Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
Does a phone conversation from your home workspace go anything like this:
“Hello, ABCDelicious Confections–“(hissing: “Stop jumping off the coffee table THIS MINUTE!”)
“–How can I help–” (snapping fingers: “I SAID, do NOT let the dog out!”)
“–I’d be happy to–” (through clenched teeth: “Who spilled juice on my ORDER FORMS??”)
With so many new digital ways to connect with clients, it often makes perfect sense to establish a business base at home. That being said, we who work from home know how hard it is to work IF we don’t have a space that works FOR us! Who can concentrate on business in the middle of chaos–and what can be done about it?
Maybe your home office’s main task is to be Command Central for family records and activities. Or your dream is to have a creative space where you can sew, craft, paint, or design. These four tips for your home office will help you create a workspace that is not only FUNCTIONAL, but FABULOUS!
What do you need? A classy quiet corner–or vibrant creative space?
Tip #1. Designate a space for your activity.
Of course, how terrific if you have the luxury of an entire room for your workspace! But even if it’s simply a nook with table and shelves or a repurposed entertainment armoire, having a designated spot will benefit you several ways:
a. You train yourself to shift into WORK/CREATIVE mode when you go to that spot.
b. You train your household to recognize that you are WORKING/CREATING when you are in that spot and to hopefully disturb you less (unless there’s blood).
c. Your WORK/CREATIVE supplies are gathered in one spot so that you can make the most of the time you spend there.
Tip #2. Match your space to your activity.
Are you meeting clients in your home office? If so, is there a certain image you want to project? Do you need just a great desk and client chairs? What about storage for notebooks, catalogs or samples? Or is the workspace your own creative cocoon and your greatest needs are for supply cabinets, ample light, and sufficient work surface?
Identifying how the space needs to function is half of the process. Only then you can outfit it appropriately for the task you’ve assigned it.
Tip #3 Clear out the clutter.
If you’re stepping around the exercise bike and tripping over boxes of Christmas decorations, your space isn’t ready to work for you. Raise your right hand and repeat after me: “Anything that doesn’t belong to my special room (or nook’s) identity must find a new home–storage, trash, or donated.”
If you’re not that person who geeks out on organizing, call your friend who l-o-v-e-s to do that stuff, and eat brownies together while you tackle the job. When the room has ONLY the furniture and equipment you NEED and WANT, set up a system that matches the way you work.
For example, think about what to put away and what to put on display. Drowning in paper, paper, paper–but when it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind? Then don’t file away important stuff. Instead, find software that stores your info and creates reminders on your devices to keep you on track. And that’s also one less file cabinet you have to find room for! If the area is for crafting and you’re inspired by the color and texture of your supplies, organize them on shelves or racks where they’re visible and accessible.
In office or craft room, put supplies you use most often within easy reach, but amp up your decor by storing them in attractive bins, baskets, and boxes.
Tip #4. Give YOUR space YOUR personality!
Even though this designated space or room has a practical purpose, it doesn’t have to be BORING! If you’re going to spend time there (and that’s the whole idea, right?), then make sure it INSPIRES you and makes you glad to be there. Calm, polished, and professional? Bright and whimsical? Dream up a decor that meets your needs AND makes you happy and confident when you’re there. Home decor stores are brimming with great looking furniture and artful accessories to furnish your special room! Need some guidance here? Let’s talk!
A smart husband made his wife’s workspace dream come true! See the reveal here.
Now, about that jumping off the coffee table.
I’d say, if possible, schedule peak work hours while the kids are at school or napping.
The dog, though: I have one, too, and she’s out of control. So I really can’t help you there!
Email me to book a call time–and let’s start making design fun!
Have some questions? No problem! I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation.