This is the story of how I created my own work space at home, got over my hang-ups about our home study, and eventually moved in permanently.
I’ve been writing for over a year now, journaling, blogging and creating content for other business owners. As much as I love writing, growing my business, and getting stuck into projects producing work for clients that generate such a positive response, the journey to finding the right space to work in has been somewhat of a mission.
With no budget to rent a working space, and no immediate desire to co-work, I needed to create a workable space in my home. Somewhere that would ignite my imagination, and be a place where I could relax and let my creativity flow.
I started out working at our kitchen table. With such great light and space, looking out to the garden it was comfortable and inviting. I could sit and day-dream out of the window, and I was productive, writing away quite happily, especially with the kettle and biscuit tin at close range.
However the difficulty working in the kitchen (which is essentially the beating heart of our home,) was that I wasn’t able to set up shop and stay there. It always felt temporary, and I desperately wanted to take root somewhere.
I then tried working upstairs on the very top floor of our townhouse. The colour scheme up there is lovely and calming, with muted green tones, and lots of natural light coming from all directions, it certainly had potential. The difficulty was the work set up, an old dining chair, and the laptop on my dressing table, it was far from ideal. Despite it being a lovely room to work in, I needed a space that had its own identity and felt different to that of the rest of our home.
Of all the places in the house I was avoiding working in (the one place that was meant for that very job) was our home study. We are blessed in our house that we have enough space to create a home office – a whole room in fact. It was one of the criteria when we were looking to buy our house, as my husband was going to be working from home a day or two a week.
So what was the problem? I had a perfectly usable space set up, why did I not just take a seat and get on with it.
I had somehow become what I can only describe as disconnected with this room. The combination of the layout, lighting, and mood, it just didn’t ignite that spark. However I desperately wanted to make it my creative hub, only the vibe was all wrong.
With blank magnolia walls apart from a solitary clock, and no real character to speak of, it was bland and soulless. Over the years we’ve upgraded the desk and installed some enormous shelves to cater for the hordes of books we have amassed over time. Other than that it has never really been shown the love or attention to décor like the rest of our home. On the plus side, having a lovely window that looks down onto our neat courtyard garden, meant that with the rising sun in the morning the space was light, bright and airy. It was just calling out to be given a fresh new identity.
Through this whole process of finding my comfortable and creative zone working at home, I have discovered that my surroundings can really impact my mind-set and how effective I am. I’m not inspired by chaos and clutter, quite the opposite in fact, and this has never been truer than now. It’s in my nature to keep things neat and orderly, and when everything is in its rightful place that’s the time when I feel most comfortable and at ease.
So instead of stepping away from my feelings about our home study, I decided to pay them some attention. I was hopeful that I could bring positivity back into the space, and make it a workable option for me.
The 3 little changes I made were simple;
# 1 De-clutter & re-organise
For me it was the foreboding bookcases that needed de-cluttering. They were like a heavy weight on my shoulders. I am passionate about books, and we have a lot, especially since creating our community free library, however along with our own collection and the bags of book donations it was overwhelming. Getting a handle on this instantly created much needed physical space in the room, and I felt lighter as a result.
# 2 Colours
Although not quite the finished product, injecting the room with some muted accent colours in the soft furnishings has certainly lifted the mood and the energy in the space. Everything was heavily influenced with red before, and as a strong colour it just didn’t create the right vibe.
# 3 Layout
From my experience of working in our kitchen, I loved being able to look directly out of a window. Changing the layout so that I could sit next to window and face the door (rather than having the door behind me,) was a revelation. I instantly felt more relaxed and it lifted my spirits.
The room now feels re-energised, yet calm and orderly. I would dearly love to get some colour on the walls, and I’m already scouting out art work too. In the meantime, it’s a space I want to come and hang out now, whether it’s to sit on the comfy chair and read, or be at my desk and do what I love to do – write!
I’m not a spontaneous kind of girl. I’m methodical and neat, and I love to be organised and for the space around me to reflect that. Now it does I can really settle down and get on with the important job of creating content for all those fabulous business owners out there.
If you are like me, and work from home in your business, how much does your work space reflect your personality? Does it impact your creativity and productivity? If you have any tips or stories about creating your studio or home office, drop me a comment below.
Until next time, be fabulously you!