One of our guestrooms is also our office so this (above) demonstrates another way to handle a multi-purpose room. We have a sofa that becomes a bed, a futon. In this room, the bed is the bed but you have a semblance of privacy with the curtain. Of course, when you have guests using your office, I would definitley take what I need for the time, so that the guest has ‘their own room.’ If they were to bring their own work with them, they have a lovely space. Or if they just want to read the newspaper with a cup of coffee it’s a perfect space.
There is a lot to be said for having a chair in your guest room. (below) This way, alone time, is more doable. Reading, doing a puzzle, knitting, are more comfortable when you have something with good back support.
These chairs were upholstered in Pendleton Blankets. Isn’t that a great way to ‘use what you have’? Another great example of putting your bed on the window wall. The open closet is another great idea! No doors that will take-up valuable floor space. Keeping the same pretty color everywhere makes everyone included and therefore happy.
Every case is different and every case is doable. Talk with someone. Make a list. Go for it! Ready for guests!
Attics, Basements and Garages are all treated the same way. No clutter. Nothing that you don’t love or need.
There is no way around this one. Of course we don’t have to embrace Feng Shui. But there you have it – pure and simple.
Nothing worthwhile is easy. We as a people tend to be lazy. Or workaholics. It’s the old balance thing again.
It’s hard to get out of bed every morning isn’t it? We often need a kick in the pants. But don’t we feel our best when something great is accomplished? It doesn’t have to be a walk on the moon, but getting a report or proposal done. Getting the wash done. Preparing a nice dinner. Getting a paycheck at the end of the week. Clutter is a clear indicator of stuff that there has been no decision made, clean indicator of inaction.
Storage – Garage – Attic – Closets
Storage is allowable. It should be labeled. It should be everything we love and need. When something loses their value, we should dispose of it. Throwing things away is a last resort. A fur coat in Florida or in the Jungle can be put to better use. Donate it – sell it – wear it. Remember you can feng shui your home a room at a time. Remember you can do whatever you want – and Feng Shui doesn’t have to be in the mix.
Before & After
But oops. I believe the universe is a whole and we are all connected. I do believe in the butterfly wings scenario. There are too many miracles to believe otherwise. Here is my desk after I applied the Bagua Map. I showed you the before on Saturday’s blog and you can see my progress! There seemed to be a something missing so I reviewed the Bagua map again. There is love on both sides, family on one side and love on the other. So I added the pictures of my sisters, and what a huge difference.
Things need to be treasured. I guess that keeps repeating doesn’t it. People need to be treasured and so do our things. I guess it’s all about the relationship. Keeping your garage organized so that your car fits in is very much like our closets and the space beneath our beds. Kitchen cabinets are they tidy? Do you have what you need and that’s it? Housekeeping is never ending and thank goodness!
Before Feng Shui
This is a sad desk! And it’s mine! These Feng Shui areas are Fame, Family and Knowledge. Quick! Let’s look at the transformation. I went to my own yard and gathered beautiful plants and flowers. I put shells in the bottom for interest and to keep the stems in place. Cool water and everyone is happy, including me! I do have to file the papers and find a new home for the pencil sharpener!
After Feng Shui
Here is another version of the Bagua Map Desk (below) for your convenience. I will work on the other side of my desk and have that for you next time we visit. It really is a about having a place for everything. What’s not being handled does put us in a puddle of inaction. Do you want more help with organizing your desk, your office? Click here. Ultimate Guide To Feng Shui Your Desk
This room is beautifully designed and has no bright red or black to represent the fire or spiritual elements. But as always there is more than one way to design a room. What are the feng shui elements in this room? The water is represented in the vases and plants, which does signify black for spirituality. And the feng shui fire element which is typically represented by red, also means fun and joy and is the ship model and egret paintings. The Coastal Beach Theme is strong even if neutral – remember to always work with elements you love not just because they are the ‘right’ elements. If you don’t love it – it won’t work.
Facing the South is another fire factor and this room might face South. We don’t know – but to feng shui your office, your desk, you will have this as a know how. My desk faces a wall (not good) but to my right is a view and it’s to the south. My desk faces the entry door which is a good thing. You do have to make choices and decisions that are within your existing constraints. Next we will talk about – show you the diagram of a feng shui desk. (Below)
This is the Bagua Map. The pattern is for each room and your home as a whole. Remember you can make adjustments, Feng Shui is a philophosy, not a rigid set of design rules. The Five Elements are always important no matter where we are in life, and no matter which room. These nine life areas are given equal attention in theory. But, do they all get a place on your desk? See what adjustments you can make. I have moved my pencil sharpener and a stack of papers, my pending file. Stay tuned for before and afters!
