5 Tips for Working from Home

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Stunning home office via Kelley Nan – definitely Pin-worthy!

As someone who has had a “remote” or “outside sales” job for my entire career, I’ve pretty much mastered the art of working from home. Now, let me be clear – working from home is not for everyone. There are days where I won’t speak to another person for hours upon hours on end (even days sometimes!). Some people really thrive off a collaborative, energetic working environment (at times I miss this). Others need to be able to walk away at 5:00pm and not think about work until the next day (never have I ever been that person).

Given my experience, here are 5 tried & true ways to make your “working from home” experience the absolute best…

Create a space that works for you. It’s important to have an actual desk & chair, not just the sofa or kitchen table. I recently moved my “home office” area from the living area to the guest room and I found myself to be immediately more productive. For me, I enjoy being able to look out the window – seeing the brick building across the street nature keeps me feeling inspired! My desk is not near the television or the general area (in case the hubby comes home mid-day). Additionally, I keep a nice supply of pens, notebooks, etc. so I can truly feel like its my office. Find some home office inspiration/e-designs here, here, here & here.

Stick to a routine, especially when kicking off the day. For example: I wake up and pretty much spend from 7:00-8:00am each morning checking emails, writing blog posts, checking the news & social media, etc. Then at 8:00am, my work starts! Other than a mini-break here and there, I am in work mode from 9-5. I try my best to stick to it.

Make a list every morning. I guess this could help for those in a traditional office environment also but it helps even more so at home where there are SO many distractions. I usually make a list at the end of every day of what I need to accomplish the next day and check things off as I go. And in true OCD fashion, I rewrite the list 100x throughout the day, adding and deleting items. What can I say? I’m a freak.

Schedule breaks throughout the day to keep you sane! Luckily, I have a dog to help with this so I have a built-in morning walk, a midday lunch break & an afternoon walk. During these breaks, I make sure to refill my water bottle, grab a snack or call a friend. I don’t want to make it sound like my days are too regimented (because they usually aren’t) but I like to try to have a plan in order to keep me on track.

Probably the hardest thing to do, yet the most important, is to avoid at home tasks. It’s so tempting to want to throw in a load of laundry or catch up on RHONY (how amazing is this season, btw?!) or unload the dishwasher; however, this quickly leads down a rabbit hole. Next thing you know you’re organizing your entire hall closet and three hours have passed. (#beentheredonethat). It’s important to keep a true work vs home divide so that you can (a) be productive and (b) enjoy being home when you’re “off” work!

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Don’t get distracted by your big, comfy bed calling your name for a mid-day nap!

 

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The Power of Built Ins

One of my favorite design elements in any home is built-ins. They are one of the most effective, biggest bang-for-your-buck, practical (and functional) things you can do in your home. They’re so versatile & work in a home office, living space, hallway, bedroom or mudroom. Can you tell I’m a huge built-in fan? I’ve pulled together some inspirational pictures & areas in your home that built-ins can make a huge impact.

Home Office

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Living Room

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Hallway

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Bedroom

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Mudroom

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Who has built-ins? They really are worth the investment, y’all!

5 Stylish Home Organization Spaces

I feel that when I’m totally overwhelmed/stressed out/anxious in life (currently: 9 out of 10), one of the things that helps me most is to get (and stay!) organized. Now, y’all know I’m a huge fan of to-do lists and making the bed each morning but there are some bigger, more effective ways to stay organized in your home, while keeping things stylish. Let’s be honest, not everyone has the time, money or patience to spend hours at The Container Store buying organization pieces. Also, who wants their home to look like Martha Stewart feverishly took over each room? Ain’t nobody got time for this:

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{Sorry, Martha}

I find that there are 5 main areas in the home that not only get the messiest quickest, but cause the most added stress when they’re a clusterf**k. Let’s explore…

  1. The Pantry

Ahh, who doesn’t love an organized pantry? I hope to have a walk-in pantry one day and I know that I’ll be that annoying person with labeled jars and baskets. But, if you cook often, this type of organization is a lifesaver! Minimal waste, no spoiled food & easy access to all. This is an easy rainy day project – do it!

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{pantry via}

2. Kitchen Countertops

Lucky for me, I grew up in a home where the kitchen was always clean and that stuck with me. I prefer a minimalist kitchen, with just a few decor pieces on the counters. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing 10 appliances on the counter with a ton of knick knacks. I’m too OCD for that!

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3. Bathroom Closet

You’ve got guest towels, sheets, toiletries, hair dryers, curlers, etc. On top that, if you’re like me, your guest bathroom and master bathroom are the same thing so you’ve got a lot of stuff in a little space. Nobody likes a messy bathroom or bathroom closet. It’s gross. Spend an hour, take everything out, and re-organized it. Easy peasy!

