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Home Office Design with Productivity in Mind

It’s a common piece of advice from effective home-based workers that you should start each day as if you were going to work in an office outside your home. (Translation: take a shower and don’t work in your pajamas.) The philosophy behind this tidbit is easy to understand.

The same axiom can apply to your home office. Is it tucked in a dark corner of the spare bedroom? Is your desk beside a bed covered in old toys? Is your filing cabinet stuffed in the closet under clothes? If your home office doesn’t feel professional and uplifting, how productive and happy can you be spending eight or more hours a day there?

Decorating your home office isn’t an art, but following some basic principles of office design can help create an organized, effective and productivity-enhancing space.

Choose a wall color that facilitates focus.

Even if your home office will be in the guest room that you just painted last year, it may be a good idea to repaint. Not only does a fresh coat of paint make a room feel energized and new, repainting gives you the opportunity to put a color on the wall that’s office-appropriate.

mydreamshavewings.blogspot.com

mydreamshavewings.blogspot.com

In an interview by Chris Bailey of the blog “A Life of Productivity,” color psychologist and author Angela Wright suggests that your home office color scheme needs to match the type of work you do because different colors create different effects. For example, Wright says, blue might be stimulating if you do a lot of mental work in your home office. Additionally, yellow could encourage creativity, and green might be soothing if your work is particularly stressful and balance is important.

Luxuriate in light.

“You are stuck in your office – albeit at home – all day, working and slaving away, staring at the same wall and some bland office furniture you got at a garage sale,” writes Herman Chan in Home Business Magazine. “Spending all those hours in the same spot, it would behoove you to splurge on one luxury piece.” Chan suggests an inspiring piece of furniture, but you can also create a luxe effect – with only a modest “splurge” – by decorating with lighting elements such as a skylight.

Add a solar-powered fresh air skylight and an energy-efficient solar-powered blind to your home office and the products, as well as the installation, can be eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit as a green home improvement.

iloveblinds.com

iloveblinds.com

If your home office happens to be located in a renovated attic space, roof windows, which are very much like skylights but are in-reach, can offer natural light and fresh air plus access to the roof for debris removal, maintenance or for emergency access.

Organize with attractive storage.

If your idea of home office storage includes the cardboard boxes you used to transport files from the last job you had outside your home, it’s time to revisit your organizational plan. A cluttered, disorganized home office can cause you to misplace important documents and can make you feel overwhelmed.

As more people have begun working from home, office furniture manufacturers have branched out from the sterile-looking metal storage units ubiquitous in workplaces across the country. Today, it’s easy to find attractive storage options that fit with virtually any home office decor.

abowlfulloflemons.net

abowlfulloflemons.net

If you just can’t find a file cabinet that speaks to your soul, why not try some alternative storage options? Move that beautiful sideboard you inherited from grandma – that just never fit anywhere else in your house – into your home office and use it for filing. Not in love with any of the desk options available at your local office store? Hit an antique shop and find an antique desk or even a dining table that you adore. Remember to keep furnishings and storage solutions size-appropriate for the room so your home office doesn’t feel crowded.

Working from home offers many advantages, including the opportunity to decorate your home office the way you want. By following some basic steps and incorporating your own personality, you can create a home office where you’ll be productive and happy throughout the work day.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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Creative Home Design with Flea Market Finds

By Courtney Soinski

Over the weekend, as I was flea market shopping for some cool antiques to decorate my apartment, I unexpectedly got inspired for this week’s blog post. Whether you’re selling your home, staging it to sell, or just looking for new ideas, flea markets and thrift shops are a great place to start.

In fact, your local flea market may have more hidden gems than you think. With the right bargain and a little elbow grease, you can turn your flea market finds into beautiful, eye-catching home décor. Or, as I like to call it “shabby chic.”

Here are my favorite home decorating ideas as you embark on your next flea market excursion . . .

Better Homes & Gardens

1. Second-hand chairs

Next time you go to a flea market, look for second-hand chairs. They’re super cheap and very easy to make over. Just make sure the chair is not broken before making your purchase. Once you get home, just grab some fabric and a staple gun for a stylish piece of décor!