Optimizing Your Vertical Space:
Using your vertical wall space is an excellent way to maximize your home’s storage capacity. This tiny office has spacious storage. This is very budget friendly as well. It does take a bit of work to install these shelves, but you get the same useable space if you were to add a bookcase, again you are going vertical. Open shelving is great because you can be creative with placement, the wall color comes through more, so it looks less like a big box.
Cubbies & Baskets:
This is more vertical space being put to good use! (figure 2) Optimization has been increased with baskets, cubbies and hooks. These mudrooms are great because they are a good place for all that we accumulate with our coming and going. A mudroom is a hardworking room, it might be you don’t have one of these. In which case you may have to keep your stuff more prettily arranged as in this hallway below. Neat and tidy is an ongoing job, and when you have someplace to put things, you know where they are when you want them. All of this stuff needs housekeeping. The baskets in figure two look like books and magazines. I don’t know if they are library books but still they should be current. You don’t want Dr. Zeus when all your kids are in High School. Do you?
Laminated glass means that the glass won’t crack and splinter when impacted. CGI gives this description of laminated and insulated: “Laminated Hurricane Impact Resistant Glass is comprised of two sheets of glass bonded together with a protective interlayer. Laminated glass is the primary hurricane barrier used in impact resistant windows. Laminated glass is also used in the windshields of cars. Hurricane impact resistant [glass] products use a thicker sandwich of glass and special film interlayer to make the glass unit stronger. Laminated glass also eliminates 99% of UV rays, reduces noise transmission, provides enhanced security protection for your home, and reduces the air conditioning and heating portion of your energy bill.”
“Insulated Laminated Glass adds an extra single pane of glass to the laminated glass unit with a hermetically sealed air space (or gas filled space) in between. This glass is generally more expensive but offers enhanced energy performance. The air or gas filled space serves as an insulator between the temperature difference that exists between the inside and the outside. Although it is more useful in colder climates, it does improve the performance of LoE coatings and in some cases architects or local building departments are requiring its use.”
LoE is Low Emissive and this is truly amazing! I’m just learning this so let me quote the experts.
“LoE coatings are applied to the internal glass surface to separate heat energy (long wave) and light energy (short wave). The heat energy (long wave) is reflected back to the heat source and the short wave can pass through the coating. CGI offers high performance coatings on its insulated laminated products.” Low-E coatings have been developed to minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted. read more
So we can live in glass houses. Everyone can enjoy the view. Glass windows are a real treasure. Glass started out as the jewelry coating of beads. There is a naturally occurring glass, volcanic glass obsidian that Stone Age societies used for making sharp cutting tools. Glass making got a good start during the end of the Roman Empire. As most things it was a luxury item and then it became an everyday luxury.
A lot of greens:
Just discovered the Urban Jungle, a book by Igor Josefovic and Judith de Grooff, while working on my Newsletter for this week. Wow-eee-Wow! So many wonderful things can be found in a book. Really it’s a demonstration of what’s on people minds and congratulations are in order!
The book is not about interior design and it’s not about plants. It’s about both, with the emphasis on plants, but of course your interiors stand to benefit greatly! If you take care of your plants. Which is why I love them and why I advocate for plants. I know we may not have green thumbs, I know what a difficult science is involved, with the light, water and soil balance. But I know what joy they bring to your home and to you. You may have one African Violet. You may have one spider plant or one bamboo stalk. Or you may have a jungle. Anything in between. I’m working on creative long sentences. Can you tell? My goodness – talk about creative thumbs.
Of course Google figured in there somewhere. I learned about Urban Jungle from Apartment Therapy some time ago, but this book is the extensive how to – why to that we all need. And practice makes perfect. It also is a nice demonstration of how not everything works everywhere. You do have to find what works. What works for you and what works for your home.
When working with a modern – minimal interior you may not want the urban jungle look. But see how much is added by the one shapely plant by the window?
The same is true in your office. You do want clear spaces to work, but one or two living plants, placed carefully can make all the difference.
Whether you have pots and flowers everywhere or one placed strategically, plants make a wonderful difference. On your desk or a shelf in your office. Again a fabulous addition. Do try to keep them healthy. If they seem to struggle, try something – do something different. Go get a new one. Ask for help. Tending. Caring. Loving. Growth. Smiles.
