Your workspace should be tailored to the way you work. Many of us find ourselves working in utilitarian or makeshift spaces that forego comfort, function, and livability—but without these elements, people are hard-pressed to truly be able to get into the zone. Below are a few tips designer Daun Curry regularly employs to boost mood, promote comfort, and enhance concentration when she gets to work. The more positive the energy around you, the more inclined you are to be productive.
1: Create a Workspace Tailored to Your Needs
Do you tend to need a lot of work space? Plan for it. Choose a wider—or a longer—desk or workstation. A large table works just fine, but make sure it is tailored to your needs. Employing a smaller workspace than what you need means spending more time organizing, situating, or rifling through documents and work accouterments—all of which should be easy-to-find and within reach. Likewise, if you tend to use a more compact space, choose a smaller desk or work area. There is nothing more overwhelming than being surrounded by an imposing workstation.
2: Fit the Desk to the Room
Have a tiny room? The inclination is to set your desk up against the wall. Try to avoid this—not only will you not gain the most inspiration from facing the wall, but it might just open up your room a bit. Try setting up your desk a bit off center—leaving the side up against the wall but in the center of the room. This allows the room to have a purpose and offer a sense of expansiveness. That also means you have more of a footprint to decorate and perfectly set up your ideal workspace.
3: Employ Light, Soothing Palettes Designed to Inspire Calm
Employ light and calming colors designed to relax the mind and body—workstations should help you concentrate and not distract from the task at hand. While we love dark and moody rooms, they tend to inspire a relaxed atmosphere more suited to bedtime rituals or a cozy night in. The same goes for patterns. While we don’t agree with having to nix them altogether—if you are going to use a wallcovering, make sure the pattern is not overwhelming. You can always soften the effect of a focal wall with neutral accents and soft textiles.
4: Get Organized
Think of your work station as a chef’s mise en place: a place for everything, and everything in its place. Set your workstation up to work for you. Whether you’re a minimalist or a maximalist, find what works best for your work process. Jars, binders, trays, boxes, etc.—they all serve the same purpose but one format might be better suited to the way you work than others.
5: Create or Define Your Workstation in an Area Flooded with Natural Light
Don’t take the benefits of natural light for granted—studies suggest it can increase serotonin levels and boost your mood. A sunlit space can make all the difference—open your curtains! Rearrange your workstation so that the sunlight pours in and livens up your mood and your space. For those dealing with that pesky glare, invest in window sheers that let the sun in while keeping your eyes protected. Natural light helps your body stay in tune with the natural rhythms designed to inform your internal body clock—there is a reason light therapy lamps are made to combat winter blues and darker days.
6: Incorporate Elements of Biophilia
Incorporating nature into the built environment is a primary tenet of biophilic design—and something everyone should incorporate into their workspace. With an increased focus on wellbeing and the effect on the population at large by incorporating these design elements, it’s no wonder the trend is here to stay. While we don’t necessarily have every option available to us, the simplicity of adding in fresh-cut flowers or botanicals—even wildflowers—also adds a surprising amount of cheer.
Designs by Daun Curry; Photography by Emily Gilbert.
For more workspace tips, be sure to check out these 7 home offices for inspiration.
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