In today’s blog post, I would like to invite you into my house to see the room that I love and live in the most: my workspace. For years, I have wanted a room that I could dedicate to creativity … something that I could customize to reflect my style! When Hernán and I bought our (first!) home in April of this year, we immediately zoned in on one particular room to dedicate to creativity and entrepreneurship.
The Room Before
Our house was built in 1958, and it appears that for all of those years, the now-workspace was used as a bedroom. I loved the room because of its ample light and gorgeous original wooden floors … but the blue ceiling fan detracted from the natural elegance.
The Room After
The first thing we did to the room was replace the ceiling fan with a more sleek, midcentury modern fan. I’ve read interior design blogs that say ceiling fans are “out”, but I love ceiling fans! (On summer days, we open the windows and turn the fan on low, which creates a nice, fresh breeze.) Next, we changed the wall color to a more business-like gray (“Sedate Gray” by Sherwin Williams), and we painted the ceiling “Moderne White”. We finished up by painting all of the trims with semigloss “Dover White”, which made a big difference!
Hernán and I work together in this room, so we wanted two identical tables that we could push together to make a large desk. Not only that, but we wanted to make sure the tables we purchased were high-quality and had personality and history. We found our winners in two farmhouse tables from The Front Range Flea Market in Longmont, CO!
I keep my most-used art and calligraphy supplies on the right side of my desk. They’re always at hand when I need them!
More often than not, Hernán — my husband — sits across from me, working on his own stuff. He is the web developer for this website, so a lot of his time goes toward making sure everything runs smoothly here! He devotes the other half of his time to working on “virtual reality applications and topology optimization of multiphysics problems” … his words, not mine.
The Chalkboard Wall + Photo Station
I have always dreamed of a workspace with a chalkboard wall, so we used chalkboard paint to cover the west wall. Once the paint dried, I decided to cover the wall with a Mexican Talavera tile-inspired motif.
The chalkboard art took about a month of work, but the result was worth all of the time that I spent on it! I find myself constantly looking at the wall, and it makes me feel happy every time I see it.
While some chalkboards are meant to be erased and redone, I think that I will keep this design up for at least a few years.
The chalkboard wall area is home to two pieces of furniture: my photo station and the cabinet that houses the bulk of my supplies. The photo station sits on top of a funny-looking desk. I had reservations about the desk’s shape, but it was $1.00 at Goodwill, so we decided to go for it.
As it turns out, the desk works well in the space, and it even has a little drawer to keep my photo background fabrics in.
The cabinet was also a thrift store find, and it provides storage for paper and supplies.
People tend to neglect closets; as a result, most closets are a safe color like white or light beige. Not this closet! I painted it deep blue and put a shelf in it. That shelf is home to large things that cannot fit in the white cabinet, like collections of envelopes and books.
The closet also houses ribbons, which I use for photos and for projects. Those hang on the clothing rod, which makes it easy to choose one of them at a glance.
Things in the Workspace that Make Me Happy
Whether your workspace takes up an entire room or just a portion of a desk, it’s important to surround yourself with things that make you feel good. I keep this figurine, which I inherited from my grandmother, on top of the cabinet. When I was younger, I admired the figurine every time I went to my grandmother’s house. Now, I admire it at my own house, and it’s special because it reminds me of my grandmother.
I also keep my stack of Flow Magazines accessible. I love Flow, and if I’m in a creative rut, one magazine issue or another always sparks inspiration! The stone mermaid who sits beside Flow is also special! I picked her up on an amazing trip to Villa Itatiaia in Brazil.
Finally, I love my two photo lamps. There’s no cool sentimental story behind them, but they have revolutionized my photography process. I used to have to wait for the perfect time of day to achieve good lighting, but now I can take photos any time of day, even at night!
So, there you have it! The room that you just toured is where I happily spend most of my days getting to be creative. Before you head out, though, I want to mention two things. First of all, my workspace is never as clean as it appears to be in the photos. Don’t hold yourself up to that neatness standard because I certainly don’t! I always have papers and art supplies strewn about.
Secondly, I absolutely don’t want you to think that you have to dedicate an entire room to art or calligraphy in order to experience success. TPK started in 2012 at a tiny desk that we wedged into the corner of our first apartment here in Boulder, an apartment that was barely bigger than the desk! From 2013 to earlier this year, I worked in this room, which was spacious — but difficult to customize because we were renters. So, if your space isn’t what you want it to be right now, don’t worry about it! That won’t stop you from making amazing things, I promise.
I hope that you enjoyed the “tour”! If you have any questions or observations, please feel free to contribute to the comments. I’m always happy to hear from you! Thanks so much for reading TPK, and enjoy the rest of your week!