A real-life home office/studio
Since I've moved back to New Brunswick to live the simple life, I've been working from home. It's a big change to go from a dedicated office surrounded by a team to a room at home all by my lonesome. I must admit I miss the camaraderie and inspiration that comes from working with others. But I also really enjoy the peacefulness, flexible schedule and comfortable surroundings that I'm afforded by working solo in my own home. I have found though, that I work most creatively and productively in a setting that's bright, that gives me the functionality I need, and that promotes a healthy and simple work day. Getting all of that packed into one dedicated room - and making it beautiful - is a tall order. But with a few hacks and an attitude that imperfection is beautiful, it can be achieved.
First, I painted the walls Sherwin Williams Pure White to bounce around all the natural light that comes from the window and two skylights in the room. I set up two desks and a work table so I can spread out and also move around during the day. I have to do a lot in this space: blogging, photographing products and décor ideas, putting together design boards and fabric samples for clients, as well as DIY projects. The three different workspaces, plus lots of closed and open shelving and organization solutions, make it easy.
I also brought in a comfy chair for reading and meditation breaks, and lots of plants for healthy air and way to keep close to nature.
I have a sitting desk and a standing desk that I go back and forth to. A sitting/standing all-in-one-desk was not in the budget so I made do with some DIY work and things I already had. I made a simple rustic table desk (ok, really my Dad made most of it for me) from leftover 2x4's and reclaimed barn boards.
Then I created a standing desk using my IKEA Hemnes dresser with barn boards on top, which was the right height for typing on my laptop when I stand, and with a monitor positioned at the height of my gaze. I have a monitor and cords on both desks, and simply switch my laptop back and forth when I move around. We now know the health risks of sitting, and this makes it easier for me to not get stuck sitting at my desk for 8 hours straight!
The dresser also provides closed storage for a printer, receipts and files, and built-in open shelving gives me loads of space for books and crafting and photo prop supplies. Baskets corral wallpaper and fabric samples.
The closets in the room didn't have doors (this is a bedroom turned into office/studio) so I had my Dad and brother hand-make custom doors from reclaimed ship lap boards. They not only close the closet space, they also provide a great backdrop wall for photography.
I used an old IKEA PS locker cabinet for more storage, and kept the modern rustic feel of the room by glueing barn boards to the top and replacing the key lock handles with wooden knobs.
A cereal box covered in wallpaper provides magazine storage, and a cork board painted white functions as an inspiration board. Colourful home-made watercolour art, a barn board sign with my logo, and a clipboard with a client's fabric material add some warmth to the walls without going overboard.
This room functions really well, it's bright and comfortable, and I think beautiful as well, even though it's not picture perfect. Simple living is all about real life, and making our day-day better so that we can live our best lives. That's the real beauty, don't you think?