A Balancing Act by Susan Robertson

A Balancing Act

A new season is upon us and we’re starting to embrace the new year and decade. With that, comes the opportunity for some refreshing in our homes, and perhaps in our lifestyles and careers too. 

We all want the ideal work/life scenario which can often end up more of a juggle than a balance, but we are blessed to live in a time where there are many options available to us for flexible and home working, or even running our own business. This is only likely to increase this decade as we move away from the traditional working week structures, and the concept of a ‘job for life’ becomes more alien. 

There are numerous success stories of friends joining forces to create small businesses from ideas brainstormed around the kitchen table, which then take off and become hugely impactful, think of businesses like ‘Notonthehighstreet.com’ which have inspired many to realise that they can create something from nothing without massive premises. We have more opportunity to develop career portfolios, which can sometimes take a process of exploration and building either in a freelance or contract capacity, while possibly also running a small business from your home. This is a great way to spend bursts of time doing different roles focussed around your strengths, rather than the repetition sometimes associated with a traditional 9 to 5 function. 

So, to bring this back into the world of homes and interiors, how can you best arrange your surroundings to enhance your creative flow? Where, how and when do you work best? Do you need a comfy corner with a laptop for the odd few emails, or a dedicated home office where you will spend considerable time? 

If it’s the former, perhaps you could invest in a solid statement snuggler sofa tucked into a quiet corner. Add a full size angelpoise lamp to offer you the directional light you may need in the evening, or find a spot near a window if you are to work mostly in daytime. Keep in mind practicalities such as making sure you have a few electricity sockets close by for all your chargers, and a neat storage system for your bits and bobs. Buildable cube shelf designs are great for storing laptops and files, but you can also dedicate some space to books that will inspire you so you can take a mental break if you need it, without leaving the comfort of your position. 

If you need a bigger space, you may have the luxury of a home office. If you’re starting from scratch and have budget available, this is a great room to get an expert eye for, as you can really set up foundations of energy flows and colours that will inspire you, or you can inadvertently create the opposite effect. I know myself the difference in how you feel about your work depending on how well your space works for you, and whether it empowers you or depresses you is going to reflect in your output. Sometimes home offices can inadvertently become bland hotchpotches of beige and the ubiquitous black leather desk chair on wheels. Spend some time and money on carefully selected seating so that you are comfortable and well-supported. I can testify that upcycling a lovely wooden chair to type in seemed a great idea at the time and looks lovely, but I’m restricted to short stints of discomfort as I wriggle around trying to get comfy when I should be taking some of my own suggestions on board! 

Work around the practicalities by planning out your light and electricity sources, and make sure you have plenty of flexible storage to keep files and paperwork in order. This is such a practical room, and also an emotionally connected one, an interior designer can help you to get the balance of these things right, and will probably help you consider elements that you wouldn’t otherwise think of yourself so that you can proactively create the ideal functional space as opposed to allowing it to organically and illogically evolve around you. 

Identify the best space and position for your work, and if you’re short of room at home, perhaps it’s time to invest in building an outdoor office. You can source these locally for surprisingly reasonable time and cost investments. 

Pull it all together with some careful thought on colour. Minimal looks work well with warm whites and pale wood, this is great for creating calm thinking spots. Depending on your own personality you might like to add a statement piece of furniture to brighten up your day, or treat yourself to a big inspiring artwork where you can let your eyes linger when looking for inspiration. 

This is a great time to set up a working space that works well for you and your lifestyle, which will also help as you grow into achieving your goals for the coming decade. 

Images of products available at hoosglasgow.co.uk

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