So you've wanted your own area to get creative for a long time. But you keep putting it off. You're busy, tired, there's just not enough time in the day.
Well the long weekend is coming and it's time to do something for yourself. It isn't going to be as hard as you think it is, and we're here to help.
List Your Needs Vs Your Wants
One of the easiest ways to shut down a project before it begins is by feeling overwhelmed. Especially if you're planning to get cracking straight away.
Don't put so much pressure on yourself. Begin by listing the things you need vs the things you want. This will also stop you from sinking in cash too quickly and crying over your bank statement later.
Basic supplies, tools, equipment and stationary may be necessary now, but is a brand new MacBook Pro? Start small. Make sure that you're committed and enjoying your creative area before dropping fat stacks.
For more on lists and prioritising:
- How To Organise Your Entire Life With Trello
- For A More Efficient To-Do List, Make It Public
- How Can I Prioritise When There's So Many Competing Tasks?
Get The Perfect Chair And Desk
These are two items that should definitely be on your Need List.
If you plan of spending a significant amount of time in your creative space — you don't want to be uncomfortable. We all know about the importance of ergonomics, and this extends beyond the office.
Ask yourself — Am I comfortable? Can I sit here for hours on end? Will it fit into the space that I have? Is it big enough? Is it too big? Choose a desk and a chair that is right for you — not just the first ones that you see.
For more on ergonomics:
- How To Ergonomically Optimise Your Workspace
- Quickly Find The Perfect Height For Your Office Chair
- How To Stay Healthy In The Office: Pay Attention To Ergonomics
Carve Out A Corner
If you only have a small space to work with (we can't all have entire rooms on garages to dedicate to our craft) — never fear! This doesn't mean you can't have a space just for you.
Even the corner of a room can be transformed if you're creative enough. You just need to take advantage of every nook and cranny. In fact...
For more on small spaces:
- Make The Most Of Your Space In A Small Workshop
- How To Make The Most Of A Small Workspace
- This Workbench Is Perfect For Small-Space DIY Projects
Leave Room For Storage
As nice as it is to imagine a perfect, Instagram-worthy space — that isn't practical for actually doing things. You'll need room for your tools, supplies, tech and any other bits and pieces.
To save your desk or work bench turning into a nightmare, make room for storage. If you don't have a lot of room to play with, utilise creative storage options such as stackable drawers and boxes.
And don't forget all of the unused space on your wall. Vertical hangers and shelving are perfect for this. Or if you want to take it a step further — opt for a peg board. Crafters, wood workers and anyone in between can benefit from having a personalised tool box on their wall.
Not only do these look great, they're incredibly practical. You reach everything you need without rummaging through drawers, and it gives you more desk space to work with.
For more on storage:
- Build Your Own Desk Accessories With Leftover 4x4 Pieces
- Five Tips For Setting Up The Ideal Home Office
- Top 10 Creative Ways To Store Your Stuff
- How To Hide Cables In Plain Sight
There's more to lighting than just being able to see what you're doing — although that's always helpful.
Having access to natural light is always preferable when it comes to creating an optimal working environment. If this isn't possible, or you want to utilise your creative space during the events — you'll need a Plan B.
The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that darkness can remove people's feelings of constraint, and thus foster creativity. Now this doesn't mean that you need to sit in the dark, but you could invest in a lighting option that allows you to dim it when you want to be creative.
This will also be useful for when you need to focus on the task at hand, as brighter lights are more useful in this circumstance. Alternatively, if you need something more specialised for certain projects, you may want to consider an LED magnifier lamp that will illuminate the finer details.
For more on lighting:
- Boost Productivity By Adjusting Your Workspace's Lighting And Temperature
- Are Smart Lights More Efficient Than Regular LEDs?
It's your space, after all.
Decorate the area with things that inspire you. This can be anything from mementos to books to vision boards. If you're short on room, you can even bring creativity into the colours you use in the decoration. Perhaps you want to set your senses ablaze with bright shades. Or maybe you need to feel relaxed, so you'll opt for pastels. Maybe you simply like blue.
The point is to truly make it your own. You do you.
For more on creative spaces and decorating:
- Keep Separate Desks For Creative And Regular Work
- When Decorating With Colour, Use The Rule Of Three
- Simple Rules Of Thumb For Decorating Your Walls
- How To Use Basic Design Principles To Decorate Your Home
Make It A Living Space
What better way to literally breathe life into your space than a plant or two?
Not only do plants and flowers lift a space aesthetically, they have been known to have physical and psychological benefits. A recent study by the University of Exeter revealed that people who had plants in their offices were 15% more productive than those without. There's no reason why you can't adapt this practice to your personal creative space.
If you don't have the greenest of thumbs, you might consider something that requires a little less maintenance, such as a succulent terrarium or cactus.
For more on plants: