• 8 Tips to Breathe Life into Your Home Office Space

    This is my desk. Can you spot my ugly pile?

    Can you spot my ugly pile? Me neither! 

    Did 2020 sucker-punch you in the ovaries? I thought so. It did to me too! Literally, I had a baby and so my ovaries did some amazing work and I’m proud of them. Ahem. Did you find yourself looking around your home office and asking yourself how you can revive that sorry and neglected space? Me too. Except I already work from home, so I ask myself that on a weekly basis. I want to share with you 8 tips to breathe life into your home office space. Let’s begin.

     

    1. You’ll need to find an excellent desk. The desk is the anchor for your office and everything else that goes into your setup. It doesn’t matter where you get it (I found mine on Facebook Marketplace) but you’ll need enough room for your computer, picture frames, your morning coffee or glass of wine. Please don’t tell me you are a standing desk kind of person. Or worse, a treadmill desk kind of person. I’m going to talk to those people for a second. Treadmill-Desk-Person, let’s be real for a second. You know you only use that to show off to your coworkers when you’re on Zoom calls. The rest of the time, you bring your laptop into bed with you and check your emails with horrible posture while sleeping in between meetings. Just get a normal desk. You don’t have to be different. Just do it.
    2. Declutter your desk. Take everything off your desk. I’m serious. Channel Marie Kondo and the KonMariTM Take everything off and put back only the things that give you joy. If you collect things like I do, choose a few of the things that bring your joy and then put the other stuff somewhere else or better yet, take it to Goodwill. In your working space, you don’t want your mind too cluttered with loose papers or tech items, pictures of your dead Grandma, motivational quotes or souvenirs from travel. Just one or two of each maybe. Just to remember that you have (or had) a life outside of work.
    3. Clean and organize your space in a way that makes you feel productive. Now that you’ve put all of your shtuff somewhere else and you have a decluttered space to work with, clean it. Spray it down with some essential oils and really make that desk shine! You may be asking me, “But Dominique, what do I do with my piles of stuff?” Good question! I will answer you, “I have NO IDEA!” I have never been good at organizing, so maybe just file it somewhere or better yet, hide it in a drawer, lock the drawer, and give the key to your cat to play with. No, because I’m a pile-er, what I actually do is this: I take every loose paper off my desk and put it into my ugly pile. My ugly pile lives in one corner of my desk and I try to tackle and process two things from it each day. That seems to keep the ugly pile down to a minimum. Sometimes I have ugly pile events where I turn the lights down low, psyche myself up, and get really mad at it, and then stand over the recycle bin, put on a blindfold, and simply rage through it, discarding old coupons from Michael’s Art store, my 2020 planner, old receipts, my physical therapy exercise regimen, and file away the rest of half-completed things. Yeah, organization. I can’t help you there. You should help me. Please help me.
    4. Why should you trust me for design tips now that I’ve revealed that my natural abilities do not include organization? What I lack for in organizational skills, I make up for in taste. I have extremely good taste. I mean, now I do. I can’t speak for the Dominique you knew in college. I wore entirely too much neon and had one-too many seagull feathers braided into my hair. But that was a decade ago, so let’s move on.
    5. You’ll need a comfortable and ergonomic office chair. If you’re like me, you might have back problems from sitting too long. (Standing-Desk-Person and Treadmill-Desk-Person, you win this one, but sometimes you might want to sit down, I guarantee it!) But why are office chairs always so ugly? As a designer, I realize that form follows function, but why does every office chair look like it’s a throne for Cyborg-Voltron the Third? Or what’s up with office chairs named after women? I don’t want to sit on a Leslie, or the Ashlee Collection, and if you’re named Leslie or Ashlee, you probably don’t want Rick from accounting sitting on a chair with your namesake either! Because of my ongoing back issues, I’m tempted to try out a kneeling ergo chair, but I can’t say that I am ready to commit to looking like I’m a permanent guest at an outdoor festival chiropractic-massage booth. I have yet to find a good office chair that is both stylish and comfortable, but I saved one to my Pinterest board below, and so if you decide to purchase it please let me know it feels on your tooshie after a 40 hour workweek.
    6. A plant is nice. They provide oxygen to fuel your brain and are just so darn beautiful and fun to look at. Notice I said A. Plant. As in ONE. If you are one of my peers from Pepperdine and you are a millennial, I feel like I don’t need to explain this. More than one plant and you have now created a Jumanji situation. And work does not get done in Jumanji. Conversely, are you a plant killer? Does your Trader Joe’s impulse buy result in a graveyard of scorched earth in a cheap plastic pots? I once tried to water my orchid with coconut water which almost killed it, but I’ve come a long way since then. My secret to an abundant orchid plant is this: once per week, I take my orchids out of their pots with just the plant liner containing the orchid left. Next, I put them in a plastic Tupperware container and fill the container with water so that the orchid base is submerged and only the leaves are sticking out of the water. I let them drink while submerged in water for an hour or two. Then I drain the water and place the orchids back in their pots. I do this once per week and they LOVE IT and have become my ride or die plants who I have kept alive for years. For other plants, I just set a weekly reminder to water them with about a cup of water each and repot them once per year.
    7. You need beautiful artwork. When I’m working on something challenging or complex, my mind often wanders to the walls around my workspace. I like to surround myself with beautiful things, and I want my office wall art to be inspiring, calming, and peaceful. My Ocean Abstract Collection harkens back to our Pepperdine days, and let’s my mind breathe in the salty sea air and the beach days, even when I find myself a bit further away from the ocean than I’d like to be. The artwork in my Ocean Abstract Collection feature hues of cobalt and teal, with hints of fire coral and holy markers of the sacred in gold pigment. They reference our old stomping grounds by the sea, Malibu, where we cracked open our schoolbooks on the warm sand. These paintings can be installed as statement pieces in the larger sizes, and also look great in a group of several put together as in a gallery-wall setup. I’ve included some pins on how to do that in my Pinterest Board below.
    8. Practice gratitude in your space, before you start working. I am so thankful for my time at Pepperdine. I try not to live in the past but going there changed my life in the most profound ways, from discovering who I could become as an artist and writer, to just seeing an expansive backdrop of blue as I walked from my dorm to class each day. I made great friends, I tried new things such as scuba diving and surfing. I traveled. All of which inspire me now as a working woman. OK. Here is my inspiration board for you, as well as a link to my Ocean Abstract Collection as promised. I’m offering 20% off for my fellow Peppy-D alum, because you all are awesome, and honestly, I miss you. So, let’s remember together. When you head into your office in the morning with your cup of coffee or glass of wine, let’s breathe in the salty air as we look upon artworks full of swirling pools of blue. Shut the office door and drown out the sounds of breakfast and that crying baby in the kitchen and feast your eyes on the beauty of blue. Cozy up to your clean, clutter-free desk, stretch your arms out, give thanks and begin your work. And I remind all of us to work unto the Lord. Thanks for reading! Links Below. Hugs, Dominique

    Ocean Abstract Collection

    Pinterest

    Discount Code for Pepperdine Alum: PEPPYD20

    Oh, and you can hire me to write for you, too! My email is dominique@domkofineart.com

    Thank you,

    Dominique

     

    This is my desk. Noticed there is only one plant on my desk.

    "Coral Holiday" hanging out above my wedding picture (did you think I was every going to get married? Me neither!) and my beloved, beautiful, Grandma Sally. Can you spot my ugly pile? I can't see my ugly pile either!

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