing from my kids. The possibilities are endless.

Profiling an interesting mix of contrasting textures, the stylish pin board is framed with wood and features fabric-covered cork and powder-coated metal. Use magnets to add notes or pin favorite photographs and keepsakes to this stylish board, which can be hung in any direction thanks to mounts in each corner

A clock.

Unless you MUST have your smart phone next to you at all times, keep your phone in another room and have a clock somewhere so you can track time.  If you use the timer on your phone for tasks, set it, then move your phone and leave it be until the timer goes off. Don’t create or add distractions for yourself.                                                                         

A round slab of genuine polished marble makes for a timeless timepiece. The gold colored metal hands add shine and dimension to the natural variation and veining of this clock’s elegant stone face

Keep it clean and simple.

Nothing will bring you joy more that a clean area.  Decide what part of your office will, without question be cleaned and organized at the end you your work cycle.  You want to start clear headed, prepared and focused when you come back to the space so really take the time to do this. Clutter be gone!  The smaller your workspace, the less opportunity you have to shift things around without processing. Keep flat surfaces to a minimum. You need a desk for your computer and perhaps a few shelves or book case for papers, a printer and other miscellaneous things.  If you store items for work, figure out a way to be organized about it and keep other non-essential material stored out of site.

Reduce distractions.

As a stylist, I collect props and other finds for when the right project comes along. I used to display them in my office because most of the pieces were nice to look at but it started to feel like there were too many distractions.  I moved everything down to the basement (well labeled boxes work well too) and downsized to a desk, chair, plant and small bookcase for books, cards and important documents. Less really is more.

Good luck on your journey to creating a home office that brings you joy!

– Spruce Up Stylist, Fiona Kelly of Fiona Finds