Do you know that until quite recently, I’d never had my own room? Hand to God, I’m speaking the truth here. I’ve literally shared every space in my life for the entirety of my life with someone else. I never knew any different.
When my sons grew out of a loft area they had used for video games, I seized the opportunity to have an area I could own. I needed a home office because I was having a hard time living the laptop nomad life in various corners of my home. It’s challenging to concentrate while trying to manage the chaos of everyday family life. I had no idea at the time how much that tiny square of real estate would end up contributing to my mental well-being and creativity.
For the record, the space you claim doesn’t need to be elaborate. (Mine, for example, has curtains that create the illusion of doors, courtesy of IKEA.) All you need is an area that allows you to remove yourself from madness and breathe a bit. Trust me, it makes a huge impact. I should have found a nook years ago!
An inspired home office does not require much space, but rather a decent amount of creativity and an adherence to a few simple rules.
How to Create an Inspired Office in a Small Space
Spotlight Your Personal Style
I’m a huge lover of unique pieces and ones that I can reuse. I mix the old with the new with the stolen-from-another-room-in-the-house. My desk and my office chair are a perfect reflection of this. My desk is an antique bought at a yardsale and once used by an artist (my mother) that was then gifted to me. It was a mess and covered with oil paint in every conceivable color. I covered the desk with black chalk paint and lightly distressed it and now it is a reimagined, one of a kind piece. My office chair is from Pier One and it is literally the fanciest (and comfiest) thing I own. Works perfectly with the desk and the room and it makes my heart sing!
Whenever Possible Use Natural Light
This might not be an option for everyone, but whenever possible I recommend choosing a room with natural light. Not only will sitting near a window lift your spirits, also will also create the illusion of a larger room so you don’t feel as confined. Want to bring in more illusion of light? Put a mirror in the space! Not only will the light be magnified but also the feeling of spaciousness.
Create Organizational Solutions That Work
Organization is key in small spaces. Instead of the traditional filing cabinets option, opt for crates, boxes or baskets to store your papers and supplies. They are much more attractive and mobile.
Pro tip: Selecting options in a range of similar hues helps to make the space feel less corporate and more cozy. For example, I found crates that were perfect storage containers and sprayed painted them white to blend with the color palate of the room.
Keep Yourself Inspired
I want to work space that calms me and motivates me to create and problem solve. I believe an individual’s office should reflect who they are and display what brings them joy, happiness and motivation.
An inspired space is a productive space. Hang artwork and place momentos around your workspace to keep you joyful. For example, my office houses my antique typewriter, remnants from my travels to Paris, motivational artwork and pictures of my family.
Make your home office a refuge as well as a place of productivity!
Add Some Life (Literally)
Plants breathe life into your space, so a few strategically placed pots on your desk or shelves are well worth the minimal effort it will take to keep them alive.
In addition to the visual benefits of having plants in your office, studies show that indoor plants can reduce stress levels in work environments not to mention reduce noise levels and improve productivity.
Plus, they are just plain pretty!
Keep Your Vision Alive
Here’s the thing, visuals are not only important aesthetically but also crucial in helping you accomplish your goals.
Keeping a vision board within eyesight or even a motivational quote will go a long way towards keeping you on track. Do you have a ‘one word’ or mantra for the year? Be sure it is in your line of sight!
Do you have any other suggestions for creating an inspiring home office? Leave a comment below with your ideas!