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4. Mudroom/Laundry room

Let’s get real. Nobody likes doing laundry. It’s even more annoying when there are piles everywhere. This clean, calm space even makes me want to do laundry….a little bit.

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{mudroom via}

5. Home Office

Whether you work from home or just have an office with a family computer, this space is one of the most important to stay organized. From taxes to documents to calendars, there is so much information stored here, why have it messy? The key to a home office is to have a system- once everything has a home, you can keep it organized pretty easily.

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What’s your best organization tip?!

Home “Cloffice” E-Design

Ahh, the home “cl-office”…I know y’all know what I’m talking about. It’s the room that so many use as their closet + office. If you live in an older home (like me!) or don’t have enough extra bedrooms (me again!), then you likely have a cloffice. The key is to gather versatile pieces that can be used in multiple ways. For example: a modern, neutral bookcase can be used to store books & magazines, or to display shoes & purses. Woven baskets can be used to store blueprints or scarves. You get this idea…

Let’s take a look at what I’ve put together:

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{Rug // Art // Desk // Basket // Bookshelves // Chair // Paint}

Do you have a “cloffice”?

Friday Faves

Happy Friday y’all!

Why does the first week back always seem like the longest?

This weekend’s calendar has a friend’s art show + dinner on Friday, a local museum + lunch on Saturday and my favorite hip hop yoga class on Sunday. Enjoy your weekend!

My dream kitchen…

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A cozy nook of a bedroom. Love the white wash walls & ceiling…

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Industrial chic kitchen- great for those of us with exposed brick walls…

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Ahh, outdoor space. I’m ready for summer already…

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Monochromatic home office at its finest…

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New Year Revamp: Home Office

With a new year comes opportunity for change. For revamping your style & revitalizing your home. I’ll be introducing a 6 week series called “new year revamp”  that will include home office (today), guest bedroom, master bedroom, main living space, guest/hall bath & kitchen. These won’t be major renovations, but rather minor changes that will keep your space feeling organized, refreshed & motivating.

Let’s start with the home office! For those of us (myself included) who work from home, it’s critical to have a home office that allows us to be as productive as possible.

1.Use a color scheme that works for you

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For me, the grays/whites/neutrals are calming and serene. Any bright colors stress me out & distract from my work. But for you it may be different! Pick a scheme that you like and go with it. If you’re undecided, I encourage you to start with a neutral wall color, neutral furniture & incorporate color in the accessories. After all, we want minimal distractions while keeping the space warm.

2.Create a productive, organized work-space

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Okay, here’s where the planning comes in. First, find a desk you love! This is the centerpiece of the room, so it’s worth investing on one that you love, even if it’s not your typical desk (seriously, how badass is that desk from Genevieve Gorder’s home office?!).

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Second, take an inventory of what you need to organize- is it a ton of filing papers? An abundance of paint chips & fabric samples? Whatever it may be, let’s find it a home. A good place to start is buying identical binders, storage boxes, or trays & labeling. Keep your color scheme in mind when purchasing accessories!

3.Keep the clutter to a minimum

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This one is HUGE! Here’s some homework for you: at the end of each workday, take 5-10 minutes to tidy up your space. Toss the trash, put everything back where it went, and file away  loose papers. After all, we just spent all of that time organizing our space! I promise that walking in the next morning, you will already feel better. De-cluttering is key!

4.Make it feel homey

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We’re not trying to recreate a stiff, corporate office environment here. Think of what makes your home feel comfortable- pillows, flowers & plants, candles, pictures, etc. Keep it professional, but make it personalized. Easy weekend project ideas: a gallery wall (for me, it’s travel pictures that inspire me!), hit up Homegoods for a new rug & pillows, re-do your bookshelves with books, pictures & items that excite you.

***How do you keep your home office productive? What revamping tips do you have?***

Gender Neutral Office.

Hi y’all! Sorry I was MIA yesterday- after a 3 day wedding weekend with friends and a 5am wakeup call for the airport then heading straight to work, I was in total zombie mode! I somehow managed through work, laundry, grocery shopping and a 90 minute crossfit class….and then crashed. Hard.

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Ha! Any french bulldog picture makes me happy 🙂

So this morning I want to share some info on a mini-project I’m working on: the gender neutral office. Whether you’re living together, married, a bachelor, or just aren’t into the girly office spaces, have no fear…you can still have a gorgeous, classic space that’s gender neutral! Here are some examples of how to achieve this look:

Loving the desk tone & leather chair combo here…

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Obsessed with this idea of dark built-ins & french doors…

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If both of you are using the office, love the double pendants…

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Board & batten is always a nice design touch on a big, blank wall…

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Not my favorite look below, but I enjoy the shelves & the rug…

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Here’s how to recreate this look in your home:

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{paint color/desk/pendant/trunk/chair/map/Hermes pillow}

Do you have a gender neutral office? What key pieces worked best for you?