My friend told me the other day that she is giving up her gorgeous dressing table and turning it into a desk for her new laptop. I thought was a great idea because lets face it, we all probably spend more time at our computers these days than primping and preening ourselves. I like the way she thinks too, that our furniture can be used for a purpose other than it was originally intended.
It got me thinking about home offices and our work-spaces and how important they can be in nurturing our creativity. It certainly helps if the room or space has natural light, warmth or cool breeze flow-through, and basically has good energy or a good vibe about it.
As a writer, a view while I’m typing away is essential, but not always possible. But I do have lots of light flooding in and my antique swivel chair so I can just spin around and talk to my children or any visitors.
I have always tried to find inspiration in my workplace, whether it be at home or in an office. I have even had mini inspiration walls in my cubicles at work, just to give myself something other than work to think about in moments of contemplation. I once worked in an office that was on Sydney Harbour. I was lucky enough to have a workspace that looked right on to the Harbour Bridge and Walsh Bay. It was spectacular to say the least! I got to watch the storms roll in and the Royal Australian Navy submarines sail out to sea. The trains stopping and starting across the bridge and little sailing boats fighting for space with huge liners making their way under the bridge. I never grew tired of my view.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have gorgeous views from our desks, so I think it is important if we can make our workspace congenial to work, even if it is simply a place to write letters.
Some of us are limited in our homes or apartments (or bedrooms even) for a space that we can call our own. Sometimes we may have to share our desk with someone else (my husband and I share our desk) and sometimes we may not even have a desk to use. It could be the kitchen table, a cupboard, a hall table, or in my friend’s case, a dressing table.
The key is to make it your own. Even if you share it with another person (or the whole household) it can still have elements that make it yours.
I have a gorgeous old wooden “In Tray” that I picked up years ago for any paperwork that belongs to me. My husband knows that its sole purpose if for me to put my mess of paperwork in. It is the first place I go to when I can’t find something I need to find! Which reminds me, it is due for a clean-out… something I procrastinate about doing all the time.
One of my favourite aspects of my workspace is my chair. I bought my chair about 7 or 8 years ago from Alison Green of House of Green, a furniture dealer in Sydney. I fell in love with it on sight because of the pony-skin upholstery and the swivel seat. It’s an old railway Station Master’s chair. Of course it wouldn’t have been covered in pony-skin when in situ for it’s original purpose, but Alison is a very stylish lady so she rescued it and covered it and I lurve it to bits!
This is my desk and my beloved chair. No view to speak of, but eventually when we buy our own house, my dream is to have a view of the ocean that is at the end of our street.
Alison didn’t really want to sell her beloved chair but she had run out of room in her apartment and she said that if I ever needed to sell it myself I had to give her first option to buy it back! I told her that it would remain with me forever. It swivels, it rocks back and forth, it has so much character, I would never part with it, not in a million years.
I used to have a simple table like the one above as my desk. You don’t need to have large sums of money or a huge space, just a little imagination to create yourself a work space that is inspiring.
A scroll-top desk can give your home office a timeless look or a fresh coat of paint to an old desk can work wonders.
Place inspiring objects to create a visually stimulating environment that will make your space a joy to be in. A gorgeous chair like this floral Mademoiselle chair is by Philippe Starck will probably make you want to sit at your desk if it is in something so beautiful!
If you are unable to have a workspace that has a view, you could choose items that relate to your work or help to inspire your work when decorating the walls around your desk.
A simple space, a simple desk and this tulip chair are inviting and inspiring.
An antique table with a modern chair are a gorgeous juxtopostion with the simple lines of your computer screen.
All you have to do is use your imagination. Just think about what you want to get out of your time at your desk, it’s so simple really. When you look up from your computer or your work book, what do you see? What do you want to see? If you want a view, make one. A poster, a photo montage, a collection of images, an inspiration wall, a library of resources at your fingertips, a map of the world, a photo you took of your favourite hangout that you’ve blown up to put on the wall.
It’s not impossible to imagine yourself anywhere you would like to be.
Images from Flikr, Ffffound!, Living Etc., Desire To Inspire, Designsponge, Domino Archives.