Reimagined Home Office

Is this even a thing? Creating a liveable yet productive work space at home seems to be the current trend for many homeowners and renters.  Today, creating a home office, den, or a flexible workstation seems to be on high demand by everyone, since working from home is extremely common.

 

Let’s dial in on Five Key Home Office Design Tips from the pros!

Home Office
How to Improve my home office space you ask?

SPACE.  Your physical space can create a great deal of friction when trying to work from home. Does your home workspace have all the makings of an excellent work zone? Remember, “Location, location, location”… Do you have a nice nook, an open space or a spare room that could work as a workplace? How much space do you really need? Do your work projects require digital or physical space to spread out books, catalogues, samples? Do you need storage? Do you collaborate or virtually meet with other team members or clients from your workspace? The location of your work zone is important if you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions.

SOUND is very important when working from home, especially if you participate in lots of virtual meetings or calls with your officemates or clients. Headsets are important, and so is the concept of creating a low noise space for minimal interruptions.  Does your workspace have a door or even a screen you can slide across? Think about where in your home your workstation is set up and ways to reduce sound. Try to tuck into a quiet zone if at all possible. And if concentration is really important to you, and you live in a busy household, finding a quiet space to work is essential.

AIR QUALITY is usually overlooked when thinking about where to put a home workstation. Let’s think about concentration again—where certain scents can really disrupt you—nasty bathroom odours wafting into your work zone or burning toast that sets the smoke alarm off, wreaking total havoc and making refocusing challenging at best! So let’s look at placement of your workspace for optimal results. Fact: Did you know that casinos pump pure oxygen into their facilities to ensure their guests are wide awake while trying to win at the tables and slots? There is one sure fire reason for keeping air quality clean and fresh; it keeps you alert. Indoor plants are a great way to assist in lowering carbon dioxide and helping to reduce some toxins in your space.

LIGHTING. If colour and light work in tandem in physical spaces, then it is absolutely essential to harmonize these two key elements to create an effective working environment. In your home office, you may want to think about lighting specific task areas to begin with, then move onto assessing your lighting needs further.

Natural light is effective in making a space feel light and bright; this, in combination with modern LED options, means we can create many spaces that feel jus that—light and bright! I personally like to be see what’s happening outside; sometimes a quick watch on weather or a natural time-keeping method. If you have the option to simulate daylight synthetically with LED ‘daylight’ lighting, this will help to keep you alert similar to a traditional office environment, yet in the comfort of your own home. Blue light exposure on screens and devices can negatively affect your circadian rhythm, and lighting can help to offset this. Experts say if you have long workdays or nights, try to get outside into the natural light or just walk outdoors whenever possible; it helps to rebalance your circadian rhythm, which in turn can support sleep effectiveness, enhance your immune system, and improve your overall productivity.

COLOUR. Colour in your workspace is personal, and one size does not fit all! Each workspace is a little different, as are each client’s needs. Yet there are some colours that can be very effective to light up a dark space, and studies show some shades of yellow or colours with yellow undertones can stimulate brain activity, cognitive function and keep you alert for longer periods of time. However, there are some scenarios where warm colours are not effective in a workspace, especially in a high stress role. Be sure to steer clear of red as experts say these colours will make you more anxious. It will do the same to your audience if used as a Zoom call background. Too much red can just be too much! It’s all in the tonal value when working with intense colours. Blues and shades of green can be calming colours, yet lighting and intensity is everything. White and grey while nice in certain spaces, can make you look pale and sickly, and too much grey can be depressing. Colour balance is the key with these neutral colours. These are extreme live/work colour scenarios, but everyone has unique requirements for the functionality of their space! For optimal results, you should feel physically and emotionally comfortable and ‘presentation ready’ for virtual meetings in your new work zone, thus allowing you to be on your A Game!

 

There are many things to consider when creating an effective work/live space at home, and it can at times be overwhelming.

Take it step by step to try to resolve this challenge, or call in a professional to speed up your productive workspace creating process.

 

Until next time… Janine@janinemay.ca

 

 

Upcycled Organization Station!

Staying organized and keeping events/ dates all straight is always tricky!

Yes of course, we have Smart Phones to keep our calendars…. yet sometimes we need to hang some important keys, necklace, lanyard, pin up a fast note or save a cool label, ticket or picture!  If you are a visual person like me, gosh I need a reminder board as a landing space,  to quickly glance at it each day as I run out!

Upcycling made this board redesign almost free! 

Upcycled Cork board MOD & Deep Styling!

 

Here’s How to create your own old school Cork board Hack!

