How to design a calming, inspiring at-home workspace

Get inspired by the pretty work spaces found in “A Space of My Own,” such as this one full of personal photos and fun colors.

Let’s face it — whether you’re designing a jewelry line, writing your screenplay or simply organizing your taxes, you need a work space at home.  Only here, there’s no office manager regulating your setup. “That’s the great joy of it. You can bring in your own pictures, have whatever color on the wall and hang things up that inspire you when you’re working,” says Caroline Clifton-Mogg, author of “A Space of My Own: Inspirational Ideas for Home Offices, Craft Rooms and Studies.” She shows us how to set up the perfect creative nook.

Know thy space

“Before you start setting up, think carefully about what you want to use the space for,” advises Clifton-Mogg. “What you want to use it for dictates how you arrange it. Some people might want to use it for crafts — so they would need storage for rows of fabric or a sewing machine, which is different from storing books. Also, make a list of things you’re going to use most and keep them at reach, like on your first shelf.”

Think outside the box

“Your work surface doesn’t have to be a [generic] desk. It can be an antique table or an old piece of wood — as long as it’s deep enough for your needs, your computer and lights,” says Clifton-Mogg, who stresses the importance of personalizing. “There are so many containers out there: wicker baskets, handy man tool boxes, wooden fruit boxes and wine crates.”

Storage is key

You don’t need a whole room in order to have storage, says Clifton-Mogg. For those of us squeezing a desk into the living room or bedroom, she says: “Plain shelves — deep ones and shallow ones — are all you need. You can put boxes on some and books on others.” And, she advises, “If you have the space, always add more shelves — because work expands.”

Two must-have products:
   

“Lighting is vital,” says Clifton-Mogg, who suggests having an adjustable, angled light on your work surface. “It’s not enough to try and work with just overhead lighting.”
   

“A comfortable chair is incredibly important,” she says. “That’s the one thing one should look for from a professional office [company]. They’re not all horrible.”


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