How I Repurposed Space for Creativity
The thought of working from home, for many of us, is the most perfect situation we can possibly imagine. No commute, relaxing in your pajamas, and no unwanted visits to your cubicle or office – what could be better than that?
Working from home certainly has its advantages but it does take some getting used to. It also gets tricky when you throw in family life, and making sure you have reliable technology in place.
I’ve always dreamed of having an at-home space where I can be my most creative self. Ideally, that meant a dedicated room, great natural light, and stylish but comfortable furniture. To live and work in the same space can be challenging but definitely achievable. It simply means carving out space for inspiration no matter how you live.
When I started working from home in 2015, I had also relocated to a new city. Settling into my new apartment, I quickly realized that my work space would be limited. Very limited. I was able to carve out a corner of my bedroom where I fit a small desk and chair. Luckily, it was right next to the window, so the natural light was able to pour in. I had books and papers stacked on the floor, as well as bins that held anything that wouldn’t fit on my desk. Sounds like a mess, I know. But it was actually better than it sounds!
In 2017, I relocated again. This time, I was determined to have a “regimen of space” – focusing on the details that would set it apart from my living space. Creativity can take place anywhere, and what we see can literally change how we think.
One thing for sure is that I didn’t want to have my workspace in the bedroom again. I needed them to be separate! So, I decided to repurpose the dining room into an ideal home office.
First, I made a list of what I needed and wanted for the space, from a big enough desk to ample storage. I started with essentials, knowing that I could also add more later. Then I headed over to Pinterest for inspiration. I also settled on a black and white color scheme.
Another key element was staying within a budget. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, in order to create a comfortable space that you love. I was able to maximize my dining room space to function the way I needed it to. Not wanting to look at a wall all day, I turned my desk to face the large sliding door in the living room. I get the biggest dose of natural light that is a whole mood!
Ikea has various options for customizing your own desk, at an affordable price. I went with a 59x29 desktop and traditional legs. For less than $50, you can really get creative. Knowing that I didn’t want a chair with arms (such a pet peeve!), I found the perfect armless chair on Wayfair.com as well as an area rug from Rugs.com. The simple black shag rug helped define the space, apart from the adjacent kitchen.
To give the walls some love, I placed my long-time ‘Write’ picture on the wall behind me, with a smaller picture underneath. I also printed out my three book covers, and placed them in frames that I found at Walmart. The other pictures are from Etsy.
As for storage, I went with a horizontal cube storage unit from Target, and trendy storage bins from Amazon. I decorated the unit with my favorite journals, books, and other various items. Another cube storage unit serves as my printer station, with bins that hold printer paper and office related items. Above the printer is my vision board with various projects I intend to work on this year.
Rooms to Go has fantastic ideas for repurposing your dining room space and making it work. I especially enjoy their suggestions for making the most out of your room’s layout, such as taking the right measurements of the space. This element was important for me, as I worked on my space, so that the walkway into other areas of my apartment were not blocked.
As many of us continue to work from home in the new year, focus on how you can create a space that fosters creativity and joy. Get inspired by looking at Pinterest, as well as blogs like Rooms to Go. No matter the size of your space, you can make it happen!