How To Create An Inspiring Work Space.
As mentioned heavily on Instagram and on my blog, a few weeks ago now I finally finished my studio space in my parents room (after acquiring *stealing* my brother's room when he moved out) and I think I have finally created a space in which I feel truly inspired.
During my studies and since I graduated I've moved from my Mum's dining room table to a desk big enough only for a laptop, to my bed at uni, to a cramped little corner surrounded by boxes when I moved home and now, well now I finally have a clean white room and lots of space to call my own.
Here's a few things I thought about when I was designing my room that helped me create an inspiring place to work.
1. Choose Your Wall Colour Wisely.
Let's just get this out of the way - I am not a massive fan of white walls. I like off white, I like pale grey, I like those weird colours that are pale but indescribable but mainly, I don't like plain old white. However, I will confess it makes a damn good steading for an office or workspace. The room I am in is tiny. It is the box room of the house and big enough for a single bed and not much else and I resigned myself to the fact that to keep it light it would need to be white. But actually, I am so glad I did it (with dark grey skirtings and doorframe) because it is clean and fresh and not distracting in any way - something that is massively important if you are trying to work.
2. Invest In Lighting.
If you work from home you can often find yourself staying up until the small hours working and on night shifts and glum grey days, a good light in your workspace will make all the difference. If you haven't got a dedicated room for your work, invest in a good quality lamp that omits lots of light and preferably one that can be angled and moved. If you have the luxury of your own room, I have spotlights fitted with halogen bulbs and they are like a collapsed sun they are so bright. Bonus points if you get ones you can angle so you can cover all corners of the room.
3. Position Your Desk.
This is assuming you work on a desk, I know lots of people don't like to but I do so soz that's all I know. Thinking about where to fit your desk is hugely important when it comes to your creativity and it's a really personal thing. You might like to be near natural light as much as possible in which case, you're best off facing out of the window. You might want to work in the middle of the room like an island (I did this once and it was surprisingly refreshing) or you might want to be near the door. For me, I am actually facing the corner of the room, next to the window and with my back to the door. I find this is super productive for me because working full time from home means I can often be distracted and not being able to see out of the door and see all the ironing that needs doing or the dishes that need putting away is really helpful. Also make sure you are near enough plug sockets because ain't nobody got enough time to be faffing wit 12 extension leads.
4. Don't Over Crowd Yourself.
This is a really rich piece of advice coming from someone who currently on top of their desk has an iMac, business cards, keyboard, mouse and mat, laptop, lightbox, drawing tablet, ipad, 3 coasters, a giant peg decoration, ipod speakers, a basket full of junk and 3 pencil pots. But...this works for me. It might seem over crowded to most but for me this is pretty paired back compared to what it used to look like. The most important thing is to make sure you actually have room to work. Stuffing everything on your work space might seem ideal because it's all there but actually, if you have to take it all off to actually work on it then it isn't practical.
5. Find What Inspires You & Hang It.
I have a photo wall above my desk which is FULL of frames, pictures and canvases ranging from photos of my niece to things my friends have made me to certificates and my degree. Collect things that you like to look at and things that inspire you and surround yourself with them so you always have something motivational to look at.
6. Have Easy Access To What You Need.
Storage is great and organisation is great but there is no point packing away the things you need every day. Before I had my studio I didn't have room to put out the things I use on the regular like my printer (was tucked away under my desk) and I didn't have any room for my lightbox. It does nothing for your creativity to constantly be pulling things out of boxes and faffing to get what you want. Prioritise the things you use every day and store them somewhere close to hand, preferably somewhere you don't have to get up from your chair.
7. Have A Frequent Clear Out.
I absolutely cannot work in a messy, cluttered area. It just does nothing for my creativity at all and as someone who just throws everything into my room willy nilly if I'm not using it, this is a problem. In uni I used to just chuck everything about in my bedroom during the day so it was a tip and then have to tidy within an inch of it's life before I could sleep. Having a frequent clear out keeps your mess at bay and keeps you motivated because there is nothing as good for the soul than throwing a few pieces out and having the excuse to buy more.
8. It Has To Work For You.
Ultimately, you can read all the advice posts and pin all the desk inspo posts but in the end, it has to work for you. My favourite desk inspiration photos are of clean white minimal areas with barely anything on the wall or on the desk but realistically, it does nothing for my creativity and I inevitably just fill the space. You need to know what you like to look at, what you realistically need with you and how much storage you need. It doesn't matter if it isn't going to win many '#deskgoals" points, if it works for you and makes you more motivated and inspired, then that's the only thing that matters.