May 2, 2017

Cubical Feng Shui

The Best Cubicle Decor Ideas We’ve Seen for Positive Energy

Lauren Pezzullo

While a cubicle is perhaps not the ideal work environment for most of us, there are ways to increase your productivity and change your frame of mind in your tiny workspace. We believe that a well thought-out space makes all the difference, and that taking some inspiration from the Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui is the perfect way to make your cubicle feel like home. Here are some of our favorite ways to redesign your cubicle for positive energy.

Rearrange your cubicle
As far as office Feng Shui is concerned, there is a right way and a wrong way to organize your office space if you want to feel calm, confident, and in control of your environment. If you want to regain control of your cubicle, the Command Position is the ideal placement for your desk or primary work area. From this space–usually diagonally opposite from the door or entryway–you can see the entire room, know what or who is coming, and feel less anxious about any potential surprises during the day. If moving your desk in this way is not possible (cubicles are tiny, after all!), a small mirror near over your desk will allow you to monitor your entryway in the same way. In addition to considering the Command Position, we recommend keeping your work and storage spaces separated as much as possible to avoid confusion and unnecessary stress.

Get organized
While your personal preferences for cleanliness and organization may vary, it is essential to keep a tidy and organized work environment. Regular decluttering, cleaning, filing, and rearranging of paperwork will help you to perform better and feel better in your workplace. Because cubicles are small, having a well-organized work space means that you can maximize productivity and find what you need easily without feeling like you’re drowning in paper. Make use of paper trays and labeled file boxes to free up space on your desk, and keep your thoughts and to-do lists organized with note pads, sticky notes, or jotter cards. Remembering that there is a place for everything, and keeping everything in its place will help you to stay calm and focused even when the rest of your office is busy and stressed. 

Bring the outside in
Employees who are stuck inside all day every day may start to feel bogged down with their workload and lacking in positive energy. While there is no way to physically alter a cubicle working environment (although installing some new windows or increasing the size of your workspace would be fantastic), there are few tricks to help you remember that there is a world outside your four walls. Air-cleansing plants, bright flowers, and natural light can freshen the air in your cube, add color to an otherwise drab space, and drastically alter your mood for the better. If absolutely necessary, you can use artificial lighting to recreate sunlight, but make sure to choose your office lighting wisely, because some light temperatures are more conducive to focus than others. Most office environments use cool white LEDs or fluorescent light strips, but these can feel harsh after hours indoors and even decrease your energy and productivity levels. We recommend considering a table lamp with a warmer bulb if you want to calm down your eyes and body from time to time during the day.

Personalize your space
One of the best ways to ensure a positive attitude in an otherwise cramped cubicle space is personalization. Make your work space feel like home by bringing in a few personal effects such as framed motivational and inspirational quotes, meaningful knickknacks, or photos of the places and people you love. Be careful not to go overboard with your personalization, though, because too many personal items may make you nostalgic for home and counting down the minutes until the end of the day. To maximize on your positive energy, find ways to combine both your work and home personas. Personalized correspondence such as letterheads, business cards, and stamps or address labels look great, make you feel more professional, and give you ownership over your work environment. 

Lauren Pezzullo is a writer, editor, and musicophile who's passionate about vegetarianism and sustainable eating. As an editor for Modernize, she writes about energy-efficient living in the home. She's currently writing her debut novel.

April 11, 2017

Real Simple wants to help you with your Wedding!

The team at Real Simple wants to treat a Bride-to-Be with this exciting opportunity to win a fabulous prize. The winner will receive prizes from top brands including Bed, Bath & Beyond, 1-800 Flowers and Enter for your chance to win this exclusive prize totaling OVER $10,000!

January 18, 2017

How to Create a Design Work Space that Promotes Productivity

By Bryn Huntpalmer

Your surroundings are as vital to your productivity as a full night of sleep and a healthy breakfast. A cluttered, dark, or bland work space may jive for some people, but most of us need a logical and aesthetically pleasing setup to get the most out of our creative energy. 

Create Zones

Whether you have an entire office suite at your disposal or just a desk in the corner of your bedroom, thoughtful organization can make a world of difference. Most of us have a main workspace where the magic happens, and if we don’t keep periphery projects and supplies out of the way, sitting down to work can be overwhelming. Designate an area for upcoming projects and ideas that’s separate from what you’re working on—even if it’s as simple as the calendar of all your upcoming deadlines on a wall behind or next to you but not right in front of you. Keep all the tools you currently need within arm’s reach, but put others away in drawers or cabinets where they won’t be a distraction from your current project.

