How to engineer your home office to keep your creative mind flowing


Photo Credit: Kalawin

The space around you directly impacts your mood, whether you realize it or not. You might think your brain ignores the pile of laundry in the corner or the distracting art on the wall, but it doesn’t. Your brain is constantly taking in environmental input and assessing it for importance, even when you’re not aware of what’s happening. The more clutter your brain has to process, the more depleted and exhausted you’ll get without knowing why.

A dull, cluttered environment is distracting and impedes creativity. If that’s what your home office is like, it’s time for a change. Here are some ideas to keep your creative mind flowing while you work:

  1. Immerse yourself in luxury

Turning your home office into a luxurious space isn’t as expensive as it sounds. All you need are some high-end pieces of furniture, a few wall decorations, and possibly a new carpet.

Start by acquiring a professional high-quality desk that won’t make your office look cramped. You don’t need to buy the biggest or the most expensive desk on the market. Head to your local office supply store and you’ll find plenty of affordable options. For an extra fee, they’ll put it together and you can take it home assembled.

While you’re at the office supply store, grab a chair with full back support. You can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for a good chair. If you prefer a leather executive chair, be sure the chair provides lower back support and leans forward enough for you to work comfortably.

Another way to feel luxurious is to turn your office into the kind of study you’d expect to see in a mansion. If you’re not sure what luxurious studies look like, use these photos for inspiration. You probably won’t have a real fireplace in your office, but an electric wood stove will create a similar effect. An electric wood stove will also keep you warmer than a fireplace when it’s cold, so it’s definitely a smart addition to your office.

New carpet doesn’t sound like a luxury item, but that’s probably because you’ve never installed new carpet. If you’re walking on old, dirty, dingy carpet, it’s time for a change. Rip it all up and install a plush carpet in a neutral color like gray or beige.

It’s perfectly okay to replace only the carpet in your office. Your office is your sanctuary and when you’re inside, what’s on the other side of the door doesn’t matter.

  1. Be a minimalist

A simple way to make your office look luxurious is to be a minimalist. For instance, rather than buying a fancy corner desk and an executive leather chair, get a pneumatic or electric adjustable desk. You’ll be able to switch from sitting to standing in mere seconds and your desk area will be just as large as any other desk.

  1. Be messy – sometimes

One person’s clutter is another person’s organized system. At least, that’s what science says these days.

A series of experiments performed at the University of Minnesota suggest that people working in a messy office are more likely to come up with creative ideas than people working in a tidy office. That’s surprising, but it seems to make sense. In a tidy environment, people tend to follow the rules and do what’s expected of them. In a messy environment, people feel like they can break the rules and defy the status quo.

Although this research looks like the perfect excuse to keep a messy office, other research has shown that people working in tidy spaces are more likely to follow through on difficult tasks. It turns out, working in a messy space is only good for coming up with creative ideas and has the opposite effect on productivity.

If you’re in a creative phase and your office looks like it just got hit by a tornado, don’t worry about cleaning it up until it’s time to start working and hit those deadlines.

Find décor that makes you happy

If it makes you happy seeing photos of your family and pets on the wall, that’s how you should decorate. If you prefer paintings of barns or bronze statues – great. The point isn’t to turn your office into an ideal cover photo for a luxury magazine. The point is to create an environment that appeals to your tastes and supports your creative flow.

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