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!

 

July 15, 2016

Designer Spotlight: The Spotted Olive

This week we bring you an insider's look at the design process behind best-seller The Spotted Olive. We asked her to describe her typical day and how the inspiration she finds incorporates into her outstanding designs. Remember that now until July, 31st you can save 15% off of all of The Spotted Olive's products by shopping her collection here and entering the code SpottedOlive15 at checkout! Scroll to find the whole interview, filled with inspiration and a dose of summer celebration fun.


Q : Take us through a typical day designing.

A : As my business has grown, there are fewer opportunities for full days of designing. Every day can be so different with some days where I am exclusively working on customer orders, product photography, administration tasks or a mix of projects. 

A typical day starts at about 7:30 am —thanks to my three dog alarm clock. Once I am up, I feed the dogs, grab a glass of lemon water and then head out with the dogs for a short half mile to mile walk (I usually take the opportunity to listen to a podcast or audio book while walking). After that I get cleaned up, grab some breakfast and an iced coffee and get ready to start my workday. My first course of business is checking and responding to customer emails and social media messages. Next, I work on getting out proofs, submitting files for printing and packaging orders for shipping. 

During the Summer months, I like to take little breaks throughout the day and sit outside on our deck… sometimes I’ll get out the watercolors and paint for a few minutes, practice hand lettering or just sit and enjoy the beautiful weather. Between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm, my husband (he’s a solopreneur too) and I will often have lunch together, usually outside on our deck or if we need to get out of the house for a bit, we’ll head over to one of the local cafes to grab a bite. Once back in the office, depending on where I’m at with customer orders or administrative tasks, I’ll either continue working on those items or catch up on some of my favorite blogs. Between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm, it’s time to feed the dogs again and take them on another walk. 

If there is time in the day with an opportunity to design, I’ll check my Pinterest boards, my notes in Evernote, or one of my notebooks for ideas and inspirations that I’ve jotted down and start designing. I usually try to end my workday between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm but if I am on a roll and inspired to design, I could work much later into the night!

Q : How did you get interested in the stationery industry?

A : The majority of my career was spent as a corporate graphic designer. I was able to work on some great projects, even winning some awards for my work, but ultimately there wasn’t much variety in the projects. I started designing invitations and stationery as a creative outlet. Eventually, my creative outlet grew into a full-time business. I really love the diversity and fun of designing pretty paper for happy events. It’s really exciting and humbling to know that a customer has chosen one of my designs to be a part of their special celebration or milestone event. And of course, I absolutely adore stationery and paper goods, but who doesn’t!

Q : Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

A : Inspiration is everywhere! I find inspiration for my designs in nature, in the city, in music, in fashion, in color, in people, even in my own backyard. I’ve recently started participating in some 30 day creative challenges which have been a great exercise for creativity and design inspiration.

This design was inspired by the new beginnings of Spring, nature and the harmony of the soft pale pinks and peaches found in many flowers. Living in the mountains, we always have deer and their new fawns resting in our yard, so I thought it would be a cute element to incorporate into the design. 



This design was inspired by the richness of the dramatic violet color paired with the subtle accent of a vibrant gold.



This design was inspired by the bold typography and weathered look of vintage boxing & circus posters.



Q : What trends are you loving right now?

A : The trends I’m currently crushing on are bold, dramatic colors, hand lettering & calligraphy, watercolor, metallics, wild urbanism and retro pastels. I also love the classics so fresh, colorful patterns of dots, stripes and florals will always be on trend with me.

Q : What are your favorite Independence Day traditions?

A : I really love the celebration that the 4th of July brings. My favorite traditions are having a cookout with family and friends, playing with sparklers and of course, watching the fireworks!

Q : What's your favorite dish to bring to a summer BBQ?

A : As a vegetarian, I find that there often aren’t many main course options at a Summer BBQ so my favorite dish to bring is grilled halloumi. It’s so good and always a big hit with everyone.

July 1, 2016

July Wallpaper Download from The Spotted Olive!

Dress up your desktop with fresh summer wallpapers from The Spotted Olive! We have two free downloads for a unique pop of summer color. The first download is festively patriotic while the second is adorably refreshing with gingham and Popsicles. Whichever you choose, these will be sure to bring the summer atmosphere to your desk. 



For an extra summer treat, save 15% off The Spotted Olive products all month long. No matter what celebration you're planning The Spotted Olive collection has an invitation to match. Use code SpottedOlive15 at checkout to receive the discount.