  • Select a dramatic latex paint colour!
  • (Note: You can use a contrasting colour from your walls or your wall paint for a monochromatic look!)
  • Paint with roller or brush 2 coats of paint, let dry between coats
  • Clean up edges or frame or repaint frame- depending on material of frame you may have to use a spray paint
  • I created metallic thumb tacks by spraying a light coat of metallic spray paint to old tacks (picture included)
  • Select your favourite colour note paper as ‘To Do Notes”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Have Fun with your old school cork board and ‘Pin Up’ whatever your smart phone will not hold!

Solar Garden

Planning for spring and the growing year ahead this past year was so invigorating!

We set out to teach our little one all about how gardens grow, where do vegetables come from and what is the solar process of the plants!

This was nothing like container or small urban gardening– this was a massive undertaking.

On a plot of land, we plotted, cleared and worked a series of long rectangular patches. Using recycled cedar, we created boxes, partially sunk into the ground to maintain the earth, lined with heavy duty landscape fabric and filled with triple mix soil!

We planned the design to be all fenced in and protected from local wildlife, so we sunk large posts, created wooden gates and an arbor to grow some grapes thru the centre!

Alternating seeds with tiny seedlings we started, veggies with flowers and herbs we created an eclectic arrangement of natures finest colours.

 

Growing everything from corn, beets, eggplants, peppers, carrots (heirloom), tomatoes, broccoli and loads of basil and strawberries, etc. What a fun project to get little ones involved in, especially if they have never seen this type of garden growing before!

Garden in Late July!

We all pitched in watering, weeding and picking- what a project! Hard work paid off for terrific results for harvests  for years to come!

Now what were we going to do with all these veggies?   …. That’s another story!

Let’s just say, everyone got organic homemade pickles for Christmas!

Sunflowers were 8 + feet high!

 

 

 

 

Here Comes the Sun!

Experience Colour Everyday…. the Sun is Always Shining in My Studio!

You are Invited to join this Colourful Adventure!

Purposefully discovering the pure essence of colour inspirations for design…. decor…. or wherever colour takes you!  We discover colour in the world around us each day… it can be subtle or it can be dynamic.

Colour is SUCH a powerful element to create with.  We all experience colour uniquely, so be sure to enjoy the world in living colour!

Yellow is full of Energy and Freshness! A burst of Sunshine, a ray of light or a hopeful yellow ribbon tied to a tree!

The Power Colour: YELLOW

Yellow is full of energy, vitality and a hit of freshness! A powerful burst of sunshine, a ray of light or a hopeful yellow ribbon tied to a tree!  

Wearing yellow is empowering!  In a sea of grey or black clothes, which are great background colours, you will not stand out.  Each time I wear yellow to an event or meeting, someone invariably comments “I love the freshness yellow brings to your look!”

Yellow is said to stimulate intellect and creativity, filling your mind with positive energy.  It is always seen as a happy colour!…remember, Smileys are yellow!

George Harrison wrote the famed Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” as a relief to the long grey winter, getting outside to finally enjoy some spring sunlight, from the dull winter 1969 England.

 

What’s the sense of yellow anyway?

Yellow in Nature: Bananas (a source of Vitamin D), canaries, honeybees, daffodils, buttercups, day lilies, lemons, etc.

Scent: Citrus, uplifting, zippy, fresh.

Taste: Straight lemons make your mouth pucker, but lemon tea is refreshing.

Yellow in Design: Welcoming, warmth and cheery atmosphere is created. If someone is unwell, try  bringing yellow into their space through flowers or accessories to lift the spirit and reflect light.

Ding! I have an Idea!

Soft yellows (think butter) are stunning on walls in children’s rooms, just be sure to temper the shades, as saturated tones can create excitement making bedtimes a challenge!

Bright pops of canary or sunshine yellow lend themselves well to modern design, whereas more toned ochre, gold or mustard are often seen in traditional or heritage designs.

 

Yellow is the perfect antidote to a dull day—have yourself a sunshine of a day filled with bright ideas!

 

Seaside Modern Bathroom- Colour Shift

Longing for Spring and the freshness it brings– I have a simple project for you!

AFTER: Cooler Grey ” Quiet Pewter by Beauti- Tone”
BEFORE

Project: Colour Shift your Bathroom

Walls: Warm to Cool Greys

Trim: Warm to Cooler whites

Just add a little seaside inspiration!

Colour Shifting this charming texture filled bathroom and some lively accessories,

transforms the space from boring to a little oasis infused with spring!

The Colour Palette & Complete Picture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open post

Found Space!

In 2018, I find myself cleaning, purging, and minimizing items at home, and yet still finding I need proper storage space!

Deep in a dark basement full of stuff, I took measurements, drew up a plan—as I am on a mission to find space—and did just that! After stripping some old paneling and framing in this basement, we uncovered an old cantina from the 1940’s hidden behind a wall. What a treasure!

Yessss! We scored some awesome cold storage, since I don’t have a second refrigerator, and we love to entertain.

Here’s how we finished the project…. 

Continue reading “Found Space!”

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