This guest blog post was written by Albie of Albie Knows.
For as long as I can remember, I’d been obsessed with trying to find the most feasible, functional, and fabulous way to incorporate a desk into my space — when I lived with my parents, when I moved out on my own, and now, as an entrepreneur, with my own family and business to raise. Having a dedicated space for homework, bills, journaling, whatever… this was always just super invaluable to me because having that area, for me, meant (1) I was setting boundaries around what I’m working on versus the rest of my life and (2) I was a “grown up” in my own right. I never let perceived space and/or budget restraints get in my way, and I’m so glad, because I’ve come to appreciate, even more, the value add of carving out this work area in my life, really contributing to my overall work-life balance.
Whether you’re actually working from home or running a business from home or just in need of a place for paying bills, a home office is becoming as important as a living room or bedroom. Regardless of your industry, having a distraction free space where you can focus & get work done is critical to having a work-life balance and a great first step in having an awesome quality of life while wearing so many hats. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to dedicate an entire room to becoming your home office; you simply have to know how to carve out an appropriate area — a weird nook between two columns or an awkward hallway or just a vacant space in your home that you have no idea how to use. There’s no hard & fast rule that says your office has to be any one way. It has to be YOUR way, to fit your needs, personality, and lifestyle.
Location. Location. Location.
You need prime working real estate in your home where you can truly focus and get things done; a space that “feels” separate from your non work life. This doesn’t mean having a designated room, but I would also advise against sharing the kids’ playroom, unless (1) you have to because it’s either that or the bathroom or (2) you know you can still function in the way you want to in a shared space. You’ll more than likely be spending hours in this space so you need to be comfortable. What do you need? Complete solitude? Windows & natural light? Privacy for meetings? Really think about and assess ALL your needs then plan accordingly.
I can’t stress this enough but just in case it didn’t sink it…GET ORGANIZED! Use your space wisely and in a way that best matches your work style. Don’t get a file cabinet if you know you’re not filing a ton of papers; maybe a storage ottoman would serve you better. If you’re a lifestyle & beauty blogger, your storage needs are probably going to look completely different from those of an online business coach. Whatever your needs, keep them top of mind and stick to them. It can be very easy to let yourself go & now your home office has just become another room on the chore list, overrun with stuff.
Find Your Dream Desk.
What’s a “dream” desk? A desk that suits your space AND your needs. Sketch a lot? You’ll probably need a lot of surface area. Tons of paperwork? Then storage is key for you. Large desktop computer? A deep desk with wire management will be best. Working from a laptop or tablet? A console desk can be just what you need. Don’t fall into the trap of buying a desk for desk having sake, only to realize it’s not serving you in the best possible way. Be intentional and be clear about how you’ll be using the “office” and how you want it to feel in your space.
TIP: if you’re worried about it feeling cumbersome and taking over the space, clear console desks are a great small space solution. Whether you get acrylic or glass, you’ll get an open, airy feel with a very small footprint.
Make Your Booty Happy!
Did you know you could easily be spending an average of 10 hours a day just sitting? At your desk. In your car. On the sofa. That’s a lot of just sitting. Although I personally like to stand 15 mins for every 45 mins I sit, fact is sometimes we’ve just had the most amazing lightbulb moment EVER; now 5 hours later, we haven’t moved a single muscle because tunnel vision & creativity have taken over. It happens. So make sure those 5 hours of epic awesomeness are as comfortable as physically possible. Just because the chair is labeled “office chair” doesn’t mean it’s the chair for your office. Get something comfortable, of course, but also functional & gorgeous! As with your desk, it’s all about what’ll suit your needs, space, and personality.
Get Risky. Get Inspired.
Bold prints. Bright colors. Family pictures. Scented candles. Vision boards. This is your space in your home, so it should be a place where you can retreat to and be your best productive, most creative self. Anything that lends itself to your productivity & creativity needs to be in your office. There’s no reason why your work space shouldn’t be an inspired as the projects you’re pulling together for clients. Let it reflect you. There’s a reason it’s called home office & not office home. This space, although for working purposes, is still a part of your home & should therefore feel like it.
I’m Albie and I connect entrepreneurs with pretty things through my online interior design and styling business, and home decor subscription box, Decor Discovery. After nearly a decade of working as a retail visual merchandiser, I knew I wanted a more fulfilling career path. Simultaneously, I was now a newlywed and first time mom, charged with turning our NYC studio apartment into a functional, comfortable, and beautiful home for 3. What made me a successful merchandiser is also what made me a great interior designer – marrying textures, prints, and colors to tell a story and solve a problem. This sparked something amazing in me, that has led me here. Now, living on the west coast, I am pursuing my masters in interior architecture and design, while growing my business. When I’m not designing, I’m either shopping on Amazon, embracing being an INFJ=T, or napping with my husband and daughter.