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These last few months have been an eye opener for me in many ways.

Working at home has led me to reflect back on when I was newly married and involved in the quilting industry. I spent many years working remotely from our little apartment and truly enjoyed it! It was a simple time where I could work while wearing pajamas and multi-task my home chores with my professional ones while Brandon was out at his office. It was these memories that fooled me into thinking I could slide right back into that routine during this pandemic.

However, working at home the last few months has made me realize a few things.

First, getting anything done with a 3-year-old underfoot is an almost impossible task, and second, with my whole family in our house I need a home office that is truly mine to avoid the chaos!

I’ve found that not only is it important for me to have a functional space, but also one that reflects my creativity and style. While I work on getting mine together, I am fortunate enough to have seen some beautiful examples by Nell Hill’s clients and designers that have provided a wealth of inspiration!

There are many ways to create a working atmosphere that fits your personal taste. Offices don’t have to be stark or dark in order to be a productive space. Bringing in fun fabrics and textures is my favorite way to put a unique spin on a room and an office is no different.

Wallpaper and window treatments are a great way to add splashes of color and pattern without creating clutter in your workspace. Not only does bringing color into your office look amazing, but color (and pattern) influences your mind as well. Studies show that color can impact not only your mood but your wellness and productivity.

Your seating area is another place perfect for a pop of personality. At home you aren’t limited to a drab, standard computer chair, you can procrastinate work in comfort on top a throne that fits into your aesthetic.

Beyond that, creating a seating nook apart from your main workspace is a nice and practical addition. I sometimes tire of sitting behind my desk and find that a change of scenery can help me refocus.

Having another space that offers that offers seating flexibility also comes in handy if you have visitors stop by, like when my “helper” Graham comes around to join me during the day. It gives him a spot close-by to “work on progress and emails” (a phrase he picked up from his father) and keeps him within my sight! This area is also ideal for a rainy-day book reading marathon or to relax away from the main areas in your home – you don’t always have to be working!

While it is easy to naturally create clutter during the day (always easier to make the mess then to clean it!) that doesn’t mean you should avoid accessories in your office.

A few well placed items can make your space feel more “homey” and relaxed. In fact, a few décor items can take your room from a plain old office into a regal study! Some of my favorites include plants, bookshelf baubles and tray décor.

I adore a well-stocked bookshelf! It is the perfect place for small items such as ginger jars, trinket plates and so much more. Tray décor is another way to bring in personal items and can easily be moved around your room from desk to table to chair depending on where you need it.

As it seems likely that the time will come again where we will find ourselves working from home I hope that you are inspired to create an oasis at your own home to find peace and focus. I would love to see how you have designed your personal studies and offices! Share them with me on social media using the #NellHills and #Nellhillsathome. Until next time – happy decorating!

Adapted from nellhills.com. Katie Laughridge is the owner of Kansas City interior design destination Nell Hill’s. For more information, contact Katie at info@nellhills.com.

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