Welcome Erika Ward from Erika Ward Interiors!
Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn, Melissa Smith, Paige W. Pendleton, Delaney Diamond, Carol Kilgore, Donna @the House on the Corner, Christine, and Lindi asked how to reclaim their office, their muse, and their writing zen.
As a young girl, I was a complete bookworm and loved to write. My all time dream was to become a journalist, but it wasn't until my teen years that I fell in love with interior design. At home, surrounded by decorators and an accomplished architect, is where I learned that God made us all creators. I was also taught how to help others enjoy the work of their hands and soon, myself, formed the heart of a teacher.A formal degree in design managed to elude me in college where I received a degree in Finance from The University of Georgia. That degree afforded me the opportunity to work for well known design/build firms and to manage multi-million dollar construction budgets. Being in the environment of design and construction made my heart yearn even more for a full time career in design. I took the next step and enrolled and completed coursework in Interior Design at American InterContinental University. In 2005, I established Erika Ward Interiors and never looked back.
Check out our tips for helping them - and YOU! - reclaim their writing spaces and reenergize their creativity! DesignWrite->>
Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn, whose Bittersweet Obsessions has just released this month with Smashwords and Kindle and Nook (whew!), shares her office with everything else in the house that doesn't have its own spot yet. That's right - this busy author is in the spare room. But she has just settled in a new home after moving from Maryland to Arkansas, so she has a good opportunity to take her time and incorporate her office into her home in a truly organic way.
Camouflage your office by incorporating it into your home's decor. Notice how this designer cleverly used similar fabrics and furnishings in the adjacent room blending the two spaces.
How do you like this space Melissa Smith?
Melissa moves from room to room to room with her laptop writing her novel, meeting her #wordmongering wordcount and her supportive writer's blog, MissLisswriter. Maybe this pic will inspire an office space for your home.
"Let's get warmed up to the idea of repurposing the dining room by removing the table setting and all but one chair. Now you have the home office you've been wanting. Use a couple of drawers in the adjacent buffet for file storage. Return chairs to table when company arrives. Easy. Done."
|Under the Tiki Hut|
Her dogs are kind enough to share their space with her.
>>>This sounds too simple, but camoflage the dog hair! You didn't think I'd tell you to actually clean, did you?! If you have a black dog, stay away from light colors and whites --they are not your friend. PatternPatternPattern!
And if you need to claim your space, offer a pillow or a corner with their toys so they stay entertained. But you knew that already. I have a cat, so I'm lucky if she deigns to grace me with her presence when she's hungry or lonely. >>>So, guess I will offer the cleaning tip: if you're out of lint rollers & you want to sweep up the pet hair fast, get out the old latex household rubber gloves, the kind with the textured fingers. They sweep up that pet hair faster than you can say "Off the couch!"
Both Donna and Christine have space issues- too much work on too small surfaces. Christine writes 'sassy contemporary romances with an emotional edge' and writes the blog Digging out of Distraction. As a writer who needs to spread out hard copies to edit, she needs a big (big!) surface to work on.
Donna writes the blog, Donna's house on the Corner, all about running a peaceful though busy home. We met on the Tuesday Train Bloghop, and she always has charming photographs and stories about life in a small town. She collects, she scrapbooks, and I bet she coupons too-- all of which takes over the kitchen table, the dining room table, the desk... you get the idea.
>>> Don't settle for anything smaller than 30x60; that's the standard size of a receptionist's or secretary's desk. If you can buy one at an office furniture store with a return on one side (the surface that makes the 'L' shape)-- even better.
But for DIY, you can buy a plain, unfinished hollow core interior door from the home supply megastore that will give you 30" to 36" of depth, 80"( 6' 8" ) of length. Mount on top of bookcases, modular cubes, sawhorses.... You get the idea. This is a freestanding, portable version of the all white version pictured below. Great for students or renters.
"First, when seeking decorating inspiration, do not look to recreate the exact room you may see here or somewhere else. Really examine the space to accurately determine your needs.
Second, shop other areas of your home for furniture that may be useful in your office. Notice this homeowner uses a dining room buffet to house fabric and sewing notions."
Feldman Architecture, San Francisco CA
For CJ, who will not be blinking for the next year. And that link will take you to a post that will make you cry. >>> Reclaiming an abandoned bedroom with a typical long narrow closet? That adorable writing or extra small student desk would fit perfectly in here:
|Replace the doors with a tension rod & drapes. Power up that back wall so you can plug that copier IN the wall, without power cords running everywhere! An alternative to the lamp is a fluorescent strip -- the kind that runs along kitchen cabinet bottoms. It can plug into the wall as well- just watch your outlet placement.|
Lindi Peterson, Her Best Catch
Two high powered authors with busy lives who need to unplug, unwind, rest and rejuvenate their creative minds.
With a book release comes a whirlwind of blog tours, book signings and book club visits, along with keeping up your blog, your website, your Facebook page and Twitter accounts....
AND your day job!
No wonder Lindi's got a disaster area and wants some soothing color, and Delaney needs an ergonomically designed chair and keyboard -- both of these are whole posts on their own.
>>>Sometimes you just have to get zen, and a bubble bath isn't handy.
Make a tranquil space somewhere in your home. Clear out EVERYTHING (I mean EVERYTHING)
and give yourself the Luxury of Space and Light.
Limit accessories and furnishings to your three favorite things.
Be amazed at how clearly you can concentrate, how relaxed you feel, how easily you solve those plot twists and pesky character arcs.
It doesn't have to be Asian.
It just has to... be.
Last but the best of all:
"Refresh your color scheme by recovering pillows or reupholstering chair cushions."
>>>> What could be simpler? Delaney, this ergonomic chair project is for you! I know I know... those office chairs are u g l y. But with a screwdriver, a staple gun, some time and patience, and maybe a hunky wrestler to help you keep track of all the hardware you'll be disassembling, you too can achieve the results here:
|>Writers everywhere! You want this chair! Back adjustments, height adjustments, casters.|
No sewing - just a screwdriver, a staple gun, and time. Just don't lose any of the screws you remove- you'll need them to put it all back together again.
Ergonomic, Economic, and Eco Friendly Genius!
Got more inspired ideas? Questions? Suggestions? Leave them in the comments or tweet them to @PamelaVMason or @ErikaatBluLabel with #designwrite.
We know, we both have long twitter names. If it's a long one, you may have to dm or email me.
@ErikaatBluLabel also participates in #homeoffice chat on Twitter - Follow to find her there!