How to Balance Your Work and Lifestyle in a Home Office

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Image: uncovet

Ahhh! The home office. To many, it sounds like a dream – the ultimate way of living and working. If you’ve ever actually done it, you know that creating the right balance of work and life can be tricky. There are the everyday distractions of laundry, dishwashing, babysitting, getting mail, etc.

I worked from home for the first year that I lived in our tiny Copenhagen apartment. My “office” was our living room. It wasn’t ideal, but it’s what I had. Because I do a lot of crafting for my job, my projects would be strewn throughout the room with nowhere else to store it for the evening. Thankfully, after awhile I got a studio space downtown. I could leave my work at work, and come home and be home.

Though I much preferred an outside studio space, sometimes that just isn’t an option, so I’ve created a few tips for balancing out work/life/design for your home studio.

One Wall

Stacking Shelves
Images: (Left) Pinterest, (Right) 79 Ideas

If a full room is not an option for your studio/office, try and arrange just one wall. Like a skyscraper, build up. You’ll maximize your space by utilizing stacking shelves, which also creates visual interest.

Work Within Your Living Space

Home Office
Images: (Left) Behance, (Right) Pinterest

If you can’t devote one wall to your “office,” then work with the existing living spaces you already have. Find beautiful organizational furniture pieces so that they won’t be an eye sore to the rest of the space. For example, the image on the left shows a beautiful wooden shelving unit for flat papers. It fits onto a tiny wall in the space and can be mixed in with sofas and chairs to work with a living room.

Another great example is the split-level office/living space on the right. Sure, we may not have such a unique space to begin with, but it’s a great example of combining two different functions within one space. Plus it only takes up a small portion of the room.

Maximize What You Have

Office Space Savers
Images: (Top Left) Arch Daily, (Top Right) Pinterest, (Bottom Left) flodeau, (Bottom Right) Elina Järvinen

There are some great gadgets and furniture to help you maximize your space. Check out this fold-up desk on the bottom left; it comes with built-in storage. The shelving unit on the bottom right is also a great space saver, and comes with take out shelves to use as project boards. Additionally, the top left image shows a series of clips for the purpose of displaying work or reminders, freeing up desk space. Lastly, get creative with where you would usually put things on the ground, like in the top right image. Rather than stick papers in a tub on the ground, with just a few hooks you can attach them to the back of a door.

What are some ideas you have for balancing your lifestyle and office?

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Brittany Watson Jepsen is an American designer and crafter who just returned to America after 2 1/2 years in wonderful Copenhagen, Denmark. Her motto is "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness" and she lives each day accordingly. During graduate school for interior design she spent one summer working for designers Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble and another summer studying textile design at the Danish Design School. She created her blog, The House That Lars Built, as a way to keep her designing and crafting. She currently runs her blog and her etsy shop, where she sells her home accessories and paper flowers.