I like many of you work from home. For years this has served as a challenge. Through the seasons, I’ve tried to find ways to quickly and cheaply increase my productivity by a change in setting. Coffee shops, co-working spaces, and study dates became my norm in hopes of finding a new rhythm. But what happens, when you truly need to work from home? While I love the idea of escaping to a shop and finding loads of productivity there. Then, there’s the days where multitasking is far more the norm. Laundry needs to be done. Chores and DIY projects have multiple steps with waiting time in-between. Recipes need to be shot. Flat lays, edits, and design projects for clients need to be completed. More than anything, there are days where things need to be efficient and productive.
Is it possible to have a bedroom and creative studio in the same room? I like you live in a tight space. At around 1,000 feet with a garage and patio, I share the home with one other roommate. Every square foot of our home has been used a location, vignette for the blog, and been reinvented as a set over and over again. When it came to my office, I decided I wanted something minimal and sleek. As I invested $1,000 in this section of my room, I knew the investment would be 5% of the increased revenue I would make from the space. Even if I only used the current setup for a year it would be worth it.
With this in mind, I chose a favorite flat white paint from Behr paints for the room (Ultra White is always our choice). It gave the light I needed and turned the room into the perfect place full of natural light for photos. By elevating affordable mediums such as plywood for the desk, I was able to continue and build upon lines from the headboard for the bedroom. With mindful touches, pieces of artwork, wood texture, it added the necessary warmth and softness to the room, keeping it from feeling sterile.
Confession- I spread out when I work. I don’t thrive on a messy desk. When building the desk I wanted it to be huge. I read in Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like an Artist that it was vital to a create space and designer to have both an analog and digital desk. After scouring the internet for hours I decided a simple desk that mirror the aesthetic of my inspiration, and remained minimal and streamlined. I wanted a single 8 ft plane. Half of it would be dedicated to analog work and the other half would be dedicated toward a digital space.
When it comes to inspiration, there are two bulletin boards in my office. One serves as a moodboard for various projects and allows me to keep items at the forefront of my mind. The other serves as a tending list for quarterly and yearly goals, tracking sales, collaborations, and onboarding new clients. If you’re curious about the method, check out this podcast from Braid Creative as they explain their Chalkboard Method.
When it comes to working in an office, I love a few touches of life and greenery to add freshness and texture to the space. With a stunning wall planter from Carter and Rose and a simple planter of succulents on the desk, I am able to stay inspired and the air stays a little cleaner (always a plus).
Every time I’ve had an office setup I’ve purchased a set of Alex drawers from IKEA. This holds all my design and drafting tools in a clean way and provides ample storage. For blogging props and shooting equipment (plus those pesky business documents), these are stored in the back section of my master closet. It keeps them close but perfectly out of sight. On the desk itself I have a simple project management system. Each active project receives a clipboard with curated moodboard on top. In wooden magazine files I store archived retainer clients and design annuals that serve as desk reference. The other items that fill my desk are a favorite planner and the best home brewed cup of coffee.
One of the best productivity hacks for focus? Simply only have one tab open and shut off your phone. Put on some music, light a favorite candle and get to work. Prep for focus and dive in. This means simply working in one window at a time. When working on a project that is analog, shut off your Wi-Fi. This keeps your productivity high.
Have any productivity hacks? We’d love to hear from you!