Speaking from personal experience and recently having redesigned my own office last spring, the importance of a beautifully organized and styled workspace is so very powerful. It completely changed the way that I work from home and has allowed my productivity to go through the roof. Whether you’re a business owner, work from home or simply have a home office to fancy up, Kelsey of Farmer’s Daughter Interiors (one of our talented creatives on The List) is joining us today with five tips for creating your own inspiring workspace!
From Kelsey Grose of Farmer’s Daughter Interiors… It’s no secret that the physical environment you work in can affect your productivity, mood, and enjoyment at work. Whether you work from home or run a creative office space with staff, being surrounded by materials, textiles, and products that inspire you can make a world of difference in your work day. Our small interior design studio houses a team of three and most of our client meetings so it was super important that it not only function well but reflect our style and brand identity too. Between organization, storage, lighting, and furniture layout, there are plenty of things to consider but with a little forethought and attention, you can create a workspace that inspires you to rock your workday like a boss! Here are our top five tips for creating an inspiring workspace…
1. Let the light in
Good lighting is essential in any office space, but as creatives, it’s even more imperative. Natural lighting is ideal as an interior design team when we’re working on selecting colours and materials and we’ve done everything we can in our own workspace to ensure it feels bright and open. If you don’t have access to natural light, chose ceiling fixtures with high wattage allowances to keep your space nice and bright and try adding extra lighting where you need it in the form of a desk lamp for more task-specific functionality. Using light coloured furniture and keeping the paint colour light can really help too – some of our favourite warm whites are White Dove and Chantilly Lace from Benjamin Moore.
2. Set it up for success
The layout of the furniture in a workspace can have a big impact on how efficient it functions and your enjoyment while using it. Before diving into the decorating, take time to think through your workflow and how you will be using the space throughout the week. Start by identifying how many people will use the space – think about yourself, your staff, and any visitors or customers if applicable. How do you work best? Do you need uninterrupted work time during the day or do you thrive on the sometimes chaos that comes with working in a more public space? When designing our studio, I knew I wanted multiple zones that fostered creativity and gave us flexibility to switch up our work style if we wanted. By incorporating three desks and a large work table of varying heights and sizes, it allows me and my team to move fluidly throughout the studio, depending on what we’re working on. We created an area at the back of the studio that can function as a back office when necessary but is mostly open to the rest of the space. It’s built to have sliding doors which would give us flexibility to close off this area if one of us needs uninterrupted work time. Even if you have a smaller space or a home office, consider incorporating one additional spot to sit besides your desk – maybe a comfortable lounge chair or a small work table in the centre of the room. You might find having the flexibility to move around your space makes a world of difference in your day!
3. Don’t forget about storage
Another practical point, I know. Truly though, a lack of proper storage can create chaos in your workspace and make it almost impossible to work effectively. As an interior design studio, we have all sorts of samples to store, from countertops, cabinetry colors, rug samples, tile selections, paint, wallpaper, and our ever increasing fabric collection. To create efficient storage, think about how and when you’ll use each category of items and separate them accordingly. Also differentiate between which items would be beneficial to have visible and accessible and which would be better behind closed doors (perhaps the ones that are used less often or that look particularly messy no matter what you do with them). We have a couple of rolling carts that are perfect for corralling stacks of samples that we need to keep organized but out of sight. Don’t be afraid to change things up and explore new solutions too…as your team grows or your business model changes, you’ll need to constantly find new ways to tackle the storage issue.
4. Put your style spin on it
Okay, now for the fun part! Whether you have clients visit your workspace or not, there’s definitely something to be said for spending your day in a space that inspires you to be the best at what you do. You’ll likely have a fair amount of freedom in the way you decorate your workspace as opposed to when working for clients so maximize this opportunity to showcase your creative talent and your brand. Have fun with it and let your personality shine through! For me, greenery is a must (yes, I’m that plant lady). Real plants are a bit of work to maintain but they bring such life into the space and I love watching them grow and change. Our current count is now at eleven plants in our small space (and I keep bringing more in!) but even adding one small desk plant can lift the mood and add some life to your workstation. Choosing plants that are easy to maintain definitely helps. We’ve loved ferns, snake plants, and succulents in the past and I’m trying my hand at keeping a full size olive tree alive right now. Whatever it is for you, personalize your workspace and you’ll soon find yourself feeling at home, and you might even find yourself waking up excited to spend your day in the office!
5. Collect your thoughts
Time to get down to work…With the amount that goes on in a day around a creative office, not to mention the constant feed of distractions, it’s crucial to have a place to collect your thoughts when working on a creative project. For us, our full-size cork board wall is a great place to do just that. I use it to gather inspiration from magazine clippings, fabric swatches, small-scale artwork and anything else that inspires me. Referring back to it as a tactile collection beats looking at a screen any day! Lastly, if there’s one thing that keeps me sane every day (okay, most days), it’s an organized desk. Sitting down to a tidy desk not only keeps my stress level down but also helps focus on the task or project at hand and get more done in a day. And who doesn’t love that feeling?
Photography: Jackson Designs Photo