I’ve been busy working on a new office space of my own as well as some exciting projects for YOU, so I invited my friend,  Dinorah Matias-Melendez to come talk to us about finding a place in your home to be your workspace sanctuary!



via West Elm

Rustic Storage Desk perfect for small spaces via West Elm website

Running work related tasks from home is a common practice nowadays, which makes necessary to find a spot in the house to complete them. If you don’t have dedicated office space, the question is how to integrate a work area into your existing layout.

A work space should be your sanctuary but it also needs to be functional. It may take some imagination or insight but it is possible. Here are some tips used by professional designers to help you create a space for you to work efficiently and at ease:


1. Define your intention and write it down

Knowing exactly what is what you’re intending to do helps to visualize the area and the type of furniture you will need to be organized and productive. Write it down to grasp your thoughts more clearly.


2. Prioritize your wants and learn to compromise

You may want space for DIY projects, to manage paperwork or room for a wall calendar or pin board for inspiration. Carefully consider your technology needs too.  Do you need space for a double monitor? A large printer? A place to charge all your devices?  Create a master list of your wants and then start prioritizing them ruthlessly.  You may need to compromise of the “wants” but you’ll be able to clearly determine your needs and not impact the quality of your work or life.



3. Make it work with the space you have.

Are you feeling that you don’t have any extra space available? Check again, there might be more than one ideal spot for your working station, but maybe it’s occupied by something else. (Possibly something that you don’t even need.)  Be open to the idea of transforming your room by moving, rearranging, or even getting rid of furniture. Repeat this sequence as many times as necessary throughout your home.  If you will be adding furniture to a room, remember to keep in mind that it should work within the flow of your space so it feels relaxed and calm.


4. Invest in comfort

If you are going to make any investments, a good place to start is on the items you use the most. If you spend a lot of time seated, buy the best possible chair in your price range. Do you need a lot of light? Choose the a lighting fixture that will help you prevent eye strain. Investing on your own well-being has immediate benefits and can seriously impact your productivity.  Apartment Therapy has great articles about finding the right office chair, you can try this article or this one.


5. Order is the name of the game

Keeping your working space organized is key. Have a place for everything to reduce clutter. Use floating shelves to place your most important books and free up your desktop, try to incorporate plenty of storage to keep things out of sight, get some of these solutions to manage all the cables. Keeping the space clean and minimal by reducing the clutter can create a calmer work environment and help you be more focused.


6. Keep it balanced and well proportioned

This is especially true when your working space is within another room. By keeping the furniture proportional to the overall space you enhance the harmony and cohesiveness of the room. Consider compact size furniture, like this one, for smaller areas; wall lighting fixtures to maximize the working surface and so on. Designers often will use transparent materials such as a glass desk to keep things light and focus on using similar materials from around the room to keep it anchored.


via Livingetc Magazine

Beautiful secret office concealed by double doors that are camouflaged by decorative Schumacher wallpaper.
Image via House to Home website

7. Personalize it. Make it pretty. Define it.

Now you have everything in place, it’s time to make this working area pretty! Add personal touches, however small (even that corner of the kitchen), to make it your own and keep you inspired. To define it, you could use some paint to differentiate its function from the rest of the room, or use an area rug – always a great way to define a space.  Also, adding accents such as a plant or offbeat handmade pen holder can cheer up your new working station, and can even feel like an oasis where to make things happen.



Remember, you can make it work when you start planning, prioritizing, being flexible, investing, keeping it functional and cohesive with your decor, and making it your own. Because our spaces should be beautiful, but also practical.


Author’s Bio

Dinorah Matias-MelendezDinorah Matias-Melendez

A NYC-based architectural and landscape designer with 10+ yrs of experience. She’s the principal, and founder, at DMM Studio, a small collaborative firm specialized on transforming any small or chaotic urban space into a contemporary oasis. When she’s not designing, she’s traveling, hanging out with her husband and lovely rescued dog Mona, or advocating for environmental and human right causes. 

Visit her website www.dmm-studio.com to see some of her work.

Follow DMM Studio Facebook page to get inspired and learn inside tips from a professional designer. https://www.facebook.com/dmmstudio.llc