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New Year, New Creative Space

Hello everyone! Wow, 2013 is really here. A new year provides a fresh canvas for new goals, new creative exploration and overall, tinkering with (or overhauling) any area of your life. Sure, that desire for change can come at any point of the year but there is just something inspiring about the clock hitting 1/1, don’t you think?

One of my design fetishes is finding (and pinning) captivating workspaces. From gardening sheds to swanky design studios to fabric factories, I love seeing where people work and dream. While I would love a bright loft with exposed brick and rows of colour blocked supplies, I firmly believe even the tinniest space can become an inspiring place where new hopes and goals are crafted. Designer, accountant, candlestick maker — we all need a motivating spot to call our own.

Whether you create an entirely new creative studio or simply buy a desk chair you really love, the new year should involve the creation of a space that truly inspires you. Let’s ponder! — Chloé / plenty of colour

From a methodical coding system to overflowing shelves of art supplies, organization of a creative space is all in the eye of the beholder. Right?

Tools of a trade are fascinating. For that reason, I love when they are featured in a workspace. A little colour blocking can allow quick retrieval and creates a rather striking art installation look.

Drawers hide clutter and increase organizational abilities. Oh and they can be downright handsome. I love the look of industrial metal, the use of unique pulls and those very dreamy vintage paper drawers.

I’ve mentioned before my affection for front facing displays. They are a great tool for studio spaces as they allow one to display work or make books/periodicals into a wall of art.

Long skinny work tables, floating desks, colourful or abstract legs, vibrant chairs — sometimes all a space needs is a furniture upgrade. Your desk and chair choice will inform the rest of the space’s design (and determine how jolly your joints feel by the end of the day).

Similarly, lighting makes all the difference as both a functional and aesthetic tool. Making use of both natural light and a fantastic piece of lighting design is the best route possible. I love striking pendant lights next to massive windows.

Pinterest is ridiculously useful but we could all benefit from a tactile, real-life inspiration wall. Clipboards, an old mattress box-spring, a plank of plywood, IKEA cork coasters — anything can create a beautiful and useful moodboard canvas.

If your creative space or budget is a bit bigger, consider creating a feature wall or art installation. Perhaps a wall of magazines, gallery grouping, mural, interactive chalkboard or yes, even a tent.

I love the modern look of half-colour walls in workspaces. Some form of divider is also useful when a creative space must fit within a small living space or as part of another room. Colourful plexiglass, shelving units and beautiful old doors are just some of the ways a space can be both divided and attractive.

No, we can’t all have giant loft studios but don’t allow space to limit your ability to create a vibrant workspace to call your own. I love small but mighty nooks created under stairs, in attics, in low ceiling spaces or with narrow floating shelves.

Even small details can turn your ho-hum space into something inspiring. Create a tray of colourful supplies, make a wall vignette, track down a magnificent chair, buy a desk accessory you really love, visualize your goals with a fabulous wall installation (love that cork map for travel planning) or hey, make a table your can draw on. If it inspires your work and your goals for 2013, it can’t be a wrong design choice.

I hope 2013 is full of big dreams and momentous accomplishments for all of us. I think a motivating space is a necessary component in that quest. I can’t stop myself from posting a couple more fabulous workspaces below. What does your workspace look like for 2013 and how does it inspire you? Would love to hear! — Chloé / plenty of colour

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  1. maggie says:

    A fun post filled with great ideas! And especially timely for me. I’m in the process of setting up a new work space for myself in my home (just painted the walls!) and I’ve been looking forward to making my new space even better – with lighting, color, organizational tools, and of course, all those fun details. Thanks!

  2. Karen T says:

    Chloe, I love you! I basically got a new workspace for Christmas (an utterly joyous 194 sq ft!) and have been wishing I had more workspace inspiration images stored up. Thank you thank you.

    New space is my favorite thing in the world, so I’m trying not to make any rush decisions about it. But at the same time I want it done so I can get on with business rather than gazing at it dreaming about what it will be!

  3. […] people, the supplies they use and all of the interior details that make a space one-of-a-kind? In my latest post for Rena Tom, I showcase studios and some of the facets that make them efficient and artful. […]

  4. Chloé says:

    Thanks Maggie and Karen! Best of luck in designing your new workspaces. I am certain they will be inspiring and well organized :)

  5. […] window. Researching creative spaces is a pretty fun way to kill time on the internet; check out this great post by Chloe for some ideas. How do you lay out your space? What do you wish you had room for in your […]

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