Have you ever walked into a space and immediately felt something? Maybe it was a romantic restaurant or a really calming hotel room. Maybe you walked into someone’s house and immediately felt welcome (or not!) This is because our surroundings have a powerful effect on us.
Those feelings aren’t always so prominent. Sometimes we feel them hit us in the face – like when we walk down a gorgeous tree-lined path. But other times it’s subconscious and it’ss those times where we need to be extra careful and put in the effort to make sure that space is having the right influence on us.
So how do we make sure that our office is having the right effect on us? How do we know it isn’t holding us back and making us feel stopped, trapped, overwhelmed, or unsuccessful?
Heres how: design it with intention. Set it up in a way that you know for a fact will make you feel all the positive emotions you want to feel when you’re working and BAM you have a positive space.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Location, location, location
First of all, you want to make sure your office is located in a good place. This means your office should have a dedicated location. Working on your couch sounds glam but we all know it is not as productive as having a space that you go to and work there and when you’re there you aren’t doing anything else.
Try to pick a place that won’t become a dumping ground in the house, a space that is closed off from the rest of the house as much as you are able. And of course, you want to make sure there is plenty of natural light (again, if you can, do the best with what you got – a little effort can go a long way).
Make it work for you
Second of all, set it up for you. Don’t set up the perfect Pinterest office. Set up an office that works for you and what you’ll be using it for. Do you stand a lot? Sit a lot? Go to meetings or host meetings? Think about the physical actions you will be doing in the office and buy the furniture based on that.
So if you do crafts you want to buy a crafting bench, bookshelves with easy storage and a lot of bins. If you are a bookkeeper you want a super comfy chair and a spacious desk with a good computer. Personalize it. Focus first on making it something that works for you before you look for the Instagram worthy shot.
Take your time
Now, once you know what you want to buy- don’t rush the purchasing process. People always ask me what piece they should start with in a room and in an office, I always say the chair. As humans, our eyes are pulled towards the direction we’re walking in. If we walk into our office we are headed to the chair so that is what we are going to look at. Make that chair something that makes you smile every day (which means it has to be comfortable and pretty!)
Make it pretty
Now that you have the basics you want to style it up and make it pretty. Now here is where I am going to tell you not to listen to Google. There are all these psychologies about color and what it does for your brain and the different styles that evoke different emotions.
However, the truth is if you hate the color blue it is not going to inspire knowledge or creativity no matter how much you look at it. You will hate it and it will start off a negative train of thought which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid! The same goes for style. If you like Victorian go for it, don’t worry about what people say about the “busyness” of it – do what makes you happy so you will be happy.
Be mindful of layout
As you are setting up this office you also want to make sure that you are setting up a layout that is easy to navigate. Make sure that everything has a clear walkway to access it (18” is a standard walking width minimum). You also want to make sure that your desk is facing a window or door or at the very least a picture of something that makes you feel inspired.
You should also try to draw the eye upwards. Don’t put everything on the floor – hang things on the walls, get a cool light, do what you need to do so that you look up more than you look down. Sounds silly but it really makes a difference!
Ok, now bring in the personal items, get the pictures of your kids. your certificates and degrees. That picture of the dream house you are working toward. Whatever it is that gets you working on a hard day put it in the room. We need constant inspiration in this world so give it to yourself.
And that’s your starting point for creating an office you love! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or still struggling with the design process, feel free to check out my pre-designed rooms where you can purchase a home office in your personal design for just $99 and feel free to follow me on Instagram for more inspiration (plus be sure to tag me in any home office update pics as I’d love to see your progress!)
Based in Pomona, NY, Kayla designs homes for lovely and amazing families as well as spending time with her 2 adorable children. She truly believes that your surroundings impact your moods, productivity, and energy levels and has seen the transformation in moms when they love their homes and their homes really work for them.