Turn your Wall into a Pinterest Board 

A cluttered desk is hardly ever conducive to productivity, but a cluttered wall may be a source of inspiration. Collect ideas, quotes, artwork, and maybe even a vision statement that light your creative fire. Having tangible pieces of different sizes and textures may help spark ideas that staring at a screen just can’t.

Shop this look: Love Print

 Improve the Room

If you’re converting a room into your home design space, don’t just stick a desk and supplies in the corner and call it a day. Consider doing some home improvements that allow you to truly nest in the room. Maybe you want to paint the walls or install a kitchenette so you don’t have to walk across the house for coffee and snacks. Perhaps hardwood floors would make it easier for you to swivel from one desk to another. Or you may need some built-in storage or a brighter overhead light fixture. Consider doing whatever it takes to make this a place where the productivity flows.

 Prioritize Comfort

It’s tempting to buy furnishings that work with your decor and make your workspace more stylish. But if you plan to spend hours at a desk, it’s important to follow ergonomic principles. Get pieces that are both beautiful and functional, and make sure your eyes are in line with your monitor. Think about getting a standing desk with a tall chair—that way you can switch from sitting to standing to keep things fresh.

Set up a Thinking and Dreaming Space

You can only stare at a piece of paper or a computer screen so long. Sometimes you need to relax, close your eyes, read a book, or stare out the window for the inspiration to come. Don’t pressure yourself to be working every second you’re in your design space. Instead, get a comfortable couch or armchair in the room so that you can retreat if you still want to be in a working headspace but don’t want to keep staring at a blank page. Just make sure that couch isn’t too cozy.

Switch Things Up

After a while, your brain will start to think of your pieces of inspiration and personal decor as fixtures of the room. To prevent the area feeling static, switch out the pieces on your wall and move around the picture frames on your desk. This will keep your brain on its toes with new stimuli—the perfect recipe for productivity!

Buy a Year's Worth of Supplies

The last thing you want is to get the ideas flowing and start working, and then have to run to the store for something basic. Buying certain supplies when you need the will only waste your precious time. Instead, stock up so that you can settle in and be your most creative and efficient without worrying about small hassles. After all, making your design space exactly what you want and a place of ultimate productivity don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

August 15, 2016

Designer Spotlight: Judy Ross Textiles

We had a chance to sit down and chat with modern textile designer, Judy Ross to discuss her recent stationery launch. This collection was inspired by Judy’s soft, geometric patterns that bring a sense of familiarity to match her home d├ęcor products.  Each of the 24 products available are easily customized to match any style or preference. Read below for an insider's look on the design process behind the collection. 

Judy Ross in her studio

Q : Explain your design process. 

A : My design process starts with the sketch pad I always keep by my side to draw my ideas and record what surrounds me.  It's a visual diary of my daily life. My seasonal collections of pillows and rugs start as sketches; I choose my favorites and create large abstract india ink drawings. The drawings are translated into textiles by skilled artisans using intricate hand embroidery work.  I love to interpret each design in many colorways using a painterly sense of color. Right now, I'm in love with shades of blue and burgundy with touches of grey! 

Q : Where do you draw most of your inspiration from?

A : I studied painting, so my inspiration comes from fine art.  I have a lot of friends who are artists and being around them feeds my creative mind. My vast collection of artist's books is a huge inspiration!
I've also been lucky to lead a life of travel, and my curiosity and openness inspire new ideas and adventures which show through in my work. I don't always go far, though - living in New York affords many opportunities to visit wonderful art galleries and museum shows!
Inspiration behind the designs

Q : Why was developing a stationery line important to you? 

A : Judy Ross Textiles is recognized for a distinctively clean and modern signature style. I  have a loyal clientele who collect my pillows, textiles, and rugs. It seemed such a natural progression to translate my designs into a line of stationery. My designs have a hand-drawn feeling with a graphic edge which translates wonderfully to stationery.  I am very happy to offer many of my iconic designs such as Fauna, Arbor and Celine as customized stationery! 

Q : What is your favorite piece from the collection?

A : I absolutely love the Celine. It's so chic. But I can’t choose just one… I also love Fauna. I created this design in 2004 and it's still one of my most popular designs. It shows that my work is both timeless and contemporary! 

Shop the collection here for a fresh update to your desk.

August 1, 2016

August Wallpaper Download from Judy Ross Textiles!

...and just like that we have arrived in the dog days of summer! August is upon us so use every last moment to soak up the rest of the warm weather. This month's free wallpaper download is from designer Judy Ross Textiles! You may have seen her modern designs on products ranging from pillows and rugs to curtains and bed covers, and now you can find it on personalized stationery. View her debut stationery collection here and download her exclusive wallpaper below to add a unique touch to your desktop!