Whether you work for a living from home, or you simple need and want a space to create, write, paint, meditate, sew, craft or work out, your home can either inspire creativity or interfere with it.
The ambiance should stimulate contemplation and ideation. So, between some great suggestions by our designers and a little contemplation of our own, we’ve assembled a few pointers for a productive creative-space.
First of all, don’t wait for the perfect space or ideal collection of furnishings to keep you from getting down to it. Many of us who create at home are pursuing a passion. And that entrepreneurial process is always evolving. Your space will too.
There are a few essentials, however. You need, at minimum, enough space for a work surface and a chair. Give plenty of consideration to these two pieces. Does the table you use need to be smooth, stain resistant, expandable? Will rustic, distressed woods inspire you or be too irregular to work on?
Our Isle Sur La Sorgue Writing Desk is a great choice for a small space. The hinged writing surface flips down exposing a leather-covered writing pad and a panorama of drawers, cubbyholes and slots for storage. And then, at the end of your writing session, flip the surface up again to keep your creations safe and secure.
If your needs require a work surface that is not porous (when you’re working with paint, dye, markers, or prone to spilling your chosen caffeine) consider a table with a marble surface. Our Grenoble Marble Top Bistro Table would be perfect. Its cast iron base is supremely stable and the vibe of the grey finish has a touch of French cafe and a touch of industrial factory to it. We loved it the minute we found it in a French antique shop. As with marble kitchen counter tops, the Grenoble’s top is easily cleaned with a sponge. We also appreciate that this table is narrow, but more than three feet long because sometimes you just need to spread things out lengthwise to work.
Chairs to Sink Into
Pair either of the great tables described above with a really comfortable chair. And we mean really comfortable. Your body will thank you! A truly agreeable chair also allows for longer sit-time, which means you’re apt to be creative longer.
A chair like our alluring Avignon Tufted Back is all about comfort. The perfect pitch to the sumptuously tufted fan back tapers into plush, padded, not-too-high armrests. And the Avignon’s cushion is down-wrapped making it a great chair to lean back in. All the better to admire your handiwork.
If you’re looking for a chair with a straight back but is just as lush on the tush, check out our Oval Back Bergere Side Chair. The thick cushioning on the seat and oval-shaped back make it an excellent choice.
Just under work surface and chair on the priority list for a creative space is some type of storage.
Creativity is messy and it’s supposed to be. But if you have a place to keep things or an organizational method, you’ll be better able to find what you need when you need it. One tip is to resist the urge to stock everything you might need close at hand. Instead, keep the objects and accessories you use at least once a day nearby. Duplicates, stockpiles, and seldom-used supplies and devices can be fetched when needed.
Consider a storage case or cabinet like our adaptable Fantine Linen Cabinet. Yes, the name says “linen” but the antique inspiration for this design was originally used to store canning jars. So you see what we mean by adaptable. The Fantine has a petite footprint and four adjustable shelves. Plus, it’s just so pretty.
And for those of us who employ inspiration boards for our creative endeavors, take a peek at our Allier Framed Linen Board. This handy piece comes in two sizes, each with a stunning hand-carved mango wood frame. The finish is antique ivory—a lovely neutral to allow the items tacked on its linen surface to take prominence.
Using bulletin boards and baskets is a smart way to bring controlled chaos to your space, and to let inspiration pieces command attention. Our uber-creative designers say displaying ideas and leaving thought-starter objects in full view aids creativity and helps ingenuity flow. They also say leaving a current project out subtly forces you to give the job your time and attention. Nice trick.
Sufficient but soft lighting is also an imperative and Soft Surroundings has beautiful table and floor lamps to make that happen. Two of our latest additions are the Tangier Table Lamp and the Cote De Lumiere Table Lamp.
Lamps are a simple was to show your style and personality, too. For example, if your project requires playful invention, or if you just want to feel that way, check out our Lapin Lapereau Lamp. This frisky little rabbit will be happy to keep an eye on you.
One More Thing
One last tip from our endlessly ingenious designers is to repurpose. Our Alsace Grape Storage Crate can hold tubes of rolled designs or yoga mats with inimitable style. Our Burgundy Bar Cart can become a materials station on wheels, loaded with all your must-haves to take to another room or corner. An antique serving dish can hold pencils, scissors, paintbrushes and personality.