An office space can offer the portal for the artist to create a divine illustration, the writer to craft the perfect phrases or the entrepreneur to keep the business thriving and magnificently managed. Depending upon what we need our office space to aid us in creating, produce or finish, our office spaces will be unique to our purpose, but also to our tastes.
While there are always a few blog posts that are crafted in my living room, dining room or for last minute typing, my bedroom (the benefit of having a laptop), most of my blog posts for TSLL are crafted in my office; however two years ago, my office wasn’t entirely enticing, so I wanted to create a designated office space that was as inspiring as it was conducive to high productivity, and after the last addition this last fall thanks to my illustrator Inslee, the space is finally complete.
Today, per a recommendation from a reader, I’d like to share simple tips and ideas to help you style a desk that is not only properly functional for your needs, but also a space that beckons you to sit down and begin whatever it is you want to get done.
1. Determine the Purpose
The reason you need your desk will determine what type of desk you should bring into your space, how much tabletop space you need and how long you will be seated. If you have a small space, but still need an immense amount of room, do what I did and buy a glass top desk. While providing ample working room, it doesn’t appear large and seems to almost disappear. Inspired by Jonathan Adler’s Channing desk, I invested in Pottery Barn’s Ava desk and have been thrilled with my decision.
Lighting should allow you to work without straining your eyes, and while natural lighting is best, we all know we’ll be working at night at one time or another, and I am not a fan of stark overhead lighting. While on sale this winter, I snagged Pottery Barn’s Harrison bedside lamp, but there are wonderful, unique lamps just about anywhere. In fact, I suggest shopping at your local consignment shop as you can pick up a beautiful base and then find the shade that suits your taste.
3. Creative Storage for Tools
Again, always keep in mind what tools you will need, but upon knowing that, find a few desktop essentials for keeping it neat and tidy. West Elm’s desktop trays and file box were perfect for holding the most recent issues of magazines that arrive monthly/weekly and for holding pertinent documents that I need to quickly have access to. Also, find an antique or monogrammed mug for your writing utensils and any other small unique holders for the tools you use regularly.
A desk or office without inspiration is pointless. After all, if we must create when we sit down, thus, we need to be inspired. So keep a few books, a framed picture, or artwork that upon looking at it or picking it up to flip through will fill you with ideas and jumpstart your engine. While my desk always has books atop it ready for me to use for a post, I also wanted to frame all of the illustrations Inslee has created for the blog. And, in case you were wondering, yes, there are few new ones as we have been working together on the artwork for the upcoming book! More details to be shared in the upcoming months. Stay tuned!
Also, keep an inspiration board nearby. I used to keep my inspiration board behind my desk, but then realized it wasn’t doing me any good because I couldn’t see it when I sat down. A few months ago I moved it so that when I look up from my desk I can instantly see what I have pinned to the cork. To create create my inspiration board, I found a frame at a yard sale, cut out cork board to fit and Gorilla Glued it tight to properly sized cardboard. A workshop staple gun and done!
5. Consider the View
While I’m not held back by feng shui rules, I do believe that where you put your desk, the view you see each time you sit down, can affect our mood. Also, I agree with the idea of not placing the desk so your back is toward the door. So with that in mind, try to arrange your desk so that you either look outside or at the door to immediately greet whoever might walk through.
6. Organized Storage
Stepping away from the desk for a moment. Bringing in the necessary storage shelves for your books, files and documents so that you can easily access whatever you need whenever you need it is an opportunity to add your signature style. With one shelf given to me by a neighbor and then painted white, and the other from Pottery Barn, I have quickly filled them with books and am trying to determine where to put the next shelf for my prolific collection.
7. Work Space Void
Now that you have your tools, lighting and material organized, make sure you have an empty space to work or place your computer. While there will always be times when my desk is cluttered with newspaper articles I want to keep, books I need to read and new magazines waiting to be enjoyed, initially make sure that when all is organized you have a clean desktop which then will keep your mind uncluttered as well as you create, plan and dream.
Every desk needs some type of planner. Now if you have a calendar on your phone or computer and don’t wish to have a paper version, you may not want to do this, but there are two planners I prefer to have in my office – my Franklin planner and my over-sized monthly calendar from Stendig which for only $40 is not a bad annual price to pay to keep your schedule at the forefront of your mind. As someone who considers planning a hobby, I love my monthly ritual of sitting down and working with my post-its to create my editorial calendar for the blog. As a visual learner, seeing my month laid out helps me to understand the demands and expectations I have set for myself.
9. A Touch fo Nature
A beautiful bouquet, a stunning orchid or a house plant that brings the outdoors in seems to instantly awaken my muse, lift my mood, and I can’t help but create.
While the office that works best for me took time, as I began acquiring some of these items (the upholstered chair for example) ten years ago, it has been fun seeing it all come together. The gift of time is that we are able to better determine exactly what works best for us and the homes we live in. And the ideal office and desktop space for you will be curated to your precise and unique tastes. Have patience with yourself, but know that eventually you will create a space that you can’t wait to step into and get busy.
Thank you yet again for coming along with me for TSLL Home Tour. If you would like to see the first two rooms, click below, and click here to see the fourth and final room in tour (hint – London played a lovely hand).
~Psst! About that microphone . . . tune in this fall for The Simply Luxurious Life podcast. I am so excited to offer inspiration, tips and ideas to be enjoyed on your own time – while you drive, workout, travel or relax. More details to come. 🙂
~forest green upholstered swivel chair – purchased at a Portland consignment boutique – $200
~floor lamp – discovered at an estate sale for $15
~desk chair – purchased at an antique shop on a steep discount
~rug – Overstock.com
~find all of my books in my Amazon bookstore here
~microphone – Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Silver Edition
~SHOP TSLL OFFICE: