Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Your Home office should inspire creativity and enhance productivity, all while keeping you organised. 

I wish that statement were true about my home office - unfortunately it is not. Mine is a dumping ground for house plans, magazines, mail, books, fabric samples, brochures and whatever else that may be hidden under all those 'growing by the day' piles of clutter.

After yesterdays blog, which I selfishly did to inspire myself, I am going to share with you ten steps to create a productivity enhancing home office this weekend! Yes, you heard me, this weekend! When Monday comes around you will want to leap in, bounds and skips, over to your newly creative workspace! Well, maybe you won't quite leap, but it will be a much nicer space to get creative in. And depending on the state of your office, it may take until next Wednesday if it is anything like mine!

1. Work out your Style.

A workspace can be traditional or classic, elegant or rustic, cozy or sleek. It is a matter of personal taste. However on a practical note, it needs to be a place you look forward to coming to every day. 

If you need more inspiration, even after lusting over the immaculate workspaces below, click HERE.

2. Define the Space.

Not everyone has the luxury of an entire room that they can use as a home office. But limited space doesn't necessarily equate to a bad workspace. It can be a reason to get creative and invites you to get a little savvy with some design tricks. 

However, it’s important to create a clever and functional area and choose wise furnishings, all while thinking about how to get the most from the space. Purchasing furniture that can be shut or that serves more than one purpose is a great idea. A light colour palette and good lighting are useful tips to further increase perceived space. 

If you are lucky enough to have a room, well, you still have to think smart. You don't want to place your desk on one side and then have to get up every five minutes and walk to the other side of the room to get paper. 

Remember to think function when deciding on furniture and the layout of your space.

3. Add Colour.

Colour can help you balance productivity, organisition, inspiration and creativity. With the use of colour you can create calm surroundings or inject a burst of colour to add warmth or personality. Colour can be used to soothe, stimulate, brighten or energise - so it is important to choose the mood you want in your home office and select the colour accordingly. 

Before choosing a colour get inspiration from 'things' that you love. It may be a favourite place, a precious possession, a piece of fabric or an image of some sort. Whatever the inspiration, the colour you choose will ultimately dictate the space you want to come into everyday. Choose wisely but remember it is only paint, so you can always try a new colour and it won't break the budget!

4. Add Texture.

By adding texture you can fine tune the details of your workspace. Add layers of texture with the use of rugs, cushions and wall coverings.

5. The Furnishings.

To create a perfect home office you will need to start with the essentials. A well made desk which will and a comfy chair. Remember these must suit your personal needs and style. After the essentials - storage. You can never have enough storage! A bookshelf, filing cabinet and some drawers -  so you are able to keep your space organised.

6. Lighting up your space.

Natural and artificial lighting luminate a workspace to life. You must combine both task lighting and ambient lighting to add warmth. You will need desk lamps or swing arm lamps that can light a specific work area. Ambient lighting is best created with the use over head lights. Glam up your office with a beautiful chandelier or drum pendant. Lastly but not least, don't overlook natural light. Remember, it is best to position your computer screen away from the window to reduce sun glare.

7. Organisation is the key.

An organised office will keep you inspired and motivated on the task at hand. Every home office is unique. We all have different needs but regardless of whether it is used for blogging (like me!) or reading, writing, crafting or home finance, you need to balance purpose with passion. 

Firstly you must rid yourself of anything that does not belong in the study, especially all the non-essential items. Test all your pens and toss them if they don't work. That pile of newspapers and magazines in the corner that you no longer need - recycling bin!

You need to work out what tools you may need to keep your office organised. An inbox is useful for bills, letters, assignments and other pressing items on your to-do list. Remember, this isn't a permanent storage box. You need to action these documents within a day or two, then either file them or bin them. You may also want to add an outbox also for paperwork that is completed and awaits filing.

A quick recap, inbox, action, file in a cabinet or folder.

If you are like me and a little old fashioned you probably enjoy both a diary and a to-do list. Ok, maybe you're not and you run a paperless operation, putting everything on your computer calendar and syncing it to your iPhone. Well done you! I do that too. Yes, I have about three calendars! 

If you decide you want to stay in the 20th century, as I do, use a memo board, pin board or write-on calendar style board to help record all of your important events and activities. Hang it right above your desk and remember to keep it updated!

8. Storage solutions.

For dual-purpose spaces, look for furniture that doubles as storage. If you have a lot of paperwork, then  investing in a filing cabinet is a good way to free up space. Don't forget that the top of a filing cabinet  can also be utilised as extra workspace or a platform to display objects and books. If you do choose to invest in a filing cabinet, remember to have a system in place for all documents; A-Z, colour-coded or numerical, whatever works for you.

Old gift baskets are also great for extra storage. That reminds me,  don't forget about my little DIY crate with wheels! (Click HERE if you missed that blog) 

9. Gadgets and Electronics.

Desktop or laptop? This is a personal choice and depends on your needs.

But what about all the cables from all these devices? Are you tripping over all the ugly wires and cables every time you walk into your study? It is not only horrible to look at and a hazard to yourself, not to mention a fire danger!

You can reduce the number of cables by putting away electronic equipment you don't use often. Try to have as many wireless gadgets as you can; mouse, keyboard, printer. 

Bind all the cables together with cable ties and place your desk against a wall so the wires are all out of sight and harms way.

10. Add a personal touch.

The positive about a home office compared to a nine-to-five office is that you have the freedom and luxury to decorate it your way. You can define your own office style, get creative or glam it up to suit your taste.

Indulge yourself with objects that excite and inspire you. As much as it is a very functional space in your home, it should be inspiring. Complete your look with decor that suits your personality, colours that make you smile and objects that motivate you. 

A great way to add your own personal touch is an inspiration board. A huge pin board. On this board pin anything and everything you love, images that inspire you, photos that unleash your creativity or places that you dream of. This will add colour and personality to your space.

Once again my 10 tips have actually helped me get motivated enough to fight the battle against the  piles of paper and clutter and make it a room I love - so I am off to create my perfect inspiring workspace!



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