How to Create a Dedicated Work Space in Your Home
A year into WFH, and we know better than ever that taking our workload from the couch, kitchen table, or even our bed makes the motivation to get things done go out the window. So we're here to help with this Design Dilemma, in which we're providing three different home office layouts.
Thanks to the expertise of Seattle-based Interior Designer Brianne MacLean of Hoedemaker Pfeiffer, you'll get all the ideas you need to make an effective remote workspace in your living room, bedroom, and dining room so you can stay on top of your office A-game. Scroll down to see the full plans.
DESIGN 1: living room
This floor plan is ideal in areas where space is tight or unconventional furnishings are used. To execute, MacLean turns to a secretary desk to get the job done (literally). “A secretary or a roll-top desk are good options because they are typically decorative and also can tuck the mess away quickly," she says.
Of course, it's not always easy to score one of these compact pieces that's both functional and stylish. So, the designer says a traditional desk — combined with some coodinating elements — works too. “If you have a standard desk, then using cohesive binders, boxes, and magazine files will corral everything and still look tidy," Maclean said. She recommends Target's Magnolia Home line for accessories, and Chairish for a unique desk. Added bonus, the desk chair can be “used for overflow seating in the room," MacLean says.
DESIGN 2: bedroom
For those days when getting out of bed just doesn't seem like an option, this solution is the next best thing. And luckily your existing vanity, coupled with some natural light or shelving, makes for a quick fix. “If placed on a wall with no window, then open shelves above could have pretty boxes to contain everything. If you are able to put your double-duty desk or vanity in front of a window to benefit from the natural light, then making sure the storage needs are met is critical," she says.
Then, when it comes to storage for all your papers, invoices, etc, she offers up a few tips. “A deep drawer on one side could be retrofitted to hold hanging files while the other holds your hair dryer and flat iron. The top drawer on one side could hold pens and small items while the other holds nail polish. Splitting the usage down the middle would be really effective," she adds.
DESIGN 3: dining room
You might already be doing this one, but your dining room is a great place to stretch out and spend a few hours paying bills or writing memos. But in order to make it a truly effective area, the interior designer provides a few suggestions. “It is always beneficial to have a buffet in your dining area, so allotting some of the closed storage for office needs and leaving the rest for tableware and linens makes perfect sense to keep everything handy. " Her recommendations on where to invest in one? “I would try Chairish for a statement piece, but if you prefer new, then head to West Elm or CB2," she says.
If you have a design dilemma you want solved, tweet us @BritandCo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.
(Illustrations via Torii Burnett / Brit + Co)
This post has been updated.
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Getting the word out about your brand takes time, drive, and ingenuity. And it doesn't come easy for many entrepreneurs. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're chatting with Selfmade alum Taylor Morgan McPherson, founder of Sustainable Sparkle Bar, about ways in which she scored press as a solo startup brand and what she learned from Selfmade to take her brand marketing up a notch.
B + C: How did you know Sustainable Sparkle Bar was your business to start?
Glitter has always been my thing, so when I started my event company I decided to make it my niche. I started telling people I threw glitter-themed parties where people would get sparkled with glitter body art and makeup. Six months after that I applied to my first festival and to work with SUR restaurant in West Hollywood.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
I honestly can't say that I've had a specific strategy that I've followed when it comes to getting my business off the ground. I have a PR background so I was just constantly pitching new business and posting on social media.
B + C: What's the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner?
I would say creating a stable income and revenue stream. With a seasonal, event-based business it can be very up and down.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
The relationships I made and the push to start an email database.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I love what I do and I believe in myself 100%. Staying motivated isn't the hard part. Pushing myself to do the work and staying accountable is the hard part.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip? Do you use any apps that help you manage your business?
I keep multiple to-do lists, hand-written and digital. I also tell clients and partners that I will have something to them by a certain time or day so I have to stick to it.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Just do it, take the leap. And don't worry about what anyone else says to thinks.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Issa Rae, I'm so inspired by everything that she's created being a creative and a black woman. It's my dream to have my own show one day based on my life and where I give advice and talk about the world. She's doing it and making people laugh and giving people joy. And it's based in LA. Watching Insecure only further cemented my dreams of wanting to live in LA.
B + C: How did you hear about the Office Depot scholarship?
One of my friends that I met through Camp No Counselors saw an IG ad for it and nominated me.
B + C: What has receiving the scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start/grow your business?
It's completely helped me level up and take my business to another level. Selfmade helped me host my first virtual event and taught me how to set up my website to sell tickets to events and get RSVPs.
B + C: How have Office Depot services or products helped you accomplish more in your business?
I got new cards to send in all of my orders with my discount code on them. I also bought a really cool 4K camera that I now use for my social media.
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