Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Studio Makeover >> Inspiration for A Home Based Workspace

Lately I've been really missing my days of having a studio and office space away from our house.  My old studio was really amazing and I was so lucky to have it.  The space was huge, with separate rooms for my office and design studio, as well as a shipping area.  My employees and I worked from it everyday, and it felt so good to come home at night and know that I left work in a space separate from where I lived.
When I moved back to Chicago a few years ago, it was right when the beginning signs of the recession started to appear.  Between sales slowing down and the much higher commercial rental prices here in comparison to Indianapolis, it made sense to work from home.  There are definite perks to not having to change out of your pajamas for work (!), but it can also be a challenge to do things like, I don't know, stop working before 2 AM.  It can also be difficult to fully concentrate on work when, despite my best efforts to convince myself otherwise, I'm constantly aware that I'm technically at home.  I have to make a conscious effort to remind myself that my job and my life are two different things, and that can be a job in itself.

In order to create a solution for these work-from-home trials, I decided that it's time for a studio makeover.  I'll be honest with you guys.  I am an incredibly disorganized person, and there are piles of Mountains of the Moon and Bubby and Bean madness all over our house.  I also work between a loft area and a guest bedroom (that is still used for guests and contains a bed, mind you), and sometimes I get in the habit of bringing my laptop down to the living room and working there as well.  All of these things add to the challenge of separating work from life. I know that reworking my studio/office into a completely separate place that is specifically dedicated to work would be a major step in the right direction.  And if I make this space beautiful and energizing, I'm pretty sure my creative flow will be much more, well, flowing.

I figured that the best way to motivate myself to put together a new and improved work space would be to search for other work spaces that I find inspiring.  The images in this post are my favorites.  Some of them contain specific design elements that I find appealing, and others just evoke an overall feel that I really love.

My next step is printing out all of the images I've collected and creating a new inspiration board that I can hang in the space (which will either be the guest room with the bed dismantled, or the basement) and refer to it as I start the makeover process.  Things are so busy right now, so I'm not sure when this semi-massive project will be completed, but I'll be sure to share the before and after once it is.

I N S P I R I N G   W O R K  S P A C E S   F R O M   T O P >>

1. & 2. Each of these spaces as a whole is gorgeous, but it is specific elements of each that strike me.  The shabby chic room on the left feels so airy and calming with the white linen table cover and window above the desk.  And the bowl of lavender is the perfect touch to create simple inspiration (flowers are wonderful like that, aren't they?).  The more industrial space on the right is defined by those lockers, which are visually stunning, and would create the perfect storage for my paper, fabric swatches, and art supplies. Images both found via Rue Magazine.

3. I love this workspace at Public School, an Austin-based creative collective.  A chalkboard wall would be so fun, and I feel like simple, neutral work spaces like these would provide the perfect blank canvas for creativity.  Images via From Your Desks.

4. Although this space wouldn't be nearly big enough for my studio, I think having a cozy, bright place for my office space would help motivate me to do all that not-so-fun paperwork and daily tasks.  Found via Wunderweib.

5. I like how this space is sort of set up to be a little cluttered and still look beautiful.  As much as I LOVE the idea of a really clean, modern, minimalist studio, the reality is that I would eventually create a mess.  That's just how I am.  A rustic space with lots of little objects might seem less chaotic once I actually started working in it and the piles started forming.  Image found here.

6. This is something I could definitely do in the basement.  And a desk like that would be perfect to use for both office work (check out the nifty paper storage) and sketching/design work.  The open and airy feel is really nice too.  The big, covered bulletin board on the wall would be perfect for tacking up random inspirations.  Image found here.

Do you work from home?  If so, what are the things about your workspace that your find the most inspiring?  What elements would you like to change?

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  1. Those are gorgeous spaces. I've been feeling the urge lately too of cleaning out, rearranging and organizing my studio. You've inspired me to make an inspiration notebook! I'm home with kiddos and at the beginning stages of starting my business but still don't feel quite there yet.
    Catherine Denton

  2. I love little closet offices. If I didn't need natural light for all of my photography, I'd try to swing one of those.

    It sounds like we work the same way. I have my office/studio in the guest room (which also still has a bed in it), but I sometimes end up dragging my work out into the living room so I can watch tv while I make orders. I started the process of making over the office a couple of months ago, but then I got really busy and haven't had a chance to finish. Whoops!

  3. Love the spaces and a real kick in the pants to get my act together and make that happen!!

  4. i love all these photos, but for a different reason since I just signed a lease on a small studio! i really wouldn't mind working on my crafts from home - but i just don't have the space and i drive my boyfriend crazy.

    be sure to post photos when u do the makeover!



  5. Fantastic inspiration. All of these spaces have such a nice energy and open feel.


  6. This inspires me for my desk at work and my craft area at home which is in desperate need of a makeover!!! I love the little notes you wrote on the pictures! I think the one with the lockers is my favorite :-)

  7. There are some wonderful inspirational ideas here.
    I work from home at the moment in what would be the dining room, not the most perfect solution but I surround myself with the inspirational things I love. Hard to separate home life from work I agree!

  8. I could work in all those spaces. My favorite is the rustic space. I saw someone had installed a light similar to the one shown in this picture in her laundry room. She had bought it on EBay for 10.00! It was an old gas station light. Good luck in your process! When you are finished, you are welcome to come and do my office next ;)

  9. I absolutely love your inspiration photos, very much my style. Isn't redoing spaces so exciting!? I am inspired to go do a little makeover to my own workspace now...it's been so neglected!

  10. Everything about this inspiration post makes me want to take time and redo my room. I would love it.

    xo kristen

  11. I'm loving the closet office like a ridiculous amount. I could totally imagine sitting there and just being surrounded with beautiful pattern (but not in a claustrophobic way). A perfect idea to block out everything else. Love love love!

    And I guess technically I work from home, though I don't make enough to live off of yet. I tend to do my work in my room so I can sit with the dog (and I'm super comfortable in my room) but I agree about needing to go somewhere else. I would feel better and it would feel more like work. But hey c'est la vie! ; ]

  12. Thanks for your comment you guys! So glad that you're inspired to spruce up your spaces as well! xo, m

  13. This post totally makes me wish I could work from home and create a space like this! Such great inspiration :)

    The Other Side of Gray

  14. I work in an office, but if I worked from home I would love the one in blue with the vintage wallpaper, so pretty!


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