Designing an Office for Clarity & Creativity
With 42% of the American workforce working from home currently, we asked Printfresh Founder Amy Voloshin for advice on how to create an inspiring workspace at home. From instrumental low-fi hip hop to four leaf clovers, we hope her tips help inspire a home office upgrade in your future.
Let’s be honest. Few of our home office spaces look like what you’ll see on Instagram or blog posts. Mine is often a disorganized mess of things that don’t always look pretty, but help me actually DO my work (Why does every photo of a desk on Pinterest not have anything on it one would need to do work?? Like, not even a pencil, what is that?!?) However, I do believe we all have a desire to work in a space that motivates us and supports our work, rather than detracts from it. I’m offering a few tips for how to improve your home office with inspiring office decor that’s less about achieving a specific aesthetic and focused more on how the space makes you feel. How can our work from home environment generate more creativity, more efficiency and more satisfaction during a time when lines between work and home are so blurred?
Add a Little Design
There are tons of things that need to be on my desk each day, whether they look nice or not! For me, that’s my planner, bic mechanical pencils, a tape measure, a Wacom tablet, scissors, post-its, notebooks, samples of our latest designs, rulers, scrunchies, my relaxation mist, a million cups and a charging station. However, when possible I try to find inspiring office decor that both looks nice and is practical. Sometimes that may be at places like Paper Source or HomeGoods, and other times I’ll splurge a little more at places like the MoMA store. In general, when it comes to office décor, I like to keep it accessible and not too precious.
Some of Amy's Favorites:
Embrace Non-Work-Related Items
When working in a corporate office, there are lots of restrictions on what you can have on your desk – you can’t light a candle or incense, you can’t take your shoes off on a whim and it’s unlikely you can pause working to get down on your yoga mat and do some quick cat-cows.
With this newfound control over your workspace, fill it with all of the things that simply make you feel good. If you love snacking on fruit, put a beautiful ceramic bowl full of your favorites on your desk. Keep a dedicated pair of cozy slippers nearby to slide into when you need some comfort. Pick out a throw blanket you love and toss it over your chair.
There are few paths to increased creativity that are easier than drinking water. Even the slightest bit of dehydration can sap our energy. Find a beautiful water pitcher (I love this one from Hay Design) and a fancy water glass (like this one from the MoMA Shop). Put an electric kettle and a favorite mug on a rack or shelf nearby so you don’t have to interrupt your workflow to have a cup of tea. And don’t forget skin hydration too – keep a favorite face oil or mist nearby to pat on when you need to feel refreshed.
Block Out Distractions
One of the things I love about working from home is being able to work whenever the mood strikes, but the downside is that the kids are always popping in for something they need. The noise in the house can also be tricky - I’m really sensitive to overhearing conversations - my husband and children are blessed with volume - so I try to play instrumental low-fi hip hop music as soon as I start to get distracted by noise to try to cancel it out. I’ve also been meaning to start using my Bose noise cancelling headphones to get a little more ‘privacy’ while working.
Motivational or Sentimental Elements
Most people have photos of their kids or family in their workspace. But what other types of photos or mementos can inspire you? The physical remnants of past experiences can be powerful prompts for creativity. The tattered map you carried around your last international trip, the sentimental birthday card your friend gave you or a scrap of fabric from your last sewing project – these things can all add a little creativity to your workday when they’re in view. For me, I have a four leaf clover acrylic square that reminds me sometimes you just need a stroke of luck and you need to be open to when it has arrived.