Empowerment is a strong word. It means you have power. Power to make decisions and implement them. The power to decide what you like and don’t like. To stand out as the unique individual you are. Empowerment is tied closely with self-confidence, with knowing who you are and what you want and then to go about doing and creating what you want.
Like who the hell hangs fishing rods from any wall but the garage wall? This is empowerment personified. This person knows who he is and we know what he loves.
How does your office, whether a home office or your work place office, fit into this description? Don’t you think you would be more creative, productive and happy with such prominent reminders of what makes you happy?
This office has a strong personality and exudes intent. You don’t color your walls in charcoal gray and then add a pale blue sofa and a cobalt blue chair. The desk is ebony or Wenge, a strong, dark color. There isn’t anything personal in this room, but don’t you think these selections say a great deal about the person who works here?
In Hartford’s study of offices, lean – enriched – empowered – and the unempowered office that’s the four variations. The empowered is like the enriched except you get to decide if you want the plant and the art. You decide if you would prefer fishing rods on your feature wall. The unempowered is when after you arrange things the way like them, the boss comes in puts them back the way they were. The boss could be a parent, a teacher, a room mate. You can really feel the punch in the gut can’t you? There is so much at stake. Taking away our ability to personalize our space is reason, good cause for resentment and certain stifling of any creativity.
In the way of lean design the blue sofa/chair combination would fill that description but only in a physical way. It’s not lean emotionally or mentally. The elements are strong, the colors are strong – not one item in that room is strictly utilitarian, but rather each is a piece of art. Our third office is just as personal as the first two. The desk is custom, even home-made. The fresh blooms indicate thoughtful updates. The side shelves indicate a serious, efficient worker.
I do believe we have covered this office discussion nicely. We are all rootin’ for the empowered office! What can you do to make your office more your style? A reflection of who you are? Let me know!
This is a very enriched office. Very comfortable for the boss and his guests. There is nothing here that defines the individual, to make it personal, unique. And we are assuming that you love blue, cushy lounge chairs. Enhanced according to Harford is pictures and plants. Adding personal touches makes it go a lot further. What kind of connection can we make with the office we are in? Do you love the blue, as much as you love the pictures of your wife and kids? Complete package. I love how Harford realizes the connection between things and our propserity. Well he is not the only one. Alain De de Bottom does too. Remember his great line about bedspreads? “People have disdained any interest in decoration and design equating contentment with discarnate and invisible matters. Taking architecture (design and decoration) seriously means conceding that we are inconveniently vulnerable to the color of the wallpaper and our sense of purpose may be derailed by an unfortunate bedspread.” Our day is divided into the wonderful number of three. Eight hours working – eight hours asleep – eight hours playing/working. Make everyone of those spaces beautiful.
Here is another enriched office. Quite the ticket isn’t it? Remember both of these pictures of actual rooms have been ‘arranged’ so they are photo ready. But you do get the point don’t you? Surrounding yourself with things you love. Even if you are in a cube – you can still decorate with your trolls. The kids art work. Enriched means it is better, and if it going to be better it needs to be better for the occupant.
The below office is a great example. We can even imagine it cubified. Different chair preferences and different lighting preferences. Different art. The pocketbook hung over the chair looks very relaxed and casual, homey. It would never pass the 5S system. Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. How does your workplace office measure up? What about your home office? Great opportunities for pretty and function. Personal and Business. We are all of the pieces. Stay tuned for Empowered Spaces on Tuesday.
It’s difficult to find the lean office. Without coming up with a multitude of cubes, empty except for a shelf and chair. The thought prior to collaborative design was no distractions equals more creativity. The other great philosophy of current office design is the idea of options. You might want to be in your cube to concentrate, you might want a change of scenery to get a fresh approach. This is what Tim Hartford’s Messy talks about in his workplace chapter.
The year is 2010 and two psychologists set up a four offices. Lean, enriched and empowered. I won’t tell you the fourth – you will have go get that information yourself.
The lean office is stark. It has a desk and a chair and a lamp. Anything personal is considered a distraction.
The 5S System likes the lean office. (1.sort 2. straighten 3. Shine 4. Standardize. 5.Sustain)
The enriched office has pictures and plants. The nude I noticed as I posted this. I’m not removing it.
The productivity soars by 17% with plants and pictures. Let’s hear it for pretty! Really what would you rather? Lean or enriched? Lean seems to be easier to maintain, everyone fits the same mold – so there is predictability. Lean seems to be a control factor. It puts everyone in a constrained form. Stay tuned for Enriched and Empowered!