Little Space, Big Style
Dedicating yourself to taking work home is a struggle. Once we’ve left the workplace, our only desire is to put on sweatpants, eat a gallon of ice cream, and retreat into a comatose state for the next 15 hours before doing it all over again. Sadly, this option to just walk away from work doesn’t always happen. Work is kind of like your shadow: it stalks you. Constant demands and ominous deadlines leave you with no choice but to invade your home with your job. One step worse (and I’m talking tooth-pulling hysteria here) is devoting part of your home to your job, or career, with the creation of a home office.
People living in small dorms or apartments are desperately attempting to transform corners and closets into the dreaded, cold, butt-numbing stations that lack any sense of va-va-voom. But, take heart! Hope still exists for the drab desk space that you possess. Thanks to the mecca of all things creative and crafty found via the web, we are now about to catapult into the revamping of the home office.
For the Incredibly Boring:
For goodness sakes, don’t be afraid of color! The first step in creating any kind of productive work space is to make it pleasing to the eye. Adding a color that complements and contrasts the overall vibe of the room is not a bad thing! Make your home office a show stopper, not a knock-off cubicle cubby hole. Color is a fun way to spice up and personalize your office, and if you’re transforming a closet, color can make the space feel much bigger, especially if the color accents the rest of the room by using a different paint shade. Don’t play it safe with a neutral, feel free to play around with your color options and experiment (although, I suggest steering clear of super dark colors unless they are being applied to only one wall, otherwise you’re creating The Bat Cave when you’re trying to inspire a Bond-worthy HQ).
Patterns are another great option for these small spaces, and, in some cases, less is more. The up and coming pattern trend is chevron, and is sold in every color under the sun. Whether the patterns are painted on your walls or are exhibited as an eye catching accent, they can be used in a plethora of ways, including a great backsplash for display or a covering for a bulletin board. Be adventurous with your color to make a space that’s all about you!
For the Dim Lit:
Astrophysicists, dimwits, and every Good-Ole Joe in-between need some sort of illumination in their personal desk space. The true genius is exposed when home officers harness lighting as an accent. Using different bulbs, shades, and fixtures can change the dynamics of a space from cold and sterile to warm and cozy. The rusted, vintage desk lamps and their sixties metallic counterpart are the upcoming rage in the design conscious desk space. Stylistic and eclectic fixtures are always in and are available and versatile. Hunting for such treasures usually can be accomplished by delving into the unknowns of thrift and consignment shops to find a piece far more artistic than the standard white shade. For those who are a little more budget conscious (shoutout to college students and Dave Ramsey cult members) quick fixes for lamp shades require only a stencil and your choice of fabric paint (an easy find at your local craft or Hobby Lobby store) to create a customized look for under ten dollars.
For the Dysfunctionally Dysfunctional:
Lastly, we come to the heart and soul of the home office. But first, you need to know that this is an intervention.
You and I …We have a problem.
We have a problem keeping it all together and putting things back where we found them. We have a problem filing our paperwork correctly because we can never find it. Folks, let’s talk organization. Sure it’s a difficult and time consuming task, but once accomplished, your cramped home office life is going to change. Effective organization requires functionality, but that doesn’t always mean that you need a giant filing cabinet shoved under your desk to accomplish this, and a small space doesn’t even give you that option. Thankfully, organization has evolved into something a little more stylish. Home office shelves have recently been seen stocked with zinc topped mason jars, wire baskets, and old crates, housing every Officemax supply known to mankind. These play a key role in keeping your office act together. Another helpful organizing tool is the labeler, and you can pick one up for a cheap as twenty bucks (and a really nice one for one hundred and forty dollars). To top it all off, a framed bulletin board adds a final artistic twist to an office-old classic and supplies some extra organization/display space.
Voila! You have taken a small space and infused it with a big style, full of functionality and personality. Your home office awaits, dear reader, ready to be harnessed to conquer the world of the suit and tie.