Creating your Own Space in your Home

By: Justin Lee

How many of us have peeked in the doorway of someone else's nicely organized study and enviously wished we had the same? It may not be that we need to actually study, but it looks like a little haven to tuck away into. It is also a place to keep your paperwork gathered together and to get your bills organized.

Well, if that extra room for a study isn't going to happen, could you squeeze a study corner or a study space out of an existing room? You do have to think outside the box for this one. It is difficult to imagine our own home arranged in a new and slightly unconventional way.

Sometimes, just imagining a desk unit in place of one of your kitchen units can start the process. Nowadays many fitted kitchens come with an optional matching desk unit.

Another avenue to explore is the possibility of a corner space in your living room. This would not always be feasible in a traditional square living room, but perhaps you have an odd shaped room? Do you have a L shaped room that has a place between dining and living areas that would lend itself?

Is there an empty area in your upstairs or downstairs hallway? One other idea is to group your office around a window, to give it a focal point. You could even consider adding a window to a dark corner!

If you would like to suggest a separate space, then you can position a bookcase as a small room divider. If you have two identical bookcases and position them back to back, you will not have to look at the wooden back of the bookcase. One or two pot plants on top will add to the room-divider feeling.

An office space would ideally house the minimum of a book case, a desk and a desk chair . The desk could be small in these days of laptops and cell phones. If you will not be permanently writing at the desk, then there is a possibility of a writing surface that pulls in or out, or that flips up out of the way (or up and down, like a bureau).

If you are converting an awkward corner, then you can take into account the guidelines of one interior design company. They recommend that attention is paid to mood, harmony and function.

Whenever you are working with a small space, the secret is to try and have every corner or space serving a function. This way you won't need much space, a three to five foot width on a wall may be enough to start with, as many of the 'accessories can be tucked away in the desk area when not in use.

This is true of such extras as a two drawer rollaway filing cabinet; also a spare stool for a guest can be folded away under the desk. A bookcase can sit on top of the desk or be mounted on the wall independently. Some desks come in this bookcase top style.

Desks can be ordered in quality woods that are designed with an upper book-case that has glass doors, if this would complement your existing furnishings more suitably.

Color will add mood. If you want your area to be relaxing, don't paint the walls red! Other mood accessories will be a plant, in a striking pot and desk accessories, preferably matching. If you have room for a small armchair - great! Antique stores will often sell items that are smaller than in today's market, as once everything was made to be smaller!

Try to keep furnishings matched, as this will create uniformity which is especially noticeable in a tiny space. Match your armchair and desk chair fabric, or if you have usurped part of the living room, match your study area in with that color scheme.

If the scene outside your window is of a busy street, try to find a picture to hang on the wall that reflects this; likewise if it a leafy green garden. If you want your area to feel like a haven, treat it like one. Consciously relax as you start your 'office work', keep a restful CD handy and play it whenever you sit in your area. If you play the same one a few times you will develop the habit of automatically relaxing to the familiar music.

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