Tag Archives: lighting

Office Design Tricks to Up Your Productivity Levels

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The place you choose to work makes such a big difference to your productivity levels. Thankfully, if you work from home, you have maximum creative control to design your work-space exactly as you see fit. (Score!) In this post, I’m gonna lay out some aspects of home office design that will make your home work-space a hive of productivity. Many of these changes are simple and don’t require a huge investment, while others may take a little more time and expense. Find the fixes that work best for your working flow and budget…

Light the Way

Office lighting can make such a big difference when it comes to your productivity. Bad lighting can lead to headaches, fatigue, eye strain, and tiredness. Conversely, natural light can play a big role in boosting your mood. So consider positioning your desk nearby a window where it is going to attract as much sunlight as possible. Rather than having one main overhead source of lighting, having a lamp or two allows you to adjust the brightness as necessary.

Alabaster Mini Orb Lamp // Globe String Lights // Petite Perla Chandelier

Ergonomically Check Your Chair and Desk

If the position of your chair and desk ends up leading to neck and back pain, this is inevitably going to impact your productivity levels. There are a couple of quick ergonomic checks which are easy to perform. First of all, the top of your computer screen should be around eye-level. Your feet should either be able to rest comfortably on a foot rest or on the floor. Make sure that your chair is slightly reclined to minimize lower back pain. Investing in a good-quality chair is one of the best purchases that you can make for your office.

Mesh Desk Chair // Gaiam Balance Ball Chair // Adjustable Foot Rest

Sights, Smells and Sounds

Your senses all come into play when you are creating a comfortable office space. Starting off with what you’ll spend the day looking at — the room color. Studies have shown that the color blue helps with productivity. But whatever you choose, make sure it’s a shade which isn’t too harsh on the eyes. You can also hang some pictures to give yourself something fun (and maybe motivational) to look at during the day.

Interior Paint in Blue Bayou // Calming Art Print // Ayo Mirror

You may never have thought much about the smell of your office, but the right scents can actually help to focus your mind and boost your mood. Fresh flowers are a great way to provide a scent in a natural way. It is worth going for some which you can easily smell such as Alii Hawaiian Tropical flowers. Another option is to use candles or essential oils. Otherwise, you could always try simmering a few herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your whole house with pleasant smells.

Hawaiian Flowers // Stress Relief Candle // Stone Essential Oil Holder

The type of noise which works best for your productivity levels varies from person to person. Some people prefer complete silence. In which case, it is worth looking into soundproofing options in the room. Others like to have some background music, so it check out wireless speakers so you can cut back on the need for wires criss-crossing around the room.

Sound Proof Panels // Noise Cancelling Headphones // Wireless Speaker

Clutter Clearing

While you may create a lot of clutter in the creative process, you should make it a habit to store away the things that you need and throw everything else away. Mess is generally not helpful when it comes to productivity levels. Make sure that you have enough storage systems to contain everything comfortably. And don’t forget your digital clutter as well. The best way I’ve found of keeping on top of your clutter (actual AND digital) in a home office is to schedule time each week to organize. Pick a day and time and jot it down in your diary weekly. You’ll likely just need a half hour or so each week to go through papers, computer files, etc and get it all sorted. Consistency is key!

Poppin 3-Drawer File Cabinet // Paper Organizers // Wire Wall Grid

Bring in Nature

There are plenty of ways that you can bring nature into your indoor office space. We already talked about fresh flowers, but house plants are also a great option. They will last longer and are usually straightforward to maintain. Open the window on a regular basis to allow fresh air into your office space. If you can’t see anything natural outside, the next best thing is to put up some “nature pictures” – think: a picture of you and a loved on a recent hike in a pretty frame on your desk or a painting of the sea!

5 x 7 Frame // Gradient Cement Planter // Mid-Century Turquoise Planters 

Achieve an Optimum Temperature Balance

Achieving the right temperature balance is one of the best ways of boosting your productivity levels. Studies have shown that people tend to work better when it is a little warmer inside, but you don’t want to make it SO warm so that you feel drowsy. A smart thermostat will give you maximum control over the temperature in your office. And you can always bring in some extra heaters or fans when you feel like you need to adjust the temperature up or down.

Nest Thermostat // Urbanjet Desk Fan // Portable Radiator

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating a work-space that provides maximum productivity levels. Essentially, you need to create an environment which works best for you. No two people work in the same way, so it is important to learn as much as you can about your own working habits. Good luck!

Do you work from home? An office? What changes have you made to your working space to increase productivity? 

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How to build a light-box out of a cardboard box and desk lamps.

The other day, after examining all the boyish things over on Everyday Carry, Chet and I were feeling photographically inspired and wanted to stage some shots to showcase the items he always has on hand. There was only one problem. Where could we configure items for a carefully captured overhead camera angle? The flooring in my apartment ranges from neutral, speckled carpet to beat up hardwood to dingy tiles and laminate. All come with the occasional cat hair tossed in and all look a little like someone spun the color wheel and landed on drab. Thinking back to some of our favorite product photography we rigged up a system that we thought would work even though the sun hadn’t been out for days (and to be fair we were trying to do this at night). It looked a little something like this…

IMG_0455

Note the reason behind all that cat hair in my apartment! (He just wants to be involved!!!) But also, note the crazy shadows being cast by the lamp we were using. Admittedly, I think these shots turned out pretty cool but not great. In natural light (a good sunny day outside your window), I still think a white foam core board makes a good background. But for a more versatile option, one that doesn’t rely on the fickle nature of winter weather, we built a super easy light-box out of a standard cardboard box and some desk lamps. Here’s how we did it!

light box

What you’ll need:

– cardboard box (evaluate the size of what you’ll be photographing to determine what size box will be adequate for your needs)

– ruler and pen/pencil

– box cutter

– white muslin fabric

– scissors

– tape

– white poster board

– 2 lamps

and how it all comes together:

– If required, assemble your cardboard box leaving one end open and tape as needed. Cut the flaps of the open end completely off using your box cutter.

– On two opposite sides draw a square with your ruler about 1 inch in from the edge of the box.

– Cut two pieces of the white muslin cloth big enough that they will completely cover your square openings and affix them to the outside with tape. We only used one layer of muslin but you can add layers if you’d like your light to be a bit less sharp.

– Next, cut your white poster board so that it is the length of two sides of your box and the width of one. Slide it in and up the back corner. Don’t crease, you want it to look like one continuous background with no harsh lines.

– Place your two lamps on either side of the box. Desk lamps have an exposed bulb and can be easily adjusted so they work great!

– Put your objects on the white poster board and…

– SNAP. SNAP. SNAP.

Here are some random shots to give you an idea of the kind of looks/light you can get…

books lightbox collage

 

If you already have a few desk lamps lying around, this DIY will come in well under $10. Assembly takes less than an hour. Essentially, if you have the supplies on hand and are in a dreary day pickle but still want to capture a few of your bits and baubles, you’ll be well on your way in no time!

 

Do you have any amazing amateur photography tips, hacks or DIYs? I’d love to hear!