More to Love: 10 Ways to Upgrade your #WFH Situation.
Plus, a playlist for the great indoors.
Since the dawn of the COVID era, my workplace, like many others, has moved into my home. The silver lining of which was that I discovered actually preferred working from my house. So much so, that when I went looking for a new place last Spring, I had two major “musts”: loads of natural light, and double the square footage so there could be dedicated studio space for my team and I. I found it in a 1940’s-era factory loft, which is where we gather to work and brainstorm when we’re not dividing and conquering remotely, via Slack.
I feel like I have mastered the art of #WFH. So I have some opinions on the matter, especially when it comes to equipping our space. The first thing I knew I needed was a big, inexpensive work table (the more paint splatters and pen stains, the better) and lots of chairs. I found a great set of vintage Thonet chairs at my friend Alisa’s Buckhead shop Bella Cucina. From there, we needed supplies: some for function, some creative, and some for comfort.
Minor upgrades, major difference.
A laptop stand is key for tech neck prevention when I’m sitting at my table working. I like to break my day up by standing (good standing desk here, not my thing, maybe yours tho) and sitting with my laptop, but I never want to be staring down at the thing.
ABR: always be referencing. We keep a lots of art, cooking and design books around when we’re seeking more tactile inspiration. Lately, it’s been Andy Warhol’s Polaroids tome, food shoot inspo from Food in Vogue, Assouline’s compendium on Cecil Beaton (collages!), and color referencing á la Cy Twombly.
Do you have a wireless mouse for your laptop? WHY NOT? Buy a cheap one that doesn’t eat batteries. After having not one, but two expensive Apple Magic Mouse (Mice) crap out on me after mere months, I opt for the 11.99 Amazon knockoffs.
I am a professional creative person, so this may not butter your biscuit, but I like a huge variety of creative instruments around me, especially writing utensils, which I am very particular about. For pens: Le Pen, black. For pencils, Ticonderoga (the black ones) or Blackwing (and you thought pencils couldn’t be sexy). For highlighting: Caran d’Ache chunky hot pink pencils. For editing: Ticonderoga (the red ones). Pink Pearls for erasing. I also keep Sharpies, fine and regular tip on my desk, white paint pens around for writing on kraft paper (which I pull from a roll installed on the wall), black multipurpose markers, and a stash of neon Caran d’Ache pens simply because I like to look at ‘em. I use mint julep cups to hold my various writing utensils. Again, looks better. I stare at them all day. I also keep an enormous sketch pad around (has to be top wire bound). I also prefer to use brown kraft tape.
I have an inexpensive tabletop ring light for Zooms, I admit it!
Fresh flowers, always. I’ve been getting mine delivered from 3 Porch Farm in nearby Athens, Georgia. They ship everywhere! And they have Dahlias the size of your head right now!
Sonos. I know, this is a luxury! I program it to wake me up with music, then switch to NPR at a certain hour. I usually listen to music while I work, too. But if I take a kitchen break, on goes a Podcast. My Sonos system is the most-used electronic in my house, outside of my iPhone. I even have it hooked up to my record player.
Airpods! For walks, for Zoom calls, for Mom calls.
Sometimes, you just need some interesting background tunes. Vibes, y’know? A mewd, if you will. Here’s ten hours of solid Spotify shuffle gold for pleasantly wafting through your workspace, wherever that may be. It’s pretty much the soundtrack of our loft studio. I’m always dropping new stuff into it.