Second Hand Tips

Second Hand Tips

 

2. Dresser without the drawers

Use your imagination when shopping for old furniture at flea markets or thrift stores. Even if a dresser is missing its drawers, the shelves are still fully functional. Give the dresser a fresh coat of paint and you’re good to go!

 

Better Homes & Gardens

3. Crate Nightstand

You may think that old wooden crates from the flea market seem useless and belong in the trash, but don’t make judgments too quickly. You can easily turn 4 wooden crates into a rustic and quirky nightstand.

Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens

 

4. Textile Art

You’ll come across all sorts of scarves, textiles and fabrics at flea markets. Just find an assortment of different patterns and colors. Then, place them in frames for unique and creative wall art!

 

Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens

 

5. Drawers without the dresser

If you discover random drawers without the dresser, you can use that bargain to create extra storage in your bedroom. Just attach casters to the bottoms of the drawers for awesome and functional under-bed storage units.

shabbychicinspired.com

shabbychicinspired.com

 

6. Vintage Lamp Candlesticks

Turn old flea market lamps into candlesticks for your living or dining room. You’ll give your home some fabulous style that’s sure to impress new homebuyers.

porch.com

porch.com

 

7. Red Wagon Shelf

This is a great and innovative way to transform an old red wagon into a shelf that can hold even more of your flea market finds like picture frames or trinkets. Just secure 3 wooden planks to fit inside the wagon, hang it on the wall, and voila!

 

indulgy.com

indulgy.com

 

8. Antique Racquetball Racquets

These racquets can be found for a super cheap price at flea markets. So, think outside the court and turn them into mirrors to hang on the wall in your foyer or office.

justimagine-ddoc.com

justimagine-ddoc.com

9. Globe Light

I probably saw over 10 globes at the last flea market I went to, and most of them had stands that were rusty or even broken. Detach the globe from its stand, secure a light inside, and drill holes along the continents for an awesome new light.

 

ehow.com

ehow.com

10. Stylish Mantel

Use the mantel in your home to display all your small flea market finds. This is a great way to add a touch of vintage charm and rustic elegance.

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You’ll Never Look at a Magazine Ad the Same Way Again

trebBy Rebecca Chandler

Think print advertising is old school? Think no one reads magazines anymore?

Think again. Print is not dead, but it’s not exactly the same, either.

ikea

The Book Book by Ikea

 

Today’s print advertising is integrated into a full multi-media advertising campaign mix. Major brands with highly successful marketing campaigns have simply changed the way they use print and other offline triggers to drive traffic between the real and digital worlds of their prospects and customers.

International home goods retailer, Ikea, recently created a video on the value of their printed catalog, or the “book book,” comparing their millions of catalogs to a digital device. The benefits? Simple to navigate, 328 high definition pages, no lag time, easy to share, eternal battery life and no cables.

amazon2

amazoninstylehgtvAmazon, the world’s largest online retailer is running multi-page magazine ads in almost every major publication to promote their new Fire phone, from GQ to InStyle to HGTV magazine (published by a television channel with robust web and mobile sites and apps), as did Apple with the launch of the new iPhone.

 

iphonemacys

 

 

Macy’s, Target, and WalMart, rely on magazines to drive foot traffic, online purchases, and brand engagement in social media. Last year, well over half of their holiday sales to traffic was generated by their catalogs.

So, what’s changed about print and what can you learn from these Madison Avenue-driven campaigns?

The expectation . . .

lorealThe goal of many of these magazine ads are to drive customers to interact with the brands digitally. Go to the website. Follow via social media. Text for more information, coupons, or a special offer. Magazine ads work really, really, well by reaching the consumer in their real worlds, introducing them to the brands, and inviting them to interact in their digital worlds.

point2

 

The magazine ad says, “Here’s enough information to peak your interest. . . and here’s a way you can learn more digitally.” It leaps off the page to the phone, the tablet, or the laptop to engage the consumer further. And, it starts with a great print ad.

 

Look at it this way – If you had a party, would you invite the guests, or just hope they show up?

Think magazine advertising is done? It may be just getting started . . .

Learn more – The Holiday Catalog Challenge Video

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