Ready to design a workspace that cultivates your unique creative vibe?
Artists, writers and other creative entrepreneurs often do their best work in an environment that invigorates their creative spirit. I know I do! So, I want to give you 7 tips for designing a creative space that will inspire creativity in your work life!
To be clear, you do not need to have the perfect office or studio to be creative. In fact, it’s a good idea to practice your creative craft without the “perfect” environment so that you don’t hit a creative block when you need to work away from your studio.
However, when you’re at home, do yourself a favor and set yourself up for creative success by designing a workspace that you love.
1. Make a Pinterest Board
It’s true I may love Pinterest just a little too much. The popular social media site is my go-to place when I need inspiration or ideas for almost any creative project. The first thing I did when I revamped my own home office was make a Pinterest board full of the colors and inspiration for my perfect workspace, and it really got my mind moving.
Start off by pinning other offices, office supplies, decor, and craft organization ideas; anything that catches your eye. Then go back and analyze your choices. Try to narrow down exactly what you like about each item you saved and whether it would work in your space.
This is the easiest way I know of to create a virtual vision board for yourself. This collection of ideas will help you piece together the elements you need to create your perfect space.
2. Get Organized
Nothing kills a free, creative spirit like clutter. Clutter is frustrating, distracting and can waste your time as you dig through piles of stuff trying to find the right supplies for each project.
To design a workspace that meets your needs as a creator, you must make time for organization. But organizing your office doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Start by putting all like items together in baskets or bins. File important paperwork and throw away papers you don’t really need. Dust those shelves. And when you finish using something, put it back where it belongs.
It’s important that when you are organizing, you find a convenient place to store the items you use regularly. Don’t put too many things away in the garage or attic to make your space look more open. If you have to leave your office multiple times a day to go get supplies, you will not get nearly as much done. Instead, store frequently used items close by, in a tidy and decorative way.
Pinterest is another great place to find inspiration on creative ways to organize your supplies. Also check out my blog post 4 Simple Steps to Organizing for Creative Success.
3. Use Color to energize you
I love the feeling of a bright, soft color palette in my office. It helps me feel focused and driven, which is a must when I have a long list of things that need to get accomplished that day.
You can start with your favorite color, or the color that inspires you to get things done. If you want to learn more about what colors will inspire you, check out this awesome quiz I found by Good Net: Discover What Color Inspires You
Decide on one or two main colors to pull the room together. Then work your color palette around your main colors, including accents and neutrals.
Ideally, you want your main color to take up 60% of the room, your secondary color to take up 30% and then drop in an accent color for the remaining 10% of the room. Any more than this and you risk “color clutter” which can distract you and even cause extra stress on your subconscious mind.
4. Create a space or “zone” for each activity
In my office, I needed a place to work on my computer, a place to paint, and space for my photo and video equipment. Without areas to accommodate these specific needs, I used to end up working elsewhere, like at the dining room table, or even avoiding work altogether.
For me, the solution was 2 desks, one for writing and one for painting. I placed them at an angle in the center of the room to leave enough space for my video equipment.
Figure out what zones you will need for your creative space. How many activities do you want your workspace to accommodate? How many of those activities can share a work zone? Set up each zone with its own furniture and equipment.
Don’t forget to include a zone for storage so you can keep up with that organization you worked so hard to achieve in step 2.
5. Design your workspace to inspire you
Make your office into a giant vision board!
Do you have a favorite quote? Put it up on the wall behind your desk. A painting that you just love? Display it above the bookshelf. Find creative ways to display visual representations of your goals and ambitions around the space.
When you walk into your workspace each day, you want to feel an instant bloom of inspiration and drive to get things accomplished. The best way to do that is to fill your space with things that inspire you.
I also recommend including plants. Plants will filter the air around you and surround you with fresh life and oxygen. Although, if you are like me and accidentally kill all the plants you try to love, fake plants will do.
Be careful not to overfill your space. Once again, we don’t want to add more clutter. Leave a few blank spots on the wall and sparse or empty surfaces and shelves to entice your creative mind to start working.
6. Choose the right lighting
Lighting is an important factor in any room. When considering your perfect creative space, think about what kind of lighting you will need to get your projects done effectively.
I recommend choosing a room with a large window to let in natural light. Natural light not only is the most aesthetically pleasing for photographs and artwork, but it also helps your body make its own vitamin D, which will help uplift your mood as you work.
However, if natural light is not an option for you, choosing the right lighting appliances will be essential. There are two basic types of light: warm and cool.
Warm light has a red or orange tint to it and is frequently used in living spaces and restaurants to create a warm and relaxing environment. This is the lighting you may want in your house for when you get home from work and want to chill out at the end of the day.
But in your office, I think cool lighting is best. Cool lighting has a slight blue tint and mimics sunlight. This light is more energizing because it signals to your brain that it’s time to “wake up.” Cool light is also better for distinguishing subtle color differences, which is important for visual artists and creators.
7. Keep your comfort in mind
Remember, you are designing a workspace that you will want to stay in for hours at a time. That means, you need to make sure you are cultivating comfort in your environment.
Think about where in the room you will be sitting and where you will be standing. Give yourself room to move around without feeling cramped and running into things. Also, make sure that your work chair has the lumbar support that you need or invest in a desk that you can raise up for when you feel like standing on the job.
If you create a space that you find enjoyable, you are less likely to make excuses to leave it and procrastinate on your work. The lack of physical discomfort may also make it easier for you to find your creative flow.
To recap, the 7 tips to designing a workspace that will harness your creative spirit are to make a Pinterest board, get organized, use color strategically, create a zone for each activity, make your decor inspiring, choose the right lighting, and consider your comfort.
I hope these tips help you design a workspace for yourself that inspires creativity. Now go out and start preparing your own dream space!
I would love to hear about what elements are must-haves in your office. Let me know in the comments or take pictures and share them with me on Instagram.